Market Research and Validation of SaaS Business Ideas

SAAS business

A brand new SaaS (Software like a service) company is sort of a baby that should be nurtured and guarded. Probably the most important task for just about any SaaS founder is performing research in the market before beginning a company. This task can help you see whether you will find an excuse for your products, therefore, just how much potential it’s.

The Crucial First Step: Market Research

When you’re wondering how to build a SaaS business, the first thing you need to do is understand the market. What this means is understanding your audience as well as their needs, in addition to what competition is doing within the space. You should also make certain that there’s room for development in the forex market, meaning searching at historic trends and knowledge on the number of people use similar services or products today. For instance, if you are considering entering the dolomite market with a new software solution for geological analysis, you might research the current demand for such tools among geologists, mining companies, and environmental agencies.

For instance: If you are designing a brand new social networking platform, one factor you may do is take a look at the number of users other platforms have based on country or age bracket – this helps determine whether there’s interest in another site like yours available!

SAAS business

Defining Your SaaS Niche

Step one in defining your SaaS business idea is always to understand who your target customer is. Your customers are individuals who cover your service, so you must realize what they desire and what they really want from your solution. This can be done by performing general market trends for instance surveys and interviews with potential people that use the product (be it already built).

Included in this method, we advise creating a persona for every kind of user that may need making use of your SaaS application or platform. A persona is just an imaginary representation of the user who represents all of the key characteristics required for success: census (age groups), psychographics (character traits), behavior patterns (the way they behave online), etc.

After you have defined these target markets through personas, you are prepared to define exactly why is up their value proposition – the first benefits supplied by using our software compared against competitors’ choices.

Define the key components of a SaaS business model

While you start your journey within the SaaS industry, you should keep in mind that your opinions need validation. The marketplace research and idea validation phase may take great shape, but it is crucial for success within this space.

SaaS business models are subscription-based software delivery models. Subscriptions provide a recurring revenue stream, meaning you are able to predict how your company will earn later on and plan accordingly. This enables you to definitely scale your company easily and rapidly without getting to fret if there’s enough interest in your products or services.

SaaS companies also provide safety, given that they don’t have to invest any capital upfront; they merely purchase the things they use (e.g., hosting charges). They likewise have high margins because they are selling something intangible instead of physical goods like the majority of companies do. That means there’s less overhead involved when producing or delivering their items Or solutions in contrast to traditional companies that depend heavily on physical assets like land/structures/equipment etc.

Explain how to assess the feasibility of a SaaS business concept

  • Step one in assessing the functionality from the SaaS business concept is always to know the critical factors from the SaaS enterprise model.
  • Furthermore to understanding these critical factors, it’s also advisable to perform general market trends and idea validation for that target customers. This will help see whether there is likely to be an opportunity for your service inside their market and the way much demand there might be with this.
  • After you have completed these tasks, it’ll be simpler to assess whether your idea has enough potential value. It’ll make sense for an additional person (i..einvestors) to speculate money into developing it further.

SAAS business

Competitor Analysis: Learning from Others

Competitor analysis is step one while validating a SaaS business idea. It requires general market trends along with your competitors, to be able to study on their mistakes and successes.

Competitors’ prices, features, audience, as well as other factors can help you define your niche by showing how they change from one another. You may even uncover that prone to untapped opportunity for any new player in this particular space who thinks differently than everyone else!

Data-Driven Decision Making

Data-driven decision-making is an important and powerful tool for entrepreneurs. It allows you to make decisions based on facts, rather than assumptions or wishful thinking. When used correctly, data can help validate your business idea and determine whether it’s worth pursuing further.

You will want to start collecting and analyzing data as quickly as possible after picking out a concept for any new SaaS service or product. However, gathering straight answers about prospective customers can be tough because they are frequently unaware of their very own needs until they experience them firsthand (as well as then, they may not understand how better to describe individuals needs). For instance: if a person hasn’t attempted out shopping online before but is familiar with it from buddies who love Amazon . com Prime 2-day shipping, this person may think he wants such a thing from their own company – what if he discovers later he prefers buying things in your area? Or possibly he just does not like shopping whatsoever! You will not know until after building something with him in your mind – but at that time there might be no going back.

Conclusion

Hopefully you’ve found this short article useful. It is a big step for just about any entrepreneur, but specifically for individuals who’ve never run their very own business before. We all know it’s not easy to obtain something essential such as researching the market and validation when there are plenty of other activities demanding your attention – but we think that should you take time to do that at this time, it’ll lead to dividends afterwards down the street. So remember: remember the things matter (and just what they mean)!

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What are the biggest challenges to travel companies’ success?

travel agencies

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the earth, governments across the globe engaged in widespread public lockdowns in an attempt to curb the spread. This approach led to the international closure of airports and cancellation of flights, thereby leaving the travel industry to plummet into freefall. Now that the world is on the road to recovery, the reopening of public spaces and the resumption of flights has enabled travel companies to embark on an economic recovery. But while the travel industry experiences rapid growth rates like never before, several challenges are standing in the way of travel stocks unlocking their full growth potential. How can these companies overcome such issues and achieve a full financial recovery?

Returning to normal

Once the travel industry embarked on its pandemic-induced decline, travel companies sought ways to cut expenses in order to salvage any profitability that they could. For many companies, this meant the largescale retrenchment of their workforces.

travel agencies

In the year following the coronavirus outbreak, 23% of jobs across the leisure and hospitality industry were lost. This figure accounted for 39% of the United States’ total unemployment for that period. Fast forward to June 2022 and 1.4 million leisure and hospitality jobs are still unfilled.

Now as the demand for travel services surges, short-staffed travel companies are faced with the challenge of determining how to meet this demand. In April 2022, air traffic across the U.S. rose by 230.2 percent compared to the previous year. While a rampant rise, this challenge also presents a disguised opportunity. 

While the short-term costs of rehiring and retraining employees may be steep for many travel companies, this will enable them to meet higher levels of demand and, therefore, increase their productivity and earning potential. This means that the short-term expenses should be well worth the medium-to-long terms increase in revenue provided that demand remains steady.

The global fuel shortage

Just as the travel industry recovers from the drawbacks of the pandemic, global fuel shortages threaten to reverse this progress. In the first seven months of 2022, the price of jet fuel has risen by 90 percent to approximately $4 per gallon. 

Airlines are not the only companies reeling from such inflated expenses, however. Rising fuel costs have also affected cruise stocks, with the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2022 leading cruise lines to consider imposing a surcharge on travelers in order to offset such losses. Although the likes of Royal Caribbean Group decided against doing so, how will airlines and cruise lines overcome this hurdle?

One potential remedy for cruise lines and airlines could be to restructure their capacity deployment, whereby they divert all of their resources and focus to only their most profitable operations. This means postponing and cancelling flights and cruises that are typically less profitable while also avoiding the operation of ghost flights and other low-capacity journeys.

By purely offering their most popular and profitable travel routes, airlines and cruise lines can save more fuel while also using their largest profit margins to offset rising fuel costs.

Although most cruise lines have refrained from charging customers surcharges following the fuel shortage outbreak, smaller cruise ship operators Celestyal Cruises and CroisiEurope have done so. Whether more cruise lines will follow remains to be seen.

Conserving the environment

Today, climate change has emerged as one of the most pressing global issues in the eyes governments, companies and individuals alike. With 40% of Europeans and 38% of Americans being open to giving up flying in the name of environmental conservation, travel companies face the challenge of limiting their carbon footprint in order to earn consumers’ trust.

travel companies

Considering that the travel industry has been reported as the source of 8% of global carbon emissions, numerous companies have sprung into action in an effort to boost their conservation efforts.

United Airlines is one of the early entrants in the race to a green future, becoming the first U.S. airline to publicly commit to a carbon emissions reduction target. The company aims to become 100% carbon neutral by 2050. 

Virgin Atlantic has joined as well, entering into an agreement with Neste Oyi to receive a supply of 2.5 million litres/2,000 metric tonnes of neat Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). This fuel is produced from renewable waste and residue raw materials and, in its neat form, is capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%.

Numerous hotel stocks have also increased their conservation efforts, with Hilton Worldwide Holdings committing to its own net zero emissions goal. To do so, the hotel company aims to reduce its energy emissions and cut both its water usage and waste in half by 2030.

Racing down the road to recovery

While faced by challenges on numerous fronts, there are clearly numerous solutions that travel companies can employ in an effort to continue their steady economic recovery in the post-pandemic world. As such, one might consider investing in travel stocks in the hope of deriving benefit from future growth. 

Important Disclosures:

Fund holdings and sector allocations are subject to change at any time and should not be considered recommendations to buy or sell any security.

The Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses must be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus contain this and other important information about the investment company.

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Best eCommerce Platforms for Small Businesses in 2024

ecommerce

Today, the internet plays a crucial role in almost every aspect of our lives. The internet has information on everything, whether it’s choosing the most suitable road to your destination or doing the research before making a purchase. There is no disputing that we are edging closer and closer to a digital future and eCommerce. In fact, some would say that it’s already here.

Another proof of the same is the eCommerce space.  If you wish to sell a product or a range of products, you don’t need to pay for setting up a physical store anymore, However, when looking forward to starting your own company or boosting your digital sales reach,  the appropriate eCommerce software can make or break your online business. 

Choosing the best one might seem overwhelming, with so many options available for different sorts and sizes of businesses. Each eCommerce platform is unique, and you can absolutely choose one that is ideal for your company.

This article outlines the top 5 eCommerce platforms and the important features of each platform, rather than leaving you to wander around and struggle to get all the facts. 

Top 5 eCommerce Platforms for your Small Business in 2024:

Choosing the ideal eCommerce platform for your company can be challenging.

An exhaustive list of the top 5 eCommerce platforms for small enterprises like yours is provided below. The list includes inexpensive eCommerce options that address all the urgent requirements of a small business owner wishing to launch an online store and sell goods online.

  • Dukaan 

If you want to grow your small business, Dukaan is the perfect platform. It is a powerful player in the eCommerce sphere and provides enormous benefits to business owners and small eCommerce organizations. You can design a completely functional internet store even if you have no technical expertise. The user-interface is simple to use and incredibly intuitive.

With the wide range of options available on the Dukaan platform, you can quickly and easily build your online store, customise it, and optimise it to enhance your company’s revenue and growth.

Features: 

  • Dukaan platform with its distinct themes enables you to make your store exceptional by selecting eye-catching designs and layouts from a variety of attractive choices.
  • It also helps you get your own unique, simple-to-remember domain name to give your e-store a distinctive identity.
  • Additionally, it enables you to publish customised pages using easily available, simplified layouts, to expand your online store.  You can also create eye-catching marketing materials using simple themes within the Dukaan platform to boost the popularity of your store.
  • Finally, it also enables you to select from a variety of pre-built components, which gives your store special abilities and features.

Pricing:

You can choose a package for your company on the dukaan platform starting at just Rs11/day. The platform also offers  three price tiers based on the specifics of your organization.

The Silver package option is offered to new companies and influencers for Rs 333 per month and Rs 3,999 per year.

For agencies, D2C brands, and developing organisations, there are two package options: the Gold package, which costs Rs 700 per month and billed annually at Rs 8,999, and the Platinum package, which costs Rs 2,500 per month and is billed annually, at Rs 29,999. 

Before paying any of this, you may use the seven day free trial to decide if Dukaan is truly the right platform for you.

ecommerce

  • Shopify

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that is exclusively intended to help you in establishing an online storefront. Shopify is a perfect option for companies with limited in-house technical assistance as it is a feature-rich online marketplace that is simple to set up and operate. Consequently, Shopify includes all of the features you’ll need if you’re serious about marketing and want to grow your small business

Features:

  • Shopify has some of the most sophisticated inventory management options. It enables you to simply construct extensive product pages with unique descriptions, graphics, billing guidelines, and more, as well as view inventory levels and bookings at a glance. However, these may be challenging and complex for those with little technical expertise.
  • The fact that Shopify has integrated dropship services is an outstanding bonus. Therefore, Shopify can be your ideal choice if you’re a small firm seeking to locate space for your inventory. Remember that this advantage is only applicable if you are focusing on a dropshipping business model.
  • Critical eCommerce metrics like store traffic, transaction records, responsive design, and more are enabled through Shopify’s insights.

Pricing:

Shopify subscription packages start at roughly $29 per month. There are three monthly plans available: Basic Plan ($29), Shopify Plan ($79), and Advanced Plan ($299). However, you can save money by opting for an annual plan as opposed to a monthly one. Still, Shopify is one of the most pricey options on our list.

  • Square Online 

The Square Online Store is ideal for launching an online business or upgrading your retail outlet digitally. Even if you have no little technological or web programming experience, you’ll have the tools to set up an internet store with its simple site builder layout and necessary eCommerce features.

Square Online creates a store for you that is customized to your needs using Ai Designs

Last but not least, it offers a free eCommerce plan that is ideal for a small firm that is just getting started.

Features:

  • Tracking client behavior and creating personalized invoices are two of the most important features of Square Online.
  • Like many other eCommerce platforms, Square Online also offers pre-built templates that you can customize to fit your branding, including adding your emblem and altering the styles, colours, and icons.
  • You can quickly and simply keep the track of the products in your online marketplace using Square Ecommerce Site. You just need to input the total amount of inventory stock for each website, even if you function from multiple sites. Your inventory automatically reduces as a result of your client’s transactions and upgrades to your Square Online Marketplace Product Repository. Your list gets updated, so you don’t oversell.

Pricing:

Square Online offers four different plans, with prices ranging from $14 per month for the Personal Plan to $49 per month for the Advanced Commerce Plan. The Business Plan is billed at $23 per month and the Basic Commerce plan at $27 per month. All Plans are billed annually and help you take your small business to the next level.

  • Big Commerce

BigCommerce is yet another integrated and comprehensive platform. It is a very effective and feature-rich eCommerce platform. Both small and large enterprises can build successful eCommerce websites using this platform.

To assist you in creating your website, BigCommerce offers a wide-ranging collection of eCommerce tools. It is the market’s most versatile eCommerce platform. For a small startup, it can be intimidating, but if you have growth targets and expansion plans, this is the perfect option for you.

Features:

  • To aid in the development of your website, BigCommerce provides a comprehensive selection of eCommerce features. Additionally, you have the option to include digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram on your site and advertise your products there.
  • Analytics and Search engine Optimization are two more significant aspects of Big Commerce. In addition to allowing users to alter page headers, descriptions, and product URLs to enhance the probability that their products will appear in search engine results, BigCommerce’s SEO accelerates download speeds for better customer engagements.
  • You can manage payments and delivery for your purchases with BigCommerce. Generally speaking, the platform’s flexibility makes it simple to design and administer your website.
  • BigCommerce offers 24/7 customer support for all of your needs. They also provide you with knowledgeable assistance as you create your website.

Pricing: 

There are three eCommerce options available for BigCommerce, the least expensive of which starts at $29.95 a month. To try it out before committing to a plan, it offers a 15-day free trial. The three subscription plans are, the Pro Plan is $299.95 per month, the Enterprise Plan, which is customizable based on your needs, and the Plus Plan costs $79.95 per month. 

ecommerce

  • Squarespace

Due to its user-friendly layout, not only is Squarespace a great website builder overall, but it’s also one of the finest eCommerce website builders for small enterprises. You can create an online store utilising Squarespace’s templates, drag-and-drop capabilities, and dependable functioning even if you have little to no technical knowledge.

The well-known website builder makes it comparatively simple to establish your internet presence, manage your website, and even set up an eCommerce storefront thanks to its appealing responsive websites. Squarespace provides a fantastic solution for new business owners because of its affordable pricing and consumer friendly layout.

Taking an in-depth look at Squarespace’s chic design templates, as well as its blogging and eCommerce options is necessary if you’re thinking about launching a website for your business.

Features:

  • Squarespace makes it simple to create premiums and subscription programs, sell products and discount coupons, and allow your users to book reservations online.
  • By providing promotions and incentives, its integrated email marketing features allow users to increase brand loyalty.
  • Additionally, Squarespace makes it easy for customers to pay by processing money through Paytm, Paypal, Google Wallet, and other payment modes.  For rapid purchases, checkout is simplified and quick.
  • Top features include social network partnerships, digital marketing, strict programming, inbuilt graphics to assist customers find your current location, and email campaigns implementations.
  •  Additionally, Squarespace provides tools for payment gateways for businesses that depend on subscription services.

Pricing:

If you choose a yearlong subscription, the basic Squarespace eCommerce plan costs just $23 per month, or $33 per month if you choose for a month-to-month option.

Pricing options include Personal plan and business plan for  $16 per month, and $26 per month respectively and $12 and $18 when paid annually.

Bottom-Line

The ideal eCommerce platform varies depending on the type of business. There is no “one size fits all” solution. The size of the company and your particular objectives will influence many business decisions significantly. 

Having said that, there is an eCommerce platform out there for every business, regardless of whether budget or features are the primary consideration. Finding a platform that is simple to use and prepared to evolve with you is eventually what counts. 

it is a superb idea to try out a variety before picking on the greatest one. Customer Surveys, Free trials, such as the 14-day free samples offered by the Dukaan platform, can provide you an insight into which platform is best for your business.

Author bio

Piyush Shah is a 6 figure affiliate marketer and has helped grow multiple businesses from nothing to making insane business figures. He is currently working as Head of SEO at Dukaan.

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A Business Owners Guide to Relocating – The Basics

relocating

A Business Owners Guide to Relocating

Chances are you’ve dedicated much of your time, energy and resources to starting your own business. You’ve been there every step of the way and worked through all the stages of the business. Now it’s time for relocating, to continue success.

Moving your business to a new location can be an overwhelming experience, even for a seasoned business operator. Take a look at these helpful tips for relocating your business. With a little advanced planning, good logistics, and commitment to detail, you’ll be up and running in the new location in no time at all.  

Regardless of what type of business you’re running, or the size of your operation, organization and strategy is key. Every detail from start to finish must be planned. 

Inform Your Staff that You’re Relocating

When it’s practical to talk about the move you should inform your staff about your relocation plans. A lack of transparency on your part could lower employee morale or become a major disruption to your business. Communication is key. 

Sketch a Rough Draft

Get a blank notebook and create a rough draft of the moving plan. Jotting down notes allows you to think better and wrap your mind around big concepts and tasks. Include important dates like when you must vacate the old premise and the date you take possession of the new place. Having the timeline in front of you gives you a better idea of the scope of the project. Once you have a rough draft you can fine-tune it and turn it into a plan of action.

Master Checklist for Relocating

From the rough sketch and the notes you made, you should have a good idea of what needs to be done. Creating a master checklist or a moving out checklist is the next logical step in relocating. This checklist helps you keep track of every detail and gives you an overview of where you are in the process and what needs to be done. It also helps you delegate certain tasks to employees and managers. 

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Hire Professionals

Sometimes the DIY approach to moving is not the best option. Especially when it comes to relocating a business. Hiring experts such as movers, consultants, IT or telecommunication specialists is a wise choice. Not only are they insured but it allows you to look at the big picture instead of lifting boxes or getting involved with smaller and distracting details. But before settling on the first moving company you find, be sure to calculate the average cost to move out of state. This can affect which movers you hire for the job.

relocating

Connectivity 

Most if not all small businesses rely on the internet. So, setting up internet services is key. You’ll need to schedule the end of service in the old location and start of service in the new location. It’s an important tool that should be set up as soon as possible. 

Spread the Word that You’re Relocating

Find the nearest hilltop and broadcast to the world that the business is relocating. You want to make sure that your customers, vendors, and the general public knows all about the new location and the timeline. Without your customers and vendors, you won’t have much of a business. Post the announcement on the company website and outgoing communications. If your business is customer-based you may want to consider sending out “we moved” postcards to your customer base.  

Moving, in general, can be stressful no matter how prepared or organized you are. Following the above tips will guide you, your employees,  and your business through the stress and uncertainty of relocating.small business coach

Becoming A Successful Business Owner

business owner

Successful Business Owner: Steps to Becoming One!

Every entrepreneur wants to be a successful business owner. We all want to be in charge of our lives and our businesses. However, most of us tend to miss the subtle differences between being a business owner and being an employee.

You can still be an employee even when you own your own business. This is because, instead of claiming ownership, you are simply trying to micromanage like a business manager and neglecting the most profitable ways to take proprietorship of your business plan.

Business ownership translates to having responsibilities as well as freedom.

 

Who is a business owner?

A business owner is an individual or a group of people who invest, operate, and know when and how to delegate their business functions.

Being a business owner doesn’t mean that you have to control everything that goes on in your organization. A good business owner knows the difference between running a team and running a company.

If you own your own business, whether it is big or small, you must learn how to hire the right employees and let them take charge in matters that they excel in. Being a business owner, you already have an array of responsibilities. You are the ultimate decision-maker in all the financial and operational aspects. Therefore, it is necessary to let others handle tasks that will assist in making profits for your business.

That’s what being a business owner is all about – taking charge at the helm of the ship while your employees are still capable of running the company like a regular organization. You must have the freedom to take time off for your personal work, a vacation, or a holiday to spend time with your family.

It is about minimizing your load because you are an owner, not a self-employed freelancer who manages everything from start to finish.

A business owner is the sole person in the company who may be working hard for a living, just like any employee, and receive a monthly income. Still, they are the only ones who get a share of the gross profit from the company’s revenue. You are the one who will make the ultimate decision of how to delegate funds and keep your company afloat at the end of the financial year. Therefore, you need to be a leader rather than a boss of your business.

What are the qualities of a business owner?

business owner

A business owner must have certain qualities that separate them from an average employee at the organization:

  1. They must have the ability to prioritize business functions

A business owner must know what is important and requires their attention instead of delving into the smaller operational details. The everyday tasks can be handled by capable employees who excel at them. You need not spend time managing small mistakes or losing your time and energy over something that a manager or an employee can handle.

As a business owner, your priority should be to look at the bigger picture and guide your employees towards the company’s success. Time is of the essence for a business owner. If you are busy putting out fires and handling menial tasks, then there is really no need to have employees, is there?

 They must know how to delegate tasks efficiently.

 A good business owner knows how to hire efficient employees, even if they are in small numbers. You must know how to identify people’s strengths and delegate tasks according to that. Each employee you hire has a special skill that can benefit your business greatly. Therefore, instead of micromanaging those tasks, you can let them handle them efficiently.

As long as the employee can reach the ultimate goal, there is really no need to be looking over their shoulder. The reason for this is, you may have a tried and proven method of doing something that yields results. Yet, with the ever-changing times and business opportunities, your employees may have developed a better way to get the job done.

It is crucial that you identify these opportunities and delegate the tasks accordingly so you have more time to develop your business plans for maximum output.

  1. They must be capable of handling multiple business functions.

 As a business owner, you are required to wear multiple hats. You will need to ensure that the investments in your company are yielding tremendous returns. You have to look after various operational details to ensure that every sector of your company is running smoothly, whether it is research and development, sales, production, design, etc. You also need to make sure that your human resource factor is well managed. Not to mention, there are the marketing and financial aspects that help generate revenue for your company.

These tasks are not easy and definitely require your utmost attention. As a business owner, you must be able to handle all the functionalities mentioned above with ease. Trust us when we say that if you take the time to develop and execute your business plan efficiently, then as a business owner, your company will yield massive returns, which will make it all worthwhile.

It is ideal to have a mentor to guide you as a business owner so you make the right decisions for your organization or small business and nurture it with excellence.

  1. Must be willing to make financial sacrifices for the business

 You may think that starting your own business means you will be earning large profits to stabilize your life quickly. But that cannot be further from the truth.

A business owner will be required to reinvest their profits and sometimes even endow their personal savings in the initial stages of the business. At this point, your business needs to grow steadily; therefore, the profits you make must be utilized in the best possible way to maximize output, thereby the revenue. Nonetheless, it is not all bad news, once you have stabilized your business functions, learned how to invest efficiently, and created a substantial name for your company, the revenue you generate will be worth all the financial sacrifices. You can then grow your business exponentially and earn your financial freedom at a point where you no longer have to worry about the commercial development of your company.

  1. They must be able to make sacrifices on a personal level.

 If you are inclined to start your own business, then you need to keep in mind that in the initial stages, life is going to be very difficult. You won’t be working a standard nine to five with a steady monthly income. Rather, you will be required to spend long hours developing your business plans, meeting with investors, reaching out to potential buyers, and basically dedicating major hours to initiate your company.

You may think that you missed your vacation with your friends and family, you don’t get to spend time with your loved ones, you don’t even have the time to nurture and pamper yourself. However, these personal sacrifices are short-term.

Once you have successfully launched a prospering company, as an efficient business owner, you will have ample time to make up for those missed vacations, the times you missed learning about what is going on with your loved ones. You will have the independence financially as well as personally to invest time in yourself. The little sacrifices along the way are nothing compared to the humongous returns you get for a little bit of extra hard work.

Different types of business owners

business owner

Business Owner is an umbrella term that covers various types of business proprietorship. You can be one or the other, and sometimes even multiple types. Let us take a detailed look at what kind of business owner you can be:

  • Being a sole proprietor

This is the simplest, most beneficial business ownership that requires very little effort.

As the name suggests, a sole proprietor is the one and only investor, worker, and benefactor of the business. The business and the individual act as a single entity; therefore, all the profit goes directly to the sole proprietor.

There is limited taxation when it comes to this form of business ownership which is definitely a plus point. However, you must note that as a singular entity with no distinction, the sole proprietor is fully and entirely liable for all malfunctions and business obligations. If the business succeeds in the initial trial period, then the proprietor is the only patron who stands to gain from the revenues and profits. However, if they incur any legal liabilities, financial obligations, or business failure, then they are the only ones who must bear the consequences. Their personal assets are merged with the company; therefore, in case of all legal and financial accountability, everything they own, including houses, cars, etc., is all fair game.

These cons, though severe, are outweighed by the tremendous pros that a sole proprietorship business plan offers.

  • Owning a Limited Liability Company or LLC

A limited liability company commonly referred to as an LLC is a safeguarded form of a sole proprietorship. In this form of business ownership, the company assets are treated as a separate entity from the personal assets of the owner.

As the name suggests, this kind of company holds limited liability and is not subject to humongous federal taxation. Depending on the state where the trade functions run, the owner is only obligated to pay for the personal business tax and any small state taxes.

Another benefit of owning a Limited Liability Company is that if the business fails, faces a lawsuit, or goes bankrupt; then only the business assets will be sized or sacrificed. Any personal effects of the owner remain completely safeguarded from all liabilities.

Check out these steps in starting an LLC to make sure that everything is done accordingly.

Building a corporation

business owner

When we speak of business owners running corporations, there are several entities to be taken into account:

  • A S-Corporation

It is a form of special business ownership that helps avoid double taxation on the income of the company. These corporations use a sophisticated form of trickling down profits and losses to the various stockholders of the company. As business owners, they still earn a substantial amount. However, all accounting is balanced by appropriate divisions among stakeholders. However, you must note that once the company reaches a specified revenue amount that surpasses the special election, the business owner will incur double taxation.

  • A C-Corporation

This is a low-liability form of corporation. Stockholders buy into the company, thereby entitling them to decision-making capabilities while investing in the company. The business owner’s personal assets remain detached from that of the company. All these pros make a C-corporation quite a profitable venture. However, the corporation must pay double taxation on dividends and profits, which makes for a substantial hole in revenue.

  • A B-Corporation

It is a benefit corporation designed for public welfare while still accounting for profits. In other words, the corporation, be it private or government-oriented, works towards benefiting the community, but the stakeholders of the company still earn substantial profit delegations. Since the profits are distributed among stakeholders, a B-corporation does not get any special tax benefits despite their dedicated efforts towards communal welfare.

  • Non-Profit Corporation

As a corporation solely dedicated to serving the common people, a non-profit organization is exempted from all manners of taxation. As the name suggests, there is no profit earned by the company, and all income must be dedicated to the work of the organization. Besides paying their employees for their hard work, non-profit organizational members and stakeholders do not share any income or revenue generated from the education programs, literary and scientific accomplishments, charity events, etc.

  • Close Corporation

These corporations are close-knit organizations where the shares and stocks of the company are only available to those involved with the business. No matter how successful the company becomes, non-members cannot partake in investing in their stocks. All benefits are shared solely among those who have a stake in the company directly, while the liabilities do not trickle down to the personal assets of the stakeholders.

  • Engaging in a partnership

A partnership allows more than one business owner to participate in the profits and losses of the company. As you can see, there can be more than two or more members involved in a partnership. By law, these partners share unlimited liability in the company.

Let me explain that. As we have seen before, limited liability is the business owner’s accountability for a specified amount pertaining to their investment. However, an unlimited liability implies that the business owners must attend to all the debts and liabilities of the company, no matter how large the sum may be.

On the plus side, indulging in partnership opens up horizons for more capacity to acquire investors with very low costs for startup since the initial investment is divided. Thus, the profits will also be shared. Suppose you can work harmoniously without much disagreement and comply with taking up responsibility if unlimited liability criteria come into play. In that case, a partnership is a very profitable venture with a multitude of benefits.

  • Partaking in a cooperative business plan

Lastly, let us talk about one of the most close-knit, profitable business owner solutions that incur less risk – The cooperative program. In this kind of company, a cooperative or community of people get together to form a private business plan.

Generally, there is a board of elected members who organize the operational functions, but for the most part, each member of the cooperative is engaged in the income.

Mainly, the cooperative company has a select number of members, and their products and services are dedicated to the welfare of the partaking people. The amount of profit is distributed among the members for their hard work, instigating team spirit and camaraderie.

Only the members can buy shares in the company, which is otherwise unavailable to outsiders. This supportive and cohesive program actually helps business owners earn substantial amounts, share the risks, and only pay taxes on their highly beneficial income. However, the problem is, it is not easy to get funding from outside the cooperative as it is limited to members.

Differences between self-employed, business owner, and an entrepreneur

business owner

The terms self-employed, business owner, and entrepreneur are often misconstrued to mean the same thing. However, we assure you, they are as different as apples, oranges, and mangoes.

Let us see how these terms differ from each other.

  • A self-employed business person can work on a contractual basis or they can develop a small business. They can be part-time or full time employees at certain existing organizations or sole proprietors who only work based on their demand. Their income potential is limited to their personal brand or the business brand they develop; therefore, the tax benefits are great. A self-employed business person may or may not own the rights to any business per se. They are in business for themselves; thus, all the profits and liabilities are incurred in equal measures.
  • Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are a certain type of business owners. Their trade model is based on a new idea or concept that is otherwise not practiced. They build a brand based on this concept, and moving forward; it is the unique selling point of their company. This may be a large or small business plan, but it is built from scratch with like-minded business people. The central idea still revolves around the original concept, and it is further developed to draw in investors. Their growth is always substantial and unique.
  • Finally, coming to business owners, there is a particular point that sets them apart from entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals. Business owners need not build a business from the ground up. They can invest or buy into a business and take ownership as per their share-holding or stakes in the company. A business owner is a leader who guides the company to a prosperous revenue system with a carefully designed business plan. They have capable people to whom they can delegate the tasks as required while focusing on the bigger picture. Among the three, business owners certainly enjoy more freedom both personally and financially as the company is based on a shared concept.

How to be successful as a business owner?

In order to become a successful business owner, it is important to lead a disciplined and organized life.

A business is an entity that grows the more you nurture it. Therefore, following these steps below could help develop your business into a huge success.

  1. Understand the value of money

 When starting a new business, it is vital to keep in mind that every investment you make, every loan you take is a step towards improving upon your business plan. It will take some time to establish your success, and then you can expect to live luxuriously. Until then, you must focus on saving and investing towards building the trade that will earn you your financial independence.

  1. Don’t jump into a business without understanding the market

It is primordial that you analyze market conditions in your niche before you delve into a business plan. It is not an impulse buy at the register. You need to specify realistic goals and create a concrete plan based on the careful understanding of market demands.

  1. Develop a realistic business plan

Developing a realistic business plan means your concepts must be clearly grounded in the balance of probability. Whether you are into production, servicing, or investing, you must be able to identify unrealized gains and capitalize on them. Your business plan must not be fool-proof, but you should have contingencies in place if something goes horribly wrong.

  1. Improve your skills of negotiation

The power of negotiation is a handy tool for every business owner. You must know the current market conditions like the back of your hand and negotiate better deals when buying and selling your products and services. This is to say, buy low, sell high should be your mantra, but at reasonable terms.

So, there you have it. The ultimate guide to becoming a successful business owner and multiplying your profits while still earning personal and financial independence.small business coach

3 Technical Skills Online Entrepreneurs Should Add to Their Resume

online entrepreneurs

Online entrepreneurs know that knowledge is power – the phrase is attributed to an English philosopher in the 16th century and has been used in numerous scenarios along the years.

Despite its age, the phrase retained its power and even gained on it as it has never been more accurate than the present time. In our highly technologized times, with readily available mountains of information, knowledge is extremely powerful.

As an online entrepreneurs in today’s hyperactive online world, you can never have enough knowledge. New skills will keep you one step in front of the competition and will make you better prepared for modern customers’ demands.

3 Technical Skills Online Entrepreneurs Should Have

While an online entrepreneurs must have a diverse set of skills, from a wide range of domains, technical skills are crucial. Of course, this is a broad term, so we narrowed it down to three main tech skills that any online entrepreneurs must acquire.

1. SEO Basics

The world of search engine optimization (or SEO) is complex and dynamic. Google, as the most popular search engine of the present, is constantly adapting to provide users with the best experience. As a result, every new update leads to new SEO rules and guidelines.

For instance, Google launched two broad core updates in 2020 (one in January and one in May).

online entrepreneurs

While they perform small updates almost daily, broad core updates have an impact on search results all over the world. This is usually seen in changes in search ranking. For instance, if a site’s content improved in relevancy towards its core audience since the last update, it will be moved up in SERP. If it lost relevancy, it will be pushed down.

What ONLINE Entrepreneurs Should Know

Whether you have a team of SEO specialists working around the clock, or you’re a one-person business, there are a few knowledge bits that can help you stay on track with these changes:

How Keywords Work

There will always be people who will say that keywords don’t matter anymore.

And, to some extent, they are right.

While search engines don’t establish a page’s position by the number of keywords it uses, they still use them as a factor for relevancy and ranking. Furthermore, according to SEO specialists, it matters the type of keywords you use.

online entrepreneurs

Source: https://neilpatel.com/

Long-tail keywords are the ones that help you reach a specific niche, that’s more likely interested in making a purchase rather than browsing.

For instance, if you develop a virtual reality (VR) software product (an app or a game), the go-to keyword is “virtual reality”. However, the competition is high on this keyword and the audience is broad.

On the other hand, if you use “virtual reality games for PS4” or “virtual reality app for Android”, you have a better chance of standing out from the crowd. With long-tail keywords, the competition is lower, so it’s easier to rank in search engines.

Content Relevancy is Key

 You probably know that “content is king”, but you also need to know how to use its power. There are many bloggers out there who post new content on a daily basis without any significant results.

So why doesn’t it work for them?

It’s all about relevancy and how search engines interpret your intentions. Are you creating content just for ranking or are you genuinely trying to create value?

According to a study done by Neil Patel, the May Google update impacted (in a negative way) websites with old and thin content the most.

In conclusion, search engines appreciate content that’s constantly updated to reflect the present and that brings value to the target audience by providing detailed information.

 Follow the Trend

As an online entrepreneurs, it is an advantage to stay updated on the online trends. Google updates also show the trend of the market and the industries that are the most volatile at the moment. For instance, the May update showed the industries most affected by the 2020 pandemic (real estate, travel, and health were among the most affected).

This sort of knowledge can be integrated into SEO strategies to adapt to the current market demands and prevision for future fluctuations.

2. Coding Skills

Whether you own a standard website or you’re a prolific e-commerce online entrepreneurs, coding skills are a must-have.

While there are plugins (especially with flexible platforms like WordPress) that can help with virtually anything, there are situations when a few lines of code can save time and money. As such, basic coding skills are valuable knowledge for today’s online entrepreneur.

Most modern web pages are developed using a mixture of HTML, CSS, JavaScrip, Java, and Python, but it never hurts to consider other technologies as well.

Luckily, nowadays it’s rather easy to understand how coding works and it doesn’t take much to learn your way through functions and procedures. Also, there are plenty of online coding courses one can join and it only takes a few weeks of study to become familiar with the process.

As an online entrepreneurs, you will work with highly-skilled developers, but it helps to know how to solve quick and easy problems. It’s also a way of knowing your product, whether it’s an app or a web page.

3. Social Media

Why is social media a technical skill? After all, you’re only using these platforms, you’re not developing them.

Social media is a bit different for businesses than it is for regular people. As an entrepreneur, you’re using these platforms to attract new leads and disseminate messages in an optimal manner.

This means that you need to understand how the platform works and how it is being used by your audience.

For instance, according to HubSpot, the success of your Instagram posts depends on the day and time of day you decide to publish. Research suggests that the best time to post on Instagram is on a Thursday, at 5 AM, 11 AM, 3 PM, and 4 PM.

online entrepreneurs

Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/

Of course, the data is different for other platforms, and it’s important to understand why and how the information is relevant for your target audience.

In addition to this, social media platforms offer analytics data and tracking tools that can be useful in planning new marketing strategies. A successful online entrepreneurs, you must be up to date with everything social media has to offer and learn new methods of promotion.

Wrap Up

There’s more to a successful business than just learning new skills, but it all starts here. When you’re open to new information and knowledge, you open your mind to new possibilities. As a result, it will be easier to accept and implement change and adapt to a market that’s highly influenced by new technologies.

Erika Rykun is a content strategist with Udemy which offers online courses and producer who believes in the power of networking and quality writing. She’s an avid reader, writer, and runner.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erika-rykun

Twitter: @erika_rykun

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Differentiate Your Company by Celebrating YOU! Part 1 of 3

Differentiate Your Company

How do you differentiate your company? Why is it important to differentiate your company? How effective are you communicating this uniqueness to the general public? World-class companies are able to separate themselves from their competitors in the minds of their customers.  This is one of the most powerful strategic advantages in marketing today! Marketing professionals call this particular practice “differentiation.”  We create the perception that our business is unique, different, and special.

What the “Big Boys” Do With Marketing and Branding

For example, how has Coca-Cola separated itself from its competitors?  What is so unique about its product?  The fact is there is little difference between Coke and its numerous competitors.  Coca-Cola was the original soft drink innovator.  Competitors were soon copying the product, making the “niche” cola soft drinks a commodity.

Staying Focused on Your Main Product or Service

Nevertheless, Coca-Cola wins the “cola wars” by staying laser-focused on its main product, the soft drink, while its competitors have diluted their focus and effectiveness by diversifying into other products.

Providing a Consistent Product or Service

When you think of the following names, what comes to mind; The Ritz-Carlton, Home Depot, Southwestern Airlines?  The mention of these companies immediately brings to mind a clear picture of a product.  However, each of these world-class companies sells a commodity.  What makes them stand out in a commodity-based market?  They know who they are, they determine what the customer wants, and they deliver what they promise to strategically aligned customers.  Day after day, month after month, and year after year, they provide a consistent product.

The Answer to Becoming a Commodity: Differentiation

Even though we may start out in a niche, eventually our product will likely become a commodity. As the inevitable happens, we will best serve our company by creating a unique brand that customers remember.  Let’s take a look at one method of product differentiation.  This process is built around the four following features;

  • The purpose of the owners and employees.
  • What customers want.
  • What your competitive advantages are.
  • Telling your story.

 

Differentiate Your Company

Step 1a.  Your Personal Purpose Statement

Before we go to work on differentiating our business, we should begin with differentiating ourselves!  The fact is that our Creator made each of us unique; we each have a special gift that we bring into our marketplace.  If we build our business around our unique characteristics, and the characteristics of our employees, we build from a position of strength.  Rather than trying to copy another company (although benchmarking can be very effective) we establish a sense of esteem in who we are as a team and use that as a foundation to build on.

Your Personal Mission

When I celebrated my 40th birthday, the milestone prompted me to reflect on my past and to decide on where I should be headed in the future.  Using books such as Half Time by Bob Buford, and The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, I asked myself questions such as “What is my purpose in life?” “Am I happy?”  “How do I want to spend the next 40 years?”  Having answered those questions, I developed a Personal Mission Statement.  Once I had this completed, my decisions about future endeavors became much clearer.  “Every person should have a personal mission statement,” says Bill Hopf, president of Anchor Resources, a CEO consulting firm.  “This can serve as a guiding force for your behavior and personal performance.”

Ideally, a personal mission statement has three elements: values, vision, and mission.  The typical mission statement is written on one page, and it answers the following questions;

Values-

What do you believe about ethics, spirituality, morals, customers, employees, vendors, community, etc.? How do you behave toward others? How do you treat your fellow man? What do you do to make the world a better place?  Companies that have strong values attract quality stakeholders.

Vision-

Where do you want to be in five years, ten years?  Where do you want to end up?  “We should begin with the end in mind” says Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People or else we may “climb the ladder of success, and then realize it is leaning on the wrong wall.” Another way to think about this is to ask yourself, “What will my obituary say about me and my life?”

Mission-

What will you do today to achieve your vision and live by your values?  Your mission should transport you from where you are to where your vision is.  In other words, it should narrow the gap between your present condition and your future aspirations.

Your purpose statement provides daily direction, purpose, and a sense of personal power.  It helps you to know what makes you a unique, valuable, important individual.  If you do not have a personal mission statement, set aside some quiet time to answer the questions above and write out your own statement.

Part 1 of 3. Read Part 2

Alan Melton co-founded and led an award-winning business before selling it to a publicly held company. He has started and led eight companies and presently serves as CEO of four growing businesses. Alan is sharing his experience with entrepreneurs and executives who want to get on the fast track to achieving their personal goals.  President of Small Business Coach & Assoc., Alan is a nationally known writer, speaker and business leader.

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