6 Tips for Creating a Great Business Plan

Copy of Job InterviewWhatever the aims for your business might be, there is a good chance that at some stage you will need to draw up a clear plan for its progress. The process of creating a business plan can be hard work but it  serves a variety of important functions, especially when it comes to potentially attracting the financing that small companies so badly need in order to get started.

With that in mind, here are 6 tips for getting it right when it comes to building a great business plan. Continue reading

Looking Back at the Winning and Losing Ad Campaigns of 2014

How to Use Emoticons Professionally in BusinessAdvertising is on the rise, quite an ascension if you look at the numbers. By 2016, it is estimated that ad revenue will double from 2011, hitting over 16.5 billion dollars annually, a 13.7% compounded annual growth. These figures are nothing to sneeze at, and we can learn from the successes and hiccups from 2014 when it comes to our advertising dollars.

No one sets out to fail and everyone wants to succeed, especially when it comes to advertising, but one may never know if something will flop or fly. While the road to a winning ad campaign can be paved with good intentions, it can sometimes fall short in the long run. Looking back at 2014, there were some real champions and a few chumps when it came to running a successful ad campaign. Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: W is for Waste Management

Waste management is one of those industries that people take for granted. A lot of cities have some sort of publicly-funded waste service, so most people don’t really think about who takes out their trash. But waste management is actually comprised of lots of small businesses, which often work together to service the needs of their city. Waste Management So what does it take to get started in waste management? And is there still room in this industry for a new small business?

How do you get started in waste management?
Waste management and garbage disposal is actually so much more than the big trucks that drive through neighborhoods once a week. Anyone who offers to haul away garbage, waste, recyclables, or junk is technically a part of this industry. So really all you need is a DBA, a truck, the right licenses and insurance, and you’re ready to go. However, anyone who dumps in a landfill has to pay for the privilege, and if you manage a lot of waste, you should try negotiating a cheaper rate with your landfill – most offer a set, per-ton charge. Continue reading

Business Basics: The First Few Steps After Incorporating

We talk a lot about the awesome benefits of incorporating or forming an LLC. We also talk a lot about maintaining a business. But what about that middle ground, when you’ve already incorporated but just barely?shutterstock_141838129

Here are a couple moves you can make as a small business owner who’s recently incorporated:

Protect your intellectual property.

The best way to go about doing this is to invest in a trademark. With an official trademark your business’s brand is fully your own. Once you’ve filed a trademark with the USPTO, no one else can legally use your company’s logo, designs, symbols, phrases, or whatever it is that you want to protect. Continue reading

Top 5 Tips to Ensure Workplace Security

Copyright InfringementSecurity at the workplace is as important as it is at home. Most employees spend the better part of the day in their office. So it’s important that you, as an employer, look after their health and safety.

But security at the workplace means more than that. The most important step a company can take to improve its security measures is to close the internal gaps. Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: V is for Venture Capital

reasonable compensationWe’re getting down to the bottom here at our small business industry series. Today’s letter is ‘V’ is for venture capital!

First of all, what is venture capital?

Venture capital businesses give funding to early, high-potential, start up businesses. These businesses make their money by owning equity in the companies that they invest in, which usually have a novel technology or business model in high technology industries, like IT or biotechnology. The typical venture capital investment occurs after the seed funding round as the first round of institutional capital to fund growth in the interest of generating a return through an eventual realization event (like a trade sale of the company).   Continue reading

5 Tips For Word of Mouth Marketing

shutterstock_141838129Even start-up tech companies that are seemingly rooted in the digital realm place value on the importance of word of mouth marketing. However, it’s important to remember that a business that offers a personal service should be naturally aligned towards a referral plan. If you think of a wedding photographer, virtually all of their business will come from referrals. Now think of a home swapping service for vacations, the company is completely different, but it still offers a personal service. All companies of this ilk should have a strong focus on referrals, but there is virtually no company that shouldn’t consider them at some level.

Referral schemes are often misunderstood, pushed to the side, or simply neglected and allowed to underperform. Below you will find a few handy tips that will help you to ensure that your referral scheme doesn’t suffer the same fate. Continue reading

5 Signs You’re Ready for Serious SEO

touchscreen interfaceWhile a lot of salespeople will tell you otherwise, search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t for everyone. It can be expensive and often takes months or years to develop a sizeable return on investment. For a lot of small- to mid-sized business owners, the expense of SEO, which often starts at around $1,000 a month, is a difficult burden to take on. While every site should do SEO, not every site should pay for it. If you answer ‘yes’ to the following 5 questions, you’re probably ready to hire an SEO company. Continue reading

ABCs of Small Business Industry: U is for Underwriter

Underwriting is a vital part of the financial and insurance industries. An underwriter is effectively the person that assesses risk, and determines the suitability of potential clients looking to avail of whatever service their employer provides, be it insurance, a loan, or capital. Underwriters have the responsibility of defining the terms within which the service will be offered. And, because of this, they are in very high demand. underwriterAfter all, without a qualified underwriter, lenders and insurance agencies would be lost. But how do you become an underwriter? And can underwriters work independently as a small business?

What do you have to do to become an underwriter? 

Normally, you at least need a bachelor’s degree in finance, or another business-related field. Underwriters also have to be meticulous, detail-oriented, and thorough. Continue reading