The Best KPIs to Track for Each of Your Marketing Goals

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are one of the most important elements of marketing, yet so few people understand what can be considered a good one, or what a KPI even is.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are one of the most important elements of an effective marketing strategy, yet so few people understand what can be considered a good one, or what a KPI even is. Here, you’ll learn:
  • What a KPI is and how they should relate to your marketing strategy
  • Where and how they can be applied to campaigns and overall marketing efforts
  • How to align your KPIs with your marketing goals to gain better, more measurable results
  • A list of KPIs you should be tracking

What is a KPI?

A quick Google search will provide you with many similar definitions, but very few solid examples of actual KPIs that you could use for your own marketing efforts. For this article we’ll borrow this definition from Databox:

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that’s used to quantify progress towards important business objectives.

— Kevin Kononenko, Databox

KPIs are like checkpoints—your team is travelling toward a specific goal, but in order to get to their destination they need to stop for security checks every so often. By tracking KPIs on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis, your team is ensuring that they’re still on track to reach their destination.

But how should you determine which marketing KPIs you should be tracking? A good test is to ask yourself: “Can I improve this number and still not meet my objective?” If the answer is yes, then the metric is probably better suited as a leading indicator than a KPI.

While your key performance indicators should make it crystal clear that you’re making progress towards your ultimate goal, a leading indicator helps you diagnose the smaller steps along the way.

Need inspiration? Below, you’ll find a massive list of the most common marketing KPIs you should consider, broken down by the most common marketing objectives.

But before you can choose KPIs to track, you need to fully understand the specific types of marketing metrics and have clear marketing goals established.

Types of Marketing KPIs

Marketing KPIs can be broken down into output and outcome metrics.

Output metrics measure your activities and what you produce, aka your output. An output metric that a marketer might track is the number of social media posts published for a specific period. After you track your output metrics, you’re ready to take a look at the impact of your output. This is where outcome metrics come in to play.

Outcome metrics measure the influence of your output and indicate your performance. If the number of social posts published is your output metric, your subsequent outcome metric may be social media impressions. These metrics tell you whether your current output is sufficient for achieving the outcome you desire. If your social media impressions are down, you know that your output needs to increase.

In the context of KPIs, output and outcome metrics are referred to as leading and lagging indicators of success.

Leading indicators are metrics that lead to results while lagging indicators are the results. Leading indicators are valuable in that they help you to predict future performance. An example of a leading indicator would be website sessions from social. Knowing that your website sessions from social have increased, you can expect to see an increase in signups.

While leading indicators give you valuable insights into future performance, your most important metrics are going to be lagging indicators since they measure actual results. As a marketer, an important lagging indicator may be the number of signups on your website. This metric is directly impacted by the number of website sessions from social, your leading indicator.

Let’s explore the process of setting marketing goals with these metrics in mind.

Using Goals to Select the Right KPIs

You can have the most hard-working and action-oriented marketing team in the world, but if they don’t know what they’re working toward, it’s all in vain.

According to a study by psychologist Gail Matthews, people who write down their goals are 33% more successful in achieving them. Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial that you outline clear marketing goals for the year, month, week, and even day, so your efforts are continuously aligned with your objectives.

All business goals should be SMART goals, meaning they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

After you’ve established SMART goals that you would like your marketing team to work toward, you may be unsure which metrics you should be tracking to measure your success. We recommend that you work backward and identify the results you want (your lagging indicators) and consider the necessary actions to achieve these results.

For example, let’s say the goal of your current social campaign is 5,000 email signups per month. Signups per month would be a lagging indicator of success in this scenario. You know that a certain number of web sessions from social per month is going to be necessary to generate 5,000 email signups and you decide that this number is 100,000 sessions.

Now that you’ve identified your outcome metrics, you need to consider how you’re generating 100,000 sessions from social per month. That’s where your output metric comes in. In this case, you know that you need to publish 30 social posts to generate 100,000 sessions. The number of quality social posts published would be both your output metric and your leading indicator of success.

Working backward from your overall goal, you’ve identified that you should be tracking social posts published, website sessions from social, and email signups. Congrats, you’ve got yourself some KPIs to track!

Let’s take a look at the specific KPIs you should be tracking based on your marketing objectives and responsibilities within your team.

The KPIs that you choose to track depend on the goals that you’re responsible for. We’re going to explore the lagging indicators you should be tracking based on your marketing objectives, followed by corresponding leading indicators for each that may have an impact on your KPIs.

Driving Traffic to your Website

1. Website Sessions

This lagging indicator tracks the total number of visits to your site, including new and repeat visits. A session runs from the moment a user visits your website to the moment they exit, unless the session times out automatically due to 30 minutes of inactivity.

This is arguably the most important KPI if you’re a marketer trying to drive traffic to a website, because it is a direct representation of your SEO efforts and tells you exactly how many people have seen your content.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Blog Posts Published

2. New Users

This KPI is pretty self explanatory: It refers to the number of new visitors to your website, or visitors who are accessing your website for the first time.

This metric tells you how successful you are in driving new traffic to your site. If you have very few new users, this might mean that loyalty from your current customers is very high. On the other hand, if you have more new users than returning users, you may need to adjust the quality of your content to build a loyal following.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Google Ad Campaigns

3. Organic Clicks

Organic clicks refer to clicks in search results that are not a result of paid campaigns.

This metric tells you a lot about your web traffic and the success (or failure) of your SEO efforts. If clicks are down, you know that your content needs to be better-optimized for search so that searchers are more inclined to click it—maybe you’re ranking for the wrong keyword, or maybe our meta description gives searchers no clues as to what your site is about.

Corresponding leading indicator: New External Followed Links Earned

Increasing Brand Loyalty

1. Repeat Visitors

Repeat visitors are users who have visited your website multiple times.

Returning users typically have higher engagement than new users, as they are more loyal to your brand. These are the visitors who are most likely to work their way down the sales funnel and convert, so it is crucial that you know how many repeat visitors you have and work to improve upon this number.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Marketing Emails Sent

2. Branded Search Volume

Branded search volume provides insight into how many users are searching for keywords directly tied to your brand.

Tracking this metric allows you to gauge brand awareness. As your brand grows, more users should be searching for it. If they’re not, you know that you need to get more eyes on your content and consider PR strategies.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Paid Placements

3. Impressions

Impressions refer to the number of times a search result for your site was seen by users.

Brand awareness requires that people are aware of your brand, and this is where impressions help out. Knowing whether or not your content is actually being seen can help you determine if your content and SEO strategies are effective.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Blog Posts Published

Growing Community Engagement

1. Facebook Group Post Engagement

This metric refers to the number of actions group members are taking on posts within your branded Facebook group.

If members of your Facebook group are frequently interacting with your content, you know that you’re successfully building a community of loyal brand supporters. On the other hand, if you’re not seeing strong engagement, group members may not be getting value out of your posts and you should consider posting more exclusive content that members will be excited about.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Quality Social Media Posts Published

2. Social Engagements

When people interact with your brand on social media, they are engaging. Engagements on your social media accounts include likes, follows, comments, shares, etc.

Sure, having a massive social media reach is a great feat, but engagements are where the true value lies. Followers who actively engage with your content are much more likely to convert than those who are silent, so this KPI gives you a good idea of how successful your social media strategies are in building a community filled with potential leads.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Quality Social Media Posts Published

3. User Generated Content:

User Generated Content, or UGC, refers to unpaid branded content posted by fans of your brand. These users often create this content in hopes that you’ll repost it to your social channels or website.

UGC is awesome—it exposes new audiences to your product and you’re getting some amazing content you can repost to your channels. Knowing how much UGC you’re seeing for your brand per period can help you determine how engaged your customers and followers are with your brand, and encouraging them to create UGC will boost engagement.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Campaigns Encouraging UGC

Generating Qualified Leads for the Sales Team

1. Number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)

Marketing Qualified Leads, or MQL for short, are contacts that are more deeply engaged and therefore more likely to convert than other contacts. These leads may have downloaded an ebook, filled out an online form, or viewed your pricing page.

You need to maintain MQL goals and track your progress in order to guarantee that you have a constant stream of qualified leads ready for the sales team.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Ebooks Published

2. Number of Leads

A lead is a person or business that has been identified as a potential customer.

Leads turn into customers and customers into revenue, so you need to have a well-defined lead goal and keep track of your progress. Whenever a contact expresses an interest in your product or service, they become a lead. If you’re getting no leads, you know that you need to make major changes in your marketing strategy.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Events Attended

3. Number of Booked Meetings

Sales meetings, either in person or virtual, give you a chance to sell yourself and your product to sales prospects and bring you one step closer to closing the deal.

Tracking sales meetings booked will help you determine if your leads are truly qualified. You can have thousands of leads, but if you’re not booking any sales meetings this means that your leads are not qualified and your marketing efforts need to be retargeted with a different audience in mind.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Sales Calls Logged

Improving Lead Qualification

1. Time to Response

This KPI keeps track of the time in days, hours, or minutes it takes for a sales representative to respond to a communication from a lead.

Everyone in business knows that time is money. One small delay in communication can cause your prospects to do business elsewhere. Sales managers should track time to response in order to guarantee efficient communications between their team members and leads.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Sales Representatives

2. Number of Emails Logged

This metric takes a look at the number of sales emails that were logged within your team’s CRM.

To move leads down the sales funnel, communication needs to be happening throughout each stage. Tracking the number of emails logged by the sales team gives you an idea of how many qualified leads are on their way to becoming customers. If too few emails are being logged, you know that your sales team needs to work on better nurturing their leads.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Contacts in CRM

3. Deals Created

One of the absolute most important KPIs that marketing and sales should be tracking is the number of deals created.

All of the job functions that your marketing and sales team members perform are completed with one goal in mind: to close deals that generate revenue for the company. Tracking the number of deals created tells you whether deals are going to be closed and if your marketing and sales efforts are successful.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Emails Logged

Improving Deal Velocity

1. Average Days to Close

This KPI is a measure of average sales cycle length, from opportunity to close.

Closing deals efficiently means that you can close more deals, and double or even triple the revenue that you’re bringing in. You should be tracking this KPI to ensure that your time and resources are being allocated effectively, minimizing the time it takes to move down the sales funnel.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Workflows in CRM

2. Deal Stage Progression Rate

This is a metric that tells you how quickly you’re traveling from one deal stage to another.

Knowing your Deal Stage Progression Rate, you’ll be able to easily spot any inefficiencies in your pipeline and resolve these issues by creating workflows in your CRM to speed up the sales process.

Corresponding leading indicator: Logged communications per deal per week

3. Number of Calls Logged

This metric tells you how many sales calls were logged within your CRM.

Better communication leads to more efficient pipeline management. So long as you’re not pestering your leads, frequently checking in can speed up the sales process and get you closer to the deal that you want.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Leads

Closing more Deals

1. Number of Deals Closed

This KPI is pretty self explanatory—it’s simply the number of deals your organization has closed over a given period.

It’s absolutely crucial for your entire team to know how many deals have been closed so far and if the company is on track to meet its goals. This metric allows you to effectively measure the success of each and every marketing campaign for the period and determine what changes need to be made to your current strategy.

Corresponding leading indicator: Sales Outreach Attempts

2. Average Deal Size

Average Deal Size refers to the average value in dollars of your company’s sales deals.

Closing tons and tons of deals is great, but not if they’re all small deals. Your team needs each deal to hit a certain dollar amount in order to reach revenue goals. If your deal size is not up to par, you know that there are inefficiencies somewhere along the sales pipeline.

Corresponding leading indicator: Average Lead Score

3. Pipeline Value

Your sales Pipeline Value is the potential revenue that can be gained by closing the deals currently in your pipeline.

By determining pipeline value, you’re able to predict whether or not sales and revenue goals will be met for the period. If your pipeline value isn’t indicative of your goals being met, you know that your sales and marketing teams need to hustle in the time being.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Upsell Promos Launched

Retaining Current Customers

1. Retention/Churn Rate

Your retention rate is the percentage of your customers that return to do business with you more than once, while your churn rate is the percentage of customers you’ve lost over a given period. They should add to 100%: if you’re retaining 85% of your customers, that means 15% of them have churned.

Knowing how well you are retaining your customers is vital as it gives you valuable insights into customer satisfaction levels and brand loyalty. You know you have some doubling down to do if you’re not meeting your retention goals, whereas if you are you can devote more time and energy into nurturing new leads.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Daily Active Users

2. Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score is a quantitative measure of customer loyalty determined by their response on a scale of 1-10 to the question “How likely is it that you would recommend our brand to a friend or colleague?”

Your promoters are giving you a score of 9-10, your passives are giving you a 7-8, while your detractors are giving you a measly 0-6. If most of your customers are detractors, you know that your brand loyalty is slim to none and you need to make the appropriate strategy adjustments to change this.

Corresponding leading indicator: Support Ticket Response Time

3. Average LTV

Average LTV, or Lifetime Value, is the revenue a single customer is expected to generate throughout the span of your average customer lifetime. It’s simply the value of a customer to your organization over time.

LTV demonstrates whether or not acquisition costs outweigh the money you’ll bring in after acquisition and if a prospect is truly worth pursuing. This metric also makes it easy to see which of your current customers are the most valuable to your organization.

Corresponding leading indicator: # of Marketing Emails Sent

Select the right KPIs for your Business

These, of course, are just a few examples out of many. Pick the metrics that make the most sense for your organization.  Start by developing your SMART Goals, and then choose the metric that will be the best measure of progress towards those specific goals, not just the ones you feel will look best. For those that you do not use, you should consider using these as leading indicators or secondary KPI’s.

What other metrics do you monitor? Think we’ve missed some important ones from our list? Share in the comments below.

Submitted URL Not Found (404): How to Fix It

Are you seeing “Submitted URL Not Found (404)” as an error when you log into Google Search Console? Here’s everything you need to know about fixing the issue.

“Submitted URL Not Found (404)”
For marketers and webmasters alike, this is a frustrating error message commonly seen in Google Search Console and other marketing analytics software like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz.
These errors compromise user experience and have the potential to harm your rankings. But what the heck does the message mean, and how do you fix the error?
Let’s find out.

What is a 404 error, anyway?

A 404 error is an HTTP status code that means the page a user is trying to reach could not be found on the server. The page will not load for the user because it simply no longer exists—it was either removed from the website completely or moved to another location without properly redirecting to a new resource.


 

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If your website contains pages that return a 404 (which is most likely the case, seeing that you’ve found this article) you will see the error message “Submitted URL not found (404)” in Google Search Console’s Index Coverage Report.

If you discovered the 404(s) another way, we definitely recommend that you take a deeper look for other 404s hiding out on your website so you can fix all of them at one time.

How do I find other 404 errors on my website?

Without a doubt, the easiest way to locate 404 errors on your website is to use Google Search Console’s Index Coverage Report. The Index Coverage Report shows you which pages on your website have been indexed and which pages were unable to be indexed due to an error.

You can explore these errors in further detail by clicking on the “error” tab of the report. Within this error list, you may see the error “Submitted URL not found (404)” which tells you that there are pages on your website that return a 404 error.

What does the “Submitted URL Not Found (404)” error mean, and how do I fix it?

In plain English, this error message in Google Search Console is telling you that a URL crawled by Google doesn’t exist anymore. In technical terms, this error message means that your XML sitemap file failed to update successfully after the removal of pages on your website. Your sitemap is a file where you list the pages of your website in order to tell search engines, like Google, more about how your content is organized. Googlebot will scan this file to more efficiently crawl your website. Popular CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal offer plugins that create and automatically update your XML sitemap for you. These dynamic sitemaps automatically update with any changes to your website, but sometimes the update can fail and trigger the “Submitted URL not found (404)” error in Search Console. However, this error is more common when a website’s sitemap is not automatically generated and needs to be manually updated—this kind of sitemap is called a static sitemap. When you delete a page from your website, it also needs to be deleted from your sitemap. If the URL remains in your sitemap, you’re still telling search engines that this page should be indexed despite the fact that it no longer exists. Then, when Google cannot find the submitted URL, it returns an error message.

So, do you really need to fix this error?

In general, 404s don’t directly hurt SEO, but they make life harder for your visitors and can slow down crawl times. Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes made it clear five years ago that your site will not be penalized for having 404s, as they have virtually no effect whatsoever on SEO.

https://twitter.com/methode/status/629316974628179969

While it may be true that 404s don’t penalize your website, you need to remind yourself that your website was created for humans, not crawl bots. All it takes is a single “Oops—we can’t seem to find the page you’re looking for!” for your web visitors to become frustrated and hastily leave your website, looking elsewhere for whatever it is that they needed. In addition, too many 404s can indirectly hurt SEO by eating up your crawl budget, which refers to the number of URLs that Googlebot can crawl. Let’s say that Googlebot is crawling 100 URLs on your website, and 25 of these are 404s. This means that 25 percent of your crawl budget was wasted on empty pages that you don’t even want to be indexed. Google is wasting server resources by crawling pages you don’t care about, while a brand new blog post is getting neglected and may be skipped over for indexing. By fixing any errors that you see in Google Search Console, you will be optimizing your website for search engines and humans alike.

How To Fix a 404 Error

At this point, you may be a bit overwhelmed by all of the technical jargon, but we promise that fixing a 404 in Google Search Console is relatively easy, and you don’t need to be technically inclined to do it. Earlier, we noted that Google Search Console will crawl your website and index URLs based on what you submitted for indexing with your sitemap. When you remove a page from your website, the page also needs to be removed from your sitemap; otherwise, it’s submitted for indexing. If you did intend to submit this URL for indexing, you should create a 301 redirect, which will tell Google that the URL redirects to a different URL. You can do this by using a redirection plugin within your CMS. Assuming that you did not want to submit the URL for indexing and it truly should be returning a 404, all you need to do is remove it from your sitemap file. But if you’ve already removed the URL from your sitemap and it’s STILL being submitted for indexing, your sitemap is not updating properly and some troubleshooting needs to occur within your sitemap plugin. The steps to fix this error vary a bit based on the CMS platform you’re using and whether you have a plugin installed to manage your sitemap or you’re managing your sitemap manually. We’re going to explore the steps to update your sitemap within WordPress plugins, Drupal modules, and manually via FTP.

How to Fix a 404 Error in WordPress

WordPress is the most popular CMS year after year, mainly due to its ease of use. You can automate complicated processes (like updating your sitemap) by installing an SEO plugin like Yoast to do the work for you. If you have a WordPress site and you’re seeing the “Submitted URL not found (404)” error in Google Search Console, your sitemap failed to update. Yoast’s sitemap feature automatically updates with any changes made to your website, so if it’s not updating you need to reset and force an update. Simply follow the steps below: 1. Navigate to Yoast from your WordPress dashboard.

Yoast-SEO

2. Toggle to the Features tab

Yoast-SEO

3. Disable the sitemap feature.

Yoast-SEO-Features

4. Enable the sitemap feature by toggling it back on. After you force an update of your sitemap in Yoast, you can go ahead and click “Validate Fix” next to the original error in Google Search Console to tell Google that you’ve fixed the error. Google will then begin a recrawl of your website and the errors should be out of Search Console within a few days to a few weeks.

How to Fix a 404 Error in Drupal

Drupal is another CMS gaining popularity thanks to its customizability and its robust security features. Like WordPress, updating your sitemap within Drupal is simple. Here’s how: 1. Download and install an XML Sitemap Module if you’re not already using one 2. Once installed, go to configure > Search and Metadata > Simple XML Sitemap > Settings

Drupal-XML-Sitemap

3. Determine your sitemap generation interval We recommend that you select “On every cron run” for this setting.

Drupal-XML-Sitemap

You could also choose to regenerate all sitemaps after hitting save.

Drupal-Regenerate-Sitemap

4. Regenerate Sitemap On Demand Toggle to the Sitemaps tab and pick a generation type.

Drupal-Regenerate-Sitemap

5. You could also choose to regenerate your sitemap at the page level after hitting save. You can find this option in the edit screen in the right-hand column under Simple XML Sitemap.

Drupal-Regenerate-Sitemap

After regenerating your sitemap, be sure to validate the error fix in Google Search Console, so Google can begin a recrawl of your website ASAP and mark your 404 errors as fixed.

How to Manually Update Your Sitemap

For this option, you will need to access your server via FTP. You can do this with Adobe Dream Weaver and log in with your site’s credentials. Once you are connected to your server, follow the steps below:

  1. Download your current XML sitemap from the server.
  2. Open the sitemap with a plain text editor like Microsoft Notepad and delete entries for the pages that are no longer on your website.
  3. Save the file without changing the name.
  4. Upload the file to the server, it will overwrite the old version of the sitemap.
  5. Re-submit the updated sitemap to Google Search Console.

After you re-submit your updated sitemap to Google Search Console, Googlebot will notice that the pages which were returning 404s previously were since removed from the sitemap. The crawler now knows not to submit these URLs for indexing and the error in Search Console will be fixed. Be warned that manual upkeep of your sitemap file is a highly technical process that can be difficult for marketers and webmasters to complete. Feel free to contact us and book a consultation if you need some guidance.

Maintaining an Error-Free Website

To prevent reoccurrence of the “Submitted URL Not Found (404)” error in Google Search Console, regular maintenance of your website’s sitemap file is necessary. If you’re using an SEO plugin, ensure that the plugin is configured to automatically update your sitemap with any changes you may make to your website. If you’ve taken the manual route, you need to stay on top of things and make the appropriate updates to your sitemap file every single time you make a change. This error is just one of many that may threaten your website’s overall health. For a comprehensive list of errors on your website along with their solutions, contact us for a technical SEO audit and let us do the dirty work.

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10 Leadership Tips for Young Entrepreneurs

An entrepreneurial spirit is becoming increasingly common among Millennials and Gen Zers – could this be due to the overwhelming desire for instant gratification in today’s society? Young professionals are less willing than their elders to wait around to climb the corporate ladder and are more interested in creating their own opportunities.

An entrepreneurial spirit is becoming increasingly common among Millennials and Gen Zers – could this be due to the overwhelming desire for instant gratification in today’s society? Young professionals are less willing to wait around to climb the corporate ladder and are more interested in creating their own opportunities.
These young entrepreneurs surely possess the passion and drive necessary for success, but lack real-world experience and come up short in the leadership department. To make the transition into leadership a bit smoother, ten CEOs and founders of successful companies, many of whom were young entrepreneurs themselves, offered valuable advice to the next generation.

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1. Remain humble despite your success.

“First and foremost, any young founder must have an insatiable hunger for success and winning — and be resolutely prepared to work your a** off, as your competition most certainly will. Most importantly, stay humble and listen. Your team absolutely needs to understand that you’re predictably calm and composed for them to flourish.” – Jon Sebastiani, founder and CEO of Krave Jerky

A ravenous appetite for success is key, so long as it doesn’t cause you to lose sight of where you began. Remaining humble and levelheaded will allow you to build mutual respect with your team through trust.

2. Be open to changing your ideas.

“Your idea is a great one, but on the road to fruition, understand that it will look very different eventually. It won’t resemble your first concept, nor the second version, but the third, after tons of listening and learning — that’s where success will come.” – Shawn Mendel, founder of Funley’s Delicious healthy snack line

Listen to suggestions from your team. As your ideas flow through the business life cycle, they need to evolve as a result of what phase your business is in. Your “great idea” is your baby right now, but it needs to grow up eventually.

3. Admit your weaknesses.

“Know what your weakness is and hire people around it. The best trait in any leader is to be able to admit their weakest points and build a team to complement it.” – Ashley Morris, CEO of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop franchise

Exposing your weaknesses is a sign of strength. Rather than wasting valuable time and energy doing something you are not good at, hire the skills you lack.

4. Hire (and retain) the best of the best.

“Hire the best, most talented, most knowledgeable people you can get to be a part of your senior management team early as you can. Give them equity to keep them motivated. Steve Jobs mentions something about a small team of A+ players being able to run circles around a large team of B and C players. I see that every day. The entrepreneurs [who] hire A players early and get rid of C players early, move faster and more profitably than anyone else.” – Scott Jensen, co-founder of Rhythm Superfoods 

As a business owner, you are not aiming for mediocre results. So why hire mediocre employees? Hiring and retaining A+ employees will give you A+ results.

5. Let your employees do their job.

“Respect your employees and their experience. Trust them with the roles you hired them for. If you hire someone (regardless of age) and don’t give them any autonomy, they’re not going to give you their best work.” – Dawson Whitfield, Co-founder and CEO of Looka

It’s scary to trust others with your vision, but you hired your employees for a reason. Give them the freedom to do what they were hired to do and they will flourish.

6. Don’t be scared to ask for help.

“A leader does not have to have all of the answers. It is ok to not know everything. In fact, trying to pretend like you know everything will make subordinates lose respect for you as a leader. Don’t be afraid to lean on the team for answers to problems that fall outside your areas of expertise.” – John Holloway, co-founder of NoExam.com, a digital life insurance brokerage

Asking for help is admirable. Hiring professionals with more experience than you may be intimidating, but these employees are filled with practical knowledge which will be beneficial to your business.

7. Look to a mentor for guidance.

“As entrepreneurs we allow our ideas to rule our decision making and often throw analysis and planning out the window. A good mentor will help you think about things you have no experience with.” – Jeff Salter, founder of Caring Senior Service franchise

As a young entrepreneur with little experience running a business, finding a mentor is mandatory. Given their extensive experience in your industry, a mentor can provide you with solutions to tough problems that you would not have thought of on your own.

8. Keep your promises and stick to your word.

“Your word is everything. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Whether it is a volunteer opportunity or your job, always follow through. [But] it is important to know when to say no. Say, ‘I can’t do that, but this is what I can do.’ Offer what you can, without committing to something you are going to drop the ball on.” – Lais Pontes, president and founder of The Pontes Group PR and marketing firm

To build trust with your team, it is vital that you are true to your word. Employee morale will suffer as a result of broken promises. Be honest with yourself regarding what you can and cannot do.

9. Take on new challenges.

“The best way to retain passion is by realizing that you can always do better. Real entrepreneurs are endlessly curious and never want to just rest on their laurels; there’s always a new challenge to face.”- Shaan Patel, Founder and CEO of Prep Expert

Maintaining the status quo will only lead to stagnation and boredom. Taking on new challenges will inspire passion within yourself, and ultimately within your team.

10. Set aside time for yourself.

“You need to work on the business, not in it. Take 3 hours a week, legitimately blocking out time on your calendar, to take time for yourself and the business. Really utilize the time to read, listen to podcast, go for a run, and draw out a vision.” – Trevor Rappleye, CEO and founder of Corporate Filming

In order to effectively lead a team, you need to be at the top of your game 100% of the time. Avoid burnout by setting aside a few hours a week to focus on self-care activities that promote creativity and growth.

As a young entrepreneur with little experience guiding a team, you may be unfamiliar with and flat-out terrified of leadership. Lucky for the entrepreneur, there is no right way to lead and you can make it entirely your own.

Consider these expert tips as you develop your personal leadership style.