Lifestyle 29 March 2018
Running a business can be a challenge in and of itself, but in today's world where the commonly heard phrase "there's an app for that" really does ring true, it can be easier than ever to run a business while traveling the world. This is even true for those involved in business models where most revenue is made at physical locations, like service industries and retail stores.
The tech world is ever-evolving and new apps are constantly popping up, serving new functions and improving old ones, making our lives as business owners that much easier by enabling us to effectively manage with the simple and accessible touch of a button.
We're seeing a plethora of apps for website management, data management, booking software for appointments, services and just about everything in between. Even apps with mobile capabilities for more sensitive tasks like payroll management and accounting now exist! On every end of the spectrum as a business owner, the tech field has us covered.
Whether a business is location-oriented or not, it is always important that it's left in the hands of someone we not only trust, but more importantly that the person you trust is left with a team that you have prepped for success.
One of the most effective ways to prep your managers and staff for success is to establish operating procedures which are codified, reviewed, and put into practice in order to ensure seamlessness of daily operations. Figure out what your steps of service are, which factors most determine your brand's user experience, and never stop urging your staff to search for new ways of improving steps of service.
Between traveling for leisure and traveling for work, my studio team is my greatest asset in keeping allongeé running smoothly. As a company which relies on our service hours- i.e. when we are actively running classes- our staff members really set the stage for my company's success in my absence.
It is also equally important to keep an eye on overhead and have overhead goals on top priority which will yield for greater financial security.
When a business' day-to-day costs can be controlled, profit margins can be controlled and likely increased. This makes running a business from overseas much more rewarding for the entrepreneur, which can be an even bigger asset to the entity's financial health.
While all of these things are equally important, the one which is likely to have the greatest overall influence is the intervention of technology to help manage, analyze, and organize nearly every angle of the business. The apps we utilize allow me to manage countless aspects of the business from abroad- from point of sale to social media management and client management. Technology can be relative to the rest of the above points as well; if we are able to allow technology to take over any of the operational tasks we can often save/improve in more than one place (i.e. software systems for bookings- can save work time for employees, simplifying SOP tasks and can also save on overhead costs).
Managing point of sale while abroad can offer peace of mind, but can also allow us the chance to track inventory, create projections and evaluate the performance of products. Inventory and re-ordering would likely be a nightmare without the help of the Square app. It updates in real-time, and offers a pretty satisfactory array of reports on various sales stats as well.
Our brand's social media presence is probably one of the more important things I manage on a day-to-day basis, and it's most definitely gotten easier with the implementation of apps like Buffer and Hootsuite. These programs allow me to plan ahead and schedule social media posts, making management easier than ever even while I am traveling.
Lastly and equally as important is our booking software, Mindbody, which helps manage schedules on a live-feed while also serving as our clients' means to purchase class packages and pre-book services. Like Square, this app also has quite an array of performance reports, from revenue projections to retention reports and even marketing analyses.
It's no secret that running a business can take a toll on one's mental health, especially when the sole owner is away on vacation crossing their fingers every minute that everything is running smoothly back home. Fortunately, you guessed it, there's an app for that too. Meditation and fitness apps can be a great option when all you want to do is call and check in on your fully capable team (that you handpicked to work with you for that exact reason).
Simple Habit is a guided meditation app which focuses on what your goals are outside of the guided meditation. The app will offer reminders to meditate during times you anticipate you may need it and will personalize your experience to meet your needs. Most of the mediations are quick, under ten minutes, and will help keep your mental state in good health and will allow you to build the habit of stepping back and finding a place for relaxation. Even simpler is utilizing Spotify's mood playlists. As a dancer, my body and emotions have always been deeply connected to music, and Spotify has a really great collection of playlists for relaxation, mood and energy boosters, and just about everything in between. Find what works best for you. Taking a moment to yourself can help you relax and enjoy the vacation you worked so hard for.
Today's apps make it easy to keep track of what is going on every minute of every day. Like I touched on earlier, technology has assisted business owners with developing a work/life balance so they are in-the-know while away, but still able to enjoy a change of scenery.
With the right tools, procedures, and staff in place, a sustainable business will be able to adjust its model to remain sustainable and secure while you take advantage of having your 'out of office' message on.
3 Min Read
I think we can all agree that we are living in unprecedented times, and many of us are experiencing challenges in both our personal and professional lives. But it is important to remember that often, challenging moments present opportunities for change. Right now, companies and individuals are using this time to rethink how they conduct their business, the resources critical to their success, and how they go about their daily activities. And what we are seeing is that more and more people, especially women, are taking control of their lives by starting their own businesses.
While it is estimated that the number of women-owned businesses is one-quarter to one-third of all enterprises worldwide, there are still many women who aspire to make entrepreneurship a reality. A new Herbalife Nutrition survey conducted by OnePoll of 9,000 women across 15 countries, including 2,000 women in the U.S., found that globally, 72% of women want to open their own business. Of those, 50% don't yet have a business and 22% have one but would like to open another.
Women want to have more control over their future, but they are committed to helping future generations by being a role model for younger women; 80% believe this is a strong motivating factor.
The second annual survey, which explores women and entrepreneurship globally, revealed the overwhelming challenges women experience in the traditional workplace compared to their male colleagues. In fact, more than 60% of women said they would like to start a business due to unfair treatment in previous job roles. Of the women surveyed, 7 in 10 believe that women must work harder to have the same opportunities as men in the workforce. Results also revealed that 43% of women have delayed having children because they thought it would negatively affect their career, and 25% said they had faced pregnancy discrimination. 42% believe they've been unfairly overlooked for a raise or promotion because of their gender — and of those, the average respondents had it happen three separate times. These are a few of the challenges that have been a catalyst for the surge in entrepreneurship among women.
The irony is that startups founded and cofounded by women performed better than their men counterparts: on average women-owned firms generated 10% higher cumulative revenue over five years, compared with men.
With the barriers and negative experiences women cited in the workforce, it is not surprising that across the globe, the top motivation for starting a business is to run it themselves (61%). Women want to have more control over their future, but they are committed to helping future generations by being a role model for younger women; 80% believe this is a strong motivating factor.
But the women surveyed don't expect entrepreneurship to be smooth sailing: one-third of women with plans for entrepreneurship are "very worried" about their business — or future business — failing in the next five years. The top three challenges when starting a business center around finances — earning enough money to offset costs, having enough budget to grow, and financing their business. And when it comes to financing, women face stark disparities in the capital they often need to fund their business. Boston Consulting Group found that women entrepreneurs averaged $935,000 in investments, which is less than half the average of $2.1 million invested in companies founded by men entrepreneurs. The irony is that startups founded and cofounded by women performed better than their men counterparts: on average women-owned firms generated 10% higher cumulative revenue over five years, compared with men.
Women entrepreneurs create a source of income for themselves and their families. They are a vital part of our world's economic engine that society needs to support with flexible opportunities, mentorship, and access to capital. Herbalife Nutrition is proud that more than half of our independent distributors worldwide are women who set up their businesses and decide when and where they work and do so on their terms. We need to invest in women entrepreneurs, not only to help one generation, but to offer role models for the next.