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5 Rules for Naming Your Startup

Blank business card in the hands of a businessman
Today, you’ll find many startup businesses that have poorly chosen names. Some have names like PWRT (consonants without vowels), while others have smashed together words that leave their name with little meaning. Choosing the right name for your business is very important. Here are a couple of rules you should follow:

1. Don’t base your name on URL availability. A lot of startups think up a name and then do a search to see if the domain name is taken. Then if it is, alternate spellings are tried. Yet, instead, you should base your name off of the real world – after all this will be a part of your branding.

2. Your business name should make a good first impression, so refrain from using misspellings and adding on Zs at the end.

3. Don’t make it so that you have to constantly pronounce your business name for or explain your business name to people. This is an avoidable hurdle that you shouldn’t have to jump over, especially if you’re making a pitch to people.

4. Use a name that is descriptive. If a name you invented a name and saw that it was already taken as a domain, you can pair it with a descriptive word instead.

5. Don’t change your business name just because you shift the focus of your company. As long as the name wasn’t tied to a product or service and the identity and value of your business haven’t changed, then you should consider keeping the name.

Why Most Business Ideas Fail

Why Most Business Ideas FailComing up with a new business can be easy, but making it actually work in the real world can be cumbersome, if not impossible. Likely, research has shown you that majority of new business startups fail within their first year, but this is sometimes avoidable. Let’s look at some of the reasons why business ideas tend to fail.

  • Bad market research: If you’re not doing your due diligence, you will quickly find yourself in a hole that you don’t know how to get out of. Market research is important for knowing how to advertise your product or service to the right people, which is vital for gaining new customers.
  • Bad marketing: It’s not always a bad idea that causes a business to fail, it’s the bad marketing. If you’ve ever seen horrible commercials or advertisements, then you can see how this can hurt a business.
  • Not being distinguishable: In order to get a competitive edge for your business, you need to have an idea that is somewhat different. For instance, you can be in the same market of selling shoes as other competitors, but you can offer something different, like allowing customers to upload art to be printed on them before being shipped out. Having a unique selling point is crucial.
  • Having high expenses: Small businesses usually have small overhead to work with, which is why you should maintain low expenses. Don’t go overboard with your marketing efforts or buying too much supplies or office space.

Avoid these common mistakes and develop a solid marketing plan and you should be able to get your business going in a jiffy.

4 Things Small Business Owners Should Remember About Social Media

4 Things Small Business Owners Should Remember About Social Media

It is nearly impossible to have an online presence without social media. As a small business owner, you must go where the customers are. Most of them gather online on social media. Being present on social media will help your business, but it’s not going to magically increase your finances. Here are a few things you need to remember about social media as a small business owner.

  1. Social media marketing takes work. You can’t just create a page, make some posts and expect people to come running and buy your product or services. You have to reach out to them. You also have to know when to sell to them, and how to sell to them.
  2. Social media is a two way street. If all you talk about is your business, your product and what it does, you aren’t going to make any sales. You need to engage others as well.
  3. You need to be on the right social media channel. There are dozens out there. In order to determine which one is right for your company, you’ll have to do a bit of background research. Facebook isn’t right for every company; neither is Google+.
  4. If your plan isn’t working, you need to revise it. Sometimes the best plans can fall through. If your approach to social media marketing isn’t working, you’ll need to adjust it. You may have to do it repeatedly until you find something that works.

11 Ways to Tell You’re a Micromanager

11 Ways to Tell You’re a Micromanager

No one likes to work under a micromanager. It can be very difficult and stressful. As an owner or a manager, it is very important to the life of your company that your employees don’t see you that way. It can lead to problems running your business and keeping employees. How can you tell if you are micromanaging? Here are 11 signs.

  1. You are overloaded with work because you refuse to or can’t delegate tasks.
  2. You assign work to someone, then find out it’s not being done the way you think or want it to be done, so you take it away from them and do it yourself.
  3. When you assign a project, you leave little to no room for other people to make suggestions or take the initiative.
  4. You have a project manager, but you always take over their role.
  5. You rarely or never complete a project on time because you are so obsessed with the details.
  6. You have your employees check in with you frequently, all the time.
  7. No one on your team wants to be bothered with you or have a one-on-one conversation with you.
  8. Your employees need your approval for every little thing before they move on.
  9. You have a very high, unreasonable turnover rate.
  10. You question everything, down to the tiniest, most insignificant detail.
  11. You feel like nothing will get done properly unless you do it yourself.

How to Get the Most out of your Business Blog

How to Get the Most out of your Business Blog

So, you’ve decided to start a blog for your business. Good for you. However, if you aren’t using it the right way, you might as well not be using it at all. A blog can be a very powerful tool for a business, but if it isn’t being used appropriately, it really isn’t doing anything for your success.

What are the tricks to the business blogging trade? Read on to find out what you need to be doing to get the most out of your blogging experience.

Business Blogging Tips

  • Posting regularly. Creating a blog is only one part of the process; you actually have to use the blog in order to get results. Designing a blog and just letting it sit there is as useful to your business as hay is to a scarecrow. Posting regularly not only helps to keep your blog fresh and current for your audience, but it also lets the search engines know that it is active and valuable. Ideally, posting once a day will get you the most results, but if your blog is established, posting a few times a week will keep things current.
  • Post relevant information. Sure, you may have gone to an epic party over the weekend, but your audience doesn’t really want or need to hear about the event. Post information that is related to your business and that your followers will benefit from; sales, new products and services, tips and tricks, etc.
  • Share posts. Every time you write a new post, share the link to that post on your social media platforms. Doing so will allow your followers to know that you have updated your blog. 

How to be a Great Leader

How to be a Great Leader

Behind every great business is a great leader. While it’s true, some leaders are born, many more leaders are made. If you are the head of a business operation and you want to make it as successful as possible, you are going to have to take the reins and be the best leader that you can be.

Here is a look at how you can be a great leader for your business and the type of person that your employees want to work for.

Leadership Traits

  • Be passionate: In order to be a good leader, you must be passionate about what you are leading. Imagine being the head of a business that you don’t believe in and don’t value? Not a very good one; I’ll tell you that. When you are passionate about your work, it will transcend to your employees and thus, have a hugely positive impact on the success of your business.
  • Be open minded: In the business world, as in life, things can change at the drop of a hat. You have to be willing to adapt and accept changes if you want your business to thrive.
  • Get your hands wet: Does the old adage “Do as I say, not as I do” ring a bell? When it comes to leading a successful business, you have to lead by example and be willing to get your hands wet. Don’t expect your employees to do anything that you wouldn’t do yourself.

4 Ways to Make Social Media Marketing Work for You

4 Ways to Make Social Media Marketing Work for You

If you’ve ever scrolled through your Facebook page, you’ve likely noticed all of those business pages. Heck, you have probably even “liked” a lot of them yourself. However, are you cashing in on the powerful effect that social media marketing can have on your business?

If you want to boost your success, start marketing on social media channels. Here are some valuable pointers that will ensure success.

Social Media Musts

  1. Set up a Professional Page. The social media page for your business needs to be professional. It shouldn’t contain pictures of your friends, family and posts about what you did for fun last night. If you want to be taken seriously, it needs to be professional and serious.
  2. Post Regularly. You absolutely have to post regularly. If you don’t how else is your targeted audience going to find you and stay interested in your business?
  3. Post Useful Information. Make sure that what you post is useful to your audience. Post about special deals you are having; tips and tricks that your audience would find useful and other pertinent information that your ‘fans’ would find interesting.
  4. Interact. Make sure you interact with your followers. If someone posts an update on your Wall, make sure you respond in a professional manner. Say ‘thanks’ for a complement and let unsatisfied customers know you are sorry and that you are working on the problem.

Social media can be a very powerful tool for your business; if you use it appropriately

Best Options for Long Distance Business Meetings

Long Distance Business MeetingsThere comes a time when businesses have to have meeting with partners, clients or employees over a long distance. Thankfully, we live in an age where long distance business meetings can be handled efficiently. With technology, we are able to communicate with one another easily. If you are ever in a predicament that requires a long distance meeting to take place, you will find the below options to be great choices for your needs.

Video Teleconferencing

Video teleconferencing is a great tool for long distance meetings because it enables you to see and hear your counterparts. If you are using a great provider, you will have high quality feed coming through your computer. You will need to have a laptop or desktop computer that has a webcam, microphone and speakers. It’s almost as good as meeting face to face, since you are able to interact in the same way, without the physical touch. Video teleconferences are commonly used for complex tasks that involve showcasing work or doing demonstrations. It’s a great replacement for when you can’t be in the same room. [Read more...]

5 Questions to Ask Every VA You Hire

virtual personal assistantMany online business owners have found that retaining a Virtual Personal Assistant offers them numerous advantages. While the days of the bustling office are dwindling, there is still a major need for the old secretaries and administrative assistants that handled the daily minutiae. With a virtual personal assistant, you’ll have a lot more time on your hands to handle the tasks that are actually important to you.
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5 Greatest Things about Not Having an Office

internet computerMost start-ups founded today will never have a real office to call their own. Most will never actually need one since most work can be done with computers over the internet. There are some who might feel like the newest generation of workers is missing out on something because they will never know how it feels to hang around the water-cooler or experience the thrill of upgrading to a corner office.

While there are certainly reasons to miss the old office, there are also many reasons to be glad those days are over. Here are five reasons you should be glad that you don’t have to deal with an office anymore.
[Read more...]