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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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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50 States of Incorporation: Rhode Island

incorporate in Rhode IslandWe’re heading on over to the Ocean State for today’s 50 States segment to find out how to incorporate in Rhode Island!

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States, and even then, this tiny state is about 14% water due to all of its bays and inlets. Despite its petite size, RI is still one of the most densely populated of the 50 states. That means lots of small business owners, especially when it comes to the healthcare and tourism industries the state is known for.

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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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50 States of Incorporation: Oklahoma

incorporate in OklahomaWe’re all going to be OK… that is, today we’re going to be talking about how to form an LLC and incorporate in Oklahoma! Nicknamed the “Sooner State,” Oklahoma is famous for its Native American roots, agricultural products, and a solid stake in the aviation industry. The state is about 69,903 square miles large, making it the 20th largest state in the USA.  Its population comes in at about 3,850,868, making it the 28th most populous of the states.

Oklahoma’s biggest industries are farming, oil, and natural gas. If your small business is in one of those industries, doing business with the Okies may be the perfect place for you! Though, even if you’re not in one of those industries, your business will still benefit from the booming natural gas industry, as energy costs are 25% below the national average. According to the Forbes best states for business list, Oklahoma comes in at #14 of the 50 states, receiving that high ranking thanks to inexpensive business costs, regulatory environment, and the overall economic climate of the state.

Thumbtack.com also gave Oklahoma flying colors on the small business friendliness test. With an overall ‘B’ grade, Oklahoma scored high in areas concerning regulations, employment and hiring, tax code, licensing, and zoning.

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Reaching Generation Y with Your Small Business

Reaching Generation Y with Your Small BusinessWith 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?

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On Overcoming Hurdles: How Small Businesses Reach Success

On Overcoming Hurdles: How Small Businesses Reach SuccessRunning 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.

1) Financing

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.

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Experts Weigh In: What I Love About Being an Entrepreneur

Experts Weigh In: What I Love About Being an EntrepreneurWhat do you love about being an entrepreneur? Here at MyCorp, we find that asking this kind of question to small business owners is a little like the children’s book When You Give a Mouse a Cookie. They may not immediately ask for a glass of milk afterward, but they’ll definitely have plenty to share about what drives and motivates them when it comes to their businesses!

Today is part one of our two-part series polling our network of small business owners on what they love about their business. We’ve got 75 entrepreneurs in the house, discussing all the different hats they wear, the creative energy that comes with the role, and how every day is a new adventure.

1. “It may sound selfish, but I love the fact that I get to choose all the folks that I employ. I spent so many years in the corporate world having to work with a lot of personalities that did not share my work ethic or passion for whatever task was at hand. It’s such a great feeling to be able to work with individuals who are all dedicated to their craft, committed to excellence in all that they do and who genuinely care about the well-being of the team above all else. I keep telling myself that as the business grows, it may not always stay this way – but at this moment I am definitely loving it!”

- Kristy McCarley, CEO/Founder, Shazzy Fitness LLC

2. “The best part about being self employed for me is having the flexibility to be more active with my family. Though we’re always hustling as an entrepreneur looking for business growth, having that opportunity to get my kids on or off the bus and see their smiles is what true wealth is to me.”

- Mike Kawula, Self Employed King

3. “I love being an entrepreneur because of the freedom I have to call the shots, work when I want and control every aspect which gives me the knowledge to make the right decisions for my company.”

- Tanya L. See, Owner, Team See Marketing

4. “I love the fact that while my friends are complaining about their jobs every waking minute of the day, I can smile and react with a wry grin, knowing I’m in control of my own destiny. I know that every second of work I put in goes towards benefiting me ­ not a fat cat boss or faceless corporation. I love being an entrepreneur because essentially I enjoy every day­ I’m also in complete control!”

- Nick Whitmore, Managing Director, ContentWriting.org

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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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Experts Weigh In: Forming LLCs vs. Corporations

llcs vs corporationsOne of the first decisions every business owner needs to make is what entity to file their business as, and that choice is typically between LLCs vs. Corporations. Really the decision comes down to what fits the needs of the business owner and the business, but there is still discussion on which entity is best. Here at MyCorp, we gathered together a panel of professionals to get their expert advice on LLCs vs. Corporations and which is the best to form for your business. Which side are you on?

1. “Generally speaking, corporate status is preferable. Banks typically don’t view LLCs as favorably during the loan application process and corporations don’t pay taxes on fringe benefits. These include group-term life insurance, medical reimbursement plans, medical insurance premiums, and more.”

- John Boyd, Principal, The Boyd Company, Inc.

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