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How To Scale Your Team For The Impending Customer Surge

To date, about 16% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Coupled with President Joe Biden’s announcement that he expects there to be enough vaccine doses for every U.S. adult by the end of May, and companies will likely see an uptick in consumer activity this summer.With that surge in consumer demand likely to materialize in the coming months, companies and their employees need to be ready to go. Productivity, efficiency, and quality can’t afford to dip, meaning staff and employees need to be up to the task.

As business increases and the economy starts to return, in some ways, to pre-pandemic levels, preparations need to be made. The surest way to do that is to have enough qualified employees to guide you through the rush.
Build A Staff That Can Keep Up With Demand
Research shows that staying adequately staffed during peak periods can yield a 7% bump in sales and a 6% increase in profitability. Low-risk, cost-effective staffing practices can help businesses weather the anticipated influx of customers as the pandemic subsides. Here’s how you can prepare:

1. Explore temporary staffing options. COVID-19 forced many companies to get creative in terms of staffing. With nonessential businesses downsizing their teams in some cases and essentials ramping up, temporary staffers became stop-gap options for companies trying to remain operational.

Businesses preparing for an influx of customer activity would be wise to supplement their workflow with temporary staffers. According to Christine Proffitt, vice president of sales at Integrity Staffing Solutions, temporary workers are versatile options for any company trying to keep things flowing.

“Hiring a temporary worker isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor,” Proffitt said. “For example, you might want to hire a classic temporary worker who fulfills a role that’s needed for a specific length of time. … On the other hand, you might be more interested in a temp-to-hire candidate that enables you to test the applicant on the job.”
Assess your company’s short- and long-term needs and see how temporary workers can help. Sometimes they can be a means to an end; other times, these employees can become permanent solutions to your staffing needs.
2. Look to your team for referrals. According to research by the Society for Human Resource Management, one new hire costs a company $4,425. That’s a sizable dent in your budget for a lone applicant, but it’s a blow that could be softened by looking to your current team to help identify potential hires.
When companies welcome candidate referrals from their team members, studies show that the applicants are of a higher quality. The pool of talent is more willing to listen to an offer and more likely to thrive in the company, should they come aboard. And they’re more likely to stay with the organization, helping retention and keeping hiring costs low.
Referrals usually come with more insight into what the company wants from a candidate and how they can fit in culturally. For employees, identifying a potential hire puts them out on a limb, so they’ll likely only send people that they’d feel comfortable staking their reputation on.
According to LinkedIn, the top way people find out about jobs is through referrals. When openings occur, loop in employees and ask them to pass along promising candidates. Develop a referral program that offers financial or growth incentives to spur team members into identifying talent that would be a good fit.
3. Use technology to recruit faster and better. Approximately 98% of Fortune 500 companies leverage some kind of recruiting software. Furthermore, 68% of all business leaders know that recruiting success in the next five years will come through technology investments. Staff up quickly and find high-quality candidates by leaning on the slew of available recruiting solutions.
Traditional sourcing avenues like job boards are still popular ways of identifying top talent. That said, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are quickly becoming valued assets in the pursuit of top-flight talent. About 63% of recruiters report AI has impacted their companies’ recruiting, and more than half of those respondents say the technology helps them recruit more efficiently.
AI and machine learning are permeating several industries, providing convenience and clarity along the way. According to Mark Brandau, a principal analyst on Forrester’s CIO team, it’s a wave that will pick up even more momentum.
“All vendors are moving in that direction without question,” Brandau said. “It’s the way of the future.”
As you ramp up your hiring in anticipation of increased demand, look for bottlenecks in the process. Whether it’s sourcing, candidate outreach, or even the candidate experience, find ways to improve it via AI. The technology should make your process faster and enable your company to keep up with its needs going forward.
While the pre-pandemic status quo might not return in full, the increased availability of COVID-19 vaccines means more traditional consumer activities will rebound. Make sure your team is up to the task of handling it all. Look at all staffing options (including temporary ones), leverage referrals, and lean on hiring technology to quickly fill your team out to prepare for the coming surge.

How To Ease Client Anxiety In Your Service-Based Business

No one really loves going to the dentist, and dentists know this. Taking note of this hard truth, many dentists and dental practices have applied thoughtful entrepreneurial approaches to the age-old problem of not wanting to go to the dentist. This has resulted in premier dental ‘spas’ with luxurious experiences and other approaches to dentistry, such as ‘emotional dentistry.’ Dr. Rodney Raanan and Dr. Justin Raanan are both graduates of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and pioneers in the dentistry field, combining entrepreneurship with dentistry.They’re on the leading edge of the massive shifts that the dental industry is going through, and what they’ve come up with offers considerations for any other healthcare provider or entrepreneur who offers a service that patients or clients are often nervous about, whether that’s cosmetic surgery or even tax support. 

Here are a few tips to lower the anxiety your client may feel when starting a project with you.

1. Create A Focus On Your Expertise
Everyone wants to feel like they’re in good hands if they’re nervous about a service or a procedure. The more that you can humbly shine a spotlight on your previous work, the more the patient or client will feel comfortable with your capacity to do a good job. “To highlight our own work, right when you walk into our office, we have an on-site lab that features ozone therapy devices, a 360-degree 3D imaging machine, laser technology, and a top-of-the-line operating microscope. This immediately shows patients that we’ll be able to handle anything they need to achieve the smile of their dreams,” explained Dr. Raanan.

If you don’t have a physical location for your service, try your own variant of this by highlighting previous client or patient success stories. The more you can show them WHAT you can do and that you have the means to do it, the more the focus can be on the end result, rather than what is causing them anxiety. Or, show them the behind-the-scenes of what you do for them. Providing extra detail and clarity goes a long way in easing anxiety.

2. Bring Multiple Specialties Under One Roof
“We also knew we needed to offer a full suite of specialties, so we also offer professional teeth cleaning and whitening, full mouth reconstruction, laser dentistry, nuVeneers, extractions, Invisalign, and implants,” Dr. Raanan said. “This contributes in helping the patient feel taken care of. It’s not always enough to be really good at one thing – sometimes, you need to partner with others in your field that you can build a suite of services with, so that you become the one-stop shop for the patient or client. Trust and comfort are the most important emotions you can strike with the client, and it’s going to take some time. Keeping everything under one roof is the fastest way to get there,” advised Dr. Ranaan.  
Building a team around your client and their needs will always go the extra mile in ensuring their ease with the process. For example, if you’re a tax accountant, consider partnering with others who can help them maximize their expenses, keep track of key tax dates, and understand their paperwork. Or, find a way to offer these services on your own, even via educational videos on your website or additional coaching sessions. 
3. Give The Client Control
Finally, understand that anxiety is often a symptom of not feeling in control. However you can make the client or patient feel in control, do it. This could be via providing extra details or letting them do a part of the procedure or service (as that makes sense for them). For the Ranaans, they do this through the presence of their on-site lab, Atelier Aesthetics. 
“Usually at dental practices, the dentists have no control over the production process of crowns and veneers. But with an on-site lab, every part of the process can be seen. We even live-stream the production process on TV’s in the office, which gives clients a sense of control and connection to the process. This emboldens their trust,” said Dr. Ranaan. 
As long as the client’s comfort comes first, you will be able to quickly build trust with them and help to ease their anxiety, whether your service is tattoo design or divorce mitigation. There are many services that people typically don’t enjoy, but need (or want) nonetheless. You have an unparalleled ability to affect their lives through easing their anxiety as they go through these procedures or services. Use it wisely.

Keys you need to be a successful entrepreneur

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

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Have you ever considered running your own business, but doubts assail you and uncertainty stops you? It is not for less because only a small percentage of the new businesses that are created manage to survive: ” 82% of the new companies do not reach four years of life” . This is what the economists Oriol Amat and Pilar Lloret indicate in their book “Advancing, keys to survive and grow”. Working for yourself has a special appeal because you can be your own boss. However, the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur can be tortuous since not all of us are trained to take charge of their own business, especially those who are used to working for others and who also do not have financial notions basic. Entrepreneurship is not easy, especially if what we want is for the business to last over time and generate wealth for us. The global economic crisis of recent years has pushed many people to undertake en masse, but am I really ready to undertake? Through practical advice, this article addresses the main guidelines for those who are considering leaving their stable job to take the “risk” of undertaking and reinventing themselves at work: Do I have the soul of an entrepreneur? There are people who are excellent workers in charge of other people but who are not capable of leading a team or organizing their own work. Entrepreneurship also entails a series of dangers far from the stability of being a salaried employee and having a permanent job. Therefore, we should ask ourselves if we are really qualified to be entrepreneurs or if we prefer to continue working under the command of others. Franck Scipion is an entrepreneur of French origin who in 2010 left his comfortable and well-paid job to create Lifestyle al Cuadrado from where he shares strategies, tactics and digital tools to help people who want to work online obtaining an income that allow them to make ends meet. His page receives more than 300,000 readers per month. Scipion is clear that “the crisis has forced a job change and people are waking up out of obligation because they are increasingly out of love with paid employment.” Usually, the need is what makes people wake up and look for a way to generate income, but there are those who are not willing to change or leave their comfort zone and also have a particularly difficult time acquiring the necessary skills to become entrepreneurs. For the latter, perhaps the venture does not suit their needs because, after all, to undertake you also have to take a series of risks that do not ensure stability. If we decide to undertake, it would be to improve the employment option we already have, not to force something with which we do not identify and can cause us many problems to come. Materialize your ideas When making the determination it is essential. Like words, ideas are blown away. If you really have clear objectives, the next most immediate step is execution . “Ideas are useless, you have to materialize them, but with the right mindset,” that’s how clear it is David Vu, an American serial entrepreneur who has created multiple businesses both online and offline and who teaches at Udemy . Nothing ventured nothing gained As in life and in the game, in the company if we do not bet we will never get results or we will know what we are losing or winning. What is clear is that standing idly by is when we will not achieve anything. To undertake, you also have to take a series of risks and be aware that they will not always turn out well. That is why you also have to be prepared for a possible failure. Failure management How will I react to a possible failure is the first thing you have to ask yourself when undertaking. Managing failure in the best possible way requires patience, attitude, and personality. If you think that failure will weaken you, it is better not to jump in and play it safe, do not give up your stability. Not be afraid of being wrong Sometimes doubts hold us back and limit us, so we miss out on many opportunities for fear of making mistakes. Making mistakes is not bad, it is learning. We learn from mistakes. A positive attitude and skills to know how to get up to a possible failure are essential in every entrepreneur. If things don’t go the way we expected, it’s not the end. With the right attitude and knowing how to deal with certain unfavorable situations, we can overcome adversity and learn from the mistakes we have made . Fernando Monzón is a Spanish publicist and founder of the 3Lemon marketing agency who always encourages people “to make mistakes, to dare, to try, and to do it many times, because each time they will make mistakes better.” Surround yourself with good professionals Another of the fundamental keys is to be advised by the best experts. Good entrepreneurs will always rub shoulders with people brighter than themselves to be soaked in their knowledge and advice. Knowing how to detect the talent with which to relate is another of the skills that every entrepreneur should have or at least try to do so by dedicating the necessary time to form a team of good professionals in whom they can trust. Get advice from the right people and better if they are people who have already succeeded doing something similar to what you want to do. This way you can take their experience into consideration. Learn to listen to different opinions to take them into account, but then be able to make your own decisions. What business is the right one? Sometimes we block ourselves thinking about different business options, we analyze different targets, we attend to multiple market studies … but we forget the most important thing: our true potential, thinking about what we are really good at, what we can contribute to society and what added value we have. Therefore, is there a correct sector or business? “There is no universal answer because each person has their own answer” as Franck Scipion told me during an interview. Another key is to detect new opportunities where others do not see them. Regardless of the business sector in question, this is a common standard. Finally, it is useless to follow a mass business model for the mere fact that it is succeeding because surely we are already late. In these cases, good entrepreneurs are in the right position to “wait for the next wave” as they say in surfing slang. Use financial logic Do not incur expenses with money that you do not have. Logically, don’t spend what you can’t afford… As Robert Kiyosaki points out in his successful book Rich Dad, Poor Dad , financial illiteracy can ruin our business if we don’t know how to manage our money. It’s not about being a financial guru but about using basic mathematical logic. Enjoy what you do What’s the use of being a successful, high-profit trader if you don’t enjoy the process? It would be meaningless torture. Therefore, whatever you do, bet on what you bet, what you decide to do has to be something that you are passionate about (or at least you do not dislike too much). In addition, doing what we really identify with and long for good results will come more easily. For example, for Franck Scipion the key to his success lies in the fact that he is doing what he is really born with and is passionate about: “I had a good job as an employee, I was earning very well, I was in charge of a digital team, but I I felt empty, not recognized, I did not feel valued or fulfilled ”he affirms. His case is the example of thousands of people around the world who do not feel comfortable with the job they have had to do and who have not chosen. Scipion found in his passion to share with others and to lend help the essence of his business. Now think about what you could contribute. Keep learning, don’t give up When you already believe that you know everything and that you have reached your goal, there is always more and more to continue evolving. A relative ambition is not negative. The bad thing is to stagnate and stay halfway. Therefore, keep a pro-active attitude to always acquire new knowledge that can improve your business and also enrich you personally. In addition, being an entrepreneur with charisma also requires a mastery of social relationships and courtesy that can always be trained. Finally, do not forget that the beginnings are not easy and that the process of undertaking does not respond to any exact science, although taking into account these common requirements you can ensure greater viability beyond your own previously lived experiences.

These are the three things you should invest your savings in

Do you remember what you did with your first salary? Many of us see the option of saving as distant and we put it off. Here we tell you how to take advantage of your money.

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Money-Smart Solopreneur

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

When you start making money , the first thing you think about is spending it on what you have wanted for a long time. However, your decision may lead to an uncertain future. “Start saving from your first Sunday,” is the recommendation made by José Antonio Ezquerra, director of Finamex Casa de Bolsa. Because in our country there is no culture of savings or proper money management, according to the executive, most of the people who receive an income do not think about investing it. And for the most part, they measure the importance of this until they have children, which is the moment where saving is almost impossible. By 2050, the majority of the population that is young today will be 80 years old and may not have access to sufficient retirement savings, while institutions could face a major crisis due to the lack of economic resources to A Hostel. The problem is aggravated when we discover that in Mexico there is no financial education, since there is a thinking based on false beliefs, since most are far from banks and prefer to inform them, such as the so-called tandas. About 45 million Mexicans do not save, since 73% say that their income is not enough to do so, according to the 2014 National Survey of Financial Inclusion of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi). Likewise, 19.8 million adults save informally and prefer to keep their money on the mattress, says Inegi. Therefore, José Antonio Ezquerra shares three points in which you should invest your money from today: Projects This area includes issues such as travel, university studies, cars, real estate. Forecast. The manager recommends saving in case of any illness or accident. Retirement. Saving from today will help you ensure a decent old age. The National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Users of Financial Services (Condusef) advises to use formal savings in authorized institutions, if you need to know which organizations are accredited, find out at the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV). Remember that before investing you should consult a specialist who can give you the best system according to your profile and your goals. In this regard, José Antonio Ezquerra states that “it is worth spending, but the most important thing is to save.”

How Technology Can Improve CX for Government Services

In order to ensure citizens get the help they need, the government needs to follow the example of business and start putting their customer experience first.

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April
10, 2021

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Customer experience (CX) isn’t something most people associate with government services. Instead, they’re confronted by visions of long lines, unenthusiastic or overworked service reps and an almost endless trail of bureaucratic red tape. With the money expected to flow into public services in the coming years, both as a result of a newly elected presidential administration and an attempt to boost the country out of a Covid-induced recession, there’s a ripe opportunity to bring CX advances to the public sector.Related: 4 Ways to Use AI to Enhance the Customer ExperienceParadigm shift for the government sectorNew administrations, be it Democrat or Republican, historically have different priorities in terms of where money should be spent. Services could include social welfare programs, housing assistance or increased defense spending and infrastructure expenditures, among hundreds of others. The common thread across administrations is the need to get funding to the programs and persons that it is intended to serve.Services aren’t much good if they’re inaccessible. Public sector services and administrations are notoriously difficult to navigate, made up of disparate agencies that don’t have integrated systems, web pages with old links or completely contradictory information on who qualifies for what.All this means that improving CX for the government sector is going to require a significant paradigm shift. Public sector agencies experience challenges that private sector companies do not. Specifically, public sector agencies are usually understaffed, often serving a large portion of the population, and doing so without the incentive of making a profit. These constraints don’t lend themselves to the government achieving lightning-fast processing speeds or perfect efficiency. The time is ripe for a system overhaul — to include government agencies leveraging private sector technologies for the public good.Areas for growthAll that said, there are a few specific areas that are particularly ready for vast improvements using private-sector technology. Improving these areas could make the average user’s experience qualifying for and obtaining government services so much better.In recent years, commercial providers have developed a plethora of economical and secure software and cloud-based service options. The ability for the government to outsource certain CX functions to these providers eliminates any need for the government to hold on to antiquated systems or “paper-based” application requirements. When properly implemented, these partnerships can also reduce fraud, waste and abuse in government programs.Eligibility and identity verificationDetermining eligibility has been a significant challenge to the public, who often have to deal with conflicting information and multiple agencies to submit their requests. That could be a thing of the past as companies like TransUnion and others compile more robust online profiles for almost everyone in the country. Online identity verification is becoming more secure with each passing year. This data could be leveraged to determine a person’s eligibility almost without them even needing to be involved beyond basic information input — and with a lot more precision.Application processAnother opportunity for improvement is in the general application process. With health concerns, it’s understandable that customers don’t want to venture out to a physical location, and agencies don’t want to put their employees at risk. Instead of just shuttering their buildings, however, much of the application process can be done virtually or remotely. Not only does this keep people from exposing each other to potential viruses, but it also improves the CX because people can fill out an application from the comfort of their home.Data accessibilityIt can be difficult to navigate government websites. They’re often filled with bad links and old or incorrect contact information. Users can find it extremely frustrating to try and find the information they need, and they’ll often just give up instead.This is the third area for significant improvement. New advances in artificial intelligence can make it easier to store, organize and access data efficiently. All this means that the average user can get access to the information they need on an app or system that’s optimized for mobile devices. That’s a potential game-changer for agencies that have too few resources and too many customers.Related: Foreign State Hackers Reportedly Breached the U.S. TreasurySolutions for everyoneThere are plenty of other opportunities for CX to make significant improvements in government services, but these are three that are particularly problematic today. These are just some of the steps government agencies can take to help bring their services to the millions of Americans who really need them.

Clubhouse: Why Has It Taken Off?

A typical startup will go through several pivots to find the product-market fit. But this has not been the case for Clubhouse. Launched on the iOS app store in April 2020, it has become one of the hottest social networks in the world.

What is it then? Well, this is how the company describes it:  “Clubhouse is a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations—with friends and other interesting people around the world. Go online anytime to chat with the people you follow, or hop in as a listener and hear what others are talking about.”
It’s really simple—but powerful and engaging. “With around two million weekly active users and with many people still waiting to receive an elusive invite, Clubhouse is undoubtedly the app of the moment and the talk of the own,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, who is the president of Socialbakers. “Appearances by Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have propelled it into the limelight. Essentially the application is giving people access to stimulating conversations at a time when the global pandemic has forced many of us to take distance.”

The buzz is that Twitter has already made a $4 billion offer to buy the company. And yes, Clubhouse is looking at its next funding, which will certainly be large.
So then, what are some of the reasons for the success? What are the takeaways?

I had a chance to talk to tech and marketing veterans about this—and here’s what they had to say: 
Pierre Subeh, who is Chief Operating Officer at X Network:

Clubhouse brings a new twist of innovations with its invite-only platform that sold itself since day one as a form of elitism, the virtual kind. Think about a yacht club, but on your phone.
James Wilsterman, who is the Chief Technology Officer and cofounder of Volley:
The most interesting aspect of Clubhouse is that listeners can become audio creators so easily by unmuting themselves and joining conversations; furthermore, voice itself is information-dense, conveying meaning through language, tone, pauses, and emphasis.
It’s simply more natural for many of us to start talking than it is for us to craft a pithy tweet or construct a compelling Instagram story. Given how natural and intuitive speaking is, voice has been underinvested in as a software input since podcasts were popularized over twenty years ago.
Mike Owen, who is the Chief of Business at Spiketrap:
People seek deeper understanding in their conversations, and context is key. Platforms that enable nuanced communication between users will enjoy more robust engagement, and see stronger user retention. Audio formats allow participants to convey more context via their tone of voice, much in the same way that emojis and emotes provide context for text-based communication.
On the user experience front, audio-only formats enable users to tune in or participate during the in-between moments of their day. Time spent with audio formats has shifted over the years—from radio to audiobooks and podcasts—and the interactive live conversation experience offered within Clubhouse is the next evolution in the space.
Tiffany Xingyu Wang, who is the General Manager and cofounder of Oasis Consortium:
Audio has been called the “Goldilocks” medium as it’s more personal than text but less intrusive than video. Researchers have long known that audio can make difficult topics more accessible, and humanize challenging issues through simple back-and-forth conversation.
Shachar Orren, the Chief Marketing Officer at EX.CO:
Audio is a bit more casual than other formats of communicating, such as video. Audio allows people to engage while they are doing other things, which is different than reading an article, looking at pictures or hosting a Zoom meeting.
More people could be inclined to listen to audio while going about other daily tasks like cooking dinner or doing laundry, because it’s a more flexible format, while still being really engaging.
It’s also useful as an internal communications tool for companies with global teams, as it offers employees a way to connect quickly without setting aside a whole 30 minute or hour long scheduled Zoom session.
Thibaud Clement, who is the CEO and cofounder of Loomly:
Perhaps most surprisingly, a factor contributing to the success of live audio apps is the popularity of Airpods and other wireless earbuds. In 2019, Airpods generated $12 billion in revenue, which means 8% of Apple’s revenue. That alone is more than the entire revenue of Spotify! That immense commercial success is, at the very least enabling, if not empowering, the success of audio-first social networks, such as Clubhouse, Spaces (Twitter), or the new initiative by Spotify. To go even further, as Ben Thompson puts it: “Clubhouse is the first AirPods social network.”
Jeremiah Owyang, advisor to Rally.io:
Clubhouse is incredibly easy to use and it doesn’t require users to build an extensive profile about themselves before getting into the fun. Users can quickly discover conversations that resonate with them and raise their hand to speak directly to experts that they wouldn’t get the opportunity to speak to in person.
Andrew Lee, who is a partner at Initialized Capital:
Clubhouse is authentic—the quality of the audio is monumentally better over data than over phone or radio. The fidelity of a small audio cue, like a mute/unmute conveys just enough without encountering the problem of Zoom fatigue.
Tom (@ttaulli) is an advisor/board member to startups and the author of Artificial Intelligence Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction, The Robotic Process Automation Handbook: A Guide to Implementing RPA Systems and Implementing AI Systems: Transform Your Business in 6 Steps. He also has developed various online courses, such as for the COBOL and Python programming languages.

What Type of Business Benefits From a C Corp? Watch this Webinar

Do you know what legal structure makes the most sense for you if you are about to start a business? If you don’t know, it is essential you find out because it is one of the most important decisions you will make. A webinar titled “What Business Structure is Right for You?” is going to answer some key questions and guide you so you can make the best decision when you are ready to start. So what type of business can benefit from a C Corp or an LLC or even a Sole Proprietorship.In collaboration with Anita Campbell, Founder and CEO of Small Business Trends LLC, Nellie Akalp, the CEO of CorpNet.com will be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each legal structure.The will be discussing:The tax savings features of different entities.The C Corporation and which types of businesses benefit from this entity.The many benefits of incorporating a business or forming an LLC.Why the Sole Proprietorship of Partnership offers no liability protection for business owners.Why a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is so popular among business owners.The advantages and disadvantages of the S Corporation vs the LLC and what is best for which types of businesses.Starting a business has many different steps, but the legal structure is one people find most confusing. And clarifying that confusion is absolutely essential if you want to start your business the right way.Click the red button and register to attend this free webinar on Jan 17, 2021, at 2 p.m. (EDT).Register NowFeatured Events, Contests and AwardsWEBINAR: What Business Structure is Right for You?June 17, 2021, OnlinePicking a business structure is usually the first big legal decision for a new business owner and one of the most confusing. However confusing, it is an essential step to protecting your personal assets from any liabilities of the company. In this webinar, Nellie Akalp CEO of CorpNet.com, will share insight on business entities to help guide you to the best decision for your new venture.WEBINAR: Best State to IncorporateJuly 28, 2021, OnlineSome say Delaware, others say Nevada while someone else may say your home state. What is the best state to register a business in? What if your business is expanding into new territory? At what point should you Foreign Qualify? Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com, will go in-depth to answer these questions and more in this webinar.WEBINAR: Steps to Start Your BusinessOctober 20, 2021, OnlineStarting a business can be an exhilarating time, where everything seems full of potential and purpose. But navigating the logistics of launching a business can be daunting. In this webinar Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com, will outline the steps necessary to legally start a business and get up and running on the right foot.More EventsData Amplified 2021April 14, 2021, OnlineTECHSPO New York 2021 Technology Expo (Internet ~ Mobile ~ AdTech ~ MarTech ~ SaaS)April 15, 2021, OnlineAMA: Employment Law Policies and COVID-19April 15, 2021, OnlineUptima Entrepreneur Academy – OaklandApril 16, 2021, Oakland, CAUptima Entrepreneur Academy – San FranciscoApril 16, 2021, San Francisco, CAUptima Entrepreneur Academy – BostonApril 16, 2021, Boston, MADigiMarCon Mid-Atlantic 2021 – Digital Marketing, Media and Advertising Conference & ExhibitionApril 26, 2021, Philadelphia, PA2nd SPAC Opportunity SummitApril 27, 2021, OnlineDigiMarCon At Home 2021 – Digital Marketing, Media and Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, OnlineOttawa Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, Ottawa, ONAustin Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, OnlineBaltimore Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, Baltimore, MDTampa Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, FloridaPittsburgh Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, Pittsburgh, PASan Antonio Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, San Antonio, TXCalgary Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, Calgary, ABMemphis Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, OnlineSacramento Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, California City, CASan Jose Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, San Jose, CARaleigh Digital Marketing, Media & Advertising ConferenceApril 28, 2021, OnlineMore ContestsThis weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.Image: Depositphotos

10 Personal Development Tips to Help You Love Your Small Business Life

If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.Running a small business is hard work. But it can also be fun if you love what you do. Personal development is an important element of creating a successful, sustainable business. Use these tips from the online small business community to learn, grow, and love what you do.Find Joy in Your BusinessLots of entrepreneurs get into business because they love it. However, that feeling can sometimes fade through the years. If you want to build a sustainable company, it’s important to enjoy it at least somewhat. John Jantsch dives into this topic with Shani Godwin in this Duct Tape Marketing post and podcast.Add Fitness Workouts into a Busy Life ScheduleTaking care of your business requires a lot of time. But it’s important not to neglect your own personal health. Fitness is an important element of healthy work-life balance. Learn how to add fitness workouts in your busy schedule in this Aha!NOW post by Sarun Ravindrad. Then read what BizSugar members had to say about the concept.Use Empathy When Reaching Out to Your NicheThe ability to understand your customers is essential no matter what industry you’re in. That’s why empathy is such an important quality for entrepreneurs. In this TopRank Marketing post and podcast, Susan Misukanis shares an interview with Nicole Brady to discuss further.Take These Courses to Start Earning Money from HomeWorking at home is an attractive option for lots of entrepreneurs and workers. However, there may be a learning curve for some. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help. In this post on The Work at Home Woman blog, Holly Riesem Hanna lists the best options.Choose a Lucrative Niche for Your StartupIt’s important to find a business niche that you love. But it’s also important to find one that can actually succeed. Some industries are better suited right now to making money than others. In this Crowdspring post, Katie Lundin lists steps to find these lucrative niches.Look to These Resources for AdviceEducation is an important part of growing into your role as a business owner. The right resources can make a huge impact on your personal journey. In this Noobpreneur post, the Young Entrepreneur Council offers resource tips for new founders. And BizSugar members discussed further here.Set Up a Home Workspace That Inspires ProductivityYour workspace can make a major impact on how many tasks you complete throughout the day. This is an often overlooked part of running a business. And it can be even trickier for those who work from home. Luckily, Molly Stovold offers tips in this Process Street post.Legally Protect Your Side HustleStarting a side hustle can be the perfect way to explore a new interest and expand your revenue. But even small business opportunities may come with legal elements. Nellie Akalp explores how side hustlers can legally protect themselves in this CorpNet post.Be Tech-Forward Without Losing Customer ConnectionsAs a small business owner, your ability to connect on a personal level with customers is key. Technology can make certain types of communication easier. But it sometimes comes with a cost. In this Small Biz Daily post by Kelsey Stuart, learn how to enjoy the best of tech without losing personal connections.Plan Your Small Business RetirementSome business owners love their work enough to continue it for a lifetime. Others want to enjoy their retirement. If you fall into the latter category, planning is key. Rick Pendykoski lays out six retirement planning steps for small business owners in this Smallbiztechnology.com post.If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.Image: Depositphotos

Lessons from great rockers for entrepreneurs

These phrases from some of the most transcendent rock singers could serve as inspiration.

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

The great rockers of history have many qualities: they are talented, born leaders and have an insatiable thirst to make their mark on the world. However, perhaps its main quality – or the one that can most inspire entrepreneurs – is its rebellion, its rejection of what is established and its inclination to break the rules. These phrases from some of the most transcendent rock singers could serve as inspiration. 1. “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Jimi Hendrix, American musician and singer-songwriter. 2. “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with being free.” Bob Dylan, American musician, singer and poet. 3. “Act as you would like to be, and soon you will be the consequence of your actions.” Leonard Cohen, Canadian poet, novelist and singer-songwriter. 4. “I really try to put myself in awkward situations. Complacency is my enemy ”. Trent Reznor, American musician, songwriter and producer, leader of the band Nine Inch Nails. 5. “I believe in everything until its nonexistence is proven. So I believe in fairies, myths, and dragons. Everything exists, even if it is in your mind. Who dares to say that dreams and nightmares are not as real as the here and now? John Lennon, British musician and composer, former member of The Beatles. 6. “Just because you believe doesn’t mean you don’t think things through.” David Bowie, British musician and composer. 7. “Make your interactions with people transformative and not just transactional.” Patti Smith, American punk singer and poet. 8. “Today let’s make the exception of breaking the rules.” Gustavo Cerati, Argentine musician, singer-songwriter, composer and producer. 9. “My business is to enjoy myself and have fun. And why not if in the end everything will end? Janis Joplin, American rock and blues singer. 10. “Wishing to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” Kurt Cobain, vocalist musician for Nirvana. 11. “I think life is too short to focus on your past. I prefer to look to the future ”. Lou Reed, rock singer and songwriter. Listen to our rock playlist to get into the “mood”!

Why Common Sense Is Key If You Want to Be a Business Innovator

January
12, 2017

8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Glenn Llopis’s book The Innovation Mentality. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code LEAD2021 through 4/10/21.The six characteristics of the innovation mentality are like many great ideas: deceptively simple. That’s the point: They awaken you to new opportunities and possibilities through the simplest language that can be applied to all aspects of leadership.Related: 4 Questions To Help Leaders Define Their BrandFor example, the most popular article I ever wrote for Forbes.com was on the 15 things leaders must do automatically, every day, to be successful in the workplace. These 15 things ultimately allow leaders to increase the value of their organization’s brand, while at the same time minimize the operating risk profile. They serve as the enablers of talent, culture and results:Make others feel safe to speak up.Make decisions.Communicate expectations.Challenge people to think.Be accountable to others.Lead by example.Measure and reward performance.Provide continuous feedback.Properly allocate and deploy talentAsk questions and seek counsel.Problem solve and avoid procrastination.Have positive energy and attitude.Be a great teacher.Invest in relationships.Genuinely enjoy responsibilities.Millions of people read, responded and shared this post. Why? Certainly not because the list is so groundbreaking. Do these 15 things sound new, counterintuitive or complex? Of course not. Like the six characteristics, they’re simple to say and clear in their direction for how we connect with, market, impact and influence all people. We can’t do these things most effectively and consistently unless we can maximize the potential of everything our leadership touches/influences. In an execution-oriented environment, how is this possible? I’ll let you in on a little secret that might help: Every one of these 15 things is drawn from and connected to the six innovation mentality characteristics, like the following, for example:Measure and reward performance: See opportunity in everything (characteristic #1).Ask questions and seek counsel: Anticipate the unexpected (characteristic #2).Properly allocate and deploy talent: Unleash your passionate pursuits (characteristic #3).Invest in relationships: Live with an entrepreneurial spirit (characteristic #4).Provide continuous feedback: Work with a generous purpose (characteristic #5).Lead by example: Lead to leave a legacy (characteristic #6).It’s important to realize this connection to the six characteristics extends to the work most companies aspire to every day, such as serving customers (anticipate the unexpected and work with a generous purpose) or striving for excellence (live with an entrepreneurial spirit). That’s the common sense behind the six characteristics; they apply and are adaptable to all aspects of business and leadership, as well as being simple to grasp and easy to memorize.Related: 3 Things Successful Leaders Do to Get Out of a RutSo now go back through each characteristic and ask yourself:How do you live each characteristic in your work?How can each characteristic propel innovation and initiative in your business?How can each characteristic contribute to the success and betterment of others?How do others experience each characteristic in your leadership in the workplace?For example, consider six brand strategies (below) that most chief marketing officers (CMOs) fail to execute to heed the rapidly evolving ground rules for branding that are challenging brands to think differently. You can clearly see how they match up with the six innovation mentality characteristics:1. See consumer engagement that others don’t. Stop doing what everyone else is doing, and be creative about how your brand engages with consumers.2. Establish an identity that’s easily relatable. Consumers want brands to be deliberate with their identity — straightforward while at the same time forward thinking.3. Have a lifestyle platform that inspires people and communicates hope. A holistic approach to branding that gives people hope will accelerate your ability to earn consumer trust and loyalty.4. Show continuous innovation with flawless timing and execution. Consumers want to know that you’re ready when they are; that means your timing must be in perfect sync with their demands.5. Promote the genuine spirit of giving. The spirit of giving must be a central part of every brand’s DNA. Make it a point to show your gratitude to the people and communities your brand is serving.6. Serve others to leave a legacy. What is the experience and/or product association you’re attempting to leave behind for your brand, and what will your audience remember most about how it impacted their business or lifestyle?Over the past 25 years, I’ve realized that I can apply the six characteristics to any workplace or marketplace opportunity. In this case, CMOs learn the six characteristics through these brand strategies; each is equally important and builds on the other to create and sustain the ultimate customer experience. They force CMOs to be accountable to their needs and take responsibility to keep the momentum of the relationships moving forward. That’s how you build a power brand for the 21st-century consumer.But if these six characteristics are simple to say and grasp for any leader in any industry, they’re certainly not so simple to embrace, let alone operationalize. That requires creating new systems and approaches. Which pretty much sums up the feedback I got from CMOs and marketers to that list: CMOs are “naive to other avenues of marketing” for ROI; “most brands are not structured to handle these!”; or “CMOs are only familiar with strategies they have used in the past.”Responses like those are why I anchor change of this scale to something simple: the six characteristics. And remember, I’m not saying everyone lacks all these characteristics, nor do they need them all every day; they simply lack mindful and balanced proficiency in all of them. Only that balance will allow them to deploy the appropriate ones when needed.Related: 6 Things You Must Do to Make Your Idea a RealityThink of the characteristics as a progressive but interactive ecosystem, like essential ingredients in your kitchen pantry for the recipes you know by heart. Not every recipe requires every ingredient, so you don’t use each ingredient every day, but in the course of a week, month or year, you need them all to create the best dishes for your family. These skills are ingredients for your workplace and marketplace families. One characteristic can be used to solve a given problem, but deploying a second characteristic to support the solution elevates and propels it to a whole other level. Not all the characteristics need to be applied at any given time, but knowing they’re at our disposal, we understand how much strength there is in that knowledge — and as we achieve mastery of the characteristics, our knowledge is converted to wisdom. It then becomes our wisdom that guides our thinking, mindset and overall attitude.For example, look again at that list of 15 things leaders must do automatically, every day, to be successful in the workplace. Number five is “Be accountable to others,” which has a strong dependency on passionate pursuits (Characteristic three: Believe not only in yourself but in those you’re accountable to), but to make the accountability even stronger, requires generous purpose (Characteristic five: caring and having the backs of others).The important point is that leaders and businesses must understand the need for balanced proficiency. Over time, leaders must master the fundamentals of the six characteristics so they can understand, propel and implement the innovation mentality throughout their companies and the people who work there — to instinctively apply them, moving in and out of each characteristic to achieve mastery of them. It doesn’t do any good if you have a leadership team of, say, seven people in the C-suite, but only one is thinking with the innovation mentality and the rest have mastered only some of the skills and characteristics. That C-suite must think together like any other operating division or department should.This is why leadership identity crises exist. Team members must complement one another to celebrate individuality, freedom of expression and collaboration. The leaders who do have balance must take responsibility to drive others in their organizations toward change to evolve. Sustainability of the six characteristics is a product of shared beliefs and values and a culture the impact and influence of which grows stronger over time. In fact, these six characteristics give leaders the foundation for success and significance.Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code LEAD2021 through 4/10/21.