Even if the jokes are falling flat today, by golly, it’s O-PUN season on all things Halloween, business, or well, puns. Here at Clearinity, we care about your business and what you plan to do with it. We want to see you succeed, so here’s some Halloween-inspired wisdom from business pros.
1) “Flesh” out your ideas
Be sure that you’re devoting adequate time to the vision of your company. The vision you have for your company comes from a set of ideas and values you have in your head and your heart. Pay attention to these! If you’re just starting a business, write down all of your ideas. You will treasure this brainstorming as you develop the business. No, you can’t use all of them today, but it will keep you on the path to success as you grow!
Even if you’ve been in business for some time, you will need fresh ideas to keep the company on track. Revisit old thoughts, and don’t hesitate to plant some seeds for next spring too! The best companies are the ones that never stop growing or reinventing themselves. Pause, reflect, analyze, decide, and then execute on any changes you see. Less than 50% of businesses fail in the first 5 years, and that falls off to 20% survival by year 20. Don’t become another statistic.
2) No bones about it, you’ll need help
Depending on your business model and your stage of business, your problems will range from funding to diversity, marketing to operations, leadership to hiring, and gluts of cash or struggles to find two dimes to rub together. The short answer is to GET HELP!
Small businesses should always consider reaching out to the Small Business Administration with their Small Business Development Centers. There are lots of way to define a “small business,” but businesses with revenues under $1,000,000 per year will greatly benefit here.
No business is complete without professional services like accounting or business law. Make sure you’re finding a professional, whether they are local or require a Zoom call to get a hold of!
And of course, it never hurts to hear from someone with an entirely different perspective. One of my personal favorite groups to reach out to is 4GenNow, a 501c3 focused on bringing multiple generations of business people together!
3) Processes are the skeleton of your business
If the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, then processes are the skeleton of your business. Even if you don’t think of your business as having processes, you do. Those processes are the life-blood for how to keep the wheels on the bus every day and deliver again and again. Next time you catch yourself thinking about your business, pause and ask yourself, “How did that happen?” Whether it’s good or bad, stopping to analyze the cause of an event is the first step in understanding a business process. Had a great deliver? Why? Who did what, and in what order? Was it different from what normally happens? Keep asking “WHY” until you’ve uncovered the whole of the process.
After you’ve uncovered these processes, you’ll want to work on reinventing them. Take your time, plan your proposed changes, and make sure everyone is on board. No one likes to come into work after a long weekend and find everything turned upside down! Consider this before you reinvent a process, and you’ll be sure to reinvent the right one next time. Process development is never done, so find a way to help your business develop it’s own processes and reinvent them as needed!
4) Don’t forget to dress it up
Every business needs marketing, even if you don’t think yours does. Marketing starts at the logo, and follows you through every single interaction you have. Met a client? Marketing is happening, whether it’s good or bad. Met a potential partner? Marketing will help that person understand what your business is and what it’s doing.
Marketing isn’t just the visuals though. Marketing is about what people feel, how they negatively or positively connote the name of your business with actions, feelings, and judgments. Events in the course of business and intentional marketing campaigns can all string together to produce feelings in people who will have never even interacted with your business. Think about Enron - who actually used Enron? Not everyone, but that’s a name that’s pretty recognizable in the USA,and is almost universally associated with very negative connotation. Nike. McDonalds. Goodwill. These names make you feel something, from good to bad, inspired to hungry. Even if you don’t know the business directly, the words in the name or the pictures on the page will tell you a lot about how well their marketing team is doing.
Most importantly, marketing should be done in a way that’s true to the culture of a business. Kids have the most fun on Halloween when they dress up in a way that speaks to them, so too should your business and your marketing speak to who you are!
5) Be sure to have fun with it!
Lastly, businesses can be anything from for-profit to non-profit, but the best ones are the ones that know how to make work fun. Think about your company, and consider ways to add fun back into the work!
Fun takes many shapes and size. Be safe, be ethical, and be true to the culture of the company. Fun could be as simple as employee appreciation activities, or as meaningful as volunteering. It could be a new way to sell that allows everyone to enjoy being themselves, or it could be an inventive new internal process. Fun isn’t the same for everyone, but the outcomes should always be true to the company vision and inspired from the deepest parts of who we are!