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Do You Have the Right Marketing Funnel in Place?

While any new business will require an ample amount of marketing, the direction that you take with this could end up reaching the wrong target market – and even if you are hitting the right people and / or businesses with your offer, your company could be falling short of its true potential if you aren’t taking your potential clients through the proper marketing funnel. What Exactly is a Marketing Funnel? A marketing funnel is defined as a “consumer focused marketing model that illustrates the theoretical ‘customer journey’ towards the purchase of a product or a service.” In its most basic sense, a potential customer will go through specific stages of the marketing funnel, on their way to ultimately committing to a purchase. These stages will typically i...

Do You Have Shiny Object Syndrome?

As a new business owner, it may be that you are afflicted with shiny object syndrome. The “official” definition of this is “having an attraction to objects that exhibit a glassy, polished, gleaming, or otherwise shiny appearance.” Because of this, even something as simple as a reflection in your peripheral vision could easily distract your attention away from what you are currently doing. While you may not fit into the physical definition of shiny object syndrome, you could still fall into its “trap” as you move towards starting your new company. In this vein, the “shiny objects” that distract your attention may be chasing after different types of clients, but with no real focus on who your target customer really is. It could also manifest itself by taking one “how to” course after another...

Email Marketing – Effective or a Waste of Time?

Email marketing is one of the most talked about – and controversial – topics that many new business owners engage in. One reason for this is because, while marketing via email can be a highly effective tool, if it isn’t done properly, it can end up costing you a great deal of time and money without garnering any results. And in some cases, if your email marketing is considered by recipients to be spam, it may even get you banned from further communication. The Effects of an Email Marketing Campaign With so many people today having computers, tablets, and / or smart phones, email marketing can be a great way to reach target customers. It can also be an ideal way to keep your current, and your potential, clients informed about your offering, as well as any related topics. U...

Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Business?

The Internet has made starting and running a business very convenient today – and this includes having access to a virtual assistant. By definition, a virtual assistant is typically an individual who is self-employed and who can carry out a wide range of different administrative jobs, such as scheduling, answering emails, and other various duties. For many new business owners, being able to rely on a virtual assistant can help to save a tremendous amount of time – and in many cases, it can also end up saving money, too. One reason for this is because you can pass along the time-consuming administrative tasks to someone else, while you are able to more fully concentrate on the items that help your business grow. In turn, making the best use of your time can also help the busines...

Do You Really Need a Business Plan?

When starting a new company, do you really need a business plan? In most instances, the answer here is a resounding yes! Just like any other successful endeavor, a business plan can be an essential part of your overall foundation – without which, the entire business could end up going in the wrong direction, and ultimately not working out. What Should Your Business Plan Include? While all business plans don’t have to be long and include each and every detail, there are some components that are typically required. These include the following: Executive Summary – The executive summary can be thought of as a “snapshot” of your overall business plan. It is here that you will summarize the goals of your business, the product or service it offers, and the ideal targ...

Should You Say Yes to All Potential New Clients?

When starting a new business, making a profit may be the first thing on your agenda, but should you say yes to all potential new clients who come your way? The answer is, in a word, No. While it can be extremely tempting to take on as many clients as you possibly can when you’re initiating your business, there are actually several reasons why you should be very selective – even if it means forgoing some income. One of the biggest reasons for this is because you could end up spending an inordinate amount of time providing some clients with your product or service, only to find out that they will take up much more of your time than necessary and / or they will end up returning the product they bought because it was not a good fit for their needs. Just as in other areas of life, t...

Costs to Consider When Starting a New Business

Although there are some new endeavors that may incur less than others when it comes necessary to start-up funds, there are typically at least some costs to consider when starting a new business. Knowing what – and how much – to anticipate ahead of time can help you to alleviate financial surprises down the road. Common Costs to Consider When Starting a New Business Not all new companies will require the same out-of-pocket expenses when they are getting up and running. But there are some common costs that you will need to be aware of. These can include the following: Rent for Office Space Office Supplies Marketing Materials (including flyers, business cards, and other advertising items) Website domain and website hosting services Organizational costs (such as setting up a corpor...

How You Can Start an Online Business

If you’re stuck in a 9 to 5 job that you really don’t enjoy, you may be wondering how you can start an online business and escape the proverbial “rat race.” There are many advantages to having an online business, starting with the fact that you can literally work from anywhere that there’s an internet connection. But before you dive in head first, it is important that you have a sought-after product or service, as well as a way to entice potential customers to your website. How You Can Start an Online Business That’s a Success Starting any type of business will certainly have its ups and downs. But, if you follow some key tips, you can have a much better chance of success. Here are some of the key strategies that you should consider: First, find a need &...

Are You Just Starting a Business, or Are You Solving Customers’ Needs?

While there is an endless number of very good start-up business ideas for products and services, before you take the plunge into entrepreneurship, it is essential that you determine whether you are just simply adding another option for people to choose, or if you are truly solving customers’ needs. As an example, the best products and services that are available in the market are those that solve a problem, provide enjoyment, and / or make life easier for customers. Push versus Pull Marketing Think back to when you were young. For many of us, watching Saturday morning cartoons was fairly common. During those shows, items like toys and cereals where heavily advertised. Because of that, there was no need to someone to “push” these products on you. Rather, you wanted these i...

Struggling to Get Your New Business Off the Ground

Starting and running a new business may have been a long-time dream come true, or it may be the result of being laid off or downsized that has forced you to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. Whatever the reason may be, getting a new business off the ground can be difficult – even without having to answer to a boss. In fact, in many ways, going this route can be even more daunting, as most new business ventures don’t come with any type of guaranteed income (or an instruction manual). There are some steps that can make the process easier, though – and, knowing that you’re not alone can also help. First and foremost, it is essential that you know your market. While you may think that you’ve got a great product or service, the reality is that, if no one is in...

Key Tips for Raising Venture Capital

Most small companies will eventually need (or already do need) capital to start and grow. In many cases, tapping savings – your own, or that of interested family and friends – is the first step in obtaining the necessary funds. But, if you are in need of additional capital, one option for some small companies is to seek venture capital, or VC. Before you run headstrong into the VC world, though, it is essential to know just exactly what you’re looking for, as well as what you are willing to give up in order to get the needed funding. Some of the key tips to keep in mind when going the route of raising venture capital include: Having a good understanding of the venture capital process. First and foremost, it is important to understand just exactly how the process of securi...

Does Your Management Style Gel with Your Employees

Depending on your management style, there are some business owners who are able to easily lead their employees and keep them motivated in moving the company towards its mission, and ultimately move towards good, solid profits. For others, though, coming up with great business ideas may be your forte – but managing other humans, not so much. Six Key Management Style Attributes If you are currently managing people (or you soon will be), there are six styles of management or leadership cited in a recent Hay-McBer study that people usually engage in. These include the following: The Directive – Managers with a directive style will usually lead in more of a controlling manner. For example, they will closely monitor their employees in a “do it the way I tell you to” way. ...

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