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.
Small businesses are the engine that drives the U.S. economy. Employing 55% of all workers, 28 million small businesses account for 54% of all sales in the country today. And the future of small businesses is bright: they have created 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970’s and have increased in number by 49% since 1982. When compared to their much larger counterparts, this success stands in even greater light: mid-size and large businesses have eliminated four million jobs since 1990, while small businesses have added eight million new jobs.
Wow! These are some pretty impressive statistics. Small business owners should take a moment and congratulate themselves for all of this success. But they shouldn’t take very long; it takes a lot of organization to run a small business. Indeed, those that succeed often are the ones that are the most organized. With better organization, a small business can focus on strategic initiatives and its customers.
Most business professionals cite time wasted in meetings as one of their biggest complaints. Studies show the average business professional attends 62 meetings each month, and of that time, 31 hours equates as unproductive. This tallies up to a whopping $37 billion in annual.
When workers feel unengaged and that their time is being wasted, the repercussions are dramatic. Forty-seven percent of employees describe them as “boring, pointless, and unproductive.” Consider some of the things meeting goers admit:
- 91% daydream during meetings
- 96% skip meetings that they deem a waste of time
- 39% have slept during a meeting
- 45% feel overwhelmed by the number of meetings on their calendar
- 73% do other work during meetings
- 47% aren’t passive-aggressive; they complain to others in the office about unnecessary or unproductive meetings
With employees at work being more agile, mobile, and nomadic — getting together, especially for those critical/high-yielding and productive meetings that value more from in-person face-to-face collaboration, are becoming more necessary and requiring sharper planning than ever before, often at an inopportune time. Meetings require careful consideration on when and where they need to occur — plus given consideration as to whether they even are necessary, virtually through a video/conference call or Skype, or can be better handled for a better use of time.
During the winter holiday season, many businesses turn their attention to showing gratitude toward their customers—for their business, loyalty, and even advocacy. Simply saying “thank you” isn’t enough. Businesses need to seek out opportunities to show their gratitude to customers in fun and memorable ways. The following are 12 ways that you can show your gratitude to customers, not only this holiday season but all year.
- Write a personal note. Making the extra time in today’s digital world to write a personal note to your customers. It will make a big difference in your customer’s day.
- Educate your customers. Know your customers’ businesses and deliver content that educates them and gives them new ideas that enable them to develop new revenue streams, deliver better customer service, increase operational efficiencies.
Let’s face it, BCs and Serviced Workspaces are smack dab in the middle of the High-Hospitality industry — and in fact it’s the highest of the High-Hospitality business models since it serves its clients for days, weeks, months and years on-end. This is not just for an hour, or a day or two here-and-there, such as what Hotels, Car Rental agencies, airlines, restaurants and even resorts like Disney do.
And with the territory of being the premier High-Hospitality industry comes the responsibility to show appreciation at any, and every turn. It’s more than just providing service — more than fielding and fulfilling customer service requirements. ‘Hospitality’ requires initiating a friendly interaction. It’s pro-active, whereas customer service is re-active. It’s extending a helping hand or compliment, and not waiting for the client, guest, tenant, member or neighbor to initiate or be left hanging expecting it. And the centerpiece … the fuel that drives the engine of an ongoing, fruitful, professional, winning relationship at any business, and especially at a High-Hospitality business such as at a Business Center or Serviced Workspace — is demonstrating appreciation.
Virtual video conferencing is quickly becoming the norm and a substitute for face-to-face meetings in many instances. However, there are some things that you don’t leave to chance. Face-to-face meetings with your customers and partners are one of them. These meetings give you a chance to establish a rapport and bring a certain sense of integrity to the relationship that is only possible when meeting in person.
Not convinced? Let’s take a look at some of psychological factors that occur in face-to-face meetings that cannot always be achieved via other forms of communications.
- Non-verbal Cues. 95 percent of the effectiveness of communications is determined by non-verbal cues (e.g., hand gestures, voice quality and volume, facial expressions), many of which can be construed only in face-to-face meetings.
- Human-to-Human Contact. Human contact is a basic need of human beings. Individuals need personal contact with others to satisfy primitive psychological needs, something that digital interactions cannot address.
In today’s ever-exploding Serviced Workspace sandbox, coworking is the Cat’s Meow. There are so many advantages to considering this workspace and work-way alternative that is ideally suited for many, but not all, in today’s emerging workforce. Is it right for you?
We live in a highly mobile, work-anytime/anywhere universe, where advancing technologies place power and portability in our hands via handheld and laptop devices. This, coupled with accessible, satisfactory bandwidth sources are meeting the demands of today’s burgeoning nomadic work tribes on-the-run that value reliability, austerity and instant plug-and-go ability.
No longer is a permanent, enclosed (sometime status-indicating or hierarchal perk) private office per employee, or even a designated desk-space, a ‘must’ for employees of companies, or for solopreneurs seeking the legitimacy of a dedicated workspace. The business universe understands that today, companies and people need agility more than they need a full-time, top-dollar, static office that may only be used on a part-time basis, hence they are more accepting, than in previous generations, to view ‘in-and-out’ coworking and Virtual Office users as savvy, lean-working practitioners in a world that now generally values workers and freelancers being fleet-of-foot more than being hunkered down in a stable and static 9-to-5 office and existence.
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.