Great CEOs are Down on The Basics

There are hundreds of advice columns for CEOs, so let’s start this one with an acknowledgment of how CEOs got where they are in the first place.

Chief executives are bright, fact-based big-picture thinkers who have an innate ability to tune in to what other people are thinking, feeling and doing and to turn that instinct (and knowledge) to their company’s advantage. Those are the basic attributes.

Business woman and CEO

CEOs don’t overlook the small details, but they don’t get hung up on them, either. They are big-picture thinkers, which allows them to focus on long-term company goals.

In so many words, a company can hire all the detail-oriented people they need.…

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Intelligent Insights to Ignite Positive Change for Your Business

Brought to you by Spark Business® from Capital One®

Whether you’re breaking into new industries, creating services within a community, or carving a niche out of an existing market, as a modern entrepreneur, you’re set on exceeding expectations on all fronts. Part of getting to that place is sourcing helpful insights that work to demystify small business, and in turn, lead to positive change.

Spark Business IQ by Spark Business® from Capital One® aims to keep business owners inspired and on the path towards growth and improved financial management through news, tips, tools, and business stories.

Visit Spark Business IQ to help ignite positive change for your business today.

For more information on the Spark Business credit cards, visit www.CapitalOne.com/smallbusiness.

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This editorial is sponsored by Spark Business® from Capital One®

5 Challenges Faced by Small Businesses in 2015

Companies face difficult challenges in today’s competitive business world. Some researchers estimate that about 50 percent of companies only last four or five years before going out of business. To avoid failure, entrepreneurs need to know how they can face these five common challenges in 2015.

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1. Keeping Up with Regulations

Large companies hire lawyers to make sure they follow the latest regulations for their industries. Small businesses rarely have enough money to keep lawyers on retainer. This can make it difficult for them to keep up with evolving regulations.

There are several ways to lower the costs of regulatory compliance.…

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Consulting Advice for your Startup

Startup companies typically have a high amount of energy, which they need to grow into something that is viable as a business. Taking it to the next level isn’t always easy, though. Read on for advice on how to organize leadership, manage projects, and develop tools that help startups succeed.

Entering Startup

photo credit: Mike / Flickr

Organizational Management

Your startup’s leadership team is the strength that holds your entity together, so how you organize your leadership team is important. Building a leadership team involves inspiration, motivation, goal championing, and efficiency.

For a business to succeed, you typically need the right people to hold the right positions.…

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Effective Leadership Makes an Impact

Few things can impact a company as greatly as effective leadership. When executives and other management level personnel show tremendous dedication to an organization, the rank and file employees notice. Productivity can be enhanced, morale can be increased, and the employee satisfaction can be substantially higher.

Effective leadership

Leadership has a way of trickling down from the CEO throughout the entire organization. Ian Mackechnie Amscot Financial CEO utilizes effective leadership practices to serve as a viable example for everyone at the company, which pays off in several ways with every employee.

Slow Growth

One aspect of leadership that has the possibility of backfiring is growth.…

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Five Ways to Improve your Image as a CEO

As the Chief Executive Officer for your company you’ll probably be involved in a great deal of important affairs and decisions. As well as this you will often have to represent your firm and can essentially be a walking advert for the business. Subsequently, the way you present yourself to both customers and staff alike should automatically command respect and create a strong air of professionalism – otherwise you risk losing this.

Successful CEO

It’s true that a lot this is down to your business knowledge and acumen, but a hugely important aspect is your image. This means the clothes you wear, your transport and even things like the quality of your personal presentations; all of which need to present you in the right way.…

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3 Ways to Grow Your Small Business By Building Credibility

You already know that a targeted marketing campaign that reaches consumers in your niche is the best way to convert leads. But, attaining growth requires your business to maximize the number of lead conversions available from your finite audience. How you utilize your company’s online presence can make a dramatic impact on those numbers.

Building credibility with online presence

With these 3 easy tips, you can learn to use your online presence more efficiently and gain a wider reach for your business.

Form Relationships with Influencers

?Influencers are people who have clout or respect in your industry, and can give your small business credibility. When your audience associates you with people or brands they already respect, it raises their expectations about your reliability.…

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Motivation through Gamification: The Path to Productivity?

For years, GTD (get-things-done) advocates, efficiency experts and HR professionals have searched far and wide for the best way to enhance productivity in the workplace. For a small business, it may not be that simple, especially when people are wearing several hats at the same time.

Productivity word cloud

Image Credit: Grasko via Creative Commons license

For any size enterprise, perhaps the best way to enhance productivity is to establish targets and find creative ways for people to reach these. Here is where gamification comes into play.

What is Gamification?

Gamification involves using games and psychology to encourage specific behaviors within the game’s target audience.…

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The 3-Dimensional Roles of Exceptional CEOs

Being a successful small business owner is about delivering results consistently through your products/services to those you serve. It demands a high level of coordination and execution of several key activities.

Exceptional CEO

These activities cannot be handled successfully by only one person over a long period of time without creating an operational structure/system. Being small is no excuse for wanting to be a one-man army. Someday soon, you will no longer be able to do all the things you so easily do now as a result of age, so what will become of your business then?

By then, you’ll suddenly realize that all your I-can-do-it-all-by-myself attitude as a self-employed entrepreneur is counterproductive.…

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5 Major Concerns of Small Businesses as They Grow

All businesses begin small. And it is these small businesses that are incubators for innovation in any economy. They foster new ideas and generate employment opportunities.

Coffee shop owner

While a business owner might control many things in his business, the larger aspects that drive or doom businesses are beyond an owner’s control. These factors include natural disasters, economy shift, change in government regulations and tax policies, healthcare policies, etc.

Here we will discuss some of the major concerns that torment small business owners in 2015.

Economic and Regulatory Changes

Market conditions and changing economy steer the companies from running into losses to progressive heights.…

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