Business Trends Every Startup Needs to Know About Right Now

Business trends come and go—and come and go. Companies need to be aware of and react to business trends, and startups have the clear advantage; they can often seize market opportunities large corporations are too slow to embrace.

Here’s a list of predictions business experts are offering that should be music to the ears of startups everywhere.

  1. It’s all about the niche.

“Business success will come from further focusing on smaller, very specific audiences,” says Kyle Golding, chief strategic idealist at The Golding Group. “Going extremely deep with customized messages and specialized platforms to a highly receptive and loyal audience will replace wide approach ‘shot gun’ marketing. [We’ll see] more soft or no ask/call to action marketing focused on community building, experiences and lifestyle over product specific messaging.”  

  1. Crowdfunding is the new black.

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Mobile Apps SEO: A complete guide for App Owners

In today’s business world, it is important to have an app. We may understand search engine optimization – or SEO. However, app owners who apply this knowledge can easily create one that improves visibility, which will increase business. As you will see, applying SEO knowledge to apps may take some tweaks.  But, the rewards are plentiful.

Getting Ranked In SERPs

Using website SEO has become common. However, according to searchengineland.com, anyone who understands how to create good search engine optimization to get mobile apps ranked will improve their business. After all, good SEO increases your search engine results page (SERP) ranking. These pages are the results of your search terms.  Whatever search engine you use, you will see similar results based on rankings.

In order to help you increase your chances of your app getting higher on the SERPs, there are several things you can do:

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Why Having a Local Business Address is Important

Many small businesses, particularly sole proprietors with service businesses, do not have a professional business address but instead use their home address. However, there are some downsides and potential legal issues when doing so. Intuit spells out some of the more prevalent ones in a QuickBooks posting:

  1. Lease and HOA Rules.

    Apartment and condo complexes restrict the ability for residents to run a business out of their home (or in this case apartment or condo). Check your lease and home owners’ association (HOA) rules to confirm if there are any restrictions.

 

  1. Zoning Restrictions.

    Local municipality codes (zoning regulations) in some cities may restrict or prohibit home owners from running a commercial operation out of their homes.

 

  1. Liability Issues.

    LLCs and corporations may negate the benefits they received by forming a limited liability company or corporation. Those protections only apply if business and personal activities are kept separate. If the courts deem the two are intertwined, then you could be personally liable for business debts and obligations.

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Benefits of Booking a Meeting in a Formal Meeting, Conference Room or Boardroom Space Vs. a Hotel.

You’re holding a meeting at an out of town location and you want it to be perfect. So, you booked a space at the hotel where the group is staying. There you are, sitting on uncomfortable chairs meant for weddings, rapping your knees on awkwardly placed table legs and listening to the catering staff bang pots and dishes around while breaking down the room next door.  Doesn’t sound so perfect, does it?  Don’t book at that fancy hotel, instead hold your gathering in a top-notch office building where they know you meetings are important.

What? Book an office in a building you don’t rent from….is that possible? Yes, it is.   There are many independent office operators that rent offices, board, conference and training rooms by the hour or day (s).  You can find yourself on the penthouse level of the high-rise overlooking the harbor or in ultra-modern, technology rich boardroom of the building next to the hotel.   You choose you amenities, atmosphere and location.

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Presentation Software Options for Small Businesses and Solopreneurs

Presentation options for businesses and solopreneurs are no longer restricted to Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Docs. And for Mac users wed to non-Microsoft tools, they also have expanded to choices beyond Apple Keynote. Alternatives like Prezi and Emaze provide users with new, innovative ways to tackle presentations.

PowerPoint—and the various alternatives—serve much broader functions than just sales and marketing presentations. As a result, there are myriad ways for which businesses can use presentation solutions. Possibilities include:

  • External Business Presentations. Common business scenarios such as sales, analyst briefings, webinars, seminars, briefings, and investor pitches.
  • Trade Show and Conference Presentations. Conference track and keynote presentations at events and conferences.
  • Internal Business Presentations. Training, reports on research, activity updates, and internal pitches.
  • Project management, status reporting, and spreadsheet reports.
  • Non-Presentations. There are many use cases here such as online photo and image albums, simple brochures or flyers, and even animations.

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Chatbots: Their Benefits for Businesses

In 2017, companies are doing everything they can in order to improve their business.  One of the things that they have started implementing is chatbots.  As you will see, using these devices can certainly add to the way your business communicates with customers.

What Is a Chatbot?

Before we can discuss what a chatbot does for a business, we need to define what it is.  Chatbots are a service running on rules or artificial intelligence that users interact with using natural, conversational, language.  They can be used, in conjunction with staff members, to assist in customer support, and with purchasing items.

If you’ve ever used Facebook Messenger, you’ve already used chatbots to do these tasks.  Utilizing a chatbot during non-business hours will allow customers to get their first questions answered.  As a result, they can start detailed conversations with staff members during live chats.

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4 Massively Draining Small Business Mistakes to Avoid

If you could have a do over in your business, what would you do? Focus more on sales? Strategic planning? Marketing and advertising?

Many small business owners would say “yes” to all of this, but there could be more fundamental issues you need to work on that would fuel your passion to engage in revenue-driving activities.

Indeed, according to Brother International’s 6th Annual Small Business Survey, passionate people like you are making the same mistakes repeatedly. While many would spend more time hiring and training employees and more money on marketing, even more would focus on avoiding the four mistakes outlined below.

1. Taking on too many roles and responsibilities:

While some small business owners seem to take pride in wearing multiple hats, 35 percent of respondents would like to reduce or eliminate taking on so many roles and responsibilities. It’s been said that the jack of all trades is master of none.

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5 Common Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

You may be laboring as hard as you can to grow your small business—wearing several hats, burning the midnight oil, and otherwise giving it all you’ve got—but you may also be shooting yourself in the foot with common, yet costly marketing mistakes.

It’s time to reassess what you’re doing right, wrong—or not at all. It’s time to reconsider what you should be doing that you aren’t and what you shouldn’t be doing that you must. Take heart, these marketing mistakes are common to small businesses—but you don’t have to keep making them.

1. Neglecting a Strategic Marketing Plan:

You can have the best products and most compelling services in your local market, but a big idea alone doesn’t make successful small business. You need to get the word out about your products and services, or you may as well work under a rock.

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10 Things to Avoid as An Entrepreneur

Becoming your own entrepreneur can an exciting experience.  However, there are several issues to look out for.  As you will see, many things can get in the way of becoming a successful entrepreneur, and we’ll go over 10 of them.

1. Working Remotely and Staying Up to Date

Many of today’s workers are leaving the office space. More people are becoming members of the mobile workforce.  As such, they are taking their work home, and creating a more flexible schedule for themselves.

However, it does come with a price.  You need to have the latest equipment that can handle your remote work. Specifically, you need a reliable internet connection with WiFi to hold conversations through texts, and video chat.  Avoid being frugal with your office equipment.

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The Organizational Art of Getting Things Done

I’m overloaded. There’s way too many demands on me in comparison to the number of hours in a day. At the same time, I’m committed to eating right and sleeping well—and not burning out. In other words, I’ve learned that burning the candle at both ends does not a long-term successful business make.

That’s why I’m reading a book right now that’s absolutely changing my life—not just my business life but my entire life. It’s called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

David Allen penned a time-management method that is more suitable for the modern age in which we live. Admittedly, the Getting Things Done (GTD) model is challenging at times to apply but will set your brain free to create and execute on more than you ever thought possible if you adopt it.

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