Jay Turo is CEO of Growthink, a consulting firm that, since 1999, has helped over 500,000 entrepreneurs and business owners develop business plans, raise funding and grow their businesses.
Probably the worst way for an entrepreneur to begin his or her day is to read the newspaper. Or watch the news. Or, for that matter, surf the net or even check in on the latest and greatest on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. It is not to say that keeping up with events is necessarily a bad thing, and of course for many types of businesses and professions, it is part of the job description to do so. But for the busy and ambitious entrepreneur, doing so first thing in the morning at best is highly distracting, and at worst misdirects one’s mind and energy in the absolute wrong direction. Why? Read more…
As the week wraps up, we are all anticipating America’s birthday next Wednesday. Whether it’s barbecues, fireworks, or just family bonding, the Fourth of July never fails to be one of the best days of the year. How will you be celebrating?
Here is this week’s Micro Business Roundup. Read on to learn about how the Affordable Care Act passed this week will affect your small business, how to use Pinterest effectively, and more.
Keeping with our Thursday tradition, earlier today we asked our micro business owners for their advice on a business issue. Given we’ve been discussing entrepreneurial issues, we wanted to find out what entrepreneurs thought made them a success, as in, what traits they found most beneficial. So for this week’s edition of Micro Business Tips Thursday, we asked the Vistaprint Facebook community: Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur? If yes, what traits would you say have helped guide your success?
While we received a handful of great responses, we were really drawn to Janet Zaras‘s answer.
“Never stop moving forward. Appreciate what you have, but always keep looking for more. Keep learning new things to make your business better and never stop looking for more clients. Take care of the clients you have and treat them how you would like to be treated.”
Our index found that 77 percent of micro businesses remain happy, and the feedback we received from our great community of entrepreneurs certainly supported those findings. We recieved a ton of great tips, but Keiron Hubbard comments stuck out to us:
“Stay enthusiastic no matter what happens, you’ll have your good and ‘not so good’ times in business, just stay positive and NEVER get lax on customer service and satisfaction. Good customer service doesn’t cost anything but reaps great rewards morally, ethically and socially. REMEMBER word of mouth travels faster than anything. Make EVERY customer/client feel special.”
So what helps keep you happy with running your own small business? We’d love to hear what different entrepreneurs are doing to keep such a high rate of small business happiness! Please feel free to share your tips and feedback below in the comment section.
Be sure to tune into our Facebook page next week for your chance to be featured on this blog.
Happy Friday all! We hope you had a great week as the temperature continues to drop and the Fall season is becoming clearer. In this week’s edition of the Micro Business Roundup offers some insight into why it may be better to grow your micro business with fewer customers as well as why Google’s new social media platform may be the next big thing for your business marketing efforts. We hope you have a great weekend, and please feel free to share an article that you came across this week.
Grow Your Company With Fewer Customers – When running a business one of the oldest mythologies is that more customers will equal more revenue. But what if this method of thinking wasn’t factually true? What if your micro business could actually be losing money as you obtain more customers? In recent Inc.com article, a study showcases evidence that supports the idea of less (customers) can be a good thing and how scaling your company with fewer clients can contribute to your business long-term success.
Small Business Success Metrics – Are you looking to take your micro business to the next level of success? Do you know how to? SmallBizTrends.com has put together a few steps you may want to take a look at. As you’ll see, being able to measure the success of your results will allow you to make better decisions as you push your micro business forward.
Turn Customers Into Loyal Fans – Around here when we look at the local football team (the New England Patriots) we do not see them as a small business. But their similarities on to how create loyal fans out of customers do run parallel. In this OpenForum.com post, former Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the New England Patriots Lou Imbriano outlines five ways to help take your existing customers and turn them into loyal fans who can help you build your business.
How to Fight Email Overload – Does your micro business struggle with email overload? Between existing customers, vendors along with new customer queries and other items, chances are something is going to slip through the cracks. To help fight the dreaded email drowning, small business expert Alyssa Gregory shares her secret over at SBinformation.About.com. What secrets do you have to add to help keep your email inbox clean and organized?
Why Google+ Will Be the Next Big Thing for Your Business – Back in late June you may recall Google rolled out its social networking site Google+ and the buzz lasted for a few weeks. While the newness has worn off, Chris Brogan believes Google+ will be the next “big thing” to help market your micro business and connect with customers. Check out his thoughts in this recent Entrepreneur.com article and share your feedback with us on if you think Google+ will demonstrate a value for your micro business.
As we come up on Mother’s Day (this Sunday for those who haven’t ordered flowers yet), we look forward to celebrating the hard work that our mothers, grandmothers and “other mothers” put into our upbringing. Whether it was driving us to the seven different activities we were involved with or helping us with a tough, last minute homework assignment; our mother (or mother-like figure) likely was, and possibly still is, an influential person to you whether you realize it or not.
But as you continue to strive towards building a successful micro business for yourself have you ever thought about how your mother helped shape your entrepreneurial thinking? The lessons that were taught to you growing up likely have helped outline your personality and the methods in which you conduct business. Many entrepreneurs will note their biggest influence growing up was their mother.
So that got us thinking… what type of entrepreneurial traits could be derived from our mother? Here is a couple we came up with:
Be Yourself: A common theme that many mothers shared with their children growing up was simply “just be you.” They preached that being someone we are not was not productive to our growth as an individual. This lesson continues today for entrepreneurs looking for their niche within the marketplace. Rather than trying to be like the competitors, successful entrepreneurs will be themselves and create their own position within their respective industry.
The Golden Rule: It is quite possible that your mother was the one to teach the golden rule: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” An obvious rule that can be applied for different occasions, but for micro business owners it is about treating your customers how you would want to be treated (and possibly even better). The level of customer support and interaction you provide can be the difference between converting sales and losing customers, and treating them anything less than respectful is almost guaranteed failure for your business.
Do not beg for things you want: We can all remember a time growing up where we begged our mothers for a piece of candy, a new article of clothing or the latest toy. By denying our constant barrage of requests mothers were teaching us to be independent and work towards the items we wanted, rather than pleading for them. Many strong entrepreneurs keep that line of thought that hard work is the only way to obtain what they want.
Actions speak louder than words: An important lesson that may have been passed down from your mother. While talking about doing things can help you do them, the act of physically doing them is what will help you succeed. While there’s a ton of indicatives you may want to take-on within your micro business
Certainly all mothers are different, but in one way or another, they had an effect on your life and the way you maintain your micro business. So let us know, how did YOUR mother help mold your entrepreneurial mind? Please let us know if the comment section below.
And to all the mothers out there, Happy (Early) Mother’s Day!
It’s something that every small business should stop and ask themselves, at least every once in a while: How much is my business worth? Most small businesses probably don’t even have a solid grasp, or a truly accurate assessment. While you can always hire an outside consultant to take a look at your assets and determine what your business might get on the “open market” the truth is you can get a good idea of what you’re worth by following some simple steps. Read more…
Typically there is a disconnect between small businesses and large businesses. Oftentimes small businesses think that they can’t possibly emulate anything that the big players in business like Wal-Mart, Target and Sears are doing in the retail space. Read more…
Welcome to the second half of How to Deliver Superb Customer Service, please Click here if you missed the first half of the discussion. Today we’ll go over four additional tips to help your company provide exceptional customer service to your customer base. Read more…
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Micro Business Perspectives was launched with the goal of giving micro businesses information and tools to more effectively market and manage their business. We’ll be posting answers to questions, tips and tricks we hope you will find useful in marketing and promoting your business, and suggestions about ways to explore new and innovative mediums. We’re also encouraging you to send us your own successful marketing stories. We’ll publish some of them on this blog so other micro businesses might learn from your example.