What Your First Website Needs to Know About SEO

What Your First Website Needs to Know About SEOAs a new entrepreneur, the prospect of running your very own website may seem daunting, but in reality it’s not difficult at all. Registering for a domain and setting up your site are fairly easy to do. It’s getting your website read by others and using search engine optimization (SEO) that is the most challenging part – but we’ll help you tackle everything:

Your Domain Name Matters

Your site’s domain name is a huge part of its brand. Great domains showcase exactly what the website is about, so the visitor knows what to expect before hitting ‘enter’ on their browser’s URL bar. For example, domain names like buyfauxstone.com and motorcyclelawyercalifornia.com have very clear, focused keywords in their domain names. This gives them a big advantage when someone is searching Google for the exact words “buy faux stone” and “motorcycle lawyer California.”  When you’ve settled on the perfect domain, check out sites like Dreamhost that offer affordable domain-hosting combos that are easy to use.

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Experts Weigh In: How Being an Entrepreneur Makes Me Feel Independent

How Being an Entrepreneur Makes Me Feel IndependentIn celebration of Independence Day this July 4th (and the three day weekend countless offices will be looking forward to), our MyCorp team decided to ask a simple, but significant, question to our small business base: how does being an entrepreneur make you feel independent? Meet our 105 entrepreneurial experts with the answers, or as resident expert Dan Fendel so eloquently described it as, “I hold these truths to be self-evident that all business people are NOT created equal, and some of us are endowed by our dreams and ideas with the ability to open new doors and create new ventures.”

1) “Being an entrepreneur gives you great independence and flexibility, but it comes with a cost of high risk and increased responsibility. Being in the CEO chair of a company puts all of the burden on me to deliver or else I’m out of business. For me though, after years in private equity and investment banking, it’s exactly what I wanted: all the responsibility on me. After understanding that, then it’s up for me to decide if I can go on an afternoon run or take a day off knowing that I don’t have a boss to blame if things go wrong.”

- Chris Good, Founder and CEO, Eventblimp

2) “Independence as an entrepreneur is as much a gift as it is a burden. You generally get to make your own hours, but at the same time you must be self-motivated, there is no one to push you but yourself. Essentially, just like in life, you get what you give.”

- David Drexler, My Coin Solution

3) “I love being an entrepreneur, the freedom of working at anytime from anywhere has opened an array of opportunity to spend more time with my kids and have a better quality of life while producing even a higher income that ever before.”

- Priska Diaz, Founder & CEO, Bittylab

4) “Being an entrepreneur makes me feel independent because I can work as many hours, or days as I want as I am my own boss responsible for my company’s success. Also I can work in my pajamas!”

- Haralee Weintraub, CEO, Haralee.com – Cool Garments for Hot Women!

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How to Take Action When You Hire Someone and Come to Regret It

How to Take Action When You Hire Someone and Come to Regret ItInevitably as a business owner, you will make one mistake that you’ll look back on and wonder how you ever thought it was a good idea.  We all have our own stories of doing this –it seems to be an unspoken rite of passage in the world of owning a business!

But what is that one thing? That one thing is you’re going to hire someone and then come to regret it.  Some of you reading this are probably already laughing because you know exactly what I mean.  Others could be in the midst of this right now, so you might not think it’s so funny.  No matter how established you are, remember that this happens to all of us, but matters even more are the actions you take next.

1) Don’t Take It Personally

Anytime you hire someone, whether an employee or a service provider, you’re rolling the dice.  Regardless of how well someone interviews or the bank of credentials and references they bring with them, sometimes the fit just isn’t right between the two parties.  What makes this so difficult for most small business owners is they take it personally.

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Do You Make These 5 Small Business Bookkeeping Mistakes?

Do You Make These 5 Small Business Bookkeeping Mistakes?If you’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time or are just getting started, then you probably already know that small business accounting is not as easy as it sounds. Not only do tax laws regularly change, but accounting standards and practices change too, which makes it easy for a small business owner to get tripped up and make a few mistakes.

But keeping the books for your small business doesn’t have to be stressful. We want to help you simplify your life, save money and reduce stress by learning how to avoid these five basic bookkeeping mistakes.

1. Mixing Money. You might think it’s not a problem, but the IRS disagrees. Co-mingling your personal and business funds together is simply bad business and as a LLC or Corporation it could potentially cause a breach in the “corporate veil.” Not only is it a risk to your asset separation but also you may have to pay an IRS penalty if get caught. No matter what, keep your business and personal account spending separate. Take the time to speak with a small business accountant to help determine the best way for you to transfer money from the business to you personally or vice versa.

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Why Trust is the Essence of an Effective Business

Why Trust is the Essence of an Effective BusinessOne of the most important elements of a positive, synergistic and healthy workplace environment is trust. Trust forms the foundation for effective communication and interaction, and provides a solid platform for employee engagement, retention, successful customer experiences, and satisfaction.

Trust goes beyond being able to rely upon someone. It is about character, ability, confidence, strength, faith, and conviction. When trust exists in an organization or in a relationship, almost everything else is easier and more comfortable to achieve which is why it’s so critical to build and maintain trust.

Like organizational culture, I believe trust starts at the very top – since trusting and being trust “worthy” can only exist when top management sets the example, and then promulgates that example into every business unit and department. This means establishing and maintaining integrity and communicating your vision and values through word and deed and doing what is right.

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5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Need Video for Marketing (Like, Now!)

5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Need Video for Marketing (Like, Now!) Let’s get to the point: short videos are becoming as important as your website. They are a powerful way to make friends and influence people and to build a strong brand presence online so people want to do business with you. You need start creating these videos now for the following reasons:

1. It Pays Off

According to the Online Publishers Association, when you go visit a website, you are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video. Now, I know that all small businesses aren’t involved in retail, but you get the point. Video works, and it will work for you when you decide to put this tool in your arsenal. And guess what? That time is now.

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Is Crowdfunding Right for your Company?

Is Crowdfunding Right for your Company?A decade ago, independent-minded entrepreneurs might have scoffed at the idea of asking the public to fund their latest project. Today, more than ever companies are turning to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Fundable to help turn their start-up dreams into reality. These sites allow companies to connect with potential investors by making them part of the development process, whether they’re a tech start-up building a new product or a chef opening a restaurant.

There are plenty of benefits to crowdfunding, but it’s not necessarily the right choice for every company. Here are four questions you should ask yourself before embarking on a crowdfunding campaign.

1) Are you in it for the right reasons?

While the main goal of crowdfunding is to raise money for your project, don’t make it all about the money – it’s about more than just getting something for free. Benefits of a campaign include promoting your company and product, connecting with new customers and learning about their needs and wants. Savvy customers will sense whether you’re truly invested or just out to make a quick buck.

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Go Against the Crowd: Friends & Family Funding Advice from TrustLeaf

Go Against the Crowd: Friends & Family Funding Advice from TrustLeaf

Photo credit: Silicon Valley Business Journal

Everyone has been talking about crowdfunding lately, but what about momfunding? Or friendfunding? Earlier this week, family loans site TrustLeaf released their first guide on “How to Borrow Money from Friends and Family.” For any small business owner who’s done this kind of loan before, the value of doing it right cannot be understated.

Unlike crowdfunding, where entrepreneurs ask for donations from strangers (sometimes with a gift in return) TrustLeaf helps small business owners raise money through their existing social and family network. “Crowdfunding is great if you have a sleek prototype or a chic new fashion line, but doesn’t make as much sense for say, an auto repair shop.” says Anson Liang, TrustLeaf’s founder.

38% of all US small businesses start out with friends and family loans; on average, borrowing $25,000. Compare that with popular crowdfunding site Indiegogo, which only brings in about $1,000 on average per campaign. Kickstarter performs better, but the vast majority of campaigns raise less than $10,000, which in turn is less than half of friends and family loans on average.

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20 Ways to Kick Stress to the Curb and Have Fun with Your Startup

20 Ways to Kick Stress to the Curb and Have Fun with Your StartupWhen you work at a startup, the saying “no two days are the same” is much more than cliché; it’s your everyday reality. The highly charged atmosphere at many startups is a major draw for younger workers, career changers, and anyone seeking a challenge. If you aren’t practically bouncing off the walls at your new job, check your pulse.

But all that excitement of a new business can also result in major-league stress. We’re not talking about the stimulating, exciting, kind of stress, but the pull your hair out kind. Fortunately, startups also provide ample opportunities to de-stress and enjoy the exhilarating ride.

1. Focus on One Task at a Time

You have a big client meeting at 10, lunch across town at 1:30, and seemingly endless projects to work on all day. Take a deep breath and focus on one task at a time. What has top priority? Make a to-do list ranked by importance, and dive into the first task. Try not to multi-task or work ahead if you can help it, and your productivity will soar.

2. Get Out of the Office

If you spend 24/7 at the office, you’ll wind up looking like something from The Walking Dead. Take your laptop or your tablet outside or move to a coffee shop for the day – the change in scenery will do you good.

3. Brainstorm with Colleagues

It takes a special type of person to thrive at a startup – energetic, creative, innovative. Your coworkers have amazing minds, and startups are all about collaboration. Take advantage of your brilliant colleagues and bounce ideas off of them. Even shooting the breeze can often produce excellent ideas or generate solutions to nagging challenges.

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How to End an Employee Relationship Digitally

How to End an Employee Relationship DigitallyAn employee leaving a company is inevitable in business today, either by getting fired or finding a better opportunity. It’s only a matter of time as the average American will work 12 – 15 different jobs in their lifetime.

Whether an employee is fired or leaves on their own will, it’s important to plan ahead for handling employee-employer digital breakups. The worst case scenario is when an employee is fired; even level-headed employees can become irate during this time. If still given access to company digital assets whether intellectual property, databases, servers or even company social media accounts, many employees could be easily tempted to harm a company’s reputation online.

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