Showing: 1 - 5 of 5 Results

How to Start a Consulting Business: Your One Page Business Plan

April
28, 2021

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I wrote several business plans while obtaining my MBA from the University at Buffalo. But, for some reason, I totally skipped that part when it was time to launch my consulting business. My only real plan was to generate revenue, which often involved saying “yes!” to any opportunity that came my way, and not charging nearly enough for the services. And, when my daughter was born, I was too concerned about the future to be fully present. I was there, but I was more preoccupied with worrying about how I would provide for her than I was with enjoying and appreciating the experience. Fortunately, that all changed once I decided to create a real plan aligned with the vision I had for my business and my family. That was six years ago and I’ve now packaged it as the One Page Business Plan for Consultants. I’m sharing the framework with you so you can avoid my mistakes, and compress the amount of time it takes for you to find fulfillment. This is by no means a hack – you’re going to put in work – but this guide will reduce the confusion and frustration that can come from starting a new business. I should also note that you may not complete it in one sitting. By design, it will challenge you and expose blind spots you may not be aware of. That’s a good thing! Addressing these critical issues now will save you from months – possibly even years – of self-doubt and lost revenue. And, if you’re currently offering professional services, but are wondering why you haven’t been able to “figure it out” just yet, this plan could be the key to unlocking your revenue potential.It’s all centered around answering three critical questions, which I’ve highlighted below. Related: Learn how to package, price, and promote your consulting servicesWhat do you do, who do you do it for, and why? Clarity is the precursor to confidence. Once you establish clarity on your services, audience and motivation; you’ll be able to confidently move forward with the next steps. I address how to get clear on your services in the article How to Start a Consulting Business: 3 Steps to Finding Your Idea, so I suggest checking that out in addition to the guidance provided in the business plan. Be sure not to skip defining your “WHY” – the purpose, the cause, or the belief that drives you –  this will become a valuable differentiator as you grow your business. And, if you need help crafting yours, Simon Sinek literally wrote the book on it, but you can also check out his brief YouTube video that provides some valuable tips. How do you attract clients and opportunities by expressing your expertise and personality? (Marketing)When I first started offering Digital Marketing services, I visited a local business in Brooklyn so I could pitch them in person. I knew launching a business would require stepping out of my comfort zone and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to do so. Incredibly enough, they said “yes”, but I never did door-to-door sales again. Why? Because I hated it, and I knew there had to be a more efficient way. Your goal should be to land clients based on how you feel comfortable presenting yourself and the value you provide. Not by spending 20 minutes hyping yourself up by listening to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” on repeat before you finally get enough courage to ask for their business. Everyone may be telling you to join Clubhouse, but answering questions on Quora might be a better fit for your personality.It’s also crucial to attract the right prospects. I used to get contacted by people who asked how much I charged before asking how I could help. In time, you’ll learn how to weed those people out so you can focus on prospects who understand the value you provide and are willing to pay you what you’re worth.Beyond that, your marketing tactics need to be measurable and repeatable. Otherwise, you won’t know how to avoid making the same mistakes or double down on what’s working for you. Related: How to Grow Your Email List and Sales Pipeline by Creating Your Own Free Mini-CourseHow do you deliver your services and scale revenue? (Delivery)Experiencing burnout — emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress — is far too common with entrepreneurs. One way to avoid it: develop a process to deliver your services that is aligned with efficiency and impact. While custom projects can be lucrative, they also require much more coordination and development. Defining the delivery – and pricing – of your services in advance allows you to create a business model that is aligned with your desired revenue and lifestyle goals.You can see options for delivering your services below.By documenting this process, you’ll also be able to better project and scale revenue, which reduces uncertainty and gives you the freedom to take time off without worrying about where your next paycheck is coming from.Related: How to Start a Consulting Business: Determining Your RatesNext stepsDownload the One Page Business Plan and block off three hours to work on it. I suggest working for 50 minutes, taking a 10-minute break, and repeating that cycle three times. Ready to start your consulting business? Check out our Consulting Business Accelerator and get going today! You’ll gain access to training videos, hands-on activities and join live weekly Q&A calls.

The Psychology Of Online Trust

The Psychology Of Online Trust

By Matthew Capala, the Founder of Alphametic, a search marketing agency, keynote speaker, and author of “The Psychology of a Website.”
Say you meet someone at a networking event. After speaking for a couple of minutes, they launch into a hard sales pitch. Chances are, you find it hard to trust this person. It seems as though their only intention is to make money off of you. No matter how good the pitch is, you find it hard to really listen. You move on as soon as you can. The whole thing just doesn’t feel right.
Online encounters mirror their in-person counterparts. Without trust, it’s nearly impossible to hold anybody’s attention, let alone close the deal. As Zig Ziglar famously said, “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.” Luckily, there are many ways to nurture relationships and build trust with website design and content. 

This article explores the psychological biases we have about trust, how to establish your authority as an expert and how to communicate your trustworthiness to both users and search engines.
A prominent display of unquestionable social proof, for example, is one of the most impactful ways to gain instant credibility on your website. You don’t need to be a large corporation to project trust through social proof. You can make small edits to your content today to start accelerating your growth. Small wins will compound into big wins if you stay consistent.

Consider the two headlines below:
1. Join my newsletter to learn marketing. Free access!

2. Join 45K active subscribers who generated millions of dollars from my weekly marketing hacks. Limited-time free offer. Don’t miss out!
Would you trust a brain surgeon who is just starting out or would you prefer a veteran surgeon who has performed thousands of successful brain surgeries with a reputation for diligence and patient care? Chances are the latter is in high demand, so you better grab your phone to secure your place in line.
Keep this in mind when crafting your next content headline. We generally trust and want the things that other people want and trust. We follow the advice of credible experts. We listen to recommendations from those we trust and respect. We assign authority to credentials and titles. We are in a constant state of uncertainty and unpredictability, so forming trusted relationships is essential for social order and survival.
Trust is an emotional brain state, not just an expectation of behavior. According to Psychology Today, trust involves “a feeling of confidence and security,” which is “much more plausible than behavioral, probabilistic, and philosophical views.” Nonetheless, at the most fundamental level, trust involves a positive expectation of future behavior.
This reminds me of this famous quote attributed to Sigmund Freud: “The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with 1/7 of its bulk above water.” The part of the iceberg that is underwater is not seen by the naked eye and could be compared to the subconscious part of the brain that is responsible for the emotional part of trust. Nonetheless, at the most fundamental level, trust involves a positive expectation of future behavior.
I like to think of trust in terms of a “trust score,” which your brain assigns subconsciously to new experiences, whether it’s meeting people or interacting with brands online. There are two major components of the trust score. First, there is a mathematical computation of expected probabilities of future outcomes. Second, there is an emotional dimension, a gut feeling. To trust people or brands, you need to feel good about them.
This does not mean you should manipulate people into trusting you. Quite the opposite; you want to earn their trust. But if you fail to learn how to capture attention and communicate your trustworthiness instantly, you will struggle on the internet. Most of the people who find and abandon your site will never come back, so you better be ready to make a great first impression that instills trust when you have a chance.
Social factors will continue to accelerate the importance of online trust. According to Glenn Ricart, an Internet Hall of Fame computer scientist who started using one of the original internet nodes in 1969, “Trust will be strengthened over the next decade because there is a strong generational shift to interacting online. The expectation of Millennials and others is that they can and should be able to trust online transactions. That expectation will provide fuel to efforts improving trust.”
Engineers at Google understood this trend long ago. From PageRank trust scores in the early days of Google to the latest E-A-T (Expertise-Authority-Trust) ratings, SEO practitioners were among the first to deliberately optimize for online trustworthiness since the early days of the internet. This was before the birth of Facebook and Twitter, when the concept of social media influence was coined, which essentially is a trustworthiness score measured by social popularity.
In my latest book, The Psychology of a Website, I proposed that the brain is your algorithm and that modern SEO is about understanding and predicting human psychology. The time-tested principles of trust psychology, such as the bandwagon bias or the framing effect, influence not only the behavior of your website visitors but also how modern algorithms score your content for its trustworthiness.
For most businesses and professionals, trust is an essential ingredient of their success. In human relations, trust is required to survive and prosper because it enables groups to form and cooperate. Don’t leave trust to chance.

24 Top-Ranked, Affordable Franchises You Can Buy for $25,000 or Less

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 170

Initial investment: $8,639 to $296,598

Initial franchise fee: $3,500

New units in 2016: -1 units (-0.1 percent)

Chester’s has one of the widest ranges for initial investment — you will need to invest anywhere between $8,000 to almost $300,000. However, depending on your current assets and plans for the fried-chicken franchise, there’s a chance you could start a new location for less than five figures, which makes it worth investigating.

A step towards the democratization of online sales

April
28, 2021

6 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

By: Eric Rosenthal, VP for America at Rapyd, Fintech-as-a-Service Global Unicorn. One of the effects of the new normal has been that electronic commerce continues to gain ground. Mexico is one of the Latin American countries that presents the greatest opportunities for international retailers and online markets. It is important to mention that, in 2020 alone, online purchases in the country grew by 30%, resulting in digital payment methods beginning to prosper. In the coming years, Mexico’s ecommerce revenue is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6.5%, resulting in sales of $ 21.8 billion by 2024. But, in a country that has a 62% preference for the use of cash as a form of payment, the ability to build a bridge between the physical world and digital transactions could be one of the most important challenges in this digital transformation . Also, taking into account that only 37% of Mexicans have a bank account, from the company we identified that in the country there are several ways to complete digital transactions for those who commonly handle cash. Among the most used are: printed coupons, payments made through mobile phones, prepaid or gift cards, and electronic purses in which points are accumulated (for example, plastic from supermarkets), in this way Mexican consumers they can take advantage of it to digitize their money in convenience stores. We continue at a time when many people, if possible, limit their mobility, and highlighting that only 34% of Mexicans have a credit card, offering more locations that accept alternative payments to cash benefits consumers and merchants alike. Even without the pandemic, it has been shown that providers need to offer a variety of payment options, and Mexico’s shift to online shopping is very likely here to stay, although for the next several years cash will continue to be critical to both online payments as well as those made physically. Constant evolution It is interesting to stop at one of the points that was pointed out at the beginning: 62% of Mexicans prefer to use cash. And this occurs in this context in which the growth of ecommerce had an acceleration like never before in history. Now, why is this favoritism given for continuing to use cash. It goes without saying that Latin America is one of the least banked regions, but it is also true that virtual wallets and neobanks have thrived there. So why does this situation continue to occur? Undoubtedly, it is necessary to invest in financial education, since many people in Mexico and Latin America still believe that to use a digital payment method (MDP) it is necessary to have a bank account and, this false belief occurs both among consumers and merchants. Of course, the feeling of insecurity also weighs heavily (fear of being a victim of fraud, hacking or suffering theft of the device in which the account is installed), and not being sure of “where” their values are, since they do not know the security of virtual wallets. Without a doubt, this is a shame, because many users are losing the opportunity to have more and better payment alternatives. Even better prices and a greater variety of products and services offered on digital platforms. However, while users are slow to get on the new means of payments, fintechs have a large market ahead in which they can continue to develop, and even offer services that would grow their billing exponentially. Part of this was warned by the Latin American Federation of Banks (Felaban) in its 2019 financial inclusion report: “The lack of financial education in Latin America is an obstacle to expanding access to financial products and services.” So, it is in this scenario that fintechs, with their flexibility and agility, become much more competitive and accessible to consumers. Fintechs are closer platforms, which offer transparency and which, in addition, when the client begins to use them, they perceive their intuitive design. In addition, they have great strength in the face of what is coming: they can provide both B2C and B2B services. This moment does not imply only a technological revolution, what we are experiencing is a cultural change in which those who best adapt will be those who can quickly reap the benefits. In this transformation, digital services are the heart of change, hence their exponential demand and also that they are so essential for everyone, consumers and organizations. And, of course, it is no less important that they have a lower cost for users and that they open the game of finance to those who until now have been ignored by the traditional system.

Korean Billionaire Kim Jung-Ju’s Gaming Giant Invests $100 Million In Bitcoin

Nexon Co., the South Korean online gaming company founded by billionaire Kim Jung-ju, said it has bought $100 million worth of bitcoin amid a rebound in the cryptocurrency.

Tokyo-listed Nexon joins a growing list of global companies, including Elon Musk’s electric carmaker Tesla, that have invested in the digital currency. Nexon’s bitcoin investment represents less than 2% of the company’s cash hoard as of December 2020.
“In the current economic environment, we believe bitcoin offers long-term stability and liquidity while maintaining the value of our cash for future investments,” said Owen Mahoney, president and CEO of Nexon.

The gaming giant has been on an investment spree since June last year, when it announced its plan to invest $1.5 billion in listed entertainment companies. So far, Nexon has invested $874 million in U.S. toy maker Hasbro and Japanese game companies Bandai Namco, Konami and Sega Sammy.

While bitcoin has been volatile, Mahoney said the investment “reflects a disciplined strategy for protecting shareholder value and for maintaining the purchasing power of our cash assets.”

Nexon’s Kartrider Rush+.

Courtesy of Nexon.

Kim, who founded Nexon in 1994, was one of the biggest gainers on last year’s South Korea wealth rankings. He was ranked No. 3 with a net worth of $9.6 billion, up 52% from the previous year, as global lockdowns and social distancing gave people more time at home to play games. Major games published by Nexon include MapleStory, KartRider and Dungeon & Fighter.
“I think we’re going to look back in 20 years and we’ll say [the pandemic] was the turning point in the entertainment industry,” Mahoney told Forbes Asia in a video interview in July.