15 Essential Financial Planning Tips for Entrepreneurs

15 Essential Financial Planning Tips for EntrepreneursWhether you’re a new entrepreneur or an old hand, money occupies a prominent role in your business. Failing to get – and keep – your finances in order can doom your company or consulting practice in the long run. While each entrepreneur has their own set of unique financial challenges, there are several areas where nearly all entrepreneurs can draw from a general well of wisdom.

1. Pay yourself first, Uncle Sam second.

No doubt, you’ve heard the expression “pay yourself first.” That’s good advice for everyone. However, entrepreneurs must remember that with no employer-initiated tax deductions to count on, they must also make provisions to cover self-employment taxes.

2. Hire pros, but know what they’re doing.

You didn’t go into business to spend hours working on spreadsheets. That’s why you hired a Certified Public Accountant. However, you should still understand the basics of keeping the books, if for no other reason than to be able to answer your accountant’s questions at tax time.

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Missing Leads? Tech Aids Can Help

Missing Leads? Tech Aids Can HelpOne of the most frustrating parts of small businesses is the knowledge that it’s nearly impossible to catch every lead. Anything from missing a phone call or an opportunity for easy sharing, to not catching what could be lucrative deals – or worse, losing business to a competitor – can have you scrambling for better customer service solutions.

Unfortunately, you can’t constantly be on the phone or online 24/7, so you’ll need a little help. That’s where tech aids, who can help turn your small business into a lead generating machine, enter the picture. Avoid missing lucrative deals and customer service opportunities by turning to net services and tech solutions to help you catch every lead that comes through.

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Thinking Outside of the “In” Box

marketingEach year, businesses all over the world push to find new ways of reaching new clients, making sales, and increasing revenue. While it appears that some marketing strategies have proven to be more effective than others, one thing is for certain: email will always be a part of any solid business marketing strategy, as it easily correlates to mass mailer marketing and other traditional business outreach methods.

However, because email is such a popular method used by nearly every industry, the positive effects begin to dwindle. Users who subscribe to e-newsletters and email marketing voluntarily will always be there, but those that businesses are attempting to reach for the first time have become numb to the mass mailing stimulus, and have learned to tune it out similar to the decreasing effectiveness of television commercials.

Fortunately, for businesses looking to reach out to new customers, part of the problem is also the ideal solution, and that comes in the form of social networking.

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5 Keyboard Shortcuts Every Entrepreneur Should Use

5 Keyboard Shortcuts Every Entrepreneur Should UseDoes all that time clicking here and there on your keyboard really add up? It can if you’re an entrepreneur who follows the “time is money” adage. Most small business owners and their team members spend unnecessary moments clicking several times to get what they want when they could use simple keyboard shortcuts to get to their end results faster.

To be fair, there are plenty of keyboard shortcuts into its software that you’ll probably never use. However, that isn’t to say that that all keyboard shortcuts are irrelevant. The shortcuts below are not only practical, but can make your life a whole lot easier – there are more than just copy-paste basics that everyone knows.

1) Use Your Windows Key

We’re starting off simple. The Windows key is located in the lower left of the keyboard. It contains the Windows symbol, which is a sort of four-paneled flag within a circle. Yes, most people know what this looks like. But do you remember to use it, or do you reach for the mouse and aim for the lower corner of your screen instead? A simple tap of the key and all your programs’ names will instantly appear.  If you start typing the first letter or main name of the program you want, such as “Cal” for calculator, that program will appear. No more searching through “All Programs” under the Start key. If you have a Mac, the Command key (⌘) does a similar task.

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The Recipe for Baking a Strategic SEO Cake for Business

The Recipe for Baking a Strategic SEO Cake For Business Most business owners are well aware of what content marketing is. Fresh, engaging content attracts people to your website by encouraging search engines to index it. When users search for information online, your content comes up according to the most relevant search results. With online marketing, the focus has always been on keywords, specifically the words and phrases people enter into search engines to find you online. Although these keywords are important, the means of targeting these terms has evolved. One reason for this change is the way Google delivers search results using context and user intent, rather than relying on just phrases and keywords for everything.

Understanding Contextual Links

Contextual links are links that you insert into specific words and phrases found in your webpage content. Once a user clicks on the linked keywords, they send them to another website. Contextual links differ from regular links because you use targeted keywords from the actual content of your website, keywords that relate to the website URL of where you want to send your visitors.

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5 Essential Tips to Boost Your Real Estate Business

5 Essential Tips to Boost Your Real Estate BusinessA recent article on FT.com stated that by 2015, a turn in the market should see a housing boom. The turn, as stated in the article, will owe its thanks to a combination of improving house prices, lower inventory of homes for sale, population growth, and better access to mortgage credit.

For those looking to go into the real estate business, this avenue is a great one as it not only helps generate better income, but also provides you with more freedom to manage your time. But being successful in real estate isn’t easy as pie either. You need to enter this industry with realistic expectations and plan ahead for overcoming obstacles, which will help you avoid failures later on down the road.

1. Know your location

Your clients will want to live in a safe neighborhood that has convenient access to popular places, shops and restaurants. Conduct a thorough study of the locality you will be accessing first. Location impacts the rents you can expect, the tenants you attract, and the problems you can encounter. It also impacts the appreciation of the property and the opportunities you may have in the future.

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Why You Should Hire an Entrepreneur Instead of a Traditional Manager

How Should Female Managers Review EmployeesFinding the right management team is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. With current unemployment rates, hiring managers and business owners frequently receive hundreds of replies for a single job advertisement, and it’s hard to identify which applicants will make the largest impact on the company long-term. Rather than hiring employees who have traditional experience, many find that by hiring an entrepreneur with start-up experience, they get the best results.

1) Entrepreneurs understand the importance of the bottom line.

From the very first day at a start-up, entrepreneurs are myopically focused on one thing: increasing the bottom line. They know that each expenditure must positively impact gross revenue while minimizing expenses. More than a traditional employee, entrepreneurs feel the pressure to maximize return on investment and to ensure that every day, their team is focused on creating results rather than looking busy or waiting for sales to walk in the door. This is the top reason to hire an entrepreneur. They are motivated to produce profitable results.

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How to Reduce the Communication Gap with Employees

How to Reduce the Communication Gap with EmployeesMore often than not, employees are a company’s most valuable assets, so it makes sense to invest in the corporate culture that helps them succeed. While vacation days and fringe benefits (health insurance, stock options, employee discounts, et al) are appealing lures, the heart of the employee experience occurs during business hours, as staff members interact with each other.

Good communication is square one for employers seeking to reinforce relationships with workers and it creeps in to every aspect of business operations. In many cases, communication mechanisms fall short on the job, leaving room for most companies to improve their standards and reduce the communication gap with employees.

Credibility and Communication

Credibility is an important area to focus on when it comes to influencing effective communication between employees and their superiors. When executed correctly, communication with workers reinforces trustworthiness for managers and other high-level employees. But if there is a deep communication gap between bosses and staff members, it can ultimately undermine productivity and employee engagement.

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Five CEOs that Showed Us How NOT to Run a Company

Five CEO's that Showed Us How NOT to Run a Company The American business landscape is littered with CEOs who, for one reason or another, showed the public, investors and their peers precisely the wrong way to run companies. At the time of their tenure, some of these former industry heads were first touted as business geniuses. Now they’ve become examples of how not to behave if you want to run your own business.

Jonathan Schwartz – Sun Microsystems

Founded in 1982 by three graduate students from Stanford University, Sun Microsystems grew to be a giant in computer hardware and services. Jonathan Schwartz was named CEO in 2006 by the founding CEO, and prior to that point, the company had grown aggressively and showed steady profits. Nearly every move Schwartz made ended poorly, acquisitions failed, the stock tanked, and thousands of employees had to be laid off. Ultimately, the company was sold to competitor Oracle.

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