seo specialist

3 Ways an SEO Specialist Can Improve Your Online Presence

Nov 10, 2017

A study by Search Engine Watch proves that being the top search result will lead to more clickthroughs by 53%.

SEO (search engine optimization) is your ticket to boosting traffic to your website. People often choose the first result they see, which means learning how to increase your Google ranking is imperative to creating a successful website.

There are some techniques a small business owner can do to increase traffic numbers. However, hiring an SEO specialist can eliminate the stress associated with building a ranking on your own.

Read on to learn why an SEO specialist shapes the way traffic flows to your website.

1. Hiring an SEO Specialist is Better Than Doing It on Your Own

A website is only one aspect of your much larger business structure. Why not save yourself all the time it takes to craft your SEO ranking by hiring a professional?

The intelligent SEO specialist you hire will understand SEO inside and out. He or she is an expert in the field of online SEO and will know exactly how to factor in the right keywords to make sure your website is in the top search results.

As a business owner, you can hire an expert in SEO to help you out so you can focus your attention on other important operations to keep your business running smoothly. Generating sales leads will be a no-brainer once a trained expert collaborates with your business to increase your SEO rank.

2. See Better Traffic Results with Help From a Professional

Do you think your current website is not reaching out to the right audience?

By hiring a specialist, he or she can determine who your target audience is and how to attract them to click on your website search link. If your page is now ranked on the first few pages of a Google search, an expert can make adjustments to improving the ranking.

SEO tactics, such as choosing the right keywords to implement into your content, have resulted in high success rates. Convert leads into loyal customers by learning from a well-informed SEO specialist.

3. Avoid Black Hat Methods to Cheat Your Way to the Top

One final way that hiring extra help to boost your SEO rank with a specialist is to avoid making costly mistakes.

Black hat techniques are when illegal methods are used to boost the ranking of your site. Avoiding this path is something an SEO expert can ensure happens.

Keyword stuffing and spam-commenting are two black hat techniques that will make Google quickly push your website down the list.

Talk to your SEO consultant to discuss what techniques he or she will use to promote your website so these harmful tactics are not involved.

I’m Rafferty Pendery, a Tech Entrepreneur who has already helped thousands of businesses flourish through successful expansion strategies and social media campaigns.

Leaving me a message is a great way to easily reach out and learn more about the services I can provide your business today.

importance of leadership

Empathy and the Importance of Leadership

Nov 3, 2017

Empathy is the ability to truly understand someone by being able to “walk a mile in their shoes,” or see situations and events from their perspective. It’s an innate human trait that has a place in every scenario. The importance of leadership and the relationship between it and empathy cannot be understated.

We frequently wish for someone to put themselves in our place so that they’ll understand us better. However, we are less likely to do the same for others, especially in a leadership position.

Great leaders form strong relationships with their team members. Empathy, especially from a leader, is a crucial aspect of any rock-solid group.

Read on to learn why this often neglected ability is one businesses absolutely need for sustained success.

Empathy Shows You Value Relationships

Employees, no matter what their position, are first and foremost individuals. They are unique people, with their own special concerns, preferences, beliefs, and struggles.

Taking the time to acknowledge an employee or team member as a whole person will help you understand

  • Workplace difficulties and how to resolve them
  • Why this person takes certain approaches to problems
  • What motivates this person to do better
  • What role is best for this individual in a team setting
  • What makes this particular person feel secure

When you value relationships with individuals, you demonstrate it by finding out who they are and what makes them tick. You show empathy for the individual.

You are not merely issuing commands. You are functioning within a relationship with a person and actively working with them to accomplish a goal.

Putting Others Before Yourself

Putting others first is critical in establishing productive work relationships. The importance of leadership that incorporates an “others first” mentality cannot be emphasized enough.

Leadership is a huge responsibility, not a display of privilege and power. Team members respond to a leader who is willing to make their individual needs and concerns a priority.

Team members will also have more respect for a leader who is aware of the types of work being performed and accompanying challenges. This gives leaders authority from credibility, not just from a title.

Empathetic leaders empower others so they can reach their full potential and succeed. They do not insist on ruling over others. The goal is to build others up so that productivity and harmony will follow.

The Importance of Leadership and Empathy in Business Success

To succeed, a business needs to have cohesiveness between leadership and team members. Close-knit relationships will lead to more trust between leaders and their team, which naturally results in better, more effective communication.

Clear communication is a positive manifestation of the established trust and loyalty that empathy encourages. Businesses make progress and maintain momentum when each tier effectually connects within the framework of a company.

The goals of a business and those of its employees align so that effort is made for the good of all, not for the power of a few.

The knowledge that leaders are there to help, not demand, motivates team members to do their best to ensure team success. They feel their role in the process is valuable.

Leadership is About Responsibility

Responsibility encompasses more than task delegation and whip-cracking. It requires a holistic approach that includes, not alienates, every contributing person. A great leader utilizes encouragement and empathy, not blame or threats.

When you can understand where someone is coming from and work with them, the business benefits as a whole.

Explore my blog for more ideas on how to become a better leader and on how to help your business grow.

Have questions about leadership, marketing, management, or other business subjects? I’ve got answers. Contact me today.

giving back to the community

How Giving Back to the Community can Grow Your Business

Oct 27, 2017

There are many ways to grow your business. Most of them involve doing what you can to sell more and earn more money in the process.

However, some business growth methods involve not gathering more, but giving things away. Things like your time, energy, and money can greatly benefit the people around you when shared.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but giving back can actually help to grow your business. There are many ways to give back to your community as a business, and not all of them involve donating money.

There is a lot you can do to get involved, and doing so will prove to be a very wise business decision for several reasons. If you’re wondering how giving back to the community can actually be fruitful for your business, read on.

Improve Your Reputation in the Community

Getting involved with the local community is one of the best things you can do for your business. When people in the area associate your company name with altruism and volunteer work, they will have positive feelings toward your brand.

When the day comes that your customer needs your services and they must decide between you and the competition, you want to make sure you’ve left a good taste in their mouth.

In addition, there may be a large demographic in your community that needs help, whether it’s the school system or animal shelters. If your company is the one that comes to the rescue, you will be highly regarded by everyone affected.

If you become known as the company that’s always there in times of trouble, you will come to earn the respect and admiration of many potential customers.

Build A Loyal Customer Base by Giving Back to the Community

There are many ways that giving back to the community is a powerful business tool, and the loyalty you’ll win in the process is no exception.

Some people may come to you — and you alone — for business after you have helped them out. For example, sponsoring a children’s baseball league may earn you the unyielding loyalty of all the parents on the team.

Other ways of giving back to the community also nurture loyalty and appreciation. Mentoring budding entrepreneurs for a few hours a week can make a big impact. Donating items to an organization in need will also inspire those who see your good deed to express their gratitude by becoming a customer.

Improve Company Culture

Having your company volunteer as a team is a great way to motivate and inspire your employees. Working together on a collaborative effort for the greater good will boost company morale overall, and that’s always good for the bottom line.

When getting a group of employees to help out, you may want to offer the opportunity to volunteer during work hours. Or, you could offer it as a more fulfilling alternative to meeting for happy hour drinks.

Either way, when your employees feel good about your vision and mission, they’ll feel good about working for you. You will receive the best work possible when you have earned the trust and respect of those you employ.

startup stages

Understanding the 5 Startup Stages

Sep 29, 2017

If you want your startup to succeed, you need to live and breathe your business.

This also means understanding the startup stages. This way, you can respond with the appropriate action to move your business forward. These stages will see you move from idea to startup to maturity. While starting and running a business will always be challenging, looking at each stage of your business will help you understand what you need to overcome.

90% of startups fail. If you’re planning to be in the 10%, here are the 5 startup stages you need to know about.

1. Idea and Development

This is when you’ve got a solid business idea, but your startup isn’t yet officially in existence. Here, you begin to assess the viability of your startup.

That means getting advice and opinions about the potential of your idea from a wide range of sources. That include colleagues, family, friends, business associates, and anyone else in your industry.

You also need to begin thinking about how you’ll finance your launch. This stage is all about considering the feasibility of your idea.

2. Startup

Once you’ve thoroughly tested your business idea and it’s ready to go, you can launch your startup.

This is often the riskiest of the startup stages. Mistakes you make during this stage can impact your business for years in the future.

This stage is all about adaptability. You can expect to spend a lot of time tweaking your services or products based on initial customer feedback.

3. Growth

By the time you get to the growth stage, your business should consistently be generating income and regularly attracting new customers. Your cash flow should improve as you get recurring revenues to cover your ongoing expenses.

You should also be expecting your profits to steadily improve.

One of your biggest challenges will be managing your time. You’ll need to learn to divide your time between many tasks requiring your attention, including:

  • Hiring new employees
  • Dealing with competitors
  • Managing customer service
  • Increasing revenue

This is when you’ll learn the importance of hiring smart people.

This will help you grow quickly and let trustworthy employees take some of the responsibility off of your plate.

4. Expansion

In this phase, running your business will start to become routine. You’ll have staff in place to handle tasks you don’t have the time (or don’t want) to manage. You’ll also have firmly established your business in your industry.

This is when you may want to begin thinking about expanding your range of products and services. Another option is to enter into a new market or geographic location.

5. Maturity

Once you’ve navigated the expansion stage, you can expect to see stable profits each year. This is when you may begin thinking about further expansion, but you’ll need to consider a few questions:

  • Is further growth sustainable for your business?
  • Is there enough opportunity to expand?
  • Are you financially stable enough if the expansion is unsuccessful?
  • Are you emotionally ready for further expansion?

Which of the Startup Stages Are You In?

Which of the above startup stages sounds like your business? Are you effectively navigating your growth, or do you feel like you’re going backward?

Leave a comment below, or check out some of our great business resources.

International Speaker

5 Tips on Becoming a Paid International Speaker

Aug 31, 2017

What happens when you talk?

Are you able to captivate your audience no matter who is listening?

Are you the type of person who has an incredible story to share and you enjoy helping people?

If you have interesting and inspiring stories along with the “gift of gab”, becoming an international speaker might be the right move for you.

Keep reading to find out how to get it done.

The Route to Becoming an International Speaker

1. Solve Their Problem

This is where the whole process starts. Look at people like Tony Robbins and Dave Ramsey. They had a problem. They fixed it. Now they’re both helping other people with their problems and making a fortune while doing so.

Ask yourself, “What problem do entrepreneurs and business owners have that I can help them fix?”

An even better question: “What problem will they pay to have fixed?”

People who own their own businesses are go-getters. If they can solve their own problems, they want to. Sometimes, there just isn’t any information out there.

You need to have that information.

2. Learn the Language

If you would like to become an international speaker, you need to accept the fact that not everyone speaks your native tongue. English is used as a second language twice as often as it’s used as a native one.

For maximum success as a public speaker, focus on becoming fluent in Arabic, Mandarin, and/or Hindi. These three languages combine to increase your potential reach by nearly two billion people.

3. Tech Up

Once you’ve started, you’re going to likely stay on the go. You’ll probably have a small team constantly needing to exchange information with you.

Immerse yourself in the tech world. It will make your life easier.

This includes everything from leveraging social media to utilizing the newest types of communication software. Having a Gmail account is probably not going to be enough.

4. Make Them Laugh

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are stressed out. They have come to you with a severe problem and are paying a lot of money to have it sorted out via your speech.

With all of that tension in the room, you can use humor to cut through it. This will help you connect with your audience, grab their attention, and help them relax.

Use a funny personal story that relates to your speech to maximize the efficiency of the joke. It could be something that affects business owners all over the world. Or it could be about your first experience in their country.

Just make sure it isn’t offensive and keep it relevant.

5. Establish a Brand

In many ways, business is its own form of communication. Don’t underestimate the value of creating your brand.

When you become an international speaker, you should learn to rely on your brand. No two languages are quite the same and often things get lost in translation.

Your brand can say everything that it needs to about what you have to offer without a word. It can also help create a level of emotional trust and authority that cannot be misconstrued in translation.

Wrapping It Up

While these are five awesome tips that can help get you started and you should be thinking about them, there is no way that we can squeeze every piece of need to know information into one blog post.

I’m Rafferty Pendery, I’m an international speaker who has helped thousands of businesses over the years. I can help you, too. Contact me today.

 

brand yourself

Why It’s Important To Brand Yourself

Jun 30, 2017

Successful entrepreneurs and business owners know the effect that good branding has on their sales.

Developing a strong, well-established brand is one of the most important things you can do for your business. So you create a logo, a catchy business name and headline, have your packaging sorted out and publish content on a daily basis.

But many entrepreneurs don’t realize that they can grow their business even more through effective personal branding.

So how can you develop a personal brand along with your business brand? How can you do it and still stay focused on your big goals?

Keep reading to find out why it’s crucial to brand yourself and how to do that successfully.

Why It’s Important to Brand Yourself

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a solopreneur or a business owner, you have to work very hard to position your product or service on the market.

One part of your business success is related to the quality of what you’re offering and the other parts are the branding and the relationship you build with your potential customers.

This is where personal branding comes into play. It’s basically your chance to tell people your story and connect with them on an emotional level. This will establish trust and credibility.

Another reason to brand yourself is to stand out from the crowd. This is important in an overly saturated market.

One of the best ways to do so is through social media. If you use these platforms the right way, you can connect with other like-minded business owners. You can meet people who may have business opportunities for you.

How to Brand Yourself for Success

Creating a personal brand alongside your business brand is easy if you know where to begin.

For example, attending as many networking events as you can is essential for spreading the word about your business. It’s also important for meeting other entrepreneurs with innovative ideas.

Networking is a great way to expand your connections and meet people who can help you grow your brand.

Another way to brand yourself is to connect with your customers on a personal basis. Tell them the story of your brand and how you started it. Listen to what your audience says, the feedback they give you, and what they’d like to see next.

Paying attention to your customers’ needs and implementing them in the future will help them trust you.

One of the best parts of developing a personal brand is the opportunity to show your personality. You can do this through creating online content and videos. Show people that behind your successful brand stands an equally successful person.

Bottom Line

Creating a personal brand for yourself and your business at the same time may seem daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before.

But if you learn how to approach and execute it, you’ll find it incredibly rewarding both personally and professionally.

More and more entrepreneurs and business owners invest their time and work into personal branding and it’s what takes them to new heights.

hiring independent contractors

The Benefits of Hiring Independent Contractors

Jun 26, 2017

“Should I hire independent contractors?”

It’s a hand-wringer for many business managers. It might come up as your business experiences a sudden surge, or when the chance to bid on a huge contract presents itself.

The independent workforce now makes up over 40% of US workers, so there may be no better time to tap into that resource. But is it right for you?

While we can’t answer that question outright, we can give you the tools to understand why hiring independent contractors could be a real benefit to your company.

Give yourself flexibility

Everybody wants to be able to do everything in today’s commercial marketplace.

Partly that’s because we all want to be ready to respond to the latest changes in our industry. That could be anything from developing technology to a social media trend.

Hiring independent contractors is a great way to add that flexibility to your organization. With traditional employees, your ability to capitalize on situations is limited by the skill set of your employees and the long lead-times involved in the hiring process.

You could hire new employees, sure, but then who’s to say their skills will remain relevant to you over time?

Independent contractors are also great for managing changing business needs. You can bring on a retinue of contractors to cope with high volumes of work or a particular project without needing to find a niche for them when the work reduces back to normal levels or the project comes to an end.

Save on expenses

It’s no secret that regular employees come with a lot of requirements and expenses employers must meet or incur.

Among the considerations for a company hiring employees are:

  • Providing space for employees to work. This will include health & safety considerations as well as comfort.
  • HR support to deal with parental needs, ambitious or underperforming employees, requirements to show continued professional development, and other personal and interpersonal issues such as stress and disputes.
  • Benefits such as health insurance, pension etc.
  • Continued payment for employees outside of a usual working pattern, such as long-term sickness and parental needs.
  • Compensation in the event of accident or injury
  • Meeting travel and training expenses

All of these add up to a lot of expense for an employer. And that’s fine if you’re investing in your company’s future and trying to build a skilled in-house team.

But you don’t always need that. By hiring independent contractors, you can bypass a lot of these expenses while still completing work.

Independent contractors may have a higher payment per hour, but when you factor in the extra investment of time and money into regular employees, the savings soon become obvious.

You can hire independent contractors fully-trained without any of the other financial obligations to your company except their salary.

Protect your company

As we’ve covered, regular employees can need a lot of maintenance to keep them happy. What happens when the employer/employee relationship breaks down?

Lawsuits can be devastating for a company. By hiring independent contractors, you can insulate yourself from this risk.

Contractors aren’t your direct employees, so you don’t have the same legal responsibilities for them as you would a regular employee.

Here’s a selection of rights held by regular employees that you won’t have to worry about when hiring independent contractors:

  • Right to form a union
  • Right to sick or parental leave
  • Protection from employment discrimination (except racial discrimination)
  • Right to minimum wage and increased overtime payment

So hiring independent contractors can ensure your core business doesn’t become eclipsed by legal issues and expensive payouts in the event of a dispute.

Anything that allows you to focus on what you do well gives you an advantage over competitors distracted by other issues.

There are some legalities you’ll need to keep in mind. Your written contract will need to be smart to set the terms of employment. You’ll also need to consider things like the question of what happens to intellectual property created by independent contractors.

Recruit quickly

Recruitment can be a hellish process for all involved.

Timescales are long. Even after posting a job ad, you’ll often have set a closing deadline and be unable to advance before then. Following which you need to go through the lengthy and time-consuming process of interviewing candidates.

It can often take a least a month before the candidate is able to come and work for you.

And this all supposes you’ve found the right candidate and that the hiring won’t turn out to be a mistake. It’s also pretty common for new employees to change their minds and jump ship within weeks.

In some cases, you can go through all this for just a single employee.

By contrast, hiring independent contractors lets you get boots on the ground quickly. You can mass-hire, skip interviews (even if you conduct a less intensive skills check), and deploy within weeks rather than months.

Being able to deploy workers so quickly could be the difference between winning or losing a contract, or delivering a project to budget.

It can also allow you to manage harmful backlogs.

Expand your scope by hiring independent contractors

Depending on the nature of your industry, you may find that hiring more employees isn’t the best way to scale up your business. The extra overheads of regular employees may keep your company at a certain size.

Hiring independent contractors can be an effective way to break through that ceiling. You can effectively inflate the size of your workforce and the size of your company.

Knowing you can bring in independent contractors to cover more ambitious work gives you a realistic way to beat your competitors without taking dangerous risks.

Independent contractors may help you punch above your weight in your chosen industry. You may even find they help you snowball to the point where you can afford to invest in more regular employees.

So next time you see an uptick in your work or need to meet the requirements of a project, consider hiring independent contractors and feel the benefits.

For more business tips, follow my blog or head on over to my Contact Page if you need to get in touch!

 

 

small scale business ideas

How To Turn Your Small Scale Business Ideas To Reality

Jun 16, 2017

small scale business ideas

Are you are an entrepreneur with a small scale business idea?

If so, you shouldn’t stop there!

With the right mindset and dedication, you can help turn your small scale business ideas into a reality.

As of September 2015, there were 27 million working-age Americans who started or were running a new business.

That makes up nearly 14% of all working-age Americans!

Part of being a successful entrepreneur is creating a good idea and having the passion, intelligence and work ethic to develop.

Read on to learn how to turn your small scale business ideas to reality.

Identify Your Goals

To bring your small scale business ideas to life, you need to have clearly identified goals.

What product or service are you offering your customers that they cannot get anywhere else?

If your product or service is not the first of its kind, how are you doing this better than the competition?

Once you answer questions like this, you should identify how your product or service will help to solve a problem your customers are facing.

Your goals should be narrowly tailored so that you can measure your progress towards each of them. You should also be careful to ensure that you are setting both short-term and long-term goals.

By doing this, you have a measuring stick for your small business as your idea becomes a reality.

Understand Your Market

Even the best idea can fall flat if you don’t understand your target market.

What are the demographics of the market you are targeting with your product or service?

By identifying this market, you can determine the ways that you can connect with them the best.

This might be through presentations, emails, your website or a combination of different ways.

Understanding your market will also help you to competitively price your product or service. If you are too high or too low, you risk missing out on valuable business opportunities.

Find Funding

You should also be prepared for where to find funding for your small scale business ideas.

Depending on your idea, you may able to fund the initial start-up costs yourself.

But if your small scale idea is bigger or more costly than you think, you may need to seek funding from a bank or investors who may want a stake of ownership in your business.

Make Small Scale Business Ideas a Reality

Bringing your ideas to life in the form of a business can be challenging but rewarding.

You need to ensure you spend time brainstorming your idea and how it fits into the current and future of your industry. But making your idea a reality also requires understanding your target market and identifying your goals.

If you need more funding than what you have on your own, you will need to find it from other sources, which will require you selling someone else on the idea of your product or service.

Rafferty Pendery is an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist who is here to help others who share a passion for business.

Contact him today to learn more about how he can make your business dreams become a reality!

entrepreneurial development

7 Ways to Improve Yourself as an Entrepreneur

Jun 13, 2017

Did you know that nearly 70% of all entrepreneurs start by running their businesses from their home? 

What about the fact that entrepreneurship is responsible for creating over 3 million jobs in the United States alone? 

The reality is that, no matter what industry you choose to work in, where you start your company from, or even how many employees you have, you need to have an incredible drive in order to succeed as an entrepreneur. 

Of course, drive alone isn’t enough. You also need to continually and rigorously work to refine and better your personal entrepreneurial development. 

How can you make sure you’re doing that? 

You can start by reading this article. 

In it, we’re telling you the top 7 things you can do to grow entrepreneurial development and become a better entrepreneur. 

1. Surround Yourself With Good People

The company you keep is one of the most important factors when it comes to entrepreneurial development. 

We know you’re already probably attending tons of events, talks, and other networking events in your industry. 

But keep in mind that, in order to keep developing your own skills, it’s not enough to just milk these connections to grow your business. You have to be willing to really learn skills from others on your team or in your larger industry. 

You also need to know how to delegate tasks according to what each member of your team is good at. This can be difficult, as it will often mean acknowledging your own shortcomings. 

However, the reality is that every person on your team is an asset in their own unique way (which is why it’s so crucial to hire a diverse team.) 

You want to find people who share your vision of success and who you work well with, but they need to be leaders just as much as you are. Ask yourself what you can learn from everyone on your team, and what you can teach them in return.

2. Know How To Measure Your Progress

We all want success – but unfortunately, it never comes overnight. 

Instead of focusing on one giant (often unattainable at your current phase of business, anyway) goal, you need to break it down into several smaller goals that you can actually reach. 

This won’t just hone your entrepreneurial development and keep you motivated to moving forward. 

It will also allow you to clearly evaluate whether or not the current steps you’re taking, and methods you’re using, are actually effective. 

3. Outsource What You Can

Especially at the start of your business, you need to seriously evaluate how much time you’re losing every day to tasks that, in the end, could really be done by someone else. 

As an entrepreneur, every minute of your day is incredibly valuable – and every wasted one represents a real loss.

To foster your own entrepreneurial development, ask yourself and your team to think of the tasks that can only be done by them, that could probably be done by someone else (especially down the line) and that could easily be outsourced.

For example, only you can meet and pitch your company, vision, and projections to a potential million-dollar investor. However, someone else can probably run the updates on your computer.

4. Know How To Lead

Even if you’re just starting out, we know you ultimately want to still be in charge when your company grows to a multi-million dollar empire. 

But to do that, you’re going to need to teach yourself how to be a good leader. This doesn’t just mean managing your specific team. 

It means becoming an innovative thought leader in your field of choice. 

Ask yourself: what are you continuously doing every day to make sure you know the latest news and trends in your industry? How are you incorporating that into your own management style and product/services? 

Always learn from mistakes – your own, and other people’s. Make sure those you work with feel valued, and take the time to listen to and ask for their ideas. 

5. Take Risks

Especially in today’s hyper-competitive world, if you don’ take risks as an entrepreneur, you’re never going to see the kind of growth you want – personally and professionally. 

If you’re not comfortable playing around with money, keep in mind that there are lots of other ways to take risks. 

Hire someone who thinks differently than you do. Attend an industry event with people you look up to, and make it a point to talk to them. Take on a bigger client.

Do something that your competition is afraid to. 

It’s the only way you’re going to be able to differentiate yourself.

6. Avoid Distractions

Yes, it’s true – in order to get the most out of every day, you’re going to have to schedule your time like crazy. 

This also means that you need to be incredibly protective of it. 

Especially in today’s world, it’s easy for a “quick five-minute break” to turn into a long lunch, cocktails, happy hour, and a hangover the next day. If you don’t see your time as one of the most valuable aspects of your business, you won’t make it far. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks. In fact, they’re incredibly important when it comes to keeping you productive! It just means that these breaks need to be scheduled.

Give yourself at least 5 minutes every hour to unwind. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself losing hours of time later. 

7. Always Remember Why You Started

Accepting some losses and going through some challenging times are an important part of entrepreneurial development. But often, especially if these are big losses, it can make you feel like you want to quit. 

When this happens, think back to why you started your company in the first place. What problem did you want to solve? Who would you help? What do you love about it? 

This will encourage you to push yourself through the tough times. 

Build Up Your Entrepreneurial Development With These Tips!

Thanks to these tips, you’re ready to make this the year your company hits its all-time highs! 

Looking for more ways to motivate yourself and manage your time

Want to know what else you can do to push yourself to grow? 

Check out the blog and website to ensure that you never let another opportunity pass you by.

branding your business

10 Tips For Branding Your Business

Jun 12, 2017

branding your business

Do your customers or readers know who you are? I’m not talking about them knowing about your brand. We mean, do they know who your brand is as if it was a person.

Does your brand have a personality? Do your posts tell the world what your company is about along with what you do? To stay relevant in today’s market your brand needs to be knowable and read like an open book.

If this is a new concept to you, don’t worry! It’s not too late to start branding your business. We’ve got 10 tips for you to make it easier to turn your company into a friendly face.

What do Well Branded Businesses Look Like?

Successful businesses are open books in that you know what they stand for. For example, Starbucks stands for good coffee and well-treated employees and suppliers. They market as friendly and welcoming. That’s why employees try to learn names and orders.

They want you to believe that each store is a friendly place. That’s their brand: your friendly neighborhood Starbucks. What’s yours?

10 Tips for Branding Your Business

Branding your business is not a quick process. Like anything worth doing, it takes time and effort. If you’re willing to do the work, you’ll be rewarded with more visibility and loyal customers.

1. Keep it Simple

Let’s think about some big successful brands we know. Google, Netflix, Dunkin Donuts, and Amazon. What do they have in common? They aren’t overachievers. Their brand is one or two things at most. It’s simple. 

Dunkin Donuts does coffee and donuts, that’s it. Amazon does home delivery of goods, Netflix does streaming, it’s not complicated.

A good brand’s services can be easily described and easily remembered. So when you’re branding your business don’t go overboard!

2. Don’t Be Fake

No one like a facade. The same is true when it comes to brands consumers commit to. If your company’s brand is about honesty and you’re caught lying about anything – you’re finished.

This is something to think about when you’re branding your business, can you live up to your own brand?

3. Write it Down

Before you decide on a solid brand identity, get out your business’ mission statement and values. Look at those and consider your ideas for a brand. Once you’ve decided, write it down.

Your brand needs to be concrete, something you can tell marketing directors or people you hire who are new to your company. It has to be concrete.

4. Catchy Tagline

This may come before or after you’ve decided on a concrete brand identity, but either way, it’s important. When you’re building your brand you need to have people remember what you do, as well as who you are.

Make sure that your tagline fits within your brand. For example, if your tagline is about being family friendly, make sure you post only family friendly content.

5. Your Logo isn’t Brand Content

In simpler days, it was enough to have your brand be represented by your logo. Now, you need to have appealing and engaging content that is unique to your business.

For your company’s Instagram, your logo will be your profile picture, but that should be the only place it’s visible. If it is on your product and you post a picture of that product, that’s ok.

6. Be Visible

Speaking of Instagram, your company needs one. It’s hard to keep up with all the social medias, that’s true. However, if you want to engage younger generations, it’s a necessary evil.

When you’re choosing networks to be on . Start small. You don’t want to have accounts that get neglected. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are a must.

7. Be Consistent Across Networks

When you have a presence on different social media networks and otherwise online (emails, website content) you need to stay consistent. Your brand needs to be obvious for your content on each one.

Try not to post the same content on each social media network at once, your Facebook page and your Instagram shouldn’t match post for post. If you are announcing something big, tweak the graphic or the picture a little on each network.

You should be consistent across networks, but not copy and paste your content.

8. Be Consistent In Person

This goes along with creating an honest and fitting brand. When a customer engages with your company in some way, they should feel like your brand is representative of your services.

This is a little vague, so let’s go back to the Starbucks example. Their brand is friendly and welcoming. They act on that in person by learning customers names and their orders. That’s what it looks like to be your brand.

9. Brand Ambassadors? Don’t Hire Out!

This is a tip for smaller businesses. If you have a huge marketing budget and want Kylie Jenner to advertise your product, then go ahead.

If you have a small or medium sized business, you don’t necessarily need a Kylie. You have brand ambassadors right under your nose. Your employees! (Assuming that your employees believe in your product) They are a gold mine of brand content.

10. Associate Strongly

Pick some companies with similar brands. For example, if part of your brand is about being a local business, feature another local business from time to time. You don’t have to make it extreme.

An Instagram post of a snack table at a meeting with a local company’s food and logo visible would be a good example. This is something you should keep in mind when you’re partnering as well: do your brands work well together?

Hopefully, we’ve given you some helpful tips for branding your business in today’s ever-changing marketing world. The name of the game in 2017 marketing is engagement and you have to give your consumers something they can engage with.

If you’ve already picked a brand for yourself and it’s not working out, re-branding is always an option. You can be successful at branding your business if you work hard at it, even if you don’t have a marketing team.

Now go get your brand on!

solopreneur

9 Tips and Tools Every Solopreneur Needs

May 28, 2017

Being a solopreneur is filled with challenges.

While the freedom from bosses and incompetent coworkers is incredible, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. After all, you don’t have anyone else to help pick up the slack.

It’s just you.

So what can you do to keep on top of the never-ending flood of to-do list items and keep from burning out?

The successful solopreneur toolkit

You might not want to hire a support staff, but there are a number of apps and online resources that can be just as helpful as a paid staff.

1. Evernote

One of the best parts of having a personal assistant is having someone available to write down your good ideas as you have them.

Evernote isn’t quite that good, but it is a great tool for keeping all of your notes in one place. Evernote includes a huge amount of free storage and is accessible from any device.

It also won the 2010 Webby for the best mobile app, so you know it’s good.

2. Sighted

The most important part of any business is making sure you get paid.

Sighted allows you to send and manage your invoices in one place. It allows you to work among several different currencies.

And when your business outgrows the free accounts, the premium options are still affordable.

3. Grammarly

You don’t have time to proofread. You’ve got business to do.

That’s where Grammarly comes in. Grammarly is a program that proofreads as you type, saving you time and embarrassment. There’s also

There’s also a free Grammarly extension for Chrome. Can’t beat that.

4. Hootsuite

You can’t do business these days without a social media presence. But it can be hard to manage all your separate accounts without a social media manager.

Hootsuite allows you to manage all of your social media pages from a single program, saving you time.

5. Canva

If you want to lose legitimacy fast, the easiest way to do that is to have bad design work.

Canva is a free web-based design program. It features beautiful drag-and-drop templates that allow you to create fresh graphics for all of your design work.

And all of this without hiring a designer.

6. Square

No one carries cash anymore.

And if you’re trying to get paid, that’s worth remembering. Square is a convenient alternative to traditional Point of Sales systems.

With Square, you can accept credit cards anywhere thanks to their free reader and mobile app.

7. Workflow Max

Workflow Max is the ultimate program for maximizing your productivity.

It allows integration with over thirty add-ons so you can handle your invoicing, scheduling, client management, and more from one program.

8. WiseStamp

Nothing legitimizes you as a serious solopreneur like a high-quality email signature.

WiseStamp creates a professional email signature with a variety of customizable features.

You can add your picture, link to your social media accounts, list your contact information, and more. All for a low-price annual subscription.

9. Assistant.to

Scheduling meetings can take forever if you’re doing it on your own.

Assistant.to makes it easy to organize meetups and appointments using only your email. It’s like having your own personal secretary, but without all the unsolicited gossip.

Oh, and you don’t have to pay it.

Beyond apps: more solutions for the solopreneur

These days, we are rich with free resources for every task.

But there’s only so much we can do on our own.

If you are a solopreneur that needs individualized help with organization, expansion strategies, social media, or online PR and marketing, contact me today.

how to start an llc

How to Start an LLC: A Beginner’s Guide

May 27, 2017

Have you always wanted to start your own LLC, but had no idea where to start? 

If so, then this is the perfect guide for you!

Here, we’ve created a beginner’s guide that will briefly and clearly tell you how to start an LLC, so you can stay focused on your business for years to come. 

Step One: Pick A Name

The first step in understanding how to start an LLC? 

Picking and claiming the perfect name!

First, you’ll need to make sure that no one else has already claimed the name you’re interested in. Most states won’t allow for duplicate names or names that are too similar to an existing one. 

Additionally, your home state likely has local laws when it comes to picking out a name. You can find out more about these local laws here

Be sure to select a name that’s relevant to your business, easy to pronounce, and clearly separates you from other businesses in your industry. Remember that in most states, you’ll need to include the initials “LLC” in your business correspondence and official documents. 

Once you’ve chosen your name, you can reserve and register it either at the time you file your articles of incorporation or before you create your LLC (this will once again depend on your state.) 

Should You Trademark Your Name? 

Once you’ve made the effort to select the name of your dreams, it’s generally a good idea to have it registered as a trademark. This way, no one can steal your name and your intellectual property will be protected. 

To start the trademarking process, you can go to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s website. 

Step 2: Start Setting Up Your LLC

It’s time to start making some decisions about the overall operations of your LLC. 

When it comes to who is in charge of your company, there are two possibilities. 

The first is called a “member-managed LLC.” This means that everyone who owns the LLC also manages it. This is the most popular option because most people who start their LLC want to be in charge of it!

If you’re the only member of your LLC, and also want to serve as its manager, good news! Depending on your state, you might not even need to file any articles of incorporation. 

The second management option is called a “manager-managed LLC.” This is when those that don’t own the LLC are in charge of running it. As the LLC owner, of course, you decide who manages your LLC in this option. 

Step 3: Filing Articles Of Incorporation 

Once you’ve decided on a management style, it’s time to file your articles of incorporation! These need to be filed with your state’s specific secretary of state. 

You will need to provide your LLC’s name, the legal address of your business, the purpose of your business, and who will help to manage and own your LLC. You’ll also need to provide an outline of the basic structure of your business. 

Of course, you’ll have to pay a fee when you file! Luckily, it’s only between $100-$300. 

At this time, you’ll also have to select who will be the “registered agent” of your LLC. This means that you need to pick a foreign or domestic company – other than your own LLC, of course! This entity will need to be registered to legally do business in your state and is usually a partner of your LLC. 

Step 4: Get Your Business License 

What’s the next thing you’ll need to do when you want to know how to start an LLC? 

Apply for and receive your business license! Though the specific license requirements will vary based on the state in which you live and do business, there are a few more general things you can expect. 

You’ll likely need to get additional licenses that vary based on the type of business you’re planning to run. This can be things like liquor licenses, licenses from the health department, and more. 

The Chamber Of Commerce in your specific city will also be able to give you additional information about the fees, overall application process, and kinds of licensing you may need to have. 

If you’re lucky, you might even be able to both get and renew your business license on the Internet!

Step 5: Get Right With The IRS

Next, it’s time to apply for your own Employee Identification Number (EIN,) through the IRS. This will ensure that your employees’ taxes are handled and filed properly. 

Even if you are the only person in your LLC, you’ll still need to get an EIN. Keep in mind that if you’re only working with independent contractors, you won’t need an EIN. 

If you’re your LLC’s only employee, you can apply for your EIN online through the IRS’s website

Once you have your EIN, you’ll be able to open your LLC’s official bank account! Select your bank carefully, and always ask about the different account options available to you. 

Step 6: Draw Up Your Operating Agreement

This is the final, and also one of the most important, steps of how to start an LLC. 

(Of course, if you’re the only person in your LLC, you won’t need to complete this step.) 

Even if you’re in a state that doesn’t legally require you to have an operating agreement, it’s still a smart idea. This agreement will help you to ensure you keep your status as an LLC, will help you outline in writing your financial and management plans, and will help you to set out rules for operation. 

You Know How To Start An LLC

Thanks to this quick guide, you now know the basics of what it takes to start your own LLC. 

Though there initially might be a bit of work involved, it’s always worth it in the end!

Looking for more advice on how to start your own business? Want to make sure things keep running smoothly? 

Check out the website and blog for more invaluable advice!