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10 Essential Tips for Starting Entrepreneurs

1. Do What You LOVE: If you’ve chosen your business because you read that this niche was the next hot one, or because your favorite uncle (or your best friend) thinks you’d be well-suited for this business, you may as well pack up now and save yourself some time and money. If you don’t love what you do, it will show…potential customers will know it and will go elsewhere. Is it possible to be successful anyway? Sure — but it won’t be easy and it won’t be fun…and isn’t that why you want to be in business for yourself anyway?

Instead, choose what you love. You’ll know what that is when you find yourself being incredibly productive, forgetting the time passing by, and not being able to wait to get up in the morning to do more! At Solo-E we call that being juiced…but whether you call it being in the flow, or the zone, or whatever, FIND IT!

2. WRITE DOWN Your Business Plan: As a small or solo business owner, you still need a business plan. Even if you aren’t getting a loan! Would you invest thousands of dollars of your own money buying stock in a company that didn’t have a written prospectus? (I hope not!) Then why would you spend thousands of dollars AND hours of your precious time on a business that doesn’t have a written plan?

Write your plan, get it critiqued by professionals, and most important, BE READY TO CHANGE IT. This may seem counterintuitive…why bother writing it down if it’s just going to change? Because writing it down makes it more clear…and helps you get to the next stage of learning and planning and revising. It’s critical–67% of businesses that failed had no written business plan. Want to play the odds?

3. Multiply Your Expected Startup Costs by Two–or Maybe Three: When I started my business, an honors MBA grad with 15 years of solid business experience behind me, I figured I was smart enough to estimate my startup costs accurately. I knew all the things I needed and made conservative estimates and I was still WRONG! That’s right, I was still off by a factor of almost three. Don’t make this mistake! One of the biggest reasons small businesses fail is because of lack of capital. Give yourself the best possible start by saving or acquiring sufficient startup funds NOW. Before you start!

4. Make Your Market Niche as Small as Possible: Again, this is counterintuitive–shouldn’t you try to appeal to as many people as possible? The paradox is that the more you try to appeal to EVERYONE, the less you will appeal to ANYONE. Let’s say you are selling your house…would you rather list it with the agent who operates in 14 counties, sells both commercial and residential real estate, and sells everything from cottages to estates? Or would you pick the agent who specializes in your community, selling only houses in a well-defined price range that she knows extremely well? Ruthlessly define your niche, make it as small as possible, and stay true to it. You’ll thank me later!

5. Do Marketing Your Way: The temptation is to choose all the marketing methods that the competition uses. To stay with tried-and-true marketing channels. To place advertisements that you know nothing about creating, or make cold calls that give you heartburn. Why? Because (all together now) “that’s how it’s always been done.”

It’s difficult to stand out among your competitors when you are doing the same kind of marketing! So instead, look to your strengths. What do you like to do? What are you good at? Then choose three marketing methods that play to those strengths. If you need ideas, check out 136 Ways to Market Your Solo Business, another article at http://www.Solo-E.com.

6. Remember the Most Important Ingredient in Your Business–YOU: Business-owner: know thyself. Spend some time learning about who you are and how you are unique. Then let that uniqueness shine through in your marketing, in how you run your business, in everything you do. Don’t hide your quirks–celebrate them!

Customers go to small and solo businesses primarily because they are looking for a personalized experience. They want a relationship with you as the owner of your business. If you try to come off as who you think they want, they’ll smell right through that and not come back. Be who you are, and trust that who YOU are is going to be attractive to the right people.

7. Build Your Business by Building Relationships: Being a small or solo business owner isn’t about sitting in the corner alone. Actually it can be–and that isolation is what drives many out of business and back into a “job”. Build relationships to survive! Start with your colleagues–others you know who are at the same stage of business as you, or are farther along and willing to mentor you.

Next, build relationships with potential customers. Ask them what they want! Then create products and services based on their input and come back and show them what you have done. Get feedback, tweak, and maybe make your first sale. Stay in touch with your customers even after they leave you.

Last but not least, build relationships with your competitors. You might be able to do this right at the beginning, simply by asking them for their advice. Surprisingly, many ARE willing to share their secrets if you just ask. Later on, build cross-referral relationships, co-marketing alliances, and other relationships that are win-win for you, your competitors, and your customers.

8. Don’t Accept a Customer Just For the Money: This is probably the hardest advice for new business owners to apply. Especially when there is a job, a project, a potential client, just outside your niche, that could keep your business solvent for the next six months. Don’t do it! Taking on a client outside your niche inevitably results in frustration for you, dissatisfaction on the part of the client, and in the end, usually costs you more than you make. Ask any successful business owner and they’ll tell you this is true!

9.. Don’t Do Everything Yourself: It’s so tempting to fall into the self-deception that “it’s cheaper for me to do it myself.” IT”S NOT! If you aren’t good at something, for instance bookkeeping, it will probably take you 2-3 times as long–time you could be spending doing things that are essential for you to be doing personally, like writing your business plan or deciding your marketing strategy. Put sufficient capital into your business upfront so you CAN hire help right from the start. Your business will get off to a quicker start because you aren’t distracted by time-consuming tasks that drain your energy.

10. Assemble Your Support Team: Start with the people who will help you do the things you aren’t good at. Some examples: bookkeeper, marketing writer, web designer. Then add the people who give you professional business advice: a lawyer, an accountant, a business coach. Finally, include the people who support you personally: your family, friends, and colleagues.

Don’t forget to be part of other’s support teams, too. Share your expertise at Solo-E, start a networking group where business owners support each other, share a referral with a colleague. Solo Entrepreneurs supporting other Solo Entrepreneurs is what will make us all successful!


Terri Zwierzynski is a coach to small business owners and Solo Entrepreneurs. She is also the CEI (Conductor of Extraordinary Ideas) at Solo-E.com and the author of 136 Ways To Market Your Small Business. Terri is an MBA honors graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill. Terri has been coaching for over 10 years in a variety of settings, including 6 years as a senior-level coach and consultant for a Fortune 500 company. She opened her private coaching practice in 2001. You can reach Terri at http://www.TerriZ.com.



via: http://www.advancingwomen.com/entrepreneurialism/4202.php

Filed under: Business, Entrepreneurs, Negosyo Tips,

Essential Tips for the First-Time Entrepreneur

To a certain extent, becoming an entrepreneur requires you to be a multi-talented individual. First and foremost, however, you need to be driven and have a firm desire to be your own boss. You should be very tenacious and not be willing to take the word “no” for an answer easily. If you understand that you will be faced with a long, seemingly never-ending, list of problems, yet see your glass as being always half-full, then you are off to the races!

Do not underestimate the amount of time and effort and raw energy that it requires to be a successful entrepreneur. You will need a good list of people skills, with the ability to be persuasive and to motivate. Be prepared to be the driving force at all times and understand that you are probably your organization’s most valuable asset. You should be able to do everything that you expect from others (should you employ them within your organization) at a push.

To help you stock up on some key information and to prepare yourself for all eventualities that you will undoubtedly face, here are some great resources.

First of all, you need to structure yourself accordingly. Some people choose to set up as a sole proprietorship, while others choose an S. corporation or a limited liability company. Each one has its own legal repercussions. Once you’ve decided on your setup, you will need to establish a record-keeping system and keep up with this every week. The proper process of accounting is essential in the early days as you will need to be right on top of critical cash flow and performance levels.

Secondly, know when to hire and what to look for. It goes without saying that you do not need to burden yourself with labor costs if not necessary, but equally as important you must know when to delegate and whether or not you should outsource instead.

Thirdly, you must have your web presence. For many entrepreneurs this will be the shop window to the world and it’s also your first point of contact. It goes without saying therefore that you must put a lot of thought and planning into web design and hosting. If you are doing it yourself, make sure you have a sound knowledge of building a website, or use an online tool such as WordPress. Once you have it up and running, you need to be tracking to see whether visitors like what they see, how long they spend on the site, what they read and there is no better tool than the free one provided by Google. If you like graphics and cool tools, this analytics supplement is  for you – Crazy Egg.

Lastly, do not be afraid to ask for help at any time. Those who have been there before you may have made the very mistakes that you could avoid. Here are ten common mistakes that we have outlined, which could end up costing you more than your shirt!

Been there and done that? We would love to hear your tips for first-time entrepreneurs.

By Matthew Toren

via : http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/blog/entrepreneur-university/essential-tips-for-the-first-time-entrepreneur/

Filed under: Encouragement, Entrepreneurs, Financial Literacy

What Successful People Do That You Are Missing

When you think of people who are successful names like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet may come to the front of your mind. What is it that has propelled them to achieve greatness. Are they built different? Do have a special ingredient or different DNA than other people? There are many qualities that define or separate someone who has achieved or will achieve greatness. What you are about to read will focus on three characteristics that these people have with one key difference, success people do what unsuccessful people won’t do. That is the key difference.

Goal Setting

Everyone who is successful sets goals. I’m sure you have heard this a million times. Do you have a goal for where you want to be in a year or five years? What will be different about your life next year and how will you make it happen? Successful people set goals but the way they handle goal setting enables them to actually reach and surpass what they want to do. Let’s take a one year time frame for example. You set a goal, an attainable goal for yourself for a year from now. A year is a long way away so in order to allow your mind to take you there you must break this one year down into a month and then a week and then a day. If you map out what you have to do in a day you can measure success after a week. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. That is the same way to approach your goals. Another tip is to write your one year goal on a small piece of paper. Figure out what you need to do each month and each day to meet this goal and write it below your one year goal. Laminate this and carry in your pocket everywhere you go. Make sure it is the first thing you look at in the morning and the last thing you see before your head hits your pillow at night.

Clear Vision and Focus

If you have ever watched Tiger Woods play golf you will see focus on a whole different level. It’s scary. His competitors can feel it and it can become very intimidating. He makes clutch putts that not only determine if he will win a major but also determine the difference in tens of thousands of dollars. Could you imagine standing over a golf ball with ten thousand people behind you. If you make it you win the Master’s and earn an additional $50,000 and you will be the top play on Sportscenter the next day. But if you miss you will be nothing and remember that moment for the rest of your life. He has practiced that situation so much that it doesn’t faze him when the real thing is right in front of his face. More times than not he makes that putt.

They Take Action And Are Not Afraid To Fail

Whether right or wrong successful people take action and do. They don’t sit around and wait on anything they get after it and take action. They are decision makers. One thing that makes someone successful at sports or business is that they get right back up if they have been beat down and failed at something. Michael Jordan was cut from the basketball team his freshman year of high school. That didn’t cause him to quit, that made him want to work harder to prove his coach wrong the next year. He went on to win 6 NBA titles, 5 MVPs, 6 finals MVPs, 2 Olympic gold metals, NCAA player of the year and a national champion. He never quit when the chips were down. He got right back up and went to work again.

Donald Trump filed bankruptcy twice. Many people would have given up and thrown in the towel on the first one. Donald knew he would overcome this hardship and he did. In 2007 he made $32 million and at that time his net worth was $1.6 billion. He continued to take action and now the Trump Empire is everywhere you turn. Mary Pickford has a famous quote that describes both Michael Jordan and Donald Trump. It says, “This thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

To sum it all up, successful people are not genetic phenomenons. It’s not in their DNA or their genes. They don’t have anything different about them than you. What separates them from the average person is that they set goals, have a clear vision, and most importantly, they take action and do rather than watch someone else succeed. Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Become someone great so that someday your name will be used in the article.

I am an online marketing coach. My goal is to help others reach their goals to become financially independent while by having a successful home based business. All the help you need and a step by step process to success is available at your fingertips. The only thing that is missing in this program is your ability and determination to put everything in place. To find out more information about me and this opportunity visit my blog at http://jonathanjones77.blogspot.com

Filed under: Encouragement, Inspiration, People who inspired Us,

Preparing for iPhone 4 launch day

NEW YORK–Google CEO Eric Schmidt made a guest appearance at a press conference here Wednesday where Google, Motorola, and Verizon Wireless unveiled the new version of the popular Android Droid smartphone.

Schmidt took the stage first and touted the importance of the smartphone category.

It’s that time of year again when throngs of people line up, sometimes days in advance, for the latest and greatest version of the Apple iPhone.

Thursday is the official release date for the iPhone 4. And from the looks of things, this year could be the biggest of all iPhone launches.

AT&T says that demand for the iPhone 4 is 10 times what it was for the iPhone 3GS. And Apple says it took 600,000 preorders for the new phone through its sales channels.

The iPhone 4 goes on sale Thursday, though the white version won't be available.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET )

The iPhone 4 goes on sale Thursday, though the white version won’t be available at first.

If history is any indication of what to expect, initial sales of the iPhone 4 are likely be a doozy. Apple sold more than 1 million iPhone 3GS smartphones the first three days it was on sale. The original iPhone sold about 270,000 units during its first weekend in June 2007, while the iPhone 3G sold around 1 million when it launched in July 2008.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the iPhone 4, which is the fourth generation of iPhone, the “biggest leap since the original iPhone” was launched in 2007. With a new homegrown processor like the one used in the iPad, a bigger battery, a 5-megapixel camera that can record video in high definition, and a new FaceTime video chat application, the iPhone 4 is expected to be a hotter device than all previous iPhones.

Unfortunately, for customers waiting to get their hands on the new phone, there are already signs that supply may not keep up with demand. On Tuesday, AT&T announced that only preordered iPhone 4s will be in stock in its retail stores Thursday. Anyone looking to buy an iPhone 4 at an AT&T store without having preordered the device will have to wait until June 29.

AT&T’s preordering system also crashed over and over on June 15, the day the iPhone 4 was made available for preorder. Potential customers attempting to buy the phone saw error messages as they tried to process their orders.

So what is an expectant iPhone 4 user to do? Check out this FAQ to get a better handle on what will be happening on launch day. For updated information from AT&T, the company suggests checking out its Facebook page.

by Marguerite Reardon and Erica Ogg

Read more via: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20008509-266.html?tag=mncol

Filed under: Innovation, New Ideas, New Invention, Technology,

Motorola Droid X unveiled, ‘made for video’

Attendees to Wednesday’s New York press conference get a rundown of the new Droid X’s features.

(Credit: Bonnie Cha/CNET)


Motorola Droid X

“This is not a toy or app engine,” he said. “It is a powerful kind of operating system. What is happening now is that people are thinking mobile first instead of desktop first.”

He cited the importance of a robust wireless network, as well as hardware with fast processors and big screens. But Schmidt said Wednesday’s event is notable not just for the announcement of the new Droid, but for the emergence of the entire category of device.

Indeed, the new Droid X epitomizes this. The newest version of the Google Androidphone made by Motorola offers an HDMI output, a 4.3-inch display, and 720p video capture. The device also comes with faster processors that will offer faster Web browsing. And it has an 8-megapixel high-definition camera.

John Stratton, executive vice president of Verizon Wireless, said the device is made for video. And there will be new apps designed to take advantage of these features, including a deal with Blockbuster to provide movies for purchase or rent.

The Droid X will cost $199.99 after a $100 rebate and will go on sale starting July 15. Unlike AT&T, which has switched to tiered pricing for its iPhone, Verizon said it will keep its unlimited mobile data plan for smartphones, which costs $30 a month.

The new Droid X also offers Wi-Fi hot spot capability, which allows users to connect up to five additional Wi-Fi devices to the Verizon 3G network. This feature will cost $20 extra a month for 2GB of data for the month. If users exceed the 2GB, they will pay 5 cents per megabyte.

Verizon is altering its upgrade policy to sweeten the deal for current customers looking to upgrade to the Droid. It will allow any Verizon Wireless customer whose contract expires in 2010 to upgrade to the Droid when it comes out on July 15.


Executives at Droid X kickoff

Google CEO Eric Schmidt joins executives from Adobe, Motorola, and Verizon Wireless onstage at the kickoff for the new Droid X. From left to right: Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe; Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Google; Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola; and John Stratton, executive vice president of Verizon Wireless.

(Credit: Marguerite Reardon/CNET)


By Marguerite Reardon

Via: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20008606-266.html?tag=nl.e498

Filed under: Innovation, New Ideas, New Invention, Technology, ,

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