We’re really getting in the Thanksgiving spirit here at MyCorp! Not only are we all prepping our turkeys, and candying our yams, but we are prepping for our upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales as well! It seems that with the passing of each Thanksgiving, there is a new sales day added into the mix. What was once Black Friday, is now the trio of Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday. Companies and customers alike are choosing to partake in all three!
We noodled on it and thought the entire sales weekend should just have its own name – something that combines and explains Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. We turned to our fellow small business owners and here’s what they came up with!
Are you an entrepreneur? Yes? Okay. I’m going to tell you something that sounds crazy–or at least like a line–but which I know to be unequivocally true. The right accounting software package will help make your dreams come true. See, I told you it would sound a bit crazy! Let me explain it a little more.
What feeds the fire of every start-up is an inspiration of what the company can be and what it can do better than any other on the market. But nothing douses that fire like drowning in inefficiency and tedious administrative processes.
Here at MyCorporation, we’re busy prepping for the end of the year and looking forward to what 2014 will bring for small businesses and entrepreneurs. But while our prep involves helping to file delayed filings or incorporating or forming LLCs for small businesses, we’re curious to see how other companies are closing out 2013. Today, we have 24 small business professionals giving us a look at what they’re working on for their brands and their biggest business tips on how to close out the end of the year!
1. “Make a resolution to focus on one social media platform. Social media is not going away and it’s time for small business to step up.”
- Lisa McTigue, Social Media Expert, LisaMcTigue.com
2. “We are making sure all inventory is in stock and organized, all marketing materials ready to go and short lead press releases being sent to appropriate parties. We look forward to a successful holiday season!”
- Sally Goodgold, Founder, WarmTradition.com
3. “At year end, I always check in with everyone who was interested to hire us during the year but didn’t. Many times companies find “use it or lose it funds” on the books at the end of the year and if you hit the timing right, they may just reopen the conversation where you left off before and have you invoice them in December to get the found money off the books. Then you can start the new year strong with motivated clients who will return your calls fast since they have already paid you!”
- Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder and CEO, Mavens & Moguls
As a small business owner, you understand the value great marketing has on your company overall. From positive brand recognition to customer loyalty, making the right marketing moves can launch your business in all of the right directions.
Unfortunately, you also understand that ultimately it’s the budget that rules the roost; and if you don’t have the money to market yourself, you’ll simply have to go without. But not so fast! There are some economical ways your promotions can go off with a bang, minus the upfront bucks.
By Jeremy Higbee
Even though there are budget problems right now, the government spends a great deal on government contractors, particularly small business owners. In 2009, the government spent $96.8 billion in contracts with small businesses. That’s a whole lot of money. Any small business owner or entrepreneur would be remiss to not take advantage of that large of a revenue opportunity.
That being said, it’s probably best not to attempt to rely solely on government contracting opportunities as a single source of income for your business. There are companies like Lockheed Martin that develops military weapons, jets, and satellites that rely solely on government contracts that run up into the hundreds of billions. Unless you’re planning on make the next F-35, I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket.
Since you’ll be dealing with the government, there’s going to be a lot of paperwork, registering, and seemingly pointless hoops to jump through. Here are the hoops that need to be navigated in order to benefit from Uncle Sam’s federal contracts:
Anthony Karibian, CEO of bOnline
Most small businesses today have realized a website is a vital part of their marketing plan. Many have spent weeks, maybe even months, creating a professional website to convert prospects into paying customers. So why are many small business websites failing to bring in sales? In order to attract traffic to your website, it’s important to understand that the work isn’t over once your website has gone live. Thankfully, you don’t need to be an expert or a millionaire to drive traffic to your site - here are five free and easy ways:
Much of your site’s traffic will come from search engines such as Google, where your success depends on how highly your site ranks for keywords related to your business. There’s no guaranteed way to the top, but you can apply search engine optimization (SEO) best practices on your site to be in with a better chance. Think about the search terms you want to rank for and ensure these keywords are included in your website, including the header and page titles (but don’t force them in or repeat them excessively). Getting links back to your site from respected sources should also give you a boost. There are a lot of rules to good SEO, but the best place to start is with Google’s very own SEO Starter Guide, available here for free.
Many of life’s burdens – big and small – are lightened with a friend for support and this lesson has not been lost in business. If you’re thinking of starting a business with a friend or family member, you’re not alone. Some of the most enduring and positive American companies were founded by a couple of friends who had an idea. They didn’t always have a lot of start-up cash, but they had each other.
- UPS was started in 1907 by two teenagers with a single bicycle and a hundred dollars borrowed from a friend. Back then the U.S. Parcel Post wasn’t around and there was plenty of opportunity for the American Messenger Company of Seattle, Washington.
- Ben and Jerry met in seventh-grade gym class in 1963. A decade later, they took a five-dollar correspondence course in making ice cream.
- In 1978 two 20-something friends, John and Rene pulled together $45,000 to open what started as SaferWay and later became Whole Foods Market. Times were so hard on the friends they lived in the store and reportedly bathed using the hose disconnected from the dishwasher.
By David Nilssen, CEO & Co-founder, Guidant Financial
Follow your bliss. We’ve all heard this simple advice, stated succinctly by writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell. We’ve heard it so often that maybe we’ve lost sight of Campbell’s intent. It wasn’t permission to do nothing, or to squander our gifts. In saying “Follow your bliss,” Campbell exhorted us to action. To proactively seek out what we’re passionate about and build a life around it. After all, if you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like work—but you can make it your living.
One of the first decisions every business owner needs to make is what entity to file their business as, and that choice is typically between LLCs vs. Corporations. Really the decision comes down to what fits the needs of the business owner and the business, but there is still discussion on which entity is best. Here at MyCorp, we gathered together a panel of professionals to get their expert advice on LLCs vs. Corporations and which is the best to form for your business. Which side are you on?
1. “Generally speaking, corporate status is preferable. Banks typically don’t view LLCs as favorably during the loan application process and corporations don’t pay taxes on fringe benefits. These include group-term life insurance, medical reimbursement plans, medical insurance premiums, and more.”
- John Boyd, Principal, The Boyd Company, Inc.