Business Basics: Return on Investment (ROI)

Welcome back to business basics! In case you’ve forgotten, every week we take a look at a basic business concept in order to try to help new business owners better understand it. This week, we are covering Return on Investment, or ROI – a fairly straightforward, but often misunderstood, part of running a business! Though you may think you know all about ROI, you could be using it incorrectly. But first… ROI

What is ROI?

Return on Investment, or ROI, is pretty easy to grasp – heck, the definition is right in the name. It’s whatever return you get after your invest in some part of your business. So if you hire 2 new salespeople, a basic measurement of ROI will be the money they bring in, minus their wages. Continue reading

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Why Knowing When to Step Back from Your Business is One of the Most Important Entrepreneurial Skills of All

Why Knowing When to Step Back from Your Business is One of the Most Important Entrepreneurial Skills of AllWhat are the defining characteristics of a successful entrepreneur? Passion, tenacity, and flexibility all make the list, for sure, but how about being a bit of a control freak? That probably figures somewhere in there too. And undoubtedly, the determination to constantly succeed can make it difficult for entrepreneurs to let go of the reins, even a little.

However, learning to loosen your grip marks a coming of age for any business owner; it’s an essential part of growing a business. It’s those who cling on to controlling every last operational detail that are often the ones holding their business back from reaching its full potential.

So why is it beneficial to detach yourself from your precious business venture? The main reason – and it may seem a little at odds with itself – is that while you may be a veritable business-building machine, part of becoming a truly great business leader is recognizing that you possess neither the time nor the expertise to do everything by yourself.

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4 Objectives to Set for Your Small Business Marketing Strategy

4 Objectives to Set for Your Small Business Marketing StrategyIn order for any business to develop and grow, it needs to be equipped with the right tools to succeed. For eCommerce websites especially, a marketing automation strategy is vital for improving sales opportunities. And building and implementing this kind of strategy has never been easier than without the aid of web sales marketing automation solutions.

When devising any strategy to follow, you should set certain goals that need to be achieved and be able to measure your progress towards completing these objectives. This holds true for web sales automation strategies as well – setting clearly defined goals is the first step towards success:

1) Increasing the number of inbound leads.

With the help of a good web-sales automation solution, you can expand your opportunities for attracting inbound leads. This is how you can fuel your lead generation through marketing automation:

  • You can identify your anonymous site visitors and gather a wide range of data about them.
  • Real-time reports allow you to track each one of your leads individually.
  • You can set up notifications to inform you when a visitor completes a certain action
  • Gathered data allows you to optimize your landing pages, audit your website for a better user experience and add identified leads for lead nurturing.
  • You can also prioritize your inbound leads and group them into categories based on their preferences.

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7 Pieces of Small Business Advice You Should NOT Take

7 Pieces of Small Business Advice You Should NOT TakeAs the owner of a small business, you no doubt receive a lot of advice on how to run your brand from friends, business associates, management books and leadership TED Talks, and blogs, but a lot of that ‘conventional wisdom’ is not worth taking. Here are 7 pieces of small business advice that you should NOT listen to.

1.) “There’s No Additional Room for Your Product (or Service) in This Market.”

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, nor do you always have to go to a completely empty area to start or enhance your small business. Starbucks wasn’t the first company to sell coffee at retail, but they were able to win the market by not just selling coffee. They sold an “experience” along with a wide array of coffee products as well as pastries. And despite the dominance of Starbucks, there are many other boutique coffee retailers across the country, even though there may be a Starbucks on the next corner.

You don’t have to come up with a completely novel idea. Just look to fill a niche that has a large potential market.

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Come Hangout with Us on Google+!

Have any questions about starting your own business? Not sure where to even start? Not to worry! We are proud to announce that, in conjunction with the Google Small Business Community, our CEO Deborah Sweeney is going to be fielding any and all questions about the legalities of starting your own business this Thursday. The Hangout starts tomorrow at 12:30 PM, and if you want your questions answered, you’ll need to RSVP and submit them to the moderator here.

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So don’t forget to tune in! We’re really excited about this opportunity, and look forward to a great discussion.

 

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The Importance of the Domain Name: Get a Free One Today!

Domain NameAdded to the list of pros that comes along with incorporating your business is that now, when we help you out with your filing, you get a free domain name to call your very own!

Thanks to our partnering with Arvixe, when you incorporate with MyCorporation you’ll also be scoring on a great domain name deal that includes…

  • One free domain name for life (.com, .net, .org, or .us)
  • Unlimited disk space and data transfer
  • One year of website hosting, absolutely free
  • Unlimited email addresses
  • Arvixe forum support
  • Secure and reliable hosting
  • Automatic installation of software

Domain names are an important part of starting a business. Today, there aren’t many businesses out there that don’t have a website attached to their name. It’s how they’re found and, oftentimes, evaluated by customers.  The perfect website can make or break a business, and that all starts by obtaining a domain name.

Get the ball rolling by incorporating and claiming your free domain name today!

Give us a call at 1 (877) 692-6772 and we’ll be happy to help you out every step of the way.

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Six Ways to Boost Your Credibility and Close More Deals

Six Ways to Boost Your Credibility and Close More DealsWhen it comes to sales, be a product of the product. If you don’t use the product or service you’re selling, why should your prospect? If you sell Hondas, don’t drive a Jeep. These six strategies will help you build credibility up with prospective customers and clients – and also ensure you make some money in the process for your business.

1. Determine quickly if you really can help.

I recently got a call from a prospective client who wanted help completing interviews. It took me about 2-3 minutes to find out that their budget was too small for me to work with. I politely offered a referral to another firm that might be able to do the job. I didn’t want to waste any more of their time, and I didn’t want them to waste any more of mine.

A good salesperson should know the type of customers they work best with, and if the people they are meeting with are the right kinds of customers for their organization. After a few questions, you should be able to determine if it makes sense to keep talking. If not, end the meeting.

2. Address concerns completely.

When a concern is brought up, don’t skip over it. Stop for a moment and consider what could be causing it. Is it a real objection?  If so, take a moment to prepare your response.  Then fully address the concern with the customer.  For example, if a prospect says your price is too high, focus on showing the value of your product or service. Frame your price in terms of the immediate and long term benefits the person or company will receive.

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ABCs of Small Business Industries: A is for Automotive

automotive industryWelcome to week three of our ABCs of small business industries! Today’s focus in the series? The automotive industry! This particular industry works alongside anything involving the design, manufacturing, marketing, development, or selling of motor vehicles. What’s not included here, however, are auto repair shops or any sort of gas station.

If your dream has always been to run your own vintage car garage or design automobiles, keeping the following areas in mind to ensure a smooth start!

What do you need to get started?

The biggest hump you’ll have to get over in starting a business in the automotive industry is familiarizing yourself with all the industry rules. This industry in particular has a strict list of guidelines to abide by and follow, but, luckily, the Small Business Administration has you covered. Details on emission standards, how to become a registered motor vehicle importer, knowing the ins and outs of automobile certification, and information on the automobile federal trade commission will all come in handy to keep under your belt in such a robust industry.

Additionally, make sure you have a registered agent in place to handle all of your state mail and remind you of important deadlines, a business/operating license so you can do business where you’d like, and a federal tax ID (EIN) in place if you plan on hiring a strong team to come and join you.

What sort of entity should you form going into the automotive industry?

Though every business owner has the choice of filing whichever entity he feels best suits him and his business, it is common for business owners in the automotive industry to file as an LLC, probably largely in part to the appealing nature of the pass through taxation. This means that business owners who file as an LLC will only be taxed once, whereas with other entity forms, they could be getting taxed twice at both the company level and again at the owner. An LLC is also very easy to get started as well as easy to maintain.

How healthy is the industry?

Around the world right now, there are over 1 billion cars. According to Edmunds.com, “16.4 million car buyers are expected to continue to flock to the market, taking further advantage of more freely flowing credit to refresh the oldest vehicle fleet in history.”

Being that the automobile is the primary mode of transportation around the world, we have formed a strong sense of dependency on the automotive industry – and if you’re planning on starting a business to help out those who need extra assistance with their vehicles, now is a great time to do it!

Want to put the pedal to the metal and start your business in the automotive industry? MyCorp can help you get started! Just leave a comment below, or give us a call at 1 (877) 692-6772, and we’ll help you get your licenses, DBAs, and EINs squared away! 

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How to Build a Solid Sales Team

It can feel odd hiring a sales team after you start your business. You were probably the only salesperson for the first few years of your company’s life, and giving up such an important responsibility can be jarring. However, if you want your business to succeed, you have to learn how to delegate and grow. Sales Team Actually having a sales team is very different than doing sales yourself. You need to trust them, and their skills, implicitly, even if how they sell is different from how you sold. With that in mind, when you first begin to hire and train your sales staff, remember to…

Look for personability

Friendliness and personability are two of the most important qualities of a successful salesperson. It doesn’t matter if someone has three decades of sales experience – if they’re pushy or irritating while selling, they’re going to lose clients. Sales has changed a lot over the last few years. Cold calling is a wash, and the best way to bring in customers is actually through inbound marketing. Your sales staff has to be able to connect with your customers and talk them through the sale, rather than throw pitch after pitch at them.

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6 Leadership Lessons We All Learned in Kindergarten

6 Leadership Lessons We All Learned in KindergartenIt might be an overstatement to say we learned everything we needed to know in kindergarten, but it’s not far from the truth either. We did pick up some valuable skills in that tender phase of life, like sharing our blocks and saying you’re sorry when someone’s feelings got hurt. Here in the adult world, some of these universal, yet oft-forgotten, truths can still improve our daily lives and those of our employees if we continue to practice them in the workplace.

1) Share.

Sharing sounds like childish, but it’s actually a complex concept. It requires an understanding of empathy and compassion, seeing the needs of others and responding accordingly. Stable leaders have a natural instinct for practicing these traits in the workplace, and when you show your team that you care, it harbors a sense of trust and stability that improves both morale and productivity.

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