A three-step approach to launching a side business

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In an era where millions of people contemplate either quitting their jobs or switching careers at a record pace, online searches for “side hustle” and “passive income” are growing exponentially. 

If you’re one of the millions wondering if a career move is right for you and weighing the benefits and risks of starting your own online business, it can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, a large percentage of online companies fail after just one year, an even larger percentage struggle to ever return to their “day job” salary figures. 

So what’s the secret to making it work? Consistency, hard work, planning, and the right digital tools are at the core of every successful entrepreneur’s journey. One of the biggest mistakes aspiring business owners make is starting with a product they want to sell without knowing if there is a market for that particular product. 

Those who take this simple, three-step approach will find greater success in the long run.

Solve a problem first

Before launching your genius product into the world and your target market, it’s essential to take a step back and determine the problem your product solves. For example, if you’re manufacturing an analog planner for business owners, you probably have first-hand experience and knowledge that the product was helpful for you. 

However, you must find out if your analog product solves a problem for others, too. To do this research, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Why did I need to start using an analog planner? 
  • What was I unhappy about when using a digital planner? 
  • What is it about my particular niche that makes this analog planner necessary?

Once you begin to dig deeper beyond the product features and uncover the why behind it, you’ll better understand who needs the product and how to craft a sales message that resonates with them. 

Validate and test

Even for those who have a deep understanding of their product’s use and benefits, some mistakenly go right to production and live sales. Unfortunately, this misstep can result in a large, unsold inventory and failed dream. 

Instead, take the time to validate your offer and test it first. Then, if possible, create a digital version of your product and offer a beta-test sale to your email list. Explain the benefits, provide a generous promotional price for the digital version, and measure your conversion rates.

For those who opt not to buy, ask meaningful follow-up questions about their decision so you can use the responses to understand the market and buying decisions better. Then, you can refine the product or message and try again. 

Start small if you can

Once you’ve done the research, validated and tested your idea with a real market, and secured some initial sales, start with a small run of products if you can. 

Finding an online platform like Podia to sell your digital products reduces your overhead expenses and gives you plenty of flexibility to create attractive and compelling sales pages. 

Once you’re established and have some social proof in hand, you can move to a bigger platform like Amazon. Explore using professional services to help you improve your listings and boost sales (find more info about Amazon Consulting and Managed Services here).

There’s never been a better time to explore new career opportunities and evaluate how you’d like to spend the rest of your working years. Then, when you find something that combines your passion with your expertise, embrace the journey and make it happen.

How to Be the Best Employee You Can Be

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Being a good employee is more than just showing up to work on time, doing your job, and going home. There are many things you can do in order to increase your chances of getting promotions, raises, and other rewards from management. This blog post will discuss the qualities that make someone an outstanding employee, and what you can do from your side to stand out from the crowd and be seen!

Go above and beyond what is expected of you

A good employee makes it a point to go above and beyond what is expected of them. When you feel like something should be done in order to do well at your job, then you should make sure that said task is completed properly. If the manager doesn’t tell you about an important client meeting, don’t assume they know – let them know!

Be a team player

Teamwork is an essential aspect of the modern office. Gone are the days when employees sat in cubicles and worked alone all day long – today’s workers need to work together as a team, often with co-workers that they did not hire or manage. By being a good team player, you increase your chances of getting promoted and receiving recognition from management for great teamwork!

Develop your skills

Employees are expected to be lifelong learners in the modern office. If you want to get ahead, it is vital that you make sure your resume shows off all of the skills and knowledge that you have acquired over time. You should also spend some free time each day learning something new – enrolling in a class or workshop on an aspect of business will help with job security!

By developing your skills, you’ll also be someone who can take on an immense workload because you have the capacity to do so. In addition, businesses find value in an employee who makes an effort to better themselves as well as their skillset – this means that the work they’ll be producing will also be of a higher caliber, and businesses love that!

Take on more responsibility

Businesses love it when employees take on more responsibility – the best way to do this is by asking! If you see a task that needs doing and knows you can handle it, don’t be afraid to ask your manager if they would like for you to complete it. This shows management that you are willing and able to work hard and make sure nothing falls through the cracks in their office.

If there’s one thing managers love, it’s workers who show initiative and proactivity towards tasks rather than just waiting around until something comes up before them. It doesn’t matter what mistakes you’ve made up until now. Whether it be a criminal record or a mistake that cost the company a substantial amount of money, all you can do is dust yourself off, Remove mugshots, and learn from your mistakes!

By taking these four things into account when looking at how to be the best employee you can be, your chances of getting ahead and moving up in the company will increase exponentially. Not only that but with these tips, you’ll find yourself happier at work as well!

Letting Go of Your Career Stresses: Ways To Relax and Re-Energize

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Is it time to relax, recharge and enjoy the success you have worked so hard for? Maybe it is time to take a break from your career. Career pressure can be one of the most stressful things in life. The demands on your time are relentless. You work harder than ever before just to stay competitive in an increasingly challenging business world. It’s no wonder that this type of stress has become the number one health concern. So if you want to take a break from your work and re-energize, you’re in the right place.

Try Focusing on Rejuvenating Activities 

Take a break at work and spend time with your family. It’s essential to unplug now and then. Schedule some time for yourself, even if it just means taking an hour out of the day to relax by reading or listening to music. 

You could participate in strenuous activities like riding bikes, an excellent way to channel your stress and frustrations. If this sounds interesting, you can plan by scouting dirt bikes for sale before planning your riding trip.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical well-being, so it’s essential to take care of both. Go outside for a walk after work, go on vacation if you can afford the time, or even spend an hour in nature each day. Detach yourself from stressors and try focusing on rejuvenating activities.

Plan For an Out of Town Trip

Find a friend or family member that you enjoy spending time with and ask them to plan a trip for the two of you. It could be anything from day trips to longer weekend getaways, but this person must know your interests so they can tailor the experience.

An out-of-town trip is crucial in improving your well-being despite your busy schedule and work stresses.

Take Time To Meditate and Re-Strategize

Taking time to meditate and re-strategize is one of the best ways you can let go of your career stresses. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a few minutes; taking some quiet time away from work pressures will help you relax and unwind before returning to work. 

It also allows your mind to clear so that when you return to work, you have more clarity and the ability to reach the right solution faster.

Appreciate Nature

Appreciating nature is one of the best ways to relieve your mind and body. Whether you are on vacation or traveling for work, stop every once in a while to take some deep breaths while indulging in nature like trees, bushes, flowers, and rivers. It will help clear your head and make it easier to continue with the day with ease.

Conclusion

The best way to relax and re-energize is different for everyone. An excellent place to start might be looking at what you enjoy doing outside of work or how you like spending your free time. It could also mean taking some time off from work with no plans whatsoever – it’s essential so you can have some time to yourself. If that’s not possible, then try taking a hot bath or reading a book – anything that helps you unwind and relieves stress is going to be beneficial for your health in the long run.

These Things Could Jeopardize Your Career

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Cultivating your career is one of the things you can spend a huge part of your adult life doing. Not everyone is super career-focused, but you might still want to try and increase your earnings or just make sure you don’t get bored at work. If you want to climb the career ladder, or simply ensure you can keep your job, it’s important to know what could affect you negatively. Some things could put your career in danger if you’re not careful. If you want to protect your career and ensure you can go after your goals, be aware of the following things.

Bad Behavior on Social Media

As social media has rapidly grown, not everyone has kept up with the importance it can play in your career. While you might see your social media as part of your personal life, employers are often concerned with how you’re using it. They care about how you present yourself publicly, especially if you make it clear who your employer is. It’s important to be careful with what you do and say on social media. Try to keep your activity as private as possible and keep in mind that you could make yourself look bad if you’re not careful.

Criminal Record

Getting in trouble with the law can be an issue for your career. Being convicted of some crimes can prevent you from doing some jobs altogether. Others could make employers wary of hiring you. So it’s best to stay on your best behavior if you want to protect your career. However, no one should have their past crimes follow them forever. If mistakes from the past are still following you, reputation management experts could change things for you. They can make positive material online more visible and help to make any less desirable records less visible. You might want to be honest about your past, but it’s not always relevant when you want to grow your career.

Getting a Bad Reputation at Work

Being well-liked at work is something most people want, although the reality is that it’s unlikely that everyone will like you. However, even if you’re not friends with everyone, you don’t want to end up with a bad reputation. If you don’t make an effort to do your job well, you could gain a poor reputation that can even follow you from one job to the next. There’s a lot you have to be careful about at work, from how you associate with colleagues to how hard you work.

Not Having Ambition

Not everyone is extremely ambitious in their career. You might be very happy doing your current job, with no wish to pursue any promotions or move through the ranks. But showing a lack of ambition at work could be damaging for some people’s careers. You don’t necessarily have to want a promotion to show drive. You could demonstrate enthusiasm by getting involved in new projects or learning something new.

Protect your career by avoiding any behavior that could get you into trouble. It’s important to be aware of your image.

Effective Ways to Proactively Level Up Your Online Reputation

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When you are running a business, it is essential to pay attention to your online reputation. It’s one of the most important things you can do if you want to stay in business for long. 

It would help if you were proactive about protecting and improving your reputation when you see negative reviews or articles coming up. It takes work and careful planning, but this guide will help provide the information that you need to level up!

Get Rid of Bad Content

It may seem like a lot of work, but it is essential for any business to regularly search through their online presence and remove content that reflects poorly on them. Whether negative reviews from customers or old photos you no longer want up, having destructive content tells people there are other problems with your company besides what they see in the positive posts. 

Luckily, social media has made this process easier as most platforms have an easy way to delete individual posts if needed. If not, it would be best to invest in a reputation defender, to remove, suppress and repair your online presence by ensuring the right information is visible. 

Continuously Monitor Your Online Presence

Monitoring your online presence is the first step to proactively managing your reputation. This means you will have an idea of what people are saying about you, and more importantly, how they say it. You want to make sure that any negative reviews or mentions come up as red flags for why you need a plan in place.

Not only should you be monitoring where customers mention your business – such as review sites like Yelp! – but also places where potential clients might research before reaching out, including Google Places, social media channels (Facebook page), and other search engines commonly used by new audiences who may not know much about your company yet

Create an Online Review Strategy

Your online review strategy should be more than a one-time project. You should have regularly updated and monitored reviews, with new testimonials added at the same pace as your business grows or changes. 

This way, you will always have fresh content to share on social media posts and other channels to remain current with what people are saying about you across the web. It’s also essential to make sure all of your questions include a rating scale. Hence, customers know how to rate their experience before submitting feedback. 

Work With Influencers Having a Good Reputation

One way to improve your online reputation is by collaborating with influencers with a good track record and credibility. The best thing about working with them is that it’s the easiest method of increasing visibility on social media: you can reach their audience quickly, which will be interested in reading what they share. 

Of course, you might not know any influencers personally or how to collaborate instead, but there are many platforms where people create profiles so that others may contact them. It’s essential to choose wisely, though, because if an individual doesn’t seem trustworthy enough, then this could damage your branding and thus ruin everything else you’ve done up until now!

In conclusion, it is essential to level up your online reputation proactively. The more you are proactive, the less likely it will be that something negative happens, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

4 Remote Working Challenges (and How to Overcome Them)

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Working remotely can be a fantastic way to build your career and enjoy a better work-life balance. When you don’t have to commute or relocate, you can incorporate your career into your dream lifestyle and make the most of your free time. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter challenges when working from home. To ensure your new working arrangement is a success, take a look at these four remote working challenges and find out how to overcome them:

1. Interruptions

If you’re working from home and other people are around, you might find that you’re regularly interrupted. Similarly, a knock at the door, regular deliveries or even pets can’t distract you from what you’re doing. 

Ideally, you’ll want to have a designated workspace that enables you to distance yourself from everyone when you’re working. In addition to this, make sure your family is aware that you can only be disturbed for genuine emergencies when you’re ‘at work’. While it can take time for everyone to adjust, it won’t take long until your work-from-home routine becomes the new normal. 

2. Loneliness

When you aren’t working with colleagues in a face-to-face environment, your professional life can become quite lonely. In fact, some people find remote working isolating and demotivating, which can affect their performance. To combat this, make sure your team engages in social activities on a regular basis. When you create a community website, host virtual events, and socialize online, you can ensure that all of your interactions aren’t work-based. This gives people the opportunity to get to know each other better and fosters stronger teams, which has both commercial and individual benefits.

3. Communication

Effective communication is a cornerstone of success, but remote working can be a barrier when it comes to actively hearing your colleagues and making your voice heard. While you may not have regular face-to-face interactions with your team, you can take steps to improve communication when you’re working from different locations. 

Making use of appropriate software is one simple way to enhance communication. With instant messaging and secure video calls, for example, you can liaise with team members in real-time. Similarly, document sharing platforms enable employees to work collaboratively and can improve communication, regardless of your location. 

4. Overwork

When you’re working from home, you’ll be surprised at how many hours you put in. In the long term, overwork can be damaging to your health and your productivity, so it’s important to address this from the get-go. 

By keeping regular hours, shutting off devices at the end of the working day, and only responding to communications during working hours, for example, you can ensure that overwork doesn’t become an issue when you’re working remotely. 

Building a Career Remotely

Remote working has many benefits for both businesses and employees, but it is important that you also acknowledge the various challenges it can bring. By doing so, you’ll have the opportunity to implement effective solutions that enable you to succeed professionally and enhance your job satisfaction.

Effective Ways to Advertise Your Products to a Niche Audience

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In a world of constant business competition, it is essential to understand how to advertise your products in the most effective way possible. When you are advertising, you want to make sure that you are targeting the right audience so that your ads reach potential customers interested in what you have to offer. 

This blog post will discuss how to advertise your products by focusing on a niche audience effectively.

Study Their Behavior

The best way to advertise your products to a niche audience is by studying their behaviors. This can be done through social media, forums, and blogs relevant or specific to the targeted niche. For example, if you’re targeting an audience of people who like camping gear, then find websites on popular outdoor activities such as hiking and mountaineering. 

Knowing their behavior will help you to advertise the products that would be of interest. They may have specific needs that you can fulfill. So, study their behavior, and provide what they need!

Personalize Your Ads

Personalized ads allow you to target specific groups of people. These audiences are more likely to be interested in your product and convert at a higher rate than an untargeted ad campaign. Targeting is one way that social media advertising can personalize the message, but it’s not limited just to that platform! 

You can also target ads with keywords, and demographics. You may also want to consider OTT digital advertising, a form of video content advertising that helps you engage with a unique audience. 

Knowing who you are targeting will help you create the perfect ad campaign tailored to their needs. For example, if they’re a millennial, then use hashtags related to popular social media apps like Snapchat or Facebook to show them how much fun it is to use your product. If they’re working moms, then show them how easy it is for the kids to play with your toy while she’s cooking dinner.

Use Influencers

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to advertise your products. Influencers have a large following, and they can reach out to their audience with ease, so you’re guaranteed that people will see what you want from them too. 

In addition, if you know influencers who align with your niche or industry, it can be easy to promote your product. For example, if you are a fashion brand, it would make sense to work with people with large followings on social media.

Influencers can be bloggers or Instagrammers and many other types, depending on your niche. You want someone that is an expert in the industry so they can effectively speak about your product. 

The best way to get in contact with influencers is through social media. You can use Instagram’s search bar and type in hashtags, or you could also look for people who are already posting that which aligns with what your company does. 

The different ways of reaching a niche audience are practical and can be used to promote products. Choosing the right approach for your advertisement is crucial to get people who want or need what you’re selling. The more targeted your product is, the better chance it has at success in a niche market.

How Software Solutions Create Silos (Good & Bad)

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If you run a business, you know that you need a software solution for your various operations. Many prominent business experts have debated the idea of one overarching software solution that fits all an enterprise’s needs, while others have argued this can never work and so, multiple solutions are inherently needed. This is complex when you get into the details, but we’re just going to explore the pros and cons, what they can lead to. Hopefully, this helps you as a small business owner, desire whether you need one or more software to manage your operations. Of course what hands in the balance is cost, reputation, functionality and smoothness of your services.

Software silos (when they work)

Software silos are needed. Hold on, don’t disagree just yet. Software silos are sometimes good because they help to keep things protected, secure and also, accessible. Look at modern cloud data storage for example. It’s inherently a silo, as the cloud-based service will harbor your software and data off-site, away from cybercriminals and also your business. So if power goes out in your area, your data will not be harmed. If you can use a smartphone using a phone network, you can still access and use your data by connecting to the cloud-based service. So, silos like this can be very useful. 

Modern software 

Let’s say for example, you are a healthcare business. You have incredible amounts of data about your clients and customers. You would prefer this data to be half in and half out of a silo. You want it protected but you also want it to be shared easily among your partners. You would want something like the NovoPath software solutions. You have the ability to store your lab data of blood samples, swabs and chemical tests, on the cloud. Yet the system is easily able to section data, tables, graphs and reports, to be ready to send via email or import into presentation software such as Excel. Your operational capability is made smoother and more efficient.

Software silos (bad)

Software silos can be very bad for an organization. For example, take a look at some silo examples of risk and project management. If a risk team that should be communicating how it is managing risks isn’t doing so, then all that is happening is the hoarding of risk information and controls, so they are separate from operations. Perhaps the best example of a bad software silo is project management. The project management office (PMO), should be communicating with employees in project teams, of the changes made to their roles and targets in a timely manner. This all comes down to the project management software being open to employees, the proper assignment of authorization, access and inclusion by the project manager him or herself.

Software solutions can create good and bad silos. It all depends on what area they are to service, and who should or should not have access to them. Can you spot any good or bad software silos in your business?

How to Make Wise Business Investments

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If you are a business owner, then you should be researching how best to invest your business profits. Wise investment decisions are a sure-fire way of your business succeeding in the long run. You should try and get to grips with the world of finance no matter what your business type as well as thinking about other forms of investments such as marketing, outsourcing, and assets. Knowing where best to place your profits is not something you will learn overnight. As you develop in the business world, the savvier you will become. And one thing is for sure, don’t let every setback destroy your confidence and stop you from making better choices further down the line.

Research What Works

Investing correctly takes a good deal of skill in many areas. First, you need to have the wherewithal to invest in the first place, then you need business savings, you need to know the market and how things work. Do not go into any kind of investment you do not understand. If you do this, you will eventually end up in trouble, in potentially more ways than one. So, get down to the library or surf the web and read up on investments and finances. Maybe you could sign up for an investment course. By meeting like-minded people, you can ask questions and possibly get connections with people in the know. Once you have a good idea of how things work, then you can get down the nuts and bolts of what you are actually going to do. Make your own sets of rules and invest in your own way. 

Don’t Fear what Others Fear

Being brave and making those seemingly risky decisions could make the difference between being a small business owner and owning a huge corporation. As they say, Fortune Favors the Bold, and it is true. However, with any investment, it needs to be done with a risk mitigation factor. Don’t just blindly go into a investment because the herd is too scared. Always check your options and understand the investment.

Think Overseas

With many emerging markets worldwide, there has never been a better time to start investing in the overseas market. Also, with the world opening up in terms of the internet and easier access to overseas banking, this is a real chance for anyone who has the fundsFor example, a ghana lawyer can help you capitalize on the fast-growing market of Ghana with its diverse economy. There are plenty of other opportunities, too if you are prepared to do a little research, then the world is literally your oyster. 

Long-Term Results

As a business owner, it makes sense to look at things in the long term as opposed to the daily fluctuation of your sales and the stock markets. Look at trends over the years and make decisions that way. Knowing the big picture is a great asset to your thinking in, and it can help you make projections onto the future, be that fice or ten years ahead.

6 Ways To Level Up Your LinkedIn Profile

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OK, so you have a LinkedIn profile, and its…OK. You don’t update it very often but it does the job. 

But having an out of date LinkedIn profile is worse than not even having one. It can mean great things for your networking and your career so take the time to take yours to the next level. 

Write a killer headline

Your headline is a key way to get people to notice you. Rather than letting LinkedIn set your default to your current position and job role, write your own

Join/leave groups

If you were one of those people who joined LinkedIn in a flurry of activity and joined every single semi-relevant group you could find, it’s time for a cull. 

Find your list of groups and leave those that are inactive, irrelevant or you haven’t participated in recently. 

Or if you haven’t joined any, find a few that are relevant to your industry and interests and devote some time to get involved in conversations. Don’t join too many at once, or you’ll never be able to keep up. If a group isn’t very active, or you aren’t getting anything from it, don’t be afraid to leave the group. 

Groups are a great way to network with others and alongside your digital business cards can get your name out there in your field. 

Update your current position

If you’ve not updated your profile in a while, your current description is more than likely out of date or even an old job. Rewrite your current responsibilities as it’s your current job that people will most likely look at first. 

If relevant, add examples of your work and multimedia pieces to your profile too. 

Create a customized URL 

By creating a customized URL that incorporates your name, you can make the link to your profile a lot more memorable and professional. If you have a common name, you may have to get a little more creative, but don’t be tempted to put nicknames or something that you might regret later. 

Reach out for recommendations

A good LinkedIn profile should include a few glowing recommendations from employers, colleagues and other people who can vouch for the quality of your work and professionalism. 

Potential recruiters and headhunters will also be able to see it. Many job sites are now allowing you to apply automatically with your LinkedIn profile, rather than having to submit a separate application. 

Use a good photo

The photo you use on LinkedIn should be of good quality. There is some debate about how professional it should be. Some people use standard corporate headshots, others use something a little more personal. Whichever you choose, ensure that it gives the impression of you that you would want other people to have. 

Try and stay away from selfies or photos where you’ve clearly cropped yourself from a larger group of people. 

Conclusion

A good LinkedIn profile can really open career doors for you. But rather than neglecting it for long periods of time, followed by a sudden flurry of activity when you start looking to move a job isn’t an effective use of the platform. It’s also a huge giveaway to your current employer that you’re looking to move.