3 Essential Piece of Software All Small Businesses Need


If you’re a startup, the types of tools you use can make a huge difference to your ability to manage your team, data, and eventually your competitiveness in your niche. Using the right tools will allow you to improve collaboration and accountability within your operation, manage interactions between various teams and your client base, and allow you to do some advanced analysis on your processes, among other things. But the issue for many is knowing which tools should be part of their stack. Here are some of the most important tools small business should consider adding to theirs.

A Good CRM

A good CRM is essential if you have to process a lot of customer interaction and want to be able to not only keep track of them, but use them for analysis. And if you can name an established company, we can assure you that they’re using a CRM.

PieSync recently did a rundown of some of the best tech stacks in the industry, and almost all of them add either a CRM, or a CRM extension as part of their stack. They also recommend Hubspot as one of the best tools for 2020. Not only that, but their sync tool allows people to sync Hubspot with various other apps like MailChimp or CloudTalk, for instance, and easily exchange contacts and information between the two of them.

Accounting and Bookkeeping Tool

It’s also very important that you stay on top of your books, and there aren’t too many tools that are easier to use while offering such a wide variety of features as QuickBooks. QuickBooks has been a market leader for small businesses for a while, and it’s not hard to see why.

First of all, they have a template for virtually any type of report you might need. Do you need a time tracking report? Check. What about invoicing or inventory? QuickBooks has you covered. Not only that, but the tool will allow you to manage tax forms, issues, and returns fast and easily. It will also allow you to manage more advanced functions like payroll, though at a premium.

Productivity Management Software

You also need software to help your team run more efficiently, improve communication, and keep track of process for analysis and improvement.

If you’re thinking of going agile and allowing your employees to work from where they are, then you have to consider using some sort of Kanban tool. Kanban is a system that uses a series of flashcards moving through a timeline to show the state of a particular project and allow stakeholders and managers to keep an eye on processes and their progress. Some examples of popular project management tools that use Kanban include Trello and Kanbanize.

You and your team can only be as good as the tools you’re using. If you want to be competitive, and also be able to monitor your business’s progress and performance, you should focus on using the right set of tools and using them to their full potential.

Tools That Will Give You More Time To Spend On Your Start-Up

When you are just starting a business, you can have a lot of things to do. You’ll need to pay bills, work on marketing and make sure that any staff are well looked after. Of course, many business owners do all of these things themselves and so they often don’t have enough time to get all of the important tasks done.

Software companies are always trying to make the lives of business owners and their staff easier by creating packages that can speed things up. Here, we are going to tell you about some of the tools that you can use to give you more time to spend on other parts of your business. Keep reading to find out more.

Accounting Software

As a start-up business, you might not know a lot about accounting and how taxes work. You’ll also need to know how to pay your staff and make sure that people are paying you. This can all be quite tricky and you’ll spend a lot of time focusing on it instead of the other important parts of your business. This is why you should consider investing in some accounting software. This will give you a similar service to an accountant for a fraction of the price.

Social Media Scheduling

Are you struggling to handle all of the different social channels that you are expected to have as a new business? You need to make sure that you are posting regularly but you also need to engage with your customers. This is where social media scheduling can come in and save the day. It is possible to schedule in all of your posts for the week and make sure that they go out at the right times for your target audience. Take a look at sites like Hootsuite for help on this.

Employee Benefits

As an employer, you need to make sure that you are offering your team the right kinds of benefits. Not only are certain benefits expected by law but others are desired by some of the best candidates. This is why you should consider using a platform like Zest Benefits as this can help you to figure out the right benefits for your team. This is easy to use and won’t take up too much of your time that could be spent on other things.

Graphic Design

The final tool that we think you should use in order to spend more time on your business is a graphic design tool. Sites like Canva allow you to create some professional-looking designs without having to spend too much time on them. You can choose from templates for whatever kind of image you are hoping to create which can save you a lot of time. The great thing about using a tool like this for your social media posts or your logo is that you can save money as well. Say goodbye to your design company and say hello to more time and money to spend on your business.

Try Them Today

As a start-up owner, you need to make sure that you are saving as much time as you can to get your business on track. Don’t let the small parts of your business distract you from the important things or you will never grow. Think about using accounting software and don’t forget to use an employee benefits platform.

Follow all of the advice that we have given you in this article and soon you’ll find that your business is growing.

How To Make Client Onboarding As Efficient As Possible


Customer onboarding is an important part of the client service process, as it is your organisation’s chance to make a good first impression and prove to your new client that it is an efficient and professional company.

For businesses that are trying to streamline their customer onboarding process, here are some tips that will help you to give your customers a lasting positive impression of your organisation.

Map The Customer Journey

Before you even begin to create a client onboarding process for you product, service or solution, you need to map out the entire customer journey. This will allow you to review each aspect of the customer journey in your organisation and work out how you can optimize it and create an onboarding process that’ll give your customers the great start to their journey that they deserve.

Research Your Competitor’s Onboarding Processes

Having mapped the customer journey through your own organisation, you should research the consumer journey through your competitors’ businesses, specifically the onboarding process. Select a range of your closet competitors in your sector and then review their customer onboarding process to see if there are any specific techniques they use.

Use An Efficient Customer Verification System

Customer onboarding needs to be secure, but it also has to be user friendly as well. One innovative, secure way to onboard your clients is to use their phone number, instead of their Social Security Number. After all, many consumers don’t feel comfortable handing out their Social Security Number online, whereas they often give their phone number to a variety of different organisations. They are also more likely to have their phone number to hand than other personal details. If you’re interested in using phone numbers as an alternative to Social Security Numbers when onboarding your clients, you can learn more about this here.

Design Unique Email Template

The beginning of any customer onboarding process starts with a welcome email, so create an engaging initial communication that will show your company in the best possible light. Create a template that allows for enough personalization to make it seem friendly and welcoming. You also need to make sure that it’s informative, without giving new clients so much information that they feel overwhelmed.

Make A Product Tutorial

The next step in the customer onboarding process is to create a product tutorial that clients find easy to understand. The best way to show your customers how to use your solution is to create an engaging and informative video tutorial that will show them how to use your product and give them information on all the innovative features it has to offer.

Keep In Contact

As part of your onboarding process you should include additional follow-up contact even after the customer has started using your solution. This will make them feel supported and give them the chance to provide your business with feedback on the product.

These are just some of the ways you can make your firm’s onboarding process as smooth and enjoyable as possible for your clients and start their order as positively as you mean to go on.

How to Get Your Business Off to a Great Start


If you are setting up a business then, there are a lot of things that you need to take into consideration which include making sure you have enough funds, have the right staff and that you know what you are doing when it comes to business. With so much to take into consideration for you it can be hard to run a business, however, don’t worry because we are here to help you.

In this article, we will discuss some of the top ways on how to get your business off to a great start. If this is something that you think would be useful then, make sure to keep reading.

Make Sure You Have Funds

The first thing that you should make sure you have when it comes to getting your business off to a great start is to make sure that you have funds. This is because it can be very costly to set up a new business and to keep it up and running but, if you have funds and finance in place then, you could help get your business off to a great start.

Choose the Right Location

The next thing that you should do to get your business off to a great start is to make sure you choose the right location for your business. It is important that you make sure you choose the right location for your business and this is because you will want your business to be in an easy to find yet, busy area. This way, you can ensure that there will be plenty of customers ready to shop.

Decorate Your Office

Once you have found the right location for your business, then it is time to start decorating your office the way you want to. When you decorate your office, you will be able to get your business off to a great start because you can decorate it in a way to suit your business and style, so it looks professional when clients come in.

Buy Supplies

The next thing that you should take into consideration when it comes to your business is making sure you have the supplies that you need and that you stock up. This is because when you stock up you will not run out of supplies as easily and you will be able to get your business off to a great start when you have everything that you need.

Find the Right Staff

When you have all the things that you need for your business, it is now time to find the right employees for your business. Make sure to choose employees that are qualified to help run your business and this will benefit you greatly.

Team Building

After you have your staff for your business, it is important that you take team building into consideration, this is because when you get to know each other better and you get to work with each other, the better you will be able to work as a team. If you are looking for team building then, make sure you head over and have a look at Team Tactics for some help and advice.

Start-Up Your Business Today

Overall, there are many ways that you can set up your business and get it off to a great start and, in this article, we discussed some of the ways that this can be done. If you think this article was useful then, keep it in mind and use it as a guide to help.

Six Ways an MBA Can Prepare You to Launch Your Startup


If you want to become your own boss, run a successful business in the future, and have a great startup idea in mind, then you may be considering your options for improving your business knowledge and skills now, in order to achieve better results in the future. If you’re considering going to college, then getting an MBA can be a great foundation for starting your own business, providing you with all the core knowledge that you need to understand pretty much every aspect of your startup and so much more.

In addition to what you’ll learn from classes and reading, studying for an MBA has a wide range of benefits for aspiring entrepreneurs. We’ve taken a look at some of the main ways an MBA can help you run and grow your own successful business.

#1. Become a Respectable Member of the Business Community:

No matter where you go, an MBA is a very well-respected qualification. Whether you’re in your hometown or traveling across the world, everybody in the business community will know what an MBA is and the amount of work and dedication that it takes to get one. Having an MBA as a business owner can be a great way to improve your standing in your business community, earning credibility and respect.

#2. Experience New Places and Cultures:

You don’t have to stay at home to get an MBA – there are several awesome business schools all around the world offering this program that you might want to consider. If you’re not sure where you’d like to study, then why not consider attending an event held by The MBA Tour? Check out The MBA Tour to find details of upcoming events which are held all over the world. As an attendee, you’ll have the chance to meet with people from business schools around the world, research different schools and programs, and make an informed decision when it comes to finding the right one for you. You can find their website here: https://www.thembatour.com/.

#3. The Confidence and Knowledge to Start Your Company:

Many people dream of starting their own business, but their company ideas sadly just never become a reality as they lack the knowledge needed to get started, or the confidence to take the plunge. So, if you want to make sure that your business idea becomes a successful reality in the future, then studying for an MBA is a great way to ensure that you have the foundation of knowledge, skills and confidence that you need. During your time studying the program, you will learn about all the different facets of running a business; as a result, you will likely require less trial and error than most when starting your own company.

#4. Improved Earning Potential:

So, you want to start your own business, but don’t forget that earning an MBA can also be a great back-up plan if your startup doesn’t work out as hoped. If your product or service idea doesn’t take off like you’d hoped it would, or if you change your mind about entrepreneurship down the line, then having an MBA qualification to your name can certainly help you land a career position with more responsibility and a higher paygrade. But even if you do decide to continue along the route of starting your own business, the skills and knowledge you’ll learn will give you an advantage when it comes to maximizing business profits. Either way, you’re likely to earn more with an MBA.

#5. Improve Your World Perspective:

Studying for an MBA – especially if you travel abroad to get your qualification, can be a great way to broaden your horizons and improve your view of the world. When you study in a country different to your own, you will be able to better understand a new place, a different culture, and how things function overseas. As a result, you will be able to develop a broader understanding of the global market, which can be an excellent step for your future business, especially if you plan to sell your product or service in overseas countries along with at home.

#6. Expand Your Professional Network:

Finally, another great reason why getting an MBA can help you with starting your own business is that it’s a great way to build and expand your professional network. As an MBA student, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with other business professionals – not just your tutors and professors, but also other students on your program. MBA programs are usually the type of qualification that individuals tend to go for after working in the business industry or running their own company for some time. So, you can expect to be studying alongside entrepreneurs, business managers, CEOs, marketing professionals, HR professionals and many more people who you can learn a lot from.

If you hope to start your own business in the future, getting an MBA is a great way to prepare.

Why Choosing Executives That Suit the Phase of Your Business’s Growth is Important


When you are choosing to add new executives to your business, whether to head up new departments that you’ve decided need to be created, to replace people who have left, or to take a share of the management off your own hands if you were doing all of the decision making yourself at the start, picking the right people is extremely important. Executives provide leadership and direction to the business, and one new person in the mix can have a big impact on everything from company culture to strategy.

It goes without saying that you need talented people, and people who you think gel well with you and the rest of the leadership team, but when it comes to experience, it can actually be more about picking people whose experience is the most relevant, rather than the most prestigious.

Executive Work Varies a Lot at Different Stages

Businesses go through all kinds of different stages on the route from starting up to being successful, sustainable, profitable ventures. The work that executives spend most of their time on is very different depending on what the current phase of the business is. If your business is undergoing significant growth, the work will be different to if your business is preparing for an IPO, or is looking to diversify into a new market. Executives who work for very established businesses may be very experienced in looking for small innovations and improvements that can boost things or make savings, but less experienced in things like growing a new department or a new site.

Experience with the Right Environment and Challenges

This all means that someone who has an incredibly appealing resume in terms of having held senior positions with well-known businesses, may actually not be as good a fit for what you currently need to do than somebody who has worked through a major growth phase in a smaller business. Often it is not the amount of money the person has had in their budget that defines what they can bring to the table, but the phase-specific challenges and different business environments they have navigated through. Someone who has rescued a failing company is always impressive, but if your business isn’t failing, someone who has built on existing momentum before may be more what you need.

Finding the Right Executive

If you’re looking for the right experience in your new executive, then you’re going to need access to a good pool of potential applicants, so you can delve in to what different qualified people have done that may be similar to what they’ll need to do for you. Using a good executive staffing agency or executive search firm, such as TruPath Search, who have a lot of experience in matching executives with businesses, is the best path to go down. They can make sure your vacancy is communicated to a large pool of skilled people, and can discuss your specific business needs to make sure only the most suitable people are considered.

Good luck in finding the right people to help lead your business to greater success!

Digital Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them


Everyone is doing digital marketing these days. The growing number of digital marketing instruments available and the fact that they are all incredibly accessible lead to the use of digital marketing by organizations of different scales. The digital marketing landscape is highly saturated at the moment. That can only mean one thing: there are more challenges to overcome in order for your messages to be delivered successfully through digital marketing campaigns.

Those challenges, however, are solvable. Through carefully crafted campaigns, a better understanding of the audience, and improved digital marketing know-how, the most common challenges in digital marketing can turn to opportunities to seize.


Targeting is the first challenge to overcome. Before you can craft an effective digital marketing campaign, you have to select a target audience that suits your organization best. You cannot expect to deliver key messages successfully when they are delivered to the wrong audience groups.

Targeting doesn’t have to be complicated either. Listening and research tools are widely available, and they can help you gain more insights into the suitable target audience for your business. At the very least, you can start by identifying your target consumers and working your way to suitable audience segments from there.

More importantly, you can learn a lot about the audience using the same listening tools. More insights lead to a better understanding of the audience, and that leads to a better understanding of how to best shape your key messages and deliver them successfully.


Planning is the next challenge to tackle. The availability of digital marketing instruments leads to businesses using them incidentally rather than as part of a bigger campaign. If you find your messages or digital marketing execution to be inconsistent, this incidental approach to digital marketing is the reason.

Rather than focusing on one program at a time, build a longer narrative that ties multiple campaigns together. A longer narrative offers a handful of benefits that you cannot afford to miss in today’s competitive digital landscape.

For starters, a longer narrative gives the audience that sense of familiarity. You can expect them to follow your stories across multiple campaigns. A good story is also powerful in developing a closer, more personal relationship with the audience.

The only challenge left is making sure that the long narrative you use to represent your brand gets represented correctly – and in a consistent way – across multiple campaigns. That leads us to the next challenge to solve, which is….


When you have multiple campaigns or programs running at the same time, it is easy to lose track of your key messages. This is an issue faced by many businesses, small and large, when they start utilizing digital marketing instruments more extensively. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem as well.

Better project management is a must. More and more digital marketers use Agile methods to better organize campaigns and tasks associated with them. It is even easier to organize large, complex campaigns when you begin implementing Kanban as a way to manage tasks.

A Kanban board can be customized to suit your digital marketing needs. Kanbanize, one of the best tools on the market, lets you set up custom Kanban boards for individual campaigns. You can then use the standard Agile project management structure to maintain alignment and ensure smooth completion of tasks and campaigns.

The implementation of a Kanban board also brings an added benefit: the ability to monitor your campaigns visually. There is something about seeing tasks as cards that make organizing complex campaigns easier.


Digital marketing is never a one-time thing. You cannot expect to stick to a single strategy without closely monitoring the results of that strategy. Monitoring, in the end, becomes an inseparable part of every campaign you run. A failure to monitor digital marketing campaigns will result in your key messages being buried under a pile of noise.

Monitoring is how you learn about key metrics around your digital marketing activities. Do you want to know if your key messages reach the audience in its original form? Are you wondering if your ad spending goes to the right advertising networks? You need close monitoring of campaigns to answer these questions.

 One more important thing to keep in mind is that you cannot expect the campaigns you craft to work immediately. There will be times when you make mistakes or execute the wrong strategy; monitoring simply lets you identify those times and allow you to make corrections immediately.

You’ll start optimizing your campaigns without having to wait until the end of the cycle. That’s how you know you have implemented the Agile project management methods successfully. In fact, that’s how you know that you are on the right track of refining your digital marketing efforts.

So, are you ready to solve these digital marketing challenges? Use the tips and tricks we covered in this article to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.

Five Benefits of Multichannel Marketing


If you still believe that having a website is enough to succeed with a new business, you might be up for a surprise. Most large brands are now creating a multichannel marketing campaign to improve their communication and branding results, while reaching more customers in a more effective and appropriate way. Below you’ll find a few benefits of creating a multichannel marketing plan for your new business to beat the competition and improve your conversion rates.

Better Reach

Not all customers are happy to visit you in your store. Likewise, some will research the internet for recommendations, and will not be happy to order from your website before they read real customer reviews about your company. Some use LinkedIn, others prefer Facebook groups. You need to be present where your potential customers hang out, therefore, to reach them, you will have to create a marketing plan that involves email, online, and social media advertising, as well as print materials, telemarketing, and SMS.

More Effective Sales Funnels

No online business can survive without an effective sales funnel. You will need to design your customers’ journey from the moment they first hear about your business until they become buyers. If you are present on various channels, and your potential clients can get in touch to ask questions on social media, as well as via email and phone, you can increase your conversion rates long term.

Improved Brand Awareness

Being present on the internet doesn’t get you noticed. You will have to find different channels to get visitors to your website and turn them into followers, who will – eventually  become customers. You need to grab every opportunity to improve your brand awareness in your target market. Using social media and video market can make your content go viral without having to spend a lot of money on advertising, and increase your brand’s reach within your niche.  

Customer Communication

Another great benefit of being present on different channels is that you give your customers plenty of opportunity to contact you and give you feedback. When things go wrong, your clients want more than sending an email and waiting a week to get the issue resolved. Having an online chat on your site and social media pages will improve your customer communication and build your reputation at the same time.

Added Value

You should learn to take advantage of the latest technologies to communicate your offers to your target customers. You can offer incentives for members and repeat customers, or make the ordering process easier. Adopting a simple-to-use shopping cart system can improve customer satisfaction. You might also find professional app developers to design your branded app and get your offers out to your target market.  

Whether you are looking to increase your brand awareness of conversion rates, adopting a multi channel marketing and communication strategy is a good idea. You will be able to benefit from higher conversion rates, improved brand awareness, and reputation. Furthermore, you can take advantage of viral marketing and recommendations.

Are You On-Brand Enough?


In this incredibly digital world, a lot of people talk about things like content, engagement, and growth hacking. But while these may be the on-trend topics of the time, they aren’t the only things you should be focusing on if you want to ensure that your business is going to blossom. Not in the slightest. In fact, you could be working real hard on all three of those factors, but if you have one thing missing, you may not be able to make any waves. Of course, we’re talking about branding. Because branding can make sure that you have the right impact on whatever you do. From your brand colors to the way that you talk, you need to nail it all. So let’s take a look at how you can do that.

Everything Online

First of all, you have to be able to look at everything that you’re doing online and ensure that it’s on brand to attract your customers. From your logos to your social media icons, and even the graphics or videos that you put out – it should all be branded. So when you’re making videos or images, be sure to find someone that can put these together for you. And when they do, they need to make sure that they are on brand with the design. But you also need to make sure that the content is branded too, and that you’re showcasing your brand personality to project the right brand image.


Whenever you create a document in-house, you should make sure that it’s on brand. Create a set format that everything gets written on created in. That way, whenever you’re sending anything out, you’re branded. It’s also a great way to ensure that everyone gets into the brand zone, and feels part of something bigger.


If your business has a fleet or any other kind of vehicle (even if it’s just your own car), you’re missing out on an opportunity if you don’t brand them. Take a look at the different way you can use fleet graphics to brand up your vehicles. This is also a great promotional opportunity for you too. So be sure to create a call to action or showcase your contact details too.

Event Presence

Whenever you’re at an event, or you do anything in a business environment, you need to be on brand. Luckily for us all, there are some great branding options that you can have at events. And you can go all out. From your stand complete with banners and signs to the materials you hand out and even uniforms that you wear, you can brand your presence completely to make a bigger impact.

Every Action

Last but not least, you’re going to want to ensure that you and any members of staff that you have are acting on-brand and representing your brand as best as possible. Establish your brand voice and stick to it, and be sure to choose the right representatives so that you know your brand can stay consistent.

Why Employee Communication Is The Key To Building Your Brand


Many entrepreneurs give the subject of branding a great deal of thoughts. They’ll pore over dozens and dozens of prospective logo designs from a range of talented freelancers. They’ll work long and hard to crystalize exactly which values and attitudes best encapsulate their brand. They’ll agonize over every single letter of their mission statement. But from the customer’s point of view, none of this matters. They won’t give two hoots about whether your logo is the exact right shade of orange, your slogan is catchy and memorable or that your mission statement contains a good amount of “radiant words”. To your customers, the proof is in the pudding. It’s in the way in which they interact with your employees that they ascertain the values of your brand. Thus, it’s more important than ever to make sure that these values are communicated to them effectively each and every day. Of course, this is easier said than done. Here are some ways in which entrepreneurs can manage communication with their employees to keep their brand intact…

Fight through the “technical fog”

There’s no doubt that you entrust many of the more technical aspects of keeping your business great to a handful of talented and technically minded individuals. But if you’re not proficient in their field of expertise, this can lead to what is known as “technical fog”. If you’re to know how to manage the talent risk of your team, it’s important to pierce the veil. It’s not enough to leave them in an office somewhere to “do their thing”. This will lead them to feel remote, alienated and less intrinsic to the success of your business than they undoubtedly are. Make efforts to understand what they do as best you can and work collaboratively with them to ensure that you’re all on the same page. This will not only help you to retain their talents but ensure that the values of the brand are evident even in the more idiosyncratic elements of your business.

Ensure that they, their opinions and their ideas feel valued

Every employee from the frontline staff dealing with customer queries, to your technical support staff to your management team play a part in making your business the success that it is. Without their efforts, your brand and mission statement would be just a handful of empty platitudes. It’s their hard work that makes it tangible. Thus, they need to feel that their insights and ideas are valued. Operate an open door policy, have a suggestions box and never shout down an employee’s contributions to a meeting, even if they don’t align with your own ideas.

Embrace the power of training… No matter what it costs

There is no better way to communicate the fundamental ideals that have built your brand to your employees than regular training. Training not only helps them to sharpen their skills as they learn new competencies, it is also a great motivator. Disrupting their routine and getting them to examine and reassess their working methods is a useful way of getting them to re-engage with their role rather than coasting through it day by day.

Many employers do not welcome the disruption and expense caused by training, but if they don’t embrace its power, they can find themselves compromising their brand with poor customer service.

3 Ways Failure in Business Can Become Strength


No one likes failure — either when creating a startup, or doing anything else in life — and it’s certainly the case that everyone does their best to avoid it at every turn. The unfortunate fact is, however, that failure in life is inevitable. Your first startup may not fail — but you’d be a statistical anomaly, as most do — but sooner or later you’re going to run up against failure of one sort or another during the course of your professional life.

Fortunately, failure in business isn’t really the pure, unmitigated disaster that it’s made out to be. In fact, there are many ways in which failure can improve you for the mission ahead.

Here are a few of them.

Failure provides data on what doesn’t work

There’s a story that Thomas Edison, when called up on his numerous failures, once responded: “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Failure may be devastating at the moment, but each failure actually provides invaluable data on what not to do going forward, if you’re able to take a step back and have an objective look at the situation.

To experience this benefit, however, you need to become good and comfortable with reflection, self-critique, and analysis.

Why did your last attempt fail? Was it because you didn’t work enough hours? Or because you invested your money poorly? Was it that your business model was fundamentally flawed in some way? Or maybe you didn’t account for the degree of competition to be found within that particular niche?

Whatever the reasons you identify, learning from your failures in this way increases your chances of success going forward, and decreases your risk of repeating the same errors as before.

Failure builds resilience and inoculates against naive-thinking

Perhaps when beginning your first startup, you were unbelievably excited about everything you did, and believed with a certainty that everything was going to work out in your favour. And then it didn’t.

If, instead of being crushed and giving up on the idea of running your own company altogether, you dusted yourself off and had another go, then you’ve become more resilient in the process.

Failure builds callouses, and although we need to be careful that these callouses don’t end up making us jaded, a tough skin is nonetheless essential for long-term success in business.

After getting a few failures under your belt, you’ll likely find you’ve become more pragmatic. You know failure is a possibility — and you know it doesn’t have to mean the end of you.

Failure encourages us to fill in the gaps in our knowledge

Failure has a way of holding up a mirror to our own shortcomings and weaknesses. With hindsight, we can see how our own character deficiencies, or lack of awareness or knowledge might have exacerbated the problems we faced.

As a result, we may commit anew to learning to trade shares, or attend classes and conferences we previously thought we were above.

As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and failure can be a great incentive to seek out further knowledge.

Convincing Customers They Need More From You


Customers can be tricky people to handle. They can be picky and impossible to impress, or they can be the sweetest people who accept anything you say. And because of this unpredictability, it feels like you have to be every kind of business all at once.

Even when you’re increasing your reach by operating online, there’s still quite a few methods to implement to make sure customers are able to find you, and then click on you and your products. E-commerce is one of the biggest markets out there after all, and you’re going to have to be clever with what you offer to make sure someone doesn’t simply click away from you.

But it’s harder for someone to pull away when they’re physically in your store, so now’s the time to really try and impress. Here’s a couple of ideas to get you started on refining your sales technique.

Be Specific with Your USP

Every business out there needs a unique selling point, and there’s more than you would think available when it comes to servicing the market. Whether you use sustainable habits to make your products, or you have a no carrier bag rule, or you simply throw in two products for the price of one, you can get a certain type of customer interested in you.

So make sure you’re being clear with your USP, and never stick to a vague statement such as ‘lower prices’ or ‘we’re better than the rest!’ Everyone has heard that from their local corner shop, so it just makes a lot more sense to actually find a message you can sell to appeal to your target market.

Think about what you’re selling and how it can help the average Joe with his daily grind; ham it up in all your marketing material, and be sure to advertise how no one else offers this at the same time. Beating your competitors involves being ruthless, and you’re going to have to learn what statements customers respond to as you go on.

Offer Promotions

It’s one of the most surefire ways to make sure someone doesn’t bypass you on the high street, even if they were never interested in coming in for a browse anyway. People like to get deals on whatever they buy, and even just a hint of saving money means you’ve got a foot in the door on validating their shopping choice.

Say you’re a supplier, but your inventory is overflowing and you need to shift some stock desperately to make sure you have the longevity to keep operating beyond this quarter. Implementing something like CPQ for Manufacturing is a great way to get customers interested in buying more than you, and even at a discount you’re making a profit you wouldn’t have made a penny of otherwise.

Convincing a customer to buy more than they wanted to is always going to be hard. You’re going against their own principles after all, but it can be done by good sale tactics.

Using Press Releases to Gain Visibility


It can be hard to get noticed in such a crowded marketplace, but there are a number of things entrepreneurs can do to gain more visibility.

Of course, social media is a hugely effective medium to broadcast your message – but unless it’s of direct relevance and personal value to your extended network, it’s unlikely to show up in their Facebook feed unless it’s a sponsored link… which, nowadays, can be pretty expensive.  The main benefit is that you can use hyper-personalised targeting to hone in on the individual demographic you are wanting to reach, including their tastes interests – but, as already mentioned, this will come at a significant cost.

However, have you considered the fact many companies submit press releases for a completely different reason.  They submit them on the basis of boosting their search engine rank and credibility with ranking sites such as Moz.  Indeed, they often imagine not many people will read the content of the press release – which might sound a little disheartening, but this practice of using press releases to boost your rank with Google is a well known practice that can be quite effective.

A strategy that is good for building your company website’s reputation within search engine marketing (see: domain authority) is to submit press releases that are then published on a high ranking site with a link back to your website. When Google sends out its robots they will rank your website higher as an already authoritative website is recommending your site; which infers trust and credibility onto your website.

You can submit a press release on the internet, for a small fee, or on certain websites for no fee whatsoever… a good example of a press release announcement can be found here; it is about Ogletree Deakins and hosted on PR Newswire; now whilst the content may not seem particularly riveting, something to bear in mind on these sites is that journalists working for huge newspapers such as The Sunday Times, The New York Times and even the BBC use these sites for ease and time-saving when it comes to writing an article on a tight deadline.  

This means there would be a chance of a high flying journalist from a national newspaper linking your site with a particularly feature they are writing as a result of this press release.

In summary, if you’re wanting to get high up in the search rankings within Google, and let’s face it we all know how important appearing on the front page is – because, in reality, how many people scan through the next two or three pages let alone the 679th page which many businesses that rank poorly for that particular search phrase will be on; even though they might have relevant content and offer a great product or service.  The point is, if you want to get up in Google you need to ‘play the game’ and to do that, you need to know what rules can be bent and which can be broken. It would appear that using press releases in this way to boost your Google rank is a way to ethically bend the rules and quickly get up onto the first page of Google.

Marketing Advice for Strong Startup Success


Most startups fail within the first year of business, and even fewer of them make it past the 5-year mark. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, but quite often it is because they have failed to market themselves effectively.

If you want to be successful as a startup entrepreneur then you need to nail your marketing campaigns right from the off. If you can’t do that, you will struggle to gain enough momentum to keep you afloat until things really take off, and they never will without the right marketing strategy.

So, marketing is important, but how do you get it right as a startup?

Collect and Use Data

Probably the best way to ensure that your marketing efforts are on point is by collecting data from your target audience, analyzing it and then marketing in ways that you know your audience will be receptive to. If you don’t have time to collect, analyze and act on data yourself, have a marketing agency like MyOptimind take care of it for you. It has never been easier to collect data and gain a deep level of insight into your audience, so you would be foolish not to do so.

Show Your Difference

Unless you’ve invented a really unique product, chances are that you will be competing with a whole lot of other companies, many of whom will be way more established than you are. The only real hope you have of competing with them is showing your audience that you are different. If you can show them how and why you do things differently – and the why must represent a benefit to them – they are way more likely to be interested and give you a chance.

Build Authority

A really good way of convincing people to buy stuff from your startup is by first building your authority in your niche. You can do this by writing blog posts, making how-to videos and engaging on niche forums. Once you put yourself out there and people see that you know your stuff, they will automatically be more interested in doing business with you than someone they don’t know who may or may not have as much knowledge as you.

Sponsor a Community Event

If your startup is locally based, a very effective way of marketing yourself is by sponsoring a local event, such as raising funds for a local charity or community project like the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This will automatically show you in a positive light, and people will respond positively to you and your company as a result.

Engage Your Customers

Instead of simply selling to them, seek to engage with your customers instead. Start conversations with them on social media, ask them what they think about your products and what special offers they would like to see and they will treat you more like a friend or acquaintance than a salesman, and they will be more likely to act and buy something for you as a result.

If you try some of the above techniques and you keep working at it, you will start winning people round to your startup, and you will still be in business this time next year.