By Sophia Lee
Are you interested in starting your own business? The economy is shifting and many individuals are finding success in owning their own businesses. Let’s take a look at how you can become the owner of your own business.
1. Develop your product To have your own business, you need to sell something. You can sell physical products, digital products, services, or information. First, the best question to ask yourself is “What is a problem?.” If you are able to identify a problem, then how to solve it, you are well on your way to having a product that people would be interested in. Another approach is to think about how you can feed someone’s passions. Developing such a product can be appealing to an audience and build loyal customers. Once you start to get some ideas, start to consider how that product will stand out compared to its competitors in the market. Aim to make your product unique. You want to gain sales over your competitors. As you think of your product, consider your product in the market. What is the desired demographic? Is this product a fad, trend, or necessary good? What will your business and product look like in a year, 5 years, or ten? It is important to develop a product that serves a good size of people, but not too many as it may be too competitive of a market. To make sure your business has longevity make sure your product or service will be desirable for a long time to come. It is also important to consider yourself personally. What kind of business do you want to own? What are your strongest skills? Your business will have increased longevity if you are passionate about your business and you produce something in your skillset.
2. Funding You can’t start a business without having the necessary funds. If you have significant funds, it is possible to fund your business out of your own pocket. However, the more popular choice is to seek loans or investors. There is also something called venture funds or venture capital which is a type of equity specifically meant to support entrepreneurs or new business owners to support their endeavors even before business operations have begun. Research what option is best for you and your business.
3. Validate product Now that you have developed your product, it is time to test it to see how well it performs in the market and if it is a desirable product. Test a soft launch on secondary sites. For example, if you are selling handmade goods, you can test selling products on Instagram or Etsy to gauge the reception of your product. Feel free to seek critiques from friends, mentors, and customers of your soft launch to help guide your business to be more successful.
4. Develop a business plan Now that you know you’ve got a lucrative product on your hands, time to develop a business model to help your business succeed. Allocate your funds properly, possibly opening a bank account just for your business. Plan out your spending for the coming months, possibly year to make sure you are set up for success. Consider if you need to hire any employees to support producing your product or managing other parts of your business. Clarify the production of your product. Do you have the right supplies, all necessary information, consistent funds and production team? And of course, you will need marketing and a public presence to make sure your product gets exposure and you get those sales! From a website, social media, collaboration outreach, and SEO, there’s a lot that goes into marketing. MDMC Entertainment specializes in exactly that. The company is also releasing a Marketing book filled with information and tools to help you succeed. Research the different elements of marketing and business management or hire others to help you.
5. Launch your business! You have your product, funds, validity, and business plan so you are now ready to launch your business! There’s a lot that goes into running a business. Don’t be afraid to take risks or seek help from friends or mentors. Networking is another strong tool that can help your business succeed. But most importantly, trust yourself. Running a business is exhausting and being in charge of so many elements can be overwhelming. Keep working hard and trust that you are capable and that you will be successful.
by Jaqui Sabnal
By Cameron Burningham
When creating a startup, the primary focus is often on achieving initial success, and the subsequent steps for scaling the business may not be given enough consideration. It is crucial however to consider how to continue moving forward with your business. This might be a very different experience from the initial launching of your business and can feel overwhelming without a solid place to start. Here are just a few strategies to get you started on scaling your startup successfully.
Analyzing your business model
The first and most important step to advance your startup is to look at your current business model ensuring it will continue to be viable during growth. Some aspects might need to be tweaked or changed all together to keep up with your increasing clients or customers such as outsourcing manufacturing. This could also include investing in back end software to improve the operation or collaboration between employees. The last thing you want to happen is one avenue of your business bottlenecking the growth of your company.
Securing Funding for Your Period of Growth
Expansion will often require a larger up front investment to increase your return in the future. Start by breaking down the changes and additions you will need to make to understand exactly how much it will really cost. Once you understand the financial backing needed, you will be better equipped to find the appropriate funding that will be best for you. The overall cost will determine the best source of funding whether that is looking for business loans or taking on new investors.
Building a Strong Team Around you
As your business grows you will also have more responsibilities and items that need your attention. It is essential that you surround yourself with others who align with your ambitions and are willing to help you through this process of building. Distributing some of the smaller tasks to others allows you more time to focus on the larger aspects that need your personal attention.
Take Inventory of your businesses strengths
It is very rare that all of a company’s services produce at a high level and spreading yourself too thin could lead to unsuccessful scaling. You should look at key performance indicators such as a product’s sales or media interaction and put your effort into growing the aspects that have the best performance and most demand for growth. Allocate resources to the areas that will have the largest return first to avoid growing pains and excessive financial burden.
Account for legal and compliance considerations
Expanding a company to new regions or markets comes with new rules as laws can change from state to state or in different areas of business. Before you start you should always research what may be different and what changes need to be made within your current operations. This could mean finding new distributors or acquiring new licenses to conduct your business.
Understanding Mistakes Will Happen
Growing pains are a part of the process and you will hit bumps in the road. It is impossible to account for everything that will happen as scaling a business is a dynamic process filled with uncertainty. The important part is learning from what succeeds and what goes wrong to continue moving forward and improving. Over time your understanding will grow and you will be better equipped to take care of similar issues in the future.
This is never an easy process, but with a forward-thinking mindset, adaptability, and a commitment to learning from experiences you will find success. As you embark on the journey of scaling your startup, remember that each obstacle is a stepping stone toward a stronger and more successful future.
By Sophia Lee
Everyone is familiar with the 9-5 model. You clock in at nine, scrape your way through the work day until the clock hits five, then head home knowing exactly what you pocketed for the day. However, the economy and working climate is changing. Our hours don’t have to be the trade-off to bring home the bag. As such, the term “trading time for money” has gained traction, popularizing the idea of leaving your typical office nine-to-five for a different career that is less based on hourly pay.
However, the truth of the matter is, everyone trades time for money. No matter what, you will put in some kind of work at some point in order to generate profit. A popular way people “stop trading time for money” is by starting small businesses selling things like digital or print-on-demand products. However, even though that is a form of passive income and you are not putting time in at the office, time is put into creating designs, setting up the online store, learning about the industry, and more. And time is finite. There are only 24 hours in a day and you can’t work any more than the given time in a day. The term doesn’t literally mean to stop trading your work hours for a paycheck, but to change how much time you spend for the amount of money you gain.
There is no set time to stop trading time for money. It varies on each person’s goals and financial situation. But here are some instances where you may want to consider how you can maximize your income and utilize your time efficiently.
1. When you’re burnt out: If your corporate job is leaving you burnt out, maybe it is time to switch careers or pick up a side hustle to give yourself some more fulfillment while helping bring in some more income. The Law of Diminishing Return states that as you reach maximum efficiency, the amount of return decreases. You may have hit your maximum return out of your current job and need to look for the things you need elsewhere.
2. When you are not taking advantage of every opportunity to turn a profit. Time is finite therefore you can only work so many hours in a day. Your hourly rate or income needs to be increased in order to get more out of your time. Are there jobs or tasks you’re taking on without being compensated for? Is someone else in the office generating the same output for a higher paycheck?
3. When you paycheck doesn’t match your value The goal is to help increase the ratio of your income to the hours you work. Take some time to reflect on yourself. What makes you you? What makes you unique, what skills do you have that are marketable? Is your work of high quality and worth more than you are being paid for? Try to be realistic about where you’re at and see if you can bridge the gap between your income and what your services and time are actually worth.
Again, there is no right time to stop your nine-to-five and switch up what you’ve been doing. You have to decide if it is viable for your lifestyle. As the saying goes, the hardest part is always getting started. Change is scary, but take each step slowly. Jumping in can also be risky, so find a balance of pushing forward but not being too hasty. No one is going to advocate for you, so if you are interested in maximizing your efficiency, consider the above steps. You can try talking to human resources to see if your paycheck reflects the work you are completing. Thinking about that side hustle? Take a few online courses and watch some YouTube videos to start learning how to build a successful business. You can make a business of yourself. Teach online courses or provide consultations to others.
The day-to-day grind is difficult but it is possible to get more out of your time. Remember, everyone trades time for money, but there are people who are able to maximize how much return they get from each hour. The cornerstone of this is to know your worth, so don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself! Your skills and your time are of high value so stand tall and best of luck on your professional journey.
By Martha D. Staab
I originally had this blog on my list of things to do for the beginning of 2023 but I kept putting it off and putting it off. I felt that I needed to write this with a clear head and less emotion. As the months went by and I reviewed tasks for my interns and staff on Basecamp this blog title that was overdue for months was staring back at me. Almost like a challenge of when you gonna attack me? So today is the day.
Almost 2 months later and a lot more knowledge under my belt I have more to say about this specific topic. I talked about this on my podcast titled, Getting Fired A La James Gunn Style. Leadership is a funny thing. Most people who step into the role are fired up to show the people who hired them why they hired them.
So this happened to me with a very large account. Losing this account is something I have not yet recovered from but the person who was managing over myself and my partner decided to up and leave their position. Listen I get it when you want to get out a toxic situation you do it. It hurt us tremendously because the person who came in didn't even give us a shot. Prior to the new leader coming in we had surpassed the yearly goal but several million dollars. Even though it was a feat never seen before by the company a new leader came in and didn't even care about that, they were determined to create a team they wanted. Which cost them way more to do so and the following year with such stark changes the company dwindled down not even reaching the goals the old team had the year prior. This made the owner take a hard look at what was done the year before and why the new team couldn't replicate. I sat back and laughed because this new leader couldn't do what we could do.
I also had many friends left in that company and I heard this new leader talk so much shit about myself and other people I worked with. The problem when people talk shit is because they are threatened and can't do what you did. This is such a low-level way of acting. If you come in and think you are the shit, act like it.
The problem with a lot of leaders is they are ready to create their own team instead of letting them stick around and show them what they can do. That current team needs to show their worth as well. I tried my best but when I was made to answer emails at 7 am by this leader was seen as aggressive behavior. I knew before this happened that I was out. But I still showed up, put a smile on my face, and turned out all my skills. Again this didn't matter but I was still willing to show them why I was the best and how I helped contribute to the company's growth.
When I was working for their competitor some 8 years prior to this job. This company set the standard in the industry we are in and I knew working with them would raise my marketing skills to the next level and it did. I really wanted to help them grow and become a huge force. In those 3 years, I did and I was proud of my work.
In a previous job I had as a full-time digital marketer I did the opposite. I went into the job and made no changes. I made that clear to the people who hired me. I wanted to see how things worked and as I began working I wanted to see where changes could be made. I made that known that me coming in was not an alarm to those already in place. I wanted to see the worth of people before making a decision. I think I made two major changes and tweaked some things to help that company grow from 2 million to 5 million in 2 years. Thats the way true leaders need to operate not like the grim reaper ready to plow good, hard-working people away. You are messing with people's lives here and it was one thing I wasn't about to do when I became a leader.
Another fantastic example of reaping. I was working with an entrepreneur who owned several establishments and the one I was working on was in its infancy but thriving. In the last 4 months of the year, sales grew 35% and growing. People were flocking for entertainment, or just a fun night in general. Facebook ads were kicking ass and people were buying! It was exciting. At the end of December, the owner called me and said the manager of the establishment was taking over and wanted his own team to turn things around.
"Turn things around? We're booming!!!
"No, he thinks he can take this to the next level and wants his own team. I'm going to let him and see what happens. You will be a causality so just a heads up going into the new year."
I was actually really gutted by the whole thing because I again cared for this company and its growth. The reason I love marketing is because I can see the hard work I put into something and to see it grow and thrive makes me so excited and happy for the owners. It also justifies my stills as a marketer. Over the years I have had naysayers say "You are not as good as you think you are..."
When stuff like this happens and you see the fruits of your labor grow it's a phenomenal feeling.
About 3 months into the new reign of "The Manager" things were falling apart. The content was subpar at best. Likes, traffic and everything around that brand was falling. I received a call from the owner asking me to help run ads for the company again because the person they hired didn't know how to do them.
"How can your "manager" hire someone who doesn't know how to run ads?"
"Look I don't know but I need some run some ads... I'll pay you whatever you want!!! Just please get it done the business is in trouble!!!"
Now I don't know how many times "LEADERSHIP" has failed and I get a call to help clean up the mess they have made. Just so you know I charge double when that happens.
I did the ads and collected the cash.
I got a call before the holidays that business had gone under and that they would be closing their doors soon.
Ironically this is a pattern for jobs and clients that I lose. Once I am taken off a project because someone thinks they can do it better, end up dwindling.
1. Company I helped build up to 12 million, I walked away because the owner was a dick, dipped to 6 million, and eventually sold the company because it was no longer valuable.
2. The company terminated me, I was unemployed for 233 days. I bounced back but Krama remembers and filed for bankruptcy in 2023. They could never get those sales numbers back up after my departure.
3. Worked for an independent entrepreneur, helped grow the business 40k in 3 months, let go due to me questioning how they could work in various industries and promise outrageous results. I was let go due to "attitude" The consultancy closed down 3 months later.
4. Surpassed yearly goal by 8 million, let go due to new leadership
5. Increased sales by 35%, let go due to new leadership
6. Increased sales up to $250K, let go due to new leadership
Shall I go on? My work speaks for itself and it's usually leadership that thinks something can be done better or they haven't had a talk with me about their goals and what they want better. Most leaders are too cowardly to keep those people who have been around, around because that's why you can see this leader doesn't know what they were doing. That's what happened with scenario #1. I started to see this person was not paying attention in the meetings, in fact, this leader was on her phone and got up to gossip with the other employee next door. When my partner was done explaining to the leader who wasn't there I told him. " They stepped out when you got into the acquisitions section."
"This is freaking important why are they not listening."
This situation made my partner fly down and have a meeting in person to save our jobs. It didn't work. Minds were made up.
So the moral of this blog and revealing embarrassing ways I have lost jobs and clients is to make this a learning lesson for those future leaders walking into positions of power. Have some heart, and a good head on your shoulders, and give the people currently working in positions that make the wheels of the business go because they could be crucial to your next big win. Don't be the grim reaper and fuck with people's livelihoods. Like the bosses that hired you took a chance on you, you can take a chance on them.
By Jaqui Sabnal
In today's digital age, the concept of content creation has become a powerful and accessible route for self-expression and professional growth. Whether you aspire to be a vlogger, blogger, podcaster, or influencer, adopting the right habits is crucial for success. Let's explore how you can follow these six tips to become a content creator and thrive in the ever-evolving digital era.
What is a content creator?
To become a content creator, it’s important to note what that role truly entails. A content creator is an individual who produces educational or entertaining content with the goal of reaching their target audience’s interests or even a potential obstacle. The content produced can come in a variety of different ways, such as static images/graphics, blog posts, podcasts, and videos.
There are a few different forms of content creators, which include, but are not limited to:
To serve as a reminder, reaching success as a content creator does not happen overnight. However, by following these simple steps, you’ll soon be finding yourself on the path to achieving greatness as a content creator.
Tip #1: Choose a niche
When getting started with the process of content creation, it is suggested that you should have an idea of what topics you want to focus your coverage on. This could be a hobby you have strong interest in, a skill you’ve honed your expertise on, or even a personal experience that resulted in learning important tips that you want to share with your audience. Whatever your choice of topic may be, ensure that the content you make is relevant to your niche.
Tip #2: Stay caught up with industry news and trends
The best content creators are those who actively research their industry and trends within it. The reasoning behind this? It’s simple. Those who are “in-the-know” are positioned in a place where the content they are producing is relevant in not only a topical matter, but a timely one as well. This can be done through keeping up with newsletters, publications, or media relating to your industry.
Tip #3: Know your audience
Knowing your audience is extremely important in content creation. By having awareness of your audience, you are able to create content that resonates with their preferences and interests. Tailoring your content not only results in catching your audience’s attention, but also builds a sense of credibility. Understanding their needs allows you to address potential pain points, which in turn, positions you as a valuable resource that they are able to trust. In addition, by knowing your audience, you are able to base your content strategy off of their feedback. An example of this could be obtaining the knowledge of what platforms and formatting are performing well and building your strategy based on that insight.
Tip #4: Find and implement a unique voice
In a world full of pre-templated tips and tricks, finding and implementing your own, unique voice is crucial as it sets you apart from potential competitors and also allows you to create a unique identity within your industry. Your voice is the tone and style that you create and in turn, makes the content that you create recognizable and gives off a sense of authenticity. This fosters a personable connection within your audience and results in a community that is more likely to interact and engage with your content.
Tip #5: Focus on your KPIs
A KPI, otherwise known as a key performance indicator, is a quantifiable metric used to measure performance for a specific objective. Here are a few examples of what a KPI could look like in content creation:
KPIs serve as a roadmap, and by understanding your KPIs, you are able to get a clear understanding of what works well with your audience and optimize your content strategy accordingly.
Tip #6: Write down your ideas
Brainstorming is crucial when working in the realm of content creation, but writing them down is equally as important. Writing down different ideas allows you to solidify your thoughts, clarifying bits and pieces of information into tangible ideas. The process helps in visualizing what content could result from the sole idea that was thought of and serves as a point of reference in relation to thinking about what form of content you want to produce next. Overall, it is an important step within the creative process.
Embarking on the content creation journey involves more than just creating engaging pieces and hitting “share”. This process is a thoughtful approach that involves key principles and knowledge that create a foundation for further success within the growing digital landscape. By following these six tips, your dream of becoming an aspiring content creator is closer than you might even realize.
By Cameron Burningham
Whether you're a small business owner or an aspiring content creator, there is a constant demand for fresh content to reach new demographics and keep your current audience coming back. This can be a daunting task for anyone, especially while working within a budget. The good news is there are cost effective ways to create media that will resonate with your audience. Here are seven tips to help you produce content on a limited budget that still makes a lasting impact.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you start creating content, it's essential to know your audience inside out. Understanding their preferences and interests helps you tailor your content to their specific needs, saving you time while also increasing content viewers. Use audience research tools, social media analytics, and surveys to understand your target demographic.
2. Develop a Content Strategy
A precise content strategy is the foundation of successful marketing. Set clear goals and objectives, while identifying your own unique value in order to stand out from others. Creating a content calendar helps you plan your content creation and distribution, ensuring a steady flow of material throughout the year.
3. Utilize Your Skills and Existing Content
One of the most cost-effective ways to create content is to use your own skills in repurposing existing content. Start by acknowledging your strengths, whether it's writing, graphic design, or video editing and focus on what you do best. By doing the work yourself, you can cut down on outsourcing costs, while still providing high quality content. Additionally, old content can be updated, revised, or reformatted, to provide a fresh perspective without starting from scratch.
4. Use Affordable Design Tools
Creating eye-catching visuals is crucial for content success. While hiring a professional designer can be expensive, there are affordable design tools like Canva that offer pre-made templates and are user-friendly. These tools allow anyone to create engaging graphics for their content, enabling you to save money and maintain full creative control.
5. Embrace Royalty-Free Images
Quality images enhance the visual appeal of your content. Rather than investing in costly stock photos, look for high quality, royalty-free image sources. Websites like Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay offer a wide selection of free, high-resolution images that you can use without the financial stress of licensing fees.
6. Implement User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content is a valuable resource for those on a budget. Encourage your audience to create content related to your products or services and ask them to tag you. This builds brand awareness, and provides you with authentic content at little to no cost. UGC can include customer images, videos, or reviews, adding a human touch to your content strategy.
7. Collaborate and Network
Lastly, networking and collaboration can be powerful tools for content creation on a budget. Partner with other graphic designers, bloggers, or influencers in your industry. By sharing audiences, you can cross-promote each other's content, and reach a wider audience without increasing your marketing budget. Collaborative content efforts include guest blog posts, joint webinars, or social media takeovers.
Creating great content on a limited budget is achievable. Start by understanding your audience and creating a solid content strategy. Make the most of your skills by using existing content, affordable design tools, and integrating royalty-free images to generate attention-grabbing content. Encourage content from users and explore collaboration opportunities to make the most of your resources. With these tips, you can produce engaging media that captivates your audience without breaking the bank.
By Rebecca Arendt
In order to grow your business and reach sales goals it's super important to generate leads. Benefits of lead generation include increased awareness of your brand from a consumer perspective, reduces waste of resources such as time, money, and labor, and overall just has a positive impact on businesses. However, it’s not always easy and many businesses struggle when it comes to finding effective strategies to boost lead generation. We aim to fix that by providing you with some tips in order to improve your business lead generation to boost sales!
Overall here are five tips to keep in mind while generating leads and boosting sales. By knowing your audience, learning SEO, creating an effective landing page, hosting webinars or workshops, and the use of social media can all help when it comes to generating leads for your business!
By Ruby Snow
By Rebecca Arendt
Building your own brand can be an incredible and rewarding experience. It allows you to showcase your unique value proposition and build a reputation that sets you apart from others in your field. Branding is the process of creating a unique image and identity for a product, service, or individual. It is essential for businesses and individuals to establish a strong brand to differentiate themselves from competitors and create a lasting impression in the minds of consumers. Here are some steps to keep in mind while building your own brand!
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