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How I Make Time for Myself After the Stress of Tax Day

775_4538261Thank goodness tax time is over, right? I, like most small business owners, find this time of year a bit stressful. So after April 15 passes, I’m all about rejuvenating and recharging my battery.

When you run a business, whether you’re the only staff or you manage a team of ten, it is essential that you make time for yourself. Otherwise, you’re a stressed out ball of tension that puts your business —and your health — in jeopardy.

We’re all in the same boat here, so I thought I’d share how I decompress.

1. Exercise

I live for exercise! It’s what helps me drain away the stress of the day and keep my body in shape. I work out 4-5 times a week — sometimes even 6! I enjoy barre classes, running, and cross training with my personal trainer a few times a week with weights.

By |April 29th, 2015|Women In Business|0 Comments

Before Publishing That Tweet, 7 Questions to Ask Yourself

452_4612078One of the advantages of social media in general and Twitter in particular is the ease of publishing and the speed of getting your message out to the multitudes. Watch out though: this benefit can quickly turn into a disadvantage because off-the-cuff remarks or swift comebacks can undermine your brand’s core message. Of course, you don’t want to overthink your communications either because the shelf-life of a tweet can be very, very brief when 500 million tweets are published every day.

In light of this, what are some good rules of thumb to consider as you prepare to post your next tweet?

1. Does it make sense?

Sometimes when speaking to a defined group, writers use specialized language that is not decipherable to a broader group. Look at your tweet and ask yourself, “Will the average reader be able to understand it?”

By |April 27th, 2015|Social Media Strategy For Small Business|0 Comments

Businesses Incorporated in Texas Need to Fill Out an Annual Report By May 15

506_4771957Before you form an LLC in Texas or incorporate a business in Texas, it’s important that you know what your responsibilities will be in reporting on your business in future years. If you’ve already formed an LLC or corporation, you need to be aware of an important deadline on May 15.

That’s the date your Annual Report — also called Franchise Tax Report — is due. Here’s what you need to know to ensure that you stay compliant with the state of Texas.

The Rules are Different For Your First Year

When you first incorporate in Texas or file an LLC, you have one year and 89 days from your start date to file your initial report. After that, your Annual Report is due May 15 each year.

What Goes on a Texas Annual Report

When you fill out this document, either online through the Texas Secretary of State website or on paper, you will fill out some basic information about your company. If anything has changed in the past year, it’s essential that you update that information in the report, whether your business changed addresses or you made any alterations to your Board of Directors.

By |April 24th, 2015|Business Filings|0 Comments

Which Is More Important: User Experience or Security?

437_3017933A user-friendly website is essential for success in business today. Sites must not only be easy to navigate on PCs, but on smartphones and tablets, as well. Complicating all of this is the increasing pressure businesses feel to ensure all interactions are as secure as possible. In an ideal world, businesses would be able to balance both without sacrificing one for the other. Unfortunately, many businesses today are forced to weigh usability against tightened security when building apps or redesigning websites.

But with the ongoing threat of data breaches, businesses can’t afford to stop paying attention to security. Brand reputation is at stake. Without an easy-to-use website, though, they may not be able to build a high-impact reputation in the first place. It’s important that business strike the right balance between both to keep customer safe without creating a complicated user experience.

User Experience vs. Security

When a consumer navigates your site, there’s likely a specific purpose. A customer may be interested in learning your store hours or directions, searching for information on pricing, making a purchase, or one of many other goals. If information is the end goal, your website’s navigability is the most important thing, since customers will likely grab information and go. In that case, the only time you’re likely putting customer data at risk is if your site is hacked or you’re collecting information.

By |April 23rd, 2015|Business Technology|0 Comments

Social Media Contest by Moneydiver

borjaoHello, thanks for coming over, listening to the interview with CEO of CorpNet.com Nellie Akalp and for your interest in participating.

Social media can be done well or it can be done very wrong. In the most recent segment on Moneydiver by Borja Obeso about internet marketing tactics you were shown the importance of Social Media when crafting your marketing campaign.

This episode with Nellie Akalp showed you how to approach Social Media to make sure that your branding is done the right way and that you avoid a series of incorrect practices that could seriously jeopardize your business and your brand.

The Social Media Marketing Contest

Enter to win unlimited access to all WordPress Themes Created by Smartduu! Here are the two simple steps:

– Subscribe to The Moneydiver Podcast and leave an honest review

– Answer to this question: “How would provide value to your audience via Social Media?” (If you need to listen to the episode again you can here)

Click Here to Tweet Your Answer and enter!

Good Luck!

5 Ways to Show the Administrative Professionals in Your Life a Little Appreciation

643_3419272There’s an important holiday on Wednesday, and it’s likely one you’ve overlooked. It’s Administrative Professionals’ Day, and a day that you need to make sure you show support to the people in your office that help you run like a well-oiled machine.

Where Would We Be Without Them?

Whether it’s your secretary, your assistant, your receptionist, or anyone else that makes you look good, keeps you organized and on time, and acts as the backbone of your company, you owe a lot to your administrative staff. Imagine a day without them. I bet you’re sweating at the thought!

A Round of Applause, Please

Let’s look at five ways you can let the admins in your office know how much you care.

By |April 20th, 2015|Managing People|0 Comments

5 Tools to Make You a Smarter Salesperson

1045_4601245Whether you’re just starting a business or are expanding your sales team, every little bit of advice helps. When it comes to sales, certainly being talented in the field helps, but you can always make your work easier with the help of the right tools. Here are five that I think make the whole process of finding a lead, nurturing it, and closing that sale a lot easier.

 

  1. Customer Relationship Management Software

 

Also called CRM, this software is a salesperson’s dream come true. It is designed to help you keep on top of client data, like contact information, notes on past interactions, and purchases they’ve made. But today’s CRM goes a lot further. Brands like Insightly are coming up with new and exciting features like being able to monitor what your customers are saying on social media, or assign tasks to make sure you close that sale.

By |April 17th, 2015|Running A Small Business|0 Comments

Paying Your Small Business Taxes: Three Options to Consider

285_2792143If you’re like most small business owners, you groan when April rolls around. You know you have a hefty tax bill waiting for you, and it’s one you despise paying.

What’s your plan for paying that tax bill? Did you know you had options? Let’s look at three smart ways you can get your taxes paid with minimum stress or fees.

Method 1: The Plan-Ahead Strategy

Now, we’re not all this diligent, but if you plan now for the taxes you’ll need to pay in 2016, you can easily set aside enough to cover the bill. Likely, your tax bill is pretty steadily the same amount each year. So use this year’s amount as a guideline for next year. How much would you need to set aside monthly to cover it in 12 months?

If you don’t have a business savings account, set one up so the money is diverted from your savings account and you’re not tempted to spend it. Look for a high-yield savings account so the interest helps you toward your financial goal.

You can also send the IRS quarterly estimated tax payments to keep from having a gigantic bill come April.

By |April 15th, 2015|Taxes|0 Comments

5 Strategies You Should Add to Your Email Marketing Campaigns

609_3546844As social media marketing has grown in popularity, marketers have gradually lost focus on one of the best ways to reach customers on a one-on-one basis. Email marketing is still extremely relevant, however, offering brands an opportunity to connect with customers using coupons and special offers. Data analytics has made it possible for brands to be more effective than ever in their efforts, learning what works and what doesn’t in order to craft more successful campaigns.

But technology has only made the email marketing landscape more competitive. To truly improve click-through rates and increase conversions, brands have to be proactive. Here are five strategies that can help your email marketing campaigns succeed.

By |April 14th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

Should You Offer Equity to Employees?

571_3161065When your staff feels like family, it’s only natural that you would want to get them more involved with your business. After all, employees who feel vested in your company are more likely to work hard!

One way to involve them more is to offer equity to employees. Here we’ll look at whether it’s a good fit for your business.

Why Offer Equity

When you first start a business, your company’s success relies completely on you. But as it grows, you come to rely on others to help you grow your business. Offering equity is one way to show your appreciation of the people who work so hard for you every day.

But the benefits go beyond that. Many companies use equity as an employee perk to save money. If you offer slightly less in salary, but offer some great stock options, an employee has the potential to make more than they would with just the salary.

By |April 13th, 2015|Managing People|0 Comments