8 Ways IoT Devices Can Improve Your Business Office

Automation and internet-connected products can lead to a happier and more connected workplace. September 3, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a growing infrastructure of internet-enabled objects ranging from vacuums to light bulbs, all aimed at increasing control, automation and even data collection. IoT can be a huge benefit for a business office when used appropriately. Looking for ideas? Try these. 1. Track maintenance with IoT printers. Many offices are already used to internet-connected printers, but a new generation of smart alternatives is hitting the market that allow more than network printing. They monitor their paper and ink and can warn a support person when they’re getting low. They can also connect to inventory systems to know how much spare ink or paper they have on hand and can even make orders for more without human involvement. Never […]

Read more

4 Apps and Platforms That Will Help You Get Your Business Expenses Under Control

Business expenses can sneak up on you. Forget those monthly subscriptions you said “yes” to, and you might face hundreds of dollars in unexpected expenses at quarter’s end. July 16, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. One of the hardest parts of running a business is managing your expenses. With so many business services and subscriptions clocking in monthly fees to your bank account these days, it’s easy to justify a couple of $15 monthly fees, but then find yourself hundreds of dollars over budget at the end of the quarter.  Related: 7 Ways to Make Sure Your Variable Expenses Don’t Sink Your Budget So, while it may sound obvious, that old rule needs to be repeated: In both business and personal life, you need to know where your money is going. That’s crucial for keeping things under control. Thankfully, a handful of apps and programs are […]

Read more

How to Determine How Much to Charge for Your Software

Setting the right price point can make or break your business. June 10, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Anyone who has ever had to comparison shop for a business app knows that prices are often all over the map. Two programs that provide roughly the same features can have wildly different pricing. Where do these prices come from, and what should you use as a precedent for pricing your own software? Related: Why Some Prices Are More Right Than Others The simple fact is that there’s no “best price” for any piece of software. It all depends on your business model, your potential audience and customer base and your competition. Determining your ideal price point means analyzing these and other factors. Single license or monthly fee? One of the first questions to ask yourself is whether you’re going with a single one-time purchase for a license, […]

Read more

How to Negotiate the Price of a Pricey Premium Domain

Buying a domain at the asking price? That’s like buying a used car at the asking price. Doing your homework pays off. April 12, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Your domain name is your brand. Indeed, very few brands these days can get away with an off-beat domain name or a one that doesn’t reflect their company. In fact, many top brands are built off their domain name rather than the other way around; and more than one company has been named after the domain it picked up. It should come as no surprise, then, that top-tier domain names cost a lot of money. Cars.com holds the record for most valuable, valued at a whopping $872 million. Related: Why I Spent $1.5 Million on Our Domain Now I certainly don’t expect most startups or growing companies to spring for a multi-million dollar domain name, […]

Read more

When Is the Best Time to Make the Leap From Your Day Job to Entrepreneur?

Leaving your day job before your startup is earning sufficient revenue is a really, really bad idea. February 28, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. An increasing number of people these days are starting their own businesses, either going into freelancing or opening companies to do what they love. Today, it’s not uncommon to launch a career as an entrepreneur while maintaining a day job to pay the bills. Hedging your bets, so to speak.  Related: The 4 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Day Job That means there comes a time when something has to give. Either the dream of entrepreneurship fails, the day job has to end or the individual’s work-life balance suffers. If you are that individual, sooner or later you have to make the decision: When do you transition from a day job to relying solely on your entrepreneurship to make ends meet? […]

Read more

How to Stop Some Dumb, Destructive Bot From Ruining Your Company’s Poll

You have to be vigilant to make sure your poll results are real, not driven by a hired botnet. January 30, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It’s a common technique for a business  to solicit feedback from its audience, either on social media or via web polls and surveys. But, problem: Any time you ask the internet for information, you have to look carefully at what you get back in return. The reason is that the internet is no stranger to corrupting simple polls. Related: Why IoT Botnets Might be the Next Big Worry ? What kind of impact could a campaign have on your poll? You could find an internet meme taking over. You could see a representative sent to a far-off location. You could see a strange choice of venue for an event. Or you could see something more malicious, like what Mountain […]

Read more

How to Best Use an Answering Service to Convert Those After-Hour Calls You’ve Been Missing

Having somebody available to pick up the phone after hours may be worth every penny you pay. December 7, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. A constant push and pull goes on in the world of small business and entrepreneurship: Do you set and work “business” hours, or do you personally handle anything and everything for your business, regardless of when those things happen? Some entrepreneurs are more than happy to work 100 hours a week, while others cite their need  for work-life balance as absolutely critical to their business success. Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric My own position is that, regardless of how many hours I work — or anyone else works — it’s often a good idea to impose limits on outside contact. Running a small business that offers 24/7 support  is just asking for pain. Virtually no task can […]

Read more

Why Silicon Valley Uses Multiple Computer Displays (and Why You Should, Too)

Having more than one monitor or an ultra-wide display is the new norm; it also requires a lot less tabbing and scrolling. November 9, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Walk into any fast-paced startup or high-powered tech company in Silicon Valley and you’ll see a lot of things that might not be traditional for a workplace. Unorthodox decorations, strange lighting and open floor plans will be the order of the day. Yet while tech company environments may be one-of-a-kind when it comes to snack bars and ping pong tables, one thing all seem to share are multiple computer displays for their computing needs. Related: Why Two Monitors Are More Productive Than One Using more than one monitor, in this way, has a long history. Banks of displays have their role everywhere from business to the realms of science fiction. It’s only relatively recently, however, that home and business computing has […]

Read more

How Entrepreneurs Can Use Colored Lights to Stay Productive

Colors in your workspace aren’t just for Christmas anymore. They actually have a surprising impact on focus and creativity. October 4, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Colors drive the world around us.  Plants use color to absorb the energy of the sun.  Animals use color to hide from predators or to attract mates.  Humans use color in an infinite variety of ways that are cultural, social, positive — and negative.  It should come as no surprise, then, that color impacts our lives in a million little ways. Related: 5 Ways to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder In Your Office Nor is the impact of color in your business always just about branding or advertising.  The color of your office space, for instance, can have a big impact on productivity.  Cool greens and blues, and natural hues, tend to improve our focus and efficiency while instilling a sense […]

Read more

Here Are the Benefits of Multiple LLCs or Corporations for Your Businesses

Entrepreneurs running several companies under one LLC may benefit from creating multiple corporations. June 1, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. What kinds of traits do entrepreneurs share? They’re driven to succeed. They’re not afraid to try, experiment and fail. They love to iterate and expand. All of these traits lead to the oh-so-common case where one entrepreneur has multiple businesses, all operating under one limited liability company (LLC). But, is this the best practice? Related: What’s the Best Way to Legally Structure Multiple Businesses? Having one LLC under which other businesses operate, either as a Doing Business As (DBA) or a holding company, can be perfectly fine. On the other hand, you can certainly create a new LLC for every business you want to make.  Making multiple LLCs, in fact, is perfectly legal; there is no limit to the number of LLCs one person can […]

Read more

How Companies Are Using Web Services to Make Meetings Efficient

There are dozens of new web apps that make meetings much more productive. May 6, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Meetings have been such a long-standing problem with business that they’re the butt of endless jokes. These days, though, effective companies use a variety of different services to keep their meetings short and to the point. No more hours lost to droning slideshows, playing with your smartphone under the table and watching the clock more than the manager. Perhaps one of the best tools is the advent of high-quality video meetings. Anything from Skype and Discord to GoToMeeting can allow robust multi-person calls with an associated text channel. Who said that? Virtual calling with video helps eliminate several common meeting issues. With conference or voice-only calls, for example, it can be difficult to identify a speaker. If more than one person on staff has a similar voice, the problem […]

Read more