In order to advance as a small business, it’s important to follow the latest small business trends. But with an overload of information available, it’s sometimes difficult to know what trends are pertinent and what ones are just extra noise in the media.
To simplify your search, here are five small business trends you should have on your radar to stay ahead throughout the coming months:
Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan
Having an ineffective marketing plan is one of the several reasons why many small business startups fail. In the linked article below, you can learn how to write a marketing plan from the very beginning by creating a “situation analysis,” describing your target audience, listing your marketing goals, developing a strategy, and setting a budget. Following these five steps can help you initiate a strong marketing plan specifically targeted to your niche market while staying within a previously defined budget. Read more...
The last few years have brought some of the most dramatic and meaningful change to business operations and services that we’ve ever seen. With the accelerated maturation of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, it’s not only possible, it is actually common, to find entrepreneurs who conduct their business operations without offices, staff, or any office hardware beyond what they can carry in a messenger bag. These business owners are known as “Mobile Entrepreneurs,” and they’re taking over in just about every industry as they prove to be more flexible, more readily available to new and current clients, and overall quicker to respond to business opportunities. In this week’s Davinci 101, we take a quick look at the mobile entrepreneur’s tools of the trade.
Today’s mobile entrepreneur needs very little to get a lot done. The essential tools include: a smartphone, a virtual office, a personal computer, a tablet, and a live receptionist service. Read more...
The life of an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. It requires a lot of passion, dedication, and independence. Simply put, it is not for the faint of heart. However, it can be incredibly rewarding when a business idea takes off.
If you are thinking about starting your own business, consider ten signs the entrepreneur life is right for you:
You’re a thinker.
Entrepreneurs are always thinking, whether it’s about an exciting idea for a new product or service, or how to innovate in a competitive industry. If you daydream about starting your own business, you would find comfort in finding ways to implement all of your great ideas as an entrepreneur. Read more...
Going solo is a very appealing venture for many real estate agents currently under the umbrella of a bigger broker or firm, but it’s also surrounded by a lot of stigma within the industry.
However, there is much to be gained by leaving a company and deciding to make it on your own, like newfound freedom, independence, and yes—even higher salaries. Many of the cases against going it on your own are perpetuated by five lies:
“You can’t afford the operation costs.”
Starting your own real estate business does have certain costs, but with proper planning, operating costs should not extend past general start up costs. On average, start up costs can run about $1,500-$2,000 for necessities like licensing and insurance. However, if you operate your business from the home, rent an office cubicle or meeting rooms as needed, operating costs can be as low as $50-$100 per month. Read more...
Small talk serves a great purpose. Good small talk helps create a deeper bond, especially in business settings. Unfortunately, no matter how seasoned of a conversationalist you are, sometimes business conversations can seem awkward or forced.
To help you out, here are five simple things you can do to get the conversation flowing and make a truly meaningful client connection:
One of the simplest ways to make meaningful client connections is to express curiosity. Did they say something clever or interesting? Ask them to elaborate. Did they make a passing comment about their family or their plans for the weekend? Ask about the details. Asking good questions demonstrates that you are actively engaged in the conversation and deepens the bond between you and your client, even if it’s off topic, so don’t be afraid of asking questions that don’t pertain to business.
Examples: Read more...
In every industry, most small business startups fail, and no matter what we tell ourselves, it’s not simply because of bad luck.
Startups fail for a variety of reasons, but they are always attributed to specific miscalculations. When a small business fails, either right after take-off or farther along the company’s life-cycle, it’s likely because of one of these five reasons:
Bad business model
Often, entrepreneurs are overly optimistic, and unfortunately, the “If we build it, they will come” mentality is not a sound business model. Acquiring customers takes time and strategic marketing. You may have a great product, site, or service, but without a great business model, it will not hold your small business afloat. Read more...
78% of consumers have canceled a transaction or decided not to make an intended purchase because of a poor customer service experience. -American Express Survey, 2011
Running a small business or startup can be an exciting time for a motivated mobile entrepreneur. With a growing client base, new business opportunities, and a strengthening brand, it’s important to keep your customer service consistent and responsive. Recent surveys have shown customer service and communication with current and prospective clients are hugely important when it comes to improving a small business’ bottom line. Having a team of live receptionists to answer calls, process orders, provide client support, and help keep your communication with clients organized is one of the most cost-effective and immediate ways to elevate your customer service. Read more...
We live in a society that demands commitment to be successful, but putting in too many hours is actually detrimental to your health. Employees that work at least eleven hours a day have a higher risk of depression, cardiovascular issues, insomnia, and even early onset dementia.
It’s important to balance work and your life outside of it, not only for your sanity, but also to increase efficiency at work. But when you are the owner of a home-based business, sometimes it might seem impossible to separate your two lives when they share the same space.
With these work life balance tips, you can create a perfect balance between work and your personal life:
Dress for work
If you don’t treat your home-based business like a real workplace, then it’s not going to be a very productive space in which to work. While some business owners like to take advantage of working from home by staying in their pajamas all day, this may not be the best option for someone who wants to stay professional and efficient. Read more...
There are several things you need to start a successful business: a great business plan, the necessary funds, and of course, the right personality.
Successful entrepreneurs’ personalities vary from one to another: they don’t all derive from the same mold. Looking closely, however, you’ll see that many successful entrepreneurs share a similar set of core personality traits. Developing the core traits of successful entrepreneurs will give you a greater potential to lead a prosperous business.
The first trait shouldn’t surprise you. To effectively make sales, pitches, and proposals, an entrepreneur must be overflowing with confidence. It is rare that you will find a successful entrepreneur mired in self-doubt. They believe in themselves, their employees, and their business’s purpose, and it is made very apparent in all of their encounters. This includes a penchant for conversation, strong belief in one’s self and their business, and a natural air of trustworthiness that encourages others to engage and invest in their company. Read more...