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. Read more...
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. Read more...
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. Read more...
You’ve got a dream in your heart to launch a business venture that will change the world—or at least change your world. Whether you’ve tried and failed in the past or this is your first venture into entrepreneurship, it’s time to dream big and take purposeful action.
Here are three principles for success as you set out to start your dream business:
Incorporate online instead of hiring an attorney. I’ve started a number of corporations myself in a matter of minutes online. I’ve also hired accountants and attorneys to start corporations and paid upwards of $5,000. It was a waste of time and money. In most states, you can start a corporation online for less than $100 with no attorney or accountant involved.
Google the phrase “incorporate a business online” and add the name of your state and you’ll find the appropriate site to get up and running toward your dream today. Read more...
Start a Business or Continue Your Education? Why Not Both?
It’s back to school time—again, but you have business aspirations. So what should you do? Start—or keep working to grow—your business in this season or head back to school to get the skills you need to take it higher? Why not both?
You can start a business while you are still in school—and you can go back to school to sharpen your skills while you are running a business. Indeed, whether you are a Millennial or a Baby Boomer, others have gone this way before and have plenty of advice on balancing these two arenas in a way that leads you down the pathway to greater prosperity.
4 Things You Need to Know
First, let’s talk about what it’s going to take. Don’t expect a 9-to-5 life if you are going to dive into back-to-back goals. Read more...
I’m writing this blog post on an airplane. I travel a lot and I’ve had to learn tips and tricks to stay productive while I’m in the air, on the road, or otherwise out of the office. After nearly two years of living a hard core road warrior lifestyle, I’ve come up with these seven tips to keep you productive just about anywhere you happen to be. Read more...
Always Fly Wi-Fi-Enabled Planes: Virtual office and mobile technologies help—but not if you don’t have Wi-Fi. Delta has the largest fleet of Wi-Fi-enabled planes but other airlines have this feature also. Be sure to ask about Wi-Fi when you book, especially if you are taking a flight over two hours. You can get a mass amount of work done from the comfort of your economy seat.
So you’ve set revenue goals for your business. Congratulations! You are well on your way to hitting your target just by taking the time to write down your goals.
Of course, now you have to execute a plan that carries you to the finish line—and staying motivated on down weeks can be a struggle.
“You never know what is going to happen. Just the other day I had a one call close. It can happen,” says Alison Powell, a sales rep at the inbound marketing firm HubSpot. “Don’t slow down because you never know if you are going to get that prospect on the phone who can buy right then and there because the timing is perfect.”
Dean Robinson, CEO of Redmans, a family business advisory firm based in Sydney, Australia, says setting goals for revenue and growth in any small to medium business is much like trying to lose weight. He suggests three rules: Read more...
You may not be struggling to make payroll, but you don’t necessarily have a heap of cash to spend on every new idea business pundits say you should execute either. So where should you spend your money? Here are four smart ways to spend some of that cash on hand.
Hire a business coach: When I maxed out the potential of my business, I made the investment in a business coach and following the advice he gave me took me to the next level. My coach challenged my ways of thinking, helped me set up new systems, pushed me beyond my comfort zone, and more.
“Business coaches have one goal: to make your ideas into a reality,” Miles Jennings of Recruiter.com, told Inc. “Although you may have many brilliant ideas for your company, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and what to tackle first. Business coaches will evaluate your plans, assess if they are realistic or will be successful and set out a way that you can implement them correctly.” Read more...
Meetings. Most of the time they are necessary, but many times they are challenging. Some people show up late. Some people talk too much. Some meetings run on and on and accomplish nothing.
What’s a meeting organizer to do? Let’s start with reviewing four pesky meeting challenges. Billie Blair, an organizational psychologist and president and CEO of the international management consulting firm change Strategists, says one of the most common frustrations is having an in-person meeting when e-mail or another form of communication would suffice.
“Everyone attending will know that it could have been dealt with quicker and with less effort and time expended,” Blair said. “It’s akin to throwing up wordy PowerPoint slides and then reading every word to the audience.”
Blair also points to holding important meetings without out preparing an adequate agenda or thinking through a likely direction for the discussion as a point of frustration for attendees. By the same token, she says, losing control of the discussion and allowing long-winded folks to take over the meeting annoys everybody. Read more...
So you are thinking about starting a small business? There are many things to consider. What will you call the business? Will you incorporate as an LLC, a partnership or a corporation? What is your value proposition? Will you need employees? How many?
There’s a lot to consider and although this article can’t possible cover all the issues—there are scores of books written on this topic—we’ve turned to our experts for insight into some of the most important things to consider before starting your business.
Do you have the resources?
You may have a bright idea, but do you have the resources to launch it out? John Turner, founder and CEO of UsersThink, a tool that delivers feedback on demand for website landing pages, says this is a key issue to consider before you get too far down the road. Read more...