SOS: Startup. Open Communication. Systems.

zigswift digital marketing company

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Mauricio Teran officially launched ZigSift Marketing on May 1, 2021, with nine team members in Nicaragua, Spain, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

It’s been a whirlwind.

There have been wins and losses, ups and downs, but overall we’re becoming a tight-knit family gathered together via Google Hangouts.

Yesterday we came together for an impromptu SOS meeting to figure out where we’re falling short. Here’s what we’ve found.

Startup.

Open Communication.

Systems.

Startup

There’s a reason that 65% of small businesses fail within the first ten years. It takes money, hard work, dedication, sleepless nights, and even some failure before you succeed.

Most businesses fail because they can’t pay their bills. 

  1. Get clients. You don’t need to wait until your systems are in place, your website is up and running, or your team knows how to work together to get clients. Onboarding new clients is priority number one.
  2. Control your cash. Keep track of money coming in and money going out. A startup is expensive. You’ve got to pay salaries, purchase systems, equipment, materials, and run ads. It adds up fast. Keep track of everything so you can make adjustments as needed.
  3. Set goals. For example, if you need to make $25,000 per month to pay the bills, set a goal to onboard $40,000 in client work. Then reverse engineer that goal. Let’s say you need four clients at $10,000 each. Determine prospects to lead percentage and conversion percentage from lead to client. How many people do you need to reach out to each day to get 40 leads and convert 10% of those leads into paying clients? 100? 200? 
  4. Keep track of your numbers. The only way you’re going to know if something is working or not is by tracking activities. KPIs – Key Performance Indicators.
  5. Discipline. It can be tiring and frustrating to move through the startup phase. It’ll feel like a never-ending to-do list—just when you get one thing checked off the list, you’ll add ten more items. It’s going to take discipline to keep going every day.
  6. Celebrate your wins.
  7. Make changes quickly. If something isn’t working, come together as a team and brainstorm ideas on making it work. 
  8. Try new things. The only way you’re going to know if something will work or not is if you try it. You can talk and theorize all day long, but there’s no better way to see if something works than through experience.
  9. Keep your eye on your why. Why did you start a business in the first place? To build a legacy? Social disruption? To be a good example to your children? Keep your why top of mind and close to your heart. It’ll give you the motivation to get out of bed each morning and run toward your goals.


Open Communication

It doesn’t matter if you’re physically in the same building or if you’re a remote team working from home; open communication is a must. And break down of communication is detrimental to the team and client relationships.

  1. It starts with the leader. Good leaders communicate well, and the team learns from their example. The more open leadership is in the vision for the company, the more engaged your team will be.
  2. Take radical responsibility as an individual. When you’re immersed in your day-to-day task toward a common goal, it’s really easy to forget to over-communicate. You’re in flow, making sure everything gets done on time and can forget to send an email, forget to update a shared doc, or forget to create a task in ClickUp. Keep a checklist nearby, set reminders on your phone—set up a system for yourself so you don’t forget to communicate.
  3. Fast feedback. Open communication gives people the confidence to speak up. When there is no fear of speaking up, ideas are shared freely, and systems get smoother.
  4. Fast response time. Respond to emails, WhatsApp, and text messages as fast as possible, so your teammate has the information they need to keep moving forward.
  5. Build trust. Go above and beyond to help a teammate find what they need, share encouraging words, and NEVER talk behind someone’s back. 
  6. Work as a team. Yes, each team member has their individual responsibilities, but it takes a team to make something as big as a startup survive. 
  7. Communicate a common goal.


Systems

  1. Select systems quickly. There are various systems to choose from when it comes to CRM, team management, POS, accounting, etc. Do some research, pick one, and run with it. Quick decisions save time and money.
  2. Get your systems set up sooner than later. For example, it’s easier and faster to whip up an excel spreadsheet instead of getting a CRM up and running short-term, but it’ll end up costing more in the long run. Take the time to get systems in place as soon as possible. You’ll save a ton of time and money when onboarding new clients and team members.
  3. Document processes. Once you have your systems set up, create a library of training videos and documents that lays out a step-by-step process on how to use each system. These videos and documents will save you time on training new members, and it will save you time from answering questions—they can go back and rewatch a video or reread a document.
  4. Communication. Communication is a system. It is THE most crucial system in your business. Be clear on how you want communication handled. Do you want your team to use a system like Slack? Do you want to use email? Determine who should be included in specific correspondence for each client. Be clear on who the main point of contact is.

Starting a business is hard work, and it’s also the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself, your family, and your team members. It requires you to learn new skills, you’ll be tested internally, and you’ll grow exponentially. 

Starting a business allows you to step into your full potential to see just how far you can go. 

The sky’s the limit.

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