5 Effective Methods to Goal Setting for Business Growth and Success

Have you made resolutions to get your business to the next level?

Are your goals SMART enough?

Are they inspiring your employees to take action?

Goals are the observable results of achievement. Goal setting is the process of deciding what you want to achieve, identifying the required resources, and developing an action plan.

If you have yet to set your business goals, consider the benefits of goal setting below.

Five Top Benefits of Goal Setting

As an entrepreneur or business owner, you shouldn’t ignore the importance of goals setting to your business. Goals are important in providing direction and focus to grow of your business.

This is especially true for anyone who might be working from home or stuck in a cubicle all day. When you are working on your own and not told exactly what to do, you need to be setting your own goals and the determination to get things done.

Whether it’s writing down such goals on a piece of paper and then checking them off, or using a mobile or online application, it’s all about getting your actions into motion to simply get more done.

Other benefits and methods to accomplishing this include:

1. Inspire and Sustain Progress

The importance of goals setting lies in the ability of goals to inspire and sustain focus. When your business sets SMART goals, your employees know what to do and they can gauge their performance.

As they achieve the smaller steps, they grow in confidence to work towards achieving bigger results. This results in the constant growth of your business. Your employees will grow in their skills and get motivated to keep improving as they see results.

2. Using Video to Increase Productivity

With so many different productivity tools and applications on the market today, it’s important to know where your strengths lie when trying to increase productivity or motivating others.

Through the use of an online creation tool like mysimpleshow, the ability is there to create interactive and engaging whiteboard animation videos to better portray your message.

You can see a clear example of this in the video example below.

At the same time, there are many personal benefits for creating your own whiteboard video to accomplish more and hit your goals.

As mentioned on the simpleshow website, creating such animation and explainer videos aren’t just for marketing and teaching others, they are also great for inspiration, mind-mapping, and hitting your own goals as well. In addition to goal setting, they’ve also seen massive engagement improvement with school students and professionals when delivering information in an audio and visual platform.

Their site went on to say, “Our illustration-style simpleshow explainer videos are most effective if you”:

  • need to tackle complex tasks
  • want to explain difficult topics in a simple and digestible way
  • have to explain almost inexplicable information

Before taking on your next big project, be sure to consider your options with laying everything out in video form, and them working your way through it and sharing it with team members along the way.

3. Increase Productivity and Profitability

When setting goals for your business, you’re aiming at getting more work done and increasing your earnings. Setting goals defines what exactly you want to achieve, and how you’ll get there.

The process also includes identifying the needed resources, skills, and competencies. With this knowledge, you can train your employees or hire skills, which keep your business on track for consistent growth.

Setting goals also improves the decision-making abilities of the organization. The information you collect during the goal-setting process helps you identify where the business is at and chart out a path for the future. Informed decisions will eventually result in business growth.

4. Measure Progress

Your business can’t ignore the importance of goals in measuring progress. Good goals are measurable both in the time it takes to achieve them and the results achieved.

Monitoring is a crucial part of goals setting through which your business measures how far it is at achieving its goals.

Here, the business identifies areas for improvement as well as weaknesses. This way, your business can adjust accordingly to fit into the changing economic times, and you can set bigger goals if you have achieved the previous ones.

This same task can also be accomplished by using the Seinfeld Strategy as well.

To measure progress in your achievement of goals, you need to build a monitoring system such as recording the progress of a task.

5. Collaboration Among Employees

Your employees will work together more when they have a common goal. They can share resources, expertise, and insights. Eventually, your business grows from the harmonious working of the employees.

Goal setting should be a regular practice for your business. You can learn more about how goal setting can improve your business’ performance on this blog.

Six tips that were laid out in this article for improving productivity and collaboration with other employees are:

  1. Stretch your outlook.
  2. Know the key steps of the goal-setting process.
  3. Create a nimble goal development team.
  4. Gain buy-in.
  5. Communicate, communicate, then communicate some more.
  6. Remember to celebrate achievements.

Grow Your Business In 2019

Goal setting builds the foundation of your business, which employees refer to for inspiration and direction. The above benefits of goal setting should provide you with enough reasons to set goals for your business.

However, the most important task in this whole process is making sure you have a goal in place and are taking action to achieve it.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you might have. I’d love to hear from you and see how we can start working together.

Top Business Expenses (and Deductions) Entrepreneurs Need to Know

The internet has made us all potential entrepreneurs.

And the dream and reality of owning a business is one of the most liberating feelings that you can have. After all, there’s a reason why 27 million people are entrepreneurs.

While there are many benefits to owning your own company, there’s also plenty of crucial information you need to keep in mind. This is especially true when it comes to finances.

Every business is different, and so are the many ways they can save money, write off expenses, and funnel money into different companies or investments. The best way to approach any of these topics of concepts, is to first consult with a financial advisor or attorney. However, there are many resources out there to learn from before you next legal and accounting meeting.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about common types of business expenses (and deductions). Be sure to read through the list below, take a few notes, and also have some questions in mind for the next time you meet with your financial and legal consultant.


Whether your company has one employee or a whole team at your disposal, your business is going to have ongoing expenses. Here are some you need to keep an eye on that many people forget to consider.


Just like when living in a home, it’s impossible to avoid utility expenses when running your business. While all of us are accustomed to paying our utility bills, business owners sometimes focus too much on tangible costs (equipment, rent, etc.).

Gas, electric, and sewage expenses are all staples when it comes to budgeting for business utilities. Additionally, you’ll need to consider your Internet service expenses, including Internet service and server hosting (if necessary).


You could have a product or service that shakes the foundation of your industry. But, it won’t mean much if nobody knows about your business. Whether it’s through Facebook ads or an extensive multimedia campaign, you’re going to have to allocate money for marketing as an entrepreneur.

Even if you’re a smaller, local business that doesn’t have the need for large-scale advertising, you still may need to employ the services of an SEO specialist to help get your name on the front page of Google.

If you forego including this in your budget, most of your other work will go unrewarded.

Office Supplies

As previously mentioned, entrepreneurs often focus on tangible expenses when conducting their financial planning. But, these often include larger purchases, such as furniture, computers, and company vehicles.

Office supplies, however, are a necessity that can quickly add up to hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars.

Common items that can add to the cost include:

  • Filing cabinets
  • Office chairs
  • Printers/printer ink
  • Staplers
  • Pens/pencils
  • USB thumb drives

Necessary office products can include intangible goods, as well, such as software or monthly fees for necessary applications.


To avoid going bankrupt in the event of a catastrophe, it’s imperative as an entrepreneur to have the proper insurance coverage.

In general, liability insurance and property insurance are vital policies to budget for. For example, liability insurance will help protect you financially if someone (an employee or non-employee) experiences bodily harm on your property.

If a fire/natural disaster were to occur or if someone steals property from your business, your insurance coverage will help you cover the costs.


Luckily, with expenses come deductions. While they vary depending on the type of company that you run, there are many most entrepreneurs can take advantage of.

For anyone running a business online, purchasing a domain name and web hosting are two examples of common deductions.

Legal Fees

When many people think of the term “legal fees”, they often picture the inside of the courtroom. They may even imagine a consultation with a lawyer.

But, legal fees can stem from many more scenarios, including accounting, bookkeeping, and consultations.

Fortunately, however, you’re able to deduct these expenses as a business owner.

But, the cost must be reasonable for the supplied service. For example, you can’t overpay a friend for their legal services and then expect to write off the entire expense.

Home Office

If you happen to run your business from home, you’ll be able to secure a significant tax deduction. This is calculated by determining what percentage of the property in square footage is used for business.

There is a catch, however: this space must be used exclusively for business.

In other words, if you have a desk in your bedroom that you use for your company, you won’t be able to claim this space as your home office.

Furthermore, there needs to be a legitimate reason to have this designated space other than as an area for productivity. Thus, if you’re not meeting with clients or conducting administrative tasks, you may not be able to get the deduction you want.


For business-related trips that require an overnight stay, you’ll be able to deduct various expenses when filing your taxes.

These can include:

  • Housing
  • Airfare
  • Meals
  • Auto expenses
  • Luggage and shipping

This is especially useful when traveling over long distances or for an extended period of time. When it comes to international travel, though, there are different rules to keep in mind.

Entertainment + Meals

This is perhaps one of the most popular deductions that entrepreneurs file for. But, this doesn’t mean that every meal or outing can result in a tax deduction.

The expenses must be necessary and business-related, and there must be a chance of an actual payoff. In other words, going to a casual lunch with friends is not a deductible expense.

Going to a bar for food and drinks with a client, however, often is. You can also deduct meals/entertainment that you provide for clients or employees on your own property.

Understanding Types of Business Expenses Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about the different types of business expenses in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making sure that you can scale your business as fast as possible.

Want to learn more about how to run your business efficiently? Make sure to check out this article.

5 Inspirational Entrepreneur Quotes to Keep You Inspired Through 2019

Entrepreneurs are all of the buzz lately. Put on a television station like CNBC or visit any of the top tech or news sites online, and you will likely come across a whole set of new entrepreneurs that you’ve never heard of — yet are likely on their way to making millions of dollars or creating new technology that could change the world.

The truth is — entrepreneurs are inspiring other entrepreneurs all the time!

As a great, we often aren’t jealous of each other, and instead learn and congratulate others for what they have accomplished. Just like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates used to battle it out and “steal” from companies like IBM, it’s all about who can create the best product for their customers, and build a revolutionary and world changing brand.

To keep the inspiration alive and well, here are some of the best entrepreneur quotes to keep you striving for even more success in 2019.

You Must Step Outside Your Comfort Zone to Find Business Success

Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, but only a few have what it takes to put in the blood, sweat and tears to make such a difficult life change. Along with the many benefits of having your own business, there are many stressors and responsibilities as well. It’s one thing to want to start a business of your own, it’s another to actually go through it.

The important thing to remember during this process, is that you are ultimately responsible for your own successes and failures as an entrepreneur. This can all be summed up into an entrepreneur success quote quite well.

“Rich people think big. Poor people think small.” – T. Harv

T. Harv Eker is a personal success trainer, author of “The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” and helps people overcome their fears and succeed, eventually. With many entrepreneurs having partnership and potential failure as one of their biggest fears, learning from his own stories of success and failure is a great way to prepare for your own.

YOU are the Business YOU Create. Do your match your brand?

The internet has completely changed the way someone can build a brand or business on the internet these days. Anyone can grow a following on social media, start a blog, or even run affiliate marketing offers and make money from the comfort of their own.

A perfect example of this can be seen through the massive success that Gary Vaynerchuk has seen over the years. He’s always had that entrepreneur spirit and was driven for success, but his only following and brand wasn’t given to him. Yes, he did have WineLibrary and got to grow his parent’s retail wine business, but he leveraged that and did much more.

The key takeaway here is that Gary is Gary… and the way he acts, is how he’s always been. This can all be summed up nicely in a quote from him below.

“You have to understand your own personal DNA. Don’t do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it. You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

As someone who has been in the industry for more than 20 years now, I can tell you there are many ways to make money online. Some are perfect, legit, and professional — while others are downright scammy, illegal, and wrong. I’ve personally always went with the path of running my business right and being able to sleep at night.

Can the same be said about your brand and how others might see your business or marketing practices online?

Without a Dream or Passion… is there really a point?

Why do most people want to have a business of their own, or become an entrepreneur? Often times, it’s because they don’t want to work for someone else, and are willing to put in even more hours and lead a more stressful (yet rewarding) life to get what they want.

This ultimately comes down to the individual dreams and passions that many of us have.

If you’ve ever had a chance to read about Walt Disney and his path to eventually creating Disney, it’s quite the wild ride. After multiple failures and leveraging a whole world of debt, he finally found massive success with Snow White. In the end, he was following his dream and aiming for what was important for him.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney

Today, Disney is one of the most well-known brands in the world today. They’ve even gotten so big and successful, that they’ve been able to acquire the Marvel and StarWars brands. Today, Walt Disney is still a huge inspirational to millions around the world today.

Your Success and Business isn’t Just About YOU

As entrepreneurs and business owners, there are many benefits and perks that come along with it. However, when you get to benefit from these perks in life, it’s often better to share with others who are less fortunate — and more rewarding at the same time.

This not only applies to entrepreneurs, but pretty much everyone in the world. It’s great to get fun and cool things in life, but that is only momentarily. When you start helping others, then you really get to benefit from your own actions.

This is also something that many bloggers, site owners, and entrepreneurs get to experience daily when they create a product or service that helps change the lives of others. This is just a perfect reminder that the best businesses in the world serve a purpose, and aren’t just to make a quick buck.

“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” – Mandy Hale

Many Hale started off as a personal blogger, and is now a New York Times best-selling author. Through her content and messages to people around the world, not only has she been able to make a brand and business for herself, she’s also been able to inspire and help millions as well.

This is Your Only Chance and You Only Have One Life!

Time is a scary thing. It’s something you can’t get back, and something you can never buy more of.

Just take a look at Steve Jobs. He was worth mega-billions, but he also didn’t have the best of health at the end of his life. His time was up, and money couldn’t do anything for him.

While he did change the way the world uses mobile devices and the technology around, he also wasn’t known as the nicest person. He did change the world… but if he could look back at life again, would he do it the same way?

Marie Forelo has a nice quote that can relate to this, and many more of us in different ways.

“There has never been and never will be another you. You have a purpose – a very special gift that only you can bring to the world.” – Marie Forleo

In short, this is the life you live and before you know it… your time will be up too.

Whether it’s for personal pleasure, business goals, or simply finding a new direction and meaning in life — keep telling these words to yourself and make the most of what life has to offer.

How to Best Stay Motivated throughout 2019

A common theme across many of the quotes and entrepreneurs listed above, is that business and success in life isn’t easy. There are plenty of highs and lows that we all need to work through.

While getting inspired by others who have already walked through these paths, it’s important to also make sure you keep an eye on the competition those in the industry around you.

By learning from others and staying in touch with the industry you are currently working it, it’s only going to make you a better entrepreneur in the process.

Never stop learning, and keep sharing your success and inspiration with others!

11 Things to Know When Partnering With a Larger Company for the First Time

Many B2B entrepreneurs dream of landing a huge contract with an enterprise-level business. The large budget and resources of a bigger company often means steady work, along with opportunities to learn and improve skills.

However, these business partnerships are quite different than working with a fellow entrepreneur or small business. You need to be prepared to follow established procedures, adapt to their tools and procedures, and possibly even go a through lengthy approvals process to move forward.

At the same time, taking the leap from being a solo-entrepreneur or running a small business — to working with a much larger one and expanding your own horizons, this can be quite the emotional and stressful time for any entrepreneur to make such a big move.

To find out what entrepreneurs should know before they start reaching out, we asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members the following question:

The first time your small business strikes a partnership with a larger company can be a heady experience. What is one crucial thing entrepreneurs should know before they take the leap?

Here’s what they said:

1. Underpromise and Over Deliver

Landing a large company is an exciting time for any small business. However, it’s important to give yourself room to exceed their expectations. Only promise what you can deliver and then give them a little extra that they didn’t expect to create loyalty.

Jared Atchison, WPForms

2. Hire an Attorney to Help With Due Diligence

One of the biggest mistakes that I see entrepreneurs make when partnering with a large company is not being prepared. Many times, entrepreneurs don’t research potential issues and legal problems, which often leads to a failed project. The best way to prevent any of these from happening is to conduct the proper due diligence. Hire an experienced attorney.

Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Creative Development Agency, LLC

3. Include an Exit Plan

When partnering with a larger company, you need to ensure that your company is protected. The larger company isn’t looking out for your best interest, so if the deal goes bad you need a clause in your contract that allows you to exit the partnership. Placing a time limit on the partnership is a perfect way to do this. It allows you to test the partnership and renegotiate after a set time period.

Bryan Kesler, CPA Exam Guide

4. Ask About the Level of Customization Required

Large companies have the tendency to want everything customized to their needs without having to pay the bills. This can get pretty expensive, so you want to focus on bringing in companies that are not going to ask much of you. If they do, make sure you are ready to show them the bill, because it is not easy to get the team to customize features for a large company.

Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing

5. Look at the Bigger Picture

Whether you’re making a sale, building a channel relationship or developing any other kind of partnership, engaging with a large brand will take a lot of time and serve as a major “distraction.” As a small business, you should only take on those costs (time, mostly) if there are other partners who might follow. Make sure you can leverage this experience even if the deal falls through.

– Aaron Schwartz, Passport

6. Trust Your Instincts

Starting a business partnership can be a big opportunity but also a big risk. Trust your instincts. Do you believe the other company or business contact is fundamentally trustworthy and honest? Will they take the responsibility of being connected to your brand seriously? Traffic or revenue numbers are only part of the story when it comes to assessing mutual partnership fit.

Roger Lee, Human Interest 401(k)

7. Be Prepared for the Deal to Fall Through

“Birds fly. Fishes swim. Deals fall through.” One of the biggest shockers for small businesses is when a larger partner either ends up providing next to no value or falls through on a deal. It’s one of the harsh realities of doing business, so it’s important to be prepared for it. “This partner would be fine without my business and I need this more than they do” is the right mentality.

– Adegoke Olubusi, Helium Health

8. Establish Clear Expectations

Make sure your expectations will be met and are outlined in the contract. The larger the organization, the more detailed the contract will need to be. Also typically larger organizations will pay on a more delayed schedule, so get funds up-front for projects and services. Don’t fall into a trap of waiting on funds.

Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

9. Be Flexible

When working for a large established company, as the smaller, greener business you might be expected to adopt some of their systems. For instance, you might have to adopt their style guides for writing and formatting documents, and you might be asked to used specific software that they use. Be prepared and be flexible.

Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

10. Remain Transparent and Focused

Just because you strike a partnership with a larger company doesn’t mean you get to slack off. The money that rolls in will be nice, but you can’t use it as an excuse to ignore your upbringing and mission. Partnering with a larger company has tons of obvious benefits, but customers see it as a sellout. Remain transparent as much as possible and stay focused to ensure your effort stays the same.

Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP

11. Stay True to Your Business Goals

Entering a partnership with a bigger business seems like a triumph, but it can be bad for your company. Your businesses may end up devoting all its resources to serving the larger partner, customizing products to meet their needs and neglecting smaller customers. Go too far down that road and you end up in thrall to one customer, with no options. Remember your goals and don’t be afraid to say no.

Vik Patel, Future Hosting

Grow Your Business, By Focusing on Your Personal Brand

When it comes to growing any type of business or brand online, it’s all about the work and effort put into it. Paid advertising is always going to work well, but you will need to track and manage your ROI and ad campaigns. Social media also works great, but it’s tougher to convert audiences into paid leads and sales. Blogging is also another working method, but this one takes time and patience.

This is especially true if you are the face of the brand. Through the power of social media, it’s extremely easy and effective to not only reach new audiences but to also rank higher in Google for personal names and brand names in the process. Be sure to try out this method, along with each of the recommended tips above for growing your brand or online business in 2019.

If you enjoyed this expert roundup, I recommend you also take a look at our previous ones on expert SEO tips and best tips for making money online.

7 Effective Strategies for Growth They Teach in Business School

Are you wondering how to make your small business bulletproof? Do you need to find new ways to keep your products or services relevant to your target demographic?

Running a business on the internet is completely different from having a local or brick and mortar-focused business. However, there are many similarities between the two. In either case, you are going to need to offer a service or product, which generates revenue for the business. Once that is in place, you then need an effective marketing plan.

While this seems simple enough, the question then arises… ‘why do so many businesses fail?’…

It’s a well-known fact that only 30% of businesses survive their first decade in operation. But what can you do to ensure that you’re scaling and staying on top?

If you’ve got a small business, this article’s for you. We’ll give you an insider’s look into business school curricula and their top-secret strategies for growth and development across a wide range of business models.

1. Time Management

The time it takes to run your business means that you don’t have time for business school. However, you should try to make time for a time management course or two.

If you haven’t got time to take college courses, you might want to download a productivity tracking app. It’ll let you know how much time you’re spending responding to emails and in meetings.

Try to do a comprehensive audit of your time and feel free to delegate. You might find that you’re much more productive once you have an employee returning non-essential phone calls.

One of the biggest temptations for small business owners is to do everything themselves. While this might have been necessary at the beginning, it could be time to step back a bit.

Do you need to have that meeting in person, or can it happen via a screen sharing program? Are you spending too much time on client outreach?

What business school graduates know is that they have to make hard choices about their time and energy. Raising your time management skills could be key to your long-term survival.

2. Outsourcing

What do graduates of marketing colleges know that most entrepreneurs don’t? They know how to delegate, but also how to outsource.

After you secure your first round of funding, it’s tempting to hire several full-time employees. It’s good to have all hands on deck, but are you ready to invest in training and staff retention?

If you’re committed to scaling your business, however, you should probably outsource as much as possible.

You might not be a computer person, so why should you have to design your own website and write blog content yourself?

The best thing about outsourcing your SEO and marketing is that you’ve got a team of professionals by your side. SEO is a rapidly changing field and you’ll save on staff development by purchasing your marketing a la carte.

Whether you’re going to do your own marketing push or opt for outsourcing, it’s important to have a clear goal in mind.

Are you looking to streamline your sales funnel or do you only want to make your business more recognizable and relatable?

Do you want to have more traffic to your website? Who are you trying to reach? Check out these marketing tips before you start any new ad campaigns.

3. Networking

One of the most lucrative advantages of attending a top marketing college is the opportunity to network. But how can you keep up if you didn’t go to business school?

The answer is simple: network as much as you can. If you’re uncomfortable around groups of people, look for online classes or one-on-one tutoring about forging business alliances.

When you make a new contact, take the time to send a follow-up email. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should include your contact information and a link to your website at the very least.  The same holds true for attending local internet marketing conferences — the in-person engagement and interactions ROI is priceless.

Also, play to your strengths. If you’re more comfortable talking to a contact online, don’t push yourself to have a video conference.

If you prefer the phone, try to make at least one important phone call per day.

There are many definitions of effective networking, but try to attend at least one networking event per month. If you can, take a client out to lunch at least once per week.

4. Resource Allocation

What business school graduates know is that to turn a profit, you have to be ruthless about paring down your operations.

There’s a growing push for remote work, so you could conceivably hire an entire team without having to meet any of them.

You’ll also save money on office space if you hire a remote crew.

If you need office space once in a while, consider a local co-working space. You can schedule your meetings and interviews as needed, without having to invest in a brick-and-mortar store or office.

You might also be able to rent out a small office without having to commit to a larger space.

Another benefit to co-working spaces is that they often allow you to use their addresses. That lets you work from home and avoid using your home address on your business cards.

Your long-term survival is going to hinge on your ability to budget and invest. Business school grads know that you have to run an austerity budget, even when you’re profitable.

Spending money to make money isn’t always the way to go. Long-term success depends on paying off your debts, helping customers pay quicker, and cutting costs as much as possible.

Further Strategies for Growth

To succeed in your business, you have to be able to manage people and numbers. Business school graduates learn to manage their own finances, but you can always outsource your financials to a trusted accountant.

Take the time to ask yourself if you’re happy. Do you want to continue with your company for another year, or is it time to sell? Are you in desperate need of a vacation, or can you keep going for a few more months?

There is a world of information online, even if you don’t have the time for an MBA. You can take classes on time management, download a networking app, and find strategies for growth and development.

I have a wide range of articles and tutorials about affiliate marketing. I can set up your blog and develop your website for you.

Drop me a line and let’s get started with your content marketing ideas!

Bring Your A-Game Every Day: 10 Self Care Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, you’re constantly behind a computer screen, on a smartphone screen, or interacting with fellow business people in meeting after meeting. Like the Energizer Bunny, you keep going, and going, and going.

But you’re no robot.

So, the question is, why are you treating your body like you are?

Don’t worry — you’re not the only entrepreneur dealing with this. Research shows that Americans as a whole in the 21st century are working much longer hours than they did in the 1990s — longer than anybody else in today’s industrialized world.

Although building your own business is certainly something to be proud of, make sure that you don’t neglect yourself in the process. Here’s a rundown on 10 self care tips for surviving and thriving as an entrepreneur in the 21st century.

Let’s get started!

1. Watching Your Diet

A wide range of resources today tell you what to eat and how to eat it. The truth is, though, that the process of dieting doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming.

Since your main priority is the company you’re trying to build, take steps to minimize the effort and time required to eat nutritious meals.

For instance, you may want to cook in bulk, decide on a handful of regular meals, and decide on certain meal times. You might also want to begin shopping online or even using a service that will deliver your meal ingredients to you.

This will all save you time and reduce the urge to eat unhealthy fast food during your busy week.

2. Go to Sleep

You might not feel like you have enough hours in the day to get your business tasks done. But that doesn’t mean you should regularly burn the midnight oil in an effort to keep up.

The reality is that you need at least seven hours of sleep per night to function at your optimum level.

A great way to improve your sleep situation is to stick with a certain bedtime so that you’re consistently getting enough sleep. Also, purchase a memory foam mattress, which can help you to enjoy better sleep by better supporting your body. Layla sleep mattress has recently been featured in Forbes, Inc., and People Magazine for their studies on the importance of daily sleeping habits, productivity, and why sleeping on the right mattress can make all of the difference in well-rested sleep.

3. Work Out

This is another smart habit to build each day. That’s because working out isn’t just good for keeping your weight under control; it’s also great for improving your mental and emotional wellbeing, too.

Look for an activity you don’t mind doing, whether it’s biking or walking around the neighborhood. And try to do it every day. For many individuals, it’s actually easier to engage in physical activity each day versus only a few days a week.

4. Take Advantage of Services

A number of services are available today to give busy entrepreneurs like you a helping hand. So, why not take advantage of them?

For instance, hire a cleaner to clean your house once per week. Or allow a bookkeeper to get your financial situation in order. If you’re sick of updating your profiles on social media each day, you can also hire a virtual assistant to do this for you.

Although you may be serious about saving money when possible, it may be smart to invest in services that will free up time for you to focus on growing your business.

5. Rest for a Day

This can understandably be hard to do, but it is critical nonetheless. Everyone needs rest.

If you’re working every day of the week, you’ll find it tough to experience relief from the pressure and stress associated with operating your business.

Unplugging from your business-related stress at least one day a week is paramount for your wellbeing. During your day “off,” you can spend time in nature by yourself or go on an outing with family — whatever tickles your fancy.

6. Separate Your Work and Personal Lives

The challenge with being an entrepreneur is that it can be difficult to leave your work at work, as you are the one controlling your business’s direction. This is doubly hard if your office is at home.

However, you need to establish boundaries so that you keep your business life from bleeding into your personal life. This might mean not taking business calls after a certain time each day, or it could mean leaving your computer and phone in your office while you’re spending time with your family in the living room.

7. Establish Your Priorities

Did you know that as important as your business is, your health is even more important?

Think about it: even if you create a flourishing company, your quality of life will be terrible if you’re suffering from health issues and anxiety as a result of growing your business. Remember, money alone isn’t enough to make you happy.

So, approach entrepreneurship in a balanced way. Make sure that you put your family first, and also, recognize when you’ve got to unplug so that you can recharge. This will help you to feel healthier and more energized, which is what you need to thrive as a business owner.

8. Turn That Smartphone Off for an Entire Day

No, we’re not joking.

This might seem like an impossible feat for you in 2019, but it can be done if you put your mind to it.

By becoming unreachable for a day, you can restore your physical, mental and emotional health. And don’t worry — the rest of the world can make it without you for one day.

9. Breathe

Yes, everyone breathes, but not everyone breathes in the same way.

For instance, shallow breathing can contribute to anxiety. Meanwhile, full breaths from your abdomen will help your blood pressure to stabilize and will slow down your heart.

Guided exercises, like yoga, can help you to remember to take in breaths deeply until this becomes natural for you.

10. Treat Your Wellbeing As a Key Performance Indicator

When you’re managing your business, you track things like awareness measurements, sales and costs. But you should also keep track of how you’re doing physically and emotionally, too.

So, regularly assess how you’re feeling physically — for example, are you feeling sluggish due to a lack of sleep. Also, you might want to keep a journal to track how you’re faring mentally and emotionally.

Take Care of Your Body and Mind — then Your Business

As mentioned throughout this article and resource guide, it might not seem like you need to take care of your body and mind at all times — but this will eventually come back and hurt you in one way or another.

Your business is important, but YOU are more important.

Take the time to not only take care of yourself, but also to appreciate everything you have.

Way too many of us don’t take advantage of what we have right now, until it’s too late!

6 Workplace Design Tips to Transform Your Office Space

Being in a single space for at least nine hours a day can prove to become a little bland for your employees while working in the office. It doesn’t have to be though! Spending a little bit of time to spice up your office space for the new year can create an overall healthier work environment.

This is something home-based entrepreneurs know all too well. When first starting your side hustle or business, you will likely just be working from a desk, but over time you can customize your workspace to be a place where you actually love being in, and making it your own.

Over the years, I’ve gone through this process plenty of time — whether it be when I was just a kid running my business from a room in my parents house, to moving into our new place, rebuilding after Sandy, and all of the temporary locations in between.

Either way, if you are going to be spending a ton of time in one specific room or location, you might as well make it a fun and professional place to get work done!

To get started, take a look at these top tips to create a new workplace design for 2019.

1. Flexible and Modular Office Furniture

A big trend of 2019 is to take advantage of modular furniture that can be reorganized for group brainstorming or team meetings. Find some office tables and chairs that can be reworked into larger tables for group meetings, or can be broken up for smaller one-on-one brainstorming sessions.

You can also work with companies to build commercial fitouts to make an office space work within the dimensions of the rooms and open spaces you already have. While it might cost a little more money to get this done, it will make for a more professional look and feel over the life of your work area.

2. Focus on Activity-Based Team Projects

Make sure you have spaces for team-building activities. Try to incorporate spaces like lounges, conference rooms, and multipurpose workspaces to increase collaboration and boost productivity. There will always be a need for privacy, so be sure to try and seamlessly blend open spaces into your workplace design without leaving your employees to have to struggle to focus because their desks are right next to the busy activity areas.

3. Design for Employee Wellbeing

It has been proven time and again that our surroundings affect our wellbeing. Considering most professionals spend a good chunk of their day at the office, it is integral that these office spaces focus on human wellbeing.

Do this by ensuring your lounges and restrooms are away from individual workstations to help get your employees moving around. You can also integrate a new trend called biophilic design that combines nature into your workspaces, such as plant walls and windows.

4. Think About Visual Appeal

While functionality is great when thinking about your new workplace design, you also want to make sure the overall look is visually appealing. Millennials specifically enjoy coming to a workstation that promotes inspiration and creativity.

5. Integrate Technology

Our lives revolve around technology, and with computer systems and software playing a huge role in most workspaces, it only makes sense to try and think about creating your workplace design around the technology you will be using on a daily basis. Consider integrating wireless charging stations, interactive displays, and even tabletop touchscreens.

6. Get Your Team Involved

You know your employees best, so why not get them involved? This will allow your team to both ensure the office redesign will fit their needs as well as make them feel like their opinion is welcomed and appreciated.

Ultimately, the way you design your home office or work space is going to come down to what you want to accomplish with it. If you are going to be working in this area by yourself 95% of the time, there is no need to have additional chairs or clutter for guests who are never going to be there.

On the flip side, if you are having clients and guests in your work space quite often, you will want more of a open and free feeling.

This is where the advice and recommendations from fellow co-workers and employees can definitely bring some new ideas and direction to your working space.

What Will You Include in Your Workplace Design?

Start the new year off right with a strategic new workplace design that will offer a healthier and more productive work environment.

What trends will you incorporate into your redesign?

Don’t jump in head first. Contemplate what would work best for your team and then consider these top trends of 2019 that will create the most impact for your team. It will prove to make this year your company’s most successful year yet!

13 Side Hustles You Can Use to Fund a New Venture in 2019

A buzzword floating around for a while now has been “side hustle.” Many entrepreneurs are turning to side hustles as a way to increase income without signing onto massive commitments. This approach can potentially have more flexibility than part time work, allowing entrepreneurs to gain needed income or experience, without over-stressing their routines.

For entrepreneurs looking to fund an initial venture, side hustles may be the perfect solution. As there are a wide variety of side hustles out there, we asked entrepreneurs from YEC to share the kinds of side hustle they think are worth considering, along with how to get started. Here’s what they said:

1. Do Something Automatable

To fund my initial venture, I started selling cell phones on Amazon. I was able to do this because I could ship all of my inventory to Amazon and they would handle all the shipping and returns using their Fulfilled by Amazon service. The key is that your side hustle needs to be automatable. I found suppliers, placed orders and then shipped the inventory to Amazon and I’d call it a day.

– Bryan Kesler, CPA Exam Guide

2. Try Flipping as a Side Hustle

An entrepreneur I follow is a big proponent of flipping as a side hustle. This doesn’t mean houses, it means anything you have at home that you don’t need, what you’d find at a garage sale or anything you can make a profit on. Apps like Offer Up and others make it extremely easy to list things and sell things without having to tell everyone you know what you’re doing.

Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting

3. Do Something Related to Your Venture

You only have so many hours in the day and you want to be using as many as possible to move your life, goals and dreams forward — so don’t squander them working in a completely different direction from what you actually want! These days, you can side hustle in just about any field or industry, so pick one that is going to help get your venture off the ground and prepare you with useful skills.

Justin Faerman, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

4. Monetize Your Expertise

Monetizing expertise is the easiest way to build a profitable side-hustle — or even a primary hustle! Everyone is an expert at something, and expertise can be monetized. Figure out what you’re best at, then figure out who needs that skillset. Whether you consult, give speeches, create sponsored content on social media or share another way, there is an audience willing to pay for what you know.

Brittany Hodak, The Superfan Company

5. Consider Which Category Works Best for You

Undertaking a side hustle can branch into two separate categories: financial reserves and learning opportunities. Paid contracting or freelancing gigs and training opportunities, combined with savings and a frugal lifestyle, help with self-funding a business. Learning opportunities are volunteering and participating in startup communities, building a network for scaling a business quickly. – Mario Peshev, DevriX

6. Rent a Room via Airbnb

Airbnb is a great side hustle for extra cash. Whether you have a room or two at your house you’d like to post on the site or invest in purchasing a house solely to rent out, you can make quite a bit of money. Type in your city or neighborhood in Airbnb and check out your competition. Which places have the most and best reviews? What can you do to differentiate?

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Drive With Uber

Uber is a great side hustle. Anyone with a car can take advantage of. By providing just a few trips before or after your work day, you’ll have more extra cash in your bank account to put into your new business venture.

– John Turner, SeedProd LLC

8. Start an Affiliate Marketing Site

Starting a business requires a huge amount of energy and dedication. Chances are, you won’t have a lot of energy left over to do something you don’t enjoy. That’s why starting an affiliate marketing site can be such a good fit. Choose a topic you are passionate about that also has sizeable niche of consumers that are interested in it.

Thomas Smale, FE International

9. Sell Things on Facebook Marketplace

Got some stuff lying around your house that you don’t want anymore? Put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace. You could even go hunting for some great finds at charity shops or garage sales and resell them for a profit right from the comfort of your own home.

– Blair Williams, MemberPress

10. Do Anything That Gives You Free Time

One of my side hustles was working at the front desk of a hotel. I worked the slow shifts and used all my downtime to build my business on my computer. I understood every piece of spare time was valuable to me. Even mowing lawns as a teenager I would listen to Tony Robbins’ CDs. Stay away from anything too physically or mentally intensive so you have the energy to moonlight when you get home.

Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

11. Become an Amazon Prime Seller

It’s surprisingly easy to become an Amazon Prime seller. Considering that there are 100 million Prime members, with the right Prime product, you can make some decent cash. One trick is finding a product that is selling well and no one is selling it with a Prime tag. You will then differentiate by selling the same product with a faster delivery.

Jared Atchison, WPForms

12. Start Freelancing

The ideal side hustle brings in money while providing the flexibility you need to grow your main venture. Freelancing fits the bill and you can leverage skills you already have, especially if you have technical expertise — developers are always in demand. However, make sure the side hustle is worth your time; focusing on growing your business might provide better returns in the long run.

Vik Patel, Future Hosting

13. Do Something You Actually Enjoy Doing

A side hustle offers people the unique opportunity to do what they’ve always dreamed of. Many people, for example, turn to blogging because writing isn’t the most lucrative career path. Whatever you choose should be something you enjoy because it will ultimately be added work. Your side hustle should embrace the cliche of doing what you love so you never have to work a day in your life.

Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP

Take these Expert Tips and Start Implementing them Today

Now that you’ve had a chance to read through some expert tips on how to start making some extra money on the side, it’s time to implement these changes into your own business and daily efforts.

Also, if you enjoyed this expert round up, I highly recommend you check out another one on BloggingTips.com which asks 83 online marketing experts the question “How Do I Start a Successful Blog?“. If you don’t already have a website or blog of your own, follow my guide to get started with one today.

Quick Tips on How to Get a Commercial Loan to Grow Your Business

Making the decision to take on debt for your business isn’t one that should be taken lightly.

What if you’re considering applying for a commercial loan to help you finance your dream brick and mortar office or store?

We know that you want to understand the best possible options before you make a final — and expensive — decision. You may feel that a commercial real estate loan is the right choice, but want to learn more about the process.

In this post, we’ll tell you what you need to know to get the funding your business deserves.

What Is a Commercial Building Loan?

Before we discuss the requirements and specific benefits of a commercial loan, let’s make sure you’re clear on what one is.

In a nutshell, a commercial real estate loan is an arrangement between a place of business and a loan provider.

These providers can be banks or private lenders. Many people elect to get their loans from commercial financing companies.

This is because smaller businesses especially struggle to get loan approval from a bank.

In the case of commercial real estate loans, you’ll use the money the lender provides to you in order to finance the construction of a brick and mortar store, office, or general place of business.

You can also use the money from your commercial real estate loan to upgrade and renovate a property you already own.

It’s important to realize that a commercial loan is made to a business, not to an individual. This means that the loan payment will actually be given to a corporation, a trust, or a limited partnership (to name just a few examples.)

Of course, since the payment isn’t being made to a person, but rather to a company, it can be tough to prove you have strong credit and are in good financial standing.

So, depending on the lender, you may need to elect a few principals — people who are the company’ owners. You’ll then give the lender your credit history, and other financial information.

In some cases, the property itself may serve as the collateral.

Standard Commercial Loan Requirements

Now that you have a better grasp on what a commercial loan can help you with, let’s talk about the requirements you need to have.

First of all, in most cases, you’ll have to show that your business occupies at least 51% of the building you want to purchase.

You’ll need to give the lender five years of your tax returns, an independent property appraisal, and a business plan. You’ll also need to provide them with a certification from the state that proves you’re a corporation.

In some cases, you may need to give specific financial reports. You may also need to show the lender a projected cash flow. This helps them to know you’ll actually be able to repay the loan.

You’ll also need to seriously consider your commercial real estate loan down payment.

These down payments are a percentage of the total amount of the loan.

You’ll need to be able to pay these upfront in order to get the loan you want. So, when you’re looking at your options (more on that in a minute) ensure the percentage is one you can afford.

The good news is that there are lots of ways a commercial real estate lender may be able to work with you. This will increase your chances of getting the loan you desire. Check out this article from Assets America to learn more about selecting the right broker for your needs.

Types of Commercial Real Estate Loans

If you want a commercial real estate loan, the good news is that you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

There are five main types of commercial loans.

The first is an SBA7(a) loan, which is actually backed by the SBA itself. These are the most popular loans, and can go up to $5 million. In most cases, they carry interest rates of anywhere from 5-8.75%. You’ll pay them back over a period of about 10 to 25 years.

You may also consider a CDC/SBA 504 loan. This is also backed by the SBA, and it doesn’t have a maximum borrow amount. You’ll need to pay a minimum down payment of 10%.

Often, people think of this loan as two loans. This is because it’s, in addition to being backed by the SBA, also backed by a Certified Development Company (CDC.)

Their low down payment makes them a popular choice for young businesses.

You could also choose a traditional commercial mortgage loan issues by a bank. The down payment can be anywhere from 15-35%. They’re tougher to get than other types of loans, but they offer low-interest rates.

In some cases, you may choose a commercial bridge loan. This is a short-term option, and you’ll later refinance the loan into a long-term mortgage. The term is anywhere from 6 to 36 months in total.

Finally, you might want a hard money loan.

This is also a short-term option. Once again, you’ll later refinance and turn this loan into a mortgage. This is the best choice for those who need money as soon as is possible.

Is a Commercial Loan Right for Your Business?

We hope this post has not only explained what a commercial loan is, but also helped you to determine if getting one is the right idea for your business.

Looking for advice about how to pay off loans and business debt? Want to learn more about the different types of business loans available to you?

No matter what kind of business you’re in, or your financial situation, our blog can help you to grow.

9 Secret Tricks for Paying Off Your Business Debt in 2019

Running a business but fear your debt is about to pile up? This is something that happens to many entrepreneurs and marketers when running an online business. Money always seems to go out much faster that it actually comes in.

While it is scary, don’t worry too much about it. It’s normal to have debt; other than equity, you can use debt to finance your business. Go too deep in debt, however, and you could run into the risk of bankruptcy.

If you want a successful business, you need to track the key metrics to ensure it happens. But what should you do when you get into business debt? You have a lot of options to choose from.

Are you ready to learn how to get out of business debt? Read on and learn these tricks.

1. Increase Your Profits

One of the most common ways to pay off your debt is to increase your income. Do your research and try using strategies to raise your revenue. For example, you can make promotions that make interest from your local customers.

Making promotions can make people buy more from you. But this is a balancing act since doing it too much is counterproductive. Check your margins and see if you can raise your prices for more profit.

2. Get Customers to Pay Faster

When billing customers with an invoice, you might get delays from them. You need to make your customers pay faster if you need funds as soon as possible. Make sure that your payment terms are short.

If you allow 90 months to pay, shorten it by half. Most customers will make sure to pay at the very last moment. So that means you need to think about how long you’re willing to wait for their payment.

Track down some late-paying customers. Check for outstanding invoices in your business database. Remind them about the bill and send in some collection letters if it doesn’t work.

3. Cut Costs

Having small business debt means you should spend for the bare necessities. Depending on the amount of debt, you might end up spending even less. That means you need to analyze the things you really need.

Always look for opportunities to cut out things to save your money. You can either make small, minor cuts or a single large cut. Again, you might need to do both if your debt is big enough.

4. Give Your Debt Priority

Check which debts you can pay off first to get out of debt. Check the critical ones with the ability to destroy your business in its entirety. Also, consider the ones that can have a negative effect on your business relationships.

There are some debts that can damage your reputation with your vendors. You need to think about how it affects your future relationships with them. Do this while thinking about the interest rates and possible penalties like the collateral you lose.

5. Negotiate Better Terms

Ask if you can get smaller interest rates or minimum payments. Creditors will try to keep your business afloat. After all, if your business fails, they won’t get anything out of you.

That means they’re more likely to work with you. In most cases, they’ll extend their payment plans or make the debt smaller for you to pay it. They’re better off getting some money than getting nothing at all.

Always talk to your lenders. You might get a pleasant surprise on what they can do for you.

6. Ask for Friend and Family Support

Your loved ones might have the means of helping you out of a debt. They can help you pay it off and you’ll pay them back at a later time. Family members and friends can be great lenders for you.

Often, they’re more understanding and sympathetic with your situation. Most family members might offer little to no interest rates. They’re more likely to let you pay smaller amounts over a longer period of time.

7. Try Debt Consolidation

If you want to know how to dig out of debt, try consolidating your debts. You can check The Credit Review for the best debt relief companies to help you. These might help you pay off all your debts, so you only need to pay one entity for it.

Having a single debt instead of many isn’t the main strength of debt consolidation. Your goal is to take out a loan with better terms compared to the other ones. It’s only worth it if you’re paying a lower interest rate and have longer payment terms.

8. Check Your Budget

When debt piles up, you might need to revisit your company’s budget. That means you need to make a budget that fits your company’s financial situation. Ensure that the profits are enough to cover more than your usual monthly costs like utilities.

Set a portion of the remaining profit for variable costs. Once done, devote as much money as you can to pay off your debt. It’s especially important if you have credit card debt since you need to pay more than the minimum.

9. Seek Counsel

Making negotiations with your creditors are rarely a good experience. If your creditors aren’t as cooperative, you might need the help of a counseling group. These non-profit organizations often give debt-management advice to both individuals and small businesses alike.

The helpfulness of their advice depends on how worse your debt situation is. You might have some complicated debt issues to resolve. In this case, it’s better to check with a bankruptcy attorney and ask for their advice on the matter.

Get Out of Business Debt Today!

Being in debt isn’t a pleasant experience no matter how you look at it. But in some cases, you need to get into debt to ensure that your business doesn’t go under. The part most business owners have difficulty involves paying it back.

If you want to get out of business debt, try these tips. They’re not difficult to do, but it needs management skills and consistency. The process will be difficult, but the end result of being debt-free is worth all the effort.

Would you like to start a home business instead? Read this post and learn about the benefits of starting one. It’s far cheaper to run than paying rent for your business premises.