How to Start an Online Business with Groupon Money Saving Coupons

When it comes time to start a business of your own, saving as much money in the beginning phases is always of the utmost importance. The great news is that starting an online business is potentially a thousand times more cost effective than if you were to start a local brick and mortar store of your own. The same can also be said about franchising. With an online business, all you really need is an idea, a website, a domain name, hosting and some good old fashion time and effort… and you have a business!

In addition to the internet being a great way to minimize operating costs for a business, it also offers a ton of opportunity and savings as well. Once such example of this can be through online coupons and promotional offers. For many of us, we already have applications like Groupon sitting on our mobile devices and sending us some of the best local offers on a daily basis. In addition to each of these localized offers, Groupon also has coupons and promotions for many brands we all know and love on a daily basis.

This also includes brands and services that can be used to help start or grow an online business. That’s exactly what we are going to be looking at today.

With all of this in mind, I thought it would make for a great resource to remind all of the content creators, entrepreneurs and bloggers out there about some of the best ways to save money through their site. Whether it’s registering a domain name, setting up web hosting, ordering business cards or even getting your hands on some of the latest tutorials and video training material… Groupon has a relevant coupon on their site.

Grab Your Domain Name at a Discount through GoDaddy

One of the first things you will need to do when setting up an online business is to get a domain name. In most cases, this will simply be the name of your business or the focus of your site. When choosing a domain name, make sure it’s something unique, easy to remember and also represents your brand well. I personally recommend grabbing your personal name as a domain, if you don’t have it already. To learn more about the domain buying and name process, I recommend you take a look at my full how to start a blog guide, as this is a major factor in the whole decision process.

With all of that being said, there are plenty of domain registrars for you to choose from. I personally have a bunch with NameCheap and GoDaddy. In either case, Groupon has a dedicated page on their site for the latest GoDaddy coupons. Domain names are a cheap enough investment in themselves, but it’s always good to save some extra money here and there, even if it’s just a few dollars. Some of the latest promotions on their site include 93% off domains, making them only .99 cent each. 30% off new items and services offered through GoDaddy and also up to 50% hosting plans.

Look Like a Real Business with Your Own Business Cards

I remember when Vistaprint first came out in 2001 and their ‘free 500 business cards” promotion was all over the place. It was also one of the top affiliate programs at the top as well. Over the past 15+ years, Vistaprint has evolved into much more than just printing business cards, and are a full one-stop shop for anything you might need printing or created for your business.

Whether it’s business cards, site design, and promotional branding material, Groupon has a wide range of Vistaprint coupons currently available on their sites. Everything from coupons for 40-50% business cards, 20% off + free shipping and of course a new supply of printing promotions that are always going live on their site. In short… there’s no excuse for you to not have a set of business cards handy at your next affiliate marketing conference!

Become a Better Entrepreneur through Online Learning

If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur or business owner, you need to stay ahead of the current trends while also learning from others in the process. Gone are the days when you need to attend expensive classes or even college, now everything can be taught and learned online.

Udemy is an online resource for learning pretty much anything — even outside the world of business and marketing. I even have a quick little course of my own on their site that has had over 3,000 students. The majority of courses on their site are competitively priced, but a few money-saving discounts from Groupon won’t hurt either.

Take a look at some of the recent Groupon Udemy coupons on their site and see what their latest promotions are. Also be sure to check out these promotions or even use a one of the latest Udemy $10 coupon to save instantly with any online courses you might be interested in trying. Usually, you will find a nice 40% off promotion, which really gives you no excuse to not further educate yourself in whatever it is you might be looking to do.

Never Pay Full Price Again!

It’s really crazy to think that some people are still going directly to websites and making purchases without looking for coupon codes and discounts beforehand. Groupon is a great site for deal and discounts (especially in your area), but no matter what it is you are buying, always take a minute or two to search online for a few coupons.

3 Ways to Generate Ideas for a Great Domain or Company Name

If you ever wanted to start a new website or online business, you’ve no doubt thought about the brand or name that you would use for it. While this might seem easy enough, it’s actually quite tough. With hundreds of thousands of domain names being registered daily, it’s amazing that there are still any decent domain names left — at least in the .com, .net and .org TLD form. There are plenty of other extensions to choose from, but they just aren’t as brandable or desirable.

With all of this in mind, it’s important to create a well-known, understandable and trusted name for your site or brand once you do decide to go live. After all, look at any of the top internet brands in the world today, and they mostly all have a unique, generic or one-word domain name that makes them easy to find online. (ie: Target, Google, Apple, Facebook or Mashable)

The good news is that even if your first, second or third choice for a name isn’t available, there are still other options out there to help with this process. I’ve personally been using a wide range of methods to secure some really great domain names over the years. Some that I would have gladly paid thousands for, but was able to scoop up sometimes for under $100 each!

Before giving up and settling on a domain or brand name that just doesn’t fit, try each of the methods below.

Domain Name Generators

Heading over to your favorite domain registrar and filling out the domain registration form one name at a time and trying to find a winner is always exciting… but it can also be quite tedious in the process. Not only will this be a huge waste of your time, it will also limit your options for finding other available domain names you simply may not have thought of.

A better option is to simply perform a bulk-search or use a domain name generator tool to help with the process. Generators are also great because they can provide you with related keywords or phrases you might not have thought of otherwise. Your awesome domain name is waiting to be registered… a domain name generation tool can help you find it!

Search Domain Name Brokerages

The business of domain names is a massive one and continues to grow in size daily. As more domains get registered and the chances of getting your hands on a great one continue to diminish, the value of such domains continues to rise in value. A perfect example of this would be your personal name. If someone already owns it as a domain, it’s likely gone for good — so what are you going to do if you want to create a new site or brand? If you don’t have any other matching TLD options, you might end up going with a completely unique or catchy domain name, or one that simply combines two great keywords that would represent your brand.

This is where the business model of domain names definitely comes into play. New businesses, brands, and startups are created every day… and they each need a great name for their sites. Name Perfection is a domain marketplace where you can search through a wide range of registered domain names that are focused on startups and catchy business names. You can also sort through domains on their site by category, keywords, pricing and more. You can see a few examples of their existing domain names for sale below.

Another site worth mentioning for finding unique and available domain names is Flippa.com. Just like they have an auction marketplace for buying and selling websites, they’ve recently added domain names into the mix as well. With the listings on Flippa constantly being updated from active users on the site, it may take some time for you to skim through the site and find a winner — but still, it’s another good resource to add to the mix.

Domain Name Expiration Services

One of my favorite methods for getting my hands on great domain names is through expiration services like Pool and NameJet. The concept behind these sites and marketplaces are quite simple. Domain names get registered and if then if they aren’t renewed, they get expired. Sites like Pool and NameJet scoop up as many expired domain names as they can, then sell them in an aftermarket to their customers. Domains will usually start in the $70+ range, and the pricing will go up as other customers bid on the domains.

These services are great for putting in your personal name as a domain and simply forgetting about it. You never know when a great domain name might get expired, but through these type of expiration services, you might just get lucky!

How to Get Your Hands on a Great Domain Name

At the end of the day, it really comes down to only three options for getting a great domain name… and they are the following:

  1. Get really lucky and come up with something original
  2. Make a nice investment in a premium domain name
  3. Hire a brokerage or domain expiration service and wait

When it comes to representing your website or brand, you simply can’t go wrong with a great domain name. To see the type of money we are talking about when it comes to investing in a great name, be sure to check out this list of top selling domain names.

Expert Tips on How to Retain Your Employees as Your Business Grows

As your startup begins to gain traction, you’ll need to hire more staff to handle the increased workload or expansion of services. This has a dramatic effect on small businesses: Going from, say, a staff of 10 to a staff of 30 may sound incremental, but you’ll quickly find that the processes you’ve used up until that point may not work as well. More decision makers and more chains of command mean more chances for confusion.

The change in culture can carry an additional cost: loss of long-time employees. It’s easy for someone to feel uneasy with big changes, especially if they’re no longer sure of their place in the company.

To help you keep your staff as you scale up your company, we asked 14 members from YEC for their best advice on retaining employees.

1. Conduct Surveys

We love surveys. In fact, we just recently surveyed our employees about their benefits and which ones they appreciate the most. This helps us know which benefits should be restructured and which ones we should keep offering because everyone loves them. It definitely makes the team feel involved, cared for and like they truly have a say in what benefits are offered to them.

Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.

2. Keep Employees Informed

To help retention, make your employees feel like they have a stake in the company. Keep them up to date on company updates, initiatives and successes, as you would with fellow C-suite members. Consider holding a monthly or quarterly business review online to make sure all employees understand the status of the organization, as well as the “bigger picture” projects and goals.

Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

3. Have an Open Door Policy

One way to retain more employees in the workplace is to create an atmosphere that promotes expression. We have an open door policy where anyone, at any time, can come and get things off of their chest. By removing a lack of communication, you’ll better understand what’s really happening within your company and help keep your employees happy.

Russell Kommer, eSoftware Associates Inc

4. Prepare for the Development of Your High Performers

Continuously write down a list of your high performers and think through professional development opportunities, exposure to different lines of business and “stretch” creative assignments that are unrelated to their core tasks. All these things keep employees interested in what they’re doing. For those that push back on new opportunities or challenges, they might not be a good fit.

Matt Murphy, Kids in the Game LLC

5. Promote Internal Bonding

Promoting and encouraging spontaneous conversations between coworkers about random (usually non-work-related) topics is beneficial to improving employee retention. Conversations like these can help synchronize your team, defuse messages and ideas across the organization, and can even jumpstart productive discussions. Not only that, but they also help build relationships within your team.

Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

6. Ensure All Feedback Is Addressed

We provide a variety of avenues (surveys, one-on-ones, discussions, etc.) to encourage all team members to provide their input on areas for improvement and, perhaps most importantly, we make a concerted effort to ensure that all feedback is addressed whether we agree with it or not. It is of paramount importance for employees to know that their input is indeed heard; if not, they will stop offering it.

Kevin Yamazaki, Sidebench

7. Formalize Perks

Add perks that you can now offer because you have a larger group, such as greater benefits, group activities and group discounts, as well as social events that bring everyone together. You can formalize this with a quarterly plan and accommodate it in the budget.

Peter Daisyme, Due

8. Focus on Building a Team

Focus on building your team, rather than finding employees. My co-founder and I make time to interview every potential employee to make sure they will fit with our company culture. If you build a team of people who enjoy working together, they are more likely to want to stay. It is easier to teach an employee skills than it is to make a talented employee fit into your culture.

David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

9. Offer Them the Chance to Guide Their Own Growth

I hired my people to do things I couldn’t, so it only stands to reason that they would understand some things better about their roles than I do. I retain my better people by giving them flexibility as they continue at the company. They get a say in their direction, so it’s hard for a competitor to make them a better offer on interesting work.

Matt Doyle, Excel Builders

10. Create an Ownership Culture

Use open-book management and empower employees to become an integral part of company success. Let them make decisions that directly contribute to a company’s business goals and incentivize them likewise.

Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

11. Reward Long-Time Employees

Employees like to be valued, so I think it’s important to implement rewards for long-time employees, such as consistent pay raises, more vacation time or perks that new employees don’t get right off the bat.

Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

12. Talk About Change Before It Happens

Both early and recent employees can often become misaligned with the company when they feel taken aback by change. It should be clearly communicated to everyone in advance that as the company grows, not everything will be the same as when they started. This understanding will keep people open-minded and even result in great suggestions on how to change in a way that doesn’t alienate your team.

Roger Lee, Human Interest

13. Spend Time Talking With Employees

The bigger your company grows, the less time you will have to speak with your employees individually. Make more time to build relationships with your employees and you will reduce turnover. People like to be cared for and if they see that the boss actually takes the time to speak with them, they will take notice. Not a lot of companies show interest in spending that time and people will value it.

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

14. Build an Organizational Structure

After a few unexpected employee departures last year, our leadership team focused on building an organizational structure. This included outlining our core values, creating monthly goals for each employee and understanding who is accountable for every critical function. In the end, it’s helped every member understand who we are and the direction we’re headed in.

Ben Camerota, MVP Visuals

 

Keep Employees Longer with a Better Business Model

Now that you’ve learned some of the best ways to keep your employees happy and continuing to work with your company, it’s also important to think about how you can grow and scale your business in the long run. Most employees will want to work with a company that is not only rewarding for them and a fun place to be, but also one that is growing in size and profitability in the process.

To see more expert roundups like this one, be sure to view our previous articles on improved Facebook marketing and the best tools for monitoring your brand online.

5 Unique Ways to Fund Your Next Business Idea or Startup

Personally, I’ve always thought it was quite tough to try and start a business in the offline brick and mortar world. In most cases, the numbers just don’t make sense and the startup and management costs are simply way too high. Take a look at the internet and how easy it is to start up an online business, brand or blog — and it’s more obvious than ever before.

However, just because it may be ‘easier’ and more ‘cost-effective’ to get started with an online business, that it will actually be easy to guarantee any type of success. Depending on the type of business you want to create, you very well might need some additional funding or capital to help get things moving. The good news is that you won’t need to kneel and beg at your local bank to try and get some money. Once again, the internet has made the process of borrowing money and getting funding even easier.

Today I wanted to share a few different methods and resources to help anyone get their hands on some much-needed cash when starting a business online.

PayPal Working Capital

Many individuals and small businesses are already using Paypal to accept and send out payments. Something not everyone knows about is Paypal Working Capital. In short, Paypal makes it extremely easy to borrow money through their account. Based on your history and revenue flowing through your account, you can apply for a Paypal Working Capital loan and instantly receive up to 25% off your annual revenue (flowing through Paypal). The great thing about this method is that Paypal charges only a small percentage and the payback process actually comes out as a percentage of each incoming transaction to your account. It’s also free to apply and your credit score won’t be affected.

Get a Small Business Loan

One of the most common ways to get your hands of some business money is through the use of a business loan. When it comes to working with banks and financial institutions, there are many different types of business loans to choose from (such as SBA Loans, Term Loans, Equipment Financing and a Business Line of Credit to name a few). As mentioned earlier, it’s also a benefit to working with any legitimate and trusted online banking sites to set any of these up. There is no longer a need to visit your local branch, as it’s way too fast and easy to compare and shop around different loan rates and introductory offers online.

Pre-Sell Your Idea

If you currently have a business idea that is based on your expertise or something you’d like to package up and sell, a great idea before investing a ton of money into the business, is selling if you can pre-sell your products or services before getting started. This is something we’ve commonly seen in the world of online marketing and selling courses online through webinars. It shouldn’t be hard for you to come up with a business plan and reasons why someone would want to buy your product. Pull all of this together and create a webinar for your audience, then sell the idea to them at the end. Give your audience an option to gain access early and become one of the first customers. Get enough of these customers and you might be able to prove your idea a profitable success before you even get started!

CrowdFunding

If crowdfunding has taught us anything, it’s that ‘anything’ can generate millions of dollars online if it’s pitched in the right way. Sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for new ideas, products, and services before they’ve even come to market. This concept is similar to the one above in that you are getting funding before actually selling the product, but most crowdfunding sites do come with their limitations and transaction fees in the process. To find the most success in crowdfunding, take the time to look at previous campaigns that have gone on to hit their goals and even more. It’s not just about the product, it’s also the message, delivery, and marketing of it.

Start with Your Own Money

When all else fails, or if you have some extra money set to the side, why not just invest in yourself? One of the best ways to fund your next business idea or startup is to actually put your own money into the company. Not only will this give you a bigger incentive to find success, it will also allow you to instantly save on interest fees and also allow you to start your company on the right food. Depending on the size and startup costs of your new business, this might be easier said than done — however, if you do have some money set to the side and are completed dedicated to making your business idea work, this is a great option for getting started.

How to Launch a Successful Business in 2017

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to invest in yourself and your business outside of the traditional methods used many years ago. Almost anyone can get their hands on some extra money to help fund their business idea, it’s just a matter of how much history you have behind you already, how you want to pay your loan back and what direction your business might be headed. No matter what option you choose, always focus your business on the end customer and their user experience to find the best long-term results.