12 Must-Know Rules for Startups

12 Must-Know Rules for StartupsIn 2012, entrepreneur Mark Cuban wrote “12 Rules for Startups“ for Entrepreneur.com, contained valuable insight and some entertaining ideas from Mr. Cuban. The article shared some snackable ideas to the startups to roll out with large profits and tag their business as ‘successful’.

Keeping the same spirit, this post is going to narrate 12 additional rules of thumb for startups to follow in 2014 – for both those launching new businesses and those associated with these startups. It’s been a two year leap since Mr. Cuban wrote his article and while the market and tactics have changed quite a bit, startups in 2014 still have plenty of exciting things to look forward to.

Rule 1: Grow Your Passion

Startups are diligent, and have to build a problem-solving attitude since the launch of business. Startup strategy must consist of moving two steps forward and one step backward. However, it’s critical that all start-ups include plenty of passion as it’s important for entrepreneurs to deal with business upheavals.

Rule 2: Never Give Up

As startups grow and experience challenging times, they need an attitude in place that tells them to never give up! Overall persistence in business works to help startup owners grow a strong survival strategy in the long run.

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How to Take Your Website from Annoying to Inviting

How to Take Your Website from Annoying to InvitingEstablishing a professional website is important for every business even if you aren’t selling your products online. Your website is the biggest first impression you have for potential customers searching for your services, and it will either convert visitors into real customers or send them looking elsewhere.  Make sure that your company has an updated and easy to navigate site that showcases your business in the best possible light. Here are four factors to consider when evaluating the kind of website you have.

Your website should be appealing. 

Much like the traditional retail storefront, customers want an experience with a company website that is organized, easy to use and helpful, convenient, and uncluttered. All of the necessary information should be easy to find on your website. Once customers have reached your home page, they should be able to find what they are looking for in a reasonable amount of time. If your website is cluttered with too many ads and irrelevant material, they’re more likely to feel overwhelmed and go to another site instead.

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3 Areas That Your Small Business Should Invest In

3 Areas That Your Small Business Should Invest InThere 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.

Marketing

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.

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How Your Business Can Think Beyond the Everyday Ad

How Your Business Can Think Beyond the Everyday Ad 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.

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Why Peer Recommendations Matter for Your Business

Why Peer Recommendations Matter for Your BusinessThere was a time when word of mouth was the best way to spread the buzz surrounding a service or a product to potential customers. Now more than ever, word of mouth advertising has come back into vogue through social media. By harnessing the power of tweets via Twitter and status updates on Facebook, you can inspire your current customers to make peer recommendations to their friends and neighbors, which increases the bottom line of your brand for the long term.

If your company has little or no money available for advertising or marketing, social media represents a powerful tool to get the word out about your product or service. A customer referral from a satisfied patron to his or her friends can carry far more weight than even the most persuasive or expensive advertising. Best of all, you can launch and manage highly effective social media campaigns without blowing your company’s budget.

By encouraging your present customers to spread the word about the great products and services you have to offer, you can save money on advertising, while generating trust among potential customers. As a result, you can concentrate your time, effort and money into producing the best possible products and services. With the winning combination of excellent offerings and trusted peer referrals, your company has a better chance of enjoying a healthy profit margin now and in the future.

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5 Ways to Generate Buzz and New Customers for Your Business

5 Ways to Generate Buzz and New Customers for Your BusinessWithin any type of marketing, the goal is to stand out from the competition. The hard part is when every industry in the business begins using the same tactics and mediums to communicate their message. Rather than falling into the trap of duplicating everything that your competitors do, why not try something new, to really show your audience what your company is about? It may not be as difficult as you think to do.

When you begin looking at all of your surroundings as a potential canvas for getting the word out about your business, the potential of doing something that stands out increases exponentially. You can get the word out about your business while doing things that improve the morale of the community, and the look of your neighborhood.

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Experts Weigh In: What Should Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday Be Renamed As?

Black FridayWe’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!

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Respecting Tradition: Why Offline Marketing Still Works

Why Offline Marketing Still WorksWhen it comes to marketing, entrepreneurs have to remember that it isn’t always an “either/or” proposition, especially with small business owners that already have a physical presence with brick-and-mortar stores in place. You can still pursue traditional offline marketing techniques while getting your brand’s message out to a broader audience range through social media platforms. Diversity is key to capturing as much of your market as possible and offline marketing, for all intents and purposes, isn’t dead just yet – it’s still a tried and true method in the following areas.

Print Ads

Although newspapers may be seen as a dying medium with its main consumer base composed of baby boomers, there is a still good reason for you to have an ad printed in your local paper. According to the 2013 Nielsen National Cross-Media Engagement Study, newspapers have the highest advertising effectiveness ratings, beating social media, TV and radio in “Likely to Purchase,” “Usually Noticed” and “Advertising Annoyance” categories.

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Experts Weigh In: End of the Year Business Tips for 2013

End of the Year Business Tips for 2013Here 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

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How to Market With a Bang Minus the Bucks

Marketing on a budgetAs 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.

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