When you first start a business, it’s tempting to over-diversify in what you sell. A customer suggests you add [product or service somewhat like what you already sell, but not entirely] to your inventory. You think it sounds like a great way to make more money, so you expand your offering.
When I speak with people who are interested in starting a business, one obstacle they often feel they have is that they didn’t go to business school. They believe they’re not qualified to be entrepreneurs without that formal education. While certainly, having a business degree will provide you with knowledge that will make running a business a bit easier, it’s certainly not a requirement to go back to school. In fact, there are some components of starting and running a business that a degree simply can’t teach you.
If you've ever had the dream to start a home business, but didn't know where to start, read on. Here, we cover the best home business ideas for 2013, and give you a nudge in the direction of getting started. 1. Ecommerce This covers a lot of territory, but if you have a bit of cash to invest in inventory and a well-designed website that will help you process payments and orders, you can sell just about anything, from clothing to computers. And if you want to start a home business in ecommerce with a little help, consider an out-of-the-box solution like eBay or Amazon, which allows you to sell on the site while taking a cut of your revenues.
A business name is the cornerstone of your business… it sets the stage for the branding and identity of your business. Just imagine if Target still went by its original name – The Dayton Dry Goods Company. If you’re about to start a business (or maybe are thinking about rebranding an existing business), you’ve probably been brainstorming for the perfect name. Here are a few tips to help you find the right name and make sure it’s legally yours to use.
Today’s small business owners often earn income through a variety of ventures. For example, a restaurateur may open a wine shop or a caterer may also double as a part-time copy editor. If you’re running multiple business projects, you’ve probably wondered what’s the best way to structure all these ventures. Should you form one corporation to cover them all? Should you form an LLC for each one?
Consider what turns you off when it comes to sales or marketing. Probably you have certain types of people that drive you crazy when they try to sell to you. For me, it's that salesperson who is pushy, slick, and doesn't listen. But what about words? Have you ever realized that there are certain words that are overdone and ineffective when it comes to marketing?
As an online business owner, it’s easy to forget or ignore offline marketing strategies in favor of search engine optimization and social media outreach. At the same time, you understand better than anyone that in order to guarantee that your brand is recognized well above all others, you have to go that extra mile to stand out from the crowd. So how do you add a little extra spice to your campaign with so many of your competitors copying every online marketing strategy you dish out? Get offline! The biggest mistake online businesses make nowadays is to assume that the only way you can effectively spread word about your website is through the internet. Yet there are dozens of traditional, yet highly effective offline marketing techniques that will help your direct site traffic grow while strengthening your overall brand identity.
Some small business owners use social media to sell. Others use it to market. What's really the difference between the two, and what strategies can you use to get more customers? Social Marketing 101 Social marketing centers around creating and maintaining brand awareness, as well as building up customer loyalty. Your purpose here isn't to immediately get sales, but rather start those conversations that will help you connect with potential customers. You want to build trust here, so that these buyers will turn to you as the resource for information on your industry and type of product.
If it's been a while since you really looked at your website from your customer's perspective, take a new look at your website design and make sure it’s adaptable to web design trends for 2013. Your website is your first impression to potential customers. It either lets your customers know you want to do business in this century or reveals that you’re stuck in the dark ages. If you haven't updated your website since 1999, it's time to see what trends are out there that can give you an edge in the online space.
For me the five main Social Media outlets are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and now Pinterest too. Social is where everyone is these days so businesses need to be there too; especially when starting off to grow your network quickly and cheaply. Each of the five platforms I’ve mentioned have different methods of connections and you’ll find different people on all although some, like me, will straddle all platforms to make the most of it. This takes time and dedication though. Don’t expect it all to grow overnight.
Maria Ross provides the foundation for a solid small business branding strategy in her book, Branding Basics for Small Business.
While you want to save money in your small business, these areas are worth spending more on. They'll help you look more professional and attract new customers.
It's possible to create a separate business entity for each venture you start. However, this can result in excess paperwork and legal filings. And in many cases, each business may not be earning a significant amount of revenue individually, making the paperwork seem especially tedious. To save some headaches and paper, this article provdies you with great tips to consider when dealing with multiple business types.
Over the course of my career, I’ve helped over hundreds of thousands of small business owners incorporate a business or form and LLC. But I’ve also found there can be just as many questions after incorporating a business or forming an LLC. In this post, I’ve put together some of the more commonly asked questions to help you navigate life after the incorporation or LLC formation process.
While branding online is a great way to drive traffic to your website, don't overlook how important local marketing is when running a business. If you cater to local customers, being a part of your community is your key to getting traffic in the door of your store, office or restaurant. As you develop your local branding strategy, you'll be able to determine which events net the best results. Tweak your plan to accommodate those activities that work best, and drop the rest. Got questions about running a business? Get a free business consultation from CorpNet on how to incorporate a business as well as free tools, advice and guidance can help you choose a business structure.
In today’s world, where so much depends on being found online, you need every edge you can get. And one of those edges today is brand. As you will see below, it takes time to build brand signals, so that's why I recommend you begin from day one.
CorpNet celebrated its third birthday on July 1, 2011! We thought you might like to go behind the scenes to learn more about Phil Akalp, one of the founders of the company.
What's in a name? Selecting the right business name for your company is important — and it should be followed by taking the right legal steps to make sure the name is yours to use for years, and decades, to come. A prudent approach to naming entails three important steps: brainstorming, investigation and registration.
Starting your own business and working for yourself does have benefits, but the lifestyle isn’t for everyone. If you’re thinking about diving into self-employment, make sure you’ve thought realistically about these Top 5 Myths.
When I stumbled across Alibaba I got pretty excited and squandered a load of cash on there. Don’t fall into the trap of buying anything, but do take your time to research the products on offer to see whether they’ll sell. Profit margins aren't the only worry you face if you go buying lots of stock without thinking about it properly - cashflow can be affected, which can be a huge problem from the start. When you’ve found a product or niche you want to operate in, think about your outlet; will you sell it at a market or jumble sale? Or will you start your own website, or use a selling platform like Amazon or eBay? Ensure you set yourself goals of how many new products to bring in every month and how much profit you'd like to be making - essentially setting targets for the growth of your business. Starting a business has never been so easy thanks to the internet – so what’s stopping you?