As a small business owner, you’re undoubtedly on a tight time crunch with limited resources to draw upon compared to many of your more established competitors. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools to use online that can give your small business a competitive edge to get noticed amongst the clamor of advertising that is bombarding consumers.
Keep an open mind
Fed up with endless expensive “business” subscriptions for your favorite management products like Office, Adobe Products, and Dropbox? Check out the open source community. The open source community is an online and offline community working together to create non-proprietary alternatives and new projects. Their goals stretch far beyond creating free software (freeware), but the products and support this community can provide small businesses is extensive.
There are many critical variables for sales success, especially when it comes to small business sales. Because small businesses typically have more obstacles to overcome due to their size and lack of resources, it’s extremely important that small business leaders learn how to master the sales process. Ultimately, mastering sales skills can provide long lasting revenue. Below are a few simple sales training tips and tricks to help small business sales teams to succeed.
Quick Tips to Remember:
- Target: The right client means everything
- Good Energy: Be upbeat and positive
- Preparation: Stay prepared and continuously practice your selling skills
- Delivery: Always deliver polished presentations
With the rise of online shopping, old school franchised brick and mortar retail shops are finding themselves increasingly outmatched. Fortunately, this (and perhaps the hipster counterculture) has seen to a new appreciation for small businesses that appeal to a different audience for a different reason, like local coffee shops, barbershops, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, little bookstores, and small import stores that were until recently only frequented by homesick immigrants and refugees.
So what exactly attracts this new type of consumer and what are they looking for?
The answer, of course, is atmosphere. People today, more than any other time, want to travel, to experience new things, escape from everyday life and get away from the soul-crushing mundanity of their desk jobs, even if it’s just for a half hour. The millennial generation was raised with the idea that they could achieve whatever they want, and the realization that this isn’t going to happen has created a market for escape. There are, however, companies that want to help be a part of helping their consumers go on a mini vacation with their stores. One of the main ways they do this is by designing their establishments in a way that helps capitalize on that need for young people to escape.
Creating Your Atmosphere
Decide What You Want Your Space To Be – Your business needs to have a certain amount of character, and that character comes from you, the entrepreneur. Merely attempting to cater to your perceived customer will give you and your business a soulless, faceless, ‘90s shop atmosphere. What is your vision?
There are staples and initiatives that every business needs in order to succeed. From marketing efforts to employees and equipment, you’re going to need to pay it forward in order to gain results. After all, the nature of business is to make investments.
However, the question lies in understanding where to make those investments and when to pull back. Read on to discover three areas within your small business that, with a little understanding and tact, will prove your efforts to be worthwhile.
No matter how amazing your business offering is, it won’t mean much if no one is aware of it. Marketing is essential for any business that wants to bring in new business while educating and entertaining a consumer group. However, when it comes to setting a budget, where should you save and splurge?
Ad campaigns (consisting of flyers, banners or direct mail) can provide you with a return on investment both in a growing customer base and a more solidified brand image. The key to making your investment worth it is to have a consistent message across the board that speaks to your niche’s needs and wants.
Marketing requires keen insight in how to approach a product, service, or brand and effectively get it out to customers or other businesses. As one of the main forms of communication within commerce, marketing has evolved radically with tech advancements and social media, but some principles still remain the same. Cutting-edge ways to market a brand or product will either capitalize on a new insight or reformat a classical view in marketing to the 21st century economy. In today’s economy, businesses demand marketers think beyond the everyday and try looking outside of the box when it comes to ad campaigns.
What Consumers and Businesses Want
Marketing techniques have evolved to work beyond the everyday concept of an advertisement presenting or selling a product or service and now telling them what it is. Consumers, in an ever-competitive marketplace that has been energized by the internet, no longer want ads that talks at them. They want something that many ads have lost over time: engagement. Consumers and businesses want to be engaged in how the item relates to the customer or how it will help empower them. This leads to a new school of thought and appreciation toward the customer where companies want the consumer to become part of the greater whole of the business’ mission.
Nicknamed “The Heart of It All” our 50 states series heads to the Midwest today, as we learn what it means to form an LLC and incorporate in Ohio. Infamous in national elections for being a swing state and with Columbus as the state capital, Ohio’s largest revenue sectors are within the manufacturing and financial service industries. Kroger, Procter & Gamble, and Progressive are all brands that call the state home for their headquarters.
Forbes ranks Ohio as #29 as one of the best states for business, with high marks given to the quality of life the state provides despite the additional note that one of the biggest state woes is net migration. Overall ease and friendliness of starting a business in Ohio receives a C+ from Thumbtack.com, but in the regulation sector it grades on a “B” average in tax codes, health and safety, and employment.
If you’re ready to start your own business in The Buckeye State, keep these notes in mind before you form an LLC or incorporate in Ohio:
MyBizWiz, MyCorp’s new business entity wizard, was created to help answer one of our customers’ most commonly asked questions; ‘What type of business entity should I form?’ There are plenty of different factors that need to be considered before making that final plunge. How many people run the business? What sort business is it? Do you have personal assets you’d like to protect?
In order to help new small business owners navigate the often confusing world of legal business entities, MyCorporation chose to build the new MyBizWiz tool. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions about your business, and our entity-choosing wizard will tell you what type of business entity would suit you best. It also gives you a general description of that entity and runs down the basic benefits behind it.
To get started, just click here and answer a few questions. There are no obligations, and we don’t ask for any personal information – MyBizWiz is here to help you choose the best type of business entity for your company!
We’re happy happy to answer any questions you might have about MyBizWiz -give us a call at 1 (877) 692-6772!
Just like the annual trip to the dentist, tax season has crept up on us once again. To take the analogy a step further – if you have brushed, flossed, and rinsed as you should, your visit to the dentist will be quick and pain-free (both physically and financially). However, if not, the pain will long and agonizing. Similarly, if you have kept your accounting records in order the whole year with a constant eye on the upcoming tax season, preparation of your accounts will be pain-free (both from a time and cost factor). If not, the auditor may come to pay you a visit.
Thankfully, these days there are numerous tools to ease the burden of preparing all your tax season documentation. The following are five tools that will help you through the tax season with a minimum of fuss.
1. Salary Calculator – If you haven’t been using a salary calculator to assist in calculating what is left of your gross salary after taxes or to extrapolate weekly, monthly, or annual wages from an hourly wage rate, then you have been wasting your time. There are salary calculators freely available online. They are easy to use and are an excellent basis for preparing your tax return.
Have you ever wondered what those letters and abbreviations you see behind business names stand for? They are business formations meaning they help define the nature, taxation, and overall financial structure of a company. If you are planning to open your own business, you will need to define it as an L.L.C., L.L.P, or Inc. Today’s post will help to define the differences between the three main types of business formations.
L.L.C. – Limited Liability Company
An LLC is a company that blends parts of a partnership and corporation structure. LLCs combine the liability nature of a corporation and the taxation structure of a partnership company. LLCs have less corporate regulations like a Board of Directors or necessary shareholders meetings. LLCs also have fewer ownership restrictions and have more choice in deciding a tax structure. LLC and LLPs are considered “pass through” tax entities, meaning that taxation is levied through the income tax of the owners as their profits are considered the income of the individuals. LLCs, like corporations, allow the benefit of separating the proprietor’s personal and business assets. This means that any personal assets not invested in the LLC will not be at risk of loss in case of bankruptcy.
Running a small business in today’s economy is no easy task. According to Forbes, around 80% of small businesses fail within the first 12-18 months. Without a doubt, running a business requires a great deal of determination, passion and patience. But if you have an idea for your own start-up, don’t be deterred from opening up shop. Some of the biggest companies in the world began right where you are now and they had their tough times too. It’s important to realize that there will be difficult moments along the way but if you can get through them, you and your business will be stronger and better equipped for it. These hurdles can difficult to overcome, particularly if this is your first stab at the business world, but if you can stay positive and determined, your success will be all the sweeter.
Because of the general bad shape the global economy is experiencing currently, finding useful financing for small businesses can be easier said than done. People are afraid to invest in something that has a 50% fail rate. This can be especially true if your business is attempting to compete against a larger, corporate conglomerate. But don’t be discouraged, there are small business loans, business credit cards, and there are also grants for specific groups like women in small business, non-profits and educational grants. Try using social media sites or online crowdfunding applications like Kickstarter to help you build your business. You have to be creative with your fundraising and be prepared to not receive all the funding you initially set out to get, but if you can stay determined and work hard at raising the money, you’ve already won half the battle.