Tips for a Successful Start-Up Business

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Tips for a Successful Start-Up Business

by guest blogger Sara Masterson

You hear a lot of stories about people starting their own business and making their dream as an Entrepreneur happen and it going under just as fast as it started. This can make a lot of people nervous when they are thinking about opening their own business. However, there are some things you can do and keep in mind when building up your start-up to make it successful. These tips will help you start a strong business and get past problems that have brought other businesses down in the past.

Make Sure You Have a Business Plan

It is very easy for an Entrepreneur to say “I want to start my own business.” However, if there isn’t an actual plan or strategy to back it up, chances are the business won’t do very well. Besides that, majority of lenders, investors, or backers won’t even look at your business unless you have a written business plan or proposal. In your business plan you should think about the start-up costs, how much money you need, will you need a loan, where you will be working from, and of course, the details of the product or service you are providing.

Know Your Audience

One thing that Entrepreneurs don’t always think about when they decide that they should start a business is their audience, client, or demographic. You could have a great product but if you haven’t done your research on the different demographics, you will have a hard time selling your product or service. One example would be trying to sell a luxury sports car to a family with kids; it simply isn’t what they want or need. Once you figure out who the product or service is intended for, you will be able to come up with different marketing strategies to attract customers and buyers you need.

Be Flexible

People’s wants and needs change over time, which means for your business to stay a float, it may need to change as well. This may be a small change like a fashion boutique starting to offer accessories as well as clothes, or a big change like a bakery offering meals instead of just selling baked goods. As the market changes, you and your business need to change as well.

Stay Competitive

In the end, all Entrepreneurs have to be competitive with other businesses, unless you have a one of a kind product that no one else has. Staying competitive in your business may mean that you offer lower prices or a better version of a product, or even by getting more involved with your customers. Advertising and getting your name out is a big part of competition too. If no one knows about your company, there isn’t a way to compete with other businesses.

Get Out There

As stated before, you can’t compete with other companies, let alone have a successful business if no one knows about you. There are tons of trade shows and conventions that businesses can go to and get their name out. If you have products to sell, trade shows and some farmers markets are great ways to sell locally to your main consumers. Remember that if you do go to a convention or trade show, you should be prepared to do business. Make sure you look and act professional, have any documents you need, and products to sell. Devices like a cellphone credit card reader from gopayment makes it easy to do business while at trade show. Even if someone doesn’t buy something right then and there, you still are able to show them you are professional and ready, and you got your name out.

Manage Your Finances Correctly

Being able to manage your businesses finances is extremely important, whether you are a small start-up or a large corporation. A lot of Entrepreneurs who have started a business in the past suggest doing it while you still have a day job. This lets you get paid and build up your company. When you start a new business, don’t expect to actually get a “paycheck” from that business for a couple years. You should also keep all personal and business accounts separate. This makes it easier to see the overall earnings or your start-up and will even help when tax season comes. You can easily use money management programs that will help you stay on top of your businesses money or you can always find someone to help you manage your money properly.

Do What You Love

Don’t create a start-up because you want to be rich, do it because you love it and are passionate about it. If you wanted to start your own bakery, but hate baking, chances are it won’t last because your heart isn’t in it. When you enjoy your job, it is easier to get things done. Also, it is going to take time for your start-up to become successful, so you want to be able to enjoy your work even if you aren’t seeing instant results.

Note from Beate:

As Mich Mathews, former CMO and SVP from Microsoft said last night in a lecture at UCLA, you should be bleeding passion for your business and one can tell if you do or don’t. What are you passionate about?

 

A Special Message To Women

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I am grateful. I am angry. I am excited.

Gratitude, I know, it’s one of those self-help guru keywords. To me gratitude isn’t so much an exercise in becoming artificially modest even thought it is attribute that I do not posses. Gratitude to me is about being aware of what you have in your life versus running after stuff we don’t have. Sure I would like the business to move faster, get bigger, have The Women’s Code become the movement I envision it as and train offices like crazy.

But during the quiet time of the season and especially on a day like today it is important for us to reflect. The 21st of December 2012 was the day the world was supposed to come to an end. We’ve been terrorized by those messages and admittedly you may have thought once or twice, like I did – what if it is true? But here we are. And we continue to exists. That is what we are grateful for, that our world is alive and well and that we can enjoy the gift of family and friends. That we are living, breathing, and get to witness this unprecedented energy cosmic shift. That is the end of the old ways and the beginning of the new world. And I can’t wait because I am grateful to be a part of it. I get to change more lives for the better. That is powerful.

Anger, oh well. Call me passionate. Stupidity and ignorance gets me because you can’t argue with it. Seriously there are some amongst us that need a swift kick in the behind because they are fast asleep. There is only one way and that way is forward and not backward. Change once it has begun is irrevocable. It will only change more but always in a forward and never in a backward motion. Wake up and do something. If you look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see decide what you want to see. If that doesn’t look back at you than find a way to become that and change into that person. This may not be accomplished overnight but in little manageable steps. If this change involves your business perhaps it is time to let me help you.

Excitement means that I cannot wait. I cannot wait to tell you more about what I am learning about. Some of the projects that are lining up for 2013 are incredible. There is a Mastermind program in the works and this may just be the year for a live event here in Los Angeles again. I’ve been invited to collaborate with a few other spectacular women who are dedicated to help our community. The forward motion is increasing.

As you are taking much needed and deserved time off no matter where in world you are or what you believe in, please know that I am grateful for you. You are a part a growing community.

You matter to me. Your personal well being matters, and your business matters to me and I want you to know that.

So thank you for being here, reading, visiting, and participating even though you may disagree with me here or there. Thank you for putting up with my typo’s and Germanisms and run-on sentences. It is said that life is not a destination but a journey. If you are like me let us just say we will remind each other that stopping for the simple things in life is a required fortitude. Rushing through the experience makes it no better or worse, it just makes you not notice. Let us enjoy our experience with each other.

Yours very truly and with my warmest and best wishes I remain,

Your PhotoBizCoach Beate

PhotoBizCoach Beate

 

Women in Business – Infographic

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Women in Business

Women have come a long way since the 1950’s. It is hard to believe that women were once discouraged and outright barred from most professional career paths.

Now, as the 21st century gets underway, we see nearly half of all adult women hold full-time jobs with another 17% working part-time. These numbers would have been unheard of a few decades ago when women were expected to act as dedicated stay-at-home moms and homemakers. Compare that to today as more than a third of all working mothers now are the sole source of income within their households. Women in Business mean business!

Unfortunately, despite these gains within the workforce, it is sobering to see that women are still not as valued as their male-counterparts. Despite growing achievement in the corporate and academic fields, the gender-gap still exists when it comes to compensation for equal work.

All the same, it is encouraging to see the number of working mothers continue to rise and to know that the aspirations of the average working woman now includes professional goals in addition to motherhood.

What are your thoughts on this infographic?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infographic via Carrington College. Learn more about the Carrington online business degree program and other college degree and certificate programs at Carrington.edu.

 

Schedule Meetings With Yourself

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Today’s contribution is about the importance to schedule meetings with yourself and how to boost your productivity and well-being.

by guest blogger Chris Sequeira

The modern workday is a busy and highly social workday. We find our calendars packed with group meetings, sometimes from the moment we show up at work until the moment we leave. Sometimes, those meetings exist on our calendars because we scheduled them with other people.

Group meetings serve many purposes, of course. Even though today’s working professionals have a wide range of electronic communication tools at their fingertips, there’s nothing quite like face time with colleagues and clients. In-person meetings aid decision-making, assist learning, and sometimes even enable the simple act of getting things done. We might feel at times that the many meetings we sit in have little purpose: unnecessary presentations, lots of talk with few decisions made, or rehashes of topics discussed long ago. Despite that feeling, we might still find ourselves planning our time around group meetings — and of course, this means that our colleagues are planning their time around group meetings too. We give our time so regularly to others that it’s easy to neglect time for ourselves.

In “How To Get It All Done,” Beate points out that according to the Women’s Code principles everything you do is in essence a choice, even on those days when you may feel like everything you do is a must. Yes — even in a busy work environment, you can choose to give time to yourself. One great structured way to do this is to schedule a meeting on your calendar with just one participant: you!

Meetings with yourself can boost your productivity and your well-being

The purposes of meeting with yourself are just as varied and broad as the purposes of meeting with other people: decision-making, learning, and getting things done. One advantage of meeting with yourself is that you control the agenda one hundred percent — it’s up to you to pick a purpose and stick with it. Of course you don’t have to reserve a conference room and sit there all alone, but on the other hand, grabbing a room just for yourself could give you some peace and quiet and some scenery different from your desk! The most important intention of scheduling a meeting with yourself is to express that your time is valuable enough to reserve for purposes that are yours alone. You could find yourself being remarkably productive and relaxed during your “meeting for one,” regardless of where you host it.

For starters, try scheduling a meeting with yourself for email

You can meet with yourself for all kinds of reasons, but it’s true that some company cultures may be less than supportive of self-meetings. For starters, try reserving a small block of time on your calendar for email — after all, many of us get dozens (or hundreds!) of emails daily, regardless of what kind of company we work for. If you’re using an electronic calendar system like the one in Microsoft Outlook, you’ll be treated as “busy” for this block of time when a colleague is trying to schedule a group meeting. This tells your colleagues, “I can meet with you, but try another time.” During your email meeting, focus one hundred percent on email. See how it feels to reserve time for your own productivity! If a meeting with yourself for email works well, consider expanding your self-meetings to other topics.

Another great way to preserve your time is to schedule repeating meetings with yourself. For instance, you might decide that every day at 9 in the morning is your email time. Put a repeating meeting on your calendar — now you’ve told yourself that every day at 9 in the morning belongs to you.

You are important enough to keep some of your time!

We’re faced with many competing demands every workday, and we have to prioritize. Many of our demands have to be resolved through meetings with other people. But remember: you are important enough to keep some of your time, and one way to remind yourself that you are important is to schedule meetings with yourself. With a reserved block of time and an agenda you control totally, you might be surprised at the productivity gains you can realize.

Tell us about your tips on how you prioritize? We’d love to hear from you.

Chris Sequeira writes about self, society, and sustainability at his blog Master This Machine.

How To Find Balance In My Busy Life

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How To Find Balance In My Busy Life

On my last business trip I learned an important lesson on how to find a better balance in my busy life even if I am on the road. I’d like to share with you what I learned.

Find out how being more aware of your choices can help you on a day to day basis to balance your busy life. Often, it is not about big things like going on a vacation that gets us center again but more the little things we do daily.

What are your tricks and tips that you have found that work for you to keep a good balanced?

Watch the video here or click on the image below: How To Balance Your Busy Life