The 5 biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make

By: Timothy Sykes March 02, 2016

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/271673

Being an entrepreneur may very well be one of the most difficult jobs on the planet. There are very few career paths that require the same amount of work, skill, sacrifice and commitment. Being an entrepreneur is really hard but also really rewarding. No matter what field you are in, or what type of business you own, it is so important that you understand some of mistakes that tend to plague so many entrepreneurs in today’s market. These are by far the biggest mistakes that any business owner can make. Avoid these mistakes at all costs and you will set yourself up for success.

  1. Expecting success right away.

If you are expecting success right away from your business, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Yes, it is great to have the confidence and the drive to want to be successful fast, but you shouldn’t expect these results right away. It takes a long time to grow a business. It takes an even longer time to make money from a business. You need to be realistic about your expectations and try to be patient. One of the many reasons that so many businesses fail so early on is because entrepreneurs expect they can open their doors and just like that they will start making money. Many times these companies go out of business because the entrepreneur can’t afford to pay the rent anymore, they were expecting to earn money right away to cover their expenses. This is why having a cushion to fall back on and being realistic about how much money you can actually make at first is so important.

  1. Trying to do everything yourself.

A good entrepreneur knows how to delegate, plain and simple. If you try to do everything yourself, you are only setting yourself up for failure. You need to know how to outsource. I talked in great deal about outsourcing in the past and hiring others to take care of some of the tasks that I simply cannot handle on my own. Different entrepreneurs will have different types of tasks that they want outsourced. No matter what those things are it is important that you are delegating them to others so you can make better use of your time and put yourself in the best position possible, to do your best work possible. Doing everything yourself will only cause you to burn out or draw focus away from the tasks that actually need your expertise and attention.

  1. Ignoring your true passion and just going for the money.

If you aren’t passionate about your business and the field you have chosen to open a company in, then you will never be successful. One of the biggest mistakes that any entrepreneur can make is ignoring their true passion and just opening a company to make money. I was passionate about penny stocks even though the rest of Wall St. wasn’t. Many people urged me to “follow the money” and go into different sectors, but I already had success with penny stocks so I decided to stick with it. I made a free guide and now I’m the biggest teacher of this undeserved niche; in fact my own teaching business now makes 8 figures annually. Entrepreneurs who do this get no fulfillment out of life, even if they are successful. I guarantee you money alone will not comfort you in the way that feeling fulfilled can.

  1. Not being adaptable.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur in today’s ever-changing market, then you need to learn to be adaptable. If you are not adapting and you are putting too much expectation on one product or service, you will never succeed. You are putting all of your eggs in one basket, so to say. Instead, you need to test, test and test again. Try various products and solutions. Explore new options. Go with what is working now, but always be ready to make changes in the future.

  1. Ignoring social media.

There are so many traditional industries that think they don’t need the Internet. Whether you are a package store or a dry cleaner, it doesn’t matter, you need the internet. Why? Customers are on the internet and any business that wants to be successful needs to be where their customers are and put themselves face-to-face with their clients.

There is a tech revolution right now and entrepreneurs need to use it. The internet and social media are very cheap tools for any entrepreneur to use, and most importantly, they can be very effective.

How to cite a TED Talk in APA Style

By Timothy McAdoo

If you viewed the video on the TED website, a reference to this TED Talk would be as follows:

Reference:

Palmer, A. (2013, February). Amanda Palmer: The art of asking [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking

In-text citation: Palmer (2013) or (Palmer, 2013)

Note that the TED page and the video itself give only “February” as the date, so that’s what you can include in the reference.

(As an aside, you’ll note that Amanda Palmer’s name is also included in the title. This is not an extra element of our APA Style reference; it’s included because her name is part of the title itself. TED videos include speaker names as part of the video titles.)

But, if you viewed the video on YouTube, the same TED Talk would be referenced as follows:

Reference:

TED. (2013, March 1). Amanda Palmer: The art of asking [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMj_P_6H69g

In-text citation: TED (2013) or (TED, 2013)

YouTube shows the date that the video was posted as March 1, 2013, so that’s the date to use in this reference.

The author name is TED in this case because the TED organization posted the video to YouTube, and that’s the information your reader needs to retrieve the reference. That is, for the “who” portion of a reference to a YouTube video, we use the name of the person or organization that posted the video.

In that case, you might include information about the speaker, if necessary, in the context of your paper.

Example:

Amanda Palmer used examples from her career as a busker and a musician to discuss the sharing economy (TED, 2013).

Source

What small businesses need to know about social media marketing

by Brett Relander

Source: http://www.socialmediatoday.com, November 13, 2014

Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) are now spending more money on social media marketing than any other category, according to a report published by BIA/Kelsey. Despite the fact that an increasing number of small businesses are spending money on social media marketing, not all of them are reaping maximum benefits. This is often due to their inability to develop a personalized marketing plan targeted toward a specific audience.

Finding yourself

Among the most common problems faced by many small businesses attempting to develop a social media marketing presence is that they simply do not know where to begin. Far too often, they are all over the map, or they allow decision paralysis to interfere with developing a social media marketing campaign. The first step should be to define who you are and why your consumers should care about your business. Think about why you first started your business and how you want to present it to the world. Ask yourself: if someone else was describing my business, what would they say? Answering these questions should provide you with a clearer vision of how you wish to portray your business to the social media world. Keep in mind that you could have the best products in the world, but if you do not have an interesting story for each of them, your business will not be remembered. Make your presence memorable.

Finding your customer

Along with knowing who you are, you also need to know who your customers are. Who is going to be attracted to your products? Why do they want to buy them? What benefits do your products provide to consumers?

Finding your social media voice

Social media marketing offers tremendous advantages because there are so many platforms for providing brand exposure. The flip side of this is it can be difficult to identify exactly which platform is best for promoting your brand. Each social media channel has a distinct personality, and tends to attract certain target demographics. The more you can learn about the intricacies of each social media channel, the better prepared you will be to choose the platform best suited for disseminating your brand’s voice.

Facebook

70 percent of B2C marketers have found consumers through Facebook, which is very impressive, considering that it is the largest global social network, but it only helps you if you know that the most common demographic on Facebook is between 25 and 34 years old. However, Facebook can also be a good social network to use when targeting older consumers who may not use other social media networks, such as Twitter or Instagram.

Twitter

67 percent of users on Twitter are more likely to make purchases from brands that they follow. Twitter offers a number of benefits in terms of marketing, including the fact that it is instantaneous, and fairly simple to use for engaging with your target market. If your target market includes the tech industry, it is a necessity to incorporate Twitter into your social media marketing strategy. In planning your campaign on Twitter, be aware that 90 percent of people state that they specifically follow businesses on Twitter in order to receive promos or discounts.

Pinterest

While Pinterest remains the darling of crafts, this social media platform has expanded at a near exponential rate. The fact that more than 90 percent of the pins created on Pinterest are made by women is a factor you may want to consider in your social marketing campaign.

Instagram

Instagram has also expanded far beyond a fast and easy way to share photos with friends. This rapidly expanding social media network has more than 200 million users. One of the benefits of Instagram is its network’s base comprised of all types of users. If you market to teens, or if your target market involves anything related to travel, this is the place to be.

Once you have identified which social media platform is the best choice for your marketing strategy, the next step is to determine the best type of content to post on your social marketing medium of choice. For instance on Facebook, 75 percent of the content posted by brands consists of photos. Keep in mind that regardless of the type of content you post, it should link directly to your service homepage or your products. Other examples of relevant content might include posts talking about what you are currently working on, or expressing your appreciation of your customers.  Make sure you also post content that will be of interest to your target market. In this regard, you have tremendous flexibility because you can opt to write your own content, or locate interesting content to share with your audience

Maintaining exposure

After you have developed a following on social media, regardless of which platform you choose to use, it is important to ensure that you post on a regular basis. The most vital ingredient in a successful social media campaign is consistency. If you do not post regularly, and interact with your audience frequently, they will go elsewhere. The best way for engaging with your audience is to make it a point to reply to all mentions and comments. Do not be afraid to ask your current customers to follow you on social media, and consider offering discounts in exchange. Keep in mind that building a strong social media following takes time and effort. Given that 74.5 percent of Small and Medium Size Businesses are using social media to promote themselves, your time and effort is well worth the investment.

7 must-have features for social media management tools (hootsuite.com blog)

By: Olsy Sorokina

Source:blog.hootsuite.com

Shopping for a social media management tool is like buying a car. There are basic requirements (you need it to get from point A to point B, you need to know how fast you’re going) included in every make and model, and optional features that may make or break the deal for you—but another driver will never use these features on their everyday commute. With so many new social media management tools entering the market with offers to enhance your social media strategy, it can be difficult to see what your business really needs to get the job done. There are, however, several essential features your social media management tool should have—that apply to the needs of a small business and a Fortune 1000 company. So whether you’re shopping around for a social relationship platform, or just looking for some free social media management tools to enhance your strategy, these are the seven features you should consider.

7 features on a social media management tool to enhance your social media strategy:

  1. Monitoring

Whether your social media strategy’s emphasis falls on promotion or customer service, it’s still necessary for your business to be aware of what goes on in your social media feeds. Ideally, the software you use should allow you to keep tabs on several different channels, including the Big 4: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. This allows you to stay updated on your channels without having to switch and refresh several browser windows.

It might be the case that your brand doesn’t have an account on all those social networks, instead directing all social media efforts to the official Twitter account. Luckily, there are plenty of free resources to monitor Twitter feeds, in virtue of it being the most challenging network to track in real-time. If you are looking for advanced social listening, which includes sentiment analysis, reach, and influence measurements, tools such as SocialBro, Social Mention, and Tweet Reach can be helpful

  1. Analytics

It’s important to get tangible results from your social media performance for regular evaluation of your social media strategy. Metrics such as clickthrough rate, retweets, Likes and favorites help you get a feel for social media content that performs well, and content that needs to be re-evaluated. Major social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have their own analytics tools to aid your social messaging strategy; when it comes to content, Google Analytics and Chartbeat can provide insight into content that works. In order to track link performances, use a URL shortener in your social media messaging—it saves you both time and characters.

  1. Collaboration

If more than one person is responsible for your organization’s social media channels, it’s important to work out a streamlined process of assigning tasks. The ability to do this directly inside your social media management tool—such as Hootsuite Assignments in the Hootsuite dashboard—is a huge time saver, as well as a good way to track progress on each assignment. If your assignment workflow is separate from your social media channels, you can use free tools such as Google Docs with links to social messages your team needs to address.

While social listening is important, it’s only half of a successful strategy. In order to be fully engaged on social media, your business needs to be able to join the conversation effortlessly. When you are monitoring several channels, it helps to be able to post messages to all of them at once, or easily reply to a customer’s message without constant switching between browsers.

  1. Integration

Does the tool allow you to manage all of your business’ the social media platforms? In addition to the Big 4, there are many networks with a huge potential for brand promotion and customer relationship management—growing networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr. If you can monitor and publish to several of those networks within the same platform, you are clearing more time in your schedule to devote to customer engagement. Favour free tools that provide you data on more than one social network: use Google Alerts or Social Mention, for example, if you are looking for new posts about your company in different search queries or social media channels.

  1. Location services

Knowing where your social media audience is located is helpful to both small businesses and international corporations. This helps you determine when to tweet, how to find customers, and what regional factors to consider in a customer request. The optimal location service should let you send geo-targeted messages, as well as filter messages by location and language. On Twitter and Facebook, you can manually filter posts by location, for those users who opted to have the location services turned on. You can also use tools such as Foursquare or Swarm to find users in your area.

  1. Scheduling

There are numerous benefits offered by a social media content schedule: it helps you balance your social messaging, carefully curate third-party content you share, and anticipate seasonal and release-specific messaging. You don’t need any tools to keep a schedule, as long as you are armed with spreadsheet software (OpenOffice or Google Doc Spreadsheet work just fine) and a calendar. However, if your social media management tool allows you to schedule messaging in advance, it can free up a lot of time to focus on other aspects of your strategy.

  1. Content library

While interactions with customers should be your priority on social, your engagement shouldn’t end with problem-solving. To stand out among the competition, your social media presence needs to demonstrate your brand’s awareness of current events in your field; in order to do that, it helps to keep track of the latest news in real time. This can be done by setting up an RSS feed.

7 Keys to Success When Starting Your Small Business (Career attraction)

by Steven Biehl

Source: careerattraction.com, 7 October 2014

Shopping for a social media management tool is like buying a car. There are basic requirements (you need it to get from point A to point B, you need to know how fast you’re going) included in every make and model, and optional features that may make or break the deal for you—but another driver will never use these features on their everyday commute.

With so many new social media management tools entering the market with offers to enhance your social media strategy, it can be difficult to see what your business really needs to get the job done. There are, however, several essential features your social media management tool should have—that apply to the needs of a small business and a Fortune 1000 company. So whether you’re shopping around for a social relationship platform, or just looking for some free social media management tools to enhance your strategy, these are the seven features you should consider.

7 features on a social media management tool to enhance your social media strategy

  1. Choose the Right Niche or Industry

Whichever niche or industry your venture falls in, makes sure it’s really in your wheelhouse. You either need to be extremely passionate about it or have specialized expertise — ideally, both.

If you don’t know a serpentine belt from a timing belt, getting into the auto repair industry is going to require too much of a learning curve for you to be successful. Make sure you’re passionate and knowledgeable about your business before pulling the trigger.

  1. Get Your Financial House in Order

Once your industry or niche is chosen, get to work on firming up your own finances. Budget your money, work toward eliminating personal credit card debt, get an emergency fund in place and see where you stand on your retirement savings.

You’re about to embark on a serious roller coaster ride, and the more control you have over your personal finances before you take the plunge, the better off you’re going to be.

  1. Invest Your Own Money — When it Makes Sense

If your business requires $100,000 in working capital just to get out of the starting gate, you’re probably going to need a small business loan or help from angel investors or venture capitalists. If you don’t need quite so much, try investing your own money.

Don’t cut yourself so short you can’t pay your monthly bills, but by shouldering some startup expenses on your own, you set yourself up for greater financial success down the road.

  1. Get Social for Marketing

When it comes to advertising, save some serious money by going social. Social media marketing is a free and powerful tool with unprecedented reach.

Get started with Facebook and Twitter, and explore LinkedIn and YouTube, as well. You should also dip your toe into the Pinterest, Google Plus and Instagram waters. There are a great many platforms with which to advertise your business — explore as many as you can and find the right fit for you.

  1. Go Solo If Possible

You’ve got to wear many hats as a small business owner, and you should be careful not to take any of them off too quickly. Only hire additional employees after you can’t keep up with your work. Doing so too early can mean wasting precious dollars.

Be as productive as you can on your own, and consider hiring freelancers as opposed to full-time staff members in the beginning. You can reach profitability in a shorter period of time by doing so.

  1. Save Money on Startup Costs

Write off expenses associated with finding a location, incorporating your business and getting market or demographic analyses done. See IRS Publication 535 for more information.

Get your office supplies for free by participating in the rewards program at your preferred retailer. After paying full price for things like pens, pencils, printer paper and more, you receive that money back in the form of a rewards coupon the following quarter.

There are plenty of additional ways to save money on startup costs — just research the Internet for help.

  1. Make Your Time Count

One overall strategy that can give you a much greater chance of success? Effective time management. Cut back on your Internet surfing, TV watching and any other time-draining activities that are part of your current lifestyle. Work from an organized to-do list every day and save multitasking for minor items only, focusing your efforts on major projects one at a time.

Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $19bn

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

ICT  –  “The Facebook founder said he believed WhatsApp was on track to have a billion users, but insisted he had no plans to place advertising on WhatsApp’s interface, saying he did not think ads were the best way to make money from messaging systems.

Once the deal is finalised, Mr Koum and co-founder Brian Acton are set to become Silicon Valley’s newest billionaires.  –  WhatsApp has around 50 employees in total.”

See on www.bbc.co.uk