EP 38: Michael Prywes On Entertainment Law & Protecting Media Startups

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In this great episode, Michael Prywes talks about his transition from being a movie producer to an attorney for startups, and shares insight on how media startups and artists can protect themselves.

Announcing The Crowdfunding Pitch Show LIVE

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In just two short months an idea I’ve had for over almost three years will be coming to life at Skyway Studios here in Nashville, as a new spin on helping startups raise capital in a single evening is born via The Crowdfunding Pitch Show LIVE event. 

For those of you that know me, last year I started hosting the Crowdfunding Pitch Show on Supertalk 99.7. The goal is to offer a way for entrepreneurs currently trying to raise capital via crowdfunding to pitch their ideas to the city and ask for financial backing.

A big part of why I started the show was creating a marketing mechanism for what this event is meant to accomplish; engage an audience, conduct market research, raise capital, and have a fun time doing it.

What Is The Crowdfunding Pitch Show LIVE

The Crowdfunding Pitch Show LIVE will be an opportunity for Tennessee entrepreneurs to raise capital in a single evening without having to give up equity, and the audience will decide who wins.

10 startups from around Tennessee have been selected to compete (Will be announced soon), and have 4 minutes to present their company.  A panel of experts ranging from angel investors to small business owners will ask questions following the pitch, but will not be responsible for determining the winner.

The Crowd Decides The Winner

Following all the contestant pitches, the crowd will be asked to vote via mobile app on which company they like the best on the following factors:

  1. Presentation
  2. Business concept validity
  3. Personal interest in product or service

All Ticket Sales Go To The Winner

The votes will be averaged, and whichever company receives the highest number of votes will be declared the winner, and receive capital generated from ticket sales.

As a member of the crowd, not only do you get to help decide who wins, your money goes directly to the winning startup.

Post Pitch Entertainment

Following the contest local bands will be performing, as drinks and cocktails are served. We will be able to enjoy a two great bands that are currently on tour around the country, Medic & Paper Lights, and have the opportunity to network with a broad range of people from around the state.

Why Come & What’s The Cost?

Whether you want to help a startup raise capital, just network, or are looking meet investors from around the country, The Crowdfunding Pitch Show LIVE is all about helping new startups grow, all while having a fun evening!

Tickets only cost $30 – and that includes your first round of drinks. 

If you can’t make it in person, the event will also be LIVE STREAMED and you can access the feed for just $10.

Join us for the first Crowdfunding Pitch Show LIVE with bands, drinks, great speakers and networking opportunities.

How Do You Respond When The Taxman Comes Calling?

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Unfortunately, you can’t always beat the taxman no matter how hard you try. From time to time, the taxman will come calling asking awkward questions. That isn’t to say that you are guilty by any stretch, but it still isn’t nice. It isn’t nice because your response could determine how they treat you in the future. If they feel you aren’t cooperative, they will push even harder. As a result, it’s vital that you respond in the right manner. If you don’t know how to respond, take a look at the tips below.

Always Be Polite

Regardless of how they are on the other side of the phone, you need to be polite. On the whole, nothing good comes from arguing with anyone, especially a government official. Plus, it may make them more sympathetic to your cause. They deal with so many angry people that your polite approach may put them on the back foot. One thing’s for sure – it can’t hurt your chances.

Don’t Admit The Debt

The call is certainly going to be recorded, which means they can use it as evidence. If you admit to the debt, they win and you lose. In all honesty, it is almost impossible to come back from a confession, especially one they have on tape. After all, why would you confess if you didn’t mean to confess? No matter how hard they push, don’t wilt under the pressure. Answer them in generalities to avoid committing to anything and get off the phone as quickly as possible.

But Don’t Deny it Either

You shouldn’t confirm or deny the allegations – how does that work? It works because it doesn’t commit you to anything. If you do deny it and it proves to be true, they could use it against you at a future date. Or, they could use it to say that you are a liar and have been trying to dodge tax, which is illegal. Obviously, both of these scenarios are not good for you or your business. So, whatever you do, don’t commit to any of their statements even if you think you are right.

Direct Them To Your Legal Counsel

There is no better way to respond to the call than to tell them to contact your tax attorney or enrolled agent. Tax officials hate this because they know that they are going to have to go through a long and arduous process. After all, lawyers are experts in the field and aren’t intimidated. Use this to your advantage so that you don’t get caught out in the act. Plus, it’s a great way to get off the phone!

Don’t Ignore The Situation

After the phone goes down, you need to respond. Now is the time to show emotion because they can’t see or hear you anymore. The best thing to do is to call your attorney yourself to tell them about the call. Then, they can give you the advice on how best to act next. As long as you are proactive, you have a good chance of coming out the other end.

EP 37: Entrepreneur of the Year Joel Holland Shares How He Built VideoBlocks

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In this fantastic episode Joel Holland, Founder & Executive Chairman of VideoBlocks.com shares how he starting his company in college, the importance of focus, and how to leverage video to grow your company.

EP 36: TEDex Speaker Tom Hunt Talks Using Virtual Assistants To Improve Productivity

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TEDex speaker Tom Hunt tells his story of going from the corporate world to selling leggings for me, to launching a startup that helps entrepreneurs maximize their time.

9 Foolproof Ways To Get The Most Talent From Your Employees

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There are plenty of ways a business can obtain success, but they all revolve around your staff. The simple fact is that your staff is the lifeblood of your organization. And, without them, you can’t reach the levels of success that every company wants to reach. The problem with employees is that they don’t always work to their maximum. Some are lazy and only want to do the minimum amount while others lack leadership. Regardless, it costs you money.

Obviously, you want your firm to be as productive and efficient as possible, which means they need the same traits. To hit your goal, you need to extract every ounce of talent and skill that your workforce possesses. Only then can your business begin to reach astronomical heights.

Here are a few tips that will get the job done.

Tip 1: Believe In Them

The great thing about this first tip is that you don’t have to communicate outwardly with your staff. All you have to do is believe that they will do the job that you need them to do for your business to benefit. It might sound like new age mumbo jumbo, but it does work. Your belief in them will affect your body language and the way you communicate, as www.forbes.com illustrates. Instead of giving off a distant vibe that screams failure, you will give off an accepting vibe that screams success. Everything from looking them in the eye to your body position will fill them with confidence. Quite simply, your belief will transfer to them.

Tip 2: Demonstrate Your Belief

Now that you believe, it is time to show them that you believe. Some of your perceptive employees will pick up on the fact that you are a more open and caring boss. But, others won’t even blink. For their sake, you need to show them that you care. Otherwise, they will carry on as normal and not make any changes to their work habits. One awesome way to show that they are important to you is to listen to their thoughts and feelings. The fact that you are listening to them means you are taking the time to set aside your issues for their sake. Plus, it makes them feel more valuable if you don’t dismiss their ideas out of hand. Listening is a great tool because hardly anyone converses or listens anymore.

Tip 3: Be Honest

You are not a divine being, and you are not infallible. Yet, there are plenty of bosses that act that way, like they are a descendant of God. Just because you are in a position of power doesn’t mean that you are always right. Let your employees see that you understand this and that you are willing to be open and honest. Tell them about your strengths and your weaknesses and they will adopt the same strategy. For starters, it gives them the green light to admit that they have limitations because their boss has readily admitted the same. But, more importantly, it makes them think. The best employees among your staff should think, ‘my boss has limitations, so what are mine?’ If they take the bull by the horns, they can work out how to be better.

Tip 4: Understand Their Strengths And Weaknesses

Once they open up to you, listen to what they have to say. Every boss has some form of bias that they can’t fix. It is an occupational hazard of being a part of the human race as your past experiences mold the person you are today. The problem with this is that they can affect the way you treat your subordinates. For example, if you are a planner you might look down on someone that doesn’t plan. If you go one step further, you might even pressure them into changing their way of working. The result won’t work out in your favor because they won’t adapt. Instead, you need to understand that is how they work, and that it works for that individual. The more you change people, the less you will benefit.

Tip 5: Clear Communication

Businesses deal in specialist areas and use a lot of jargon. As such, your work might be complex and hard to understand. It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that your employees don’t understand their job. When that happens, productivity falls by a large amount. You have to be able to tell them what you expect of them on any given day to make the company tick. The best option is to talk to them in a simple and clear manner. Forget about using strange terms and abstract phrases, and break it down to its bare bones. That doesn’t mean you have to treat them as idiots because they are far from stupid. But, it does mean that you shouldn’t complicate the issue if possible.

Tip 6: Inspire Them

Inspiration can appear in many different forms, but fear tends not to work. The culture of fear in most businesses is apparent: the boss is the big cheese, and you can’t disappoint them. However, the problem with this culture is that it limits your staff’s ability to work creatively. As they don’t want a dressing down from their boss, they do whatever is required to get by. Another term for this is doing the bare minimum. Instead of putting them under pressure, out an arm around their shoulder. Use kindness and positive messages to inspire your team to bigger and better achievements. When you have to, you need to be firm. But, as long as you are fair, they should understand.

Tip 7: Praise Effort

Ability is not the be all and end all with employees. Yes, you need them to be able to do their jobs. Still, some people have the ability, but they need to unlock it first. Again, if they are working under intense pressure, they will fail. But, if you praise their effort as well as their ability, they will shine. Most employees recognize that they need time to improve. If you give them that time, you will be the one that benefits.

Tip 8: Give Them The Right Tools

It is plausible that they have all the ability in the world, but they don’t have the right tools. Your employees are nothing if they don’t have the equipment to do their job. It’s like asking a doctor to perform surgery without a scalpel – it’s stupid! Your duty as the boss is to make sure they have all the equipment they need, from infrastructure and tech to uniform. Don’t underestimate the importance of a uniform by the way. To use the medical analogy once more, uniform like scrubs is essential to basic tasks. For more on uniforms, visit http://www.uniformsandscrubs.com/landau.html.

Tip 9: Invest In Training

Training is essential if you want your staff to be better at their jobs. Firstly, training is a form of education. When they go on courses, they learn information that they can use to perform their role in the company to a higher standard. No training course, no information. And if there is no information, there is no increase in quality. Just as importantly, it is a gesture. The fact that you are willing to pay money to make them better is a sign that you value them as workers. You are trying to not only enhance the business but the business’s personal. Any intelligent person will see this and work harder. At the least, they should understand that training is good for them and their career, even if they don’t care about the company.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Successful Business

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More and more people are turning to the world of business than ever before. This is likely to be due to a number of different factors. One of the main contributing factors is likely to be the fact that it is now much easier to set up a business than it ever has been before. While in times past, it was a huge undertaking, today that is not necessarily the case. With the advent of the Internet, not to mention all sorts of new whacky means of marketing, setting up shop is easier than ever. The flipside to this, of course, is that there is more competition than ever before. What does this mean for the budding entrepreneur? Well, setting up business is probably quicker and simpler than you might think. It is also more difficult to become the best than you might hope. However, if you merely want something that will make you a little cash on the side – then you’re in luck. There has never been a better time to start up a business. If you have decided that you would like to try running your own business, then read through this guide before you do anything else. We will take you, step-by-step, through the process of setting up your startup in 2016.

Make A Detailed Plan

An absolute vital, unmissable first step is to make a detailed business plan. A lot of people start out in business without drawing up a blueprint first – and they almost always regret it. The truth is, the reason that a lot of people don’t bother with the plan is because they have the wrong idea about what it means. In truth, writing up your business plan is not a very difficult thing to do. Not only that, but it will also save you a massive headache in the long run. It is a simple matter of sitting down and working out, as methodically as you can, what it is you intend to do and achieve with your company. Start with the basics. What will the name be? Who is the target market? How will you operate? In other words, will it be a solely online business, or will you have an office with actual employees? You would do well to consider as many details as you possibly can. The more you get your ideas down on paper at the beginning, you better off your business will be in the long run.

Set Yourself Goals

As well as knowing, in detail, how your business will operate, you also want to set yourself some goals. Without specific, business-orientated goals, there isn’t much point to doing business at all. Having specific goals work well, because it means you know when you are succeeding and when you are lagging behind. And the most important thing of all in business is to be honest with where you currently are. If things aren’t going so well, be honest about it. Don’t try to cover it up. Ask yourself: what can we do differently to reverse this process? This is much more beneficial, in the long run, than sticking your head in the sand and hoping the problems will go away.

Hire The Right People (And The Right Number Of People)

It is perfectly possible that your business will be a venture of one – yourself. There are plenty of businesses out there which are modelled in this way, and there is no reason that it cannot be a successful way of doing business. But you do need to ask yourself whether this is the case for your individual situation. It might be the case that you need to recruit helping hands, even if only in the early days. If that is so, then ensure that you hire only the best people you can find. The philosophy to follow is that it is better to spend money on the right person than none at all. Consider your employees – or potential employees – as an investment, rather than a cost. Don’t shy away from hiring people just because you don’t want to spend the money. That is what business is all about. However, don’t needlessly hire too many people, either. Ensure that you get the balance just right. This can be difficult to achieve, but it is worth the effort.

Marketing – Far & Wide

You should start marketing your business as early as possible. There are countless different options when it comes to marketing, but the key is to approach as many people as possible. Start within your identified target market, and then continue to expand. Some methods of marketing are particularly effective in the early days of running a business. Exhibits are a great place to start, as they offer the opportunity to explain your vision in-depth. If this interests you, browse exhibit design ideas here. It is also wise to remember that social media is one of the most effective means of getting any message across. The main benefit there, of course, is that it is free of charge!

Partner Up

This, again, is something which is commonly overlooked by new business owners. However, it is a valuable piece of advice which is always worth sharing. You should endeavour to partner up with an established company as early on as possible. Partnerships are a fantastic, useful way of using co-operation to inspire success within your own company. With a decent partnership, you have the benefit of the more experienced company’s contacts and wisdom. In return, you can offer them some new blood. In today’s marketplace, partnership is the key to long, sustained success.

Take It Slow – Prepare For Growth

One of the main mistakes people often make is that they rush into things too quickly. When this happens, the business usually suffers as a result. If you are like most people, you are probably very excited about your new idea. That is a fantastic place to start from! But you must also remember to take it slow. Too often, businesses fail because someone gets over-excited and makes a couple of poor decisions. The truth is, it can happen to the best of us. So take it slow. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hope for success! You should be hoping for the very best success possible. That is the best advice I can give you – take it slow, but prepare for a huge amount of growth. With any luck, that growth will come before you know it.

Awesome Ways To Become A Better Worker

Businesses often ask themselves how they can get more from their employees, but shouldn’t the onus be on your shoulders? After all, it is your career and your life. The only way to lead the life you want is to have a healthy balance between work and home. And, a healthy work balance means working hard and climbing the ranks. There is no way you can do that if you don’t put in the hard yards and get better at your job. Here are a few tips that can make it happen.

Get Organized

One great but simple tip is to organize your work life better than before. For the most part, employees don’t succeed in their roles because they suffocate under the pressure of their workload. It is okay being skillful at your job, but you also have to be effective. As soon as you organize your work, you will suddenly become more efficient and productive. And, employers love those attributes in their employees. All you have to do is write down a to-do list and tick off the jobs as and when you complete them.

Invest In Training

If your employer takes you seriously, they will already send you on training courses. Why? Because training courses are the best way to learn and to improve as a person. If you improve, so does the business – it is that simple. If you don’t already, or if you do and you want to learn more, book a couple of days holiday a year to go on training courses. From scientific molding training to how to communicate effectively, they have them all, so there is no excuse. With a training course under your belt, you will fly up the hierarchy.

Don’t Work Too Hard

There is a myth that you have to chain yourself to your desk to be good at your job. Don’t listen to that myth because it is nonsense! As in all walks of life, improving is about quality not quantity. Instead of glorifying working eighty hour weeks, glorify forty hour weeks instead. Then, you can do your best work while also having a life. Remember that your life outside of work affects your work life, so it is important to keep it in check.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Your brain can’t work if it is tired. It is like every other muscle in your body in that respect, the only difference being that you think you can power through. You can’t so don’t try. If you try, you will only succeed in producing substandard work that no one wants, not you of your employer. Sleep is essential because it recharges your batteries and keeps you fresh and ready to work. Taking regular breaks is also a good way to keep the mind and body active.

Be Proactive

Proactive workers stand out to employers more than any other employee. When they see you doing work without being asked, they see a driven and motivated person. Even if you don’t think they are taking notice, they are, and they will reward you in the long run.

The best jobs go to the workers they can trust.

A Guide To Releasing A New Product

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So you’re trying to set up a company which supplies consumer or commercial products. Obviously, you’ll need some products to sell! You might have an idea which could change consumerism forever. Still, if you don’t take the steps to turn that idea into something physical, your business won’t be going anywhere fast. Like a lot of tasks in business, getting your new product out there might feel daunting when you know nothing about it. Don’t worry, it’s a much simpler process that some people would imagine! Here, I’ve put together a guide which should help you towards getting your product off the ground.

Before you draw a single rough sketch of your product, you need to define and understand your audience. I’ve always believed that the best plans start with the end goal in mind. This applies to launching a product like it applies to everything. Everyone with an idea for a product wants theirs to be a winner. To ensure yours doesn’t fail as soon as it’s released, you need to make sure it’s filling a market gap. You need to think of the scope of different products out there. Enterprise is becoming more and more accessible for everyone. Because of this, you need to make sure you’re not creating the 100th version of the same product. Obviously people have their reasons for buying either Pepsi or Coke, despite those two products being as similar as two can be. My point is that you need to fulfil some kind of need or preference which isn’t being fulfilled already. The more unique and exclusively useful your product is, the better your chances of success.

To make sure your product is received as well as possible, you need to ensure it fits the needs of your target audience. Seen as it’s your business, you probably have a lot of knowledge concerning the niche your product is going to fall into. If this isn’t the case, then I suggest rethinking things! When you’re producing for a niche audience which you know well, you’ll already be at a big advantage. Use your inside knowledge to go through all the biggest complaints or issues faced by your target audience. With each item on that list, add a few notes, and develop new, innovative ways to solve the issues surrounding your audience. After that, it’s time to do some real market research. Head over to forums concerning your niche, social media platforms, amazon, and so on. Here, you’ll have access to countless comments and input from the kinds of people who you’re going to be selling to. Inc. has a pretty good feature on this. With information that valuable, make sure you don’t waste it! Spend a decent amount of time on each of these sources. With each one, note down any reoccurring things your audience brings up which they want to see in a new product. Make sure the idea you’re left with actually solves problems though. The internet is great for finding out what goes viral, but not necessarily what sells.

Once you have a solid design in mind, it’s time to get a prototype. Being able to present something physical can really help with the professional image of your start-up. Aside from that, it can also help to test the functionality of your product, depending on what you’re trying to create. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who have had an idea which works beautifully on paper. Then, it presents a number of physical issues when they start prototyping. This may happen to you, so don’t be disheartened when it does. The whole idea of prototyping is being able to see errors. If you’re making your first few steps into the world of business in 2016, then prototyping is going to be much easier than it was for those before you. This is thanks to the emergence of 3D printers, and companies who will offer rapid prototyping services. With these, you can have a primitive outline of your product made from acrylic, and shipped to you in a matter of days. Once it’s there, you can take all the time you want to plan out the necessary changes, and have another version sent to you. Check out Proto Labs for an idea of what I’m talking about.Prototyping also functions as a handy visual aid when you’re explaining the new launch to potential partners. It’s around this stage that you should start to think about the packaging as well. The packaging which your new product comes in will need to be practical and distinctive if you want your whole venture to be a success. It’s true that packaging isn’t the largest part of your whole marketing drive. It certainly shouldn’t be neglected though. Look at how the rugged packaging in DIY stores is aimed at men, or how the stark simplicity of Apple packaging leaves it open to everyone. C.L. Smith is a great place to look for a professional standard of packaging.

When everything’s lined up, start generating some buzz for your new product. In my experience, the best way of doing this is focussing all your marketing efforts on your target audience, rather than the product itself. Let’s say you were launching a cutting-edge smartphone. I know, that’s not a very likely seen as you’re a start up! You wouldn’t spend all your marketing efforts telling people about the amazing screen resolution or reliability. These features will be important to some people, true. However, a lot of your audience wouldn’t care. Even if they did, there’d be ways for them to find out such information. Make sure your advertising emphasises benefits for as wide an audience as possible. This will ensure your pre-release hype does its job to the full. Of course, you should adjust your campaigns to different niches, but don’t restrict yourself!

There you have a brief guide to releasing your new product. After your idea actually makes it onto the market, there’ll be all kinds of other work for you to do to keep it afloat. However, when you give your product a healthy running start, you’ll have a much easier time from then on.  

Don’t Click This Unless You Want Your Startup To Succeed

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Congratulations! By simply opening this post, you’ve made a conscious decision to launch your business venture in the best way possible. And starting on the front foot will serve you extremely well throughout those early stages.

With these simple tricks and tips up your sleeve, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

Recruit Well

Your business is never going to reach its full potential if it isn’t supported by a winning team of employees. The input of your staff will have a huge influence on the output of the company. Quite frankly, you cannot afford to get this crucial aspect wrong.

It’s not just about finding talented employees. Perhaps more importantly, they need to be motivated by the job. Startups in the non-profit organisation can hunt for people specifically looking to break into this field. Visit pnpstaffinggroup.com/non-profit-jobs-nyc/ for more information.

A great team will lead the company to greater success. Those assurance will allow you to concentrate on your individual role too.

Find Cheaper Solutions

A large percentage of startups fail to reach the five-year milestone. In most cases, this failure is due to excessive spending. You will encounter overheads in business, but finding cost-effective solutions will buy you more time. Make this a priority.

 

If you are an online operation, then you should look for the cheapest office space possible. Acquire a virtual address to gain the brand image you desire, and you cannot go far wrong. Meanwhile, securing better energy rates and services that don’t impact the quality of the business is a must.

Get Marketing Right

When it comes to producing the best goods, only you can work out the best route to success. However, none of that will matter if your marketing strategies aren’t perfect.

Gaining interest from an audience isn’t easy, especially as competition is so fierce. However, the key to getting great results in a cost-effective manner is in the content. You can use expert help at thesocialsavior.com/ to ensure that you’re getting the very best results online.

After all, without people visiting the business, you’ll never see a return for your hard work.

Invest In The Customer

13780153345_5c09bc84de_bGaining interest from the customer is one thing. Converting it to a sale is another altogether, and you must use every asset at your disposal. One of the most important thing to remember is that consumers like to feel valued as customers. Upgrade your customer care and you’ll be amazed at the positive impact it brings.

Not only will this encourage repeat business from existing customers, But it will also increase the likelihood of seeing them spread the word to friends and family. Perfect.

Think Big

As a startup, you could be tempted to set modest targets. However, there’s never been a better opportunity for startups to shine. It’s important to walk before you walk, but if the chance to expand arises, you should take it.

Technology has made the world a smaller place than ever before. Find out about taking your operation to the global stage at entrepreneur.com/article/159252 . When the time is right, it could be the key to unlocking your wildest business dreams.

Why put a cap on your dreams when you could achieve so much more? Strive to build the biggest and best company possible, and the hard work will eventually pay off.

Expert Advice For New Digital Startups In 2016

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Have you started a new online company during the last few months in an attempt to earn more money? Are you concerned about what the future might hold and whether you firm will become successful? Well, in most instances, there’s no need to worry. We’ve published some expert suggestions on this page that should point you in the right direction. You just have to read the information carefully and make sure you leave no stone unturned. The online world presents many different opportunities for people who are willing to take a risk. The fact that you’ve already launched your operation shows you’re tech savvy. So, you just need some guidance from people who’ve been there before.

Identify and learn from your competition

Regardless of the nature of your business, there are sure to be many competitors in the marketplace. With that in mind, it’s vital that you identify them and learn as much as possible about their companies. Try to work out how they’ve managed to make a profit thus far and replicate their solutions. Hopefully, that will enable you to achieve the same levels of success with your new startup. It might also help you to discover areas in which you need to improve. At the end of the day, we all want to steal the lion’s share of the market. However, people who fail to watch their rivals could find themselves falling behind.

SEO the heck out of your website

16396190618_ecfef49433_bIt’s critical that your site displays at the top of relevant listings within search engine results. That means you need to engage in a complex process called search engine optimization. There are a couple of options on the table when it comes to performing that job. Firstly, you could outsource the task to industry specialists with good reputations. Secondly, you could perform all the essential alterations in-house. The latter solution is popular with startup companies because it helps them to save a lot of money. However, it can take a long time to increase your education and learn the best methods. Take a look at all the pros and cons of each idea and then make your selection accordingly.

Use cloud services for storage

Most digital business owners will understand the benefits of cloud storage. Even so, newcomers might need an explanation. The process helps to provide much-needed added security for all those sensitive files and documents. It also provides easier access for employees who might need to work outside of the office. Experts claim cloud services will soon become a crucial tool for all companies, regardless of their niche. It says at www.cmitsolutions.com/services/cloud/ that outsourcing the process is a wise move. Indeed, that is why so many startup bosses decide to look for an IT support partner. There are plenty of them around, and they all run websites you can find online.

Try content marketing

Content marketing is a new concept that’s becoming invaluable for online entrepreneurs. It helps with SEO efforts, but it also drives traffic and promotes brand recognition. Anyone can make a start without spending a dime if they’re smart. You just need to create interesting and relevant blog posts that relate to your industry. Include a natural link back to your website within the text, and publish the articles on top blogs. With a bit of luck, that should add to your SEO efforts and ensure search engines rank your site accordingly. People who want to engage in that process can also contact content marketing agencies if they have a large enough budget.

Consider alternative income streams

There are many ways people can create income using their websites. Contrary to popular belief, selling products and services isn’t the only solution. You could also place advertising banners on your pages and earn money from Google Adsense. One top of that, it’s possible to sell banner space privately if you register with the right services. Maybe you could add some affiliate links too? So long as you don’t publish anything that points visitors towards your competitors, everything should be okay. In some instances, other firms might even offer money for you to publish blog posts mentioning their services. The opportunities are endless if you’re tech-savvy and innovative.

Use the most effective promotional techniques

15620462055_c69f120931_zWhen it comes to promoting your website, discovering the most efficient methods can take a long time. That is why so many new company bosses employ the services of marketing agencies. However, there are many steps you can take in-house to help achieve your goals. For example, opening social media accounts will always work in your favor. Almost half the planet uses Facebook on a daily basis. So, it’s the perfect platform for reaching your target market and encouraging sales. It says at www.blog.hootsuite.com/18-social-media-marketing-tips/ that social networks are essential for an effective strategy. You might also like to create publicity stunts that get media attention. Advertising your brand in the national newspapers can become expensive. Even so, it’s possible to get a mention without spending anything if you create newsworthy stories.

Starting a business enables you to avoid all the pitfalls associated with traditional ventures. You won’t have to cover huge overheads, and you can even work from home in most circumstances. That means the level of risk you face should pale in comparison to other company bosses in the real world. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still possible to fail and lose everything. It’s just a little more unlikely if you use the advice from this page.

We hope that your new venture will become successful fast and that you will feel a sense of accomplishment. Just don’t make the mistake of giving up at the first sign of trouble. Regardless of your business model, all new entrepreneurs will face struggles along the way. However, nothing should stifle your operation if you have the right levels of motivation. Remember, the people who succeed in this world don’t have any superpowers or unique insights. They’re just the ones who refused to let adversity become a problem.

Focus on your goals, seek professional advice, and we’re confident your new company will make money.

Three Essentials for Every Start Up

Good things come in threes, and three is a magic number. It’s small, easy to define and the start of just about anything of importance. Simpler is always better, and your startup is no exception. Would it be possible to take all the complexities of the business world and condense them down into a one, two, three step guide? Absolutely, yes.

And if this could be done you would have the perfect reference tool for every startup business. You’d have a place to come back to. A point of reference for when you find things getting too complicated or find out that you have taken the wrong turn. Here they are. Three essential steps for every startup.

Planning

It covers a lot. It’s a word with a big role. It lies at the core of everything that you want to do, are going to accomplish, and it will lie behind your success. There is no substitute for it and like our prime numbers, it is a building block of your success. Under its wide umbrella come dreaming, imagining and developing ideas. Notice how these start at the creative end of the spectrum and then slowly move towards strategy. That is the magic of successful planning. It rules nothing out, but as it progresses, it starts to take form. That then is the plan of your business, of any business, come to think of it. If you want to survive that all important first year, this is where you start. Get a plan.

Branding.

Give it a name and it will have an identity. If it has an identity, it will stand out from all the other ‘cabbage-patch baby’ start-ups out there. Love it? Of course you do – it’s yours after all, but this is not all about you. This is about other people recognising you as an example of excellence. This is about people seeing you, noticing you and understanding what you can offer. Branding comes into everything you do. It is what you wear in the morning before you join the queue at the bus stop. It is your logo, and it is in your web design. Unless this is your speciality, get the professionals involved at this stage. Simplicity is great but sometimes in our little patch of the forest, we can’t see the wood for the trees. Outside expertise can give you an ‘ah ha’ moment. A little bit of clarity. A way forward. Establish your brand.

Execution

6132-three-carrom-coinsStep three is even simpler. It requires you to bring steps one and two together. Even the maths make sense. It’s the perfect triangle. Bring these two together and what you have is the real doing part of it all. Call it your strategy. It is marketing, it is selling, it is getting out there and cementing all those vital relationships that you have set up. It is advertising that works for you. It is your customer connection and the big party that is your startup in action.

The three steps are simple. Life is not complicated although we choose to make it so and dress it up in all manner of disguises. Stick to these steps and connect with professional services who can help you implement them. If things don’t work out, then you need to go back and work on one of these elements. Stick to them and they will never let you down.

 

Essential Tips for the First Year of Your Startup

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We all know that most startups don’t manage to survive their first year. It’s what everyone tells you when you start a new business. Don’t let that thought weigh you down though. There are plenty of things you can do to make sure that your business doesn’t become a part of that statistic.

Take note of these essential tips if you want to make a success of your startup’s first year in existence.

Research, Research, Research

You should always prioritise the research you do when you are starting your business. In fact, this is something that should start before your business is even up and running. You should, first of all, think about researching the competition. You will never be able to beat your rivals and dominate the market if you don’t even know what your rivals are up to. You can carry out some competitive analysis. This will then help you to formulate your own strategy and approach to business. You want to exploit the weaknesses of your rivals and do the things they do well even better than them. It’s a big challenge, but it can be completely more easily when you know what you’re up against. Visit https://www.hallaminternet.com/2012/3-easy-ways-to-keep-an-eye-on-your-competitors/ to find out how to keep tabs on your rivals.

Specify Your Target Market

Your target market is the people that you will be trying to sell your product or service to. You need to know who exactly you want to target if your business is going to be a success. The target market should be analysed and researched in advance. And then you can come up with advertising and marketing strategies that target precisely the kind of people that you want to appeal to. Your target market might be flexible, and you might end up being surprised by who is most interested in your product. This is not unusual, but it doesn’t mean that identifying your target market isn’t important too.

Keep the Finances in Check

Financial planning is one of those things that many business owners struggle to get to grips with. But ignoring your finances and acting recklessly is exactly the kind of behaviour that causes startups to fail every year. You may think that a great product will be enough to carry your business. But, unfortunately, that probably won’t be the case. You also need to make sure that your finances are kept in check. Your product and its quality will be worthless if your finances are not under your control at all times. It might be a good idea to hire an accountant who can check things over once a month.

Hire the Right People

Your startup will only succeed if everyone is pulling it in the same direction. So, you need to make sure that you hire the right people with the right mix of skills that the business needs. It’s not just their skills and talents that you need to take into consideration though. You also need to think about how they all work together in one big team. Being collaborative is a big part of the modern workplace. So, make sure that you hire the kind of people who can work together. A set of disparate individuals is never as successful as a cohesive team of people who work together to find solutions.

Keep Costs Down

There are lots of expenses that have to be dealt with when you’re running a business. And you don’t want to be spending even more money than you need to be. So, you should always be looking for new ways to keep costs down if you want your business to be successful in the long-term. They always say that making your first $100K is the hardest, and it’s true. But it’s even harder if you are spending lots of money on unnecessary things. Visit http://www.dividendmantra.com/2015/07/is-the-first-100k-the-hardest/ for other tips on making money for your business.

Get Top Advice

The advice your business receives from people who have been there and done it all before can make a big difference. You should talk to established business owners who know what it takes to survive and thrive in that very first year doing business. Talking to these people can give you inspiration as well as ideas for things to do to make your business more likely to succeed. Networking in influential circles can help you to meet these kinds of people. Listen to what they tell you and then put ideas into practice if you think that they can help your business to grow and succeed.

EP19: Shane Liddel From SmartCrowdfunding On How To Have A Great Campaign

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First off CEO of Smart Crowdfunding Shane Liddel explains important factors in having a successful campaign. Then we here a live pitch for the X-Stand, and Monica Selby talks about Nashville Faith and Work Summit.