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CorpNet Nellie’s Annual Biz Birthday Wisdom

702_3427388I’ve gotten into the tradition of offering advice to you as a small business owner this time of year. You see, my birthday is coming up, and rather than receive gifts, I like to give them to you. Consider the following advice on how to successfully run your business my gift of wisdom. After all, I’ve been around the block not once but twice, and if I can keep you from making the mistakes I’ve made, so much the better.

  1. If you are stuck in a rut, go back to your roots

I get that sometimes you’re less than thrilled to go to your office and start working. Been there. Sometimes all I want to do is pull the covers back over my head and sleep 15 hours.

When that happens, I remind myself of why I got into running my own business in the first place. I wanted to help small business owners and entrepreneurs succeed. So I came up with business filing services that would help people start a business faster and easier.

Why did you start your business? Perhaps you can find inspiration that will jolt you out of your rut and keep you moving forward. Continue reading “CorpNet Nellie’s Annual Biz Birthday Wisdom” »

7 Things to Do for Your Biz Before the End of the Year

991_4224312The end of the year may seem far off, but trust me: December will be here before you know it. And because there are several things you should mark off your list before then, getting a head start can keep you from having a time crunch when you’d rather be enjoying holiday cookies and punch at year’s end.

Here’s what you need to make sure is done before you close out 2014.

1. Choose Your Business Structure

If you read this blog regularly, you know I harp on the importance of having an appropriate business structure. It’s not just hot air! Incorporating or filing as an LLC is truly one of the best things you can do for you company.

Doing so now will help you make a clean break from one business structure (sole proprietor) to the new one for the new year.

2. Get a Plan for Next Year

If you tweak your business plan annually, you can look right now to see how close you were to hitting your targets this year, and start planning for next year. You can wait until December to finalize the numbers, but there’s no reason you can’t get a head start on building out your plan now. Continue reading “7 Things to Do for Your Biz Before the End of the Year” »

How to Use Mobile Video to Help Grow Your Small Business

991_4521300Shorter consumer attention spans and the constant flow of digital media makes it more difficult than ever for businesses to get noticed in today’s digital arena. If your small business is struggling to expand on the digital front, then it’s probably time to embrace mobile video. When it comes to taking your business to new marketing heights, here are a handful of handheld ways mobile video can help.

Optimizing Your Landing Page 

If you spend a couple of minutes searching different websites, you’ll quickly notice that the one thing that sets a great site apart from a lackluster one is the landing page. Mobile video can help optimize your landing page, which is hugely beneficial in the mobile market.

Customers who find your website via their mobile device usually don’t have the time or patience to navigate each individual page on your site. But, with a mobile video on your landing page, you can sum up your goods and services as well as give your business instantaneous personality in one short, convenient, mobile-friendly video.  Continue reading “How to Use Mobile Video to Help Grow Your Small Business” »

How CorpNet Helped Me Grow My Business

I have the unfair advantage, working with CorpNet behind the scenes. I’m one of the first to see their newest products and see what offerings are in the pipeline. But it took me a few months after I started working with the company before I started drinking the Kool-Aid and actually incorporated my marketing business. Nellie Akalp asked me to tell my story about my business and how CorpNet helped me. Here it is.

egg logoI’ve always been a writer at heart, ever since I could first hold a pencil.

I found my professional passion as a writer in marketing after earning my MBA, and worked for a few private firms in marketing roles. After working for a few crazy bosses (no, really), I knew I could do a better job myself. And so I became an accidental entrepreneur in 2006 when I started my business, Egg Marketing & Communications. Continue reading “How CorpNet Helped Me Grow My Business” »

6 Things That Are Holding You Back from Growing Your Business

862_4216602 (1)Perhaps you’re eager to take your business to the next level, but feel like there are obstacles preventing you from growing your business. If you’re not aware of what they are, it can be difficult to remove them.

Here are 6 barriers that often keep small business owners from forging ahead.

1. You Trust No One as Much as You Trust Yourself

You’re overworked because you do everything in your business. And you do it all because you don’t trust anyone else to do it as well as you could do. While that’s probably true for a few of your responsibilities, delegating other tasks can take a huge load off. Choose the areas you’re weak in (maybe marketing or design) and hire someone else who’s more qualified (and faster) at handling them. Continue reading “6 Things That Are Holding You Back from Growing Your Business” »

How to Start Working from Home

775_4505406Working from home is the ideal way for many entrepreneurs to both work on their business as well as maintain balance with their personal lives. And hey, the short commute ain’t so bad, either!

Here are a few tips to help you start a business working from home.

First, Decide if it’s Right for You

The truth is, not every entrepreneur is cut out for working from home. There are a lot of distractions waiting to take you away from your focus, and sometimes your family isn’t capable of letting you work in peace and quiet.

So consider: are you able to motivate yourself to get work done without other co-workers around (or even with children running around)? Do you have space in your home that you can dedicate as your home office? Are you able to separate work and home life, or will you end up doing laundry when you should be working?

If the answer to any of these is “no,” think twice before working from home. It’s simply not for everyone. Continue reading “How to Start Working from Home” »

Why No One Is Reading Your Blog

511_3060496You started your blog, you’re faithful to your posting schedule, your copy is free of grammatical errors, your content is strong and no one is reading. Waaaaaaaaaaah. Don’t cry. Look at what you can do to ensure your blog is getting the eyeballs it deserves.

Are you promoting it effectively?

Take the time to promote your blog by sharing your posts on social media. Remember to use a powerful pull quote or a gripping, but relevant title to engage readers. Use sites like BizSugar to share your tips and tricks and see how your content fares against other writing. The important thing is to keep sharing your URL in an appropriate and resourceful way, seeking out new opportunities without fail.

Are you connecting with readers?

While comment sections can be dreary places, you can spice them up with witty and articulate contributions. Look around to see who else is creating content in a similar vein and engage them in dialogue. When you create a compelling discussion, you attract an active audience and the exchange can extend to your blog. Make sure you link back your URL, so your audience can find you. Continue reading “Why No One Is Reading Your Blog” »

5 Steps for Registering Your Business’ Name

The woman with a magnifierOne of the very first steps you need to do when starting a business is to register your business name. Many newbie entrepreneurs assume simply deciding on a name is sufficient to establish it, but that’s not the case.

In order to ensure that you’re the only person using this name, and to protect yourself from anyone else using it, there are a few steps you need to take to register a business name.

Step 1: Conduct a Name Search

The quickest way to see if anyone else is using the name you want for your business is to conduct a corporate name search. This will tell you whether anyone else in your state is registered with a business of the same name. If that’s the case, you may want to choose another name so as to avoid confusion.

Keep in mind, this search won’t tell you if anyone in any other state is using the name. For that, you can trademark your name to get a nationwide search on it.

(CorpNet offers free corporate name searches!) Continue reading “5 Steps for Registering Your Business’ Name” »

Should You Hire an Intern This Fall?

609_3688247Every season brings something different, and in addition to cooler weather, the fall brings you the opportunity to boost your staff without reducing your budget. Hiring an intern is a great way to take some of those mundane tasks off your list while possibly grooming your next employee.

Why Interns?

As a small business owner, you don’t have a lot of money, but you do have a lot of work. So while hiring a full-time employee isn’t always an option, hiring an intern is. Sure, it’ll take some training and hand-holding, but working with an intern provides many perks:

  • You can focus on running your business while they handle the admin or repetitive tasks
  • You get more done without stressing
  • You teach them the ropes, and if you like them,  you can hire them after the internship is complete
  • You get a free trial run with a potential employee!

Some colleges require you to pay at least a nominal salary to your intern, while others are nonpaid. Figure out which fits your budget. Continue reading “Should You Hire an Intern This Fall?” »

Five Ways to Use Twitter to Build Credibility

168_2588616Whew! Social networks are huge and only getting bigger. Twitter has proven that it is a great way to reach an audience, but how can you use Twitter to build credibility over time if you have more to contribute than jokes, memes or mean tweets directed at celebrities? One of the first rules of useful Twitter engagement is to base your interactions on courtesy and respect. It is important to think through your comments before you post, as your tweets will live on in eternity. Remember: if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t put it in a tweet.

Connect with Leaders in your Field

Search wide and far to find influencer in your industry. A great way to initiate contact is to ask them a thoughtful question that they may not have been asked before. Think long and hard before asking something that you could just look up on a search engine. Kudos are great, but they don’t really add to the overall conversation. Use them sparingly as your first means of communication.

Share Great Content

Sure you can link to your own work, but to build your reputation on Twitter, it is vital to share timely, interesting, and related content. There are no limits. Share industry humor (keep it light-hearted), good advice, relevant articles or even original research that connects to your area of interest. Continue reading “Five Ways to Use Twitter to Build Credibility” »