If you only read 8 things this month, read these. They cover the expectations and realities of selling a business, practical advice for making a great culture that doesn't (necessarily) require beanbag chairs and nap pods, and some brainy insights into building relationships that can help your business thrive.
In addition to posts, podcasts and videos, this month we're also pointing you in the direction of a collection of tools designed to help business leaders increase the impact of their marketing. Enjoy.
This 6-minute video (outline included) aims to set realistic expectations for the time it takes to transition your business. (Keep in mind, this is talking about a business that's ready to sell, preparation for which should begin 5 years before you plan to sell). It details what and why each part of the process entails, plus a realistic timeline for each phase.
2. Tools: Resources for Marketing Your Business
This collection of free resources from Hubspot is designed help business leaders attract more leads and grow their business through better marketing. It includes hundreds of free tools, templates, e-books, webinars and more.
Every marketing agency promises big returns, but far too many burn the companies who hire them when they don't actually deliver. So if you're looking for an outside marketing team, be prepared to thoroughly vet your candidates. This 7-minute video runs down the list of nine important elements to examine in any agency before you consider hiring them.
This piece examines what culture really is, digging beyond its buzzword status into what it does, why it's so important and how to create a culture that attracts and retains the right people for your business. The focus is not on how to decorate the office or stock the fridge, but on making the mindset shifts that will equip you for creating the culture you need.
5. Video: How to Have a Good Conversation
Business relationships break down when communication breaks down. This TEDx talk is a practical, simple guide (for anybody) on how to have a conversation, starting with the premise that actually engaging is better than trying to look engaged. Forget about head nods and prepare to cultivate some curiosity and self-restraint.
6. Podcast: Why People Buy — The Powerful Science of Selling
This episode from the StoryBrand podcast studies the brain of your customers and what makes them want them to buy from you. It all begins with understanding who your ideal clients are and the problems — internal and external — they want to solve. 30 minutes
This post from Small Business Trends considers the findings of a UBS report showing many small business owners are looking to sell their business, few have a plan and even fewer have realistic expectations about how long the selling process takes.
8. Video Series: Bad Managers — The BS'er
Sure, this was made to get a laugh, but there's a kernel of truth here. Business leaders often get stuck in the trap of relying on cliches and business speak, or BS, in professional settings. Industry-specific language has its place, but keep in mind that when you're talking to your target market, they're not in your industry. What you see as normal speech may come across as, well, BS.
If you want to keep laughing, the Bad Manager series includes a humorous take on many of the bad habits it's easy to get carried away with, even with the best of intentions.