4 Easy Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Start Marketing Their Startup Effectively 640x600 - 4 Easy Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Start Marketing Their Startup Effectively
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4 Easy Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Start Marketing Their Startup Effectively

As we have mentioned a couple of times, marketing is one of the key elements when it comes to the success or failure of a startup company. Knowing who your customers are and how you can reach them is important in selling your product or service to the people who would want to buy it.Read More

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Marketing 101 640x600 - Marketing 101: The Basics of Creating Your Own Successful Marketing Strategy for Your Startup
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Marketing 101: The Basics of Creating Your Own Successful Marketing Strategy for Your Startup

Let’s face it, marketing plays a big roll in the success of your small business. Of course, you need to do some market research and work on other aspects too, but having an effective marketing strategy in place will set you apart from competitors and get your product or service right in front of yourRead More

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Top 4 Startup Tips to Live By

If you are an entrepreneur running your own startup or business, you should know that it is a bit of a juggle to keep everything, as well as yourself, afloat. Keeping up with finances, ensuring your marketing is done and that you are attracting enough clients, making sure that you make a profit and thatRead More

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4 Interesting Facts About Startups Every Entrepreneur Should Know 640x600 - 4 Interesting Facts About Startups Every Entrepreneur Should Know
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4 Interesting Facts About Startups Every Entrepreneur Should Know

As an entrepreneur, having a sense of what the stats say about small businesses and startups is important. It is also important to keep improving your general knowledge and focus on personal growth while running your own business. Juggling all these things and a balanced life can be a bit difficult, though. And, somewhere inRead More

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Business 101 640x600 - Business 101: Complete Step-by-Step Programme on How to Start Your Own Business
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Business 101: Complete Step-by-Step Programme on How to Start Your Own Business

Are you in two minds whether you should or not jump in at the deep end and start your own business? Do you feel like you don’t have the skills or know-how to and you feel somewhat intimidated? Starting your own business for the first time can be daunting and stressful. The security of earningRead More

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5 Top Tips for Entrepreneurs to Embrace and Encourage Personal Growth

5 Top Tips for Entrepreneurs to Embrace and Encourage Personal Growth 800x600 - 5 Top Tips for Entrepreneurs to Embrace and Encourage Personal Growth

A lot of people live their lives day-to-day, just getting by and doing the things they need to do to make ends meet. If you wish to have a truly fulfilled life,however, you should be willing to go the extra mile and focus on personal growth and development too. This is even more important for entrepreneurs and startup owners, as personal development can also have a positive impact on your business.

In this article, we will give you top tips on how you can encourage and embrace personal growth and start living a better life and reaping the rewards of success easily.

 

1. Master the Art of Time Management

Master the Art of Time Management - 5 Top Tips for Entrepreneurs to Embrace and Encourage Personal Growth
This is an important part of any entrepreneur’s life, being able to juggle a lot of things at once. If you are not able to manage your time you might be heading toward disaster. A great way to ensure you master time management is to start focusing your energy on important deal-breaker things in your business first, before dealing with something that does not share the same importance.

 

2. Continue Learning

Continue Learning - 5 Top Tips for Entrepreneurs to Embrace and Encourage Personal Growth
As an entrepreneur, you will need to sharpen your skills on a continuous basis if you want your business to succeed. Enroll for a course and learn something new every now and then, whether you want to know how to do your own accounting, or how to speak Mandarin to impress your new customers. Learning and sharpening your skills is an important aspect for both you and your business.

 

3. Make time to Read

Make time to Read - 5 Top Tips for Entrepreneurs to Embrace and Encourage Personal Growth
If you don’t have time to read more, make time. We know it might seem like a tall order, but you should have at least one hour a day that you can spend reading a new and interesting book. Not only is reading great for your brain, but it also allows you to expand your knowledge and assists with developing critical thinking skills.

 

4. Make time for Yourself

Make time for Yourself - 5 Top Tips for Entrepreneurs to Embrace and Encourage Personal Growth
Having a couple of minutes for yourself is key to personal growth. Whether you use this time for meditation and self-reflection, or just to dabble in a hobby, it is crucial not only for your personal growth but also for being able to quiet your mind and find some peace. This will enable you to apply this sense of peace in other areas of your life, that may be stressful.

 

5. Go to the Gym

Go to the Gym - 5 Top Tips for Entrepreneurs to Embrace and Encourage Personal Growth
Well, you don’t have to, but just focus on your health. Start eating healthy, do some exercise, whether you enjoy jogging, cycling, or yoga, get out and stay fit and healthy. Being at the top of your game will give you just that little bit of oomph you need to get you through anything life and business throws at you.

Now that you are inspired to be the best you can, and keep striving towards it, are you ready to make some changes in your life and start embracing change and personal growth? We hope that you are excited about trying out some of our top tips and applying it to your daily routine. For an interesting look at the relationship between personal growth and success, read this article. We wish you all the best in your business endeavor.

How to create a financial structure for your small business

20170622220056 GettyImages 508064993 - How to create a financial structure for your small business

Often, when you’re starting out in business, simply putting money in the bank is a huge achievement and represents your entire initial financial goal.

You’ll quickly realise that just having money in the bank doesn’t tick all the boxes that are required – especially not for HMRC – and that a more considered approach is needed if you want to be in full control of your business finances moving forward.

We’ll outline everything that’s needed to give your business a solid financial underpinning – so you can focus on making the products or services you provide the best they can be.

Book keeping

 Book keeping represents most of what you’re going to be doing financially on a day to day basis – and while that might sound like something that’s going to take up a lot of your time, in actual fact, a few minutes dedicated to maintaining money each day prevents a huge amount of time needing to be spent monthly – or even annually.

To make sure your book keeping is in order you should have the following:

  • A cash book

This is essentially a record of everything that comes in or goes out of the business money wise. Sure, you can do the same with your bank account – but keeping a cash book alongside it gives you an overview of your money that a bank account won’t.

There are some great tools online and available as apps that allow you to do this. You can categorise every transaction then glance back over them to see how much money you’re spending or receiving and which tasks or clients it’s allocated to.

In the future, a cash book can provide some great financial forecasting too – letting you know areas or times in which it may be worth adjusting your business practices for maximum return.

  • Receipts and invoices

You should keep receipts and invoices for literally everything you buy for your business – from vehicles to staples. It’s much easier to amass this information as you go – rather than having to spend sleepless nights putting it together when the HMRC request it.

  • Bank statements

Being in the habit of checking bank statements is a sure-fire way of maintaining financial health. The chances are that you’re going to find nothing out of the ordinary – but mistakes, fraud and other anomalies are possible.

Some of the most successful business owners make it a priority to know how their money situation looks on a day to day basis – and continue to do so even when the business grows to a place where dedicated staff can handle finances entirely. Understanding your spending habits is key to mastering them for maximum business impact.

Accountant

When it comes to filing a tax return, having an accountant onside is vital – in fact, most will make or save your business more money than they cost, making it an easy decision to bring one on board. Although it often makes sense to find an accountant that’s close to you – an increasing number of online services are available – and virtually all of these provide video or telephone conferencing support and discussion.

Personal recommendation is the way most people find an accountant – and the way we’d recommend you go about finding one too. There’s a lot to be said for working with someone who understands you and your business, a good accountant should do both.

Bank account

It’s considered absolutely essential to have a business bank account when you’re starting up in business – doing so keeps your finances clean and uncomplicated.

In reality, if you’re set up as a limited company money that comes in is not personally yours – instead belonging to the business. As such, if the bank account that underpins your business has personal expenditure coming out of it, then your accountant’s job is going to be made much harder. Much harder for your accountant means more costly for you – so talk to your bank about getting a business account set up as quickly as possible.

Procedures

Book keeping is a task that’s generally performed by just one person in the organisation – this is because different ways of working can often will often confuse systems, leaving you trying to make sense of messy financials.

To make the job as easy as possible for this person you should implement set procedures for how finances are handled. Need records daily? Set that expectation. Want people to scan and spreadsheet their expenses? Send them the spreadsheet and a ‘how-to’ of what you expect.

People have a tendency to think that money-matters handle themselves – which is very definitely not true. Don’t let employees dictate how much time and effort you end up putting into keeping finances neat and efficient.

Payment terms

When you’re starting out in business cash-flow is king – and with some businesses adopting a culture that seems to accept overdue payments as par for the course, you’ll need to run a tight ship to make sure you’re not caught out.

Invoicing software is extremely useful for this – and is often tied in to book keeping software and apps. Set clear payment terms and chase up invoices before this date – most applications have some kind of ‘reminder’ function you can use to keep the amount of time you spend on the phone to a minimum.

We always suggest asking businesses if there’s likely to be any issue for them that would prevent your invoice being paid on time. It’s not uncommon for big business red-tape to put barrier in the way – and accounts teams may be upfront about this. This knowledge obviously gives you the information you need to act accordingly, whether than accounting for any potential delay in your projections – or finding a client who’ll pay more promptly.

Options for finding capital

It never hurts to have knowledge about finance streams that may be open to your business – whether that’s investment, loans, crowd-funding, grants or many other possibilities.

While you might not be poised to agree to these options on a daily basis, you might find yourself in a position where quick expansion or market responsiveness is key to your business success – and if that’s ever the case, it’s helpful to know where you can access the funds that will help you to react.

 

4 Easy Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Start Marketing Their Startup Effectively

4 Easy Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Start Marketing Their Startup Effectively 800x600 - 4 Easy Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Start Marketing Their Startup Effectively

As we have mentioned a couple of times, marketing is one of the key elements when it comes to the success or failure of a startup company. Knowing who your customers are and how you can reach them is important in selling your product or service to the people who would want to buy it.

In this article, we reveal 4 of the easiest ways you can start marketing your startup effectively, hassle-free.

 

1. Provide a Space for Commentary

Provide a Space for Commentary - 4 Easy Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Start Marketing Their Startup Effectively
Whether you allow your customers to leave testimonials on your website, write reviews about your service on an online review platform, or engage with them on social media, having a platform for clients to voice their opinions and experiences is a great marketing tool. Even if you might receive some review that is not very positive, you are able to manage it and offer the dissatisfied customer a sincere apology and voucher. Or any form of compensation for that matter.

 

2. Focus on Advantage

Focus on Advantage - 4 Easy Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Start Marketing Their Startup Effectively
If you have competitors, it might be very easy to compare your product or service with theirs, but shifting the focus from them to you and your product or service will deserve you an instant A++ in marketing right there. Instead of comparing, focus on the advantages your product will provide the client and how it will provide an answer or solution to their needs.

 

3. Invest in Customers

Invest in Customers - 4 Easy Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Start Marketing Their Startup Effectively
We’re not saying hand out cash, we’re saying nurture great relationships with customers that will have them coming back to you again and again. You can even include loyalty programs as an incentive for them or get them to refer friends. Word of mouth is after all the best and ultimate way of increasing your client base.

 

4. Utilize all Marketing Avenues

Utilize all Marketing Avenues - 4 Easy Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Start Marketing Their Startup Effectively
Today, we are blessed with technology and startups and small businesses are able to market themselves on multiple platforms via the internet. The best starting point would be to have a smashing website from Think Zap who provide web design in Glasgow that is branded, then continue to social media platforms, newsletters,and blogs. Of course, you can’t throw traditional marketing out the window, and PR is also great to include in your marketing arsenal. Utilize as many avenues as possible (with an integrated strategy, of course), and you should be able to reach a bigger audience and more potential customers.

These are very basic tips and should be enough to get you started if you are starting out your own business. We hope that you have found it helpful and that you will be able to implement some of these tips successfully. Are you looking to start your own business, but have no clue where to start? Read this article with loads of ideas to get you started.

Entrepreneurs: 5 Ways Your Personal Development Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Business

Entrepreneurs 800x600 - Entrepreneurs: 5 Ways Your Personal Development Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Business

Learning and growing is a part of life, and if you are an entrepreneur, it is also a part of running your business. Just like you go through phases and changes, so will your business. The only constant in this image? You. You are responsible for directing the growth, taking the reins in hand and guiding the way in which you would like to move.

Being an entrepreneur can also be difficult, having to juggle your time between clients and customers, the business itself, your family, as well as your own time. Everyone needs a bit of time off every now and then, whether it is to learn a new language or read a book. These are all important factors for personal growth and development. In this article, we will discuss 5 ways in which personal growth will influence your small business positively.

 

#1 Embrace Knowledge

Embrace Knowledge - Entrepreneurs: 5 Ways Your Personal Development Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Business
To be at the top of your game, you need to have a hunger for learning new things continuously. There is absolutely no way that you will ever know everything, but striving for more knowledge is great for you and for your business. This will enable you to become the best you can be. And never think or assumed you know everything, there is always something you could learn from experience or from an industry expert.

 

#2 Get a Mentor

Get a Mentor - Entrepreneurs: 5 Ways Your Personal Development Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Business
If you don’t have one yet, you should probably consider approaching an entrepreneur or peer to meet up and share ideas and experiences with every now and then. It doesn’t have to be someone famous, just someone who has a bit more experience under the belt, who you will be able to learn from. Nurturing a healthy exchange of experiences and ideas is a surefire way to increase personal growth, and has a positive impact on your business as well as you will be able to apply the knowledge practically.

 

#3 Believe in Balance

Believe in Balance - Entrepreneurs: 5 Ways Your Personal Development Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Business
Taking care of your company means you have to take care of yourself first. Make time for family and friends, make time for exercise, and eat healthy balanced meals. Nurturing healthy habits is key to being able to live a well-balanced life, and develop personal growth. If you are well and you take care of yourself, your company will be too.

 

#4 Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize - Entrepreneurs: 5 Ways Your Personal Development Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Business
Every entrepreneur has a specific reason for launching their business or startup in the first place. Whether it was to improve someone’s life experience or serve a greater purpose, there is always a reason why entrepreneurs start out. Hold on to this prize you identified before starting out, as this will always be your drive towards greatness for yourself, others, and your company.

 

#5 Growth should be Continuous

Growth should be Continuous - Entrepreneurs: 5 Ways Your Personal Development Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Business
If you ever feel like you have arrived, slap yourself in the face. Experiencing and enjoying the feeling of success is great, but arrogance has no place in business, growth, or in personal growth. Stay humble and wary, grateful and always strive to be better than you were yesterday. This will ensure your company never stagnates, or fail miserably as you will always move forward and welcome change, challenge, and growth.

Be sure to read this article on the principles on how to grow your small business. We hope you have found this article insightful, and that you will continue to strive for greatness and success in your business and personal life.

Non-Disclosure Agreements – Do Today’s Tech Entrepreneurs Need Them?

nda non disclosure agreement og ff8a4e6a3adda79a4764cc4bba21443e3f54c5722165e06d51425ea923157310 1170x600 - Non-Disclosure Agreements – Do Today’s Tech Entrepreneurs Need Them?

Tech entrepreneurs will be faced with many legal issues and questions when setting up their business. Yes, it can be long and tiring getting them all worked out but that’s just business isn’t it? If it was easy everyone would be doing it.

But while many of these legal issues will be compulsory things you’ll need to actually do and work out before you can legally set-up your business there are other more optional legal areas. Non-disclosure agreements or NDAs as they are commonly known are one of these areas.

If you don’t already know let me explain exactly when a non-disclosure agreement is, to be brief it’s a legal agreement that outlines any confidential material or information that is not to be shared with anyone else but the people who sign the agreement.

By signing the non-disclosure agreement, the other party agrees to not share or divulge any information that is outlined in the agreement. They are sometimes referred to by other names like a secrecy agreement (SA) or a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) but whatever name they go by the rules are the same.

A non-disclosure agreement is usually always going to be between two separate parties this can be individuals, businesses or one of each. While it’s uncommon a non-disclosure agreement can be between more than two people, however in many entrepreneurs cases, it will likely be between two people.

Non-disclosure agreements can also be part of employment contracts and in the technology industry, this is usually very common. So, now you know what non-disclosure agreements are and how they work you have to ask yourself whether they are worth pursuing?

Do I Need An NDA?

Non-disclosure agreements aren’t used in every industry, but they are more common in certain fields, in the tech industry non-disclosure agreements of one form or another are relatively commonplace. When you consider how secretive much of the work in technology is a non-disclosure agreement just makes sense doesn’t it?

According to Joney Whyte who are also experienced family lawyers in Glasgow whether you’re working on a new product or are working on a new way of using existing technology the need for secrecy in the technology industry is very important. So, getting your employees or partners to sign a non-disclosure agreement is going to be very useful.

In fact, many business professionals do recommend using non-disclosure agreements even if you are not currently working on new technology or products. However, you could also utilise non-disclosure agreements on a need to know basis.

This means you will only use them when you actually think you will need them, for example when selecting a team to work on a new product you could then ask your employees to sign a non-disclosure agreement. But do entrepreneurs need to even bother with a non-disclosure agreement today?

Well opinion is split a quick Google search will bring up plenty of opinions, some people will claim they are invaluable certainly in industries like technology. While others will say they are mostly useless and unnecessary.

The main benefit of a non-disclosure agreement is that it is a legally binding document, however, that doesn’t mean that you will be protected from every eventually. Even if you get all your employees to sign a non-disclosure agreement it doesn’t mean they still can’t break the contract.

However, that is something all entrepreneurs likely know already and are prepared to deal with no legal document is an absolute deterrent, is it?  The problem with non-disclosure agreements is that even when someone does break them, proving that they have can be difficult.

The difficulty of actually proving someone has breached a non-disclosure agreement is one of the reasons some business professionals don’t see them as worth their time to write up. Plus, if you work with freelancers or consultants then even getting some people to sign one can be difficult.

This can be for a wide range of reasons from job complications to the fact that some people will just not like signing them. Some people (perhaps understandably) will see a non-disclosure agreement as a sign that you think they aren’t trustworthy and therefore won’t sign them on principle.

So, the question remains, doesn’t it? Do you need non-disclosure agreements today? Only you can really answer that, it can’t be denied that when you work in an industry like technology that a non-disclosure agreement can seem to offer some great benefits. But they are not infallible by any means and you shouldn’t expect everyone to be happy with signing one.

But as an entrepreneur with their own still developing start-up taking these extra security steps will usually still be worth it. But if you are going to use a non-disclosure agreement you have to make sure it is written carefully. Non-disclosure agreements and complicated documents so take your time crafting one.

Designing The Perfect NDA 

If you do decide to use non-disclosure agreements, then you need to ensure you have the time to write a high-quality one. Many entrepreneurs fall back on using templates when it comes to writing a non-disclosure agreement but for complicated matters (which you will see often in the tech field) these templates will not be up to the job.

You need to be very careful when writing a non-disclosure agreement, you need to ensure the scope isn’t too broad while also ensuring that everything that needs to be covered is still detailed in the agreement.

You also need to take other matters into account like compelled disclosures and ensure that no confidential information is disclosed prior to the signing. Writing a non-disclosure agreement isn’t as simple as you might think you can’t just list some basic details about what things the other party can’t talk about.

You also need to ensure that anyone who does sign your non-disclosure agreement fully understands what they are agreeing to. If you take the time to handle the drafting of your non-disclosure agreement, then you will likely be able to avoid making any mistakes. This will be able to help ensure your non-disclosure agreement is fit for purpose. 

Finding finance for your business – without the need for investors

assets images site sb lending quiz module quiz coffeeshopguy 1800x840 CSX9a5accdd 1170x600 - Finding finance for your business – without the need for investors

The idea behind starting up your own business is likely to be an exciting one – breaking away from the 9am to 5pm routine can be a thrill, even if it does mean your days will become 8am-10pm instead!

It’s often less of a thrill to think about finding investment though – you’re bringing someone into your business who might not know you – and might not share the same hopes and dreams you have for your new venture.

The good news is, whether your a small company that offers commercial cleaning services in Glasgow or a new online retailer there are lots of alternative ways of finding captial.

We’ll walk you through the most common options, as well pointing out some pros and cons of each.

Bank finance

Despite issues that still hangover from the 2008 banking crisis, banks are normally the number one source of new business finance.

Be warned though, banks won’t just lend to any new startup business – they’ll want to see a detailed business plan before they even consider issuing any credit facilities. There are a host of business plan formats available – and banks will sometimes even issue their own to ensure you’re providing all the relevant information.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re applying for bank finance with an untested business model – the bank might insist on credit checks for all the company directors involved. Although setting up a limited company won’t impact your personal finances, consulting with credit referencing agencies does give the bank an indication of your financial conduct.

Assuming the bank is happy extending credit – it will normally come in the form of two products – a loan or an overdraft.

A business loan will normally be offered over anything from 2 to 10 years. Typically, loans will either track the current base rate – or be a fixed rate. Fixed rate products are often favoured as it offers your business a predictable monthly sum that will be repaid – and, assuming this payment is adhered to, a predictable timescale in which your company will be free from debt.

On the other hand, a business overdraft is seen as a slightly more flexible solution. Rather than taking a chunk of money upfront, you need only borrow what you require – and since you only borrow what you need, you only pay interest on what you need. This flexibility isn’t without risk though – with no contracted repayment schedule you bank can potentially withdraw the facility at any time – meaning a loan can often be a more dependable option.

Finance from friends and family

Although the old adage claims you should never mix business with pleasure – research conducted early in 2017 found that over 60% of new small businesses relied on finance from friends or family to get themselves out of the starting blocks.

There are some significant advantages that go with borrowing money from your nearest and dearest – not least the interest rates that are typically charged – often 0% – with just the understanding that money will be returned in due course.

It’s not only favourable rates that make borrowing from family so attractive though, where with a bank you’re expected to submit detailed plans and can expect credit checks, family and friends are far more likely to lend based on existing trust, both in your creditworthiness and your business plans.

While borrowing from people you know is likely to offer some significant advantages over using a bank, it is important that you borrow on a completely understood and transparent basis. You might be told ‘not to worry’ about creating a payment schedule or putting pen to paper with the conditions of the loan – but without this, unforeseen disputes can become tricky – with the truth around the initial arrangement becoming confused or twisted.

Insisting on some formality keeps everyone protected – and avoids any unexpected claim for part of the business when you start making your millions!

Peer to peer and crowdfunding

Websites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Crowdfunder have seen an explosion in the popularity of peer-to-peer financing. The criteria of whether or not you can apply for funding differs from site to site – but generally speaking, virtually any company can look for funding this way.

Like borrowing from friends or family – you have the advantage of not having to go through the sometimes-arduous process of dealing with a bank – however, that’s not to say that you won’t be free from charges. The most popular websites that facilitate peer-to-peer funding charge anywhere between 4% and 7% of the money raised – which can be a sting if you haven’t accounted for it from the very beginning.

Repayment of peer-to-peer lending also depends on the type of site you’re using. On occasion, you may be able to avoid repayment altogether (and in a perfectly ethical way!) by offering the lenders a product or service in return for their investment. If instead your lenders will be expecting a return on their cash – the rates are traditionally very low.

Government grants and loans

While he idea of ‘free’ money from the government might seem completely alien – there are many of these grants available, servicing different niches in the market.

Although, if you think the process of applying for a grant or a low-cost loan is going to be easy – you’ve got another thing coming! Grants do not have to be paid back – but you can expect an extremely long process before you see any cash – and in some instances, a wait that can go on for months.

The application for both a grant and a loan is likely to involve an extremely in-depth business plan being required – so if you’re going to look toward the government for some capital, you’re also going to need to dedicate a lot of time to seeing the process through properly.

Finding government grants and loans is typically a lot easier if you’re younger – with numerous initiatives in place to ensure 18-30-year olds are given every opportunity to launch their small business with the maximum amount of support. It’s not easy working out what you’re entitled to apply for though – so if you’re not sure, consider using an online service or consulting the .Gov website to begin your search.

Marketing 101: The Basics of Creating Your Own Successful Marketing Strategy for Your Startup

Marketing 101 800x600 - Marketing 101: The Basics of Creating Your Own Successful Marketing Strategy for Your Startup

Let’s face it, marketing plays a big roll in the success of your small business. Of course, you need to do some market research and work on other aspects too, but having an effective marketing strategy in place will set you apart from competitors and get your product or service right in front of your potential customers or clients.

There are plenty case studies available out there that prove how crucial having an effective marketing strategy is if you need some convincing on the value of marketing, have a look at these case studies here. In the meantime, we will tell you all you need to know the basics of creating a kick-ass marketing strategy for your startup.

 

Identify your Goals

First, you need to know what it is that you want to accomplish. Identifying goals should be specific, so don’t be vague by thinking a good goal to set is selling more. Think more in terms of percentage growth in sales. This is applicable even for digital marketing streams such as social media platforms. If you would like to increase brand visibility, a great goal would be to see a growth in followers or fans of up to 100 new likes per week.

 

Know your Customer

Next, you would need to know exactly who you are selling to, where they live, what type of jobs they have, where they do their shopping, their likes and dislikes as well as their needs. Identifying a need that you can resolve is key here, and specifying how you would solve the customer’s need.

 

Invest in Marketing

Even if you are going to take care of your marketing channels yourself and not hire professionals, you would have to have a budget specifically for marketing, and this should fit in with your overall budget. Whether you want to feature an ad in the local newspaper’s smalls or run a digital campaign on Google Ads or Facebook, you need to set aside some funds to cover this.

 

Get a Great Website

An encompassing strategy would include a strategy for digital as well. This should go hand-in-hand with your social media marketing campaigns and all your channels should complement one another. Make sure you get a great website that is user-friendly and does not leave customers wondering what it is they are looking at or what they should do. Include acall to actions that are clear, and make sure your site specifically states the solution your product or service offers. Your website is the essential tool to generate leads and get newsletter signups.

 

Newsletters and Blogs

Now that you have an idea of who your customers are, what your goals and budget is, and you have an awesome website, you should start publishing your startups own unique content and sharing it to your clients via a newsletter, blog,and social media.

 

Networking and Feedback

Get in there and connect with your customers and other startup owners. Building a solid network is key to a successful marketing strategy and ensures you and your startup stays relevant in the industry but also boosts word of mouth and referrals. Encouraging your clients to provide feedback will also give you unique insights on how you can improve your product or service.

These are but a few handy tips to get you started and create your own marketing strategy that will complement your startup. We hope the information will help you with your marketing efforts. For more tips on running a small business, read this article.

 

 

Achieve Ultimate Success by Learning the Different Steps of Personal Growth

Achieve Ultimate Success by Learning the Different Steps of Personal Growth 800x600 - Achieve Ultimate Success by Learning the Different Steps of Personal Growth

Life is all about learning, going through levels, overcoming obstacles, changing and ultimately growing. Sometimes, personal growth is achieved when we don’t even realize it. Other times, we have to actively work towards becoming better human beings, better entrepreneurs, or simply better than what we are currently.

In life and business in general, there is no class for self-insight and growth, there are, but there is no better way to learn these things than experiencing, reflecting and coming to a realization which naturally leads to self-growth. There is nowhere, thus where you can register or signup, but, you can ‘register’ here for our own mini-class in the process of self-growth.

 

#1 Greater Awareness of the Self

Greater Awareness of the Self - Achieve Ultimate Success by Learning the Different Steps of Personal Growth
If you become more aware of who you are, and who you want to be, you are able to envision the steps you need to take to become a better you. A great way to accomplish this is to start thinking about and writing down a list of your strengths and your weaknesses, noting where there is room for improvement.

 

#2 Accepting Change to Move Forward

Accepting Change to Move Forward - Achieve Ultimate Success by Learning the Different Steps of Personal Growth
Once you have done a bit of soul-searching and reflecting, you should have a good idea of the areas of yourself you need to develop. Start focusing on these identified areas, identify specific goals, and work at it. If you want to be more fit, schedule time for exercise. If you want to be more knowledgeable, read more.

 

#3 Get Organized

Get Organized - Achieve Ultimate Success by Learning the Different Steps of Personal Growth
Pinpoint all the things you have discovered you want to change and all the new things you want to achieve. Setup goals for yourself and hold yourself accountable. A good tip is to write all your goals down, stipulate how you aim to achieve them, and then simply keep abook of what you have accomplished as you go along.

 

#4 Work at It

Work at It - Achieve Ultimate Success by Learning the Different Steps of Personal Growth
So, now you know what you want to change, and what you want to achieve otherwise. You’ve got a plan, and you are motivated to get started. Here comes the tricky part. A lot of people get discouraged very easily even after a couple of days. Achieving growth takes some hard work and effort. Anything in life worth working towards takes dedication and perseverance.

 

#5 Achieve Growth

Achieve Growth - Achieve Ultimate Success by Learning the Different Steps of Personal Growth
As you work your way through all your goals, jotting down your achievements, you will notice the sense of accomplishment brings you a lot of joy. But it is not theonly accomplishment you will have achieved, it is also self-growth.

Remember pushing your own boundaries, get yourself out there and try learning new things that you never imagined doing. You will soon learn that self-growth is key to not only a more fulfilled life but also to a successful one. We hope our steps have provided you with sufficient information to get you started on your own journey on personal growth. For an interesting look at personal growth, be sure to have a look at this article.

Infographic Tips Entrepreneurs Can Use to Cultivate Their Personal Growth - Achieve Ultimate Success by Learning the Different Steps of Personal Growth
Infographic by: www.myannapolisoffice.com

Top 4 Startup Tips to Live By

Top 4 Startup Tips to Live By 800x600 - Top 4 Startup Tips to Live By

If you are an entrepreneur running your own startup or business, you should know that it is a bit of a juggle to keep everything, as well as yourself, afloat. Keeping up with finances, ensuring your marketing is done and that you are attracting enough clients, making sure that you make a profit and that the business is thriving, and still have time to spare for exercise and the family. Yes, it can be a bit difficult to keep up.

Here at SDG Business Forum, we believe in the power of community and sharing of wisdom gathered through experiences. Some good, but mostly bad experiences teach us all lessons that others can benefit from. In this article we look at some handy tips you can use to add to your next meeting’s agenda and get the success ball on the roll.

 

Top tip #1: Charge Upfront

Charge Upfront - Top 4 Startup Tips to Live By
You just had a meeting with a potential client, the pitch went well, the client is impressed. The client could be a great one for future or even retainer purposes. So, you trust them when you send them a cost estimate and quote when they say that they accept and will pay when the job is completed. Months go by, the job is done, the client was happy, yet the account is still to be settled. This is a quick way to lose your business. Charge clients upfront to ensure you have a cash flow, and that you don’t sit around and wait for payments on jobs done months ago. You can even ask them to pay a deposit of a certain percentage.

 

Top tip #2: Branding is Key

Branding is Key - Top 4 Startup Tips to Live By
To get your business noticed and out there where your potential clients are, you should have a visible brand. Get a designer to work out a corporate identity that suits the business values and persona, and a logo that fits. These images should be used on all your communications, whether on or offline, to ensure potential clients notice and later recognize your brand.

 

Top tip #3: Shut out Cheapies

Shut out Cheapies - Top 4 Startup Tips to Live By
For that matter, shut out those who do not settle the bill on time too. Never lower your rate just to get a customer, always charge what you and your product are worth. If you do allow clients to get you to give them a special discount, it may cause costly problems in the future, with others demanding to get the same discounts or even them wanting to pay even less. Your professional rate or price for your handcrafted product should not be negotiable.

 

Top tip #4: Nurture Customer Relations

Nurture Customer Relations - Top 4 Startup Tips to Live By
The best marketing tool ever? Word of mouth. Never underestimate the power of great customer service. Some people would even argue that bad customer service would make them avoid a brand or service completely. Touch base with clients, and if you have employees, touch base with them too. Ensure they have the skills to ensure customers are taken care of in the best possible way.

We hope you found this article with top tips to add to your next meeting’s agenda helpful and that you will start implementing at least one of them today. For another interesting read on lessons learned during the first year of a startup, read this article here. We wish you all the best with your new business.

4 Interesting Facts About Startups Every Entrepreneur Should Know

4 Interesting Facts About Startups Every Entrepreneur Should Know 800x600 - 4 Interesting Facts About Startups Every Entrepreneur Should Know

As an entrepreneur, having a sense of what the stats say about small businesses and startups is important. It is also important to keep improving your general knowledge and focus on personal growth while running your own business. Juggling all these things and a balanced life can be a bit difficult, though. And, somewhere in between you still need to make time to attend important business meetings, conferences, workshops,and sessions.

Luckily, SDG Business Forum aims to make that all a little bit easier for you by providing all the latest developments and news in one spot. In this article, we’ll take a look at some interesting facts on startups and businesses, that you should be aware of. Let’s get started.

 

1. Partnerships make Perfect

Partnerships make Perfect - 4 Interesting Facts About Startups Every Entrepreneur Should Know
The majority of startups who has at least two or more founders are more likely to succeed than those with one founder. Having a dedicated team of qualified employees also makes a difference when starting your own business, and startups who stick to this structure tend to do better as well.

 

2. Working 9-5

Working 9 5 - 4 Interesting Facts About Startups Every Entrepreneur Should Know
The majority of all entrepreneurs used to work for a corporate company for up to or more than at least 6 years. Stats also show that more than 70% of startup owners and entrepreneurs are over 40, have a Bachelors degree, and are married.

 

3. Three is Not the Loneliest Number

Three is Not the Loneliest Number - 4 Interesting Facts About Startups Every Entrepreneur Should Know
Did you know, that there are at least 3 new startups established every second? Sounds crazy, we know. But the stats won’t lie. If you do your calculations correctly, you would see that it comes to about 11 000 new startups being launched per hour. Astonishingly, only 10% of new startups make it.

 

4. Most Startups Fail

Most Startups Fail - 4 Interesting Facts About Startups Every Entrepreneur Should Know
It is estimated that a mere 10% of all startups survive and succeed. This can be due to many things, but speculation says that it is due to a lack of market research. The stat to back this up? A recent survey suggests that 42% of startup owners say that there was no need for the product or service they offered. The solution? Make sure you get your ducks in a row and do the necessary research.

We hope these facts have helped and that you are a little bit wiser than before. Perhaps it will enable you to make better decisions for your own startup. For more interesting facts on entrepreneurs and startups, read this article. Want to know how to start your own small business? Read our article on different steps to achieve this.

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