How to Make your New Business Product a Success

Launching a new product? One way for you to guarantee success would be for you to perfect your development process. If you don’t know how to do that then take a look below.

Target Customer Pain points

If you want to survive, then your start-up needs to relieve any customer pain points. If you don’t solve a problem, then you may find it hard to help them and really give them what they are looking for. This is the last thing that you need, but if you take your time and make sure that you analyze their behavior then you will soon find that it is easier than ever before for you to give them the support they need.

New Product Development

Source: Pexels (CC0 License)

Hypotheses

When you understand your customer’s needs, you can then start to create a vision. Find out what features are most likely to appeal to your business customers and also work on a prototype. When you do this, you can then figure out if your idea is viable, how easy your product is to use and even the price you are hoping to get per sale.

Test your Idea with your Customers

You have to give the prototype to your customers and you also need to observe how they use it. Keep track of how many customers like your product, what they would change and what they are hoping to have added. When you do this, you can then help to make your product everything you hoped it would be while also being given the chance to prove or disprove the hypotheses you made. If you believe that your product is lackluster, then now is the time for you to go back to the drawing board and find out if there is anything that you can do to change whatever you need before you invest too much money.

Manufacturing

You have to make sure that your manufacturing process is absolutely on-point. This could involve investing in custom load cells or even a digital system. If you don’t then you may find that you are never as efficient as you could be, or that you end up making more mistakes as you go along.

Outperform your Competition

If your start-up has any hope of making money, then you need to relieve your customer’s pain points better than your competition. Success often attracts imitators, and if they are doing a better job than you then your customers will have no problem using their service over yours.

Strategies

If your results are far better than you expected, then you will be able to gain a high level of market share. If your results are lower than expected, then you need to learn from your mistakes and you also need to keep testing until you get what you were hoping for. If you launch your product thinking that a worldwide customer base will fix your problems, then you are sadly mistaken. Any errors that are found in the prototype will then be put on a show for the world to see and this can give people a bad impression of your company.

The Dos And Dont's of Starting The Business Of Your Dreams in 2020

Female Founder

There are only a few months left of 2019, and that means many people are excitedly making plans for 2020. If you have big plans for 2020, such as starting your own business, you’ve come to the right place. If you want to make sure that this is your dream business and your momentum and motivation do not waver, read on for some dos and don'ts that will help you. 

Do Start Networking Now

The more people you know, the better. The phrase ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is very true. By networking now, you never know who you might meet. You’ll be able to get the word out about your business before it’s even started, and you might just be able to find other business owners and people who can help you to achieve your dreams. 

Don’t Start A Business Just Because Of The Money You Stand To Make 

If you have an idea in your head of the business you’d like to start, you need to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. This should be because you’re passionate about it, not because you feel like this is something you could stand to make a lot of money doing. There are always going to be trends in business. At the moment, aesthetics (filler and botox) businesses are opening up everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you should follow suit. It needs to be a business that you are an expert in, where you feel so strongly about it that you’ll easily build momentum as you grow.

Do Figure Out How You’ll Get The Support You Need

Every business owner needs support. You’ll need the support of your loved ones when things get tough, and you’ll need the support of companies like F1 Networks when you need to outsource certain processes. This will give you more time and mental energy to tackle the things only you can do. 

Don’t Underestimate How Important It Is To Get Into Good Habits Yourself

As you are at the helm of your business, it’s so important to get into good habits. Get up earlier and meditate and you’ll start the day on the best possible note. Exercise, especially if you can break up the day with it, is also a great way to feel energized throughout the day. 

Do Find A Mentor 

If you’ve never done this before, a business mentor could be just what you need. See if there’s somebody who is willing to coach you. 

Don’t Put It Off Any Longer

If this is what you really want, start planning now. If you want to launch in 2020, the best thing you can do is start getting your business plan and everything else you need together now. No more procrastinating or excuses! 

Do Surveys And Questionnaires

To figure out what can be improved before you launch, hand out surveys and questionnaires to people who are willing to take them - ideally your target audience. 

Are you ready to make your business dreams come true in 2020?

Five Business Ideas For Rebellious Women

Anything you can do, I can do better - right? 

Women have spent years under the thumb of the patriarchy, fighting tooth and nail to be considered equal to their male counterparts and struggling to carve out their place in the world. When it comes to business, it’s always been a struggle to be taken seriously enough to enter into managerial and leadership positions that count. Women haven't had it easy in the workplace, so it doesn't surprise us that there are plenty of job roles out there that are still thought of as “male” and others that are considered to be “female”. Think truckers and engineers vs maids and childcare workers. 

The good news is that there are plenty of ambitious and rebellious women taking the initiative to go against these stereotypes. There are women who see that they have value no matter what they do, and so we’ve got five business ideas for the rebellious women who won’t be held back by industries dominated by men!

blond-hair-desk-employee-1181534.jpg

Image Source

Graphic Design

Every company is now in need of a graphic designer, and many of the designers in businesses today are, in fact, men. Women are just as creative and energetic with tons of ideas, which is why a career in graphic design could be the very thing that you could do to make a difference to your future. Get up to speed on what you could earn, how to gain clients and how to earn your worth, too.

Haulage

Most people would agree that haulage is a very male-dominated field but that doesn't mean that you couldn't make a ton of money. All you need is an understanding of the job and quality truck leasing to be able to run a successful haulage business. Hire more people later on and you could build up a lucrative business!

Farming

Owning a farm is no easy thing to do and there is a lot involved, whether you are growing and harvesting wheat for sale, or you are planning to raise dairy cows. There are a lot of early mornings and a lot of physical work involved. However, that doesn't mean that it’s going to be too hard. There is a future in farming and agriculture, and you shouldn't let physical work put you off!

Cooking

Women may be told to get into the kitchen at home (in some very backward places to live) but in the corporate world, the kitchen is very much a man’s game. The industry still recognizes more male chefs than female, but that can change with the ability to whip up a sumptuous feast and a good business head on your shoulders!

Video Games

Believe it or not, people pay money to watch others score and win on video games. They sit on YouTube and watch as they play and win games, and pay to watch. So, brush up on your FIFA or Call of Duty skills and invest in some camera equipment - you could be being paid to play!

Ways Your Small Business Can Compete with the Big Dogs

adult-communication-conference-room-1367271 (1).jpg

By: Marissa Perez

Whether your small business is just getting off the ground, thriving, or in a slump, one of your biggest concerns is keeping it relevant to stack up against the competition. Doing so prevents you from getting lost in a sea of similar products and services. So, how can you set your small business apart and compete with the big dogs?

Provide Amazing Customer Service 

You may be a small business, but your smaller size means you are better able to build and maintain meaningful relationships with your customers and improve customer retention. So, don’t let your customer service be an area that’s sorely lacking. Set some customer experience goals and make all employees aware of those benchmarks. Speaking of employees, make sure those you hire are emotionally intelligent and provide training to help foster any shortfalls. You’ll also want to equip your employees and business with the right tools to create a seamless customer experience via help desk software and live chat features.

Consider a Brick-and-Mortar Space

It seems that e-commerce is where it’s at, but don’t think that physical space is a waste of time. According to Business.com, 94 percent of sales happen in a physical store. The reason why? Well, it varies, but the most common reason is the ability to see and interact with a product before making a commitment. Plus, the customer service we discussed earlier is easier when consumers can see a smiling face rather than text on a computer screen. You’re a small business, so the cost of setting up shop — literally — may be setting off alarms. Thankfully, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is here to save the day by offering real estate loans. You have two options: the SBA 7(a) loan and the SBA CDC/504 loan, but the latter is the most common for small businesses like yourself. Do your homework to find the right option and rate for you. 

Take Advantage of Your Ability to Innovate

Small businesses can change direction on a dime, pushing out a new product or using a new supply source. This ability to switch focus easily is what sets you apart from those larger companies and competitors. If you’ve been toying with the idea of altering your current product or providing a new product altogether, start developing and testing right away. Survey current customers and gather ideas from them. Perhaps you’re thinking about switching up your supply source to better meet customer demands. If that’s the case, dropshipping might be something to look into. In this scenario, you are removed as the middleman, and the supplier ships the products directly to your customers, lowering your risk, reducing overhead, and no more paying for inventory until a customer makes a purchase. There are lots of products that can be sold via dropshipping — kids' clothes, shoes, electronics, gadgets, and even trendy items like fidget spinners, for example — so take a look online and see if you could benefit. 

Increase Your Efficiency

Large businesses have the luxury of huge departments, each dedicated to a certain task or service. You’re small, so having all hands on deck to increase efficiency doesn’t leave you with many (if any) hands left to handle other areas. Find ways to automate, whether it’s hosting meetings remotely via video conferencing, automating invoicing, or using accounting software. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything and be everywhere at once, so hand the torch off so you can focus on the areas and tasks that need your immediate attention.

Build Your Reputation

Big businesses have a big reputation, but big doesn’t necessarily mean better. Your small business is in a unique position to capture the locals’ attention and become a welcome part of the business community. Tap into the community (and build your reputation) by hosting events so people can get to know you and vice versa. Stay active and be a visual presence by volunteering or hosting a charity event. Connect with other businesses and help one another to create a lasting impression and framework for success. Keep in mind too that with the holidays coming up, you have a great opportunity to draw in new customers, so look for ways to offer deals and seasonal events, and don’t forget to decorate!

Sure, being a small business comes with challenges, but large businesses have their own unique challenges too. What sets you apart is how you overcome those challenges so that you are competing right along with the big dogs.

Simple Steps For Hiring An Employee

job-3790033__340.jpg

Image 

Hiring a new employee for your business is always a challenge. It is important for you to consider a lot of different factors when hiring someone to join your team, and there are many steps to take for a successful hire. Today, we are going to run through the simple steps you should take to hire a new employee this year. 

Step 1 -  Job Description

The first step to take towards hiring an employee should be writing a job description. A job description is the advertorial feature of your listing, and in order for it to capture the attention of job seekers, it needs to be AMAZING. 

There are many elements you need to add to your listing:

• Key responsibilities

• Company background and ethos (define the atmosphere of the workplace)

• Salary and Benefits

• Minimum Requirements 

When creating a job spec, you should always add the salary because this is a huge draw for job seekers. Money is always the most crucial aspect of job hunting and if you offer a great wage and benefits, you should show this off to draw people in. 

Step 2 - Spread the Word 

Once you have created a killer job description, you need to share this with the world and start drawing in potential employees. There are several ways you can share a new job title, and using more than one channel is always a good choice because you will be able to gather a wider net of possibilities. You can share a listing with an agency, on your website, on LinkedIn, through social media, and even at a job fair. The wider you cast your net, the more likely you are to hire a prize-winning tuna. Weird analogy aside: share your job as many ways as possible. 

Step 3 –Prepare for Interview 

If you have never given an interview before, this part of the hiring process might be a bit of a challenge. Interviews are often the most daunting part of job hunting and many candidates will be nervous when they enter the room.

As an employer, it is a good idea for you to make the candidate feel at ease. Sit at a table or with a coffee on the sofa of your office and have a chat with the candidate. As well as asking them questions about their experience and background, try to find out a few things about them as a person. For example, ask the candidate if they have any hobbies, and when they share a hobby with you it will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of who they are as a person.

An employee needs to be a rounded package of friendly, personable, and talented. Their personality and ability to fit in with your team is just as important as their skills and experience. 

Step 4 -  Pre-Employment Screening

Before hiring an employee, background checks are a must. Once you have employed a new member of the team, they will have access to your business assets including the computer network and all of your data. If you make a call without a background check, you are at risk of hiring someone who can’t be trusted and this is a huge risk to your business. This is why it is a good idea for you to click here for background checks on employees before you hire them. You will be able to check for a myriad of things and ensure that the employee is safe for work. 

Build Trust to Build a Successful Business

handshake-3382503_960_720.jpg

Pixabay - CCO Licence

It’s arguable that trust is the single biggest factor in whether your business is successful. Think about it, would you trust a business that you knew virtually nothing about, whose reputation was shady and who kept the important stuff secret with your money? Probably not, right? So you can’t expect customers to come flocking to your new business if you don’t do anything to build up trust.

The good news is there are lots of relatively simple things any entrepreneur business owner can build a trusting relationship with prospective customers. Here are a few of the simplest and most important:

Register Your Company

It should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs launch their business before they’ve dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s. Sure, you might be raring to get started with your latest money-making idea, but you do need to get all of the legalities in place and using a company like Your Company Formations to officially register your business is a good place to start. That way, prospects who are looking for assurance that you are legit can easily find it by looking at your company up at an official source. You’ll have to do it eventually anyway, so do it at the beginning.

Be Honest

It would be near impossible for you to build trust with customers and clients if you lied to them. Honesty is the foundation of trust and that is why you need to build honesty into everything you do. If, for example, you know that you can’t realistically offer 1-day shipping, be upfront about that or if you know that it’ll take 2 weeks to turnaround a project. Don’t be tempted to say you can do it in one just to persuade a client to buy.

Sure, you might get a few more customers upfront, but when you can't deliver, they won’t come back and they’ll tell other people about your unreliability/lies and word will spread that you can’t be trusted. Obviously, things do go wrong sometimes and you may occasionally be unable to deliver, but as long as you’re honest from the start, upfront about any issues and able to compensate appropriately, you should be fine. In business, honesty really is the best policy. 

Leverage Social Proof

Social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials is an excellent way to build trust in your niche. People like to feel confident in their buying choices, and if they can see that lots of other people have used your products/services and had a decent experience, they will be far more likely to become a customer themselves. That’s why you should offer any incentives you can to get customers to leave you a review. 

However, you should bear in mind the above point about honesty and avoid buying fake reviews because not only is it dishonest, but it’s far easier to spot than you might think. Not only that, but you should also let unflattering reviews stand -you can add your piece rebutting any remarks you think are unfair but don’t delete them. When all customers can see is row after row of 5-star reviews, they are going to trust your business less, not more.

Create a Solid ‘About Us’ Page

One of the things customers initially do to scope out a new business is to check out the ‘About Us’ page on its website. If it’s a well-written page filled with lots of solid facts and information about you, your business and what you do, including any incorporation details, an address and telephone number, they are far more likely to trust in you. Sadly, many businesses use this page as another ad for them, filled with lots of sales copy, and this can be very off-putting. Build trust by really putting yourself out there.

Be Visible

Not only to build trust but to build interest in your brand is to be visible. Post content about yourself and your efforts to launch the business day to day, including lots of videos and pictures, on social media and people will be able to see for themselves that you’re genuine with everything that you do.

Make trust the foundation upon which you build your business from day one and you will not have to struggle nearly as hard as others in your niche to build up a strong, loyal and happy customer base. It really is that simple.

Take Control of Your Business: Tips To Help You Do It

Starting a business can be risky. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude to succeed. Being an entrepreneur means that you may thrive on unpredictability and volatility.

However, we all know that wanting something and working towards it is always the best course of action. So with that in mind, here are some handy tips to handle your business like a true entrepreneur.

FemFounder Notebook

Image source - Pixabay - CC0 License 

Think about your brand

Branding is everything. How you brand and the whole aesthetic of your business need to remain consistent. This means that your advertising, marketing materials, website, social media content, and publicity materials—even the way you talk about your business all have to coincide with your brand.

A brand is what people remember the most. Imagery and eye-catching designs, being the face of the business, all can help you achieve great success. It’s best practice to research the market thoroughly. If you can find a unique selling point to your business and brand that will always help you in the future. 

Use social media to your advantage

Social media could be one of your biggest assets. It’s the one way you can get your business message out there to the masses. Your business can get in front of thousands, maybe millions of new and potential customers. It’s as easy as sharing your business message and promoting consistently.

Your brand is very important to your social media strategy so bear that in mind when you start your business. Websites like marketing gurus could be the ideal place to look at to help you with this and other marketing aspects. 

Get your business out there in as many forms as possible

This means creating a website and using advertising to your full advantage. A website allows you to showcase your business in its full capacity. This could be an online shop, a description of your services and hold all relevant contact information. Advertising in online and print publications can also be a fantastic way forward. This could help you get your business message out there in a strategic and targeted manner. 

Be prepared for the downfalls

In business, you have to be prepared for every downfall. This could mean staff can let you down. Stockists unable to deliver when expected and even grievances against you and your business. It’s vital you protect yourself in every eventuality. 

Accept that a successful business takes work

Finally, a true entrepreneur will know, that a successful business takes work—lots of hard work. It will require the very best of you. So early mornings. Late nights in the office and plenty of positive motivation to match. However, an entrepreneur will always tell you that all of the hard work is worth it. To have built up your own successful business from scratch, there is no other feeling like it.

Let’s hope these tips help you to take control of your business. 

Time to Move Your Startup Out of the House? Four Solid Reasons to Get Your Own Office

When your home-based business is growing, you might start thinking about the possibility of moving your “work” out of the house. Exciting times! But when can you be sure that your baby startup is ready to leave the nest? If you spot a few of these telltale signs, it may be high time you started packing up your desk.

pexels-photo-2883049.jpg

Image Source: Pexels CC0 Licence

Your Home Office is Holding Your Business Back 

Launching a startup from home is a brilliant way to give your new business a sure start in life. You have very little in the way of overhead to pay (note, you may be even able to claim some of your home utility bills back from tax as a business expense!) and not having to keep “normal” business hours means you can throw yourself into your work, day, and night.

But once business starts picking up, being located far from your city’s business district coupled with a cramped workspace and lack of professionalism could be dragging you down and will eventually take its toll on your rate of growth. If you’re beginning to get a little antsy in your small space, or you’re driving down the road to hold your important meetings in your local coffee shop, you may be sacrificing crucial expansion opportunities.

Your Business Can Definitely Afford the Rent

If you weren’t already a financially savvy entrepreneur, you wouldn’t be in a position to consider getting your own office at all. That said, signing that dotted line on an office lease is a scary prospect for a small company. Of course, you will aim to secure cost-effective space, but this is easier said than done as a small business, as office space leased for short-term periods is extremely pricey. And remember that rent is not the only expense. You’ll also have office running costs, like utilities and office supplies. Moving costs can also be high, especially if you have a lot of equipment. Check out https://www.mybekins.com/location/sarasota-fl-movers/ for an excellent, cost-effective option when the time comes. If getting an office is not looking like an imminent prospect, after all, you might consider co-working as a lower-cost option.

pexels-photo-1560932.jpg

You are Confident in the Future of Your Business

To get a lower-cost monthly bill, you’d need to sign on for up to ten years, and what early-stage business can afford to be so bold? But how do you know whether your business will continue to thrive?

Before you take the plunge, it’s crucial to understand how sustainable your business model is. Moving you into an official company location is a pricey undertaking, and if demand doesn’t continue to increase, the financial shock of high rent and utilities could be a real setback for your accounts in the long term. If you’re even considering workspace solutions, you should be feeling confident in your cashflow projections. If your profit has been stable for at least a year, and your projections show blue sky for the foreseeable future, then you should totally go for it.

You’re 100% Certain That Running a Business is What You Want to Do

If you’re thinking of signing a lease on an office, before you sign up for even a couple of years, you need to be sure that your business is here for the foreseeable future. Even if you’re doing well, you must be sure that this is your calling, and you won’t be tempted to throw in the entrepreneurial towel and take a tempting job offer when potential employers head-hunt you for the skills you’ve shown in starting your own business.

Whether you employ a couple of helpers or you’re a one-man-band, moving into your first office can be daunting for a small company. But if you see the signs, it could be time to take the plunge.

Tricky Business: Manage Your Structural And Internal Risk

No risk, no reward as they say. In all businesses, there will always be an element of risk. Small business owners and serial entrepreneurs can take this reality for what it is and still be outgoing and innovative.

However, you can limit their risk by taking greater control of your business’ structure.

First off, you need to decide whether you want your personal and professional finances to merge together (please note, we’re not experts on this topic so please ask your accountant for advice). Then consider the risk of the market you’re in (i.e., are you in a high-volatility prone industry such as short-term financials?)

Other risks are going to include your employees in some way (your HR department will keep you updated regarding employment laws). There are so many areas in which you are at risk in one way or another, so mitigating as much inherent risk as possible should be your first priority. 


Living behind a barrier

As you may well know, around 70-80 percent of small businesses end up failing in the first five years of their existence. Many times, you see the owners filing for bankruptcy and having their personal lives changed forever. But this is most likely because they chose to go with a sole proprietorship or perhaps they were in a general partnership. They didn’t have a barrier like an LLC to protect them.

If you’re asking ‘what is an llc?’, put simply it's a business type that separates your personal finances from your business's finances. If you were to create one, the money would come out of the business, not from your personal bank account. In other words, you and your business are two different non-linked entities. This type of business structure gives you different tax benefits as only your profits from the business are taxed. So your salary might be 10 percent of the business profits but that's the percentage that is taxed. 

Investigate your own weakness

Focusing on sales, profits, and brand marketing are probably the only things you want to worry about daily. But you don’t know where future risk could come from and it might be from within your business. Business administrators are like an internal affairs department because they investigate weaknesses inside the company.

An internal control admin objectively looks at your processes, systems, and your future development needs and points out where improvements should be made and what areas are the most risky. It could be something like old software which isn’t allowing your services to grow in capability or it could even be a partnership that is going south.

Keep accurate records

Operations in your business will become standardized once you get used to them. Processes will be streamlined and you’ll soon have a spring in your step as you develop standard practices.

To reduce the risk of abnormal performance, keep accurate records of revenue, sales, growth, and specifics such as time spent on a task or how much money you spent on materials.

Risk is everywhere in business, but don’t let it negatively impact your confidence. By making sure your personal and business finances are not linked, you don’t risk the chance of going bankrupt. 

Keep Your Company Under Lock And Key: The Common Types Of Business Threat

Business Security

PIcture - CC0 Licence

The course of true business success never runs smoothly, and whether you've just started on your journey, or you are well established, sometimes the pressures we face throughout every aspect of the business can be too much to bear. As the landscape evolves, so do the various threats. But with profit comes high risk. With this in mind, if you have a better idea of the most common business threats, you will know how to better prepare ourselves for them. What are they?

Electronic Data Breaches

The biggest mistake many startups make is that they think they are too small to suffer an attack. In fact, small businesses that don't have an excellent IT department put themselves at major risk of data breaches. There are very simple methods to overcome this. Numerous companies invest in a managed IT services company, of which there are many.

Companies like Bear Technologies don't just provide protection, but they help with other aspects of the ever-changing face of the digital coal mine. When you think about the threats your business can suffer from, it's not just common sense to have IT protection, but when you think about the financial penalties, it's more important than ever to have crucial coverage.

Business Interruption

It's so easy to underestimate the impact of weather damage. And according to the US Department of Labor, it is estimated that 40% of businesses never open their doors again after a natural disaster. Whether it's a flood, a fire, or anything worse, you have to understand that an insurance policy is worth its weight in gold, not just for the physical property, but the loss of income.

Business interruption coverage insurance helps solve the problem in the short-term. And if you've got people working for you can't even provide payment, when you are going through the process of relocating, it's crucial that your employees have peace of mind. As well as this, your customers need to know that everything is above board.

Liability Losses

Liability claims are commonplace in today's society. You will likely face a lawsuit at some point during your business life. The fact of the matter is that there are so many different types of liability claims for personal injury, slander, property damage, and the list goes on. It's essential to understand the kind of coverage that a commercial general liability policy covers. Having a good relationship with an independent agency allows you to assess the exposures your business can face. As liability covers every aspect of the business, inside and out, having comprehensive coverage will work wonders.

Threats in business are commonplace, and as we start to build our company, we have to exercise awareness of the various types of threat. Business threats work to undermine a business, not just from the inside, but from the outside too. From liability losses, data breaches as well as business interruption, there's a lot that your business can suffer from which threatens to undermine so many parts of your company.

Can’t Pay Off Your Debts? Here Are Your Options

credit-squeeze-522549_960_720.jpg

Pixabay - CCO License

No matter how bad your debts get whether it’s your business or personal life, there’s always a way out. If you’ve reached a point at which you can no longer continue paying off your debts because they’re too high, why not consider some of these options?

Refinance your debts

There may be a way of refinancing your debts to make them more affordable. This could allow you to lower your interest rates or pay off your debts over a longer period. Consolidation loans are a popular way of paying off multiple debts at once – these loans could come with lower interest rates, whilst making it easier to keep track of your debts by consolidating them into one monthly payment. Having a low credit score can sometimes be a problem when refinancing, so bear this in mind.

Negotiate with your creditors

You may be able to talk with the people you owe money to and negotiate a better repayment plan. This could include paying less interest or paying smaller amounts over a longer period. Most creditors will be sympathetic and will be willing to offer a better deal – many would rather get smaller amounts of money back than none at all. There are also people you can hire to negotiate for you.

File for bankruptcy

If you’ve tried refinancing and negotiating, going bankrupt could be another option. This can allow you to wipe out most or all of your debts, allowing you start fresh. Bankruptcy does have its downsides such as reducing your credit score practically to 500, however, over time you will be able to build this back up (plus the inability to take out extra loans could stop you getting back in the same situation). There are professional services that you can hire to help with bankruptcy filing. Be wary that some debts such as student loans and taxes cannot be eliminated by bankruptcy.

Get help from family and friends

A lot of people get deep into debt because they refuse to ask others for financial help. However, family and friends may be the best option for digging you out of debt – you can then owe money to them and not have to worry about interest rates or high repayments. The biggest problem with asking family and friends to step in is the damage that it can have on personal relationships if you then refuse to pay them back. Only borrow money from people closest to you if you can guarantee that you’ll pay it back.

3 Practical Ways to Reduce Your Startup Costs

How to reduce costs

By: Rosana Beechum

Technically, anyone can become an entrepreneur if they have a good enough idea to capitalize on. However, what most upcoming entrepreneurs do not often have is a perfect budget to begin a venture. That, however, is a common issue, but it can be handled with a few cost reduction strategies.

Opt for Equipment Financing Instead of Buying

There are a number of complicated and variable definitions of equipment financing services, depending on the kind of equipment, business, and finance company in question. However, the core idea can be simplified in one sentence; equipment financing services provide you with the funds to buy business assets you need, but seeing as the same assets are also the collateral, the loan company has a legal right to repossess the same assets if you fail to make agreed-upon payments in time.

Charter Capital is a family-owned financing business that has been providing equipment financing services to startups of all sizes for more than 42 years at this point. The best part is that to qualify for equipment leases and loans up to $150,000, no financial information from the borrowing business or individual is deemed necessary at Charter Capital.

Whether you need a bunch of high-end computers for an office or expensive machinery to start a construction business, equipment financing services can reduce the initial costs of the business set up by a huge margin, and at minimum risk.

You May Not Need a Big Office

When a company is just starting out, they have the perfect opportunity to make most of the connected, digital world in which business is conducted today. Instead of renting a big office space right away, you can rent out a much smaller space to be used only for receiving and entertaining offline clients. Everything else can be conducted digitally in a virtual office environment.

Certain businesses are not as conducive to a setup like that, of course, but if this is a feasible option for the industry you are in, it will save you a great deal of money. You can always upgrade later if required.

Hire Freelancers

Contractual workers and freelancers are often the perfect types of workers to start a business venture with, be it online or offline. Go through the following points to understand how they help you to save money upfront.

·       Freelancers are not on the payroll; when there isn’t work, you don’t need to hire them

·       You will only have to pay the people you need for every specific job

·       Not having that permanent employer status helps you to avoid certain responsibilities that employers cannot such as taxes and benefits

Any startup will probably still need at least a few permanent staff on the payroll but keep the numbers to a minimum during the first few years.

A time will come in the near future when you won’t really need to think about cost reduction as much, but at no point of time will the concept of cost-efficiency ever become invalid, irrespective of how big the company is. This is actually the reason why most of these tips will be valid even in the future.

5 Things That Will Keep Your Business Running Smoothly

It can be easy to assume that one of the hardest things about running a company is right at the start, when you are starting it, and getting things off the ground. You will be full of hope and excitement to get the whole business going and looking forward to the future. But in reality, there are a lot of people that can start their own businesses and companies.

The thing that separates the wheat from the chaff are the things that happen in the future; can you keep the business running well, and earning enough to keep things going? So with that in mind, here are some tips that can help you to keep your focus, and help to keep your business running efficiently, years down the line.

How run a smooth business

image

Invest in your employees

Every business owner needs to remember that a business is only going to be as good and successful as the people who are doing the work each day. Even if your business was dreamt up by you, having a team on-board to help with it and share their expertise in different areas is a must. But as the team is what makes the business, investing in your team is a good idea as it can pay off. Making sure that your employees feel valued is a good start, as well as making sure that you pay them a competitive wage, and help them with areas of development.

Stay organized

It is important that you do all that you can to stay organized as a business owner. This can help to eliminate money issues as you’ll be organized and checking when things have or haven’t been paid. If you are someone who isn’t naturally organized, then don’t imagine that suddenly when you are a business owner that this will come to you. Instead, work with someone, or outsource to someone who is capable and can keep you on track. 

Improve technology

In recent years, through business and everyday life, you will have seen plenty of changes in the world of technology; it is getting upgraded constantly and can keep updating itself. So in order to keep up with the times and make sure that you are using technology to help your business, you need to invest in new technology. It could be something simple and straightforward, like getting ergonomic chairs that will be better for your team. You could look to use apps, or even create one, as part of your business. In fact, an article like this one https://www.intellectsoft.net/blog/kubernetes-vs-docker-a-comprehensive-comparison/, could be useful if you were looking into that, as it talks about deploying software efficiently, and helping you to operate at an unprecedented scale. You could also look at using more effective storage methods like the cloud. Make sure that you are happy with it all, as well as your team, and then it can be a big help in business. 

Get networking

If you are looking to keep your business running for a long time, then one of the ways to do that is through networking. If you are someone who has tried to do networking before, then it can feel a bit of a strange thing to do. The reason being is that it is all about going to events, talking to plenty of people, and talking about your business and what you do, as well as finding out about them. From there, you can look for ways to collaborate or help one another, if needed.

If you are someone who is naturally talkative, then it can be something easier for you than others. If not, then it is time to step up your small talk, as mentioned in this article https://www.themuse.com/advice/an-introverts-guide-to-networking. Have open body language so that you look approachable, and have things ready to ask people and talk about. It is also a good idea to listen carefully, so that you can hear and respond to people appropriately, and answer with something interesting. Then once you have some common ground and you know a little about each other, then you can move forward with something potentially happening together in business. 

Take a breather

The final note to think about is to make sure that you take some time for yourself every now and then. If you don’t, it can quite easily lead to burn out. Even if you work quite long hours, just switching your phone off for some of the day or evening, to be present with family and friends could be enough. You won’t be in a position to lead a business if you are struggling yourself.

Digitizing Your Business Methods Effectively

Starting up a business from nothing is a daunting process. You go through so many stages from the planning and foundation side of things to the implementation and sales. Many people can find that as entrepreneurs they can be a little “old school” with their methods.

For many that involves keeping physical copies of things and using a good old fashioned notebook, diary, and pen. However, with technology advancing all of the time, you need to digitize many elements of your business. So which areas should you focus on? Here are some of the business methods that you can focus on digitizing to help your company and ideas thrive now and in the future.

Your website and online shop

A website is likely to be a standardized element of your business, and with people using the internet hourly for information, social aspects or for business, it is one of your biggest assets. Giving your website the option of a shop can also enhance your capability for business as this makes transactions within your business far easier for the consumer. In terms of how it benefits your business in other ways, a website and online shop will allow you to keep digitized records of sales strategies and stock levels. Allowing you to plan and be forward thinking for new campaigns. 

Using the cloud 

The cloud, in its basic terms, is a centralized location on the internet that stores data. For a business there is huge value in using it. Gone are the days where you have filing systems from floor to ceiling filled with paperwork. You can now easily transfer the data to a digital copy, and then store it in the cloud. There are many different cloud services options you can use.

However, the main benefit is a reduction in costs, it's easy to use and accessible for those that need it, while giving your business and employees flexibility. Last of all it helps to encourage automation within your business practices. 

Customer management and service

It is important to recognise that the way you handle and manage your customers can also be digitized. With the introduction of customer relationship management systems, allowing you to keep records of purchase history and notes to help add value to customer conversations, can help your business to thrive when it comes to the customer service side of things.

Email communication where G Suite for business productivity could help enhance this area might be the answer. Instead of letters, using email or even text messaging services for simple and up to date information regarding updates can help to improve the level of service you provide. 

Being present online and humanizing your social media

Finally, social media is such a big part of business these days and can be arguably one of the biggest contenders when it comes to your marketing campaigns. However, with every other business focusing on it, you need to ensure that your social media strategy and content plan stands out from the crowd.

This is when humanizing your business and social media can be a huge asset. You can offer up insights using other tools within the platform, play around with video and imagery. The old practice of people buying from people does still exist today, so it is important to add an element of that in an online world. 

Let’s hope this has helped you to consider what methods to change within your business.

Tips that will Help you to Start and Succeed Running your Own Business

Starting a business is easy, but making it succeed isn’t. If you want to help yourself get the best result out of your new venture, then here are a few tips that will ensure your success.

Do your Research

There’s a high chance that you’ll have already developed a business idea. Now’s the time for you to refine it to the point where it can become a reality. Think about it, how much potential does your idea have to succeed? Does your idea solve a problem or need? There are a lot of ways that you can find out this information, such as by doing your research or even hosting focus groups. A lot of this stage will be trial and error, but the more time you can devote, the more likely you’ll be to come out on top.

Make a Plan

You need to make a plan if you want your idea to materialise. A business plan is essentially a blueprint that will help you to guide your business through the start-up phase. It will also help you to grow your idea too, so it’s worth taking your time over. If you know that you are going to need some financial support from an investor or even from a financial institution, you may want to opt for a traditional business plan. If you don’t intend on seeking any kind of support, a one-page plan might be enough. All you need to do here is clarify what you want to achieve, and how you plan on doing it.

Plan out your Finances

Starting a business doesn’t require a lot of money. You will however have to cover the expense before you start to turn a profit. One way for you to do this would be for you to put together a spreadsheet. This will estimate the amount of costs that you need to pay, such as trademarking, market research, inventory, and even legal fees. When you have this information, you can then begin to make better decisions and you can also forecast how many sales you need to make each month. If you are going to need some financial support then it may be possible for you to take out a small business grant, or even a crowdfunding campaign. Most banks would also be willing to help you if you are able to present them with a basic business plan.

Structure

Your small business can be anything from a partnership to a sole proprietorship or even an LLC. The entity that you choose will have a large impact on your business and it will also affect how liable you are if something should happen. If you want to get the best result out of your decision, then you have to make sure that you do your research and that you also look into how your taxes are going to be paid. It’s possible for you to change your structure at a later date as your business grows, but ideally you want to choose the right one from the get-go.

Pick your Business Name

Your business name is going to play a huge role in nearly every aspect of your business. For this reason, you need it to be solid. You have to make sure that you go through all the implications of choosing that name and you also need to check to see if it is trademarked. If it isn’t then you’ll need to have it registered. If you don’t, then someone else might be able to steal your name and there’s not much that you can do about it. This is the last thing that you need when you have spent so long trying to get your idea off the ground, so make sure that you navigate the process properly and also register your domain name too. This will secure your site and it will also give you the foundation for your online presence.

Licenses and Permits

Paperwork is a huge part of starting your own business. There are a huge range of online tools out there that you can use to try and help you with this, but either way, it helps to find out what you need in advance so that you can help yourself with the whole start-up process.

Accounting System

Small businesses often succeed because they have effective systems in place. If you want to help yourself here, then consider investing in an accounting software. This will help you to set your budget, your rates and even your taxes. You can set all this up yourself, or you can hire an accountant to do it for you. This will take away some of the guesswork, but it will also make it much more expensive.

Business Location

It doesn’t matter whether you’re working out of a home office or whether you have a fully-fledged retail location because you have to make sure that you think about the equipment you’re going to need and your overall setup. If you want to get some ideas that will help you to work in the most productive way possible then consider looking into https://www.bondcollective.com/.

pexels-photo-1157859.jpg

https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-standing-in-front-of-sitting-people-1157859/

Get your Employees Ready

If you do think you’ll be hiring employees, then now is the best time for you to start the hiring process. You have to make sure that you outline the positions that you need to fill and you also need to talk to them about the job responsibilities that they are going to have too. There are plenty of guides out there on the internet that are designed to help you with this, so it’s well worth looking into them. If you are certain that you’re not going to be hiring any employees, then you may need to look into outsourcing to independent contractors.

You’ll need to get a contract lined up if you want to do this, and you also need to make sure that it’s completely airtight from a legal point of view. The last thing that you need is to start your business off on the wrong foot because of a clause that could have been avoided. If you are a solopreneur who is hitting the road alone, then you may still need your own support team. It may be that you hire a mentor or that you sign up to a forum. This will help you to get the guidance you need to make the best decisions and it will also help you to have that go-to resource.

pexels-photo-1080865.jpg

https://www.pexels.com/photo/group-of-people-in-a-meeting-1080865/

Promote your Business

When you have your small business up and running, you then need to think about attracting as many customers as you can. One way for you to do this would be for you to start with the basics. You can do this by creating your own USP and marketing plan. From there, you can then create multiple marketing avenues. It may be that you focus on social media first, or that you delve right into SEO. Either way, the one that you choose will largely depend on the business that you operate and the target audience that you are trying to reach. If you need to get some ideas, look to your competition and find out if they are using other channels more predominantly than others.

Of course, if you want to make the most out of your new business, then the above tips should help. That being said, it’s still important that you seek out support if you feel as though you need it because this will help you to take your success to new heights.

Please note, this article has affiliate links.

How to Make Your Small Business More Efficient

Running a small business can be challenging at the best of times. You may wonder how you’re ever going to be able to find time to get everything done and as if that wasn’t enough, you also have to worry about your profit margin. One way for you to get around all of this would be for you to try and make your business more efficient so that it requires less manpower yet yields more profit.

Create A Solid Business Plan

If you don’t have a great business plan then this will really hurt your company’s future. Your business plan will outline your goals, the steps you need to take in order to achieve them, and your projected growth too. A business plan can be written in almost any format, as long as it relates to your company and future ambitions.

Always have a Website

A website really is an effective marketing tool for just about any business. Website development is essential if you want to increase the power of your organisation and it also helps you to attract new customers too. If you are unsure about building your own site, then there’s no harm in having a professional do it for you. Sure, this can be expensive, but the end results are well worth it and you’d be surprised at how it could make a difference to your company overall.

Outsource Activities that are Not Essential

You don’t need to take care of absolutely everything yourself. In fact, you may be harming your business by trying. It’s so important that you outsource any activities that are not essential to your business operation. This can include payroll, administration, and even website promotion too. This will give you more time to run your business and it will also make it way easier for you to reach a higher level of success.

Business Efficiency

https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-agreement-blur-brainstorming-630839/

Have a Plan for Technology

Technology is changing the way that we do business. If you want to stay on top, then you have to make sure that you do everything you can to invest in it. This could involve doing research to see what new products are hitting the market, or even trying to expand your software usage.

Network as Much as Possible

Networking is a fantastic way for you to increase your business presence. If you want to help yourself here, then it’s a good idea to join up to a niche organisation. It may also help to do interviews with magazines or participate in community events. This will raise your brand awareness and it will also make potential clients aware of the services that you are able to offer.

Automate your Process

The more you can automate your business, the better. It will free up more of your team’s time and it will also be much more cost-effective. If you’re not quite sure how to automate your business then start out by investing in automatic order updates, or even email responders. Sure, this may be basic, but it can save you hours of time and it can also provide your customers with a much better service overall.

Business Efficiency

https://www.pexels.com/photo/ballpen-blur-close-up-computer-461077/

Communication Methods

Communication is the foundation of any relationship. If you do not have a high level of communication, then you may find that people misunderstand you and that you experience conflict in the workplace too. This is the last thing that you need when you are trying to run an efficient business. If you want to help yourself here, then think about how you come across to people and try to be clear and concise when giving instructions. It also helps to invest in other communication methods too. This could include phone, email, live chat, or even text to speech. Different situations will call for different methods of communication, so it’s all about finding what works for you.

Invest in Yourself

Sometimes, investing in yourself is the best thing that you can do to make your small business more efficient. Consider going to the University of Alabama Birmingham, or even think about trying to sign up to a training course. When you do, you will soon find that you are able to understand the world of business more efficiently and that you are also able to expand your skills at the same time. If you want to try something different then it’s a good idea for you to find a mentor or an influencer in your chosen industry. They can then share their knowledge with you while also giving you the chance to grow as a professional.

Please note, this article contains affiliate links.

All You Need To Know About Starting A Home-Based Business

By Amy Collett

By Amy Collett

Working from home is a dream for thousands of people, but making that dream a concrete reality is one of the most daunting things you will ever do. After all, it takes a lot of guts to let go of the safety net of a steady paycheck to work for yourself, but the rewards are well worth the risks. Running your own home-based business gives you flexibility, control, and incredible job satisfaction, but getting started can be the hardest part. That is why we’ve compiled everything you need to know to finally take that step and answered some of your most burning questions. 

Where Do I Start? 

There’s not one correct place to start when setting up your home-based business, but your website and social media presence is a good place to start. If you don’t have any experience with building a website, don’t worry: it’s not nearly as intimidating or expensive as you would imagine.

Essentially, you will need a domain (the name of your website) and a web hosting provider. Both are usually available through web building services, and doing everything in one place is better if you are a beginner who is making a simple website. Modern web builders feature intuitive, easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interfaces, allowing anyone to put together a good-looking website with little to no design experience. Check out this detailed guide to web builders to help you choose the best one for you.

Think about what your website needs, and try to keep it simple to start with - an “about me” section, portfolio, and contact page are usually enough. Then, consider which social media platforms you want to be on. Doing something visual? Instagram is a must. Showing off your way with words? Keep a witty and engaging Twitter feed.

Make sure you regularly set aside time to maintain your online presence. Don’t worry if you don’t have anything to show off on your website or social media yet. Just setting the processes in place and having these ready for when you do will save you loads of work down the line. Online tools like Later (which allows you to schedule Instagram posts on a calendar) and IFTTT (which can help you update multiple platforms at the same time) can be a huge help.

How Do I Start Getting Clients?

This is probably the biggest question for most budding freelancers and entrepreneurs, and the answer is that it depends. If you already have an established network in your area due to past jobs, then this part can be easier for you. Reach out to any contacts that could be interested in your services, and let them know what you can do. Even if you don’t have an extensive list of professional contacts, you can start by reaching out to friends and family members to get the ball rolling.

 If you are freelancing, you may find online platforms like People Per Hour or Upwork extremely useful for getting your first clients. However, bear in mind that the jobs listed on these portals are not likely to be high-paying ones and that you will be competing with people from all over the world who can afford to request lower rates. If you do choose to use these services, make sure you take your time setting up an attractive profile and writing careful, tailored bids for work. 

Finally, you have the option of cold pitching. While this can lead to great opportunities, it does come with its challenges - think about how many unrequested marketing emails you receive at work or in your personal inbox that you actually read and pay attention to. Make sure any emails you send are personalized and engaging, and always try to find a specific email address on LinkedIn rather than a generic “Contact Us” one. This guide to cold emailing by the Harvard Business Review is a good place to start.

 What Should I Charge?

Again, it depends. It depends on the work you do, your level of experience, and your ongoing expenses. Take some time to look up the average rates for your area as well as the different ways you can charge for your work. For example, writing work can be paid per word, per piece, per hour, or per day. Consultancy rates can be hourly, daily, or weekly.

It is a good idea to set your ideal rate for each of these methods, as this gives you a starting point for negotiations. Be realistic - you won’t be able to charge high rates if you are a beginner with a small portfolio. However, you should also be able to take pride in your work, so know how low you are willing to go. One option is to offer different rates based on the complexity of different clients’ work and their budgets, and then establish a set rate based on what seems to work for the majority of them. Using an invoice app (Square Point of Sale is a popular option, and it’s free) will help you keep track of what you’re charging everyone and which rate(s) are the most widely accepted among your clientele.

Finally, many business owners just starting out wonder if they should accept “experience” as compensation in the beginning of their new venture. The question of whether to offer free or extremely cheap work during the start of your career is a difficult one, and it comes down to personal choice. Some people believe it cheapens their work and can lead to being trapped with low-quality clients, while others swear by it as a way to build experience. It’s best to take this on a case-by-case basis - for example, this list by Forbes outlines four times in which it’s a good idea to take on work for free.

How Do I Stay Productive?

One of the hardest parts of running a home-based business is staying productive. After all, home is where you relax, and there are endless potential distractions lurking around every corner. Being your own boss is all fun and games until you realize that you have to monitor and motivate yourself.

First of all, focus on properly setting up your home office. Working from your bed or the dining room table is an attractive option (and you can always do that occasionally), but you need a desk with a proper work area to get your head in the right space for productivity. If you don’t have a separate room to turn into an office, then a partitioned corner of any room can work. The important thing is that it has everything you need to be productive and that it feels separate from your home life. 

Technology is a great ally to the home worker, so use it to be as productive as possible. There are apps that can streamline your invoicing, web extensions that can block certain websites (we’re looking at you, Facebook), and thousands of online playlists filled with music to promote focus and concentration.

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start putting your plan into action. Don’t worry - anyone who has ever started a business has been slightly terrified, but the truth is that millions of people have fulfilling, prosperous careers working from home. With some planning, organization, initiative, and motivation, you can join them and have the business you always wanted.

5 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Begin Walking in Purpose

By Sarah J. Cepeda (Coach Sarah J.)

Procrastination can be a problem that prevents us from moving forward and impedes our progress to reaching our full potential.  This can also hinder us from complete contentment and satisfaction in life.  Recent studies suggest that in the last 30 years, procrastination has more than quadrupled, affecting more than 20 percent of the population. 

There are many reasons for procrastination.  Some of those reasons include:

  • An absence of structure – An absence of structure is often marked by disorganization and lack of direction.

  • Having to perform unpleasant tasks – When we have to carry out tasks that seem mundane, boring or even daunting, it is often much easier to put those tasks to the side until we absolutely have to perform them, rather than get them done immediately.

  • Self-confidence (or lack thereof) – A lack of self-confidence is frequently the cause of procrastination. Feelings of inadequacy often cripple us to the point where we are pushed into a state of inactivity, rather than to move forward and risk the possibility of failure.

While procrastination can be daunting to overcome, it is not impossible.  Additionally, the advantages of conquering procrastination far exceed whatever challenges you may encounter while overcoming it.  Beyond just the feeling of accomplishment at having bested something that was so challenging, overcoming procrastination also has important benefits.  According to Brandongaille.com, 1 out of 5 people procrastinates so badly that it may affect major areas in their lives, such as career, relationships, and even health and finances. 

This 5-step checklist will help you to move beyond procrastination to start living a life that is more in line with who and what you desire to be.

Step 1 - Think About Your Strengths

What do you do better than anyone else?  What are people always asking for your help with? Whatever your answer is, it's probably tied to your purpose. Really think about it. It could be something that you do so much and it comes so naturally to you, that you don't even really realize it's a gift. If you're having problems with this, you can...

      A)  Make a list of all of the things you enjoy

      B)  Make a list of all of the things you are exceptionally good at

     C)    Ask the people who know you best what they think you are exceptionally

     good at

Step 2 – Think About What You Love Doing So Much That You Would Do It For Free

A)   What do you wake up thinking about doing and go to sleep still thinking about?

B)   What do you do that brings you so much pleasure that you could do it all day and never tire of it?

Step 3 – Write Out Your Vision

Studies show that you are 42% more likely to achieve aspirations if you write them down.  Writing your aspirations on paper makes them more concrete and therefore, makes them more of a priority.

A)   Once you have narrowed down your gifts, talents, and strengths, begin to envision of how you could best utilize them for yourself, and others

B)   Finally, START WRITING!!!  Take out a pen and paper and begin to write down everything you came up with

Step 4 – Be S.M.A.R.T

A)   Now that you have written out your aspirations, it’s time to make a list of goals that will help you reach those aspirations

B)   Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T

·      S – Specific

·      M – Measurable

·      A – Achievable

·      R – Results-focused

·      T – Time-bound

·       For example, instead of, “I want to lose weight”, the S.M.A.R.T goal would be, “I want to lose 30lbs., within the next 6 months”.

·      The above goal is Specific because it states how much you want to lose

·      It is Measurable since you have bee specific about how much you want to lose.  You can measure your success by whether or not you hit that number

·      The goal is Achievable because you have been reasonable with the amount of time in which you have given yourself to reach it

·      It is also Results-focused in that you are taking steps to ensure that you reach your desired outcome

·      This goal is Time-bound because you have set a target timeframe in which to meet your goal

Step 5 – Implementation

This is the most important step of all.  It doesn’t matter how much time you spend thinking about, planning or writing out your goals if you never take the steps to implement the plan you’ve set forth.  So now, it is time to begin implementation.  Once you have written out your goals, make sure you place the list in a place where you can clearly see it every day. 

You can place it on your fridge, bedroom wall, even on the bathroom mirror so you can see it as you brush your teeth each day.  Clearly seeing your vision, in writing, on a daily basis will help to keep you on track to making those visions a reality.  Start working on those S.M.A.R.T goals, so that you can begin your walk with passion and purpose!

Four Business Podcasts For Digital Entrepreneurs

By Tayelor Kennedy

Guest Post by Editor-in-Chief of TheHauteRebel.com

unnamed.jpg

As a digital entrepreneur, I am usually in the office alone. There are the occasional times when I head to one of the cafes in town, but mostly it’s just Pandora and me.  Being a solopreneur works well for me as I spend many hours writing, editing pictures and videos; however, when I need inspiration and solutions, I listen to podcasts.  They offer a wealth of information in short chunks.

Here are some of my favorite business podcasts. Go forth and conquer!

1.    Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Coach Deb Bailey is a delight to hear. The Women Entrepreneurs Radio podcast is best listened to with pen and paper because Deb and her guest open-up about all great tools available to help run a wildly successful business. Deb’s guest also shares how to hire a productive staff, as well as stories of failure and achievement.  Her podcast is named one of the “25 Career and Business Women Bloggers Worth Reading” by BlogHer and one of the Top 100 Women Entrepreneur Experts to Follow on Twitter.

2.    Entrepreneur on Fire

John Lee Dumas’ podcast is one of the best for entrepreneurs looking to elevate from side-hustle to full-time gig.  John’s podcast is pure energy offering great “take action now,” advice.  The guests range from Seth Godin to Barbara Corcoran, all sharing the difficulties as well as the Ah-ha moment that they have endured to make it to the top.  John’s Entrepreneur On Fire podcast won the “Best of iTunes” award, and once you listen, you will agree and add it to your calendar. 

3.    Brown Ambition hosted by Mandi Woodruff and Tiffany Aliche

This weekly podcast is excellent for mastering business and personal finances.  Brown Ambition breakdown everything from how to handle debt issues, business taxes, student loans and what to do with wedding gift money. Mandi Woodruff, executive editor of MagnifyMoney.com and former personal finance reporter for Yahoo Finance, and Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche, an award-winning financial educator and best-selling author of "The One-Week Budget."

4.    Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield

Amy is honest and doesn’t do or teach anything that she has not, or will not do in her own business. Amy’s Online Marketing Made Easy podcast is great for picking up nuggets for growing e-mail lists, building a social media following, and how to create content fast. 

 

Why 1 Out of Every 10 Startups Will Succeed

As a startup founder and the owner of three businesses, I know all about failure. I’ve made my fair share of really dumb mistakes throughout my career, especially in the early years; however, I’ve also been fortunate enough to learn from those mistakes and never to make them again.

And so, I’m going to share my insight on why only one out of every ten startups will succeed and make it see its second and third birthdays.

1). Strong Market Research and Target Audience Definition - The founders and business owners who have conducted the proper market research are more likely to have startups that succeed because they made sure there’s a demand for their product or service. They don’t spend weeks or months trying to guess what their market(s) want.

2). Product or Service Differentiation - Founders and businesses owners who have a product or service that’s different from the rest of the competition (it’s unique, better, or innovative), have a pretty good chance that it’ll sell, which means their businesses will probably be successful.  

3). Business and Marketing Planning - Smart founders and business owners plan each stage of their businesses. They have short-term and long-term plans including measurable goals and results. Without a plan, a business is more likely to fail.

4). Strong Leadership - Businesses with strong managers and founders do better because employees feel appreciated and, therefore motivated to perform better.

5). Scaling at the Right Time - Many business owners fail because they scale their businesses too quickly by hiring too many employees or spending too much money on marketing in the beginning. However, business owners and founders that control their growth are the ones that win.

6). Knowing the Numbers and Showing Profitability - Business owners and founders who know their numbers and show profitability are more successful than business owners who don’t a sense of their customer acquisition costs and the lifetime value of their customers. They also understand the differences between revenue and profit as well as know how to read financial statements.

7). Clear Core Values - Businesses with clear core values and communicate them through marketing are more often successful than businesses that don’t have them. Core values often times include honesty, transparency, integrity, quality, respect, among many others.

8). Business Owners/Founders are Accountable - Successful business owners and founders hold themselves accountable for their actions and write down their goals to make sure they stay on track.

9). Business Owners/Founders are Action Takers - Successful business owners and founders plan and then take action. They don’t let procrastination or perfectionism get in the way of launching a new product or service or growing their ventures.

If you’re in the 10 percent of businesses that are succeeding, we’d love to hear what you’re doing in the comment section below.