Archive : Category

 
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May

06th

Business Growth

10 Signs You Should Invest in New Business

Investing in a business is something not everyone is ready for. But how do you know if you are ready to invest in a new business?

1. If you are taking advantage of the 401(k) with matching, if you can, it’s one of the signs you should be investing into a new business. It’s a great sign and it’s definitely something that tells you you are ready to invest in a new business.

2. You are free from any high interest rate debt. It’s definitely one of the most important things you should be looking out for. If you still have some high interest rate debts you haven’t paid off, wait until you have paid them off before investing into a new business.

3. Having an emergency fund is very important if you are looking to invest in a new business. Investing is always risky, and it might just happen that you hit an emergency and you are in dire need of money. If you don’t have an emergency fund, it could be very problematic for you. So, if you are set with an emergency fund, you know that you are somewhat prepared to invest into a new business.

4. When you have outlined your goals for the distant future, you are a step closer to being ready to invest into a new business. It’s one of the most important things you should be doing, because if you don’t know what you are investing into, and how your business will fare in the future, you shouldn’t be investing at all.

5. Asset allocation is important to you. If that sentence rings true, then you have what it takes to invest in a new business. It’s not enough to just invest, you need to be investing wisely to get your benefit from the investment. Asset allocations plays a big role here.

6. You know what you want. How can you invest into something if you don’t know what you want? Knowing what it is exactly what you are looking to get out of investing is essential to being able to invest properly.

7. If you are financially stable, and you are certain you won’t be hitting any rough patches financially in the future, you are on good grounds to invest into a new business.

8. You are not afraid to take a risk. As we said before, investing into a new business is risky, and if you are not prepared to take that risk, investing might not be what you should be doing in the foreseeable future.

9. If one of your financial advisers is telling you should be investing in a new business, and you know you can trust them and you know that they are expert in what they do, maybe you should listen to them. Of course, it’s up to you to make the ultimate decisions, but listening to someone who knows what he’s doing is a pretty good move.

10. You want to invest into a new business. There is no point investing in a new business if you are not feeling you should do it. If you don’t want to invest in a new business, but you feel you must, think really hard whether you should be doing it.

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May

03rd

Business Growth

15 Best Blogs to Follow About New Business

Starting a business is a difficult venture. One of the bigger challenges people who are looking to start a business come across is just where to begin in the first place. Luckily, you can read a lot about this subject and learn a lot from people who are experienced in this field. Here are 15 of the best blogs to follow when looking to start a new business.

1. Gene Marks blog
https://genemarksblog.wordpress.com/

Gene Marks is a very well known expert in this area, and you can really learn a lot about small business from his blog. If you are looking to read information on the most important economic and technological, as well as political trends that are affecting small businesses, check out his New York Times blog.

2. Martin Zwilling blog
http://blog.startupprofessionals.com/

He is very experienced in this field and has a lot to teach you. Everything from marketing to software development can be found on his blog, so make sure you check it out if you are looking to start a new business.

3. James Altucher blog
http://www.jamesaltucher.com/

James Altucher is a blogger and expert in this field. He is a well known entrepreneur and best selling author as well, and on his blog you can find many different topics including articles about how to be an entrepreneur, which are written in a very interesting way.

4. Anita Campbell blog
http://smallbiztrends.com/author/anita

She is the founder and CEO, as well as the publisher of Small Business Trends, which is a very popular blog about different trends in small business. There are many different topics covered in her blogs, so if you are looking to learn something before starting your business, make sure you read some of her articles.

5. Joel Libava blog
https://www.thefranchiseking.com/

He has some really excellent tips on how to manage and run your franchise, and you should definitely check it out if you have this idea in your mind.

6. Noah Kagan blog
http://okdork.com/blog/

Noah Kagan is very experienced in business marketing, and has some really well written and wonderful guides about how you can increase the number of your customers. Make sure you check out his blog when you can, because it is something you shouldn’t miss when starting out your own business.

7. Amy Porterfield blog
http://www.amyporterfield.com/

The specialty of this blogger is Facebook marketing, and since it is something that is very important for your business, you should learn from her as soon as you can.

8. Brian Clark blog
http://www.copyblogger.com/author/brian/

He has a great blog about content marketing that is very popular and has been around since 2006, and is currently one of the leading blogs on content marketing, so you should definitely check it out.

9. Seth Godin blog
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

It is definitely one of the best blogs you should be following about marketing and small businesses. A must read.

10. John Jantsch blog
http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/

He has an excellent blog on marketing for business, something you must read before starting your own business.

11. Neil Patel blog
http://neilpatel.com/blog/

You may know that Neil Patel is the co-found of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, and you may also know that he has a great blog that you should check out.

12. Paul Graham blog
http://www.paulgraham.com/

Paul has a great blog on startups and the business world, a valuable resource for all business owners.

13. Dharmesh Shah blog
http://onstartups.com/

He is the co-founder of HubSpot, and he also has a blog called OnStartups. Worth checking out.

14. Steve Blank blog
https://steveblank.com/

Steve is a very well known investor, entrepreneur and business owner, and he has a lot of great advice to share.

15. Mark Cuban blog
http://markcubanblog.com/

You probably know Mark Cuban. He is the owner of the NBA franchise Dallas Mavericks, and he is a well known investor and business owner. He is very well known in the field of business, and if you look at his fortune, he seems to know what he’s doing.

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Apr

26th

Business Growth

7 Myths About New Businesses

Myths are ever present in everything we do, and business is no different. Here are 7 of the most common myths in new business development.

7 Most Common Myths About New Business

1. People often think that branding and full service advertising fall under specialization and that somebody needs to specialize to do that. That is a big myth and it is simply not true.

2. Another myth that people often believe is that selling something is more likely if you have a lot of things to sell. Again, this is simply not true. It’s better to be selective, and offer just a regular offer, that is better than other peoples offers, than to just have a gigantic selection of everything.

3. More meetings don’t equal more sales. People often fall into this trap and think that the more meetings they get, the more sales they will close. It’s not true and it just makes you spend more money, which is bad for the business.

4. Some people believe in the necessity of written proposals in sales. It is not a necessity. It’s really nothing more than a tool to be used for the business, and it isn’t even that beneficial when used in the traditional manner.

5. Building personal and close relationships equals more sales for the business. Of course, networking and close relationships are important for the business, but focusing too much on making friends in the business is not very likely to get you on the top.

6. Chemistry builds new business relationships. It’s a myth commonly cited. But there are two major problems with this. Firstly, what is chemistry? How can you define it? When people say chemistry, they often do that because of a lack of a better term. They most often found something great about the business, but for the lack of a better term use the word chemistry to describe their decision. Secondly, focusing too much on building business relationships through chemistry will not exactly make you learn a lot of things about the business world, and you may fall off later down the road.

7. Some people fall under the tree where they believe that selling something must come from persuading or intimidating someone to buy it. This is really not healthy, and it’s much better to look at sales from a different angle. Of course, this can work in a way, but to each their own.

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Apr

22nd

Business Growth

5 Tools Everyone in the Business Industry Should Be Using

Managing a business is difficult and it takes up a lot of your time, but you shouldn’t just give up, or force yourself to work harder. The answer is to work smarter, rather than to work harder. There are many different tools that can make your job easier and help you work a lot smarter, and generally speed up everything in the business, making the process smoother. And because tools are such an important thing for business, here are 5 tools that everyone in the business industry should use.

Google Analytics

You probably know what Google Analytics is, and you’ve been probably using it for your business, but if you haven’t, you should start using it as soon as possible. Using Google Analytics gives you the information that is necessary for finding out what works for your website, and what doesn’t work for your website.

Canva

Canva is a really good tool for your business. Think about this. Graphics are really awesome, and putting them in blog posts can really give you a lot. But, the problem with graphics is that they can take a really long to make in Photoshop. Because of that, you have this tool. It’s a really neat, cloud based tool which allows to really quickly, and with ease, create beautiful graphics. It also has templates if you are completely new to this field, and there’s a 30 day free trial when starting with it.

LinkedIn Pulse

This tool is really neat for publishing blog posts, if you don’t want the hassle of setting up a blogging website. It doesn’t cost anything, and it comes with your LinkedIn profile, you just have to click publish a post, and your blog post has been published.

Twitter

It is one of the most important social media platforms you can use for your business. The issue with businesses and Twitter is that most start with Twitter, but they don’t know what to do with it, they get lost, and quit Twitter after some time. That shouldn’t be the case, because Twitter is a really important platform.

An automated marketing system

Automated marketing systems are something remarkable that can greatly lift the load from your business. It is a great tool that helps you manage your website, your blogs, landing pages, as well as your social media profiles and many other things. You should really consider using for your business if you aren’t already.

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Apr

19th

Business Growth

10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Small Business

Today, in the modern world, the business world is harsh. There is a lot of competition, and you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to what your competitors are doing, because there is a lot you can learn from them. But what exactly can you learn about small businesses from your competitors if you pay attention to what they are doing?

You can learn how to handle the expenses of running a small business. Running a business has a lot to do with managing cash flow and other forms of financial management. And, if you aren’t fully satisfied with how you and your business is managing money, you can turn to your competitors if they are more successful at managing their money and see what they are doing.

You can learn how to effectively and efficiently manage your business schedules. Planning and setting up a solid schedule is one of the most important things for starting and running a business. Being able to properly schedule different objectives for your business is something that can put you above your competitors, but if you don’t think you are doing as much as you can with managing schedules, your competitors may hold the answers.

You can learn the importance of reputation in a small business. When you think about it, the reputation of a business is built on trust and confidence of consumers in the business. Your competition plays a good part in how your business reputation is built. You can learn a lot from them, and you can even build your reputation by being a good sport and business partner, if there is a partnership going on. If you criticize your competitors and talk in a degrading manner about their business, you could ruin your reputation.

You can learn how to reevaluate your business model. This is a fairly simple thing. If you aren’t happy with your business model, and your business strategy isn’t giving you the things you want for your business, look at your competitors. The ones that are most successful probably have a powerful business model and strategy, and you can learn a lot from that.

You can learn the importance of having a back up plan for your small business. Business are quite fragile, and the easiest way to find out just how fragile they are is looking at your competitors who had their business fail because they didn’t have a plan B. Always have a backup plan.

You can learn more about your products by looking at your competitors products and compare the two. Think about it. If your competitors are really successful with a certain product, and you are not, you can learn from them and incorporate what they are doing in your products.

You can learn how to specialize and focus your business. It’s essential that you find what your niche is and to stick with that, and you can easily learn that from your competitors. Chances are, if there is a highly successful competitor to your business, they are sticking to what they do best, and you should be doing that too.

You can learn how to be efficient by looking at your competitors and the level of efficiency they are working on. It is essential for your business to operate on a level of maximum efficiency, and there’s no easier way to learn how to do that than by looking at a business that is better and more efficient than yours. See what they are doing and try to implement that with your business.

You can learn how important it is to maintain a powerful Internet presence. Today, business is all about the web. If you are not taking advantage of that, you are giving up on a huge part of modern business practices. Check out how your competitors maintain their online presence and you might learn something from them.

You can learn how to be a powerful presence in the local scene and impact it greatly. What is competition doing that gives them such a powerful presence in the local community? Ask yourself that and you may learn a way to do it yourself.

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Apr

12th

Business Growth

How to Solve the Biggest Problems With Small Business

Operating a small business comes with its share of problems. Things like not having enough money, not having enough time, and not being able to adapt to and manage the growth of your business are some of the, if not the biggest problems your small business can face, and solving them when they come up is essential.

1. Money problems

It’s true that the financial side of running a business is probably the most difficult side to it. You may think finances are only about expenses and balancing, but there is a lot more to it. And it is not unlikely that your business will face financial problems in the future. You can do some things to solve the money crisis.

Creating a financial reporting structure is important for solving money problems in a small business. It is a great way of keeping your finances safe, because you can use it to project the finances of your business in the future and for other financial things too. You also need to make sure that the reports are being analyzed, because they won’t do no good if nobody is analyzing them and learning from them.
You should also think about credits and investors in case you hit some financial problems in the future.

2. Not having enough time

It is not unusual that small business owners work overtime and pretty much don’t have the time to do a lot of the things that need to be done. Pushing yourself too hard and working all the time is not something you should be doing, because you might face burnout, and you definitely don’t want that. Think of ways in which you can save time, which will allow you to be more efficient, and ultimately, make you feel better. Something as simple as bringing in extra help at the work place can do wonders. Operating a small business is no joke, and it takes up a lot of your time, but you need balance it out, you’ll see that everything will be better.

3. Not being able to adapt to growth

Having your small business grow is an excellent thing, but sometimes it can create difficulties. It happens that a small business just grows to fast, and that ultimately leads to its downfall. Think about what your business will face in the future if it keeps growing. What will change in the way you do business? Are you going to need to sacrifice something for that growth? Are you going to have greater expenses once your business grows? How much will they rise? All of these questions are very important and you need to answer them to be able to adapt to the growth of your business.

Another problem small business face when they grow is that they lose some of the trust and loyalty of their customers. People often very much like the small business idea and that charm it brings with it, but when a business expands, that charm can be lost, and people can be drawn away from the business. The best solution here would be to think ahead and plan very well. Ask yourself these questions and see how you will find the solutions for whatever problems you see in the future. Work hard on solving them, and you won’t lose your customers and face any larger problems.

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Apr

08th

Business Growth

5 Best Blogs To Follow About Small Business

You, as a small business owner, have the responsibility of learning as much as you can about your job. By knowing a lot, you are giving yourself and your business greater chances for success.

A great source of information on literally anything is the Internet. In the modern world, whenever we have a question we don’t have the answer to, we turn to the web.

There are many blogs on the Internet dedicated to small business and everything about small business. But, as with everything, some are better than others. We give you 5 Best Blogs to follow about Small Businesses.

Hootsuite
https://blog.hootsuite.com/
This is a small business blog that is all about social media. It’s a great place for tracking the things going on social media platforms, and it also has a lot of advice on different strategies you should implement on social media platforms for your small business. You can learn a lot by reading the tips on this blog.

The Blog of Tim Ferriss
http://fourhourworkweek.com/blog/
This guy really has some great business advice. He also has a book out called “The 4 Hour Work Week” which is something you should definitely read. On his blog, you can find, among other things, interviews with some very successful people, and you can really learn a lot by checking it out.

Small Business Trends
http://smallbiztrends.com/
This is a really good blog on the topic of small business. It has a really wide range of things it covers, so it doesn’t really matter in which category your business exists, because you will probably find something that can help you on this blog. The Small Business Trends blog will, among other things, provide you with information on customer service benchmarks, tips on marketing, info on loans, and a lot of other things.

Mightybytes
http://www.mightybytes.com/blog/
This is a really great looking and well design blog, and it has some really great articles. You can find different categories which include Design, Content Strategy, and other business related articles and advice.

Damn I Wish I’d Thought of That
http://damniwish.com/
The owner of this blog is a guy named Andy Sernovitz, and he’s a great writer, with his articles often being published on major newspapers. When you look at his blog, you’ll find a collection of his business articles and some really good tips on marketing.

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Apr

06th

Business Growth

Advertising for The Fashion Industry

Social media is evolving and in the recent time has become one of the primary sources of information. Because of that, business have to evolve too. An industry that has been particularly affected by this is the fashion industry. Because of the evolution of Social Media, the fashion industry had to evolve too. And since advertising is a big part of every business, it has changed too. What are some of the best ways to advertise in the modern fashion business?

Blogs

Blogs have become a very popular source of information for different things in the world of fashion. Most of the popular modern fashion blogs are being run by amateur bloggers, and a great benefit for the business could be achieved by contacting those bloggers and striking a deal.

Social network platforms

Social networking platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, are great ways of sharing information and things, especially in the fashion industry. It’s a really neat way of connecting with the people buying the clothes, and you can even share pictures of different clothes.

Traditional marketing and advertising

Traditional marketing hasn’t gone out of the picture yet. While the previous ways of marketing we mentioned work great, traditional marketing and advertising still is a big part of getting your business to the people and getting your message across. Researching target markets is important, so you know to what people to market to. In that way, you can edge much closer to success, as it is a recognized marketing strategy.

Board advertising

When you think about the fashion business, it is really a highly visual business. You can take advantage of this to a great extent. There are some special websites that would benefit you here. Websites like Pinterest can give your business a great advantage, because you can share you photos there for a lot of people to view. The same goes for Instagram. Pinterest is also a great place to share your fashion tips. You can share certain combinations of clothes for your viewers to see, and in that way, you are sharing a mini fashion tutorial, which works really well.

All these ways of advertising in the modern world for the fashion industry are great and they can really benefit you. If you have a fashion business, your advertising should primarily rely on these few methods to get your message across and to share your fashion with a lot of people.

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Mar

11th

Business Growth

Online Marketing Predictions For 2016

Online marketing is something that undergoes great changes through time. From year to year, the field of online marketing looks different. What will it look like throughout 2016?

Experts are making some predictions…

1. It is predicted that more websites will go responsive in 2016. It is important that websites keep up with the demands of the age, so it is likely that more websites will become responsive towards the end of 2016 to adapt to all the different devices going into the market. It is evident that people are going on the Internet mostly through hand-held devices today, and there are many different types of these devices, so websites need to adapt to their screens. If they don’t do that, they lose out.

Are these websites based in Houston responsive?

2. It is also predicted that the SEO will keep moving towards content marketing. SEO has been going through a great change in recent years, and it has been evolving towards something that is now commonly called content marketing. It will, by the predictions of experts, keep moving in that direction and will only evolve further in the future.

3. Content is being moved to video, and it is probably going to do so more and more in the future. YouTube has made a huge impact in recent times, and it has been an incredible content sharing platform. It is predicted that by the end of 2016, video is going to become an even greater content sharing platform. It is already a big deal, and all chances are that it is going to become an even bigger deal in the future.

4. Efficiency is going to become a necessity by the end of the year, as it is predicted. Of course, efficiency has been very important, but it is going to become even more important in 2016. Next to websites offering great content and great looks, they are going to need to be fast and efficient to be winners. If you are looking to have a successful website, efficiency is the right way to go.

5. Interactivity is going to take over by the end of 2016. Some of the most popular online content is actually interactive content, like quizzes and similar things. Personality quizzes have actually become really popular on the Internet in recent years. It is predicted that the popularity of these types of websites and this kind of interactive content where users participate in will just rise in the future and that websites which feature this kind of content will have a greater chance of success.

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Mar

04th

Business Growth

Modern Marketing

Marketing has changed a lot in recent years. It has entered a new age, and if you want to be successful, you need to keep up.

In the past, you had Television, you had print, all that stuff was at the top of marketing. Today, things are different. Internet rules the marketing kingdom, and you need to take advantage of that, you need to learn to adapt.

Today, marketing is largely knowing who your customers are, and knowing a lot about them. Campaigns are no longer created out of thin air, they are molded to the needs of the customers. When you know who your buyer is, and how he works, what he likes, things about him, your marketing success will greatly improve. Once you actually learn about your customer, these are the things you should be doing.

Content marketing is the first thing you should be focusing on. Content marketing that is shaped around the customers will greatly improve the success of the marketing campaign of your company. The days of marketers just randomly creating marketing campaigns is over. Focused and strategic content marketing is the future, and you need to be doing that if you want to be successful.

Something else that will help you with your marketing is marketing automation. Different software used for marketing automation will help your company spread the marketing on more than one platform. It is fairly recently that companies have started using this, but it is really neat and you should try and see where it leads you.

Social media goes a long way today. Think of it like this. You have content marketing, which is the spark plug. It is the things that gets the whole thing going. Then, you have marketing automation that scales everything the way it’s supposed to be. Social media comes in to keep the whole thing going, as a continuation in the marketing, the next step. Being smart and strategic with your use of Social media can do wonders.

Of course, using new age marketing doesn’t mean that you should completely forget about the more traditional methods of marketing. Things like direct mail work better today than ever. In the past, mailboxes were stuffed with direct mail, but today, since nobody is using it, they are empty. That means that whatever messages you send, they will be instantly visible and will catch the eye of people much more than in the past. It is a great opportunity, and why not that advantage of it? Traditional marketing still holds its ground today, and it mustn’t be abandoned.

Personalization is very important in modern marketing. Molding to the needs of the customers is essential, and you need to focused on doing exactly that.

All of these things are great tools to use in your marketing campaigns. Execute them right, and you are on the path to success.

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Feb

26th

Business Growth

7 Marketing Pitfalls to Avoid

Marketing is difficult and not everyone can pull it off without making a mistake. But, you can always learn. Here are some of the most common marketing mistakes that will set you back. Learn them and avoid them.

1. The basics are important
Laying down the groundwork before starting the marketing is really important. Deciding on the major, big picture of your marketing before actually starting it is essential for your success in the future. You need to learn what your target market is, you need to know how they will react to different forms of marketing. You need to plan out far into the future of your campaign, and eliminate the chances of things going wrong. Planning ahead is really important in marketing campaigns.

2. The buyer is the one that matters
Marketing is in some part about you, but the buyer is the one matters in the end. It is not easy to move the focus from you to your buyer when creating a marketing campaign, but it is worth it. Focusing on the buyer, rather than yourself, you will open up your marketing and you will give it a greater chance of actually being successful.

3. Don’t be too boastful
It is important that your marketing campaign is tasteful. If you push too hard, you’ll lose customers and you don’t want that. The people should get what they desire, that is fresh and interesting content that doesn’t push them away. Think about this well and hard, and you’ll be one step closer to a successful marketing campaign.

4. Calls to action are important
Your content assets should have calls to action. This one of the big ones for successful marketing, so calls to action should never be neglected.

5. Content marketing is not a one way street
Just spending time to create content is not enough, you also need to be active and respond and engage with the people who are part of your audience.

6. Your content needs to be meaningful
Just creating content to fill up pages is not a great move. It’s better to create less content, but that it is of high quality, than to create a lot of content that is of poor quality.

7. Patience and persistence is all important
Marketing is not a one time thing. A successful marketing campaign takes a lot of time and a lot of effort, and you can’t do it in a few days and nights. Stick with it, through all the rough patches, and in the end, you’ll reach success. Of course, there’s a point where you understand that you can’t succeed, and that’s when you need to give up and focus on bigger and brighter projects, but that comes only when you are completely sure that you can’t make it with your current marketing plan. You need to be flexible.

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Apr

30th

Business Growth

5 Biggest Challenges for Houston Small Businesses

The most successful businesses don’t wait for growth to happen. Instead, they take well-planned steps to improve their products or services, operations and delivery systems. This type of forward thinking requires a combination of research, accurate business records and entrepreneurial instincts. Putting it all together requires thoughtful planning and continued effort. There is constant flow of challenges and test points especially for small businesses. Some call them challenge and few blend them as problems. All in all, Houston Small Businesses and small businesses in most other parts of our great country, pack a serious punch.

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Apr

22nd

Business Growth

5 Best Blogs for Houston Small Business Owners

This article is to showcase the few absolutely best blogs that may serve beneficial for Houston Small Business Owners. These blogs have been picked up after a survey of more than hundred web sites and blogs that may concern Small Business Owners of Houston. Houston is home to many small businesses, and it’s now considered one of the top 10 cities for entrepreneurs, according to the Houston Business Journal. The journal notes a high concentration of small businesses in the city, nearly 20 small businesses per every 1,000 residents. And there are many factors that contribute to that growth, says Matt DeLeon, Business Development Coordinator for the City of Houston.

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