Your Personal Brand Is Just as Important as Your Business Brand

Founders can benefit from making themselves more accessible as their company grows. November 14, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. So, you’re a founder and you’ve created a brand for your company that you’re proud of. But what about your personal brand? Many founders hide behind their company, but consumers are responding more than ever to founders who share their personal lives on social media, and it’s translating to sales. One report from the Impact Learning Center found that consumers are 82 percent more likely to trust a company if the CEO is active on social media, but as it stands now, only one in five CEOs use social media to connect with their consumers.  While building trust is the core benefit of creating a robust personal brand, the implications ripples far beyond increased sellability. Here are four reasons why personal branding is critical for founders. 1. Personal brands […]

Read more

Understanding the Concept of ‘Niching Down’ for Budding Entrepreneurs

The niche is comfortable, but it can become an enemy to an entrepreneur’s ambitions. November 10, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. “Find a niche if you want to succeed in business.” This age-old advice has been handed down to entrepreneurs for generations. Finding a niche market is a piece of great advice — as long as entrepreneurs understand what exactly is meant when that advice is dished out.   The purpose of a niche For the purposes of marketing and customer satisfaction, finding a niche and sticking to it is necessary for new businesses and/or small businesses. The logic to this is simple: Catering to a larger market or audience will require the investment of more marketing dollars to reach that market, as well as more technology or personnel to satisfy their needs, if and when you do reach them. Related: How Niche Micro-Companies Will Rule the Business […]

Read more

Decision Fatigue Is Real. Here’s How to Overcome It.

Take a step back and assess situations before they wear you down. November 9, 2019 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Decision fatigue is a real thing, what with those 35,000 we have to make each and every day. Iced or hot? Tall or grande? Two pumps or three? One shot or two? Coconut milk or almond? For here or to go? Credit or debit? And that’s just coffee.  My ex-boyfriend used to ask me if I wanted to watch an actual movie during our usual movie nights together. That’s because I would watch every single preview on Apple TV, paralyzed by indecision, and end up not picking anything, finally leaving it up to him, hours in, rather than face the prospect of choosing the “wrong” movie. What’s the worst that could have happened? I’d choose a movie, hate it and then watch it to the […]

Read more

4 Principles That Helped a Former White House Official Make Cyber Security More Accessible

President George W. Bush’s one-time Chief Information Security Officer shares his tips for small-business growth. November 8, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. For the first time in history, the greatest threats to institutions and businesses alike are no longer physical. Instead, stealing client information or impairing an organization’s ability to operate is something that’s done predominantly online. With 43 percent of cyber attacks targeting small businesses — and an average of six months before they realize they’ve been compromised — cyber security is becoming more important than ever. But most small businesses don’t have the resources to implement robust protocols. Whether it involves how expensive it is to hire an in-house expert or the price of most outsourced services, access is typically the deal-breaker. Few people understand this conundrum better than Vince Crisler, who served as the White House Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) under […]

Read more

3 Tips to Maximize Your Startup Ecosystem

With work and a collaborative attitude, you can make connections that will last a lifetime. November 8, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Everywhere you go, you’re in or around an ecosystem. Whether that term is referring to your company’s HR department, a group of products or services or even an entire country, ecosystem has become a catch-all for any entity that encompasses other entities smaller than itself. In fact, according to Sloan Review, the word shows up 13 times more often in annual reports than it did 10 years ago. So why the sudden spike in popularity? Is it just because people collectively decided the term was right? Maybe. More likely, though, the rise of multicompany behemoths such as Alphabet, Apple and AT&T created a new world in which ecosystems are an inextricable part of daily life. Amazon’s recent entrepreneurial incentives are probably one of the […]

Read more

Don’t Learn More, Learn Smarter. A Quick Guide to Agile Learning.

Just like your body, your brain needs to be regularly looked after, fed and trained. November 8, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Owning a Business 101: Streamline your operation to provide more value to users. Lately, I’ve been thinking about this idea and how it might apply in the learning context; whether we should apply the same “lean” approach to our knowledge acquisition and squeeze more value from what we learn. It’s a method that experts call agile learning, and it also entails unlearning information that is no longer useful. Learning agility is a more dynamic and smarter approach, trimming the fat and leaving the most valuable information. So when I forget for the umpteenth time where I left my keys, perhaps that’s not a bad thing. Maybe I’m just making room for more useful data. To be competitive, entrepreneurs must be able to learn with agility […]

Read more

5 Actionable Strategic-Planning Tips To Boost Business Efficiency

This handful of pointers can prime your business for immense profitability. November 4, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. For every business, whether large or small, being able to plan effectively is crucial for growth and survival in today’s highly competitive markets. Implementation is important, but unless action is properly focused, it’ll yield only minimal results, if any. When it comes to strategic planning for your business, there are several things you’ll need to keep in consideration to ensure success and profitability, starting with these formative five. 1. Set granular goals. The difference between a strategic plan and business plan is essentially in how granular they are. While your business plan should be a high-level overview of your goals and what you intend to achieve, your strategic plan must divide the objectives into their component parts and outline every step you’ll take to achieve them. That […]

Read more

4 Ways to Close Sales with Non-Verbal Communication

Body language and facial expressions can be the ultimate negotiating weapons. October 31, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When you’re practicing a sales pitch, you likely drill down on specific language. There’s much to say about your product or service’s value proposition, its competitive price and why your ideal customer needs to purchase it. But many are surprised to learn that, according to the research in the esteemed book Silent Messages by Albert Mehrabian, 55 percent of communication is non-verbal. Which means that your body language says more than your words — by a long shot. Another 38 percent of communication comes down to tone, which leaves a slim 7 percent for the substance of the words themselves. “Your words matter, of course,” shares James Bell, CEO of James S Bell P.C. “But the knowledge of what your body language is conveying presents an enormous opportunity. If you can apply […]

Read more

7 Keys to Overcoming Risk on the Path to Success

Preparation, humility and adaptation are among the cornerstones for any entrepreneur. October 30, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. John Burroughs famously wrote, “Leap and the net will appear.” However, for many people, the idea of taking that leap can be so scary that they never take action at all. As an entrepreneur, you’ll most likely have to assume some level of risk at some point in order to make your goals a reality. As such, learning how to effectively manage risk is a vital skill in helping you attain success.  Not sure how to improve your relationship with risk? Start by following these tips: 1. Acknowledge that risk is part of entrepreneurship. You never have to like risk, but you do need to accept that it exists. Pretending it’s not there won’t make it go away. It can be helpful to remember this: […]

Read more

13 Upcoming Conferences Every Serious Entrepreneur Should Attend

Find customers, network with peers and establish authority at these value-laden events. October 28, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Every year, B2B conferences generate more than $1 trillion in direct spending and attract one billion attendees, according to the Events Industry Council and Oxford Economics. And for good reason. Conferences allow you to make valuable connections, network with like-minded people, learn from peers who have accomplished what you hope to accomplish and create more word-of-mouth buzz for your business.  But which conferences should you attend? Here’s a list of 13 upcoming events worth considering. At Startup Grind’s global annual summit, 10,000 people from all around the world — investors, entrepreneurs, and tech leaders — all huddle together for two days of intense learning and networking. This is one of the biggest, most well-known conferences for entrepreneurs around right now. If you’re starting a new habit […]

Read more

How to Be Funny in the Workplace

Three tips to keeping the mood light without being an office clown. October 26, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. I had a conversation recently with someone who confided that they were sick of work. “Everything feels too routine. I get pushed around and everyone expects me to be funny all the time,” they said. Seeing they were a bit stressed, I recommended they switch off for the evening and suggested a visit to the circus. The person started sobbing. “But that’s where I work,” they bawled. “As one of the clowns.” OK, let me take this a bit more seriously and tell you about a real conversation I had recently with a client who likes to use humor in the workplace. They confided in me that they were concerned that their jokey manner was creating a reputation as someone lacking in seriousness, professionalism and […]

Read more

6 Areas of Law Every Business Owner Needs to Understand

Avoiding costly missteps can help ensure long-term success. October 25, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you own a business, especially a fledgling or small business, you probably do not have a large team of attorneys on retainer to address the myriad legal issues that arise in the course of a given day, week or quarter. Nevertheless, there are certain areas of law that you need to familiarize yourself with to help ensure your business is prime for growth. While this list is not all-inclusive, here are six important areas of law every business owner needs to know. 1. Obtaining a Business License and Other Necessary Legal Documents To start a business, you will likely need to secure a license by contacting your local city government or applying online, depending on where you plan to establish your primary location. To obtain general information about […]

Read more

How to Simply (and Effectively) Make Your E-Commerce Business Stand Out

There’s plenty of money to be had, but you need to distance yourself from your fiercest competitors. October 24, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. For e-commerce as a whole, business is booming. According to estimates from Statista, the number of worldwide digital buyers is expected to reach 2.14 billion by 2021, with global e-commerce sales exceeding $4.5 trillion. While this paints a positive picture overall, many e-commerce sites struggle to see success for themselves. Though there are many factors that can hurt an e-commerce store’s profitability, one of the most common issues is entering a crowded and competitive niche. Even if you have a great product to sell, the sheer number of competitors can make it difficult for your store to stand out. Because of this, finding ways to create separation from your competitors will prove essential for ensuring that you too can […]

Read more

How to Shatter the 30-Employee Ceiling

If your team’s growth has stalled, examine whether your managers are leading through expertise or curiosity. October 21, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, researcher Eva de Mol identified a critical element of startup success: that experience alone won’t make a team successful. And data from Adecco USA confirms that experience isn’t everything, as 62 percent of hiring teams report reducing the experience needed for new hires. In her research, de Mol found that soft skills like shared passion and a cohesive vision are far more important traits to encourage in a startup team. Yet during early team-building phases, most founders or managers lead primarily through expertise. In other words, founders and entrepreneurs share their vast knowledge stores, leading others to immediate solutions when problems arise. This is akin to sharing the answers to a test, but top performers don’t […]

Read more

How to Identify a Sales Bottleneck in 30 Minutes (Or Less)

When problems arise to the lifeblood of your company, they must quickly be fixed. October 18, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You can read every article in the world about “how to grow your business,” but if you’re not able to quickly identify your company’s most significant bottlenecks, don’t expect to grow as fast as you’d hoped. The fact is, most people don’t know how to identify the sales-centric areas of their business that are slowing things down. As a result, they’re unable to determine why they’re not scaling adequately.  More often than not, entrepreneurs that experience sales-bottleneck issues usually end up hiring mentors to help them solve the problem quickly and efficiently. In fact, in a global study released in 2015 by the International Coach Federation (ICF) estimated that around 53,000 active professional coaches worldwide generated more than $2.365 billion in annual revenue, a […]

Read more

How to Deliver More Authentic Customer Experiences

You may not be able to control what your customers say about you, but you can certainly influence it. October 18, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Every time someone from your company speaks with a customer, that customer receives an experience that falls somewhere between “exceptional” and “exceptionally awful.” Get it right, and customers will talk to their friends about you. Get it wrong, and they’ll talk even louder. Findings from Temkin Group discovered that consumers talk about both great and horrible customer experiences — but in every situation, they spread the bad more than the good. Even when customers stay silent, they’re more likely to keep a “very good” (34 percent) customer experience to themselves than a “very bad” one (27 percent). You may not be able to control what your customers say about you, but you can certainly influence it. The […]

Read more

Now Is the Time to Set Cascading Goals

Seamless top-down flow and execution is the way to start 2020 on a successful note. October 17, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Starting at the highest levels, every company strives to set goals, whether yearly, quarterly or monthly. But goals shouldn’t stop at the top. With research indicating that only 14 percent of employees understand their company’s strategy and direction, it’s clear that more is needed. For successful goal-setting, team activity should be aligned with the company’s wider aims, and individual goals with team ones. No matter the size of your business, keeping every employee aligned is essential, and your goal-setting practices will make all the difference. Cascading Goals: Defined Cascading goals are goals that flow from the top level down to the lowest, ensuring an alignment between overall strategy and execution. When carried out correctly, they ensure that everyday tasks and responsibilities at lower […]

Read more

3 Tips for Hiring Veterans and How They’ll Help Your Business Thrive

Americans who served in the military can fill a range of important roles. October 16, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Unemployment rates among U.S. military veterans are currently at an all-time low after dropping to 3.8 percent in 2018, continuing a seven-year declining trend. This decline is in part due to a widespread effort by veterans organizations, federal and state governments and corporations to help the newest generation of veterans find meaningful career opportunities. Lower unemployment rates are certainly great news, and employers should be proud of their efforts to integrate more veterans into the civilian workforce. However, without proper communication, education and compassion from both the job candidate and the employer, veterans can end up filling roles for which they are over-qualified, while business owners miss out on an ideal employee. To remedy this, employers need to understand the varied skills veterans possess, know where […]

Read more

13 Expert Tips to Increase Online Conversions in 2020

October 12, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Digital marketing in 2020 will be decidedly multi-channel. Messenger bot platform ManyChat’s recent Conversations Conference 2019, held in Austin, embraced this by reinforcing key themes including omnipresence and personalization. In a launch reminiscent of Steve Jobs, founder Mikael Yang revealed a long list of new ManyChat features, such as the exciting multi-channel ability to automate SMS and Email conversations alongside Facebook Messenger chats.  Regardless of whether you’re ready for messenger apps, these 13 strategies from #Conversations2019 will help you increase conversions across all of the digital channels you decide to embrace. 1. “Personalization is the new conversion rate optimization.” Digital influencer and New York Times best-selling author Neil Patel shared a simple, but powerful hack to revive unconverted leads. It’s essentially the text version of Dean Jackson’s 9-word email. Send a personalized text message with the recipient’s first name and you’re almost certain to get a […]

Read more

7 Tips for Making 7 Figures Selling Online Courses

Passing along your knowledge can also be highly profitable. October 11, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Online courses have become an increasingly popular way to share expertise with an audience, and to get paid for what you have to say and teach. But the amount you can make selling online courses differs widely, depending on your price point and your audience.  The exciting part is the sheer potential of how much you can make — and we’re talking in terms of both impact and profit. Tony Delgado, founder of Disrupt and Disrupt Week Puerto Rico, shares that making your first million dollars gets a whole lot easier once you bring your product or service online. “Just do the math,” he says. “If 1,000 people buy your $1,000 course, you just made a million dollars overnight. All you really need to succeed is Wi-Fi and a dream.” Here are seven […]

Read more
1 2 3 5