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November 2018 / 25 posts found

10 Expert Tips for Finding and Communicating with Your Ideal Customers

by Manuela
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Your marketing plan is only going to be effective if you’re able to bring in customers who are actually relevant. So you need to set up systems for finding ideal customers and bringing in new leads that are tailored to fit your specific audience. Here are tips from members of the online small business community for finding your ideal customers and improving your marketing communication strategy. Get More Genuine Leads with Your Website In order to grow your customer base, you need to bring new leads to your website. But the only way that’s actually going to make an impact [...]

5 Steps for Aligning Marketing and Sales in your Small Business

by Manuela
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Whether you’re an entrepreneur just starting out or you’ve been leading a business for a while, you understand that sales is key to growth. You don’t have to have all the answers to everything before you start your business, but if you can consistently close sales, you can buy yourself time to figure everything else out and scale for the future. To do this, your sales reps probably rely on a variety of tools and productivity hacks to help them get more done. But if you’re not also using content marketing to help, you’re missing out on a major opportunity. In fact, the right [...]

10 Golden Rules Of Personal Branding

by Manuela
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Oprah Winfrey, the chief executive officer of Oprah Winfrey Network LLC, has defined her own powerhouse personal brand over the years. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg Creating a personal brand can be a daunting, mythical task. And one of the easiest ways to get lost in the process is to not know where to start. Even Oprah Winfrey began by going through several style iterations on a small local show before defining her voice into one of the most influential personal brands in the world. In both our look-at-me cultural shift and evolving job market, it’s both helpful and necessary to [...]

3 Tips for Evaluating the Commercial Potential of Your New Startup Idea

by Manuela
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By Amy Shim Entrepreneurs have a keen eye for innovation, but that doesn’t always translate into a gift for market research. As a result, many startups suffer from fundamentally misguided assumptions about the potential profitability of their business ventures. In fact, 70 to 80% of companies that do not meet their projected return on investment end up failing, an outcome that many entrepreneurs only realize after burning through large amounts of capital and time. This disconnect is generally a consequence of proximity to an invention. As the creator of a service or product, it can be easy to wear blinders [...]

Can a ‘Subscribe and Save’ Model Increase Your Small Business Revenue?

by Manuela
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Many businesses have started offering a “subscribe and save” feature, which allows customers to receive a product at regular intervals, rather than making a simple one-time purchase. Amazon was one of the earliest adopters of this feature in its modern format, but it has since spread among major online retailers and small companies alike. The idea is fairly simple: Give customers both a one-time purchase option, and the option to “subscribe” to a specific product, receiving it weekly, monthly, or even semi-annually, in a specified quantity. Usually the subscription feature comes with a discount per product, so consumers are incentivized [...]

The Surprising Business Trend That Could Make You a Better Leader

by Manuela
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In recent years, one of the surprising trends has been the rise of mindfulness in the workplace. Many business leaders are turning away from the traditional stereotypical mindset of “hard-charging, aggressive, workaholic business person” and are seeking a softer, calmer, gentler, and more generous and peaceful approach of mindfulness.  Mindfulness means different things to different people. Some business leaders are using meditation or mindfulness apps to help them stay focused and calm throughout the day; other business leaders are doing yoga or using a daily spiritual practice to help them keep their minds clear and centered. But whatever mindfulness means [...]

This Entrepreneur Shares The Formula He Used To Create Several Billion Dollar Companies

by Manuela
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Kevin Ryan is one of those startup titans, that when anyone hears he is raising money for a new company, they want it. With over $700M in capital raised, across 40 plus fundraising rounds and one of his exits going to Google for a cool $3B, he knows a thing or two about the startup game. In fact, he is considered one of the godfathers of the NYC startup ecosystem. I had the great pleasure of an exclusive interview with Kevin Ryan in one of our recent episodes of the Dealmakers Podcast. He was incredibly generous and transparent in sharing [...]

93% of Marketers Say Video Has Brought New Customers

by Manuela
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How big is the impact of video in today’s digital environment? According to a new report by Animoto, 93% of marketers say video is responsible for landing them a new customer. When it comes to consumers and social media, video is first with everything else coming in second. This essentially means brands and marketers have to take a video-first approach when they are looking to reach their audience on social media. As small businesses increase their digital presence with social media, video has to play a bigger role. Because video consumption will only grow in the coming years as 5G [...]

6 Ways to Leverage Email to Increase Sales

by Manuela
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By Sujan Patel Email can be one of the most powerful tools in a salesperson’s arsenal, but only if it’s wielded appropriately. If you’ve tried cold sales email campaigns before but had lackluster results, don’t assume that your emails themselves were to blame. It could be that you haven’t yet hit on the correct combination of variables to effectively leverage email as part of your sales process. Whether you’re in this position, or you’d simply like to improve the performance of the emails you’re currently sending, read on for six tips to help improve your sales email results. 1. Make video [...]

What SMBs Must Know to Join the AI Revolution

by Manuela
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It comes as no surprise that nearly three-quarters of small and midsize businesses (SMB) will invest in software and apps over the next year, according to this June 2018 Vistage survey. But would you have guessed that — along with CRM — artificial intelligence (AI) tops the list of technologies that SMBs are planning to invest in? Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer at Vistage, attended Dreamforce ‘18 to discuss the whats, hows, and whys of AI for small and medium-sized businesses in a session titled, “Customer Insights: How AI Is Revolutionizing SMBs Today”. Joe was joined on stage by Admir Hadziabulic, Director of Support Services at HCSS, [...]

How to Create a Financial Business Plan

by Manuela
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A financial business plan is essential to help your small business. These important documents are put together to help your business plan for the future. Make no mistake. This part of your business plan might look like accounting but a financial business plan is designed to look forward. Here’s how to put one of these plans together. Important Parts of a Financial Business Plan First off, it’s important to remember these don’t necessarily follow any kind of sequence. Although they include profit and loss statements, a balance sheet and cash flow statements, you might jump back and forth when you [...]

Asking These 3 Questions Will Improve Your Small Business Financial Management

by Manuela
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What does financial management at leading, growing businesses look like — right now? Today’s fast growth businesses often require CFOs to work closely with the controller to ensure that the organization gets the full benefit of the controller’s talents and knowledge and, the controller’s office is operating at the highest levels of efficiency and accuracy. As the office of the controller becomes ever more strategic — creating higher levels of financial visibility to help drive growth and profitability — the organization’s relationship to the controller role must evolve as well. Boost your Small Business Financial Management with these Questions How long does [...]

How to Start a Business in 30 Days

by Manuela
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There are a lot of steps that go into starting a business. It can seem overwhelming to try to tackle them all at once, but it with a few simple tools and this 30-day roadmap, you’ll have everything you need to lay the groundwork for a thriving, profitable business. We’ll cover everything: validating your business idea, writing a business plan, seeking funding, and setting up accounting tools, and setting goals and milestones. Remember: you don’t need any “special” training to run a business. You just need an idea, a good plan, the desire to learn and adapt, and the ability [...]

Where to Promote Your Content to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck

by Manuela
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A robust content promotion strategy has become a non-negotiable element of a successful content marketing plan. Simply throwing your articles out into the social jungle doesn’t yield much. Go ahead, pop on over to Twitter or Facebook and search for the terms you’re targeting. It’s a wasteland of content that people put time into with little to no engagement. If you’re putting your own content online — you probably know this already. Some businesses choose not to keep their social accounts updated, or even worse, many choose to stop creating content. Where to Promote Content If that’s you, stick around. [...]

5 Things We Entrepreneurs Should Be Truly Thankful For

by Manuela
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Whether or not you plan to go into a turkey coma this month or not, it’s always worthwhile to use the Thanksgiving holiday as a reminder to reflect on what’s going great in your life, and to count the things you’re thankful for. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 12 years, and I would never trade it in for being an employee again, even if my salary was quadrupled. If you’re an entrepreneur like me, here are five things we both can be grateful for: 1. You’ll never have another crazy boss again I think we all have stories about bad [...]

Why You Should Update Your Business Plan Regularly to Drive Growth

by Manuela
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I started an insurance agency two years ago. I had some friends who were all very successful in the industry, which led me to think that I would be blessed with the same fortune. My business was in a highly competitive industry, rated as one of the best industries to start a new business in. Around 58 percent of businesses in the insurance sector survive longer than four years. Things went well in the beginning, but just as I approached my first year, business started to slow down dramatically. It was like my business came to a halt. The problem: Insufficient [...]

How to Build a Successful eCommerce Brand

by Manuela
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Starting an eCommerce business is the best option for entrepreneurs who have been sitting on an idea for years and would like to know if it is profitable. While there are still risks, the money that you will shell out is not as big as when you open a brick and mortar shop. At the same time, digital marketing has opened up avenues which you can leverage so that your online shop has a fighting chance. However, the biggest misconception people have about eCommerce marketing is that all it takes are keywords, social media, and lots of article writing. These [...]

25 Crafts to Make and Sell for Profit

by Manuela
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Making and selling crafts can be a fun and lucrative way to make money, providing you’re making crafts that people want to buy. Crafts to Make and Sell for Profit If you’re wanting to put your craft-making talent to best use, take a look at the following 25 crafts to make and sell for profit. Beaded Bracelets Beaded bracelets are easy to make. Sets of beads of a diverse range of shapes, colors and sizes are inexpensive to buy and are lapped up by consumers of all ages, looking to purchase funky and inexpensive jewelry. Mosaic picture frames Mosaic picture [...]

Here’s An Interview Question To Test If Candidates Are Problem Solvers Or Problem Bringers

by Manuela
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Problem bringers bring problems because it’s how they’re attitudinally wired to behave. Getting these low performers to change isn’t easy, and while coaching instead of managing when employees bring you problems is the best approach to take, wouldn’t it be easier to avoid hiring problem bringers in the first place? Identifying low performers during the interview process requires asking questions that probe for the truth about attitude and that don’t tip off even the savviest of job seekers as to the desired answers. One interview question that separates problem bringers from problem solvers is: “Could you tell me about a [...]

Level Up Your Social and Content Marketing with These Expert Tips

by Manuela
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Chances are, you already have some kind of content marketing or social media strategy for your business. But how much of an impact are your posts actually making? If you want to step it up a bit, it helps to get input from the experts. Here, see what members of the online small business community have done to take their own social and content marketing to the next level. Drive Traffic with Video Marketing Video is one way to take your content marketing to the next level. But you need to produce high quality video content that provides value to [...]

7 Marketing Trends To Budget For In 2019

by Manuela
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While many of us in mid-November are thinking about the upcoming holidays, travel plans, and quality time with loved ones, business and marketing leaders are crunching the numbers and having tough discussions about their budgets for the new year before 2018 comes to a close. As you’re looking back at the year’s successes and (let’s face it) shortcomings, it’s important to look ahead to what the marketing industry as a whole has in store in the near future and to seek out new opportunities to engage your audience. To help, here are seven marketing trends that leaders should consider as [...]

61 Percent of Small Businesses Didn’t Create a Budget in 2018

by Manuela
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A new survey from Clutch just revealed close to two thirds or 61% of small businesses didn’t have an official documented budget for 2018. This problem is more prevalent with businesses that have 1 to 10 employees as 74% in this group did not create an official budget. The number goes down to 21% for businesses with more than 10 employees, a difference of more than 50 percentage points. The data from the Clutch survey shows growing companies have come to understand the importance of creating a budget, while many small businesses still don’t have a full appreciation of the [...]

33 Percent of Americans Say Fear of Failure in Business Holds Them Back

by Manuela
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Entrepreneurs are a brave bunch because they have to put it all on the line when they go at it on their own. But are there countries where entrepreneurs are more fearless about taking the plunge — or more fearful to the point where they never get started on that great business idea? Fear of Failure in Business A new infographic from GraphicSprings provides insight with some surprising results, including Americans ending up in the middle of the pack when it comes to fear of failure when starting a business. The data for the infographic comes from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor [...]

Five Steps Small Businesses Should Take to Conq…

by Manuela
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With the holiday season right around the corner, small business owners know it’s time to kick things up a notch. Especially with Black Friday and Cyber Monday only weeks away, this time of year is simply much too lucrative to do things halfway.   Consider this: according to the National Retail Federation, the average American consumer plans on spends 4.1 percent more this year during holidays – and that is on top of the extra they spent last year.   People are getting ready to shop, and so we need to make it easy for them to do so at [...]

What is Augmented Reality and How Can it Help Your Small Business Today?

by Manuela
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Augmented Reality (AR) describes the practice of providing an enhanced version of reality in which the physical world is augmented with technology, namely superimposed computer-generated images, thereby creating a composite view of the real world. What is Augmented Reality? Unlike Virtual Reality, which produces computer-generated environments we can be immersed in and interact with, Augmented Reality adds, or augments, reality. By augmenting reality, AR generates the experience of a new, bolder natural world. With AR becoming increasingly feasible for businesses, financially and otherwise, this technology presents a number of promising opportunities for small businesses. Using AR to Get More Customers [...]