Gunning for Gold: Why Owning a Business is Like Training for the Olympics

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As a small business owner, one needs to stay inspired at all times. Everything around you motivates you to follow your dream and do anything you can to keep it alive. Watching a sporting event like the Winter Olympics, is a great reminder to stay committed to your business goals.

When we watch the Sochi events on YouTube or read about it in the news, rarely do we think about the preparation, the intense training these athletes had to undergo to be eligible for competing at the greatest sporting event in the world. We remember only the winners, the people who performed exceptionally well. We forget about the years, the decades of hard work that come down to just a few seconds.

Ever thought what you and a sportsperson training for the Olympics have in common?

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Small Business Stories You Might Have Missed

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iStock_000019387075XSmallThe amount of information that comes across our computer, smartphone or tablet screen on a daily basis is overwhelming. Photos, and videos, and status updates, and tweets, and links. It’s too much.

We click on 100 million Twitter links and share 2.5 billion items on Facebook everyday. Yes, you read that right. Everyday! You can’t possibly see every story or read every useful article pertaining to the growth and success of your small business.

Keep in mind that we can’t either, but we can do our best to get you a few of the most relevant and interesting articles concerning the small business market in this new blog series. So, in case you missed them, here are four articles you should check out right now.

Job Creation

Despite the United States unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 7.6 percent from May to June, small businesses are continuing to add jobs. Last month, companies with fewer than 50 employees created 84,000 jobs — 45 percent of the total new jobs added in June.

For a full breakdown of the stats and what it means, check out this article from Small Business Trends.

Managing Your Time

If you are a small business owner, you’ve come to one important realization:  there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Time management is crucial to efficiency and maximizing your efforts. Vice President of Marketing at Nextiva Yaniv Masjedi takes you through five ways you can manage your time more efficiently so you can not only improve your business, but also have a more peaceful workday.

Optimize Content Marketing

Content marketing is no longer just a trend. In fact, it is believed to be the future of marketing because it encourages people to share links on social networking sites; therefore, driving more traffic to your website.

Sam Slaughter at Mashable discusses the danger of content marketing drifting away from its original intention and purpose and simply becoming link bait. He also gives useful tips to improve your content marketing strategy immediately.

What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?

Not every entrepreneur or small business owner has the same personality or work style. From investing your time and money into a start up to possibly buying a business, it is important to understand the different types of entrepreneurs so you can make the right decision.

This article takes you through five entrepreneurial styles like total risk takers to “Do It Yourself” enthusiasts, so you can learn how you can maximize your efforts.

5 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Vijay Brihmadesam

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These days, it doesn’t take much to call yourself an entrepreneur. You don’t need an advanced degree, a certificate proving you completed required training or even a business card to pursue a dream of starting your own company.

Photo courtesy of Tava Indian Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Tava Indian Kitchen

However, having success as an innovator takes more than just a great idea. It takes dedication, hard work, sacrifice, and possibly even abandoning your comfort zone to have a chance at doing what you love.

Meet Vijay Brihmadesam. Like many people across the world, Vijay had a well-paying job and comfortable lifestyle working at a private equity firm in Palo Alto, Calif. And like many people, he was not happy with his current job and career path.

Long story short, Vijay got together with two of his friends and decided to leave the daily grind of Wall Street to pursue their passion — a fast-casual Indian food restaurant called Tava Indian Kitchen. Now, with two locations and plans for a third, Tava Indian Kitchen is thriving in the Bay Area.

Vijay’s story is just another example of someone having success from taking a risk and working hard. So what can you learn from Vijay to apply to your own path toward entrepreneurial success?

1.  Chase Your Passion

Photo courtesy of Tava

Photo courtesy of Tava

This may seem cliche and obvious, but it’s one of the most fundamental components for success as an entrepreneur. Without a passion or love for the business you are starting, it is almost impossible to fight through the roadblocks and keep moving forward when the easier route is giving up.

Vijay set out wanting to, “serve Indian food in a casual setting that was like what [he] ate growing up.” He believed in his vision and pursued a business that was close to his heart.

2.  Surround Yourself with the Right People

Having encouraging people who are all chasing the same dream as business partners can be an essential part of your success. Vijay partnered with a former classmate of his from Duke University named Jason Pate. The two ran into each other on an airplane and began discussing how they were both dissatisfied with their current jobs and decided to do something about it. They then partnered with another friend (Hasnain Zhaidi) after returning to San Francisco.

“We both wanted to be doing more than the rat race of Wall Street and start contributing to the community in a way that felt meaningful to us,” Brihmadesam told Business Insider.

Chipotle Mexican Grill paper bag3.  Do Whatever It Takes

One of the most amazing parts of Vijay’s story is that he left everything — a high paying job in a respectable field — to chase his dream. More than that, he and his two friends knew they needed restaurant experience in order to have a chance at success. So, the three applied for jobs at Chipotle, and worked the assembly line for a few weeks. Adjusting from an office job to making burritos and burrito bowls everyday may not have been required, but it laid the foundation for Tava Indian Kitchen and its success.

“Chipotle is great because they took authentic Mexican food and made it accessible to the masses,” he said.

4.  Learn from Others’ Success

Vijay and his friends knew there weren’t any casual Indian food restaurants in the area and they made it a goal to fix that problem with Tava. Additionally, the trio wanted to have an ethical impact on the community, just like Chipotle, by using produce from local sources as well as meat that is free of hormones. Another lesson they learned while working the assembly line.

5.  Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

If you are going to be an entrepreneur, you have to know there is a risk of failing, but it cannot stop you. Leaving what you know and the comfort of a guaranteed salary is scary, but by investing everything and not fearing failure, you give yourself the best chance at being successful.

“A chance encounter changed the path of my life…taking the risk was scary, but I couldn’t be more thrilled with my career today,” he said.

Manage Your Cash Flow Right With Zoho Books

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As Small-Business owners, we sometimes unknowingly do things that can hurt our business. A recent article at openforum.com talks about 6 such ways in which business-owners might be sabotaging their own businesses. We’d like to encourage all Entrepreneurs to work towards avoiding all 6 of these costly mistakes. But, there’s one in particular, that we feel can help you with.

Losing focus on Cash-Flow. It’s critical to keep track of the money flowing in and out of your business. At any point of time, you as a business-owner, should have a clear picture of your business investments and spending, in order to be able to take immediate steps if and when the cash-flow slows down. And of course, what better way to achieve this than with
Zoho Books
‘ integrated

Cash-Flow Management feature
that helps you constantly monitor and measure your cash-flow and stay on top of your business. The cash-flow statement helps you keep your business financially healthy by measuring the impact of accounting activities from three major activities that drive your business – operating, investing and financing.

Besides the cash-flow statement, Zoho Books also lets you generate

other important reports
that can help you make insightful decisions about your business.

For a complete experience of how Zoho Books can help you stay in control of your business finances, take the
30-day free trial or start by watching this video: