let's talk about it
enjoy as our bloghers dish on the latest in marketing, business, and social media.
For those that need to hear it today, you've got this! Don't measure your successes by what others are doing and what you see online. Work at your own pace, listen to your customers/clients and deliver the best possible product or service you can. Understand that what's for you is and will be for you. Now roll up your sleeves, suck it up and go kick some ass!
This is it. The moment you've been waiting for, training for, and wanting for quite some time. It's time now to check "Entrepreneurship" off your bucket-list and live your life like most won't dare. Press the launch button on that website, publish on your social media profiles, start attending those network events, and get yourself out there and sell yourself and your products or services. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments!! I'm not going to ramble, because you have work to do.
Remember to study your niche industry leaders as things are always changing. Take your time and be patient as no one became a success and made it stick overnight. Lean on your support system of other entrepreneurs, friends and loved ones who support your dreams. Be everywhere your customers are. Remember people don't buy products, they buy people. Again, congratulations on taking the first step to living your best life. Welcome to entrepreneurship, grasshopper!
Welcome back y'all! When I say we're just one step away from launching your business, I mean it! One step and you will have officially launched your own business. You, an entrepreneur!! I love the way that sounds. So let's check to ensure we have everything already lined up and ready to go.
By this time you should have already secured or completed:
Now, that you've done all that it's time to present yourself as a business owner. Time to check out industry/niche network events, workshops, and mixers to attend to establish connections. Dress in your business best, bring plenty of business cards and breath mints (yes, those are necessary), have at least 3 opener questions ready, and refine your elevator pitch. Opener questions? Elevator pitch? When networking, it is important that you make those you meet feel as if the conversation is about them. Start with questions such as, "how long have you been in the industry", "how long have you attended this event", "what do you think about (use topic relating to topic of event or industry happenings-stay away from religion and politics). Rule of thumb here is to listen more than you speak. While you're listening, try to remember at least three things about them as you will use them later in your follow-up email within 24 hours. The elevator pitch is important as people will want to know about you and your brand. Have the important pieces about your brand and who you are, how long you've been in business, what you do and why you do it sewn together in a nice 30 second speech. Remember to speak clearly and not to fast so they won't lose interest.
In addition to attending network events, join professional organizations that are designed to increase your awareness, networking and add to the possibility of forming strategic partnerships. Create a LinkedIn profile with your best professional head shot and fill in the pertinent information to establish yourself as your brand's authority. Sign up for online platforms such as Alignable in your area to network online with other business owners in your neighborhood.
Whew, today we're going to dive into our favorite topic (for obvious reasons)! Marketing is the practice of promoting and selling a product of service. marketer's job is essentially making your target audience aware of who you are what you offer of value, where you are, and why they should patron your brand. Marketing includes target market research and advertising and is vital to the survival of business. One cannot simply expect to go into business and not spread the word about what they have to offer and expect customers in droves. Look beyond your immediate circle when marketing your business as oftentimes, they aren't your target audience anyway.
Good day all, welcome back! We hope this blog post finds you doing well and ready to take one step closer to launch your business. Don't you like the sound of that? Your Business...Any-who, let's discuss branding and why it is essential in business.
According to Entrepreneur.com, branding is defined as the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. Your logo, colors, identity, values, and mission all play a part in your branding strategy. When thinking about your favorite restaurant, what comes to mind. Is it their logo, decor, other identifying traits, signature dish, or customer service.?
Make no mistake, branding differs from marketing. Marketers' soul job is to bring awareness to your brand by letting them know who you are, how to access you, why they should patron your business, what they should feel when using your products or services. When designing your brand strategy, include the following elements:
Think of companies such as Apple, Coca Cola, Tiffany's, McDonald's, Acura when crafting your brand strategy. Mull over what stands out to you about each brand, how do you perceive them, what do you immediately identify with, how do you feel when using these brands? If you keep these questions at the forefront when planning with your team, you will be sure to create a noteworthy brand. We assist business owners with building their brands from the ground up and it is by far, one of the best parts of our jobs. When you're around town and see them on billboards, commercials, on the radio, or hear someone talk about them by their identifying traits, how they feel, etc--you know you've done your job.
We're almost to our launch point with three more posts to go and we can't be more excited! Catch us here Friday afternoon as we discuss our favorite topic of marketing. Should you need assistance or have questions before then, please email us at email@example.com. See you soon.
Hey Y'all! Good day and welcome back! We're back at it today discussing insurance necessary to protect both yourself and your brand. Whether you operate your business from home or have a store front, are a freelance photographer, or event planner being proactive and insuring your business, products and services, ensures you are protected from instances that may arise. It's better to be proactive and protected, than sued and sorry later.
Types of Business Insurance:
You made it back! We're excited for each and every one of you who has decided to stick with it and see the journey through. Entrepreneurship is definitely not for the faint at heart. This week we will focus on accounting and ensuring you have your financial ducks in order. Forget about throwing the receipts in a shoe box and keeping record in your head. You need a serious and convenient system that will allow you to track your expenses, invoices, and earnings in order to be organized come tax time. There are several apps that allow record keeping to include Shoeboxed, Evernote, Mint, Quickbooks, and Wave.
Our favorite of the list, would have to be Wave. Having moved from a previous accounting system we opted to give Wave a try and have used it every sense. Here are a few features that wave offers that we absolutely love:
Wave has made it so much easier for us to stop scanning each receipt, logging them manually into Google Sheets and printing them out for our CPA every April. All we do now is download the information and email it to her for quick and painless accounting and tax preparation. Oh and did we mention it's FREE? We would have to say out of all the features, we especially like the invoicing option. With the option to schedule invoices whether current or recurring, we can set it and forget it once a month to ensure we are being paid. There's a cool option that allows you to send automatic reminders to clients that an invoice is due or past due. It is also convenient with sending our clients their payment statements so they can keep up with their accounting as well.
Accounting is definitely something that you want to keep track of. We schedule one day out of the month to review our books, receipts, invoices, and accounts to ensure everything has been entered and is above board. There's nothing worse than not being on top of your business finances. If you keep organized books, archive your receipts, and find an account software that works best for your business, you will alleviate most of the headache during tax time.
What accounting apps or software have you used or plan to use for your business? See you here next week as we discuss Business Credit-why it's important and how to build it. For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by: Brittany J. P. Reese
When I started working on my first website, I researched, researched, researched. I felt the more information I knew about building and launching a website, the better. However, the more I learned and the more I researched, the more I felt it would take fifty million years to launch!!! There were so many elements, and I just knew I would have to acquire a PhD before I could understand them all - things like coding, graphic design, content, SEO optimization, etc. Considerably a beginner in the world of web design at the time, I understood the concepts individually. The problem was, I didn’t understand how to link them together. How do I combine these elements? In what order do I implement these skills? Where is the starting point? Also, if I would have had to learn to code, who knows how long it would have taken me to launch my first site. No one who wants to make money NOW has that kind of time. The market is calling for the things you’re offering. You must answer the call! After a little trial, error, and correction, I’ve figured out how to launch a functional and profitable website in just 24hours.
My partners and I have developed The Ultimate Guide to Build a Website in 24hrs to help anyone, especially beginner web designers and new entrepreneurs, build and launch a functional website in just 24hours. This will give you a clear and focused plan. The devil is in the details. This guide will help you avoid the stress so that you are successful.
From that guide, let’s talk about your foundation. Where are you hosting your site? Your web host needs to provide many things. First they need to be affordable. Affordability is important to an up and coming entrepreneur. You want to keep your overhead expenses as low as possible so you aren’t drowning in bills before you turn a profit. Your web host should also provide website builder options that offer attractive and user-friendly features. Drop and drag or plug-and-play are ideal. This allows even the most inexperienced web designer to look like a pro. It also eliminates the need to learn extensive coding. These user-friendly features are even more crucial if you are trying to launch an ecommerce site. The last thing a newbie wants to do is have to figure out how to code a shopping cart into his or her site.
In a team meeting at the top of the year, we had all of our associates compose a list of their top 3 favorite web hosting sites and tell why the site made the list. Here are the top 3 most popular sites chosen by our associates and a few reasons why they chose them.
Choose wisely. Your web host is your foundation. Build your website with a strong supportive structure, one that can withstand changes in your content, your products, and in the industry.
Hey y'all, welcome back! You are one week closer to opening your business and I am excited to walk with you on this journey. Today we'll discuss a topic that plagues many of us: employees. Should you hire them? Full or part time? How many? Outsource? Temp? What benefits to offer? Compensation? The list goes on and on. We'll touch briefly on each topic just to get your mind going about which direction you should take. Take it from me, you cannot be all and everything in your business. You cannot handle it all. You will need help, I encourage you to build a team that helps to elevate the stress and strain of opening a business.
When starting out, funds can be very limited and employees may not be high on your list of things to do or consider, but you should consider it early on. Before looking to hire your first employee look into your state's employment laws, programs available for first time business owners, tax credits, and workshops available to help sort through it all.
Look to your local college and universities for eager students looking to get their feet wet in their desired industries, not to mention earn college credit. Contact the department chair of your industry with your requirements and internship program specifications for distribution.
Before accepting your first intern, it is important to interview them and lay out the particulars of the program.
Outsourcing has become a way of businesses to share the load of the grunt work. Accounting, social media, copy writing, web design, marketing, visuals and other design work, collateral, and so much more can be outsourced. Websites such as Fiverr, Guru, Outsource, and even certain Facebook groups are available to assist with your daily tasks. My philosophy is, if it's outside of your wheelhouse, hire out.
Full vs. Part-Time
Here's where things get hairy and you much research your options. Start by visiting your state's employment commission or labor department to see what laws are governed in your state to ensure you are not in violation. Because of budget, most businesses opt to hire at least one part-time employee, averaging 20 or so hours a week helping in various tasks. Full-time employees are mostly added after the business becomes more stable and has the means to provide benefits, a competitive compensation package. The Department of Labor is a great source for information that covers benefits, sick leave, reporting, leave, schedules, family and medical leave.
Temp agencies can be a great option to turn towards when considering employees. If you're looking to hire help on contract or temporarily check with reputable agencies that will screen their candidates and take care of all the particulars. Also look at programs that offer jobs to veterans, single mothers, rehabilitated ex-convicts, adults with special needs, etc for assistance.
Here are some resources to consult:
Department of Labor: www.dol.gov
Interrnal Revenue Servce: www.irs.gov
Affordable Care Act: www.healthcare.gov
Small Business Administration: www.sba.gov
Meet us here again next week as we move further into Opening Your Business. If you have any questions, please reach out to us via email@example.com.