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Business Owner

Entrepreneurship Test – 7 Questions For an Aspiring Entrepreneur to Ask Themselves

I did not always have an entrepreneurial mind; as a matter of fact, when I graduated college, I was very lost. I was working at a software company and for a few more thousand dollars, took a job at a large public company (you would laugh if I told you the name). I was doing account management for their financial clients. Because it was a work from home position, the only thing I managed was the couch and DVR. After trying to ruffle a few feathers and really make a difference in the company, I was gradually ousted from “the group” and was eventually pushed out. I wasn’t fired, but I was put in a situation where it was either / or.
Though, at this firm, I learned the true definition of the word “complacent.” This brings me to the first question which I will put forth to get your brain in gear. Please keep in mind that these questions are here to help you as they will give you some guidance as to whether owning your own business would be right for you.
1. In twenty years, one day your son or daughter will be asked about you. More likely than not, the first thing that will come up is your career. How do you think they will describe your career and your job? Does that answer resonate well with you?
If the answer is fine with you, there are two presumed scenarios. The first is that you were very successful and enjoy reading about entrepreneurs on the web. Thus, I am flattered you are reading my article. The second is that you, more likely than not, do not have an entrepreneurial frame of mind.
2. How much would you invest in yourself? If you had to put a net worth on your brain, would it be more or less than what someone else is paying for it? Also, is that someone even using your brain?
If you’re like many and are in this situation, you have to work harder to become an entrepreneur for a few reasons. The first is that your brain is not being put to work on a daily basis, so you have to get that going. Additionally, because of the economy, it is very scary to go off on your own. So choose your time wisely, but don’t put it off too long.
3. If somebody put you out on the street and gave you $10,000 – everything else is gone. How much of that money would you spend on books?
If the answer is less than $1,000, you probably are good where you are at. This is a great test as entrepreneurs don’t create something out of nothing, they create something out of learning. Books are such an important factor of business success. Remember, in this case, you do not have the internet which shouldn’t be relied upon too heavily anyway.
4. If somebody offered you a million dollars to never work again, would you?
Entrepreneurs like the game. Entrepreneurs get a rush out of the results they product. Ever wonder why Brett Favre didn’t retire when everybody told him to? He is a competitor. He obviously was not doing it for the money; it’s the game that is important to the entrepreneur.
5. Do you understand the concepts of bad bets?
Don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur or risk taker because you sit at a blackjack table in Atlantic City. If you do now, during your next game of 21, look around you and the subsequent people. Forget about their fancy watch and attire. They are not that successful. Stamp my guarantee on that statement. I learned this as I used to look up to these people in my early 20’s.
Every now and again, you may see somebody playing who is, but they are not the “crew” that is typically at the tables. Entrepreneurs take calculated bets. Though, the blackjack frame of mind may help you open your own business; entrepreneurs need to be risk takers. Hey, you might as well save that money that you’re going to give to the Trump Plaza and invest it in yourself.
6. Would you buy a nice car on credit?
With regards to this question, the answer should be either “no” or “not again.” Entrepreneurs, or good people for that matter, do not need to show off their wealth. If they would like to buy something nice, they do not buy it on credit and they surely do not invest in a car.
7. Is television your hobby?
I’ll never forget one of the bankers at my bank telling me that he had 7 months off with pay after getting laid off from his previous job. I asked him what he did with his time. …

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Business News

Starting a Business? 5 Step Reality Check Helps You Know If Your New Business Will Succeed

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “How can I be sure my new business will succeed?” There is no crystal ball that can accurately answer that question. However, if you are serious about starting a business there are five steps you can take that will begin to give you a clearer picture. By following these steps you will gain tremendous insight into what lies ahead. Whether this reality-check convinces you to dive in, or hold back, you’ll be well served by what you learn. While we are huge proponents of founders developing a well written business plan, the steps below can be followed even before you start your small business plan.
Step 1: Write a simple elevator pitch to see if your business idea is compelling to others. If you haven’t created an elevator pitch before, you can stitch together the essentials very easily. Write a one sentence answer to each of the following questions. What problem will your company solve for its customers? Who has this problem and how large is that group? What will make your business unique so that customers will buy from you instead of a competitor? Finally, what are your qualifications to run the business? If you force yourself to write and re-write the very best one sentence answers to each of these questions, you will have the elevator pitch you need for this purpose. Now, try out your elevator pitch on 10 people you trust and respect to get their feedback and reaction to your well-formed business concept. This is the warm up for steps two and three.
Step 2: Talk to would-be customers to find out if there is a true need for your product or service. When you are thinking about starting a business, you obviously feel there is a void in the marketplace. Don’t wait until you open your business to find out if the need for another business is real or imagined. Armed with your elevator pitch, go have face-to-face discussions with future customers. You are not going to them to sell, or pre-sell. You are doing market research. After describing your business by generally following your elevator pitch, go into “ask and listen” mode. To get the information you are seeking, ask questions like, “How are you currently meeting your needs for (insert the products or services your company will provide)?” Listen carefully-this is the voice of the customer. In step one, you spoke to friends and respected colleagues. In step two, you are talking to people who currently buy products or services like those you will be selling. Select individuals who will be focused on the content of your ideas and less concerned about simply wanting to be encouraging.
Step 3: Become an expert on the competition. Identify 5 other companies that are already doing what you plan to do. Learn as much about them as you can. One of the best things to learn is if they expanding or shrinking. You want to be entering a business where the market and demand is growing! Take everything you learn and ask yourself what it says about the opportunity for your new business. If you can’t find any companies that already do what you’re planning to do, there two likely reasons: 1) There is not enough demand to support a business; 2) You didn’t look hard enough. The third possibility, and the one most often cited incorrectly, is that a genuinely new opportunity has been discovered, one that nobody else has ever thought of, and so there is no competition. Rarely is this the case.
Step 4: Develop a rough estimate of your breakeven costs. Think about the process of engaging the customer to the point of making a sale. What are all the things that you must have in place to make that sale? Do you need an office? A building? A sign? Computers? Phone service? Special equipment? Employees? Will you need to take a salary from the business from its inception? How much will you spend on marketing so that customers find out about your business? List all of the major items and estimate their costs for the first full year. Divide this number by twelve to see your total monthly fixed expenses.
To calculate their breakeven sales number, some types of businesses must also take into account their “cost of sales” or the additional cost that is incurred for each sale made. In a pure service business, such as consulting, there will be little or no “cost of sales.” A consultant sells his or her time. The breakeven revenue for this type of business would be the total monthly expenses calculated above.
Other businesses, such as restaurants or retailers have to take into account the cost of the goods they sell. For …

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Business News

Use Mobile Marketing To Put Your Business In Your Customers’ Pockets

Getting started in mobile marketing can seem daunting because there are so many options available to you. The following tips will bring mobile marketing into perspective and help you choose a viable strategy.

You should never send messages to your customers without a good reason. You should only message them with useful information. Some businesses failed in their mobile marketing endeavors because they chose to send arbitrary and impractical text messages to their customers. Customers aren’t looking for humorous, personal messages from a business they patronize. They’re looking for valuable information and ways to save money.

Make your point but keep it short when it comes to mobile content. Mobile device screens are small, so droning on and on about a product just to get more keywords in is annoying to readers. Mobile marketing demands short, concise, and direct messages to consumers.

Check out the things your rivals are doing, you will get advantage when it comes to social network marketing. It is important that you are different than competitors.

Make sure you know when people are getting your text messages. They shouldn’t be sent when they’re sleeping or having dinner with their families. Regardless of how tempting the offer or how enticing the message may be, customers are unlikely to appreciate an off-hours text.

Mobile marketing is one of the best ways to watch your profits rise. More and more people every day use mobile phones for social networking and to download applications. Both of these serve as excellent mediums for marketing your business. You need to target your customers where they are congregating online.

Have a basic understanding of mobile devices if you want to develop a successful mobile marketing campaign so you may optimize your site and ads for a mobile platform. Try out as many mobile devices as you can so that you understand the user’s experience.

When calling or texting someone, remember there is a live person on the receiving end; therefore, it is important to be considerate of the time in which you call as well as the type of message you are sending. Act accordingly.

Apps are not difficult to create. Your customers would love to receive a free app; why not build your own? Offering your own unique app will help to improve your business and take full advantage of mobile marketing. There are many choices to make about app features; the possibilities are endless.

Although lots of people use their phones for Internet text, not all know the different kinds of abbreviations used online. Any lack of understanding in your advertisement will yield unfavorable results both short and long term.

The many different techniques used in mobile marketing are all based on a few shared principles. Usually the only differences are in the level of technology involved and how that technology is utilized. All it takes to decide between them is some research and common sense to find the best and most effective techniques to use in your plan for you, your business, and your budget.…

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Business Owner

Tips That Video Marketers Can Really Use

Video marketing should be considered if you want to make a big impact on your business. But, in order to really get the best results, you need to learn about the methods others have used to be successful. This article can help you do that.

You should make as many videos as you can. This encourages viewers to keep checking your channel for new content. This will also help broaden your audience as more people can find your links through a general search.

YouTube is the most popular sharing site, and is worthwhile for its video editing features and analytics alone. Annotations are a good example of what you can add to your videos. You can share links, give more details about your product or even provide a coupon code.

You need a link to your site built into your video. This technique will allow your viewers to see your website in action. This is also useful in how-to videos. Try saving a copy of the screenshot and then use some video editing program to include it into the video.

You should always have interesting content for customers. Your video should catch people’s attention. If you have boring videos, even the video marketing powerhouse YouTube can’t help you. A lot of people want to watch videos that are relevant. The more interesting and engaging your videos, the more likely you will be to see sustained growth and increases in traffic.

Talk to your colleagues and seek their assistance in helping your video marketing ideas. You need to have articulate people who represent the business. You should not hesitate to feature more than one employee or colleague in your videos.

The truth will set you free – and get you more viewers. If you want to make videos, make sure the topic is really interesting to you. When you speak the truth to viewers about something you are passionate about, they will not only enjoy it, but they will appreciate it and come back for more.

Do not take the whole burden upon yourself. It can be very hard to brainstorm by yourself for a video. To help come up with ideas, ask friends and co-workers for thoughts. Have sessions such as these on a regular basis to make sure that you remain abreast of advertising and what is happening in your niche.

Video marketing can get the word out about your website or your social media page. Someone that comes across your Youtube videos might not know that you are on Facebook, too. Publicizing your sites are going to attract visitors to them and vice versa. Social media links to your video hosting sites can really boost traffic and business.

After you have read the comments and looked at the statistics of your video, begin making more of them. Analyze your results and use them to create an even more effective video the next time. Make adjustments to the content, polish dialogue and upgrade equipment if possible. Each version will be better than the one before it!

Anyone hoping to realize great gains in profitability should consider video marketing. You need to know what you’re doing to be successful. Utilize the tips you’ve just read whenever you begin your video marketing campaign, and you can succeed.…

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Business Plan

Video Marketing Do’s And Don’ts For The Average Person

Anyone can use video marketing to reach their goals. The more you know about this technique, the better off you will be. If you study the advice that follows, you will be well-equipped to move forward.

Optimizing your videos is very important. When you upload to various sites, the titles and descriptions for your videos must be different. Also, add in your keywords. Finally, you can put in your email, phone number or website address so that viewers can get in touch with you if they want to know more.

When you are making a video, do not focus on what it looks like. High production values do not mean getting good returns back on your investment. Even large companies have used cost-efficient videos to generate a high number of sales.

The most popular type of searches online is finding out how something is done. Having tutorial videos creates an avenue for those who search in your niche to find you. If people see you as an expert in your niche, then they are more likely to return to your videos and website.

Include an opt-in form for your mailing list on every page where your videos are posted. People may want to sign up to get more information on the topic the video is presenting, and this is the perfect time for you to slip in your sales pitch.

Use video marketing as a way to show your potential customers that you’re a person just like them. One way to help your customers to relate to you is by making a video about your business. This will provide everyone with a more personable side to your business.

Use video marketing on a variety of social media websites. If someone happens to stumble across your YouTube channel, it would be in your best interest to direct them to your Facebook and Twitter pages. When you cross promote, you’ll build traffic. When all of your social sites are linked in to your video site, you will drive your traffic and sales higher.

Don’t let being camera shy keep you from using video marketing to promote your business. Hold a contest with prizes where people can enter their own videos. You can choose the winning video to promote your business on your sites.

Although lots of YouTube videos go viral, you can’t expect to just post a video onto YouTube and have it go viral by itself. You need to get it out there using social media and email marketing. Nobody will watch your video if nobody knows it exists!

Keep videos informative and short. Keep in mind that your viewers will more than likely have a very short attention span. Work on making videos of less than five minutes in order to hold people’s attention. You might have great content, but it won’t help you if you lost viewers before the video is over.

Everybody knows just how powerful a good video marketing campaign can be. Without proper information and ability, these possibilities are pretty limited. Focus on incorporating the advice you just read into your business plan so that you can succeed in a way that amazes even you.…

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Business News

Tips On How To Succeed In Mobile Marketing

Assembling a plan for mobile marketing may seem mysterious at first with so many options available, and you may not be certain where to start. This article will take some of the guesswork out of the process of promoting your business in the mobile realm.

Don’t send random messages to your customers. Every message you send them should be relevant and useful. Nothing will crash your marketing campaign faster than annoying your customers with random things. Customers like relevance, not jokes or other nonsense.

Short and sweet is an important key when it comes to appealing to all of your consumers. Your message must come across loud and clear to your customers. This allows them to understand, relate to and absorb it much faster.

If you are not an expert on designing for a mobile audience, then by all means, hire one. Giving a website a mobile device design can involve sophisticated skills. If you want the best results, spend the money on a professional with the appropriate expertise.

If you want to see your profits go up, try some mobile marketing. More and more people everyday are using their mobile phones to use social networking websites and download apps. Both of these are good ways to advertise and market your business. Make sure that you are bringing what you have to offer to the people, don’t make them have to find you.

When you get involved in mobile marketing, it is quite helpful for you to be somewhat familiar with the design and operation of mobile devices, so that you create user-friendly sites and advertisements. Start by getting different mobile phones and experimenting with them.

You always have the option of sharing apps with your customers, but were you aware that you can create the majority of these applications yourself? Your mobile marketing campaigns could be greatly enhanced by embracing this new piece of technology. Create an app that is unique to your business and offer it out. There are a lot of features to choose from; tailor your app to the kind of customers you are addressing.

You will get the best results from dedicated short code. While the price is higher, it can help your brand stay protected. You may also derive a bit of legal coverage from its use.

Make it simple for your customers to forward your mobile marketing ads to their friends. Ease of forwarding as well as incentives for doing so are great ways to ensure that your ad is packing all of the punch that it is capable of.

No matter how advanced smartphones get, remember that mobile web browsing is just not as easy as going online with a computer. If you are going to engage in mobile marketing, then your ads and other marketing materials need to be totally accessible on mobile devices. Sometimes this means that users on a computer may view a more simple page.

There are many different variations of mobile marketing methods, but they all share pretty much the same fundamentals. They only vary when it comes to technology and the applications used. All it takes to decide between them is some research and common sense to find the best and most effective techniques to use in your plan for you, your business, and your budget.…

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Business News Articles

Use These Tips To Get Started With Facebook Marketing Today!

There are nearly unlimited points of view about how to most effectively use Facebook for marketing. A lot of the suggestions are trendy and devoid of substance, which means they won’t make you much money. The following advice will show you how to succeed.

It is important that your posts are always professional. Social media often has a relaxed or casual tone, but you still need to present a professional attitude. If you keep it professional, you will gain the respect and trust of your clientele.

You may want to try Facebook ads. Normal posting only adds so much when it comes to promoting services and products. If you want to reach a lot of people all at once you should try buying an ad on Facebook. They don’t cost a lot of money and they can make quite the difference.

Facebook Offers give you a way to promote yourself. Create the offer and then make sure to post it on the wall. If it’s a good offer, it can be promoted to non-fans.

Answer any questions and respond to comments on Facebook. Thank them for contacting you, and try to give helpful answers to their questions. Do not hesitate to share a link to your site if an article or page perfectly answers their question.

Allow interested parties to sign up via your Facebook page. Make a connection to communicate with visitors by asking them to sign up or register and offering them something in return. Consider holding a contest or sweepstakes.

Don’t share irrelevant updates. While current events, political issues or personal problems might be tempting to talk about, you may alienate your fans by discussing them. Your personal account should be used if you have personal things you want to talk with people about.

When making a decision, ask your fans for input. People enjoy being on the “inside.” A great way to do this is by getting them involved in business decisions. For example, if you run a blog you could ask them what kind of posts you should make.

You should post relevant and useful information regularly on your business Facebook page. This does not mean posting 5 times a day, but it does mean regular updates. Make sure you post content with important information that your target audience will find useful.

Always allow comments on your Facebook page. Turning off commenting may prevent inappropriate comments and spam, but it also makes your business seem anti-social and uncommunicative.

Do your best to get your customers to interact on your page. If you find a conversation that was started on a post you’ve made, let people continue it. If you delete something or ask people to stick to a topic, you risk offending them. Only intervene if the thread could offend someone.

Many people tend to follow “trends” they read or hear about in regards to Facebook marketing because they are lazy. This article should give you some great advice about Facebook marketing. You’ll have a successful Facebook marketing campaign by applying what you’ve learned here.…