A Short Small Business summary

Small Business

Small business is a term that we use day-to-day. That is because in the past decade the rise of small businesses has been higher than in earlier decades. This is could largely be attributed to the increasing number of services and opportunities that are available to small business owners, to enable them to start and keep their business running.

Small business guidelines

There really isn’t any guidelines for when the term small business is used, however it is often defined as a business which has a small number of employees and/or the nature of the business. How few employees is debatable, and the definition of when a business changes from a small business to a larger corporation varies by country and industry. This number is however generally less than 100 employees.

Types of businesses that are small businesses

Small businesses due to their nature, are in most cases sole proprietorship, partnerships, or privately owned corporations. In many countries, small businesses, are most often related to: accountants/book keepers, restaurants, consultancy services, guest houses, photographers, small shops, hairdressers, tradesmen, solicitors, lawyers, small-scale manufacturing, customised jewellery etc.

Mode of operation

Small businesses in some cases are located in private homes, for two main reasons. The first is because it is economical and in most cases convenient. The second reason is that there are several tax benefits with having your business in your home.

In a nutshell

Running a small business is an exciting venture, and a great way to introduce yourself into the business world, and to gain business sense and creating economic livelihood. If you are interested in starting your own small business, find out more about your industry and your business market potential. I would also recommend getting some advice from an accountant or lawyer specific to your industry and local area.

Good luck with your new venture!

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10 Ways to Build and Improve Your Online Presence

Create an online presence

Things can sometimes change rapidly online, however to grow your business, you must keep abreast of the changes and continue to grow and learn. Here are 10 ways to improve your online presence.

1. Responsive website – create a responsive website, one which grabs the attention of the user. Images and videos are often very effective at doing this so use them when necessary to tell your story.

2. Branding and Identity – create a brand. You need a logo that is unique to you, one that will readily identify you and your product/service. Create a strap-line also, it is another way of making your band distinctive, like Nike’s “Just do it!”

3. Social Media — create social media accounts and create links to them from your website and vice-versa. Your social media links should be easily seen on the first page of your website. Many of us spend more time on social media than we care to acknowledge, and people might not readily come back to your website, if a link has not been established with one or more of your social media accounts – where they could follow, like, subcribe and keep abreast of your updates. Use social media and other online marketing avenues to build brand identity and consumer confidence. Post to your social media account often; everyday, if possible.

4. Blog – add a blog to your site. A blog will provide a means to post stories and updates.

5. About page – your ‘about’ page should not only say what you offer, but should say something about your team, what makes you stand above the competition and why people should buy your goods or services.

6. Call to action – a call to action should be placed on your site. It helps you quickly engage visitors, whether it is to take advantage of an offer or sign up for newsletter.

7. Content – Content is King. Your website content should be well presented. Your average user should be able to relate to the content and understand what you are trying to present. It should be nicely laid out with enough white spaces to make the content easy to read. Not only should attention be placed on the aesthetics, but practicality as well –  use readable, web-friendly fonts of reasonable sizes for headings and paragraphs.  Also, position videos and images for maximum user experience (UX).

8. Menus –  the position could vary based on the overall design of the site. However, visitors should not have to search for a way to navigate your website.

9. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – wherever possible use SEO techniques to improve website ranking. Use relevant keywords in titles and articles. Create categories and tags that relate to your content.

10. Link building – create backlinks, add your website to high PR directories, make comments on other blogs – especially those that offer complementary goods or services to yours. Approach others who are willing to link exchange.  You will probably get offers every now and again – check them out. Make sure when you link, you do so with websites with a good online reputation and also if your site is say a PR0 (which it likely will be in beginning), try to link sites that are PR2 or above.

More could be added to the list, but start with these very important ones. You should definitely start seeing results. It is important to also say – be consistent, work at it. If you do it once in a while you won’t reap the potential benefits.

Have fun building your business!

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Entrepreneur or Self-Employed

Entrepreneur or Self-employed

Often we hear the terms entrepreneur and self-employed used interchangeably, but they do not necessarily mean the same thing. So who is an entrepreneur and who is a self-employed?

Merriam-Webster defines the Entrepreneur as one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. They define a Self-employed as one earning income directly from one’s own business, trade, or profession rather than for a specified salary or wages from an employer .

self-employed-or-entrpreneur-who-are-you

While they both will operate a business, the self-employed will create a job for her/himself. They usually work long hours and sometimes do everything, as in some instances they might not have anyone else to assist them. The entrepreneur on the other hand is the inventor and visionary behind the business, but not necessarily involved in day to day tasks. They are more interested in creating new businesses and ideas.

Here are three points to take note of when deciding whether someone is self-employed or an entrepreneur:

Entrepreneur
  • visionary/creator of new businesses and ideas
  • grand architect, directing overall business, hire others to carry out vision
  • take financial risk above usual to bring an idea into reality
Self-employed
  • creating a job for her/himself
  • success is largely dependent on his own skills/abilities
  • usually integrally involved in the day to  day tasks