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How To Set Up A Performance Management System

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By Kristopher B. Jones, serial entrepreneur and investor. Kris is the founder of 2020 SEO Agency of the Year Finalist LSEO.com.

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When deciding what kind of internal culture you want your business to have, you will inevitably arrive at the issues of promotions and raises. You have two basic ways to promote your employees to higher positions: seniority or merit (or a combination you define).
With seniority-based raises and promotions, you reward your longest-serving employees, but there’s no guarantee those people have actually earned those benefits. Essentially, someone can make more money simply by showing up every day for a long enough time.

I base promotions and raises on a performance management system. This kind of structure lets me look at how my employees contribute to the company and conduct themselves as members of their teams.
If they meet expectations, they get raises and a promotion where available. If they don’t, they stay where they are until they prove themselves.
But what kind of criteria should you set for your employees in this kind of system? Here are four major areas where you should be testing your employees throughout the year.

Accountability And Reliability
You’re working with adults, so accountability should ideally come naturally to your employees, but trust me when I say it’s not a given. Employees who are accountable take full personal responsibility for the quality of their work overall. They show up when they are supposed to, do their work well and on time, and don’t make excuses for mistakes they have made. They contribute to the company’s bottom line with almost no supervision needed and always take responsibility for their actions.
Communication
Communication could easily top this list. Its importance in employee performance can’t be overstated. The ability to listen to others and then state your own opinion clearly and respectfully is vital for anyone who wants to move up in a company.
An employee who communicates well will keep collaborators abreast of plans, updates and developments in shared projects. They will also be open and honest with their direct supervisors about how their work is coming and any problems they’re having.
Communicative employees should also be able to give and receive constructive feedback in stride. Providing feedback to the company shows engagement. Receiving feedback means the employee is mature enough to recognize supervisors are ideally there to help, not criticize.
Customer Focus
People form businesses because they want to provide a service to customers. Employees work for the business but are there to serve the customer. Therefore, an employee’s devotion to customers absolutely must be a part of your system for promotions and raises.
What does that look like? A customer-focused employee builds and maintains customer satisfaction as a conduit for the business’s products and services. They should be able to describe a customer’s business and state the customer’s expectations of the company.
Customer-centric employees should also be fully capable of delivering products and services as the customer needs them and responding appropriately if they fail to meet customer expectations.
Then, there’s the simple matter of maintaining good attitudes in all interactions with customers. No employee should ever be unprofessional to a customer. The employee’s job is to find a solution to make the customer happy.
Development And Continual Learning
We finally come to the self-improvement section of your performance management system. Ideal employees will display a constant willingness to learn more about the industry and obtain new skills that can help them do their jobs better.
This desire to learn can manifest in several ways. Employees should be generally curious about their line of work and always be asking questions. In an effort to improve their own performance, employees should seek supervisor feedback and put it to good use.
Overall, employees should be proactive in learning new things and getting better all the time. They should want to learn at every opportunity and see their mistakes as chances to be better.
Final Thoughts
I could name a multitude of other areas to include in your employee performance management system, such as speaking abilities, interpersonal skills and the capacity to influence co-workers positively.
Which areas you want in your system will depend on your business, but the ones I have listed here are great places to start.
In the end, the employees who truly want to advance in your company will rise to the top anyway, embracing your standards for promotions and raises and running with them. Reward the best employees you have, and they will want to keep growing with you for the long haul.

Spotlight: Autism Rocks and Rolls Shows the Powerful Impact of One Individual

About 1 in 54 children have been identified as having Autism Spectrum Disorder. And many of these kids go onto do amazing things. Autism Rocks and Rolls is a podcast and business that proves just how powerful one person can be.
Read about the host’s story and the company’s mission below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does
Raises awareness about autism.
The organization hosts a podcast and offers autism awareness t-shirts, bracelets, masks, decals. Sam Mitchell runs the organization and hosts the podcast.
His mother, Gina Mitchell, told Small Business Trends, “Sam, himself, has autism. He was diagnosed at the age of 4, and although he is successful, he has had trials and tribulations over the years.
“Sam runs his own podcast called, Autism Rocks and Rolls. It has grown over the last year and has become very, very successful. He now has over 4K downloads.
“He has had some big names on his show: Armani Williams, first NASCAR driver open about having autism and Simon Majumbar, chef and judge on Cutthroat Kitchen who plays for autism charities. Sam has also had American Idol Rocker James Durbin who has autism and Tourette’s and his upcoming AGT 4th runner-up in 2017, Mandy Harvey. His biggest guest of all was the Dr. Temple Grandin, professor in Animal Science at Colorado State University and autism activist. Sam also made it into the Top 10 of the People’s Choice Podcast Awards. He has also had lots of news coverage about his adventure. Sam is a regular on lots of podcasts regarding positivity, mental health, and other subject matters. Lastly, Sam has launched his own merchandise line, selling t-shirts, autism awareness bracelets, masks, and car decals.”
Business Niche
Offering a first-hand perspective.
Mitchell says, “Sam’s podcast is very unique, real, raw, and authentic. He has autism himself and can talk frank and directly to his listeners.”

How the Business Got Started
Because of a personal passion.
Mitchell explains, “When Sam was a junior in high school, he started his media club at his high school. He was hooked and very good at it. He decided to start his own podcast about something that he lives and is very passionate about: autism. His mission is to take the stigma off of autism and to let people know he is not broken.”
Biggest Win
Getting some big names as guests on the podcast.
Mitchell says, “He has had Dr. Temple Grandin, Armani Williams, American Idol and America’s Got Talent contestants, and recently, Jason “JMac” McElwain.”
Biggest Risk
Investing in the podcast.
Mitchell says, “Sam has invested his own money into the podcast and business in hopes it will become big and he can do this for a profession. If it had not taken off, he would have continued his plan to attend Ivy Tech and Vincennes University, which he still plans to do.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Promoting and growing the show.
Mitchell says that the ultimate goal is to build Sam’s podcast so that it can become as big as Joe Rogan’s podcast. That involves promoting the show, growing the team, and buying more podcasting equipment.
Team Communication
Weekly meetings.
Mitchell says, “Although we live together, Sam and I (his mom, Gina) have a weekly meeting in my office. We treat it like a board meeting: we discuss inventory, finances, ways to improve, successes, ideas for the future, etc.”

Funny Moment
Getting called out by Temple Grandin.
Mitchell explains, “When Sam interviewed Temple Grandin, who is autistic herself, on Zoom, he scratched his nose and she called him out for picking his nose. He promises he didn’t, but we are still not sure to this day. :)”
Favorite Quote
“Different, Not Less.” Temple Grandin.
* * * * *

Image: Autism Rocks and Rolls, Sam Mitchell

Madison Reed Raises $50 Million, Surpassed $100 Million In Revenue In 2020

Madison Reed founder and CEO Amy Errett has made her brand into a pandemic success story.
Madison Reed
Beauty disruptor Madison Reed turned dyeing gray hair into serious green during the pandemic. The 8-year-old company, founded by Amy Errett, reported record revenue in 2020, more than $100 million, and just secured $50 million more in funding.
“We grew enormously, proving that our omnichannel strategy is viable,” says Amy Errett, founder and CEO of Madison Reed. As Forbes reported in July, at the time, Errett projected revenue to surpass $100 million in 2020. But by the end of the year, she says the company “exceeded that goal by 10% and we’ll do a lot more than that this year.” 
Madison Reed experienced 130% growth in gross sales in 2020. According to a report by McKinsey, Covid-19 shut down up to 30% of the beauty industry las year due to closures of salons, factories and stores. While many CEOs resorted to layoffs, furloughs and cost-cuts, Errett took a different path to keep more than 200 in-store colorists employed. 

“The conventional wisdom would be, ‘Ah, our stores closed let’s fire everyone.’ But our culture is inclusive.” 
Amy Errett
The 59-year-old previously worked at venture capital firm Maveron before starting Madison Reed in 2013. The hair care startup took on market dominators like Clairol and L’Oreal with hair dye kits that relied on clean ingredients like argan oil, instead of chemicals like ammonia. 

According to Mintel research, 52% of US adults are willing to pay more for hair colorants with natural/clean ingredients.
Madison Reed
With salons shuttered for months, the home hair care industry exploded since the pandemic, during the height of which Pinterest reported a 417% spike in searches about hair care, and more specifically, a 156% jump in how to strip hair color naturally. 
Its latest VC round is led by True Ventures, where Errett is one of several active portfolio CEOs as well as partners. Says Jon Callaghan, cofounder of the San Francisco firm, “We’ve strategically designed our team this way so all the startup founders in our portfolio can benefit from the operating depth spanning our team, including Amy who has world-class expertise in building and growing modern consumer brands.”
The round also includes Norwest Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures and Shea Ventures — all of which have invested in earlier rounds. New investors include Goldman Sachs, Motley Fool Ventures, Portfolia Rising America Fund and Portfolia FirstStep Fund. 
Madison Reed has raised $199.5M in total since launch. Its previous funding rounds have charged the expansion of all three channels: direct-to-consumer, wholesale, and its chain of “drama-free, no diva” color bars across the country.  

Inside Madison Reed Color Bars. “We’ve come to call it the ‘un-salon’,” says Errett. They did away with standing mirrors at every styling station, after customers said they actually disliked looking in the mirror while getting their hair wrapped in dye and foil. They preferred the big reveal at the end.
Madison Reed
Despite the pandemic, the company doubled its customer base and opened 16 new color bar locations, doubling its brick and mortar presence to 28 stores in total.
“One of the reasons for Madison Reed’s success is its consumer engagement and its rapid innovation to meet consumer needs,” says Andrew McDougall, hair care analyst at research firm Mintel. As Forbes reported, the company launched its “Colorist on Call” series on Facebook live to teach consumers how to dye at home during the pandemic. It also moved into male hair coloring with “Madison Reed Mr.,” which has raked in close to $5 million in less than a year.

“It has moved into the male hair coloring market with its new product line Madison Reed Mr. Hair Color for Men, recognizing growth potential,” says McDougall.
Madison Reed
Says McDougall, these launches can “help maintain customer loyalty beyond the short and medium-term.”
Although Errett revels in the immediate outcome, she has identified where her leadership could use more gloss and toning. Madison Reed products are made in the Lombardy region of Italy, which was the second hardest hit area during the start of the pandemic. Italian factories began to shut down. So did salons across the U.S. 
Meanwhile, Madison Reed was sold out of eight of its top-selling shades. The inability to replenish stock left Errett’s team in a standstill. “We learned a lot from an operations standpoint,” she says. “It’s an area a lot of companies don’t pay attention to until we have to. I wish I paid more attention to it before the pandemic so that the fallout would not have been as dramatic.”  
By early summer, she was able to revive manufacturing, but it took some craftiness—and negotiating with the Italian government. “The only way to keep our factory in Italy open was to agree to subsidize the production of hand sanitizer for free,” says Errett. It sounds simple but she admits it took relentless work to execute. “It cost us a lot to keep going. We had people working in different time zones 24/7 for seven months straight. An amazing amount of hard work and negotiation went into it but a lot of other businesses would’ve gone another way about it.” (Madison Reed has since designed a fallback operations strategy with secondary fulfillment centers.) 
Back in the states, Errett had to shut down all color bars across the country, which employed two-thirds of her 300-member team. She, again, got creative. “We could’ve let them go but we decided to pivot and turned them all into call-center employees.” Within 10 days, Madison Reed ordered 200 Chromebooks and headsets and trained all 200 colorists as call agents. Errett says it was a win-win. “We would have had massive customer service issues without licensed colorists.” 
“This is the muscle you grow when the cards get dealt,” she continues. “As an entrepreneur you have to be agile. The conventional wisdom would be ‘ah, our stores closed let’s fire everyone’ but our culture is inclusive.” 
Errett will have to keep flexing while tending to the longevity of all three verticals, as McDougall of Mintel expects the economic instability due to Covid-19 “will continue to affect discretionary items and services for the next 12 months.” In the meantime, all 300 Madison Reed employees—including the 200 colorists and shop workers—have remained employed through the pandemic; 80% of whom are women and 50% are people of color.
For Errett, it was her most defining moment yet: “In a time when a disproportionate amount of moms and women were dropped from the workforce, and hit the hardest financially, we looked at each internally and said, ‘No, we can’t let that happen’.”

4 Key Takeaways to Consider Before Adding Your Husband To Your Payroll

February 24, 2021 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I’ve written in the past about the decision my husband and I made to join forces and work together years ago. As best friends and life partners, we initially made the decision because my husband had spent far too many years selling his soul and time over to corporate America. We wanted a lifestyle where we could end our work days together and head over to school to pick our kids up for the day. One of the reasons “family” is a core value of my business is that my husband and I take a lot of pride in working together and creating a thriving business together. But more importantly, we understand that the family we’ve built together is a priority we must cherish and take seriously.
For any women entrepreneurs reading this right now who are considering bringing their husband into their business, let me just tell you: The time is now. Although 2020 was a tough year for women entrepreneurs, I do have a lot of optimism heading into 2021. With my coaching business this year I’ve seen an increase in the number of women who want to grow their businesses, not just to increase revenue, but to achieve lifestyle freedom with their spouse.
Related: How I Built My Business So That My Husband Could Quit His Job
Of the hundreds of women I’ve mentored over the years, I find one of the questions I’m continually asked is: “How do you work with your husband without wanting to kill one another?!” The funny part about that question is a decent percentage of the time, the woman business owner I’m speaking to will then follow the question up with, “My husband and I have thought about working together for a long time but have never taken the plunge.” I understand the hesitation, but I can tell you the benefits far outweigh any fears you may have.
I personally would love to see this trend grow, because I truly only have positive things to share when it comes to working with my husband.
And no, that is not to say the decision to add my husband to my payroll didn’t come with a few speed bumps and learning lessons those first couple years. Like anything worth it in life, it took some adjustment. But we did it. If there are four big takeaways I can share with you, these would have to be them.
Verbalize whether you are speaking to your spouse as a colleague or as a wife
This sounds so simple, but it is by far the most important. Just think about it. You’re going to be spending a lot of additional time together, including most likely traveling to and from work together. Although this exercise may sound silly, it really does help set a clear divide between your relationship as husband and wife, and your relationship as business partners. Because the two relationships are very different and should be treated as such.
There are times where I need my husband to listen to me talk about my work, not as my colleague but as my husband. In times like this, I’ll simply say, “I’d like to ask you something as my husband.” As soon as those words come out of my mouth, John knows that in that moment our business isn’t the focus — I need his perspective without any concern for business growth or the marketing plan. This is a rule we often make on date nights or anniversary trips too. You must actively decide the times as a couple when business is completely off the conversation table. 
Related: Are You Building a Business or Creating a Job for Yourself?
Designate a neutral spot for difficult conversations
When we are at work together, John and I are cognizant of the fact that we work in an open office setting with our employees sitting just feet away from us. At home, we have our two children with us. At first we weren’t really sure what to do. If we couldn’t have private, important conversations about work at work, or at home, then where were we going to have them?
My advice: Find a neutral location for these private business discussions that works the best for you. For John and myself, it’s the car. Since we drive to and from work together in the same car, it’s the best time to catch up just the two of us and map out a game plan for whatever is being discussed. All one of us has to say is, “We can discuss it in the car,” and we know it will be brought up and resolved. Find what works for you and just roll with it.
Respect each other’s work cycles and work speeds
Just as you do with your other employees, you have to respect the fact that your husband might work differently than you! I for instance often work at a very fast pace and I could probably talk about work nonstop if I really wanted to. My husband is totally different. He works at a slower, very thorough pace, and he also needs to shut his work brain off when we get home for the day.
It took a bit of trial and error, but this is the best technique I have on tap from over the years. If we’re at home and fully entrenched in home time, but a work idea is pinging around in my brain, I’ll simply say this: “Are you in a head space where I can ask you a work question?” If John says “no” I drop it immediately and file it away to ask him at work the next day. Here’s the thing: We cannot pretend that work and life don’t flow together. It’s impossible to leave all of work at work and all of home at home. But, everyone, including your spouse, deserves the time they need to decompress, engage in self-care and be with their family. Make sure you have clear communication set up so you don’t trample over each other’s boundaries.
Related: The Science Behind Working With Your Spouse
Ignore the extra “noise”
What I mean by this is pretty simple. There are always going to be people who make snarky comments, or try to put your husband down for “working for his wife.” Surprisingly, even in 2021 John is still on the receiving end of these comments. I’d lie if I’d say it has never gotten under our skin. We are human! But at the end of every day we get to say we spent the day working together and building a business with one another. It’s hard to beat that.
One of my favorite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
A very happy Women’s History Month to all the women entrepreneurs, and of course, their amazing life partners who help make it possible.
Related: Sincerity Is How Power Couples Maintain Intimacy While Working Together

Hot Or Not, The 2021 Venture Capital Market Is Challenging For Founders

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Hot markets don’t last forever and throw up myriad challenges for founders while they are burning … [+] brightly
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The end of 2020 saw the venture capital market in the U.S. booming. These ‘high spirits’ have quickly spread to Europe in early 2021 and the market has gone crazy.
Whether you believe it is a bubble or not is irrelevant. The behavior change is real. Target metrics for funding rounds are being disregarded, ownership percentages are being flexed down, questions are no longer being asked and due diligence is being dispensed with. Many funds are being forced to spray and pray to compete.
Take a recent unremarkable Series A financing. It started at a pre-2021 market standard £10m round on a £40m pre-money valuation, quickly jumping to a £30m round on an £80m pre-money valuation when a couple of funds started competing. Or the start-up which had their seed, Series A and Series B all preempted without any sign of revenue and only the faintest progress with their product. There are daily examples if one cares to browse the virtual corridors of VC Twitter.
For founders fundraising, a market awash with capital and light on probing questions appears to be the perfect combination, but it is more nuanced. Much like a high school dance, it depends on which category your company falls into.

Hot companies
Companies become hot because there are some elements of the founders and what they are doing that attracts the interest of multiple investors and there is a bidding war. This is a great place to be from a founder’s perspective, and, in general, they should take advantage of the current market conditions, but there are risks.
The comparison between a venture capital investment and a marriage is a cliche, but a useful one. Founders today getting swept up in competitive funding rounds with multiple term sheets need to carefully consider whether they want to get to know their partner before signing the papers or hit the wedding chapel with Elvis in Las Vegas. The market is encouraging the latter, but often these shotgun unions do not end well for those involved!

Founders should also be wary about overcapitalizing the company. Used well, capital can help a business hire aggressively and grow exponentially to take market share. But excess cash can also cause a company to become bloated, to hire too quickly, and lose the nimble edge that made it a success before it raised the monster funding round.
Ultimately, founders need to be comfortable that the investors on their cap table will have their backs when the market returns to normality and if things do not go to plan – and this comes down to having built strong individual relationships with each of them.
Not companies
Reading about other companies raising record-breaking preemptive rounds while you are running a more typical fundraising process can be disheartening.
It is important to remember that, although these hot rounds are happening more often, they are still outliers. It is entirely possible to build an amazing business with a normal round (or, without venture capital at all, but that is a whole different discussion).
Stick to the basics.
Avoid common mistakes when approaching investors and in your first pitch and remember that a typical fundraising process takes around 6 months from start to finish.
Ensure you have a good support network both at work and in your personal life to deal with the inevitable rejection along the journey. And in the same way it is good for our mental health to reduce exposure to negative news stories generally, consider limiting your consumption of the constant announcements of big funding rounds.
Nobody knows when this exceptional period of activity will slow, but for now both venture capitalists and founders can at least be united in believing that more companies being funded and new technology being developed is positive for the economy and hopefully the world.

Do you want to impact with stories? Choose good metaphors

February 24, 2021 9 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Your business storytelling will improve if you master metaphors and use them to your advantage.
Sketches, analogies and allegories bring various benefits to your presentations.
Learn when it is most useful to use them and some tips to generate them.
Although there are different languages in the world, the phenomenon of metaphors is universal. Everywhere and everywhere, from the epic of Gilgamesh to the holy books or social media, humanity has conveyed complex ideas through simple meanings. Mastering this storytelling resource can help you make a difference in business.
What is a metaphor
First of all, we are talking about language tools. And, specifically, of rhetorical figures. Metaphors are ways of creating comparisons and similarities between things of a different nature. For example: we can assimilate the behavior of a person with that of an artifact when we say that someone “turns more than a fan.” Obviously, nobody is a fan, but when the person has been walking from one place to another for a long time, that mental image is worth a thousand words to us.
Metaphors help the recipients of our communication to be on the same mental plane and to understand the message more clearly. Metaphorically speaking, it could be said that they help “to put us all on the same page in the book.”
Business metaphors and storytelling
In an unconscious, though not innocent way, business language has been filled with metaphors, portraits, analogies and allegories in the last hundred years. This has happened because it is a way of making communication more efficient: by saving words, we also save time and resources.
How many times have you heard of the elevator pitch ? In itself, the concept is already an analogy. And it is understood much faster than the statement of its definition: “everything you can tell your boss about your project in the time that the elevator travels.”
You have also heard of ” data mining .” Another analogy. Everyone knows that data is obtained from observation and calculation, but never from mining in the strict sense. Again, a mental picture is worth a thousand words.
Types of metaphors
According to the American specialist Doug Rose , we can talk about three types of metaphorical figures common in the business world:
The semblance , which is defined as a “comparison between two objects or actions” posed with a phrase like: “more ( _____ ) that ( ______ ) ”or“ as ( ______ ) as ( ______ ) ”. Remember the previous example: “a person who turns more than a fan.” This is a quick think and speak tool. Help break the ice or reconnect with your audience. Sometimes you can use it as a joke (or even as a vicious criticism). The analogy , which is defined as “a prolonged comparison between two different objects or actions that are similar in more than one sense.” The goal of the analogy is to show two elements compared (one simple and the other complex) that have many things in common. And by explaining the simple, you discover the complex. An example: sometimes high-performance professional teams are compared to soccer teams in more ways than one. First: all its members play a role. Second: the goal of both teams is to win the competition. Third: all members must play in coordination. Fourth: there are always one or two “cracks” in each team … And we could continue indefinitely. But if you want to educate a high-performance professional team, it may be worth telling them about things that happen on a soccer team. Everyone will understand and better assume their role in the company.
The allegory , which is defined as “a fictitious story, a poem or a portrait that brings us a message or life lesson.” In this area I place the parables of Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament, or the fables of the Greek Aesop , or the reflections of Paulo Coelho, among many others. In this resource lyric and poetry are often used. Truly, there are very beautiful allegories. The famous book “Who has taken my cheese? ”Could be an example. When to use a metaphor
Whether in internal or external communication, interpersonal or collective, there are many occasions in professional life where metaphors can give you an advantage. I share two very valuable moments for me: the reframing of complex problems and the communication of feelings and emotions.
Reframing : Imagine that you are launching a new product on the market. You have discovered a need that no one else has seen and you see yourself able to satisfy it. But there is a problem: that need is not immediate and will not be visible for a couple of years, so there is no way to demonstrate it with data now. And that has its consequences: you are not getting your investors to support you because they do not see the need as you see it.
If you are faced with a complex problem that you cannot argue with data and that is also difficult to communicate, you can develop a refocusing. As Nadia Goodman explained on Entrepreneur.com, the reframing (or refocusing) technique consists of creating a new perspective on a problem from which you can observe, analyze and explain it more comfortably. With reframing you can, for example, find an analogy with which everyone understands you.
Do you want an example? When Steve Jobs launched the first Apple iPod in 2001 , he could have explained his idea with slang and complex words. He could have said: “we have connected a lot of chips and cables so that people have a cool device” or “we think there will be so many people who will buy the product if we sell it to them for so many dollars a piece.”
But he avoided all that. Instead, he preferred a metaphor to fix the attention of his audience: “What if we get everyone to put the entire disco at home (CDs, records, cassettes … ) in their pocket?” Today the concept seems obvious to us, but 20 years ago it was something revolutionary: pure analogy.
Communicating feelings : more and more organizations want to be excellent in their processes. They strive to put people at the center of their operations, taking into account the expectations of all stakeholders . But to do this, they must begin by understanding well how all these people feel and thus resonate with those feelings. And that is difficult.
Personally, I think that one of the most complex things to talk about in life is feelings. If I say “anger”, “sadness” or “joy”, surely you know what I mean. You know it, yes, but you don’t feel it. Instead, I can increase the impact of what I want to tell you by using metaphors.
An example: I once had a boss who was always grumpy. I could describe it to you in two ways, one long and the other short:
Extensive: “My boss was a person who felt a lot of anger inside, but who took great care of his external forms. So your first impression with him was always favorable. But once you treated him daily, you saw that he was a bitter person. ” (42 words)
Short: “ My boss was like a volcano covered in snow. ”(9 words)
The second way is much shorter and is sure to create a more lasting image in your head. Therefore, it is more efficient: you accomplish much more with much less. Companies that want to be excellent could benefit by promoting a culture of metaphors that help them better convey and understand the emotions of their internal or external audiences.
Four tips to master your metaphors
If you want to enhance your business storytelling with metaphors, I recommend that you follow these four tips:
First : read and listen. A lot of. Read from others. Especially from novelists and authors who use those rhetorics that make you feel connected to their message. And listen to people who speak well and who make you feel better.
Second : observe the things that happen to you and the situations that surround you. If something reminds you of something different, think why. You could be facing an interesting metaphor.
Third : take notes of your readings, listens and observations. Many. Do not forget to carry a notebook with you at all times. There you will collect those ideas that resonated so well in your head. When in doubt whether to keep listening or score, score! Everything that you do not write down the moment it resonates with you will be a forgetfulness.
Fourth : practice. A lot of. As the months go by, your notebook will be full of metaphors. Analyze them, group them, meditate on them and, finally, apply them in your formal, informal, verbal and written communication. If they are successful, save them. If not, look for others. You will learn a new descriptive power. And your business storytelling will improve substantially.

Cybercrime Could Cost the World $10.5 Trillion Annually by 2025

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February 24, 2021 3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In a world that is becoming increasingly reliant on technology, cybersecurity is an extremely important priority for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses. And it’s become even more essential in the wake of the pandemic. In June 2020, Verizon released its annual Verizon Business Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) and the findings of the report revealed that small and medium-sized businesses were at an especially high risk of data breaches and cyber attacks during the pandemic.This is because more people than ever were working from home, making it difficult to implement uniform security practices and for employers to know exactly what workers were doing. In these uncertain times, it is vital that entrepreneurs as well as small and medium-sized business owners not only become aware of the value of cybersecurity but truly understand its pertinence to their everyday operations. Here are three key reasons why cybersecurity is so important.
Cyberattacks can cost you significant amounts of money
In November 2019, the Accenture “Cost of Cybercrime” study indicated that the average annual costs businesses were incurring was ballooning for various types of cybercrimes. For instance, a single malware attack in 2018 costed businesses more than $2.6 million. Additionally, ransomware costs increased the most between 2017–2018, rising by 21% from $533,000 to $646,000. There have also been predictions that cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by the year 2025.
Evidently, cybercrime is incredibly costly for companies. By not prioritizing cybersecurity or not recognizing its salience, you greatly increase your chances of damaging your business’ bottom line in the long run.
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Data breaches can taint your business’ reputation
If you fail to take the necessary steps to properly protect your customers’ and stakeholders’ data against breaches and cyberattacks, this will reflect poorly on you and your company. You may gain a reputation of being ill-equipped or careless, which may then cause customers and/or investors to take their money elsewhere. This loss of consumer trust can be incredibly difficult to recover from.
Cybersecurity affects everybody
If you use online tools in any capacity, you become inherently affected by cybersecurity and therefore should be well-aware of its importance. Similarly, you should also be well-versed in the ways in which cybercrime can easily transfer from one individual device to an entire company network. For example, if an infected personal device connects to the company network or system, it can infect the company’s other systems, leading to increased vulnerability to cyberattacks. 
If you want to boost your cybersecurity operations to better protect your business against cyber threats, consider contacting an IT support company. Specializing in areas like networks, encryption, and access control, these experts can greatly assist you in strengthening your cybersecurity.
Ultimately, cybercrime is an unfortunate reality that remains consistently pervasive. Small and medium-sized businesses are particularly vulnerable, especially in uncertain times. As a result, entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized business owners should do their research into the importance of cybersecurity. In properly understanding its relevance, they will ideally take more proactive steps to prioritize cybersecurity in their day-to-day operations.
Related: Five Ways To Protect Your Company Against Cyber Attacks