1414By Chad Brooks
Despite a global push to cut greenhouse gasses, entrepreneurs trying to launch their own environmentally friendly businesses are finding a lot of pushback from those whose support they need most: investors, suppliers and customers, new research finds.
The study, which was recently published in the Journal of...
0397 by Jeff Charles
Many entrepreneurs are afraid of selling. It’s a pretty common fear.
Chances are there have been times when you have been afraid of persuading prospects to become customers. There are plenty of reasons why entrepreneurs might be afraid of selling.
You might be afraid of coming off too pushy. Maybe you’re...
0312by Brian Hughes
Still managing projects with a Google Doc, tracking billable hours in an endless Excel chart, or juggling human resource benefits yourself?
In 2016, resolve to put an end to the madness. From straightforward accounting solutions to intuitive social media management tools, these five apps empower small business and...
Disruptive. If you look at the dictionary definition of the word, there are two -- almost polar opposite -- expressions. They are:
1. Troublesome, unruly, badly behaved and undisciplined, or, alternatively, 2. Innovative and groundbreaking.
I’ve worked with CEOs, leaders and entrepreneurs from both...
As mom used to say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you want to use your brand name as a domain name for a website – but someone else already owns that trademark – they can potentially dispute your use of that name online. Courts can and have, depending on the circumstances,...
When Jona Xiao was 12 years old, she was cast as the lead in her school play Rappingstiltskin -- the rapping version of Rumpelstiltskin. “I loved making people laugh,” says Xiao. “At that moment, I fell for acting.”
Shortly afterward, she heard an ad on the radio for a casting agency looking for...
Your mindset affects what you believe is possible, and that will dictate what actions you take in your life and business. Your thoughts will either help or hurt your business. The way you think is one of your most valuable assets as an entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs understand this better than...
Miracles in business don’t just happen. Opportunity never seeks us. Rather, we must seek it.
Needless to say, the only way to make a goal become a reality is to stick to a proposition and see it through to the end. Seeing a task through to completion regardless of how difficult it is to achieve is the definition of grit...
When Eran Eyal arrived at Techstars New York office on a balmy Tuesday evening in August, he was emotionally drained. It shouldn't have been like this -- as one of seven founders or founding teams selected to pitch their startups to a roster of experienced judges, he should have been confident and...
I collaborate with many solo entrepreneurs and I must say, we are an interesting lot. A hybrid between the small-business owner and freelancer, we’re navigating new waters.
Successful entrepreneurs often talk of the ever-elusive “tipping point,” where passive income is achieved and audience size...
The end of the year is a good time to reflect upon where you are as a company compared to where you intended to be. In other words, did you meet your yearly objectives? If the answer is yes, then give yourself a pat on the back before asking the next key question: “How do we sustain success?”
028 by Smart Hustle Magazine
Only 75 percent of new businesses survive past the one-year mark. That means that 1 out of every 4 businesses will close their doors before the end of year one. And while you would think that making it past year one gets you to the summit, the reality is that each subsequent year becomes harder to survive...
As an entrepreneur, unforeseen challenges are going to constitute the bulk of your workdays. It might be something big, like a long-committed employee who decided to quit or a new competitor emerging in your area, or something small, like a deadline that’s getting pushed back due to technical issues....
There are tactics to self-branding, content marketing and entrepreneurship that the general public just isn't aware of. It’s true. I learn more and more every day when I network, read, write and test. There are super creative tactics some entrepreneurs use to get their brands and companies ahead.
029Robert W. Bly
What should you charge for your product? Are you looking to create a low-priced item you can sell as a loss leader to bring in new customers? Or are you looking to create a high-priced back-end product to sell to your existing customers?
To me, it’s more rewarding to command a higher price, charge...
Anyone who has worked with my dev shop (Agent Beta) from 2012 to early 2013 as a client or employee most likely spoke to or received an email from Dana. Dana started off helping with basic clerical tasks, and eventually learned enough to manage certain aspects of project development. Dana is...
"Everyone will buy this product!" This overambitious misjudgment underscores an all too common fallacy in the world of entrepreneurs: the entrepreneur's bias. After all, ideas quickly become "your baby," and no one wants to hear their baby is ugly. But this thought process, could be a costly mistake. Instead,...
If only half of startups survive more than five years and only one-third make it to 10, what’s the one thing you could do to ensure your company is sustainable? The answer is to create a growth strategy for your business, of course.
A growth strategy involves more than simply envisioning long-term...
Despite all the beautiful pictures on Instagram, not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship can lead to a life of freedom, and benefit the people a business serves. Or, it can be a nightmare if someone isn’t cut out for entrepreneurship. It’s not a one-size-fits-all choice for...
Most first-time entrepreneurs seem to believe the myth that they need a minimum of a half a million dollars to start a business. At least that is usually the lowest number I see requested from our local angel investment group. In reality, over 80 percent of successful new businesses are self-funded for much...
This year has been saturated in outlandish political statement, heated sports controversies and some of the most innovative marketing campaigns to date. Mixing next-gen technology with tried-and-true marketing methodologies, 2015 ads covered new ground in the advertising realm.
Although there were many...
048 by Kelley Keller
You opened your business and trademarked your brand name, logo, and so on. Fantastic! You’ve taken the first step to ensure only you can profit from your brand. But registering your trademark is just the first step to protecting your brand.
A trademark gives you the right to exclude others from using similar...
019by Rieva Lesonsky
Retail returns are a trouble spot for retailers at any time of year, but at the holidays, the problem is especially significant. This year, the NRF expects holiday return fraud will cost U.S. retailers $2.2 billion, according to NRF’s Return Fraud Survey.
Retail return fraud is on the rise due to many factors,...
028 by Smart Hustle Magazine
Like every profession, entrepreneurs sometimes find themselves caught in ethical dilemmas where they are forced to make decisions about what is right and wrong. A recent Wall Street Journal article suggests that unethical behavior is typical of entrepreneurship, stating that, “Some entrepreneurs stay the...
So you came up with an idea, got yourself some funding, developed a product, gained customer traction, found a market niche, and generated some revenue. Maybe even a lot of revenue. That’s great. You’ve gone farther than the vast majority of your peers.
The problem is, you can’t just keep putting one...
021 by Scott Shane
In 2013, the number of American businesses without employees per thousand people rose by 0.4 percent to hit a record of 72.72 non-employers for every thousand residents, Census Bureau data reveal. In the same year, average sales at these businesses nudged down by 0.2 percent — about $80 (in 2011 dollars) — to...
Everybody wants to be liked. The need for social acceptance is something we all long for and we feel conflicted when we don't have it. It’s natural to want to conform and avoid uncertainty. However, if we apply this theory to business then being unaccepted actually becomes a strong brand.
For example, when...
Garnering support for a new business idea is as much about the art of the pitch as it is the science of the throw. As with any presentation, content may be king, but delivery is queen, and without the two mutually supporting each other, your business kingdom will lack support -- or strikeout...
026 by Annie Pilon
No matter where you are in your business journey, it’s never too early or late to learn. From those just thinking about starting a business to seasoned veterans, there are always new lessons to be learned.
Members of the small business community have learned plenty of those lessons. Advice and insights for...
037 by Shawn Hessinger
Think back to when you started your most recent company. What were the biggest mistakes you made at the time?
Or, if you’re in the process of starting a business today, what mistake are you most concerned about making?
Expert Market has come up with this infographic listing 15 startup mistakes small...
Good branding is at the heart of any good business, but most of the branding advice you’ll find online or in person is about making sure that your brand remains consistent in your marketing efforts, or gets improved, if it's already established. What happens if your business has never developed a brand, or...
023By Nicole Fallon Taylor
Big Data gets a lot of buzz in the business world. It's true that data analytics can give you deep, useful insights into your business and its customers, but only if you use those insights to their full potential.
There are three main components to business analytics: descriptive, predictive and...
In a perfect world, every time we shared a link—whether it be to a blog post, a newsletter, or a tweet—all of our followers would click through and check out what was on the other side. Right?
But our attention spans are shorter than ever. In fact, a study from Microsoft says the average attention span...
015 by Melissa Thompson
There are any number of automated tools you can make use of today to really boost the social reach of your small business.
Tools have been developed for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, and all the other outlets, so that no matter which is your favorite, you’ll be able to find some ready-made...
Some of the most successful and inspirational entrepreneurs never set out with the goal of running a large company or employing scores of people. Many are simply men and women motivated to develop solutions to a problem they’re facing.
Then they discover that they’re not the only ones with that need...
From the time we hit adolescence (and maybe even earlier), we live our lives caring what other people think of us. We're all guilty of this to a certain degree -- it’s human nature to want to be liked and approved of by the tribe around us. However, there’s a problem when a fear of criticism or...
There’s comfort in knowing your regular barista will start making your go-to beverage as soon as you step foot into your neighborhood coffee shop. You drop by every morning to order the same thing and your loyalty pays off in the form of enhanced service, friendly smiles and the confidence that you’ll be...
“That’s just a feature.” It’s the ultimate dismissal -- an indictment that the idea is too lightweight to stand on its own and will ultimately be subsumed into a broader product. Entrepreneurs scarred by such feedback may start second-guessing themselves, wondering if their innovation is a great product...
Everyone loves a good entrepreneurial Cinderella story. We cheer for companies that start from nowhere and wind up revolutionizing entire industries.
Unfortunately, this happens pretty infrequently. Nine out of 10 startups end up folding, and while there is a long list of factors that contribute to this...
Let’s get real here. As a business leader, you want constant growth. But how can you expect to experience growth if you’re doing the same things over and over again? How can you experience growth if you’re unwilling to see new possibilities? Failure to do so is what is known staying in the comfort...
Another year is in the books. Big ideas, big gambles and big changes dominated 2015. Some businesses looked to the cloud; others looked to the stars. Emerging brands broke into the mainstream, established firms reinvented themselves and a 25-year-old pop phenom tangled with almighty Apple -- and...
Ever feel like it’s gotten more difficult to find affordable financing to run your business? Don’t worry — it’s not just you.
Traditionally, small businesses were able to rely upon traditional banks for loans and refinance options. Then the Great Recession hit. Since then, banks have dramatically reduced their...
There's never been a better time to strike out on your own.
Have you been dreaming about starting your own business? This coming year is the time to stop dreaming and start doing.
That advice comes from the personal finance site GOBankingRates. The site's editors asked best-selling author and career coach Josh...
115By Jim Blasingame
Here’s a scenario that plays out in the marketplace every day in Small Business, USA:
“My business is really growing these days,” a small business owner confides to his friend, “but we’re still experiencing negative cash during the month.”
And then, with that deer-in-the-headlights look on his face,...
Until a few years ago Steve Cronce’s Raphael Industries did $1 million dollars a year of specialized industrial painting for customers within driving distance of their plant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of them happened to be GE Healthcare, which sent Raphael “dead” X-Ray tube parts...
There are two kinds of businesses: those with CEOs who are intertwined with their companies and, well, those who aren't. I call the latter faceless brands.
Faceless brands include big companies like American Airlines, Adidas, Chase and Visa. On the flip side, Richard Branson with Virgin, Marc Benioff...
In their book No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing, business coach and consultant Dan S. Kennedy and marketing strategist Kim Walsh-Phillips show you how to use direct response marketing principles on a variety of social media platforms to drive real results and profit. In this edited...
It was all about the timing in the latest installment of Shark Tank. While many episodes feature the sharks mercilessly skewering entrepreneurs over products that lack any clear market potential, Episode 10 featured all good, interesting ideas with real potential.
The big difference between the one...
029 by Melinda Emerson
You know that internships can be extremely valuable to student-learners but what you may not realize is that internship programs can be valuable to you as a small business owner. Think of internships as long auditions for future full-time employees.
While you may not reap immediate benefits from your student...