Make Your Own Rules and Other Tips This Week
Join us at Entrepreneur magazine's Growth Conference, Dec. 15 in Long Beach, Calif. for a day of fresh ideas, business mentoring and networking. Register here for exclusive pricing, available only for a limited time.
A roundup of the best tips of the week from Entrepreneur.com.
Sometimes, when blazing your own trail as an entrepreneur, you have to throw out the rulebook. "All the rules are made by someone else who had an instinct five years or fifty years before you," says Mike Germano, co-founder of social media agency Carrot Creative.
The world changes rapidly, and making business decisions based on outmoded assumptions may mean being left behind. Instead, accept the risks that come with being independent, and if you fail, learn from it. "It'll just make you sharper," Germano says. More: 5 Ways to Learn to Trust Your Instincts
Crunch the numbers before dumping a client.
Sometimes you have to let go of a client, and as necessary as it might be, the loss of business will mean taking a hit to your bottom line. Assess how much damage before pulling the trigger. For example, if you've taken payment upfront you'll likely have to refund that money, even if you've completed part of the project. More: What to Do Before Firing a Problem Client
Meet regularly to keep the big picture in focus.
The five co-founders of Bluefish Wireless Management, all of whom share the job of CEO, hold twice-weekly meetings to discuss big-picture strategy and new ideas. While sharing the top job may not be right for you, it's still a good idea to meet regularly with your co-founders or management team to keep large goals in mind rather than getting bogged down over-communicating day-to-day management issues. More: 4 Management Lessons From a Company With 5 CEOs
Make your direct-mail marketing stand out from the rest.
When business consultant Ashley Ambirge needed a way to show her personality and unique approach through a direct-mail marketing effort, she skipped traditional mailing materials altogether. Instead she sent roofing shingles bearing the message "My Company + Your Company = sales through the roof." The nearly 100 percent response rate she received is a sign that a creative approach to selling yourself can make all the difference. More: 3 Surprising Ways to Find New Clients
Communicate openly when a referral goes wrong.
Networking is all about forming mutually beneficial relationships. So what do you do when someone you've referred for a gig drops the ball? Rather than badmouthing the offending party to others in your network, writes Ivan Misner, talk with him or her in a non-confrontational way to find out what went wrong. You may be saving a valuable connection. More: How to Network With the Elephant in the Room