Expert Tips on How to Start a Successful Business in 2021

If you are considering starting a business, you need to know exactly what you are getting into before you dive in headfirst. Just because the internet has made it extremely easy and affordable for anyone to get started, don’t confuse this with it at all being easy.

While it may seem like a golden opportunity to do what you have always loved, and it definitely can be, you should also know that there is a lot of hard work that goes into forming your own company.

With all of this in mind, today we are going to highlight some great some tips on how to get started with a business of your own, while also planning out the launch and thought process before getting started.

Do What You Love

If you are not passionate about what your business is going to be about, then you are facing a recipe for disaster. While you won’t be in love with every single aspect of your business, you do need to be excited about what you sell and what the company represents.

Have a Formal Plan

You need to sit down and develop a formal business plan. Not only will this help you, as the owner, stay focused but any financial institution that you are trying to get a business loan from will also require one. They aren’t going to give money to someone just because they have a great idea. You have to prove why it is a great idea and how you are going to bring it to fruition.

Clean Up Your Finances

While you are pursuing a bank for business finances, you also need to make sure that you get your finances in order. You certainly do not want to be stressed about incoming bills while you are trying to get your company off the ground. You also want to make sure you have enough extra money for your business in case of an emergency.

To help clear up your personal financial situation quickly and easily, contact a private lender who can give you a personal loan.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Don’t hang up your hat at your old job before you open your new business. There will be most assuredly a lapse between when you start your company and when you actually start turning a profit. While maintaining a full-time job at the same time as opening a business doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, you’ll have to suck it up and just do it because you can’t really live without money.

Start Looking for Clients Right Now

It seems rather silly to open a business when you have zero customers to start with so you should probably avoid doing so. If you are fresh from college, you may have contacts from when you were networking throughout classes, clubs, and sporting events.

If not, frequent forums where people who are already in your industry tend to congregate and spread the word of mouth out working for you.

Get Started with a Blog

One of the best ways to get started with a business online, is to actually get started. And an excellent way to put all of this in motion, is to register a domain, set up your web hosting and then going live with a WordPress site of your own.

This will allow you to actually understand the content creation and promotion process, without having to put out a lot of money and stressing over every step on the process. To learn more about how to get started with a blog of your own, be sure to read through this quick and easy reference guide.

Seek Out Help

As much as doing everything yourself may seem like you are dedicated, you simply cannot be an expert on everything. It definitely pays to hire people like accountants or lawyers to guide your decisions in those regards. You may even want to contact a business coach or mentor to help you in the beginning.

How to Improve Your Chances for Business Success

On the internet, anyone can get started with a domain name, website, ecommerce store or even a social profile in a matter of minutes. And while it may seem extremely fast and easy to get live with a business online, it also leads to a lot of clutter and competition as well.

This is why it’s so important for new entrepreneurs and business owners to actually put in the time and effort to study their business idea and niche market before getting started.

To find success online, it’s not about re-inventing the wheel — it’s about creating the best user engagement and giving the best value possible.

If you can figure out a way to do better than what’s currently out there, you will be much more like to find success, versus trying to start something from scratch with zero testing and promise.

The Power of Mentorship, Expertise and Blogging in 2021

No matter your passion, expertise or goals in live… when you start to share those feelings and emotions with others, it resonates with them as well.

This can be for pretty much anything in life. However, more often than not, it gets more emotional and personal when it’s relevant to a lifestyle, goal or challenge we may personally be working on.

With this in mind, once you find what you are great at and start sharing it with the rest of the world… that’s when the real magic starts!

Today, we are going to highlight three different entrepreneurs and industry experts that took their own expertise and passion for business, branding, investing and teaching others… then expanded into much bigger roles as world influencers, teachers and mentors.

Let’s get started!

Timothy Sykes – Stock Market and Penny Stocks

If you’ve ever done any research online for the stock market or investing in penny stocks, then you will have likely come across the name “Timothy Sykes” — and also that he is known for turning $12k into more than $6.7 million.

While investing in penny stocks was how it all started for Tim, now his bread and butter comes through the brand and business that he’s built up over the past several years as a result of teaching others how to accomplish the same.

And like many others, this journey started out with a blog and social media, while also highlighting his many failures and successes — and of course including amazing photography of the various places he’s been day trading around the world.

Today, Tim has a network of investing and education sites, live events and conferences to attend, and online courses and subscriptions for all of his students.

Now let’s highlight how Tim is using each of these three methods to grow his brand, reach and business.

  • Mentorship – Online courses and coaching programs
  • Expertise – Everything related to penny stocks
  • Blogging – Daily posts on his blog and social channels


Gary Vaynerchuk – Brand Marketing and Agency Services

Of the many different examples of successful individuals we could cover when it comes to creating content, sharing their expertise and being a mentor to others, Gary V likely would be the most well known.

What’s quite amazing about Gary’s journey, is that he’s not only found success time and time again (whether it be in Wine, social media, investing or branding), but also that he is inspiring others throughout the process.

A perfect example of this can be seen through his podcasts and video interviews where he discusses his passions for flipping products and finding garage sale deals. This isn’t making him a ton of money, but it’s motivating his audience, getting them started and growing his brand loyalty and following in the process.

Now let’s highlight how Gary is using each of these three methods to grow his brand, reach and business.

  • Mentorship – Through personal coaching but mostly social media content
  • Expertise – All forms of marketing, but enforcement of putting in the work
  • Blogging – Gary Vaynerchuk blog, Medium and top social platforms

Ashley Alderson – Boutiques, Ecommerce and Networking

Not every example of success and fame needs to be well-known of backed up by millions of dollars in wealth. This is the exact story behind Ashley Alderson, who has become quite the coach, influencer and success story in the niche market of unique boutique shopping.

While it may seem small at first, the truth is… the more you niche down the better. Then as you continue to show off your expertise and passion, while growing a brand in the process, then you can really start and see what’s possible.

What started out small, is now a large company with staff, and also influencing and motivation thousands of members around the world. The Boutique Hub, founded by Ashley, is for all boutique types, apparel, accessories, beauty, decor, and with all selling types from e-commerce, brick and mortar, mobile to social

Now let’s highlight how Ashley is using each of these three methods to grow his brand, reach and business.

  • Mentorship – Through a massive network of users at The Boutique Hub 
  • Expertise – Personal, business and life expertise that relates to her audience
  • Blogging – Main site, blog, media interviews and top social platforms

How to Grow Your Own Brand or Business by Sharing Your Expertise with Others

As you can see from each of the examples above, when you put in the time and effort to share your expertise, talents and passions with others, you can really grow into quite the brand and business of your own.

With the internet now making it easier than ever to get started with a site, brand or business of your own, what are you waiting for?

Be sure to follow each of the examples above on both their social media channels and websites or blogs, as they will not only keep you inspired, but will also teach you how to take advantage of such platforms and networking methods as well.



Starting Your Business Career: Tips for New College Graduates

The day you’ve dreamed of has finally come, you’ve graduated from college, and you’ve accepted your first full-time, grown-up job. What happens next?

Is it time to jump into the workforce, further your education even more, or immediately take the first job available and try to pay down your college debt

With so many different options available, how are you supposed to know which is best? The truth is, everyone has their own path and the decisions you make at this point must be decided by you and only you.

However, there are several resources out there that can help you out in this decision process. And we hope this article can provide you with a little bit of guidance as well.

Read on and discover how the steps below can help you make the adjustment from student to employee and thrive in your new position.

Create a Budget and Pay Down Your Debts

One thing you don’t want to worry about in your first year on the job is not having enough money to meet your expenses. If you budgeted in college, this is one of the reasons why, so it wouldn’t seem so unfamiliar once you were out in the working world.

However, even if you didn’t, you can learn. You know what your salary should be, so your next step is to assess all of your expenses. If you have student loans to repay, keep in mind that there may be money saving options.

You can use a calculator to see what your savings can be if you refinance or aggregate multiple loans. As for the rest of your budget, make sure that in addition to necessities, you are putting away some money in your company’s retirement plan and building an emergency savings account.

Have Realistic Expectations

You are in an entry-level position. This means that you probably won’t get the most interesting tasks and your duties might not even resemble what you ultimately hope to be doing in your career.

Few people have a thrilling job straight out of college. Focus on what you can learn, communicating effectively and having a good attitude.

And at the same time, don’t dismiss the power of the internet and how it can instantly put you ahead of the competition. Even by just registering your personal name as a domain name and going live with a simple little blog, this could be the difference between getting hired or passed over.

Remember that you are part of a team now, and what you do affects your coworkers. It’s also a good idea to be observant in those first few weeks until you get a better sense of the culture in your office.

Keep Networking

The work relationships that you build may be the most important element for success in your career. If you networked through college, this is no time to stop.

If you didn’t take part in networking, it’s time to start. And just like we highlighted in the previous point, the internet can make this process a whole lot easier.

If you aren’t currently on LinkedIn, make sure you get on it immediately. Start to build out your profile, resume and expertise, while also connecting with others in your industry. You never know who someone might know, and being well connected on LinkedIn is a huge asset to have.

You can do this both in person and online by taking opportunities to join any professional organizations, attend seminars and connect with other alumni from your college who are also in your field.

Have a Plan

Where do you hope to be in one year, five years or even ten years?

The most successful people are those who specifically identify what they want and go after it. And this all starts right when you graduate from college and start to build a story and path for yourself.

If you want to climb the corporate ladder, find out what the best way to do that is. If you hope to gain the experience that will get you a foothold elsewhere, learn as much as you can about the place you eventually want to be working for.

How to Make the Most of Your Time Right Out of College

Throughout all of this, keep up your networking and be sure to center people in whatever you do. There’s a difference in being competitive and getting ahead by undermining or hurting other people.

There may be a few cutthroat business environments where you can get away with this for a while at least, but in general, people will remember you and recommend you for promotion if they feel you are an asset to their team and not someone who is only out for themselves.

Effective Employee Training Tips for Long Term Success

With more businesses and organizations changing the way they conduct business in the world today, it’s important for them to implement the necessary training and online accessibility that employees need to complete their daily tasks.

As we continue to see more businesses focus their efforts on ‘work from home’ and teleconferencing, the idea of including employee training through similar methods is catching on as well.

To better understand the importance of employee training within the workplace and how businesses and brands of all sizes can start incorporating such methods, we will be highlighting some of the many benefits and reasons why employee training is now more important than ever before.

Employee Training that Works for Your Employees and the Business

Before going live with your own internal training courses, content and videos, it’s important to know who you will be training, the key goals in mind and making sure that your material is going to work for not just the employees and team members in your organization, but also for the good of the organization as well.

As highlighted in this recent article from Entrepreneur, employee training shouldn’t just feel like a requirement, but instead another growth mechanism for the business in general.

Don’t implement a training program just to go through the motions. That’s likely a colossal waste of time. Instead, set clear goals for what each employee should know and be able to do at the end of the training program.

To best accomplish this, you will want to make sure you have clear goals in mind before getting started. These should largely depend on the state of your company, and the specific roles that you are looking to fill.

By knowing who your new hires and what they should be getting out of your training, will allow you to create course and training material that works best for the business and your employees.

With this same mentality in mind, you also want to tweak and improve your training material as the growth and focus of your organization changes over time. After all, you wouldn’t want to be training your new hires today with the same information as you would for new hires in a few years from now.

Employee Training Sets Everyone Up for Continued Success

While the idea of setting up such training and having your team members and employee go through such training might not seem that exciting to either side, the truth of the matter is that it works quite well.

This is especially true for larger businesses and organizations that will be hiring a lot of people to fill the same roles, while also preparing them for higher responsibilities down the road.

Through the use of online training or individual courses, the process of training employees can be replicated and automated, without the need to have another team member spending their valuable time in one-on-one training sessions.

This is also something Indeed has continually talked about in their training resource guides.

Training programs can also help prepare employees who are moving into higher roles and taking on more responsibilities in an organization. These programs will help them learn the skills that are required to function effectively in their new positions. For example, they may be trained in leadership skills or in a specific software they will use in their new role.

At the same time, with all employees and team members going through the same training, there is no excuse for everyone to not be on the same page.

In the end, the benefits of setting up online training and video courses for businesses and brands of all sizes, is a win-win across the board.

Training to Expand the Growth of Your Business Team

When Fortune 500 and Enterprise organizations are hiring, they are often looking to bring in new people that are going to grow with the company and not leave within the next couple of years.

Through the use of advanced training options, the process of improving the skills, knowledge and expertise of employees can grow and be implemented at a much faster pace.

By offering advanced training to team members and employees, this will not only allow for a faster and improved training process, but it will also allow for individuals to improve their skills and expertise on their own time and pace.

How to Get Started with Your Own Employee Training

As mentioned throughout this article, in order to create the best training possible, you need to know what your employee and business needs are before getting started.

With so much focus on this topic lately, Forbes recently touched on this process and recommended doing the following before getting started.

  1. Create a plan
  2. Host regular training sessions
  3. Use employees as trainers
  4. Cross train workers
  5. Set training goals

No matter what course material or training platform you intend on using, all of these preparation tips can be done before any of the content and training is created.

Lastly, in order to get the most out of your training course, platform and efforts, you need to provide your employees with the necessary tools and resources.

This means not just handing course material and training off to them and then leaving them in the dark, but also following up and providing advanced support and training in the months and years to come.

How to Prepare a 1099 Form as an Independent Contractor

If nothing, this year has taught us that we should be prepared for different and sudden changes. It has hit a lot of aspects of our lives, including 1099 forms. This information is especially important for people who are either contractors or have hired someone who is.

If you are just getting started or your company is contracting outside help, then you are probably familiar with the IRS Form 1099. Maybe you do not know every single detail about it but you have probably at least heard of it.

To many, it sounds too complicated. Something that requires too much time, but actually it’s not really the case. If you have the right tools and processes in place, you can actually be done with it faster than you think.

If you are not sure where to begin and how to prepare it, we will give you a list of things that might be helpful to you. You need to take care of the basics before doing anything else, so let’s begin!

What Does This Form Represent?

Starting From Scratch

Before we start explaining the preparation, let’s first learn more about this form. So, if you hire someone, for instance, a gig worker, a freelancer, or anyone else and you pay them more than 600 US dollars then you are obligated to prepare and issue an IRS Form 1099-MISC.

Why does that matter? It has to be done, so they can file for an income tax return. Furthermore, this document is used by small businesses, independent contractors, or any other individual that isn’t an S or C-level corporation. 

They use this document to report how much they’ve earned as well as determine how much they will owe. It’s important that you send out this form to anyone you’ve hired and paid more than 600 US dollars. Moreover, this also involves LLCs or any partnership you have contracted.

How To Prepare It?

Track Your Records

The first step you have to take during this process is to gather all the information you have about your independent contractors. You probably remember that you have filled out the Form W9 before you have hired anyone.

This form should contain the name, the address, and Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN). It would be advisable to see if that person has changed any of this information before you continue with the process. 

Acquire The Forms

It may seem logical that you should just find the paper forms on the internet and simply print them out, but unfortunately, that’s not how things work and the IRS would definitely not accept them. You need to get the official 1099 forms from the real source. Where to go?

1 – From your payroll software provider: For example, you can utilize an accounting program such as FreshBooks.

2 – From the IRS: Go to their official website if you want to obtain this form or you can just contact 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

3 – From an accounting corporation: Most local accounting companies have a plethora of these forms. Buy it from them.

4 – From an office supply store: Find the nearest office supply store and see if they have it. They usually do.

Calculate Your Deductions

To many, this seems like a never-ending process. Creating a list of 1099 deductions is a bit exhausting, but you simply must calculate them. Start by deducting any costs that are classified as “ordinary and necessary”.

This means that you need it to do your tasks and it is also an expected part of your job. Further, there are some expenses that you shouldn’t count as deductible, such as acquiring expensive business clothes.

Besides this cost, other common expenses involve things like gas to drive people, any brand-new software or computer, as well as electricity expenses if you are working from home.

Anything Else?

Complete The Forms

One of the first steps you have to take is to determine the gross income for the last tax year. This shouldn’t be anything too complicated. Just add up the amount on each 1099 form you have.

The second thing that must be done is to utilize Schedule C to add up all your deductible business costs. That means that if your costs are less than 5,000 US dollars, plus you do not have any workers and you are not deducting for your office at home, then you can freely utilize Schedule C-EZ. This option is much more efficient and faster.

Make sure you have obtained form 1040. This one is important because you will have to write down all your expenses on it to uncover your net income. This form comes with the table that contains instructions as well as your net income. They should help you determine how much you owe in state taxes and income.

After you’re done with this, ensure to calculate your Social Security and Medicare contributions. The rate for 2017 is 12.4% of your income for Social Security and 2.9% for Medicare. Add these amounts on form 1040 and also add them together to determine your self-employment tax total. 

Send The Forms To Vendors

Don’t forget to send a copy of the 1099-MISC forms to all your contractors. Do it as soon as you can to give them enough time to include it in their personal tax returns and report their yearly income. It’s important to respect the deadline, because if you don’t, the IRS may penalize you with fines.

Submit The 1099 Forms

There are two ways you can do it. First, you can do it by sending them via e-mail. This is the most common way. You should do it no later than January 31 of the year. Make sure to incorporate the 1096 form as well.

The second option is to do it online, through the IRS’s online submission service by utilizing the Filing a Return Electronically system (known as FIRE). This shouldn’t be too complicated for you to do.

Wrapping It Up

All these things that we named probably seem a bit too scary for you. But don’t worry, it only looks like this because we wanted to make sure that everything is listed and that nothing is forgotten. Of course, this requires a bit of your time and effort, but it’s doable, just like everything else.

Quick Tips for Starting Your Own Online Masterclass

People love to learn, especially how to make lots of money. And that is why you might want to consider creating your very own online masterclass where you can share your own secret sauce to greater profitability.

It might seem easy, but there is a lot to consider when it comes to creating an online course that attracts the right audience. At any rate, the path to becoming a thought leader in your industry starts with how you develop a highly engaging online masterclass from the ground up.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Choose a relevant topic

The first thing you need to do is to identify what it is you want to teach. Your masterclass course should be relevant to your industry. So, if you are in the e-commerce business, you might as well teach the topics your audience would love to know, such as building a business plan and creating an effective e-commerce website. It’s also important to pick a topic that’s in-demand. For this, you can check out sites like Quora or do a manual search on Google to find possible topics to include in your masterclass.

  1. Come up with enticing value propositions

Once you have picked the best course topic, you need to make people realize how valuable the topic is to them. For this, you need to present the goals, outcomes, and benefits of the course. If you are going to discuss how people can triple their profits in just a matter of months through digital marketing, then make this proposition the highlight of your course. One way you can go about this is to present a current problem and the kind of result they will achieve if they take your masterclass. 

  1. Build a funnel

Now that you have come up with a solid course for your masterclass, you will need to set up a system for attracting, nurturing, and converting people who are very likely to sign up. For this, you need to build a sales funnel that includes specific types of content for promoting your masterclass and sending follow up information. You can consider providing a sample recorded class as well as downloadable content such as e-books. You might want to use platforms like ClickFunnels to design landing pages and automate your social media posts and email send outs.

  1. Publish awesome content

It’s one thing to attract people with enticing content about your masterclass, but you still need to make the actual learning experience engaging and relevant to your audience’s needs. That said, you need a mix of videos and downloadable content to deliver the value that you want to convey through your masterclass. Otherwise, you would risk losing students or having to deal with refund requests. So, focus on delivering the goods and everything should flow smoothly!

How to Create Awesome Online Master Classes

The most important thing to remember when trying to come up with the best content for your masterclass, is to provide as much information and value as possible. However, try not to push content out there just for the sake of it. You want to make syre there is a solid mix of content and value, while not overwhelming the end user, but also letting them know they got their money’s worth.

Be a thought leader of your industry. With a carefully crafted masterclass, you can reach out to people who want to learn your secrets, become long-term partners, and build their own online courses for all we know!

5-Step Formula for Women to Bring their Business Ideas to Life

If you have a great business idea, then it’s important you find creative ways to bring it to life. This is the only way you’ll see your dreams come true so it’s time you need to take action immediately. With that said, I’m surprised at the amounts of women who have awesome ideas but don’t have the resources or know-how to take their idea to the next level. 

Over the years, I’ve worked with many women helping them start a business, while also teaching them how to better show off their expertise and passion. For many women that were already in the workplace, but looking for a better job or position, it was also important to show them the importance of having a great online profile and personal resume. Sometimes it’s not just about the continued education and work experience, but also using the right action verbs and showing off your expertise in the right way.

Whether its through a traditional resume, a social profile or even an established business, it’s important to make sure you understand what your goals are and knowing how to attain them. and would love to share some of the advice with you. I believe if you have a clear path on what to do, you’ll be able to build your business and make your dream come true sooner than you think.

Today, we’ll be looking at the following:

  • Research
  • Getting started online
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Outreach


For your idea to come to life, you need to know who your audience is so you know if you have an actual market. Many ideas fail because there simply isn’t a market for the idea of the audience is way too low. With no one reading your content or purchasing your product, you’re going to have a hard time engaging people and increasing sales. The good news is you have a free way of starting your research through Google search. I like to type in a keyword related to my idea and see what type of search results pop up. If you have several sites show up in the search results, then you know you have a popular idea and will be able to make money from it. 

I know many of you get nervous when you see others already doing the same thing as you, but I love it because it gives me a chance to learn so much from them. By studying your competition, you’ll be able to find out about your audience, what marketing methods work, what you should focus on in terms of products and content. Once you have done your research and know you have an audience, you can move onto the next step.

Getting Started Online

It’s time you register a domain, and this can be done on sites like I recommend choosing a domain which represents your brand and is no more than 8-12 characters. The shorter the domain, the easier it will be for people to remember, and this means they won’t have a problem coming back to your website. 

Once you’ve registered your domain, you can purchase hosting so you can go live with your website when it’s time. The hosting package will depend on the type of business your running, but I would recommend starting with a simply shared plan. This is very affordable and allows you to upgrade as your business continues to grow. I know when starting a business, the costs can get very high so it’s better to always start with the lowest possible plan and upgrade after. With your hosting plan, you’ll be able to install WordPress which is a free platform used to build websites. There is an installation tutorial in the backend, and it doesn’t take more than a click of a button.

You have your domain, hosting and WordPress installed. Before you start thinking about a design, I would watch a few tutorials on using WordPress if this is your first time. There are a lot available online and on YouTube. You have access to many free themes but before designing think about the following –

  • Your main colors
  • Your purpose
  • Layout (visit other websites to research)
  • Font
  • Navigation


The design of your website will either increase or decrease engagement so it’s important you do your research to get it right. One way is to study your competition and see what they have done with their website. They’ve been around longer so I’m sure they know what works and what doesn’t.

Just like how we referenced the importance of creating a professional resume or online profile that can help you stand out from the crowd, the same can be said about your website or blog. It needs to look professional and grab the interest of the user, while also gaining their trust in the process.

Visit 2-3 competitor blogs and take some notes on their design before implementing them into your site. Here are a few things I know work very well –

  • Font – make sure the font you are using is very easy on the eyes. The more readable, the more engagement you’ll get because visitors won’t leave. 
  • Color – use colors that are easy on your eyes because hard colors push people away. I’ve been on so many sites for only a few seconds because the colors would be too hard to look at.
  • Right sidebar – this is the best location for the sidebar because people are used to it. Right sidebar has become accustomed for many bloggers and readers expect to see the sidebar there. This is a great place to add banners, recent posts, new products and services. 
  • Top navigation – have the menu at the top because this is the first thing you want people to see. They’ll be able to explore options and navigate to where they want to go. 


For any business to be successful, you need to find creative ways to market it. But, the internet has expanded your options greatly so start exploring what’s available. I recommend starting with social media marketing because you can increase brand awareness for very cheap. I’ve advertised on Facebook for a penny a “Like” and this has gone a long way to building brand awareness. To further increase your loyalty, you should create a brand page so people can join and follow. 

You should also do a quick search on Google, and read resources on other marketing channels because there are a lot of good ones available. I would recommend the following which I have tried and tested –

  • Social media (Facebook)
  • Media Buys

It’s all about trial and error because some will work better than others. Make sure you try each one for 30 days and keep track on the statistics. By doing this, you’ll know which traffic source has brought the best amount of traffic and what channels convert. Marketing can get expensive so make sure you set a monthly budget so you don’t overspend. I like to set a budget of $3.00-$5.00 per day, and I’ll let it run for 30-60 days.


One of the best ways to build your brand quickly and it costs nothing. This requires a lot of effort because you need reach out to other bloggers within your niche. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship because you are both promoting each other’s business. Imagine reaching out to a fellow blogger who has 100,000 twitter followers? This can generate a lot of traffic in a very short time. Start by creating a list of blogs within your niche and getting in touch with the owner. It helps to interview them or create content based on their brand because this increases the likelihood of them sharing your website afterward. The key is to contact them genuinely and let them know what you are trying to do so you can work out an agreement helping each other.

The best way to do outreach is to not give up after contacting a blogger the first time. Sometimes, you’ll hear from the blogger right away, and other times you’ll have to do a quick follow-up. 

Final Thoughts

If you have a great idea and you want to bring it to life, then follow the steps outlined above. These are proven steps and I’ve worked with women in the past setting up blogs, doing research and marketing. Try out different things and stick to what’s working for optimal success.

14 Ways to Ensure Company Growth Doesn’t Outstrip Business Communication

Some businesses have seen a period of massive growth lately, especially those that deal solely with online sales and services. While this development is promising, it also opens up a business to another problem — that of having their growth outscale their ability to communicate.

Business communication deals with how the company interacts with and informs its employees and its clients, which includes the overall branding promise. Naturally, a small company is likely to have a different approach to a larger one, simply because of the scale of the communication involved.

However, as businesses grow in size, many of their focus areas and key elements that helped them get to where they are today tend to fall and get lost in the mix. Unfortunately, this happens to a great majority of businesses and brands, and it just doesn’t have to be this way.

Recommendations and Tips in on How to Ensure Your Company Growth Doesn’t Outstrip Business Communications and Engagement

We consulted 14 entrepreneurs from YEC about the best ways for a business to ensure that their communication keeps up with their business growth. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Be Open to Feedback and Change

Maintaining effective communication through growth is something that’s hard to get right. In my experience, the trick here is not some grand multi-step strategy. You’ll never get that right — at least I don’t. The trick is to be able and willing to listen. When you’re receptive to feedback, your team will inform you when they lack context. I see my job as listening and adapting.

Alex Furman, Invitae

2. Create Brand Guidelines

Brand guidelines can be a one-page document that helps the whole team understand what is on or off brand. Having the guidelines written down helps if they need to be changed as well, which can happen if there are changes to the business that need to be reflected back in the core brand guidelines (example: acquisition of another company with a different brand positioning).

David Boehl, GoLastMinute

3. Replicate Your Voice

In an ideal world, you can just hire employees who “care” as much as you do about staying on brand. In reality, it’s next to impossible to find those employees, and it takes a lot of time to properly train them. As such, the next best thing is to “replicate your voice.” You can do this through company documents, training materials, videos, websites, social media and even a message to callers who are on hold!

Bill Mulholland, ARC Relocation

4. Build a Strategic Communications Plan

Create brand guidelines that define tone, style, etc., and make the guidelines available to your communications team(s). Build out a strategic communications plan that maps the various outreaches, both internal and external, that will be needed as part of the business’s growth. Make it clear who is responsible for each communication and who signs off on its compliance with brand standards.

Traci Beach, Craft Impact

5. Leverage Automated Tools

Make sure you have automation tools and systems in place. This way, the brand can scale without heavy manual oversight, and creative roadmaps can receive the proper attention they deserve.

Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

6. Audit Communication Channels

The larger your organization is, the more detailed of a process that will need to be laid out in order to ensure continuity and correct messaging. Like a game of telephone, conduct an audit to understand where gaps in communication may be occurring and be prepared to revise your process.

Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

7. Create a Chain of Accountability

As your business grows, it’s critical that everyone stays on the same page. When you add new departments or see massive growth in one of your teams, assign leaders to keep each group accountable. This chain of accountability ensures that everyone’s on the same page.

John Turner, SeedProd LLC

8. Have Daily Meetings

For rapid and sustainable growth, you must have daily meetings to make sure your communications are on brand. Nothing goes out without several sets of eyes on it and those working on these communications are held accountable for performance and delivery. We check in multiple times per day — it does not need to be long, but a morning and afternoon signs-of-life check does wonders.

Matthew Capala, Alphametic

9. Maintain Personal Connections

Because most of my employees work off-site, it’s important to communicate as often as we can with one another and that they feel supported by me. We hold a quarterly all-hands staff meeting where we go into more detail and ensure that everyone gets to know one another. With a rapidly growing business, unless we have regular get-togethers with our team, people start to lose that personal connection.

Jennifer A Barnes, Optima Office, Inc

10. Create a Schedule

Like everything else, communication needs to be planned to be effective. This means investing in the right tools, creating fixed weekly meetings, quarterly appraisals, one-on-ones and more. Use calendars and create reminders for these meetings so that they’re all in place and clearly communicated. It’s just a matter of planning “up” as your business grows.

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

11. Establish a Single Tool

The means of communication are becoming endless, from Slack to email to phone or IM, so it is no surprise that interoffice communication becomes a problem the larger a team becomes. Put a process in place that streamlines communication on certain topics into one single location and on one identified platform. This way, everyone knows where to go to stay up to date.

Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

12. Take a Step Back

Sometimes you just need to take a step back from all the craziness that comes with day-to-day management of a business and ask yourself, “Is this on brand?” If you continue to ask the question and be true to your core values, communications will remain on point.

Josh Weiss, Reggie

13. Train and Delegate

As your business grows, it’s not realistic to think that you can maintain the same level of interpersonal communication as before. The next best step is to train key people in your business to communicate on your behalf. Lead by example and also create documentation that outlines what to discuss. This will keep things consistent across the organization.

Blair Williams, MemberPress

14. Hire a Content Marketing Agency

When you need to scale communication both internally and externally, it’s helpful to hire some help. A content marketing agency can help you with everything, from your company blog, to bylined content, to internal communications and speeches from executives, and can ensure that everything is consistent and on brand.

Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.

How to Focus on Growth and Business Communications

For most businesses and brands, it’s all about the bottom line and trying to reach new goals and levels every quarter. However, the last thing you want to do is hit your goals while jeopardizing your customer and B2B relationships that you’ve worked so hard for.

To best accomplish this, we highly recommend you go through each of the tips and expert advice featured above and start implementing these solutions into your own business or brand.

If you enjoyed this content today, be sure to read our other expert tips on how to handle a PR crisis and increasing traffic to your site while working with a low budget.

12 Ways to Keep Your Employees Protected at Work

EHS is a general term for rules, standards, programs, and regulations that may protect the safety of employees and members of the public from work-related environmental hazards. There are lots of ways that organizations can protect their employees. Organizations can use EHS programs to identify, monitor and control existing, and potential work-related hazards in healthy ways. Even though there are lots of EHS programs, they aren’t enough.

Organizations must also implement certain strategies to promote safety. Keep reading to learn about a few ways that you can keep your EHS employees protected at work. 

1.      Use the Right Programs

Managing your paperwork for training, audits, and reporting can be a challenge. Without the right program, your employees may be overwhelmed. Find EHS software that can streamline transparency and document management. Some of the most important things to look for in the software include; safety, custom tracking, compliance, and modern tools. 

With the right EHS management system, it is for organizations to comply with the existing regulations, and detect the risk of adverse events that may harm employees. EHS managers that focus on operational excellence save money in the long-run. Prioritizing employee health and safety may increase their productivity. 

Companies that leverage technology for good performance can minimize work-related injuries and illnesses. They can reduce their environmental impact and safety concerns. The right software can reduce emergency work almost completely. 

2.      Understanding the Existing Environmental, Health and Safety Concerns

It is impossible to address EHS concerns if you don’t understand them. The management must put in some effort to understand existing threats and how to address them. Come up with ways to define and document EHS policies depending on your organization’s needs. Do your research and come up with an EHS policy that can:

  • Mitigate losses that may arise from accidents or serious occupational exposures
  • Improve EHS performance
  • Comply with the existing regulations

Once you understand your policy and come up with a policy statement, review and revise it regularly depending on the changing needs. Top management must continue researching to detect emerging changes. That way, they can ensure that employees are always protected.

3.      Employee Education 

One of the most effective ways to protect your employees is by educating them. Lack of proper information is one of the main causes of security breaches. If they don’t have correct information about proper online behavior, the use of personal protective equipment, and data sharing. All security strategies should have employees as the lowest common denominator. Their education is not only important for the safety of your organization but for them as well. All organizations must use training programs that work. Even though it can be difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of a training program, you must come up with a strategy that works. Safety must be a part of your corporate culture. 

Whether you plan on creating new regulations or enforcing the existing ones, you must have the assurance that all employees have understood them. Two-way communication is important for this. Employees should have the chance to seek clarification where necessary. Consider requesting that they all sign an acknowledgment. That way, you can hold them accountable if they fail to observe the guidelines. 

4.      Create a Safe Environment

Ensure that your employees work in an environment that is free of hazards. Identify the hazards in your place of work and the possible ways to address them. Some of the most important things to do include:

  • Minimizing hazards
  • Getting rid of falling objects
  • Training your employees about the proper use of tools
  • Training employees about cybersecurity, and how to identify threats

All employers have the responsibility to assess their environment and determine the appropriate PPE. When trying to make the workplace safe for employees, there are a few gaps to be considered. They include Regulatory compliance, near-miss tracking, integration, automation, and visibility. 

5.      Update Your Policies 

Having policies in place is not enough. You must update them regularly to keep up with the emerging threats. They should outline everything that your employees need to know. This includes security threats and how to handle them. Your policy should cover:

  • Visits by non-employees and how to handle them
  • What areas are off-limit?
  • Are there times when you need to heighten restrictions?
  • How can visitors obtain authorization?
  • What are the restrictions for employees, if any
  • Visitor identification-should they provide a photo ID, pass, or badge? Do they need to be escorted?
  • Can employees on leave visit?
  • Can employees leave during non-working hours?
  • How should former employees be treated?

6.      Be Proactive

Being proactive allows you to solve problems before they happen. Take steps to address the welfare of your employees and protect your company against attacks. Your IT department should have effective strategies to control the access data, control your encryption keys, and encrypt private data. Encourage your employees to be proactive as well. Think about their environment, health, and safety ahead of time and make appropriate plans to protect them. One of the best ways to be proactive is by using software application that can:

  • Manage EHS training
  • Help in the management of your employee health and safety 
  • Help in incident investigation
  • Manage spill response

With the right software, you can stay on top of all emerging issues. Set up regular audits to identify existing and potential hazards. Even though OSHA does not require companies to perform self- audits, they are a great way to determine where your organization stands. The extent and type of audit you perform depends on your needs. Plan for inspections, hazard and exposure assessment, permits, event investigations, and employee feedback. Do not wait until you have a problem.

7.      Enforcing the Guidelines

EHS managers invest a lot of time and effort in creating safety guidelines for their employees. However, it is useless to have rules if they cannot be implemented. The guidelines exist to promote better working environments for employees and safeguard the interests of an organization. 

Come up with a clear and effective strategy for guideline enforcement. It should be fair and consistent. If employees fail to comply with the existing guidelines, there should be consequences. Come up with a clear disciplinary system to discourage non-compliance. 

Alternatively, managers may come up with an incentive system to reward compliant employees. 

8.      Proper Incident Management

All companies must have the skills and tools to keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses. They must be able to identify health concerns and track progress in addressing them. Without the right incident management tips in place, an organization may lose its employees. The remaining employees may have low morale and productivity. 

Companies with reliable incident management techniques have good corporate images. They are likely to attract some of the top talents in their industries. 

OSHA’s Recordkeeping regulation states that covered employers must prepare and maintain the records of all major occupational illnesses and injuries. The information is not only important to employers but also employees and OSHA. It makes it possible to evaluate workplace safety and understand the existing hazards. Without the right records in place, it may be difficult to manage incidents. 

9.      Management Review

The management of an organization should review their EHS management system regularly to ensure that it is effective, sustainable, and adequate. When conducting a review, some of the most important things to think about are:

  • Assessing the opportunities for improvement 
  • Analyzing the need for change in your management system
  • Reviewing your EHS policy and objectives
  • Communications from all the relevant parties
  • The results of your management system audits and external audits if any
  • Preventive action
  • Suggestions for future improvement 

Eth results from a management review should state any decisions and actions that may relate to your EHS objectives and policies. 

10. Chemical Hygiene Plan

All management systems should focus on identifying EHS concerns and avoiding them. Unless chemicals are controlled, they can result in injuries or illnesses. They may cause damage to the environment. All laboratories must focus on chemical safety. It is an OSHA requirement. 

The goal is to minimize the exposure of employees to chemicals that could harm them. 

According to the OSHA Laboratory Standard Hygiene Plan, a ‘Chemical plan’ is a written program that employers create and implement to set forth equipment, procedures, work practice, and PPE to protect their employees from the health hazards caused by chemicals in their workplace. 

If an organization carries hazardous chemicals, employers must develop and implement the provisions of their Chemical hygiene plan. The plans must cover topics such as:

  • Emergency preparedness 
  • Chemical management 
  • Employees’ responsibility for chemical hygiene
  • Lab housekeeping
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Basic operating procedures
  • Emergency action plans in case of accidents
  • Compressed gas safety
  • Radiation safety
  • Environmental monitoring 
  • Basic training
  • Chemical waste policies

11. Annual Chemical Inventory

It may be difficult to manage your chemicals if you don’t know how much you have. Keeping a chemical inventory is essential for the safety of any organization’s employees. Come up with a clear system to maintain accurate inventory of your chemicals. Benefits of regular chemical inventories include:

  • Ensuring that the chemicals you have are stored properly
  • Getting rid of expired or outdated chemicals
  • Promoting the efficient use of laboratory space
  • Replacing torn or missing labels 
  • Ensuring that you have appropriate shelving cabinets
  • Updating hazard warnings 
  • Making it easy to find chemicals when you need them
  • Minimizing the cost of educating employees about the available chemicals
  • Compliance with record-keeping regulations

Creating a chemical inventory is not enough. You must update it regularly. All organizations should perform a physical inventory at least once every year. Even though different companies may have different ways of going about it, a basic chemical inventory should include the following:

  • Chemical name (Including its synonyms) and Abstract Service number
  • The location of a chemical within a room, and the room number
  • The chemical manufacturer and owner

The information makes it possible to track chemicals when necessary and minimize the need for frequent inventories. Consider the safety needs of the employees who perform the inventory. Ensure that:

  • They wear the relevant PPE 
  • They are familiar with the existing safety requirements 
  • They use a step stool to reach the chemicals on higher shelves
  • They stop every other activity in the lab 

12. Risk Management 

If you prepare for possible risks adequately, you can prevent them before they affect your employees. Risk management does not only protect your employees but also improves their productivity. When they know that an organization has their best interest in mind, they can have better morale for the job. Preparing for risks can protect a business from both financial and people losses. 

Risk management tools should apply to EHS organizations. They minimize job-related illnesses and injuries, improve workplace safety, and compliance with the existing regulations. With the right risk management strategies in place, you can save a lot of direct and indirect costs. 

With a standardized system, reliability improves. It sets the pace for consistent improvement and a proactive approach to problems. 

The role of an EHS manager in an organization cannot be overstated. Some of their responsibilities include:

  • Job hazard analysis
  • Implementing safety and health management programs
  • Risk management 
  • Conducting incident investigations
  • Industrial hygiene and collaborating with industrial hygienists
  • Worksite safety observation
  • Collecting and analyzing EHS lagging indicators 
  • Running safety committees
  • Sustainability performance management 
  • Ensuring that the company is compliant with the existing regulations

The managers have lots of responsibilities and it may be necessary to split the tasks. 

In conclusion, there are lots of ways to keep EHS employees safe at work. Some of them include risk management, being proactive, creating and implementing a chemical hygiene plan, using the right program, proper incident management, and proper employee education. The need for EHS software has increased significantly over the past few years. The right software can have lots of benefits. Some of them include: protecting the interests of employees, improving transparency, connecting employees, and saving time and money. Implement the options that apply to you depending on your organization needs and budget. In the end, keeping employees safe and happy is one of the most valuable investments a company can make.

What Entrepreneurs Should Consider When Buying Life Insurance

When you launch your own business, you’ll quickly learn how important it is to protect yourself, your assets, and your future. Not just from the standpoint of your business and customers, but also how your personal life, finances and family might be affected by your decisions down the road.

For example, you might need to get a professional indemnity solution that will defend you from any incidents that occur with your company and invest in long-term solutions that should help you to keep earning cash when sales start to slow.

However, one of the most critical ways that entrepreneurs can look after themselves in this current landscape, is also something that we often forget about – life insurance. It’s not a fun topic to talk about, but the reprecussions of not having a life insurance plan in place can be detrimental.

For these reasons and more, it makes sense to ensure that your family has the tools they need to sell off your company and deal with any debts that you might leave behind when you’re no longer around.

The question is, how can you figure out what you need? That is exactly what we will be covering today.

Research the Market

The first step in choosing a good product is always doing your research. Before you choose a supplier for your product, there’s a good chance that you spend some time reading about their history and checking out online reviews.

In the same way, you should also look into the options that are available for you when it comes to life insurance too. Think about the different policies that are available in the market right now and ask yourself which one is going to give you the best peace of mind.

Remember that you don’t have to jump into a deal with the first provider that you come across either. You can get a wide selection of quotes from different providers and set up meetings with agents to learn more too. 

Interpret Your Personal and Financial Needs

Once you’ve researched the market, you can begin to think about what you need most based on what you’ve learned. These decisions and plans are often looking outward for decades, and are hard to fathom being used in the short term–but it happens.

For instance, you might decide that you want a settlement clause built into your insurance coverage. If you or your company ever gets into a tight spot, then selling your life insurance policy for cash could help to get you back on track a lot faster.

If you’re not sure what kind of protection would be suitable for you, then the best option is usually to speak to an advisor. There are financial experts out there that can look at your company and your earnings and tell you what kind of coverage is most suited to you.

Don’t be afraid to get some help, and nearly all of the life insurance providers out there have easy access phone numbers and support teams to help in your decision.

Consider Extra Factors

Finally, remember that there are a variety of things to improve the value of and reduce the cost of your insurance if you know where to look.

For instance, some companies might be willing to give you a discount on your premiums if you buy health support at the same time or acquire policies for your employees from the same business. If you belong to a professional organization or trade group, then you might be able to find additional saving opportunities by speaking to specialists in your field.

Whatever you do, make sure that your search for savings doesn’t mean that you cut corners. You need to ensure that you’re not leaving your family in a dangerous position when you’re no longer there.

Life Insurance is a Must for all Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

No matter how successful you might be right now, or think you will be down the road, it would be a huge mistake to not have a life insurance plan in place. This is especially true if you have a family. If not, it might not be that high on your priority list… but who’s to know what might be around the corner.

The truth is, “life insurance” is “insurance”… and it’s there just in case something does happen. After reading through this article, you should have a few things in mind to start looking for to help in your life insurance planning and decision process.