Minority Entrepreneurs

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, makes the case for effective managerial skills as a tool for business success.

Q: Hi Steve – I have an idea for a business, but I also get that the startup landscape these days seems to be evolving rapidly – now it seems like it is all about social media and mobility and so on. That is not really my thing. So, do you think I can still make a go of it if my startup is more ‘old school’?

Vic

A:

Old school is old school for a reason: It usually has stood the test of time and works.

About the Author

Steve StraussSteven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

Starting a small business is a smart, bold thing to do, regardless of the economic climate. The conventional wisdom may be to wait and kick off your venture when times are flush, credit is flowing, and consumers are eager, but there are actually a number of very convincing reasons why starting your business in a down economy can benefit you. Whether times are tough or not, though, before you get out of the starting gate and launch your venture there are several critical things you're going to need. To help make your journey easier and hopefully more prosperous, read on for the essentials.

1. A Good Idea

All successful small businesses start with a good idea - but how do you come up with one? Instead of using past methods of idea generation, like developing a product or service and then creating or establishing a foothold in a market, try the opposite approach. Identify a need or a desire that a large demographic of society currently has and build your idea around a solution.

2. Organization

About the Author

Kevin Glover operates a small business from home in Florida and writes about his experiences and advice related to marketing, startup costs, and financing.

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, makes the case for effective managerial skills as a tool for business success.

Q: I lost my job recently and since this is not the first time and I am sick of it, I am strongly considering starting a one-person business. The question then is – what is the likelihood of success? Can it work?
Amy

(Part 1 of 2)

About the Author

Steve StraussSteven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

As a retailer, what is more important to you, profits or cash flow? The initial response from most merchants posed that question is: “Profits, of course!”

Cash FlowOn the surface, that answer makes sense; who wouldn’t want more profits? The mere word “profitable” itself evokes a sense of financial well-being. In today’s retail environment, though, profits alone are not enough;cash flow is the new financial reality.

About the Author

Ritchie SaynerRitchie Sayner's retail career began at a family-owned department store in the Midwest where my responsibilities ranged from buyer to general merchandise manager. Since 1980, he has worked for RMSA Retail Solutions, a national retail consulting firm that specializes in helping retailers increase sales volume, improve margin, strengthen cash flow, and maximize turnover.

Ritchie is a certified instructor of retailing, speak regularly to retail groups and write articles for various industry publications on a variety of issues facing today’s retailers. He has a degree in marketing from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

Find out more at write4retail.com
 

E-commerce offers a multitude of benefits that brick-and-mortar setups can’t capitalize on, but it also comes with its own set of challenges: namely, the struggle to stand out. These obstacles can make it difficult to attract customers and maximize their value, particularly for small businesses with limited budgets.

But by recognizing these challenges from the start, you’ll be better equipped to enhance your user experience, build customer relationships, and capitalize on customer potential.

Challenge 1: High Competition

Only so many brick-and-mortar retailers fit on a city block — but online, the possibilities are endless. You can find an online specialty store for anything from bowties to dog food, and competition is fierce. Competing brands aggressively seek out each other’s target market through social media, advertising, SEO, SEM, and more. This makes it harder to reel the customer in and keep his or her attention.
 

About the Author

Kevin TigheKevin Tighe II is the co-founder and CEO of LA-based startup WeBRAND, an e-commerce platform that allows influencers and brands to team up with their fans and talented designers to create and sell limited-edition apparel and merchandise. Connect with Kevin on Twitter and Google+.

Many people place a negative spin on the notion of accountability. For them it’s something that only comes up when something goes wrong or expected results just don’t happen. But accountability is really much broader than that and encompasses the good as well as the bad. For example, people are also accountable for successes.

AccountabilityAccountability is essential to a successful business. Someone must be responsible or “answerable” for everything that happens, in one way or another. If nobody’s responsible, then nothing really gets done, problems can’t be fixed and innovation can certainly never happen.

About the Author

Daniel Kehrer, Founder & Managing Director of BizBest Media Corp., is a nationally-known, award-winning expert on small and local business, start-ups, content marketing, entrepreneurship and social media, with an MBA from UCLA/Anderson. Read more of Daniel's tips at www.BizBest.com, follow him at www.twitter.com/140Main and connect on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/danielkehrer.

Pinpointing ways to save money for your business is a good thing. It helps you instill a lean operating mentality and creates discipline to put every dollar to work in the most efficient manner. 

Anyone who’s ever bootstrapped a business knows all about the art of doing more with less. Stretching budgets can be a survival skill that keeps you always looking for ways to save a buck.

About the Author

Daniel Kehrer, Founder & Managing Director of BizBest Media Corp., is a nationally-known, award-winning expert on small and local business, start-ups, content marketing, entrepreneurship and social media, with an MBA from UCLA/Anderson. Read more of Daniel's tips at www.BizBest.com, follow him at www.twitter.com/140Main and connect on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/danielkehrer.

Connections. Everyone in business knows they’re important – even vital to success. And everybody has connections of one kind of another. The key is to put those connections to work in ways and places that really count.

One thing that sets the most successful small businesses and startups apart from all the others is their ability to connect. If you can build strong relationships and connect with clients and customers, your business will almost certainly grow.

About the Author

Daniel Kehrer, Founder & Managing Director of BizBest Media Corp., is a nationally-known, award-winning expert on small and local business, start-ups, content marketing, entrepreneurship and social media, with an MBA from UCLA/Anderson. Read more of Daniel's tips at www.BizBest.com, follow him at www.twitter.com/140Main and connect on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/danielkehrer.

While all charities are nonprofits, not all nonprofits are charities. 

While all charities are nonprofits, not all nonprofits are charities. Here, you’ll find the primary differences between the two:

About the Author

Drake Forester, Chief Legal Strategiest - Northwest Registered AgentDrake Forester is the chief legal strategist at Northwest Registered Agent, LLC. Throughout his career, Drake has researched many complicated nonprofit compliance issues and provided whitepaper and publications for many leading nonprofit organizations in the United States.

Do you want to start a business in order to help your community at large and benefit society in some way? If these are your goals, it is wise to consider a nonprofit business entity. Before starting a nonprofit, it is important that you have the right frame of mind to operate one. A nonprofit requires a lot of time, energy, vision, and talent, and a strong desire to reach the nonprofit’s goals. 

Forming your company as a nonprofit corporation has a number of benefits if your end goal is to benefit a group or the public at large:

Tax benefits

: Many nonprofits are able to apply for 501c3 tax-exempt status, which exempts them from federal corporate tax. Once 501c status is obtained, then generally there are also state tax exemptions, such as state income tax and franchise tax, which nonprofit corporations may be exempt from paying as well.

About the Author

Drake Forester, Chief Legal Strategiest - Northwest Registered AgentDrake Forester is the chief legal strategist at Northwest Registered Agent, LLC. Throughout his career, Drake has researched many complicated nonprofit compliance issues and provided whitepaper and publications for many leading nonprofit organizations in the United States. 
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