The Face of Business is Changing With Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding for small businessesTen years ago, someone with a brilliant (or not so brilliant) business idea had to jump through some major hoops to apply for a business loan or convince an investor to part with their cash.

When the downturn started, those hoops got harder, leaving many wannabe-entrepreneurs with no way to get their projects off the ground.

Enter crowdfunding. Websites like Kickstarter and Crowdfunder allow you to ask members of the public to donate towards the amount you need to get your project off the ground. In return for their donations, they get a product, service, credit or investment or simply the great feeling of helping a new business make a start. You choose the amount to donate and the reward is proportionate.

Investment is not the only thing you need to start a business. As you bring people in to fulfil your promises to investors, management skills for new managers training is vital to make sure your team are happy and productive. Running a business also requires strong leadership skills, which are distinct from management techniques.

Takeaways from Crowdfunding Success Stories

Entrepeneurs/Small Businesses – Clang

Take the example of Clang’s page on Kickstarter – it is fairly self-explanatory of their success. Their pitch is technical and persuasive, yet accessible – the perfect marketing tactic. The ideas-man, Neal Stephenson, establishes himself as an expert in the first sentence, gives his main sales point (“these could be more fun”) and a call to action (“time for a revolution”). I’m convinced. Read the rest of “The Face of Business is Changing With Crowdfunding”

Leadership vs. Management – What’s the difference?

We strongly believe that leadership & management go hand in hand. A good manager needs leadership skills to perform and a good leader is nothing without a strong grasp of management techniques.

However, the two are different concepts that are often muddled together as one. In this post I am going to look at what makes leadership & management different, and how they should be combined for the best of both worlds.

management-vs-leadership

The Role

Management is a formal role within a business. The manager is responsible for the employees who work for them and must set and monitor goals that meet the aim of the business.

There is no formal role for a leader. The best managers are natural leaders but often an employee in the team emerges as a leader. In this situation it is important that the manager works with them to help spread the management message. When a leader within a team turns against the manager, dissent can soon spread.

Natural leaders are often internally promoted when they display their leadership qualities. Businesses feel that it is easier to promote an employee who already has the support of their team than bring in a new manager. Read the rest of “Leadership vs. Management – What’s the difference?”

Managing Awkward People

managing awkward peopleIn the workplace you are always going to come up against awkward people, and unlike in your personal life you can’t just ignore them.

These are the people who seem to go out of their way to derail a project or create dysfunction in the office. There are a number of types to spot from the incompetent & indecisive to the control freak & villain. Common words include ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t’ and there is a distinct tendency to place the blame on others in every situation.

No matter how much you don’t like it, these people are a part of every team and every office and so it is better to learn how to deal with them rather than wasting time fighting them.

Many problems are caused by change but these can be negotiated with Change Management training. Our Leadership and Management Skills courses also have modules on dealing with uncooperative co-workers.

Use these tips to try and create harmony, rather than division, in your team.

Stay Action Focused

Awkward people enjoy two discussions: what went wrong in the past & what will go wrong in the future.

Neither discussion is useful and does little to move forward. Do not indulge in these conversations and seek to avoid them. Explain why you need to move forward and look to them for options. Read the rest of “Managing Awkward People”