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?”

Management 101: How to Improve Your Communication Skills

It is safe to say that communication is the single most important thing there is when it comes to working with others, resolving conflicts, and spreading ideas and information. Therefore, as a manager, you simply cannot afford to overlook the importance of good communication.

communication-skills-training

Communication skills are a vital tool for managers and so are taught as part of both our management training and leadership training courses.

If things in the workplace are not running as smoothly as they should, you can bet that poor communication is at least partly at fault. Fortunately, there are things you can do to remedy problems caused by faulty communication. Here are some suggestions for how to improve your communication skills:

Practice effective listening

Many people focus their attentions on what they want to say next, even when others are talking to them. This is counterintuitive to effective communication. Read the rest of “Management 101: How to Improve Your Communication Skills”

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