/Business Tools

Business Startup Advice: How to Choose an Advisor for Your Startup

438_3384469When you run a business, you don’t always know the best decisions to make. After all, your expertise is in one area; you might not be well-versed in finance, marketing, management, or growth strategy. That’s where having an advisor comes in handy.

Heck: why stop with just one advisor? Building an advisory panel can give you access to talented people in all the areas of your business that you want help in.

Firt, Identify Your Areas of Weakness

The key to success is knowing what you’re not good at. You can’t be an expert at everything in your business, so pick the areas you are weakest in, or seek the most help in. These will be the ones you start recruiting advisors to help with.

Maybe you really want to make a splash on social media but aren’t doing it with your current efforts. Then you can find a rock star social media influencer to guide you to success in that area.

Start with 1-3 areas where you think having an advisor will help. Continue reading “Business Startup Advice: How to Choose an Advisor for Your Startup” »

By | February 4th, 2015|Business Tools|0 Comments

How to Get More Done (When You’re Out of the Office)

609_3504586For most business owners, traveling can really throw us off our routines. We may try to work while we’re out, but we still end up back in the office with a pile of emails to sort through, and plenty of things that slipped through the cracks.

I’ve traveled a lot, and I’ve figured out a few strategies that help me. Hopefully they’ll help you too.

Plan Ahead

If you know you’re traveling (for business or pleasure) in several weeks, start your planning now. Check your calendar to see if you have meetings or deadlines that week. For phone or Skype meetings, make sure your travel schedule allows you to still participate. Reschedule any others.

Then, for any work you have due that week, start chipping away at it the weeks before your trip. You’ll clear your plate while you’re out, and your clients will be thrilled to get their work turned in early. Continue reading “How to Get More Done (When You’re Out of the Office)” »

By | September 26th, 2014|Business Tools|Comments Off on How to Get More Done (When You’re Out of the Office)

6 (+ Bonus) Must-Read Small Business Blogs

1045_4496105.JPGAs someone who strives to help small business owners start a business and run it successfully, I spend a lot of time reading content geared toward entrepreneurs online. I’ve filtered through a lot of content — some good, and some bad — and created this list of the sites I think you’ll get the most out of as a business owner.

Feel free to leave a comment and share other great small business resources!

1. Entrepreneur

With both a magazine and a blog, Entrepreneur is my source for inspiration. Sure, some of the small businesses are bigger than mine, but they give me reason to keep stretching and growing CorpNet.

Great for: Inspiring stories of entrepreneurs who have been where you are and now have skyrocketed to success. Continue reading “6 (+ Bonus) Must-Read Small Business Blogs” »

By | June 20th, 2014|Business Tools|Comments Off on 6 (+ Bonus) Must-Read Small Business Blogs

3+ Secret Resources for Startups

414_4438204It seems like everyone’s founding a startup these days. But without the appropriate support and resources, startups’ survival rates go way down. Given that first-time entrepreneurs have only an 18% chance of success, startup founders need all the help they can get.

In response to the growing number of startups, we’ve seen more startup incubators and resources pop up, and not just in the expected locations like Silicon Valley and New York City.

Dell Founders Club 50

Location: Round Rock, TX

A new up-and-comer in the startup incubator scene is, surprisingly, Dell. Its Founders Club 50 is a two-year program that, rather than catering to newbie startup founders,  focuses on supporting founders that have already proven they know how to start and grow a business. Continue reading “3+ Secret Resources for Startups” »

By | June 11th, 2014|Business Tools|Comments Off on 3+ Secret Resources for Startups

5 Strategies to Streamline Your Business — Cheaply

Fast locomotiveMaking your business more efficient doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. In fact, there’s much you can do without spending an arm and a leg. These ideas can help you realize more profits and be more productive in your small business.

1. Increase the Money You Make From Existing Customers

 It takes time and money to acquire brand new customers. In fact, one key metric you should be tracking in your business is your customer acquisition cost.  Typically it’s fairly expensive, so you want to keep that cost down. It’s a much more efficient use of resources to find ways to make your existing customers so thrilled with you, that they will want to spend more with you.

Continue reading “5 Strategies to Streamline Your Business — Cheaply” »

By | April 15th, 2014|Business Tools|Comments Off on 5 Strategies to Streamline Your Business — Cheaply

CorpNet.com Launches Comprehensive Business License Service

biz licenseWe at CorpNet are excited to announce that we have rolled out our latest service designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with legal compliance matters. Our new online Business License service makes it easy for small businesses to comply with every required local license, permit, and tax registration.

Virtually every business has to comply with a variety of business licenses, permits and registrations. However, the specifics vary by location and business activity and it’s easy for small business owners to overlook or not be aware of certain requirements. If caught without the proper permits and licenses, your business can face hefty fines and penalties, and can even be shut down or sued.

CorpNet’s Business Licenses and Permits services take the guesswork out of the licensing process, so small business owners can be confident they are 100% compliant with license requirements on the federal, state, county, and local level. With the service, a CorpNet business expert will perform thorough and customized research on every license or permit a small business needs, and even prepare the necessary forms and submit them to the proper licensing authorities. Continue reading “CorpNet.com Launches Comprehensive Business License Service” »

By | March 5th, 2014|Business Tools|0 Comments

How to Leverage Your Social Contacts for Marketing

We know that social media is great for networking.

It also can help us expand our online reach and find new potential customers. But are you truly getting the most out of those social contacts when it comes to marketing?

I’m willing to bet your answer is “no.”

For most of us, time is an issue.  The reason you might not be doing more to monitor your social streams and pay more attention to what your leads are doing and saying might be because you don’t have the time. That’s understandable.

Knowledge is another issue.  Maybe you or your team are not clear on positive techniques to leverage your Twitter contacts, without coming across as too commercial.

Fortunately, there are tools out there that can help. Those resources, combined with a bit of advice, can help you benefit from your social contacts in ways you never imagined.

1. Start with Smart Tools

We’re seeing more tools enter the marketplace that integrate lead gathering and monitoring with social media. Nimble is a great example. It’s straight-forward Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software with social listening added in.

Now, instead of simply recording notes for a contact, you can better keep track of what they’re saying on Twitter, follow their career moves on LinkedIn, and share their content on Google +.  So in other words, you can listen, connect and learn from them.  You can also help them become more successful.

You can also set up alerts in platforms like Hootsuite so you know when any of your customers Tweet something you can share or respond to.

Continue reading “How to Leverage Your Social Contacts for Marketing” »

By | February 18th, 2014|Business Tools|0 Comments

7 Tips for Finding Health Insurance for the First Time Entrepreneur

1162_4644043Starting and maintaining a small business requires a great deal of focus and energy. While concentrating on establishing a foothold in the marketplace, raising capital, and conducting a marketing campaign, it can be all too easy to let other important aspects of your venture fall by the wayside. One of the most common of these is health insurance. After all, when you’re just starting out, you are the single most important element of your operation, and that makes taking care of your own health a priority. Fortunately, you have a few options.

1. The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is designed to offer affordable health coverage to people like you. If you live in a state that has its own ACA website, start there. If not, go to Healthcare.gov. Yes, it’s had its issues, but it is functioning much better these days. Go through the application process and review your options. Depending on your income and other factors, you may qualify for a tax credit which can reduce the cost of your premium. Continue reading “7 Tips for Finding Health Insurance for the First Time Entrepreneur” »

By | February 13th, 2014|Business Tools, Running A Small Business|0 Comments

10 Resources That Will Make You a Smarter Business Owner

257_2687503Most business owners are so focused on the day-to-day that they often forget to seek out tools and resources that will help them grow. Then they wonder why they aren’t growing! From software to human resources, here are my 10 favorite resources for entrepreneurs.

1. Good CRM

The busier you are, the harder it becomes to keep track of conversations you’ve had with clients, to dos, and projects. That’s where customer relationship management software comes in handy. Today, many CRM platforms, like Insightly, also incorporate a few project management features that help you keep notes on clients and assign and track related tasks to your employees. Continue reading “10 Resources That Will Make You a Smarter Business Owner” »

By | January 21st, 2014|Business Tools|0 Comments

5 Tools You Shouldn’t Live Without as a Business Owner

713_3526415When it comes to working smarter, not harder, there are tools that each of us as small business owners rely on. You may have your own go-to list. Or not. At any rate, here are my preferred tools and apps that help me grow and manage my business.

1. Email Marketing Software

No business should market without using email. It’s simply one of the best ways to reach new potential customers and stay connected to existing ones. And today’s email marketing software is incredibly intuitive: platforms like AWeber can provide you with robust analytics that will tell you exactly who’s opening your emails and what they’re doing from there (visiting a particular web page? buying a product?). This helps you better target the content you send via email and customize for different market segments.

2. Employee Scheduling Software

One of the reasons I founded my company, Hello Scheduling, was to tackle the issue that so many small businesses had in wasting countless hours on creating paper schedules. In this digital era, it’s smarter to be able to create that schedule online and send out automatic updates to employees. If you’ve got a staff who works irregular schedules, employee scheduling software can help you keep straight who works when. Continue reading “5 Tools You Shouldn’t Live Without as a Business Owner” »

By | January 14th, 2014|Business Tools|1 Comment