what is an entrepreneur

What is an Entrepreneur? A Complete Guide

Jun 15, 2018

People use the word ‘entrepreneur’ all the time. But what is an entrepreneur?

It’s often used without even thinking about what we mean.

Most people can agree that it has something to do with business and being innovative. But after that, it’s probably quite difficult to find any consensus.

If you want to find out more about what entrepreneurship is, check out our complete guide.

What is an Entrepreneur?

The word ‘entrepreneur’ is originally French.

It was first used by the economist, Jean-Baptiste Say in 1803. He chose to define entrepreneurial as someone who “shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield”.

But nowadays it’s often associated with the tech-savvy people in Silicon Valley. It retains its market disrupting origins though.

However, entrepreneurs are not exclusively from the tech industry. The modern-day entrepreneur wants to change the world and solve problems.

Most of the time this is through business, such as the invention of a new product that transforms our lives.

But what are the characteristics of someone who is entrepreneurial today?

What Does it Mean to Be an Entrepreneur?

Let’s take a look at some of the most important characteristics that contribute to making someone an entrepreneur.

1. Be Passionate About What They Do

Most entrepreneurs have a deep passion for what they do.

They believe in the power of business to transform the world. Rather than simply as a way to make money.

They wake up in the morning with fresh ideas and a drive to achieve their goals for the day.

2. Determination to Achieve

Many people assume that entrepreneurs are just lucky because everything always goes well for them. But many successful entrepreneurs underwent many challenges and problems along the way.

Obstacles are simply part of life. The important thing is how you react to events. You need to pull yourself up again and keep going. Entrepreneurs are determined when faced with anything.

3. Resourceful and Inventive

Most entrepreneurs start out with limited resources. It’s important to make the most of what you already have.

This means taking advantage of your network and connections. Make use of the skills and knowledge you already have while gaining new skills.

4. Open to New Ideas

Entrepreneurs often have amazing ideas. But it’s the ability to be open to another people’s ideas that really makes someone stand out. You have to be able to identify when someone has a better idea than you do.

Entrepreneurs can’t afford to get hung up on a particular idea. Instead, they recognize that there is a market of ideas out there, it’s important to select the best one.

5. Fast Learner

There are no two ways about it, entrepreneurs are smart people. They can learn things really fast.

Entrepreneurs learn as much as they can from the people around them. Their minds work like sponges, soaking all the information and wisdom up from the people around them.

Become an Entrepreneur

Now you know the answer to what is an entrepreneur?

It’s time to decide whether you think you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur? Do you identify with the above characteristics of entrepreneurship?

To find out more about entrepreneurship, check out our other blog posts on this topic and much more.

tech entrepreneur

How to Become a Tech Entrepreneur, Even If You Don’t Know Anything

May 25, 2018

With nearly $50 billion in investment capital being devoted to startups every year, there’s money out there for every kind of wild idea. If you love the tech industry, you might be interested in becoming a tech entrepreneur. Fortunately for investors without a computer science degree, don’t even have to know how to code to get involved.

If you’re excited to get involved with the tech world, follow these 4 tips to get started with your new project.

1. Find Your Niche

Finding your niche is essential to knowing what kind of project you want to put your time into. While you might be told about a million dollar idea, if you aren’t passionate about it, every day will be a slog.

You’re better off sinking your time into something that might be less lucrative but will feel more rewarding.

If you care about health and wellness, work on something related to that industry. While you could make more money on a tech-savvy solution to cryptocurrency trading, if that’s not exciting to you, it’sn not worth your time.

2. Think About Your Investment Potential

Whether you’re talking about time or money, you need to be realistic about what kinds of resources you can commit to this new project. Being a tech entrepreneur isn’t all glamorously rewarding. Much of it will entail serious focus, long nights planning and rewriting proposals, with the endless drafting of emails and presentations.

If you end up neglecting your family or other work commitments, it’s not worth the investment. If you end up having to refinance your home to keep the company afloat, you should seek out other ways to get in the tech world.

3. Look For Mentors

No one should navigate the tech world alone. You don’t need to waste time trying to reinvent the wheel or repeat someone else’s mistakes. A mentor can help to guide you through the minefield of being an entrepreneur and help you get a leg up.

Mentors should be people who you respect and look up to. They should be people who can give you harsh criticism that you respect and will take honestly. They should also be able to speak honestly without being hurtful or obstructing your desire to create.

4. Seek Out Talent

Once you’re sure of the kind of project you’re looking to get involved in, you need to figure out how to find talent. Finding talented people is essential to building a great product.

You don’t need to know what good code looks like but you need to know what it’s like to speak with a good coder.

A Savvy Tech Entrepreneur Needs Balance

Even the best tech entrepreneur knows when to invest their time and when to pull back. You need to give the people you work with time to make mistakes and also the room to experiment. Every great project goes through a process of trial and error.

If you’re working on building your new entrepreneurial marketing plan, check out our guide to make sure yours is a hit.

entrepreneurial marketing

How to Dominate Your Entrepreneurial Marketing Plan

May 8, 2018

It’s never been easier to launch a business.

The amount of resources available to entrepreneurs is unparalleled. The ability to reach your audience is literally at your finger tips, thanks to the democratizing effects of social media.

It’s also never been easier to be lost in a crowd. Despite the quality of your work, the professionalism of your services, that same social network that offers you opportunity can easily overwhelm your voice, casting you into the depths.

What’s needed then, to stay afloat, is the right approach: a plan of action that parts the waves.

What you need is an entrepreneurial marketing plan.

Keep reading to learn the core concepts your business needs to follow to succeed.

Be Flexible

There was a time where you could schedule out a full-year plan. Quarterly assessments would allow for adjustments, but you were essentially on a long-term plan.

Our world moves faster than that.

Any strategies you implement need to be assessed regularly and adjusted as necessary. You can’t afford to commit to a long-term plan that isn’t working. The market is too competitive.

How do you know if an approach works? Try it. Results can be monitored in real-time, offering the data you need to evaluate your approach.

Not everything you try will work, and that’s okay. Failing is how we learn what succeeds. The difference is being able to adjust.

It’s All About the Customer Experience

The best product in the world can fail if an inferior product offers a better experience.

Humankind is funny. We’ll often choose what’s easy at the sacrifice of what’s better. Fast food is often less nutritious than a home cooked meal, but a billion burgers sold is its own argument.

That’s not to say that you should produce anything other than your best. Instead, it’s to remind you that it’s the experience of the customer that will determine what succeeds and what doesn’t.

Know Your Strengths

There are a several platforms to have a presence on, but that doesn’t mean you should be on all of them.

Choose the platforms that a) you’re comfortable with, and b) make sense for your brand.

It’s better to dominate your entrepreneurial marketing on just a few platforms, than to be a less cohesive presence on multiple platforms.

Customers can pick up on insincerity. If you come across as trying too hard, you’ll turn off both existing and potential customers.

That being said, if there’s an area you know where your market is, but you lack the necessary know-how or skills, hire someone to do it for you.

Don’t waste your time on what you’re not good at. Your time is too valuable. Assess whether it’s worth the effort, and, if it is, get someone with the right strengths to execute it for you.

A Last Word On Entrepreneurial Marketing

There are a million fine details when it comes to marketing your business. Thousands and thousands of words have been spilled recommending specific approaches and angles to take.

However, simply adopting the above concepts and practicing them regularly will allow you to dominate your entrepreneurial marketing strategy, allowing your business to succeed.

For more information regarding entrepreneurship, check out the rest of the blog.

entrepreneurial opportunities

How to Recognize Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Apr 18, 2018

What do businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs all have in common?

They’re all looking for the next best thing. They all want to get into a market before everyone else is also teeming to jump in.

Bad business opportunities can be discouraging and costly, so here are 4 ways to recognize good entrepreneurial opportunities.

What Makes Great Entrepreneurial Opportunities?

Well, that depends. Which field are you trying to enter?

Is it technology, medicine, website acquisitions, retail, etc.? Determine which category interests you, and that will help you narrow down the exact skills required within that field.

There are several ways to recognize great entrepreneurial opportunities no matter the field, and we list the top 4 below.

1. Stay Up-To-Date With Technology

Science and technology are on the top 10 list of fastest growing industries in the United States. You have to stay updated on inventions, cutting-edge technology, and see their potential in the market to succeed in the industry.

Even if you are not primarily focused on the field of technology, you absolutely need to stay in the loop concerning helpful technological innovations. These can help you not only discover new opportunities, but also succeed once you begin pursuing them.

I know it can seem intimidating at first, but once you discover these programs and how to navigate them, they can make a world of difference in your growing business.

2. Become an Expert

To sell something, you really need to know it.

You need to learn all about its strengths, weaknesses, and potential growth opportunities within whatever industry you ultimately decide to enter. Only with that knowledge can you predict the market and your product.

You absolutely do not want to be ignorant when a potential client or customer asks you a question, so stay knowledgeable on the topic.

3. The Product or Service Will Meet Consumer Needs

When you first stumble upon innovative opportunities, it’s easy to be so excited that you forget to ask the most basic question of business: does this product or service meet a need?

Ask the people around you if they think your product meets a need, and try Google Consumer Surveys to target your intended audience and gauge their opinions on the idea.

Is there already a competitor in the field? If so, are they meeting the needs of their base, or is there an opportunity to greatly improve?

4. The Timing Works Great for You and the Market

Amazing entrepreneurial opportunities will appear when both you and the market are ready for a big leap.

First and foremost, you should be in a location or have a location perfect for the opportunity. Plus you should have the resources to help the business succeed. This is the time to find business partners, investors, and other people and resources to help you pursue your goal.

Further, the market should be in a state where your business thrives. For some, this doesn’t always mean a booming market in your field, so take the time to research the market and a consumer’s ability to eventually purchase your product or service.

Final Thoughts

New, exciting entrepreneurial opportunities emerge all of the time.

It’s up to your keen eye, your location, and your availability of resources to determine which opportunity would yield the greatest chance of success.

To find out more, check out our blog for valuable information on business, entrepreneurship, and advertising.

why entrepreneurship

Why Entrepreneurship is Not for Everyone

Apr 4, 2018

The Harvard Business Review referenced a study conducted by New York University on why entrepreneurship aspirations in college students dropped by 85% after participating in a summer business camp.

Over the course of the camp, students got an up-close-and-personal look at the ins and outs of being a business owner. The pitfalls, the risk, the struggle, and the deferred rewards.

Tasting the reality of owning a business versus just paying attention to the seductive idea of it put things into perspective for these students. If you’re thinking of becoming a business owner, you should follow their example.

Why Entrepreneurship Isn’t for Everyone

There is a common misconception that becoming an entrepreneur is the end-all-be-all of being successful. “If you’re clocking in and out of an office every day, it’s only because you don’t have the gusto to make it on your own.”

That idea is untrue.

The reality of owning your own business exposes you to incredible risk on a daily basis. You’re always plugged into it, possibly not getting to enjoy being off work by 6 pm or having weekends off.

If something goes wrong with your business, you’re on call.

But if you view the idea of needing to be plugged into your business not as a bad thing, but as something that’s empowering in that it speaks to your importance, you aren’t alone.

Many entrepreneurs feel that their constant attention means the opportunity pour every bit of their passion and expertise into their work. That’s not something you’ll always find when working for a separate company. If you share that feeling, keep reading.

Having More Money Versus Having No Money

A lot of people feel that the only way to make good money is by becoming a business owner when in reality, over half of small businesses fail by their fifth year, often leaving in their wake financial hardship.

When you consider that reason as to why entrepreneurship can be difficult financially compared to working a typical job where paychecks are consistent, the value of working for somebody else seems clear on the surface.

Looking below the surface however, consistency in pay often means stagnation. When working for somebody else you are at the mercy of your manager for a raise. When you own your own business, you are at the mercy of yourself.

Entrepreneurs embrace the idea that while risk is substantially higher as a business owner, the sky is the limit on returns.

Those Are Just a Couple of Reasons Why Entrepreneurship Isn’t for Everyone

Other frequently cited reasons in addition to the points outlined above include:

  • Lack of recognition for your efforts
  • Lack of teamwork if you’re a “solo-preneur”
  • Lack defined structure in your day

If you look at those points and think to yourself that you don’t need recognition to stay inspired, that if you work hard a team will follow, and that you enjoy crafting your own structure – business ownership may suit you.

What’s the Main Reason You Should Become an Entrepreneur?

People should become entrepreneurs if they see no other alternative that could truly fulfill them.

If building a business is a burning desire you have in your heart, then go for it. Do it for the passion first and the rewards second.

Remember, if you’re looking for money there are easier ways than entrepreneurship to find it.

If you’re looking for recognition there are easier ways than entrepreneurship to get it.

If you’re looking for success there are easier ways than entrepreneurship to go about it.

But if you’re not looking for easy and are a builder at heart, brace yourself. Creating a business can be an incredible challenge but the rewards can be extraordinary.

For more business-related articles, read more on the Rafferty Pendery blog.

digital entrepreneur

Becoming a Digital Entrepreneur: Top 5 Tips

Mar 28, 2018

Are you thinking about quitting your job to become a digital entrepreneur? You may be onto something. The average entrepreneur in the United States earns over $170,000 a year and the opportunities to make money in the digital world are growing every day.

As attractive as this may sound, it’s far from easy. You’ll face many challenges and there will be times when you want to throw in the towel.

However, if you’re serious about your passion and are willing to put in the work, success is totally possible. These five tips will help you get started.

1. Get Your Finances in Order

Before you leave the world of traditional employment, you must get your finances in order. Pay down your debts and save up a sufficient emergency fund. This lifestyle rarely comes with a steady paycheck, so you’ll need enough of a cushion to get you through the short times.

2. Learn as Much as Possible

A great idea isn’t enough to ensure your success. Take the time to read as many books and blogs as you can and seek out the advice of those who have already succeeded at building their own digital empires.

Knowledge is power. Enroll in an online class, listen to podcasts, and talk to anybody who’s willing to share their experience.

3. Set Up Your Site

You can’t be a successful digital entrepreneur without a strong online presence. You’ll need an attractive website that’s optimized for speed. If you’re not an expert at website development, it’s well worth the money to outsource this critical task.

Once your site is live, test it to ensure it’s mobile-compatible.

Work with an SEO expert to help ensure your potential customers can find you with a simple online search.

4. Develop Your Idea

Spend some time really diving into your idea to make sure it’s viable. Use online surveys and focus groups to further narrow it down until you’re sure you’re on the right track.

Conduct online research to learn about similar products or services already on the market. Determine your appropriate price point and develop a clear profile of your ideal customer.

5. Market Life Your Life Depends on It

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is failing to market enough. You’ll need to take steps every day to boost your brand and build up your social media following. Eventually, you’ll want to go one step further by exploring other tactics like paid advertising or guerilla marketing.

A Final Piece of Advice for the Digital Entrepreneur

Once you’ve achieved success, it’s important not to rest there. Always look for ways to diversify your business and stay on top of the newest developments. The digital marketplace is constantly changing, and complacency can be your downfall.

Your new business endeavor will definitely not be easy, but it’s also likely to be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.

Are You Ready to Take Your Business to the Next Level?

Thriving as a digital entrepreneur requires constant effort. It’s not easy to stay on top of everything you need to know, and new information comes out every day.

Explore my blog to learn more about marketing, entrepreneurship, and other business topics all in one convenient location.

smart entrepreneur

Smart Entrepreneur Tips for Women Growing Their Brand

Feb 15, 2018

Are you a female entrepreneur?

Women are becoming powerful figures in the business world, but every business needs to make sales and create a reputable brand. Entrepreneurship can be scary, but women need to know tips to expand her business.

Times are changing in the business world. There are more success factors to consider than just waking up early and wearing a pants suit. Entrepreneurial success depends on your state of mind, your work ethic, and your goals.

Here are a few smart entrepreneurship tips to grow your brand.

To Be A Smart Entrepreneur Know Yourself and What You Want

This seems pretty standard, but it’s easy to lose yourself in life. When you become distracted, you begin to lose your purpose.

Always take time out of your day to think. Sit in a quiet room and think about what you want.

Feel free to write your ideas in a notebook. Think about your long-term goals but also your short-term goals. Write these down, and include any ideas on how to achieve these goals.

It’s easy to think about your clients, your business strategy, and other practical business ownership factors. But you should never lose yourself and why you started this business.

You’re Exchanging More than Money

A lot of entrepreneurs become business owners to make more money and escape the 9-to-5 lifestyle.

When their business becomes successful, they make the focus about money. This is a major mistake — a smart entrepreneur exchanges more than money.

When you communicate with clients, you’re exchanging a relationship. When a client walks into your store, they feel your energy and your presence. When you thank your client, you’re expressing empathy and giving them your heart.

If you’re only in the business of receiving, you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur. Business owners start a business to exchange. And this exchange is more than money and services.

Build Relationships

When do you truly connect with another person? This is a tough question to answer because you can connect with someone anywhere. You can meet someone at a concert, online, through a friend, or at school and work.

You won’t become best friends with every customer.

But attempt to build a lasting relationship with each customer. It’s easy for women to hold back a friendly smile or engaging conversation, especially with men. But personability may be the key to build lasting brand awareness.

Relationships don’t stop with customers.

Build relationships with your connections, employees, and investors. Always communicate with these people and find networking opportunities. By building a professional community, you’ll always have a support system.

Become a Smart Entrepreneur

Female business owners are sending a powerful message. In the wake of misogyny, women can make a difference. By being a business owner, you’re exchanging services and communicating with like-minded individuals.

Entrepreneurship isn’t about selling the best idea or creating the best products. You’re standing tall as an independent woman who’s willing to provide for customers and colleagues.

For more entrepreneurial advice, visit our resources.

entrepreneurial resources

Entrepreneurial Resources for Women to Utilize for Their Business

Feb 8, 2018

Being a woman in the business world is difficult. That said, there has never been a better time to do it. The percent of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies is still small, but it’s on the rise.

As a female entrepreneur, there are plenty of entrepreneurial resources at your disposal. Taking advantage of these groups, communities, and investors can give you a step-up on the rest of the field.

Educational Resources

For many, the first step toward successful entrepreneurship is education.

Whether it’s tech, finance, or business development, these organizations focus on empowering women through educating them on their preferred area of focus:

Women’s Business Center

With over 100 Women’s Business Center locations across the US, you’ll doubtlessly find one near you that can help grow your business.

The Small Business Administration funds these educational centers. TTheir goal is to create an even playing field for women in business.

Tory Burch Foundation

The Tory Burch Foundation gives women monetary and educational support for their business. They offer the chance to earn capital as well as offer an informative business management program for women.

If you join the Tory Burch Fellows Program, you’ll get the chance to gain support, a 10,000 reward, and the opportunity to create a pitch for a 100,000 grant.

Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women helps female entrepreneurs through education, networking, and other events. They also focus on helping women-owned businesses with $2 million in revenue grow their business as quick as possible.

Investment Opportunities

There are several foundations and organizations that help women secure investments for their company. If you come to them with a good idea and viable strategy, chances are you could walk away with some seed money.

SoGal Ventures

SoGal Ventures, as the name suggests, is a female-focused venture capital firm.

They know what it’s like for women in the business world, and want to help female-led startups with initial investments.

Female Founders Fund

The Female Founders Fund is another company that invests in businesses run by women.

This organization focuses on the technology field, so if your business falls into this category, take a look at them.

Women’s Venture Fund

Women’s Venture Fund is another of the entrepreneurial resources that help fund women-owned businesses. They assist women with advice, technical problem solving and funding.

Specifically, this organization targets women who run businesses in urban communities.

Entrepreneurial Resources for Women

There are countless entrepreneurial resources out there for women, and these are only the tip of the iceberg.

Although it can be tough to navigate the business world, there’s a long list of allies with educational resources, information, and the capital to make your dream a reality.

You don’t need to try to run your business on your own. Networking is one of the most important elements for any entrepreneur. Grow your professional circle and advance your business by using the above resources.

Want more information about anything an entrepreneur would need to know? Take a look at our blog!

innovative entrepreneurs

Tech Trends Innovative Entrepreneurs Should Invest In

Feb 1, 2018

As Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies continue to break records, just about every media outlet is calling them a surefire investment. Along with currencies, there are lots of other technology trends that are breaking new ground and becoming even more valuable.

Innovative entrepreneurs should always be looking to support other investments and ventures to diversify their wealth.

Once you’ve built a great business or product, investing in other technology can not only increase your wealth but support other tech innovators. Following tech trends is not only fun, but it can inspire new ideas for your own company and keep your products at the cutting edge of tech.

If you’re looking to start investing, check out these 5 tech trends that are making waves all over the world.

1. IT Re-Engineering Processes

As businesses grow and change, technology aids in finding new and efficient ways of completing everyday tasks. Technology solutions have revolutionized hiring, asset management, and payroll systems. Who knows what other ways the workplace can be re-engineered for the future?

By modernizing the infrastructure and architecture of IT departments, research and delivery systems can be revolutionized. Using the IT restructuring capabilities of the future, every department in just about every industry could see a boost in productivity.

2. A No-Collar Workforce

Automation and artificial technology will redefine the roles of workers in the future. While some portion of the workforce will need to be retrained to understand this technology, others could be replaced or have their roles reinvented.

There will be decades of hybrid human and machine workplace development. Innovative entrepreneurs will be on the ground floor of these developments as they happen. New HR approaches and software could help to handle a dispersed workforce and help to complete cognitive tasks in completely new ways.

3. Enterprise Data Accessibility

In every company, hours of manpower and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars are invested in data research. Understanding how all of this data can be used will continue to be a part of business development practices.

What we will see in the coming years are new ways to structure data and use it to help with automation. Machine learning takes into account vast amounts of collected data and notable errors to find ways to improve processes.

Software and hardware focusing on machine learning are a great place for entrepreneurs to start investing.

4. New Customer Experiences

The way that customers interact with products and technology will change the field of customer service. Whole industry ecosystems–take car services and taxis, for example–could be upended in new ways.

Customers could be interacting with tablets and mobile interfaces when they visit fast food restaurants. By taking control over your own ordering and customization, human error is eliminated and food waste is greatly cut back on.

Changing the customer experience can send shockwaves through every industry.

5. Augmented Reality

Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies are changing the way that users are seeing the world. By adding a layer of history, context, or marketing efforts to a virtual space, experiences of products and public space could be changed forever.

Innovative Entrepreneurs Keep Their Ear To The Ground

Understanding that the capabilities of every technology are explored through experimentation means that tech may not be fully formed when you encounter it. If you can begin to understand the possibilities for a new concept, you can begin to imagine how valuable it can be in the future.

To better understand the tech landscape, check out our guide to 5 things every tech entrepreneur should know.

brand promotion

5 Simple Brand Promotion Ideas

Oct 6, 2017

There comes a time where every business struggles to find their footing. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years, a little help goes a long way.

One of the easiest ways to get back on track is through brand promotion. Getting the word out on your brand and increasing awareness isn’t as difficult as it may sound.

Here are 5 easy examples to help you get started.

1. Create Merchandise

Every brand needs merchandise in some capacity. Yes, it’s going to bring in some extra income, but it’s about more than that.

Merchandising is an easy way to globalize your brand. Think about it, how many t-shirts do you own with a logo of a business or product? Each time you wear that t-shirt out in public, you’re advertising for that brand for free.

And merch doesn’t need to be expensive, either. It can be something as simple as a shirt or blazer to more elaborate options like tote bags or hot sauces. The more products with your business’s name, the better your brand promotion will work.

2. Hire a Brand Ambassador or Influencer

As a business owner, you’re far too busy to spend your day promoting your brand. However, there are plenty of people you can hire to help out.

The influencer and ambassador markets are booming right now. Those who use an influencer are seeing higher levels of engagement and customer response.

While it can be a bit pricey, it’s ultimately worth it. 77% of businesses who hired an influencer reported more engagement surrounding their brand.

3. Leverage Social Media

Even if you don’t know much about social media marketing, you likely know that it matters. In fact, businesses who use social media tend to do far better than their counterparts.

So what’s the reasoning behind this? Well, there are a few reasons, really.

First, it keeps your name everywhere. It’s always a good idea to make sure that your brand name is on as many sites as possible. The wider the net, the better the results.

Next, you’ll gain critical insight into customers and clients who like your business page. You’ll get access to info on everything from their age group to their region. These stats can be better used to tailor your advertising for future brand promotion.

4. Create Various Types of Content

One of the easiest methods of promotion involves creating strong content. But what’s the best solution?

A blog?

A YouTube Channel?

Social media apps?

The answer is all of the above. Switching up your content is a great way to keep things fresh. While it’s a good idea to post several times a week, make sure that you’re not just posting one type.

Variety will also keep your audience from getting bored. For example, current stats show that audiences prefer video content to traditional text. With that said, likes and dislikes change all the time.

Variety isn’t just the spice of life…it’s a great way to future-proof your brand.

5. Engage Users

Finally, make sure that your brand isn’t just a nameless entity. Get out there and start interacting with your customers. People want a face to the name, and engagement is a simple process.

Even if it’s something as small as responding to social media comments, you’re showing your audience that you care and are listening.

Audiences want to identify with your brand, so give them the ability to do so. Reach out. Ask questions. Let your audience know that you’re about more than just profits.

Get Help With Your Brand Promotion

These 5 ideas may seem simple, but they’ll do wonders for your brand. Make sure that you’re talking to your audience and giving them the content they want. Be creative and learn from both failures and successes.

If you’re looking for a bit of help, don’t be afraid to reach out! I’d love to help your brand get the recognition it deserves. I’ve been working with businesses for years and I can get the results you want.

Get in touch and let me help your brand today!

Tech Entrepreneur

5 Tips on Becoming a Successful Tech Entrepreneur

Aug 14, 2017

Do you have a great idea for a tech solution that the world needs? If so, becoming a tech entrepreneur might be the ideal career path for you!

While setting your own hours and handling all aspects of your business might sound like an exciting opportunity, the reality is that creating a new tech company from the ground up requires hard work, commitment, and a significant dedication to your craft.

Yet, while the input may be great, the good news is the reward can be even greater. In fact, venture capitalists invested more than $56 billion in startups in 2016 alone, and that number continues to rise.

So, do you want in?

Today, we’re discussing five ways to succeed as you step into the world of tech entrepreneurship.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

1. Find Passionate People

As you grow your company, your employees will quickly become the backbone of your business. As such, it’s vital to hire ones that are as enthusiastic and passionate about your solution as you are.

Steve Jobs is famously quoted as saying that when making a hiring decision at Apple, he was primarily interested in one thing — did that person love Apple?

When explaining his reasoning, Jobs said, “Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.”

As a tech entrepreneur, you may be at the helm of your business. Yet, your employees will be responsible for many of the processes that keep its gears running smoothly.

As such, you’ll want — and need — teammates that care as deeply as you do about what you’re selling.

2. Survey the Landscape

While you might think your offering is the best new idea to hit the tech market, chances are you could be up against scores of competitors offering a similar solution.

To stand out and get noticed, take a look at what’s currently being provided in your niche. Then, determine how your product or service is unique, and strive to highlight these differentiators.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and pick the brains of your industry peers, especially those with more experience than you. As you grow into your role as a tech entrepreneur, you’ll find that there’s something to be learned from everyone you meet — yes, even your competition.

So follow your passions and pursue your dreams fervently, but don’t forget to look up once in a while to see what everyone else is doing.

Studies show that sharing knowledge and communicating with other professionals is crucial for growth, though only 25% of executives are effectively doing so. Join that one-quarter and see what a difference it makes.

3. Meet a Need

You may have heard the statistic circulating around that Internet that 90% of startups fail. What’s discussed less frequently are the reasons behind this staggering figure.

The chief reason only one in 10 will succeed? Almost half (42%) of founders polled responded that there was no market need. 

This reason came in at the top, posing an even greater threat than a lack of funds (29%), a team that didn’t fit (23%) and pressure from competition (19%).

The takeaway? Even if you have all the capital you need, a stellar team, and little to no competition, if you aren’t providing a product or service that people actually need, it could be difficult to secure a spot in the tech landscape.

Today, technology allows us to create software and systems that perform all kinds of functions. From automated floss dispensers to a Bluetooth-connected toaster, there’s virtually no limit to what we can create when given the capacity.

Yet, being a tech entrepreneur requires an incredible investment of time, energy, and resources — not just from yourself, but from your team as well.

To boost your ROI and up your odds of success, pinpoint your target demographic. Then, determine what those consumers prioritize, prefer, and typically purchase.

How does your solution fit into that? If you aren’t sure, it might be time to re-evaluate your vision.

4. Manage Inputs and Outputs

Though much of being a tech entrepreneur centers on following your dream, the all-important, yet less glamorous administrative aspect cannot be overlooked.

At the end of the day, successfully managing your resources can make all the difference in succeeding and barely scraping by.

Especially in the beginning stages, every incoming dollar counts. The way you invest it back into your company is critical. To maintain the balance, you may have to get creative with the way you allocate income.

Are sky-high salaries burning a hole through your profits? Consider if you can offer lower pay but better benefits, offering employees morale-boosting incentives such as happy hours and comped meals to cut costs.

In the same vein, you’ll also be required to sharpen your time management skills. When you’re your own boss, that freedom can be incredibly liberating — and simultaneously overwhelming. 

Without set working hours, you can easily become burnt out. In fact, Gallup poll data reveals that 34% of entrepreneurs said they experienced worry “a lot of the day yesterday,” up four percentage points from all other workers. In addition, 45% experienced stress that same day, up three percentage points from the worker average.

In a nutshell, it’s important to focus not only on how you’re spending and investing your money but also your time. A successful entrepreneur will seek balance in both.

5. Plan Your Future

Before making any new move as a tech entrepreneur, make sure you have a detailed business plan in place. Creating one is crucial to making sure your company has a roadmap for the future.

Strategizing how your company will respond to changes in the market, new competition, fluctuations in profit margin, team growth, and more is a valuable first step.

As you craft your plan, be sure to account for some flexibility. What you think will work in 2017 might not be as applicable or important by 2020. In that case, sticking tight to your blueprint could do more harm than good.

Allow yourself the freedom to transition into a new phase if necessary, but build a solid foundation first. A business plan can help you get there by forcing you to put down on paper all the ideas and tangents that have been swirling in your head.

Not sure what to include in your plan? The U.S. Small Business Administration provides some helpful guidelines.

Straight from the Source: Advice from a Tech Entrepreneur

Now that you know a little more about how to succeed as a tech entrepreneur, do you still believe the path is for you? If so, I’d love to share my tips on how to navigate this rewarding, but sometimes tricky, landscape.

I provide relevant industry-related articles to help you ace the business management game. From branding strategies to social media, I’ll show you the ropes as you take each step along the journey.

To learn more, feel free to contact me and let’s connect!

co-founder

How to Know If Your Start-up Needs a Co-Founder

Jul 17, 2017

Finding success as an entrepreneur can be hard, but it’s not impossible. With the right connections and enough hard work, success can be achieved.

However, if you’re looking to ease the process a bit, consider a co-founder. A business with two founders is more likely to be successful. Having a business partner can help relax some of the start-up woes.

Before selecting a partner, you’ll want to ensure that you are choosing wisely.

Picking a business partner isn’t a decision to take lightly. Read on to learn about the benefits of a co-founder and how to pick one.

Benefits of a Co-founder

There are a number of benefits to having a business partner. Let’s discuss a few of them.

1. It becomes a team effort.

Managing the early stages of a company can be difficult. From paperwork to networking, there are an endless amount of tasks.

With a partner, you can split the workload. This makes the process much more manageable. A partnership also keeps both parties accountable.

At the same time, you both bring different experiences and knowledge to the table. When it comes to delegating tasks, it’s much easier if one of the founders has more experience than the other.

2. More networking opportunities.

Having connections as a start-up is a must.

As time passes, you’ll have new questions and face new challenges. On your own, you only have your network to consult.

With a business partner, there is another network to tap into. Having two communities for support can make all the difference.

3. One on one support.

Building a business requires plenty of outside support.

With a business partner, you’ll get more personalized help. You’ll receive the benefit of having someone who is on the journey with you.

Ideally, your co-founder will be there to support you and to guide business decisions.

What to Look for in a Business Partner

Once you’ve decided to seek a business partner, don’t take the decision lightly. Your choice can make or break your startup.

When selecting a partner, keep this information in mind:

Your business partner should fill in gaps.

Take a look at your background. What experience or knowledge are you missing? The co-founder you choose should provide what you are lacking.

Maybe you have an MBA, but have no technical knowledge. Your business partner will need to bring technical experience to the table.

Think with the future in mind.

As an entrepreneur, making business decisions is vital. Every decision you make should consider the future. The business partner you choose should be one that makes sense in the long run.

Do your personalities mesh? Do you trust this person? Can you envision long-term business with him/her?

Answer these questions before making your decision.

Business 101 from an Experienced Professional

Are you looking to learn about entrepreneurship? Want to add to your business knowledge? If so, check out Rafferty Pendery.

We offer a wide-range of business information. From advertising to branding, we’ve covered it!

Contact us today for the business information you need.