Why Small Business Entrepreneurs Need a Mentor

A mentor is a must for the success of your small business. Do you have one as yet? A mentor is a person who has more entrepreneurial business experience that you and he or she is someone you learn to trust over a period of time.

However, you might be wondering why a small business mentor is important for the development of your business. After all, you have friends and family you trust and whose opinions you respect. The reason is that a mentor can guide and nudge you towards the right business direction.

If you are an entrepreneur and dream of running a highly successful business, you should go out and find a mentor immediately. It is definitely not easy to find a good mentor but they are out there waiting for a mentee who is willing to work hard to build a successful business. When I found my mentor (Charlie Schaivo), it made a world of difference to the way I approach my dental practice.

It made a huge difference to my success. He instilled confidence in me and taught me without even me knowing about it. So, when you find your mentor, you too will start having the successes that you have always wanted for your business.

When you want a small business mentor, you should look for a few characteristics in him or her. It is important that you and your mentor share the same values; you should have a good rapport with your mentor; you should be always willing to listen to him or her even it is something you do not want to hear; your mentor should have goals lined up for you; and he or she should be willing to use their time and energy, assuming that you do not waste their time and yours.

The advantages of having a small business mentor is that he or she has already achieved what you want to; your mentor provides you this experience for free; and he or she expands your network by putting you in touch with other experienced people. All these advantages result in you having a highly successful business. There is absolutely no doubt that a mentor is essential for all small business entrepreneurs.

Starting a New Business – Logo Development Tips

As a small business entrepreneur, you are savvy enough to know that branding isn’t just for large multinational corporations. But how important should it be to your small business? To answer this question, let’s take a look at the two parts that define branding. There are the visual aspects of typography, colors and graphics. And there are the emotional aspects of a brand, the customer experiences and associations with the products or services. When one combines on-target design with positive customer experiences, you’ve got a business that can go places. Why is branding so important? Business is a big game and in this game you should always be in pursuit of a competitive advantage. This applies to businesses of any size.

Ideally, you want your logo to represent the reason why you are in business in the first place. First, read your mission statement of how you intend to win in business and who your target market will be. Then think about what kind of a logo would be necessary to hold its own against your competition. Now you are ready to communicate vital notes to a logo designer.

From the logo designer’s perspective, the logo is the single most important part of your branding that you will develop. True enough, your marketing materials and websites will go through many changes, but your logo should remain stable-the anchor and springboard of all of your branding. This is the ideal. A Madison Avenue ad agency might charge the equivalent of a luxury car for a logo, because major corporations know how important it is. It is ironic, that for small businesses, the proliferation of online factories means you can get a logo for the cost of a nice dinner. My recommendation is that you find an individual designer or small firm who will really listen to you and with which you can build a relationship. Not only will the fees still be very reasonable and affordable-you will receive value far exceeding payment.

On your first sales meeting, will it give you confidence to know you spent $45 on a logo? By the same token, as a small business owner, of course you don’t want to overspend. In fact, you don’t want to stress your marketing budget by overspending on any one piece of the puzzle.

Food for thought: is the success of Google’s logo through visibility and repetition or is it award-winning design? It’s really the only part of the branding that we see. The logo has become a cornerstone of the Internet, because the success of the company made it so. It’s achieved brand familiarity and with it trust, if not awe. What if Google was a D List search engine with a few hundred visitors a week, what would you think of their logo?

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s worth repeating: you should include your logo on every piece of communication. Put it on every web page of your site, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, yellow page ads, building signage, newsletters, web buttons, promotional collateral, and certainly every ad. Familiarity begets trust and trust will lead to increased sales. Then perhaps if your logo is next to a competitor’s, they’ll contact you first.

Charting the Course – Business Plan Development & Research

As it is necessary to understand the direction and strength of the wind, before sailing, one must know the contrary winds in business. Charting a development strategy for a large or small business requires detail information about the competition. Too many entrepreneurs launch out with a dream, but never bring it down to the real world where men, women and children make the decisions “to buy or not to buy.” What are the qualities and flaws of the competitive products or services? Where and how are they sold? What are the prices and discounts? Who sells them? The provider’s reputation, financial strength, history and sales staff provide important clues to the nature of competition a product faces. The best ways to research include:

· Search the Internet for information, critiques, or evaluations of your competitors;
· Purchase the product or service for your personal evaluation;
· Find out what potential consumers think about it;

Getting this information requires a bit of work and research. Visit the competitor, interview their customers, sit in a place where you can observe the operation, and keep records. Who’s buying? What are they buying? At what price? Always look for any wrinkles in the competitor’s operation.

Once you have drawn a picture of the competitor, compare your own business plan to that. What advantage does your business strategy, location, products or services have over the competition? In particular, consider the pricing. Can you compete on price? If your goods are higher in price explain why. You may succeed with higher prices, but there will have to be reasons why people will pay more for your products. The aesthetics of the store, the nature of a guarantee, the skills of the sales staff and other features make be an attraction. How does your business compare to the competition? You want to compose your strategy based on the competition. All of this information will give you a clue to the potential you have of beating the competition. If you can beat the competition you have a better chance of being the business to survive.

Why Cloud Computing For Business Entrepreneurs?

Would it be nice if you were able to access your business applications and client data online from anywhere? To enjoy the flexibility of operating your business or official tasks from anywhere you might have to consider subscribing to a cloud computing service.

What are cloud-computing services?

Cloud computing services are companies that provide server space, e-mail accounts, domain names, software and several different business applications for use on a subscription basis via specific log-ins. The end users pay for the resources used, as they would for any utility bill.

Simple examples for cloud computing services

Free e-mail accounts and server space we enjoy from services like Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo, based on the cloud-computing model are simple examples. You can access your mails from anywhere, via the assigned log in and password from a web browser, with an internet connection.

Why cloud computing services for business entrepreneurs?

You need not spend on new versions of business software and business applications every time rather you can rent them. This helps reduce your overall business costs, enjoy newer versions at a low cost, paying for just what you use. The service provider will take care of upgrades, security, and performance enhancements. You need to just create a customized log in and use the services to improve your business.

Applications for businesses

User-friendly software applications for every business need ranging from marketing, sales, customer service, account maintenance and production are available from cloud computing services.

Customized services for small and big businesses

The software applications and tools needed for one business is not the same as other. The infrastructure, software, and platform requirements might also differ. You can consider subscribing to those tools and platforms that are ideal for your business and pay just for those services. Whether you are a small or big business, customization is possible. Customization is a great way of economizing your business management and business expansion plans.

Tools Offered By Cloud Computing Services

  • Contact management tools
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
  • Sales force automation tools
  • Tools for custom application development for business processes
  • Software for customer service
  • Social networking and social media management tools

What do I need to use the cloud computing service?

  • An internet connection
  • An account with the cloud computing hosting service

Summarized Uses

  • Access your business data from anywhere
  • Get ample storage space for your company data on a remote server
  • Reduce hardware costs, expenditure on business management software, upgrades, and multiple licenses

Threats

Uploading and storing your company data in third-party servers can be a matter of concern for obvious reasons related to security and privacy. Since reputation matters for the survival of cloud computing companies, reputed companies do have security and privacy features in place to ward off worry.