Thursday, February 11, 2021

The top 5 biggest challenges for new entrepreneurs


Being a business owner is both exciting and challenging. It is not a route that is made for everyone, but when you have an idea and a plan nothing can stop you. Entrepreneurship is a journey that comes with many obstacles and challenges. Below we have highlighted the top five biggest challenges new entrepreneurs face, and how you can over-come them.

1.    Time management
As an entrepreneur you have more tasks to complete than time. It can become overwhelming trying to manage it all. However, you can’t allow that to negatively impact other areas for your life. It is important to set boundaries with your time, and plan out your days/ tasks so you don’t find yourself feeling burned out.

Tips to help you enhance your time-management skills:
-    Create lists of goals and daily tasks
-    Outsource jobs that don’t require your personal involvement
-    Eliminate unnecessary tasks
-    Track your time

2.    Delegating tasks

Many established business owners still struggle with this. They may tell everyone the importance of it, but sometimes it’s much easier said than done. The truth is you won’t get very far unless you learn to delegate and outsource tasks to other people that you don’t have the time or the skills to do.

Things that can be outsourced:
-    Content Marketing
-    Bookkeeping
-    Scheduling and Administrative Tasks
-    Customer Service & Support
-    Graphic Design

3.    Facing Criticism
One thing that you can expect to face as an entrepreneur is criticism. Everyone has an opinion and entrepreneurship and you may find yourself getting unsolicited advice and opinions from family and friends. Sometimes criticism may even be personal. Some people may feel threatened by your independence, and try to project their own insecurities onto you.

In those moments it is important to remember your “why” — the reason why you decided to pursue your business. When you are driven by a purpose it is much easier to ignore the critics and stay committed to your goals.

4.    Self-Doubt
When you first embark on your entrepreneurship journey, you may face some challenges or roadblocks that cause you to doubt yourself and your abilities. Just because you have more responsibilities, it doesn’t mean that you have to be more stressed. Incorporating exercise and health meals into your routine, will help you keep your mind at ease, and maintain your physical health.

If you find yourself, feeling discouraged, go back to your “why”. When you are able to have an overview of the bigger picture, the small details don’t feel as daunting anymore.

Whether you’re thinking about beginning your entrepreneurship journey, or have just begin it — be prepared to face a few bumps along the way. It’s true that being a new entrepreneur is a challenge, but it’s not too great to overcome. Perseverance and determination go a long way. You’re on the path to a rewards career as an independent business owner.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Why digital marketing is crucial for your new business


The modern marketplace is much more competitive that it was just 10 years ago. With the advancements in technology everything including advertising has evolved. Digital marketing has become an important component of marketing strategies in all industries. Below, we list five reasons why digital marketing is crucial for your new business.

1.    Digital Marketing is more cost effective that traditional marketing

When you are first starting your business, you are on a much tighter budget, and have to be strategic about where you are allocating your funds. Digital marketing has proved to be a much more cost effective when compared to traditional marketing methods.

2.    Your competition is online

To ensure that your new business is on an upwards trend, you have to pay attention to what your competitors are doing. Are they focusing on building their social media following or demonstrating their expertise with long- form blog posts? How do they engage with their audience? All of the information you gather will help you create a digital marketing strategy that sets you apart from your competition.

3.    Be more accessible to your customers

The average consumer searches for a product/ service on-line before they decide to purchase. If you don’t have an on-line presence, they won’t be able to find you. Aside from having a website, it is important to have a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy in place that helps to position you in front of the people that are searching for what you offer.

Tip: Simple questions that potential customers may want to find out quickly and easily like where you are located and your hours, should be easily discoverable on-line.

4.    Engage with your audience

Digital marketing allows you to engage with your audience in a more personal way that traditional marketing methods like print ads cannot not. There are so many different ways that you can open up the line of communication between you and them like running a survey on your social media channels, or asking them to leave their opinion on a blog post. By interacting with your audience on-line you can really get to know their pain points, so that you can tailor your product/ services to them.

5.    Monitor & optimize campaigns for better results

One of the best things about digital marketing is that you can easily track and monitor your campaigns. Metrics like impressions, clicks, likes, shares, conversions, are easily accessible. You are able to monitor your campaigns, and easily make changes where they are needed. You invest time and money into your campaigns you want to make sure that they are effective.

A marketing strategy that does not include digital marketing in today’s modern landscape will fail. If you’re not online you’re getting left behind. Investing in digital marketing opens open new opportunities to grow and reach wider audiences.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Strategies to keep your new business organized


Setting time aside to organize and put strategies in place to increase productivity will help your new business run smoothly as it grows. When it comes to organization every business has different needs. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different strategies, eventually you’ll find the perfect combination for your business. The strategies outlined below include some of the best ways that you can keep your new business organized. Pick a a few that you can easily implement into your new business.

1.    Go Paper Less
Paper is one of the biggest sources of disorganization for many offices. Digitizing your papers is not only time efficient but it is also cost effective. You’ll never have to rummage through papers again looking for that receipt you last saw three months ago. Everything will be easily accessible by all members of your organization making for easy collaboration and communication. There are several different ways you can transition into a paperless office which includes scanning and transferring receipts into a digital filing system, incorporate a digital signature program like DocuSign, or storing your files in a cloud service like Dropbox for data back-up.

2.    Find the Productivity Tools that Work for You
One of the most important components of a running a business is having systems in place that help you be more productive and efficient.

The top areas where many business owners find productivity tools are:

Meetings and Communication
Whether you are in an office or working remotely, it is crucial that you have systems in place that allow your employees to communicate and collaborate with one another. Services like Chanty offers unlimited messaging, voice and video calls, file sharing, and screen sharing ensuring that everyone within your business will be connected no matter where they are.

Social Media Management
Social media can be a challenge to manage if you don’t approach it strategically. Tools like Hootsuite and Later, help your plan, schedule, and post your content so you can allocate more time to other areas of your business.

Project Management

A good project management tool like Trello or Asana will help you keep track of tasks, share files, and collaborate with teammates all in one place.

Remember to keep track of the apps and tools that you are using, so that you can clearly determine whether they are meeting the needs of your new business.

3.    Organize your desktops
As a business owner, you get swamped with some many files that you can find yourself looking at a desktop that is cluttered with icons and downloads. Before you get lost in your on-line documents try setting up a digital filing system, to ensure that you’re documents are always in the right place.

The tips listed above will help you get your small business organized quickly. However it is important that you have a evaluation system in place to ensure that your business does not reach unmanageable levels of disorganization.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The 4 business KPIs your new business should be tracking



Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable values that you use to track and manage the progress of your business objectives or goals. Like other forms of communication within your business, KPIs should be clear and provide relevant information that is easy to absorb and put into action. Continue reading below to find out the top 4 KPIs you should be tracking in your new business.

1.  Gross Profit

The gross profit metric measures the profitability of your business. It tells you the percentage of sales revenue remaining after deducting the costs of production and is typically expressed as a percentage. Not only does a high gross profit indicate that your business is producing profits that exceed your costs, it also shows that your business has efficient processes and effective operations in place. The average gross profit margin should be least 10%, however, you should note that gross profit margins vary by business model and industry. If you are within or exceed your industry average, then you can expect to be on an upwards trend.

2.  Customer Acquisition Cost

Do you know the costs of getting a new customer or client? One of the biggest causes of failure for startups is underestimating the costs associated with acquiring new customers. Your Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) takes into account all of the sales and marketing costs spent at one-time to acquire new customers. While in the early stages of your business you may overlook this KPI, it’s a very important metric to keep track of as your business grows and expands. 

3.  Return on Advertising Spending

The Return on Advertising Spending metric will show you how effective your marketing strategies are. In order to find your return on advertising you will divide the amount of sales made from the amount spent. Example: If you spend $20,000 on advertising which resulted in $40,000 of sales, then your return on advertising is $2. That means that you made $2 for every dollar that you’ve spent.The best way to maximize your return on advertising spending is understand your audience and focus your marketing strategies on where they are on-line and off-line.

4.  Conversion Rate

This is a metric that measures how many of your visitors are converting into customers. For an example, If you have an on-line store — you can measure the conversion rate by dividing the number of people that made a purchase by how many new people visited your store. If you have 500 purchases and 10,000 unique visitors in a month, your conversation rate is 5%.

KPIs help you keep track of progress in all areas of your business from operations to marketing and help your reach your goals faster. In order to determine your KPIs, you should consider your organization’s objectives, how you plan to achieve them, and who is responsible for implementation. This should be a collaborative process to ensure that everyone understands the direction your business is heading in.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Is a Pandemic the Right Time to Start a Business? It Just Might Be.


As millions of businesses shut their doors and sent their workforces home during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many wondered what they would do with their copious amounts of new free time. "Pandemic Bucket Lists" quickly became a viral internet meme, with many sharing the personal development goals they hoped to achieve in their free time:


     Run a backyard marathon.

     Learn how to bake sourdough.

     Write the next great American novel

     Finish an online degree.


Unlikely to make that list of pandemic bucket lists is "start a new business." From the startup costs and massive amounts of energy required to launch a company, starting something new in the best economic conditions can be hard enough. Throw into the mix a global pandemic that has the power to shut down national economies, and the idea of starting a new business can seem far-fetched… if not downright insane.

Yet, history has shown us time and again that some of the most significant innovations in business and culture occurred during times of massive disruption. For entrepreneurs who dare to take a step forward instead of back, these economic upheaval moments can create avenues for new opportunities. Sure, some ideas may flop before they get off the ground. The ones that do work have the potential to change the business landscape forever.


So You Want To Start A Business?

The pandemic has given many would-be entrepreneurs to put themselves in the first shoes of great innovators such as Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. However, just because you have an excellent idea for a service or product that could come in handy during this time of great need, make sure you consider the following tips before you hop online and purchase


Define Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

The first step in launching your business is defining what you are offering the world. Take a look at your product and service, and consider what unique value it brings to the market. This will be regarded as your unique value proposition - what sets you apart from the rest of the market. Do some research online for other versions of your business idea and note whether or not the market is already saturated with your product.

The last thing you need is your brand new business venture falling below the noise of countless copycats- especially if your business is going to rely on online digital marketing to get off the ground.


Do Some Research On The Startup Process & Experience

Think of your model entrepreneur who hit it big with an industry-breaking innovation. While their story is likely filled with success and fame, they probably didn't start at the top. Behind every great business idea are countless failed attempts and sleepless nights.

The process of launching a new business in today's competitive market is not for the faint of heart. It will require you to put in the work - often physically - to help put your name and brand in front of your future customers. You will likely fail - which can be a great thing if you know how to fail well!

The best step in ensuring you succeed in your launch phase is to build a strong foundation of support. Find individuals who support you and your vision, and will be your strongest cheerleaders. The market is full of cynical critics - drown them out with a strong startup team's support.


Run A Systems Check On Your Leadership Abilities

What was your job before setting out on your own? Were you at the bottom of the rung, or were you wasting away in middle management? The pandemic shutdown might have been the catalyst you needed to break free of the chains of having little influence. However, leading a new business as the founder and CEO is no walk in the park!

Make sure that you read, interview, and study the great business leaders of the past. Heading up a department or a small team is one thing. Ask questions about their leadership tactics, their team-building methods, and their work-life balance. By finding a tribe of mentors to help you grow your leadership skills, you will set your new business up for success with a strong foundation of confidence and credibility. This will be vital for building a healthy team and a strong brand reputation.


Start Your Business For The Right Reasons

It may be tempting to start a new business simply because the current job market is difficult. With high unemployment numbers and increasing anxiety about the future of the economy, it is easy to see why so many are considering now as the best time for something new. However, before you throw your life into a new venture, make sure you are starting something for the right reasons.

What are the "right reasons"? Part of that answer depends on how you respond to the above tips. If you are simply frustrated with your current situation and are looking for something new for your nine to five, then the leadership and management needed to start a new business might not be right for you.

However, suppose you are driven by a passion for bringing a new idea or innovation to the market or are desiring to see a need met where none have answered before. In that case, you will find that you have the drive necessary to push forward against the obstacles that a pandemic economy can bring to a new business.


Ready To Start A New Business In The Pandemic Economy?


So what do you think? Do you have what it takes to step out in faith and start something new when the world is pulling back? For those with the entrepreneurial edge, the opportunity to enjoy success where others are withdrawing from the market is everywhere.

By taking the time to consider your aspirations, your current situation, and what you want to bring to the world, you may find yourself looking at a brand new life. If your idea catches in the winds of pandemic-led change, enjoy the ride. If not, pick yourself, dust yourself off, and get started on your next idea!

Get started! Register a business online or get incorporated in Canada! 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Covid-19: A Catalyst for Entrepreneurship


The moment we are in is truly unprecedented. Then again, we’ve been here before. Across the pages of history are chapters written with stories of global upheaval and unexpected crises that forced the world to change its course in unexpected ways. Heroes and villains emerge on both ends. Inefficient ways of living and doing business fade, replaced by new innovations and inventions that change the global landscape.

Every global crisis gives rise to new opportunities for individuals who are bold enough to seize the moment and introduce new solutions for unique problems.

 Consider the global market crash of 2008. While many businesses closed their doors for good and individuals lost their life savings through plunging stock prices, some entrepreneurs rose above the dust and gave the world innovations that are considered commonplace today. Wildly successful companies such as Uber and AirBnB were launched following what many - until 2020 - considered one of the worst economic downturns in history.

 The novel coronavirus pandemic is no different. COVID-19 has a remarkable ability to bring the entire global economic system to a shuddering halt, yet the past few months have shown the resiliency of both humanity and the market. Many businesses are now reemerging from the global shutdown nobody expected - and some are rising up stronger than ever.

 In navigating crisis, businesses have played a vital role in helping communities work their way through the economic rubble caused by global upheaval. At the head of those businesses who shine in emergencies are courageous and bold entrepreneurs who seized the moment and saw the crisis as a catalyst for cultural and market change.

The Power of Pandemics To Shape Innovation

Unfortunately, many businesses and brands have felt the stab of COVID-19’s total economic shutdown. For those who were unable or unwilling to innovate their practices to meet the needs of individuals stuck at home, their death was almost guaranteed as the weeks of shutdown turned into months.

Yet amid the seismic changes in the market, some industries took advantage of the opportunity to get creative with their services to meet the new need. Grocery stores turned to delivery services to send products to consumers through online ordering. Restaurants moved from dining service to curbside and contactless delivery, allowing for greater convenience for consumers and jobs for employees. Distilleries turned their operations into sanitizer manufacturing and carmakers began to build life-saving ventilators.

For entrepreneurs who have an eye on the changing needs of the world, changing their operations to reach a unique need born of crisis can make all the difference. Not only do these businesses see increased relevance in the market, but many begin to thrive as the community responds to their increased service availability.

A Case Study: Digital Education

An entrepreneurial catalyst that has already emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic is the market for digital educational tools. As schools struggle to form reopening policies, education systems are becoming increasingly dependent on technological solutions such as Zoom and Google Hangouts to offer digital classrooms for students.

In answer to the sudden need for digital learning, businesses that offer new innovations in this market have incredible opportunities to shape the industry moving forward. Not only are schools searching for learning apps solutions, but parents are eager to provide their children with entertainment options that encourage positive engagement.

In a similar way, online gaming apps have become a catalyst for entrepreneurial opportunity during COVID-19 as well.

How Will You Take Advantage Of This Entrepreneurial Moment?

After the tidal wave of COVID-19 abates, it will be the strong, bold entrepreneurs who will be given the unique opportunity to direct how the economy recovers, and in what new directions the world moves. As an entrepreneur, how will you respond to the catalyst that the COVID-19 pandemic is offering in this unique moment of an economic restart? Will you implement strategies that you have developed to address the concerns that COVID-19 revealed, or will you return to the same old habits? (Hint: You won’t survive long looking back to the way things used to be!)

Get started! Register a business online or get incorporated in Canada!