Why Studying the Liberal Arts Can Help Your Business

If you want to be an entrepreneur, what are the most important classes you can take? Business classes, right? Think again. While a background in marketing, research and development, finance, and promotion is all essential to helping your small business get off the ground, the truth is that you can learn much of that information on the job or by hiring consultants to help you set up a LLC or design a webpage with a sticky sales funnel.

However, you can’t outsource an education in the liberal arts. If you don’t take the time to study history, literature, art, and philosophy, you won’t have a foundation upon which to build your business. As the saying goes: if we do not study history, we are doomed to repeat it. But if you do take the time to study the liberal arts, you develop an enormous cultural understanding from which you can create something completely fresh and new.

Here are just two examples of how the liberal arts can influence your business:

Philosophy
Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? What does it mean to live a good life? These and the other big philosophical questions have been around since the dawn of humanity, and form the basis of nearly all religions and belief systems. Taking the time to seriously think about these questions, and understand exactly what they’re asking, helps your small business in three ways.

First, these questions help you determine what you want out of life. Maybe for you, living a good life means donating proceeds to charity, or hiring under-served populations, or increasing educational outreach. Maybe it means always having enough to provide for your family.

Second, these questions help you decide how you want to run your business. If your vision of a good life includes love and friendship, you don’t want to create a business where you and your employees are forced to work 80-hour weeks. If you view humans as stewards of the Earth, you’ll want to create a sustainable business that does not take too much from the environment.

Lastly, these questions help you develop your product. Understanding what other people want out of life helps you create something that adds to their existence and does not detract from it. A product created by a philosophical thinker does not include excess packaging or unbreakable clamshells. It is beautiful, functional, and useful.

Fine Arts
If you look up the history of famous logos, you’ll quickly learn that the McDonalds logo, for example, uses red and yellow because these colors “subconsciously trigger hunger and/or induce excitement.” This is the sort of basic knowledge that’ll have you telling some poor graphic designer to make your logo green because it’s the color of money.

If you take the time to study the fine arts, however, you begin to get a greater understanding of how color, line, shape, texture, and perspective all work together to create an unforgettable image. Spend a semester studying the world’s great painters, and you’ll never say “let’s make it the color of money” again. Instead, you’ll be able to work with a designer to create something that truly reflects your organization’s mission and purpose.

You’ll also be able to bring that sense of artwork into your product design. Steve Jobs, of course, famously used his knowledge of calligraphy to give us Macintosh typefaces. What will your fine arts education produce?

If you don’t yet have a solid background in the liberal arts, it is time to start taking some classes. As Gwynedd Mercy University notes: students who study the liberal arts “deepen their base of knowledge, critical thinking and communication skills” and are “distinguished by professional competence as well as a deeper understanding of social responsibility and their place in the world.”

It’s hard to think of a better foundation for a budding entrepreneur.

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7 Staffing Tips for Startups

The kind of staff a startup chooses to support its organization will be critical to success in the early game. Startups have limited cash, which means hiring decisions are often made by executives instead of human resources. The job ad and interview process are crucial to the hiring process. Before you begin the hunt for the perfect candidate, consider the means of the business and the role of the person.

Hire vs. Contract
The core functions of your business are duties you want carried out in-house. These are people you need face time with, like developers and systems administrators. This is why companies hire for UI/UX positions and outsource the actual coding of the system to others. There are skilled coding positions that are done in-house, but these are usually management-level positions. Contract out low-level tasks that require little skill. Empower project managers to hire their own work force remotely and hold meetings to check the progress of those tasks and make suggestions on removing roadblocks along the way.

Facility Costs
When you’re relocating, or even if you’re settled, the upkeep of your facility takes time and energy. Small duties like taking out the trash or making coffee can be shared among the office, but ordering supplies is a bit more involved. There are intern positions that can help with this, but you should consider a person to manage resources as your company scales. You can designate an office manager and hand those responsibilities to that person.

Allow Devices
Allowing employees to bring their own devices to work lowers the cost of your hardware, but it can cause a need for IT staff. You can contract positions out while you grow familiar with candidates by posting engineering staffing job openings with recruitment firms. This saves you the time of sorting through applications and leads to more qualified candidates. These firms often prep you ahead of time, with information about the candidate. Once you’ve hired a candidate, you can work out a more permanent contract with the employee and handle most IT concerns in-house.

Hire Slowly
Remember to hire for your most critical positions first. It’s easier to explain to investors that you didn’t meet a goal because you were understaffed than overstaffed. Make a list of the duties you can’t do yourself and start small. For individuals, use contractors to augment the work you’re already doing. Once you have a viable product, scale with a partner and your first few hires. This gives you time to refine your pitch and practice the important beats. Once you have a working product supported by a small staff, you’re ready to get more funding and do some hiring.

Hire for Cost
Everyone wants the best, but talent is expensive. Remember that you need to work within your means as you launch, replacing your group with better people as your business scales. Be sure that you reward your ground floor employees with positions that fit their performance, but hire people you can afford until you can show that your product will grow and make money.

Network for Hires
The best hires are people you meet through others. These are contacts that may know your fellow professionals and can offer some recommendations for people you should work with. If you don’t have the money to pay a staffing firm to qualify hires for you, and most startups don’t, you need a more efficient way to meet people. Job fairs also get you some face time with employees, and provide an outlet for branding.

Budget Time
The most valuable asset you have is your time. As important as hiring can be, you can only sacrifice so much time toward finding the right candidate. Delegate as much of these duties as possible to your administrative staff, and leave the review process to you or someone equally technical.

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How to Handle the New Startup Slump

So you’re working on a startup. You’ve found a few good team members, caught the attention of at least one potential investor, and are getting ready to get your first product out the door. As hard as this work is, it’s actually the honeymoon period of your business: the halcyon time in which possibilities are endless and anything can happen.

After the honeymoon period, of course, comes the slump. Maybe you launched your product, but the initial interest wasn’t quite as big as you had hoped. Maybe you had an amazingly successful launch, but now sales have plateaued or dropped off completely. Maybe you didn’t make it to the front page of the iTunes App Store, didn’t get that review in Ars Technica, didn’t get that second round of funding.

Or maybe you did all of that, and you’re still slumping. It’s bound to happen at some point: what goes up must come down, and the initial high of a new startup is always replaced by a slump at some point. If you’re currently in the slump, here are a few things to do to ride it through and begin your upward trajectory again.

Rest
When did you last take a vacation? How about your team members? Americans in particular are notorious for skipping vacations, especially in startup culture where long hours and full commitment are paramount.

However, burnout is real, and it is one of the key causes of that slumpy feeling. By going away for a while, you allow your mind to open up to new experiences and stop running in the same old ruts. To quote startup CEO Justin Moore, a long holiday “allowed me to clearly see the answers to two important business decisions  that I had struggled with prior to taking a break.”

Money
Is your slump money-related? Instead of looking at a bunch of endless possibilities and funding options, are you staring at dried-up funding sources and a bunch of unpaid bills? This kind of money trouble is enough to drain the morale of even the most exciting startup.

The truth is that money trouble is less related to the quality of your product than it is to the way your business manages its finances. A lot of startup owners jump in and assume they’ll know how to handle their own accounting, but they end up causing themselves a lot of financial stress instead.

It’s time to outsource, even if you think you can’t afford it. A good accounts receivable financing team will help you bring money into your business, streamline your cash flow, and make sure you are free to focus on your strengths instead of trying to solve your business’s financial problems.

The Second Launch
For your first product launch, anything seemed possible. Now that you’re approaching a second product launch, you have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. You have a more realistic estimation of how much your second product will make. You also know exactly how much grunt work is involved in successfully taking your product to market. This makes a second product launch seem less like an exciting endeavor and more like a chore.

How do you solve this type of slump? First, you celebrate your small wins. Did you clean up your stockroom so you can stack new inventory? Find some way to reward yourself.

Secondly, you rally your team. Every startup has its drudge periods, but with the right people around you, you can bring excitement back into even the most mundane tasks. As Lefty at My Life, Starting Up writes: “This is the one reason why I’d never do a startup without passionate people.”

So? Are you ready to get yourself out of the slump? Maybe book that vacation, or hire your new accounting team? If you have other tips for startup owners and new entrepreneurs, leave them in the comments.

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Who to Surround Yourself With

For those who are looking to take their career to the next level, there are a variety of things that need to be taken into consideration. Hard work is of course of the utmost importance, but you can’t rely solely on hard work to launch your c

areer to another level. Indeed, a lot of finding success comes from surrounding yourself with the right people. It can be intimidating to hang around with individuals who are “further ahead” of you career-wise, although there’s no reason to think that this will hurt your career in any way. The following are just a few reasons why you should surround yourself with those who are ahead of you in terms of career and experience, each of which can be beneficial to you.

Surrounding Yourself With Successful People is Great Motivation

There’s nothing more important than motivation when it comes to launching one’s career. Even if you’re full of talents and ideas, they’ll be useless if you don’t have the motivation to succeed. Hanging around successful businessmen and women like Ehsan Bayat President and CEO, hardworking entrepreneurs, and networking socialites will likely instill a sense of drive in you that you simply can’t get out of hanging around with those who aren’t doing anything with their lives. It may be intimidating at first, but the end result will be a more driven you, which is an essential element of finding success in one’s career.

Successful People Are Great For Networking

Sometimes finding success in business is all about building up a strong network. Networking doesn’t come easy to everyone, but it’s not nearly as difficult as many people make it out to be. One of the best ways to network successfully is to surround yourself with those who already have a great deal of

connections in business. If you’re a copywriter, for example, you might find that one of your successful colleagues or acquaintances has a friend that is in need of copy services; an instant connection. Connections such

as this can only continue to build your career, and are worth seeking out.

Successful People Can Help to Identify Your Mistakes

Jumping blindly into business can be dangerous; especially if you have a lot on the line. In order to avoid this common issue, you might wish to surround yourself with those who have the experience it takes to identify your mistakes before they become a problem.

Surrounding yourself with the right people will not only help you to grow, but will make you better at doing your job – whatever it may be.

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Using Your Current Skill Set to Start a Business

It is never too early to think about starting your own business. Indeed, the sooner you get started, the sooner you will learn the skills necessar

y to run your business successfully. Patient planning is essential for getting a good start. Here are important things you should keep in mind regarding getting a business off the ground.

Base the Business on Your Skills and Interests
You need to be clear from the beginning what services or products you are going to offer. If you are not sure what kind of business you want to run, look at your talents and interests. If you are creatively talented and find web design interesting, you could consider starting a web design business. If you love pets and enjoy selling products, you could get into the pet supply business. The main requirement is that you must feel enthusiasm about the services or products,

and there has to be a demand for the products or services you want to offer.

Develop Your Business Logo and Mission Statement
Once you have decided what kind of business you wish to start, it is time to create your business logo and mission statement. Put a lot of thought into your logo, because you want it to be memorable, easy to print on promotional items and attractive. If you have the funding, consider hiring someone to create your logo for you.

A mission statement conveys your company’s purpose. Having a clear mission statement helps keep things on track. A sample mission statement for a trendy pet supply business could be “to offer customers the newest, most attractive and unique pet supplies.”

Develop an Online Presence
Developing a positive online presence is extremely important for any business. The first thing you need to do is set up a web site. If you have a limited budget, you can start out with a free website. There are many web building and eCommerce tools publicly available for your use. Use an online web page builder to design your pages easily. You will not need to know any special computer languages.

If you want to sell products or services directly from your site, you can use online shopping cart software. Several companies offer these. Shopping carts process orders and automatically calculate things like shipping. You may also choose to join a site that gives you your own storefront or web store, which already have shopping carts integrated into the site design.

The Long Term
After you have developed your business idea and set up shop, you will need to use marketing tools to make people aware of you. You can use social media sites and pay-per-click ad services to get the word out. Formulate a yearlong marketing plan to create a firm foothold for your business.

Once how to save money on car repairs money starts coming in, you should keep good records of your profits versus expenses. If your business generates significant profits, you may need to pay taxes quarterly. Consult with a tax adviser or visit the IRS website to learn about business tax.

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Opening Up an Offline Location

As someone who is well versed in online business, it’s easy to assume that going offline is going to be easy. The truth is that running your own business offline is an entirely different animal than running your business through the web. Here are some of the things you need to consider and figure out.

Where Will Your Business Be Located?
If you are a creative type, you can probably join an existing studio and run your business out of your own corner of it. For professionals in the business world, office parks are best. If you’re going to be opening a shop of some sort, you’ll need to find a storefront where your market is most likely to shop.

Do not sign the first lease on the first space you see. Take some time to shop around and learn how to evaluate commercial and business spaces. Remember—your lease is not the only expense to consider here. What will your utility costs be like? Are you going to have to pay for space in the parking lot for your customers?

How Will Your Customers Pay You?
If your shop is going to be small you can probably continue processing your customers’ payments online. Square makes it easy to set up a smart phone or tablet computer to be an ad hoc register. Other companies, like Inuit offer similar processing but also help you setup equipment for printing receipts. This option helps you eliminate merchant processing fees, credit card terminals and a bunch of other bulky stuff.

If you expect your business to be busy, though, you’ll want a traditional register system (and you’ll want to have a few of them in the store). This way you can ring up several people simultaneously and cut down on your customers’ wait time.

If you are expecting your business to be really busy (a grocery shop, for example), you might want to invest in a couple of self checkout terminals. You can set up an employee to monitor them for loss prevention and people can check out at their own rates. This is particularly helpful for customers who prefer to do their own bagging or who might only have one thing who don’t want to wait in line behind someone who has twelve.

When You’re Gone
With an online business you can set it up to run automatically even in your absence. When you have an offline business, this isn’t so easy. You’ll need to have someone to cover for you in your absence. At the very least you’ll want an assistant (or assistant manager if you’re running a retail operation). You cannot simply close up shop for a sick day or week of vacation. Your lease might demand that you be open during certain hours on certain days.

Hiring employees is a challenge—even if you’ve had plenty of HR experience. First, make sure you’ve got their salary or wages already in place before you hire them. Next, make sure you only hire as many people as you can already afford to pay for a year. Then, follow the rules of HR to find the best candidates and check out their backgrounds and references.

Above all else, don’t forget to have fun! It’s scary, but you’re undertaking an adventure that could completely change your life for the better!

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5 Steps You Cannot Skip When Starting a Business

A lot of us dream of starting our own businesses. Many of us actually do, but only a few of us succeed at the entrepreneurial path. Why is this? Why do some ideas and business plans sputter and die while others flourish on the free market? Let’s assess the situation…

Why Does One Succeed and the Other Fail?
First and foremost, those who succeed have a few specific personality and work ethic skills. In addition, they make a plan and work the plan. Here are 5 steps you cannot skip when starting a business.

•Business Plan
Quite literally: A business plan is the foundation on which you build your business. Do the research, make a solid plan, and learn to adjust as necessary. Business plans allow us to really look at every aspect from concept to execution and what it will take to make it all happen. In addition, this is where the budget starts and a business without a budget is no business at all. You know the saying, “It takes money to make money”? Well, it’s true.

•Marketing Plan
A marketing plan is the second most important thing you need to wrap your mind around. Marketing is the lifeblood of any business. Marketing covers everything from your letterhead and business cards to your advertising and social media campaigns. A designated and committed budget, a well-researched locale, accurate demographics, and expert insight are all necessary when it comes to marketing.

Also, and this is very important, be sure your marketing campaign includes and embraces a local cause.

•Online Presence
Whatever you do, do not underestimate the Internet and what your online reputations says about you and your business. From vendors to prospective employees and customers, the Internet is the first place people are going to look to find out more.

Accordingly, your business needs to have a website and social media pages like LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, and Pinterest. In addition, a stand-alone or website incorporated blog is a new must for fresh relevant content to continuously increase or maintain your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

•Online Payment Options
When you are building out your site and integrating a shopping cart or other merchant services, having a something like a virtual terminal (VT) is an extremely efficient manner of accepting online payments for your products or services. This allows your customers to be able to do business with you wherever they (and you) are. In the digital age, think of this as a must.

If you work in a scheduling type of business (clinic, salon, etc), there is software specifically for that too. Businesses that do not allow online payment options are losing business, so don’t let yours be one of them.

•Consistency
No matter what your business is, no matter how you choose to promote and advertise it, the most important thing is to be consistent. Do not skip around from this to that. Experiment before you start your business, not after. If you advertise, don’t piece-meal small dollars everywhere thinking you will reach more people, instead choose a venue and own it as much as your budget will allow.

We start businesses because we have dreams, or perhaps because we simply no longer wish to work for someone else. But, if we are not careful and prepared, dreams can turn into nightmares and money pits. Learn the industry you wish to get involved in; learn the prospective recipient of your product or service–the end users, as they’re called. Learn the region in which you plan to open shop and then start with that business plan and go from there.

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Earning A Certificate is a Great Place to Start

Teens and adults seem to want to grow up entirely too fast. I remember the time in my life I thought I was ready to take on the world and was ready to make my mark. Many ions later I find that I was misled along the way. When speaking to the youth of America (I am an educator) I find it best to break it down into simple terms and hope they catch on and listen.

Going to college and earning a degree is recommended, but the truth is some young adults don’t have the desire to go to school for 4-6 more years. At 18 some are ready for a real job making real money. Without a degree that seems unrealistic which is why we see so many servers that are in their late 20’s? These kids were misled and found a career that provides a good income without formal education.

There is a better way to go. Earning a certificate of some sort is a quick way to start a career while giving you options to continue education later. Most times you can pick up right where you left off. There are many programs that fit this option.

Do you love the radio and dream of being a dj or broadcaster?! Check out a broadcasting school in your area. This is a program that can be completed within a year and a field that offers continuous growth. With an average starting pay around $25,000 this is a great opportunity to get on your feet as a young adult.

There are also options for more business related fields. HR Management Courses in Milwaukee at Cardinal Stritch University are ideal for someone who is interested in legal issues, business development and staff engagement. You don’t have to live near Milwaukee to benefit from such a program. Like most universities, Cardinal Stritch offers online learning, meaning you can earn this certificate from your Mom’s couch.

Trade schools are another good idea for those who are unsure of their path but know they wanted to start yesterday. You could become a licensed cosmetologist, a mechanic or even a dental assistant through such programs. All of which can be achieved in less than a year.

While trade schools tend to be more hands on and offer less in the way of online learning, there are opportunities to complete some of your courses online. The great thing about trade schools is you can find them all over the country so location really isn’t as big of a deal.

Another benefit to these types of programs is job placement. Many of the schools that offer certificates will aid you in your quest for a career. A lot of them make a guarantee for a job upon completion. This is a big promise but one that they keep. For those that don’t assure you will have immediate work do so as a precaution, however your educators will do their part so long as you are doing yours.

Finally there is a drastic price difference in earning a degree and a certificate of completion. Neither route is “cheap” but one year of schooling is much more feasible than 4. There is funding available for both types of programs and if money is your biggest concern you could find some useful information with some continued research.

Through all of these certificates and programs you are opening the door for career advancement. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement if you are looking to move up the corporate ladder. For now you will make mom and dad proud and will feel a sense of accomplishment. It may be several years before education becomes really important for you. When that time comes you will already have a solid foundation.

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How can restaurants bring in repeat customers?

Whether you’re in charge of a cheap and cheerful pizzeria or own a swish eatery specializing in gourmet fare, all restaurants should be doing their utmost to give customers the incentive to come back and eat at your establishment. As obvious as it sounds, happy patrons will return to your eatery time and time again, providing you with a vital source of income.

Happy diners who come to your restaurant regularly are also more likely to tell their friends and family members about the quality of your meals and service, but how exactly do you encourage repeat trade? Here are some of the areas you might wish to look at.

Set up a customer database
The first step to bringing in customers on a repeated basis is setting up a database filled with customers’ contact details. Gather this information when people ring up to book a table or from customer feedback forms in your suggestions box. You should also make use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to establish a relationship with your customers. In doing so, you can quickly get in touch with diners to inform them about promotions, special events and changes in opening hours, all while ensuring they remember your brand.

Run special offers
Consistently good food and impeccable service ought to be at the core of any restaurant, but to give people the additional incentive to come to your restaurant time and time again you need to think about running promotions. Whether these take place on a regular basis – perhaps offering money off main meals on a quiet midweek night – or are one-offs to mark special occasions, this is a great way to build a buzz around your establishment.

Use your customer database to identify a target market for special offers. For example, you might wish to email customers details of a new set menu option or inform them that they can get money off their next bill with a particular discount code.

Distribute promotional gifts
Lastly, it’s worth looking at the role promotional products can play in generating customer loyalty. Using promotional gifts is a fantastic way to ensure that customers think of you in a more positive light, with studies from the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) showing 56 per cent of people claim to feel more positive about a company/brand that has given them a promotional gift.

We all like to receive something for nothing, and it’s a good idea to provide patrons with items that are intrinsically related to food and drink. Whether this is a set of coasters or a personalized glass that customers can take home with them, promotional gifts should help customers interact with your brand in the comfort of their home. With any luck, this lasting reminder of your restaurant will give them the incentive to return to your establishment for another meal.

Once customers have finished eating, you should serve chocolates or mints with the bill. Hopefully, they’ll have enjoyed their meal, but these sweet treats should put the finishing touch on a great night out. According to research by the BPMA, mints, sweets and chocolates were all in the top 40 most popular promotional products (taking 20th, 30th and 33rd place respectively) last year.

Promotional packets of chocolates and mints can be customized to feature your establishment’s logo and phone number, and therefore offer a great opportunity to publicize your brand.

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Photography: Taking Your Hobby to a New High

Whether you need to supplement your income while finishing school or you need extra dinero to pay off that student loan debt, there are many worthwhile freelance careers you can pursue. The best freelance careers are the ones where you get to do what you love and can make some money doing it and sometimes, a lifelong hobby can become a lifelong career.
Things like writing, music, and photography are great examples of hobbies that can easily turn into lucrative careers or at least side-line money makers.
Are you the one at parties and get-togethers that’s always taking pictures? Do friends see your photographs and tell you that you have talent? Is taking pictures your private passion? Why not make it a new career?

Practice Makes Perfect
Start getting behind the lens. Invest in better equipment if (or when) you can. Practicing in different environments, with different lighting, and with different subjects will only make you a better photographer. Do you take unusual pictures? Don’t worry about, you can find a niche and learn how to make it marketable.

Keep on Learning
Look into local schools for photography. Find meet-ups for photography groups. Discover like-minded people to compare techniques, share ideas, and discover small (or large) gig opportunities while you continue learning. Hone your skills, both behind and in front of the camera.

Put Together a Portfolio
Have close friends and family members help you choose a few pictures to start putting together a portfolio, if you don’t already have one. Ask them to be objective and not just full of platitudes. Honesty is the best policy, after all you want to succeed and they should want you to too. Look on-line for the proper way to present your work.

Don’t Forget Marketing
Create some inexpensive or free business cards and set-up a free website using a platform like WordPress. Having something to hand people or somewhere to direct them is important and doesn’t need to cost you a lot of dough when you are first starting out.

Word of mouth advertising may be all you can afford, but don’t underestimate the value of a great referral. Choose a couple of friends that you know are very well connected with the types of people or organizations that utilize photography. Offer to do a personal digital photo-shoot for free or be the token photographer for a family wedding. If you do a great job they are sure to refer you any time the subject of a photographer comes up.

On Doing What You Love
Sometimes doing what we love starts with a leap of faith. Rarely is the opportunity laid in our laps and even those that are still require expertise and real work. Learning and investing in your craft should be a never-ending endeavor, but be sure your return is worthwhile. If all you are doing is investing time and money something is wrong and all you are left with is an expensive hobby.

On the other hand, if you find that you are able to pay a few bills, buy a new lens, or purchase an unexpected nicety you know you are doing something right. Small successes will grow into bigger successes and soon you may be so busy there won’t be time for a second job.

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Entrepreneurs: You’re Not Alone, Here’s How to Connect

Starting your own business is a daunting task. What with the lack of steady income, health benefits and a boss to blame when business is bad. Still, more and more people seem to prefer that to getting stuck in a company where there’s tens and thousands of people, no space for growth and a life lived for weekends alone.

A decade or so ago, being an entrepreneur would also have implied a lack of connectedness with others that have a similar job title. But in today’s world, being connected is everything, even (and especially) in the entrepreneurial world. Focusing on social media alone, there are endless platforms on which modern day entrepreneurs are connecting with one another.

If utilized correctly, being ultra-connected in the entrepreneurial sphere holds many opportunities. But it also has its challenges. So let’s take a look at these opportunities and challenges focusing specifically on the social media.

Social media is a great tool to connect with other entrepreneurs. It means that you’re not alone in the world anymore and that you can rest assured that there are many others like you out there. It even gives you a chance to talk about the trails and tribulations of starting a business and perhaps share tips, strategies and plans for starting up a successful business.

Most importantly, however, social media creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to forge new connections. These connections could become business associates or lead to like-minded individuals working together in the future. Making a special list on Twitter, for example, of other entrepreneurs and interacting with them about relevant topics is one way of connecting and many business owners will confess to keeping an eye out for potential business partners on Twitter.

Another great opportunity that connecting on a social media levels holds for entrepreneurs is to show the world the person behind the brand. In today’s world, the consumer doesn’t only shop for a brand anymore; they shop for a reason why the brand exists and a form of personal touch connected with the brand. Social media gives entrepreneurs the chance to include a few personalized moments into their public lives to show the world that they’re passionate about their goals and that they live the values of their brand.
Social media can also help entrepreneurs to do affordable research. People love raising their opinions on social networks; all you have to do is ask them. In turn, it gives the entrepreneur a chance to deliver personalized customer service.

A great challenge that social media connectedness does, however, pose to entrepreneurs is that everyone thinks they can do it. But just because someone has a profile on Facebook, doesn’t meant that they can communicate a brand’s identity successfully on social media too. It’s just as easy to damage your brand on social media than it is to empower it.

The same goes for the entrepreneur’s personal connections. In many ways, they can still benefit from doing communication skills training that will teach them how to communicate professionally in their new entrepreneurial circles. Social media is so incredibly digitally orientated, that it’s easy to forget how to communicate well with others in a face-to-face situation. And it’s very important that, if entrepreneurs choose to stay connected, they must be able to present themselves well in person.

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Great Jobs for 20-Somethings that Only Need a Certification

When it comes to education, many people believe that it’s next to impossible to advance in today’s world without a 4-year degree. It may seem as if this this the case, but it’s important to realize that there are plenty of paths that can be taken which don’t require you to get an intense degree at all.

Certifications can not only be obtained more easily than other types of degrees, but they can very often lead to high-paying jobs if the right paths are taken. 20-somethings who are looking for a way around the traditional

education system can get a lot out of simply obtaining a certification, which can save both time and money.

Here are just a few great jobs for 20-somethings that only require a certification:

Tax Preparer

Everyone has to deal with taxes at the beginning of the year; it’s a necessary evil if there ever was one. As a result, becoming a tax preparer can land you a lot more money than you might think. It can be a tiring job, but the right amount of work ethic is all it takes to become great in this position. You might wish to pursue The College Network when looking for certifications to get you this role, as this is one of the better resources on the Internet. Regardless of how you go about the process, you can expect a rather lucrative career when training to become a tax preparer.

Cerfitied Bank Teller

While many people look at being a bank teller as being one of the lessor jobs that a person can take on, it can actually be quite high-paying. Becoming a certified bank teller is a great way to take your career to the next level, and can result in a much higher-paying position overall. Fortunately, this type of position doesn’t require one to have a 4-year degree, which is a big perk for many people. Becoming a certified bank teller will help you to move towards becoming a notary public as well, which is very important in the modern business world. It requires a great deal of effort on your part, but it’s far from impossible.

Pharmacy Technician

The medical industry is more popular than many people realize; it’s a safe haven for those who are talented and looking to make a fair amount of money. As a result, becoming a is one of the better ideas that you can have if you’re looking for a job that only requires a certification. This is a position that you can make a great deal of money working at, and is perfect for those who have a strong interest in the medical industry. While it does of course take time to become a pharmacy technician, it’s not nearly as difficult as many people make it out to be.

20-somethings often think they have to obtain a 4-year degree, but this isn’t always the truth. You can make a fair amount of money by working a job that is obtainable with a regular technical degree, which will also help you to save money.

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