It seems like just about anyone can give business advice these days, but the better advice comes from those who have personally experienced the highs and lows, trials and tribulations, and hopes and fears of entrepreneurship.
Luke Lazarus is a perfect example of someone’s advice that’s worth listening to. Even better, he’s willing to share his knowledge gained in more than 20 years of doing business.
As founder and CEO of Luke Lazarus Consulting, the Australian native is happy to help clients navigate all aspects of modern business, from marketing to accounting.
This support to clients can include everything from general pointers and encouragement for the owner of a start-up (or pre-start-up) who doesn’t have much more than big dreams, to an already-successful business owner who wants to move their organization to the next level in terms of increasing products, services, customer base, workforce and more.
Sometimes this help can include a deep dive into all aspects of the business from top to bottom to find areas that can be improved, made more efficient, or simply removed if they’re not serving their purpose. In some cases, with Luke Lazarus’s encouragement, a company owner can take steps to make larger structural changes and position his or her company well for the future. Sometimes this starts by going back to core values and building from there.
Luke Lazarus is also a proponent of using newer social media tools to better connect with existing and potential customers. Doing this correctly and consistently can be a challenge, but with guidance, great things can be achieved.
He encourages company employees and owners to look ahead to what customers may want or need in terms of trends, or what tools can help.
Learning and teaching
Luke Lazarus has had the spirit of an entrepreneur in him for years, even at a young age. He began his first business at age 8, and continued to work on the side while attending school, playing sports and other extracurricular activities. He maintained high grades and strong involvement in extracurricular activities.
When he was considering higher education, he received offers and invitations from some of the more prestigious universities in the world, including the Ivy League schools in the U.S. College officials praised his work ethic as well as high grades and attention to detail.
Ultimately, he decided to study at Melbourne Business School, where he earned a master’s degree in business administration at age 24.
With a combination of “book smarts” and “real world smarts,” Luke Lazarus went forth into the world. Over the years, he launched four businesses and helped grow them from a good idea to a successful thriving company that he was involved in all levels of. Then, each company was purchased, netting him not only decent proceeds from the sale but the opportunity to move onto another venture.
At age 33, with financial independence achieved from several successful business sales, he could have easily walked away and pursued a life of leisure. But he still had a desire to share his skills to grow businesses, whether by himself or by guiding others, Luke Lazarus was ready to move into a new role: the business consultant. As an expert, he’s been able to directly help more than 100 businesses improve everything they do.
Be sure to plan
Luke Lazarus especially likes working with new companies as well as ones that are performing poorly financially. He teaches them skills to not only hang on and fix money problems that may have started right out of the gate or started small and grew. He also teaches owners better habits for going forward. Sometimes all the owners need is encouragement and some new strategies. Other times they may need more hands-on expertise in creating better processes.
Like each business, the advice offered is different and unique for every situation. Some start-ups may need help with the basics such as researching their industry, their competition, their products and the other ingredients required for a business plan.
The business plan remains a great starting place, but also needs keep on evolving as the business grows. Some businesses may create a thorough plan when they open the company’s doors, but they soon put it aside.
Instead, Luke Lazarus suggests always keeping the plan around to be referred to for years. He also suggests looking beyond the plan to establish how the business connects to stakeholders and clients. This emotional connection is vital for attracting and keeping customers. Because anyone can offer certain products or services, or even certain price points, customers may use other reasons for choosing one business over another. This may even happen on a subconscious, emotional level.
He likes to invite businesses to consider this connection to customers first, and not get too caught up in the paperwork, the projections or the analytics.
Although numbers are important to the bottom line and overall stability, Luke Lazarus said what’s especially vital is how the company is seen and perceived by others.
All company employees, from the CEO down, need to have a unified message about the organization and its value.
Social media efforts
Modern businesses need to have a social presence, since that’s where their audience can be found, and the various channels are where they can let the world know what they are.
Be careful about putting something on every channel unless you have the time or the staff to keep them active, which means always keep posting fresh content.
Luke Lazarus can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
Along with regular posts, businesses should look for ways to advertise on these sites. They can allow you to target your posts for certain demographic and geographic groups – essentially your ideal customers who will be most receptive to your message.
Always reaching out to new potential customers as well as keeping existing customers satisfied is a challenge that can be accomplished through social media use by your business.