Do you properly manage your business 24-7?
Whether you're a long-time business owner or you're considering starting a business, it's important to keep your expectations in check.
Although you have high expectations for your business, you can't let a slow month or a dip in sales derail your long-term goals.
Here are just a few ways you can manage your business expectations:
Successful business owners in Canada
Canadian entrepreneurs are opening businesses of all kinds to much success.
By managing their own expectations on a daily basis while meeting customer expectations, the following business owners are thriving and growing their brands.
Among the examples:
#Hashtag Gallery Ltd.
Run by Graeme Luey and Johnny Hollick, this contemporary art gallery in Toronto opened its doors in 2012. Featuring mid-career and emerging artists, the #Hashtag Gallery has grown to be one of the premier galleries in Toronto. The owners manage their business expectations by gathering business advice from other gallery owners and mentors in the arts community.
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Ludiwine Clouzot started Ecoloodi in Toronto in 2013 to teach people about water conservation. With Ecoloodi growing and finding new clients every day, Clouzot manages her expectations by revaluating what she wants to accomplish at every business milestone.
Exigence Technologies Inc.
Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Exigence manufactures antimicrobial compounds used in hospital garments to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Owner Zach Wolff manages his expectations by never letting his business's success get ahead of his top priority: making the best product possible.
With the successful entrepreneurs above in mind, here are a few ways as the following article looks at you can manage your expectations as a business owner day in and day out:
The number one area you need to manage your expectations as a business owner is with your profits.
If you've been running your business for a while now, then you need to track your slow months and your busy months. Knowing when your sales are likely to drop and that there are busier months which will make up for the slow times is all part of managing expectations.
If you're just opening your doors for the first time, then you'll need to handle your expectations a bit differently.
Don't assume you're going to make huge profits in the first few months or even the first few years. Running your new business one day at a time and having realistic earnings goals will help you better manage your expectations.
Do you expect to have a certain number of customers by year's end? Is your goal to franchise your business within five years?
Although setting goals is important when running a business, you need to base these expectations on past and current data.
Growing a business takes time, which is something you should be aware of from the start.
Knowing that you won't be able to devote as much time to family and personal life is something you should expect, at least when initially starting your business.
Likewise, you need to be prepared for long days and late nights. Having these expectations will better prepare you for running a successful business.
When you have clear expectations for running your business, it creates a recipe for success.
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About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including small businesses and business management.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.