/Philip Akalp

About Philip Akalp

Phil Akalp runs CorpNet.com with his wife Nellie. A web marketer at heart, Phil has become a “Do-it-yourself through automation” evangelist. He is a pioneer of online legal self help, with an unrivaled passion for providing small business owners with legal assistance they can afford. Phil’s last document filing business was acquired by Intuit. He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration and Marketing from California State University, Northridge, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law. He is an active member of the California State Bar and is authorized to appear in the United States District Court, 9th Circuit.

Leveraging the Profit Centers in Your Business (and Junking the Rest)

Businessman pressing an Profit concept button.

Give some thought to your small business for just a moment. You probably offer several different products or services. Which bring you the most money? Which hardly bring any new business at all?

By focusing on the profit centers in your business, you can boost sales and become known for doing one or two things really well. Anything else, you don’t need. Here’s how to cut the crap.

Start with What You’re Known For

Over the years, we’ve experimented with several offerings here at CorpNet, but we keep coming back to the fact that we know how to incorporate a business really really well. People visit our site looking for content on incorporating, and they call us with questions. So that’s what we’re known for. We can offer other services, but people will always come to us for this first. Continue reading “Leveraging the Profit Centers in Your Business (and Junking the Rest)” »

By | September 9th, 2015|Running A Small Business|0 Comments

Get Back Your Time: 5 Tools to Help You Manage Your Small Business Tasks

112_2825531I have to be really disciplined to ensure that I make the most of my time at work. After all, there’s so much to do and so little time to do it! For business time management, I’ve discovered a few cool tools that help me do more with the time I have.

1. Wunderlist

Who doesn’t have a giant list of things to do? I try to remember them in my head, but given that my wife, Nellie, often wags her finger at me for forgetting, I guess that doesn’t always work so well. So now I use Wunderlist. I can jot down something as I remember it on my phone, then mark it off when it’s done.

I like it as well because I can assign employees tasks and we can collaborate via a chat function about the task.

2. Slack

I’ve got so much going on on any given day, I feel like I don’t always have the time it takes to walk through my office to talk to the employee I need to communicate with. That’s where Slack comes in handy. We use it to communicate about projects we’re working on, and we can set up different channels for each project to keep our chats organized. Continue reading “Get Back Your Time: 5 Tools to Help You Manage Your Small Business Tasks” »

By | August 24th, 2015|Business Tools|0 Comments

How to Hire the Right People

705_3508905At CorpNet, we pride ourselves on having a stellar team of employees. Many of our staff has been with us since we launched in 2009. We treat our staff like family, and in return, they do everything they can to help make CorpNet a success.

As a leader, I’ve learned a few strategies for finding the right people from the start and cultivating their skills so that they become long-term assets for our company.

1. Know What You’re Looking For

When you run a business, it’s challenging to be able to focus on any one part of your business for long. But if there’s one area I’ve found you can’t skimp on, it’s really thinking through your job description. If you hastily jot off a list of qualities you think you want in a new hire and then add to that list once that person starts training, you’re being unfair to the new employee by pulling the rug out from under her. Continue reading “How to Hire the Right People” »

By | July 27th, 2015|Managing People|0 Comments

4 Tech Trends That Will Affect Your Small Business

775_4721130I’m a big fan of technology that makes my work running CorpNet with my wife, Nellie, easier. Whenever there’s a new tool or app, I jump on it to see if I can incorporate it in my workflow. Some I’ve adopted, while others, not so much.

Here are 4 tech trends I think will make my (and your) work a lot easier in the not-too-distant future.

1. Data and Analytics

We’re currently experiencing a surge in focus on data and analytics, and for good reason: by 2020, we will have created about 40 zettabytes of data. Now, I may not know how big a zettabyte is, but suffice it to say: pretty damn big. All of this data is useless if we don’t know how to leverage it.

I’m really digging tools like Doppiometrics that aggregate all the analytics and reports you care about into one place. And that’s important too: knowing what analytics to care about. For me, some of the biggest ones are:

  • How much web traffic we have
  • Where that traffic is coming from
  • How many email subscribers they have
  • How many of them are clicking and buying
  • Our conversion rate on our ads

Continue reading “4 Tech Trends That Will Affect Your Small Business” »

By | June 18th, 2015|Business Technology|1 Comment

5 Tips to Smarter and More Efficient Business Meetings

430_3140256Nobody likes business meetings. So why do we have so many? Unfortunately, they’re a necessary evil when it comes to running a business. Having led my fair share of meetings at CorpNet, believe me: I hate it as much as my employees when I see them glaze over and stop listening to what I think is essential material. So I’ve devised my own strategies for waking them up and making the meetings more productive.

1. Meet More, Not Less

I know how this sounds, but hear me out. When you meet once a month (even once a week might not be often enough), your meetings tend to go on and on. People stop listening 15 minutes in. So while you have plenty of material to cover as you try to minimize your meeting frequency, you’re actually less productive when you try to get it all covered in a single meeting. Instead, opt for more meetings, but keep them short. Like: 15 minutes short. More on that next.

2. Keep Those Meetings Brief

I know, you’re still reeling from me suggesting that you hold a 15-minute meeting. Crazy, right? Hear me out. If you’re holding more frequent meetings, you don’t need them to all be an hour long. You’ll keep your staff’s attention span for such a short meeting, and they’ll be more likely to be productive as a result of the meeting. Set a timer if you have to, otherwise the meeting will go on and on. Continue reading “5 Tips to Smarter and More Efficient Business Meetings” »

By | May 15th, 2015|Business Operations, Managing People|0 Comments

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. Continue reading “5 Ways to Show the Administrative Professionals in Your Life a Little Appreciation” »

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

Why You Don’t Need to Be Your Employees’ Friend

436_3122139I get it, I really do. You spend 40 or more hours a week with the people you hired, so it’s understandable that you’d start to form friendships. But once you start a business, you’ve got to draw a line between being friendly with your staff and trying to be their friend. The difference between the two is where the respect you need from them lies.

How to Be Friendly (Without Going Overboard)

Any office functions better when the staff gets along. In our office, you’ll hear people asking about their colleague’s weekends on Monday mornings, and often they’ll go to lunch together. I’m right there, engaging in dialogue with my team, but there’s a point at which I stop. Usually that’s in oversharing personal details. My motto is: if I’m willing to share it on Facebook, I can share it around the office. If not, I keep it to myself. Continue reading “Why You Don’t Need to Be Your Employees’ Friend” »

By | March 23rd, 2015|Managing People|0 Comments

How Does Your Small Business Generate New Ideas?

1094_4756848When you first start a business, every day can bring something new and innovative to your business. But what if you run a more established small business? Wouldn’t you benefit from some new ideas as well? Here are four ways you can bring innovation back to your brand.

Open Up the Floor

Don’t get the wrong idea that you as the business owner are the only one who can come up with great ideas for your company. If you’ve got staff, their ideas are often great — and sometimes better than anything you could come up with.

Hold monthly brainstorm sessions and encourage their bright ideas. Let your team know that you value their opinions, and show that by implementing some of their ideas. They’ll soon start coming to you with their thoughts, now that they know you’re really listening.

Get Out of the Office

For me, my best ideas happen when I’m not at work. That lightning bolt might happen when I’m on a run or watching my kid’s ball game. When an idea comes, I make sure to jot it down so I don’t forget my genius thought. Continue reading “How Does Your Small Business Generate New Ideas?” »

By | March 2nd, 2015|Running A Small Business|1 Comment

6 Ways to Lead by Example

792_3723922Running a company — and therefore being in charge of people — is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it’s fulfilling in so many ways. But it can be a challenge because every day, regardless of how you feel, you have people looking to you for guidance. You’ve got to be on your toes and ensure that you’re doing your best to lead by example so that your staff emulates what you do and works their hardest for your company.

Here are 6 tactics I’ve found effective in my leadership strategy.

  1. Do What You Say.

I’m big on keeping my promises. Yes, I’m swamped, but when an employee asks me to do something, such as review their work or provide feedback, I make it a priority. That way, they know that my word is my bond, and that they can trust me.

  1. Say What You Mean.

I don’t believe in pussyfooting around something. I’m always honest. I refuse to lie or even expand on the truth to an employee, because I know from experience that it always backfires. People appreciate the truth, even if it’s ugly. Continue reading “6 Ways to Lead by Example” »

By | February 25th, 2015|Managing People|0 Comments

What I Love About Having My Business Partner as My Valentine

One thing that makes CorpNet.com unique is that it’s run by husband/wife team, Phil and Nellie Akalp. In honor of Valentine’s Day, Phil answers a few questions about working with the one he loves.

What’s the best thing about working with your spouse?

Well…we have A LOT more to talk about at dinner and on date night.  Although it’s important to separate the stressful part of our work lives from our personal lives, I find it very beneficial to our relationship to share and discuss the exciting and/or creative parts of our business…even during “personal time.”  We really “connect” when we are excited about something at work.  Thus it’s always a good idea to discuss a new project or idea…but we NEVER discuss accounting, taxes, or legal matters on date night.

 What’s the worst thing?

She knows EXACTLY where I am almost every minute of the day.  I’ll often get a “small” guilt trip when I sneak out for a massage or if I leave early and she remains behind putting out fires or addressing those “not-so-fun” tasks that every business must address.

Also, when one of us has had a stressful day due to a stressful event at work, we don’t really have each other to “vent” to.  I can’t just dump my work stress on her as she is under the same load as I am.

 What’s one lesson you’ve learned the hard way on your journey together?

“TRUST HER INSTINCTS!”  My wife/partner has only our best interests at heart.  Often, she’ll see something, potentially harmful, in a situation or in a person that I fail to see.  Nine times out of ten, she was right!  I have learned to defer to Nellie’s judgment whenever she says “No…let’s avoid this person

[or situation].”

 What are your rules for keeping work and life balanced?

I take care of “ME” first.  That doesn’t mean that I behave in a selfish or self-serving manner.  However, I have personal challenges that I face on a daily basis.  Unless I take the time, each day, to prioritize, plan, and execute, nothing will get done and I’ll end up in a tailspin by the end of the week.  For example, for me, its important that I  eat healthy, exercise daily, spend quality time with at least one of our four kids daily…even if it’s only a few minutes,

Also, I am a creative and passionate entrepreneur; I must continually work toward maintaining focus or else I am all over the place.  One of the worst feelings for me is having a million ideas and executing on none of them.  I have found that “singleness of purpose” is often very helpful during my day.  Multi-tasking is my enemy.  On the other hand, Nellie is THE BEST multi-tasker I have ever met.

 How do you make Nellie happy in the office?

I’ll buy her flowers once per month…randomly…for no special occasion.  I “try” to stay out of her way when she is managing her team…I have a tendency to take over and drive whenever the subject matter falls within my expertise…and once I’m on a roll, it’s hard to stop me.  Thus, I “TRY” to sit there and just look pretty while she’s speaking to the team.

By | February 13th, 2015|Running A Small Business|0 Comments