Welcome to A Day in the Life…. This is a feature that gives a peek at what goes on behind the scenes here and at my other business. I want to show how I practice what I preach, and to share some pieces of advice that I learn from other aspiring and successful entrepreneurs.
The first post is inspired by a blog post that I read at Design Love Fest’s blog. It was a Q/A on how to invest in yourr business.
Today I’m going to share how I invest in my business.
I believe it is essential to have a great designer you can call on when you do the initial design for your business and when you want to make changes that can impact the design of your website, product packaging, or any other touch point. It is icing on the cake to find a designer who understands how design plays a role in business strategy. Cultivating a relationship that benefits both the design and strategy of your business requires the following:
- An understanding that whatever is shared in the relationship is confidential. This applies to both parties as you want confidence that your business discussions will not leak to the competition. Establish this early and often
- Once you are sure that you can trust your designer (note: don’t work with someone you can’t trust in this respect), be open about the intentions you have for the designs you are asking for and be open to the feedback the designer has. While they work on making things beautiful, they can also help you make things functional to what you are trying to achieve
While I have a degree right now, I never stop learning. I’m currently getting an MBA part time while I work on my businesses and my full time job. A lot of what I learn in school from both professors and peers inform the work I do at my day job and on my businesses. Here are some tips to pick a program that works for you if that is something that might be of interest to you:
- Choose a program that aligns with your learning objectives. To do this you have to be brutally honest about what you currently know and what you need to learn
- Find a program that works for your circumstances. For instance if you are working full-time and have to deal with a lot of traffic to get to and from work like most of us do, a part-time program with a heavy online component is a great option to get you what you need
This might sound exactly like learn, but there is a contextual difference. With this it’s about learning and networking with people in your industry and outside of it. I am always looking for new formal and informal training opportunities. If you pick the right one, you could get to meet and learn from thought leaders in your industry and find people like you who are not necessarily competing for the same customers that you can learn from. Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Focus on learning and not the certificate. What you learn will be more valuable than the paper you are handed at the end. To do this, look at what the program advertises and ensure that the learning objectives are closely aligned with yours
- Bottom line make sure you will be getting value for your money
Invest in Key Resources
As described in the business model canvas key resources are those that are needed to deliver on your value proposition. Without these key resources, keeping your VP promise will be very difficult. Don’t create a canvas and put it in the cupboard use the key resources as a shopping list for what you need to have to keep the promise you have made to customers.
That’s all for today, tune in next week for more “A Day in the Life…”