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Four Proactive Tips for Starting a Home-Based Business

home office

Starting a business on your own terms often feels like a leap of faith. After all, stepping away from the security and stability of a steady nine-to-five gig isn’t easy if it’s all you’ve ever known.

Yet given the volatile nature of the economy and the fact that those stuck in office gigs often wish they were elsewhere, it never hurts to think about how you’ll eventually escape the daily grind to become your own boss.

If you want to turn working from home into a reality, consider the following tips to put your ideas in motion. While your business idea may not come to fruition overnight, looking at the big picture of your business will increase your likelihood of making a smooth transition from office drone to entrepreneur when the time comes.

Brainstorm Sooner Rather Than Later

It never hurts to have an idea or two in the back of your mind in terms of what you want to do with your business. Don’t make the mistake of moving forward with your own business until you understand the in’s and out’s of your industry.

For example, you need to decide what sort of industries mesh with your skill set and allow you to work from home. Are you savvy with Internet marketing and ecommerce? Do you prefer to work with your hands? Could you potentially start a local business which allows you to engage with your community?

There is no “right” answer to these questions, but having a few ideas in mind will help guide you to figure out exactly what you need to get started.

Build Your Home Office

Regardless of what you decide to do, having a dedicated home office space to crucial to your success. If you’re running a web-based business, for example, you’ll need a dedicated space to take care of client contact and work in peace at the comfort of your computer.

But what if you’re dealing with physical products? Although nothing’s stopping you from running your business out of your garage, having a dedicated workspace can help you focus and keep your inventory from overtaking your home. Investing in a steel arch building as your workshop is a solid option as you give yourself a dedicated place to work and store your products safely.

Have Your Savings in Order

Simply put, you’re going to want to have as much cash on hand as you possibly can when it comes time to start your business. Start saving today rather than put yourself in a situation where you can’t afford to keep your business idea afloat. Even putting a hundred dollars here and there in a secure account can make all the difference when you or your business hit hard times.

Seek Out Potential Joint Ventures

It never hurts to have a partner in crime when you’re starting your own business. Whether through personal friendships or someone looking to provide some start-up capital, use your existing network to your advantage. Chances are there’s someone else in your inner circle that could help you get your business off the ground.

That being said, you should tread lightly when partnering up with close friends and family. Don’t make the mistake of sacrificing your personal relationships at the expense of your business.

With all of this in mind, however, don’t go off telling everyone under the sun that you want to quit your current gig, either. Although you don’t need to completely suppress your entrepreneurial ambitions, don’t make them public to your co-workers until you’re truly ready to jump ship.

Starting a home-based business can be a reality if and only if you have a smart plan in place. With these tips in the back of your mind, you can get your business off the ground sooner rather than later.

 

May 10, 2017

Tips and Best Practices To Improve the Efficiency of Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable

A company’s accounts payable department is an essential component of the organization, but it’s often one where there’s a lot of waste. Accounts payable departments tend to be stuck in the past, even when they’re part of a large, modern organization.

There’s a lot of manual data entry, time-consuming workflows, and clunky methods for handling of invoices. By eliminating the inefficiency of accounts payable, companies can improve their overall efficiency as well, and save money.

The following are some simple ways to achieve that objective.

Identify Where Problems Exist

In large companies, one of the biggest issues in addressing inefficiencies in individual departments comes from the fact that leadership doesn’t know where these problems exist. Before trying to address inefficiency in general, it’s important to do an audit of where there are specific issues, and where solutions could deal with those problems.

This will allow companies to get the best return on investment, and also make sure they choose the right technology solutions when it comes to automation.

Invest In Automation Software

First and foremost, all companies need invoice management software and a fully automated accounts payable system. This is the number one way to automate nearly all processes across the AP department and improve efficiency in a huge way.

With automated invoice and AP software, these departments will have the repetitive tasks done for them, eliminating much of the tediousness that tends to bog down accounts payable. Software is also an excellent way to simplify complicated workflows in general.

When workflows are automated it also cuts down on human error, optimizing overall performance.

Define Objectives

Improving inefficiency in and of itself is a fine goal, but it’s also important to set specific goals. For example, do you want to process a certain number of invoices each month without hiring new employees?

Maybe you want to reduce the number of people it currently takes to process the same number of invoices.

Whatever your objectives may be, it’s important to clearly define them to give yourself not only a framework from which to work, but also to measure your success and ROI.

Improve Visibility

One of the top ways to improve visibility into accounts payable is also through the implementation of a robust software solution. Regardless of how a company achieves this, it’s important.

There needs to be strong visibility into each aspect of the accounts payable workflow, and there should be a central place where relevant staff members can go to see the information they need, and if necessary, provide approvals.

When choosing software, look for options that have real-time reporting centralized on a user-friendly dashboard.

Onboard Your Employees with new Processes and Software

Finally, the organization needs to make sure they’re properly onboarding employees when it comes to any new workflows, processes, and also with the implementation of new software.

It’s important when doing this to highlight the benefits the changes will bring to employees, and also show them how it will impact their job directly.   

Four Things Smart Entrepreneurs Look for in Pursuit of a Joint Venture

Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be a lonely road; likewise, sometimes it pays to have a partner in crime when it comes to growing your business.

Although pursuing a joint venture may not seem like a top priority now, consider the benefits of bringing on a business partner in the future. Such benefits include…

Such benefits include…

  • Growing your bottom line: with more members on your team, you increase the number of customers you can reach
  • Covering more ground: when you have someone else who can help you spread the word, your business has the potential to grow like wildfire (think: this rings true both in-person and online)
  • The ability to stretch out your budget: the more capital you have on hand, the more risks you can potentially take with your business’ budget

That being said, you can’t just bring anyone onto your team and expect results. Instead, consider taking a mindful and practical approach to pursuing a joint venture, with a keen attention to detail regarding the following qualities.

Someone You Can Trust

Plain and simple, there’s little more valuable than trust when it comes to a business partnership. After all, you can’t afford to gamble with your business or livelihood by working with someone you can’t trust inside and out.

Ideally, you can initiate your joint venture via referrals and networking from friends and partners whose opinions you already value. Bear in mind that it takes

Bear in mind that it takes time to build a relationship with a business partner: don’t make the mistake of rushing into something and sacrificing the security of your company.

Someone Who Can Innovate

In a business world full of copycats, it pays to bring someone on deck who brings experience and innovation to the table.

The beauty of a joint venture is not only the ability to cover more ground as a business, but to also explore new ideas and gain fresh perspective as an entrepreneur. For example, someone who can follow a

For example, someone who can follow a three-pillar model of organization and innovation is a strong candidate for big ideas that produce results.

In short, someone who can actually follow through on their ideas and planning is invaluable to a budding business. Such a personality is definitely desirable versus someone with no new ideas to bring to the table.

Someone With a Track Record

When all else fails, it’s important to understand the previous experience of your potential partner and how their experience matches with yours. For example, perhaps you have more of a technical background and you need someone with savvy sales experience.

Ask yourself: what does their resume look like in terms of what they’ve done?

Do they have a track record of success? Sometimes the past of a potential JV speaks volumes for the ability versus anything they say themselves.

Someone You Can Communicate With

While first impressions aren’t everything, you can get a pretty good sense of whether or not someone will be a good fit for you based on your initial conversations. Strive to meet anyone you want to do business with in person to see their mannerisms face-to-face to ensure that your personalities don’t clash.

 Joint ventures can be tricky to initiate and manage; however, they can make all the difference for your business. Whether you’re looking to bring someone new to your team or simply want to keep your options open, start with these four qualities in mind before going any further.

Whether you’re looking to bring someone new to your team or simply want to keep your options open, start with these four qualities in mind before going any further.

April 27, 2017

What To Know About Controlling Employee Access to Data

employee data

There probably aren’t many businesses at this point, whether large or small, that aren’t in some way invested in protecting themselves and their customers against cyber threats and potential data theft. By now most business owners know that they can be the target of these threats, no matter how small they are, but at the same time, businesses tend to overlook a critical area of protection: employees.

It’s important to know why and how to limit employee access to data and prevent accidental or intentional data loss that can occur through the actions of employees. It doesn’t matter if you use the best network scanner and security protection products if your employees aren’t also considered in your overall IT security plan.

Put Role-Based Access Control In Place

Role-based access is one of the most important ways you can maintain complete monitoring and visibility over who of your employees can access what. With role-based access control, you can restrict access to various systems and information only to certain employees and users. This means that each employee can only access what’s absolutely necessary to their job function.

There are many options you can use to create complete role-based access, and most software and cloud solutions have these customization options as well.

While restricting access shouldn’t be your only layer of security, it gives fewer people less access to data, making you less vulnerable.

Train Employees

A lot of data loss issues related to employees are entirely accidental. Employees simply don’t know or understand how certain actions could lead to a loss of data or a data breach.

That’s why it’s up to you as the employer to ensure that your employees are thoroughly trained. This training should be refreshed often as well because best practices and common threats can change quickly in the IT world.

Establish Procedures For Employees Who Leave

When employees leave a business for whatever reason they more commonly than you might realize will end up taking client data. They might not even see it as being a problem, but it can lead to massive vulnerabilities for the business.

Some of the reasons employees say they take client data with them when they leave include the fact that it could be useful to them in the future, the feeling that they helped cultivate that client, the idea that the theft couldn’t be traced back to them, and also that it was an accident.

The more you can define a procedure for when someone leaves the company, including wiping data from mobile devices, the more you can eliminate the risk of data being stolen.

Finally, as much as possible, limit employees’ use of the Internet and social networks while they’re at work. It’s a simple, effective way to lower the threat risk that’s present for businesses. The more employees are online and on social media at work, the higher the threat level is going to be for that business to be exposed to problems.  

April 21, 2017

What To Do If You Are In a Car Accident

Cаr соllіѕіоnѕ оftеn саrrу lеgаl соnѕеԛuеnсеѕ іn proportion tо the ѕеvеrіtу оf the ассіdеnt. It is іmроrtаnt to fіlе fоr сlаіmѕ wіthіn twо years of thе іnjurу dаtе. Thіѕ tіmе limitation includes claims fоr реrѕоnаl іnjurу саuѕеd bу dеfесtіvе рrоduсtѕ. They аrе lawsuits thаt are fіlеd whеn a реrѕоn is hаrmеd іn аn ассіdеnt оr іnjurеd bу another person and thе іnjurеd individual іѕ nоt tо blame. An аttоrnеу, whо dеаlѕ wіth реrѕоnаl іnjurу, can bе соntасtеd in саѕеѕ, where there hаѕ been ѕеrіоuѕ injury, оr whеrе injuries аrе lіkеlу tо be permanent, оr death hаѕ rеѕultеd frоm the ассіdеnt.

Dо I Have tо Stор After a Vеhісlе Accident?

Cеrtаіnlу, as thе Tоrt Law іn Cаlіfоrnіа, you may bе hеld liable fоr hіt аnd run іf уоu will nоt ѕtор. Dереndіng оn thе еxtеnt of hаrm аnd dаmаgеѕ іnсurrеd, уоu mау bе fіnеd and/or іmрrіѕоnеd аlоng with thе cancellation of уоur drіvеr’ѕ license. This is, еvеn if уоu hаvе nоt соmmіttеd аnу fаult оr trаffіс violation that caused the accident.

Yоu should have a dіаlоguе bеtwееn thе оthеr parties аnd еxсhаngе ѕоmе vіtаl information. Thеѕе іnсludе уоur:

  • Nаmеѕ
  • Drіvеr’ѕ license numbеr
  • Vehicle іdеntіfісаtіоn number
  • Addrеѕѕ
  • Contact information
  • Inѕurаnсе company іnfоrmаtіоn аnd policy numbеr

Dо I Hаvе tо Help Someone Who Hаѕ Bееn Injurеd?

Yеѕ, you hаvе an оblіgаtіоn tо act ассоrdіnglу аnd help thоѕе реорlе whо оbtаіnеd іnjurіеѕ from the accident. If уоu lасk adequate trаіnіng on first aid procedures, better call any еmеrgеnсу rеѕроnѕе unіt and tаkе аll thе іnjurеd іndіvіduаlѕ tо the nеаrеѕt hоѕріtаl fоr рrореr trеаtmеnt аnd mеdісаtіоn. Thе simplest way is dіаlіng 911 to report thе accident.

In аddіtіоn, уоu have tо mаkе ѕurе that all thеѕе реорlе аrе аlrеаdу on a ѕаfеr рlасе away frоm furthеr dangers such аѕ саr еxрlоѕіоn or fire and bеіng hіt by оthеr vеhісlеѕ оn thе аrеа. Plасіng wаrnіng ѕіgnѕ аt thе ѕсеnе оf thе vеhісlе mishap іѕ also advisable tо іnfоrm thе оthеr motorists оf ѕuсh іnсіdеnt.

If residents of Los Angеlеѕ Cоuntу аrе involved in a саr accident in Los Angеlеѕ, they usually file a personal injury lаwѕuіt in thе Suреrіоr Cоurt of Cаlіfоrnіа, Cоuntу оf Los Angеlеѕ. They should contact a personal injury lawyer or a car accident attorney.

It is іn thе іntеrеѕt оf car ассіdеnt vісtіmѕ tо hіrе реrѕоnаl injury аttоrnеуѕ, аѕ thеу аrе еxреrіеnсеd wіth саѕеѕ tо dесіdе, if the саѕе it іѕ wоrth рurѕuіng lеgаl асtіоn. Mоѕt реrѕоnаl іnjurу lawyers, work оn a соntіngеnсу fее bаѕіѕ. An аttоrnеу саn wоrk through thе рареrwоrk nесеѕѕаrу tо rеѕоlvе claims. Thеу wоrk with a tеаm оf іnvеѕtіgаtоrѕ who wіll skillfully іnvеѕtіgаtе, thе tесhnісаl аѕресtѕ оf thе саѕе. Attorneys саn bе mоrе оbjесtіvе bу nоt making rаѕh decisions іn handling the сlаіm. An experienced аttоrnеу wіll knоw іf thе dispute саn bе resolved through mediation. Thе аttоrnеу саn deal mоѕt еffесtіvеlу and еxреdіеntlу with орроѕіng counsel. Thеу аrе also accustomed to working wіth іnѕurаnсе соmраnіеѕ, аnd wіll nоt bе pressured, tо ѕеttlе fоr an unѕаtіѕfасtоrу аmоunt. Cаr accident аttоrnеуѕ are ѕресіаlіѕtѕ іn this field of legal рrасtісе. It іѕ important tо hire thе services оf a rерutеd professional in order to еnѕurе a fаvоrаblе vеrdісt. Thіѕ is important as such claims gо a lоng wау іn compensating fіnаnсіаl lоѕѕеѕ and еxреnѕеѕ incurred by thе іnjurеd.

April 20, 2017

Top 5 Tips For Asking For A Pay Raise

While it can certainly feel intimidating or awkward to ask for a raise, if you feel that you are not getting paid what your work is worth, then the time has come to ask your boss for one.

How to negotiate your salary properly in general is something that you should definitely learn how to do, because surprisingly few other people know how to and the result is they miss out on numerous opportunities for a potential pay increase. The same doesn’t have to happen to you, so here are the top five tips for asking for a raise:

1. Conduct Plenty Of Research

The only way to know how much your job is worth is to research it. Therefore, you will want to research averages on how much people are being paid in your line of work both in your state and nationally. You need to prove to your boss that you want more than just more money. You need to prove to them that they are underpaying you relative to what other people in your same profession and experience level are earning.

2. List Out Your Accomplishments

Your argument that you need a pay raise will always be more compelling if you have a complete list of accomplishments that showcases just how valuable you are to the company or business you work at. You will also need to write down or explain to your boss how each of those accomplishments benefited the company as well.

3. Pick The Right Time To Ask For The Raise

Be patient and ask for the raise at the right time. Not only do you want to wait for when you are fully prepared, but you also want to wait for when things are looking good for the company too. Asking for a raise when the company has recently had a large drop in sales or has had to lay off a large number of employees are two examples of times when you should definitely not ask for a pay increase.

4. Don’t Complain

One trap that you definitely don’t want to fall into when it comes to asking for a raise is coming across as complaining rather than requesting. There are certain things that you will not want to say to your boss, such as “Bill got a raise last week, so I want one too” or “I’ve worked for this company for five years and I don’t have a raise yet.”

5. Be Ready For Your Boss To Say No

Don’t go to your boss expecting them to automatically agree with you and give you exactly the raise you want. If they decline your request, politely ask them their reasons why or what you can do to earn an increase in salary. A more likely outcome is that your boss may agree to a raise, but not quite to the same figure that you are requesting,

Asking For A Pay Raise

One last thing to keep in mind is that the tips you have learned in this article won’t just come in handy for asking for a pay raise at your current job, they will also prove their worth to you for first negotiating your salary with a new job as well.

April 17, 2017

Tips to Create a Client-Friendly Home Office Space

If clients are critical to your business, it’s also essential they feel comfortable not just with you, but in the space you invite them to for meetings and conversations. Whether you work in a traditional office space, or you work from your home office, it’s important that you design and cultivate a client-friendly space where they feel at ease and ready to get to work.

If your clients are uncomfortable, particularly when they come to your home office, they might not stay a client for long. Home offices can be difficult to get right in terms of clients, but the following are some tips that can help you design an appropriate space.

Make Sure There Are Parking Options

First and foremost when you’re having clients come to your home for a meeting, it’s important that they know not just how to get there, but how and where to park. This might not be a problem if you live in a single-family home with a driveway, but if you live in a place where there is shared parking or something like a public garage, you need to let your clients know the best options for parking.

You want to make it easy for your clients without being intrusive or bothersome to your neighbors, so plan ahead.

Maintain Your Home’s Exterior

home office

You don’t want clients to pull up to a house that looks all but abandoned. That’s not going to seem very promising for your client.

Make sure that you pay attention to your home’s curb appeal and exterior appearance because first impressions are important. Your home’s exterior should be clean, tidy and well-maintained. Try to keep toys and other items out-of-sight and stored neatly away.

Eliminate Distractions

If your clients were to visit a conventional office space, that space would be almost entirely dedicated to working. When they come to a home office, it should feel the same way.

Minimize distractions by making sure you have quiet time when you schedule meetings. Don’t have TVs or music playing, and have high-quality window coverings such as plantation shutters that you can use to make sure nothing going on outside the windows is a distraction.

Choose the Right Furniture Layout

If you have clients come to your home for a meeting and they feel like there’s nowhere for them to sit, it’s a problem. Create a traditional office layout like you would see in any workplace. You can have your desk or workspace and also add a seating area that encourages face-to-face interaction and conversations.

Keep the Personal Out

As a final note, if you want to make sure client meetings stay on track and you appear professional when working from home, try to keep the personal items out of your workspace. You want there to be as much separation between your home and office as possible, so try to ensure that if you take client meetings in your home office that the space is clear, clutter-free and devoid of too many personal elements.

 

April 17, 2017

Top 5 Ways To Market Your New Mobile App

smartphone

You’ve come up with a great idea for a new mobile app, built it, had it thoroughly tested, and it’s just been officially released to the App Store. Now there’s just one more step you need to complete to make your efforts a success: marketing your app.

You can build the best app in the world, but if you fail to market it effectively, how are people going to even know it exists? Here are the top five ways you can market your new mobile app on the internet:

1. Optimize Your App For The Store

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your app is fully optimized on the App Store so users will be able to locate it. You only have one hundred characters to sell your app to a potential user with your description, so you better be using popular keywords and use compelling language to convince the person to actually download your app.

2. Utilize Social Media

The core of any successful app marketing campaign likes in social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find groups where you can promote free apps or that are interested in the general niche of your app, and then pitch your app directly to them.

Take note that you can also use social media to not only market your app, but yourself, your brand, your website, and any other app-related products that you sell as well.

3. Promote Your App On Reviewing Websites

There are a great host of reviewing websites online that you can pitch your app too. This is a superb strategy to reach out to people you already know will be interested in your app while also potentially gaining the endorsements of popular bloggers and tech figures.

You can increase your chances of making a successful pitch by communicating how your app will provide value to the target audience of that blog and what makes it stand out from the other apps in its same niche.

4. Build Your Own Blog or Website

A blog or website is an excellent way to spread awareness about your app and yourself. Ideally you should already have a blog that’s getting traffic, but if you don’t, start one right away. Upload promotional videos and post high quality content on a regular basis while also running an effective SEO campaign to draw visitors in. Speaking of promotional videos…

5. Make A Promotional Video

A brief thirty second to one minute promotional video is a highly effective way to launch a marketing campaign for virtually any product. Upload your promotional video to YouTube, your blog, your social media pages, and ask other popular app/tech bloggers if they would be willing to post it on their blogs as well.

Marketing Your Mobile App

While marketing your new mobile app may not be as fun as building it, it’s still necessary if you want your app to be a success and receive more downloads. The five tips you have learned in this article will be absolutely instrumental to your marketing efforts.

The Five Business Moves That Make You Look Like a Bigger Player in Your Niche

chess king

In the business world, appearances are still everything.

This rings especially true when it comes to Internet marketing and ecommerce where competition is fierce and entrepreneurs will do just about anything to one-up each other.

The trick to standing out as a business owner today is making yourself look larger than life. Thankfully, this can be done without higher-up connections or a bloated budget.

Despite popular belief, making your business look larger than life is much easier than it seems.

Sometimes it’s the seemingly smallest touches that help boost your business’ appearance and authority amongst the competition. If you feel like a small fish in a massive pond, consider some of the following actionable steps you can take to remind your leads and prospects that you’re the real deal versus a flash in the pan.

Start By Incorporating

While incorporation may seem like a non-issue for online businesses, the title of “LLC” or “Inc” provides your company with a certain sense of flair. Likewise, incorporation is a simple and straightforward process that shows your prospects that you’re more than just an amateur running a side gig.

Given that incorporation is almost always beneficial to businesses from a tax perspective, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t wear your corporate status as a badge of honor.

The Hidden Benefits of Paid Ads

While few new business owners desire to spend money to make money, there’s no denying the power of effective advertising in the digital era. If you have the budget to saturate your target audience and get your name out there with a killer social ad campaign, it may be worth it to scoring some name recognition in the long-run.

However, that doesn’t mean spending money blindly. Instead, the key to running effective ads is a combination of the following:

  • Making sure that you’re only advertising where your audience is (think: Facebook, for example) to keep your budget low and ensure that you’re only targeting likely leads
  • Running test ads before you scale, which keeps money in your pocket; likewise, this helps you understand what ad messages are working and which aren’t
  • Take the time to write a proper ad and not just some spammy banner that’ll gain no traction

Become an Affiliate

Whether you sell physical products or digital education to your audience, having someone else sell on your behalf is a surefire way to gain some exposure. Likewise, you can become an affiliate for others related to your niche who may be able to give you a boost and grow your name recognition among your desired audience.

Build Up Your Blog

Content creation is a proven goldmine of potential traffic and leads; however, a hidden benefit of consistent blogging is building authority.

From answering questions that burn up your audience to showing off your level of expertise, blogging puts your personality and knowledge on a pedestal. If you don’t want to commit to a full-blown blog on-site, consider free platforms such as Medium which have a professional vibe and massive reach.

Seek Out Endorsements

If you have previously satisfied clients or customers, why not use their positive feedback to your advantage?

Social proof is a powerful marketing tool that requires little more than your time to leverage. By asking for and curating positive feedback from your base, you can show what you’re worth a business owner versus trying to tell everyone about it. If you already provide high-quality service, asking for reviews, testimonials and positive feedback to place on-site should be a top priority.

Becoming a “bigger” business in your space is oftentimes less about cash and more about how you present yourself. Take the time to make yourself look like a million bucks and your base will likely respond accordingly.

 

March 14, 2017

The Five Business Moves That Make You Look Like a Bigger Player in Your Niche

The Five Business Moves That Make You Look Like a Bigger Player in Your Niche

In the business world, appearances are still everything.

This rings especially true when it comes to Internet marketing and ecommerce where competition is fierce and entrepreneurs will do just about anything to one-up each other.

The trick to standing out as a business owner today is making yourself look larger than life. Thankfully, this can be done without higher-up connections or a bloated budget.

Despite popular belief, making your business look larger than life is much easier than it seems.

Sometimes it’s the seemingly smallest touches that help boost your business’ appearance and authority amongst the competition. If you feel like a small fish in a massive pond, consider some of the following actionable steps you can take to remind your leads and prospects that you’re the real deal versus a flash in the pan.

Start By Incorporating

While incorporation may seem like a non-issue for online businesses, the title of “LLC” or “Inc” provides your company with a certain sense of flair. Likewise, incorporation is a simple and straightforward process that shows your prospects that you’re more than just an amateur running a side gig.

Given that incorporation is almost always beneficial to businesses from a tax perspective, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t wear your corporate status as a badge of honor.

The Hidden Benefits of Paid Ads

While few new business owners desire to spend money to make money, there’s no denying the power of effective advertising in the digital era. If you have the budget to saturate your target audience and get your name out there with a killer social ad campaign, it may be worth it to scoring some name recognition in the long-run.

However, that doesn’t mean spending money blindly. Instead, the key to running effective ads is a combination of the following:

  • Making sure that you’re only advertising where your audience is (think: Facebook, for example) to keep your budget low and ensure that you’re only targeting likely leads
  • Running test ads before you scale, which keeps money in your pocket; likewise, this helps you understand what ad messages are working and which aren’t
  • Take the time to write a proper ad and not just some spammy banner that’ll gain no traction

Become an Affiliate

Whether you sell physical products or digital education to your audience, having someone else sell on your behalf is a surefire way to gain some exposure. Likewise, you can become an affiliate for others related to your niche who may be able to give you a boost and grow your name recognition among your desired audience.

Build Up Your Blog

Content creation is a proven goldmine of potential traffic and leads; however, a hidden benefit of consistent blogging is building authority.

From answering questions that burn up your audience to showing off your level of expertise, blogging puts your personality and knowledge on a pedestal. If you don’t want to commit to a full-blown blog on-site, consider free platforms such as Medium which have a professional vibe and massive reach.

Seek Out Endorsements

If you have previously satisfied clients or customers, why not use their positive feedback to your advantage?

Social proof is a powerful marketing tool that requires little more than your time to leverage. By asking for and curating positive feedback from your base, you can show what you’re worth a business owner versus trying to tell everyone about it. If you already provide high-quality service, asking for reviews, testimonials and positive feedback to place on-site should be a top priority.

Becoming a “bigger” business in your space is oftentimes less about cash and more about how you present yourself. Take the time to make yourself look like a million bucks and your base will likely respond accordingly.