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6 Pieces of Advice You Shouldn’t Listen to When Starting a Business

609_3699100It’s funny how when you hit a certain milestone in your life, everyone’s there with unwanted advice. Like when you are expecting a baby. Getting married. Or…starting a business.

Now, I appreciate advice as much as anyone, but there are certain pieces of advice that I could have done without when I started both of my legal filing services. Here are the ones you can ignore.

1. Find the Right Time to Launch

Folks, I’ll be honest. There’s no ideal time to launch your business. Life will always get in the way. And if you strive for perfection before you even reveal your products to the world…well, you’ll be waiting a long time.

Instead, be okay with imperfection. The faster you start your business and get your products out there, the sooner you can get feedback from your customers and go back and improve your offerings. Continue reading “6 Pieces of Advice You Shouldn’t Listen to When Starting a Business” »

Nellie Akalp Tells You Why You Need to Incorporate on FOX Business

Once again, our fearless leader Nellie Akalp was featured on FOX Business. This time, she discussed the benefits of incorporating your business. She told the audience that incorporating provides a shield for you and your business, and also separates you from the business by protecting your personal assets.

And it doesn’t have to be expensive and done by a lawyer. You can even take care of the incorporating process yourself, though you will be responsible for keeping up with annual paperwork.

Where you incorporate matters, too. Nellie said for companies with 5 or fewer shareholders, the best place to incorporate is in your home state.

Watch her recent FOX interview below:

How to Become Big on Twitter

545_3132072There are Twitter users, and then there are influencers. You know the ones: maybe they’ve got  thousands of followers, and everyone turns to them to get advice on a particular subject. Or maybe they carry on engaging, far-reaching conversations. Or maybe they always have something interesting to share, and their content spreads.  People hear them, and they have a presence.

Big in this sense isn’t about numbers of followers necessarily (although you need some kind of following). Big in the world of influence means “impactful.”

So how can you get from where you are to where they are? Begin with these helpful tips. Continue reading “How to Become Big on Twitter” »

5 Ways to Survive Working From Home With the Kids on Break

609_3870467If you’re like me, you dread summer in many ways. Primarily because you’ve got three loooong months of kids whining about having nothing to do. Not the best environment for working from home, right?

I’ve come up with a few strategies that can shake your kiddies out of their summer slump and help you be more productive in running your business during these summer months.

1. Get a Plan

It’s easy enough to fill your kids’ agendas with summer camp and activities to keep them out of the house, but they might still grouse if they’re not into it. Instead, sit down with them at the start of the summer and devise a plan that includes some out-of-the-house enriching activities and some downtime (hello, Minecraft). You’ll show them that you care about how they want to spend their summer, although you’re both compromising between what you want (them out of the house) and what they want (vegging out on the couch). Continue reading “5 Ways to Survive Working From Home With the Kids on Break” »

Mobile Apps: Why Your Small Business Needs One

775_4484102 If you thought apps were just for big businesses, think again. Companies of all shapes and sizes stand to benefit from these popular mobile programs. Here are just five reasons why your small business needs an app.

1. Apps Give Your Business Presence

Many small businesses feel that they needn’t bother with an app because they have a web presence. They might have even spent time customizing their website for mobile use. But an app has a much greater presence than a bookmark on a browser. Rather than being simply a URL on a list, your app is always there on the mobile desktop. Even if the people who download your app don’t open it every time they play with their device, they see its icon and think of your business. This is invaluable for building brand awareness.

2. Customers Love Apps

Giving your customers what they want is one of the best ways to build brand loyalty. And in the mobile age, what they want is apps. A study of 500 small businesses with both mobile websites and apps found that 81 percent of customers preferred the app. This makes sense, as people spend around 82 percent of their mobile minutes in apps, rather than mobile sites. Continue reading “Mobile Apps: Why Your Small Business Needs One” »

Is Your Business Leveraging Customer Reviews?

reviewsOne of the best ways to attract new business is to let your customers speak for you. Online customer reviews are taking precedence over other types of marketing: 90% of shoppers are influenced on their purchases by positive reviews of brands. That’s not a number you can afford to ignore.

Find Out What Customers Really Think

Often during a transaction, there’s little time to really assess what a customer is thinking. In general, people seem to leave your store happy. You’ve got even less information about a customer’s mindset if your transactions are purely online. It might not be until you read their review of your business that you really know what they were thinking. Continue reading “Is Your Business Leveraging Customer Reviews?” »

10 Things You Should Know About Incorporating Your Small Business

550_4620715If you’re considering incorporating your small business, read this first. This is not a decision to be taken lightly, so make sure you’re aware of what you need to know and do to run a corporation.

1. Where You Incorporate Matters

Many business owners think they should incorporate in a state like Nevada so they won’t have to pay state taxes, but the opposite is actually true. Whatever state you operate in, that’s the state that will require you to pay taxes on any sales that originate in your state. So there’s no getting around paying your state taxes simply by filing your incorporation paperwork in another state. Continue reading “10 Things You Should Know About Incorporating Your Small Business” »

Taking Your Business Blog to the Next Level

1019_4569499Now that you’ve started your business blog, it’s time for some advanced tactics to attract more readers, beef up your content, and become known as an expert in your industry.

Goal 1: Attract More Readers

You want your blog to ultimately drive traffic to the rest of your site so people will buy your products or services. That means you need to amp up the number of readers your blog gets so that you’ll convert a decent number of them into customers.  Continue reading “Taking Your Business Blog to the Next Level” »

Should You Hire Interns, Freelancers, or Employees for Your Small Business?

609_3799441When you get to a point in your business where you need help, you’ll probably come up against the question: what type of help should I hire? Factors like how much help you need, your budget, and the area of specialty you need assistance with will all factor into your decision.

Fortunately, you have a few options that all fit different staffing needs.

The Intern: Affordable, but Needs Hand-Holding

If you’re looking for a highly-affordable option (and sometimes even free), interns are a great possibility. They’re ideal for those easier tasks, like making copies and filing, and if you snag one from your local university’s marketing department, you might even land one who can help you with your social media management.

If you read that Twitter pays its interns nearly $7,000 a month, don’t despair: some internships are unpaid, while others pay minimum wage. Remember, you are giving students valuable training and the ability to list real work experience on their resumes, and that is worth something. See if the local college has requirements of you as an employer in terms of pay. Continue reading “Should You Hire Interns, Freelancers, or Employees for Your Small Business?” »

How to Benefit from Every Social Media Channel

452_4612084If you pay attention, each social media site has a slightly different purpose and benefits. In this post, I want to look at how you can take advantage of each, as well as guide you to the best types of content you can share.


Twitter is fantastic for short-and-sweet shares. If you can say it in 140 characters or less, it works on Twitter. That means you should condense what a blog post is about and include the link. (Here’s a tip: shorten the URL to save space.) Continue reading “How to Benefit from Every Social Media Channel” »