5 TIPS TO SUCCESSFULLY MANAGE RELATIONSHIPS IN A BUSINESS by Jennifer and Andrea Lee
Most business owners would agree that managing relationships is key to the success of their company, though sometimes, when you are in the weeds of a project or a deadline, you may forget this core tenet. However, in my case, the relationship side of my business is something I rarely forget - because my business partner happens to be my sister.
I am often asked what it is like to work in a family business - how do you separate your work and personal life? How do you prevent family dynamics from overshadowing business dynamics? How can you and your sister spend so much time together? It is prevalent for friends, classmates, or peers to venture out together to start a business in today's start-up environment. Many of the situations and questions outlined above will seem familiar to those groups. However, the potential for conflict to disrupt an otherwise good relationship prevents many from taking the step.
Read More on page…
STRATEGY: WHAT IS IT? AND HOW TO NOT BE A STATISTIC by Karen Lowe
Strategy has been talked about a lot! Most, if not all, micro-entrepreneurs have been told to create a strategy, start a business plan of some sort, and we have spoken about business plans in multiple issues. So why do statistics keep saying micro-businesses fail at an alarming rate? My dissertation thesis is about understanding why micro-business fail to achieve strategic goals. I was recently asked what exactly is strategy and how to make it happen.
First, understanding strategy is essential because researchers have proven that strategic goals drive behaviour. Specifically, we will be talking about business strategy.
What is Business Strategy
According to my research dissertation, a business strategy is a set of initiatives and actions to improve a company's financial stability. These actions are used to identify, drive, and execute the business' vision and objectives position in terms of operational conditions and competitive advantage. In entrepreneur speak, a plan of action to improve the company's financial stability. As a micro-entrepreneur, I start with the result I wish to achieve and work backwards (more on that later). Strategy is not just a simple plan. Strategy is how, when and who will execute so the destination can be arrived at.
Read More on page…
GROWING YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS ON INSTAGRAM: An Illustrator's Journey
by Denise Foley
Imagine walking into a big box store and seeing your illustrations on stationery and home decor. Now imagine taking your love for illustrating, turning it into a business and selling your artwork across the globe. Sounds incredible, right? What if I told you that this is possible with Instagram?
Taking the Leap
Instagram's popularity had already surfaced around the time I created an account. I quickly realized that artists and business owners used Instagram to connect with their customers and a wider audience. As a result, I felt inspired and driven to use the app as a tool to not only share my work but to connect with other artists, build new friendships, and hopefully gain opportunities I never thought were possible.
Staying True to Your Brand Identity
I immediately created a business account and named it @theprettypinkstudio. My account became a place where I share my journey as an illustrator. I have stayed true to my brand through the years because that is what separates me from other illustrators and stationery brands. A strong account stands out from the crowd because it shows who you are and your understanding of what your clients want.
Read More on page…
COLLABORATION WITH OTHER BUSINESSES: Important & Successful Networking Tool or Group Projects by Michelle Elliot
Collaboration can be an invaluable marketing and promotion tool if done with considerable thought and planning. GoPro x Red Bull, Kanye x Adidas, Nike x Apple and Starbucks x Spotify are examples of highly successful collaborations that took months, if not years, of planning, negotiation and thought. While these are large-scale illustrations of popular brand collaborations, there are also a few large-scale lessons to be observed to avoid one party revisiting the stress and strain of an elementary school group project.
Remember group projects? - Working together as a "group" to achieve a common goal, often resulting in someone feeling overburdened and disappointed? Most times, work was completed disproportionately by one group member though all parties received a similar grade - ahh, the good old days. Collaborative business relationships can feel like that. But they need not if done correctly from the outset.
Read More on page…
7 TIPS TO DESIGN YOUR WEBSITE FOR CONVERSION VS. TRAFFIC by Carli Parkinson
Is your website designed with conversion in mind, or is it designed just for the purpose of traffic? Getting traffic to your website is a great start but not so great if it does not convert into customers or clients. Optimizing your website's design can considerably impact how much traffic converts into business and an overall positive user experience.
When designing your website for conversion, you should always keep your customers and target audience in mind. The purpose of websites is to help you sell a product or service and connect with your customers, but if your website visitors do not have a good experience, they will likely leave the website and not make a purchase or inquiry. Therefore, you need to be clear on your target audience, what the most important elements are on each page of your website, and how to make the website experience better for your visitors. When you are clear on those things, you can get into how your website should function, how it will be used and how it should be designed to maximize your results.
PODCASTING: A POWERFUL BUSINESS TOOL by Marsha Vanwynsberghe
Have you ever dreamed of starting a podcast? In this period of rapid growth for online businesses, many entrepreneurs are joining the podcasting industry to grow their businesses. Podcasting is a powerful form of communication and an excellent opportunity to share your message and network with other entrepreneurs.
Here are four tips for using a podcast as a business tool.
1. It starts with branding. What is your business about? What solutions or results does it provide for others, and how can your messaging be clear and unique to your business. I decided on the title, Own Your Choices Own Your Life, because the words ownership and choice literally changed my life and completely describe my journey. Think of your podcast as an umbrella and ensure it encompasses all potential aspects of your business.