Over the years of working with startups and small businesses, we have come to realize there are a couple of common misunderstandings about starting a business that can seriously impact one’s chances for success. Knowing that you must address the following two key tasks upfront allows you to avoid a crisis down the road. Continue reading
Welcome to the first ‘Business Basics’ of the year! We are starting 2015 off strong by looking at privately held companies. The structure of privately held business is often misunderstood. People wonder what distinguishes a privately held company from a publicly one, or believe that any business run by a non-government entity constitutes a private company. That isn’t the case, and so to clear up any confusion, we’ve answered some of the more commonly asked questions we get about private companies.
What is the difference between a privately held company, and a public one?
A privately held company is also known as a ‘closed company,’ because the ownership of the business is closed. In other words, you can’t just decide to buy a chunk of the business off of the market. Continue reading
Whatever 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 also serves a variety of important functions, not least that of potentially attracting the finance 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
2015 is officially here! And business forecasters all across the internet are scrambling to their crystal balls to give their predictions as to what is, and isn’t, going to work in the new year. Of course, if you regularly follow our blog, you’d know we beat them by a good month with our infographic “2015 Small Business Industry Predictions.” But just in case you missed it, or you want a refresher as to what we think will be the best industries to start a small business in, here’s a quick rundown of what we think is going to happen.
What industries are going to do well in 2015?
As 2014 comes to a close, business owners everywhere are reflecting on the past year. What worked? What didn’t work? We asked 54 of our small business experts what really worked for them in 2014 that they plan on carrying into 2015. Here’s what they had to say:
1.“In 2014, I learned about what it means to be fully online. I decided to move to Italy, and it truly impacted the direction of my new business. Moving for love forced me to work out how I could make money without ever actually meeting any clients face to face. Within 3 months I’ve gone from f2f to purely online AND increased my rates by 200% :)” -Deepak Shukla, The CV Guy Website Continue reading
Your company has finally blossomed into more than just a “good idea” in your head, and things are up and running. Maybe you’re still in your best friends’ garage, maybe you’ve got an office, maybe you’ve even got an entire office building. Doesn’t matter, because these days, your company’s appearance is all online.
Welcome to the world of social media, where everything is all about the presentation. While there are several resources around the web that describe the value of social networking for business, this overload of information can make it difficult to determine exactly what small businesses should and shouldn’t do when engaging in social media for their brand. Let’s take a look at some social media dos and don’ts for your small business: Continue reading
Collaboration is crucial for your business to thrive. But implementing collaboration tools within any organization is not an easy task to do. Here are three typical mistakes made when imposing collaboration tools in a company and ways to avoid them:
When you supply your company with new technology, help your employees understand why this change is occurring. If you point out all the solution’s benefits, your coworkers will be keen on accepting and using it. A recent study of U.S. based employers by Gagen MacDonald revealed that employees in companies which use internal social media (ISM) perceive their company as more innovative and 58% would prefer to work at a company that uses ISM and 86% would refer others for employment. People like technology as long as they understand why they should use it and how it can make their job easier. If necessary, take some time to train your employees on the use of software. Time lost on training sessions will be compensated on faster work performance with the use of collaborative tools. Continue reading
We all treat our employees in different ways at the end of the year. Some businesses give bonuses, some extra vacation days, and some give out turkeys as a means of thanks! We reached out to our pool of small business experts and asked them how they thank their employees at the end of the year. Here are our top ten answers: Continue reading
Now when we think retail we typically think of clothing stores. But retail can be broken down into a few different categories: store retail, specialty retail, non store retail, mail order retail, internet retail, and vending machines. Continue reading
A brand is a company’s perceived “personality,” or set of values that are associated with a company, product or service. A brand may be described as being dependable, fast, exclusive, expensive, or friendly. Unfortunately, some brands earn descriptors like dated, inefficient, sloppy, and unprofessional.
In effect, a brand is the sum of all the perceptions about your product, service or company that many different people have. These perceptions are a result of the way your brand looks, feels, and communicates, as well as the customer’s experience with the product itself and the service. All of these have to work in sync for a brand to establish positive equity with all stakeholders. Continue reading