starting
unique-selling-proposition-e1418250350839

How to Create a Unique Value Proposition

by Lisa Furgison

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or thinking about joining the ranks, one question you’ll have to answer is: What sets your business apart? The answer to that question usually leads entrepreneurs to define their unique value proposition, also called unique selling proposition, or USP. To help entrepreneurs create a value proposition, we’ve written this handy guide to walk you... Read more »

managing
twittercard

The Complete Guide to Using Twitter Lead Generation Cards to Find New Customers

by Lisa Furgison

Small businesses thrive on fresh leads. If you’re not constantly working to grow your customer base, your business will start to decline. Savvy entrepreneurs use a variety of lead-generating ideas to keep new prospects coming in. One of those tools should be Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards. This online advertising tools can generate a list of... Read more »

managing
Leadershipandinfluence

Influence and Leadership: How Sales Can Make You a Better Leader

by Jeffrey Charles

Being an entrepreneur is a pursuit that can have tremendous rewards for those with the gumption to pursue it. Starting and growing your own enterprise requires patience, tenacity, and creativity. When you transition from working for others to building your own business, there are new challenges that you will face. One of these is learning... Read more »

starting
webhosting

A Brief Guide to Choosing a Hosting Solution for Your Business Website

by Sarah Green

Having a stable website has long become an imperative for almost any organization, company, or one-person business that aims to expand its online authority and reach connected consumers. As digital marketing strategies become commonplace in businesses of all sizes, the demand for reliable web hosting services increases and the choice of a web host becomes... Read more »

managing
They think it's great, though.

Help! My Parents Are the Only Ones Reading My Business Blog

by Lisa Furgison

Finding affordable ways to market your new business is tough, but if you’ve done some research, “a blog” has probably come up as a possible tool. Statistics show that blogs are powerful to consumers. According to online marketing business LocalVox, small businesses that blog generate 126% more leads than businesses without a blog. That’s a pretty impressive... Read more »

managing
offlinead

9 Tips for Making Your Offline Advertisements Super Effective

by Scott Gerber

Sure, customers may click on ads when they’re all over their browser windows, but in the age of digital, how can you make sure that your offline campaigns are gaining as much traction? To find out, we asked nine entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what strategies have worked best. 1. Include a call to action... Read more »

funding
pitchdeck

Our Favorite Tools to Create Your Pitch

by Spencer Grover

Your pitch deck is probably the most important piece of sales collateral that you’ll make for your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling pizza slices or the blueprints to a nuclear reactor—you’re always going to need to explain your big idea to investors or clients. And what is your primary tool to elucidate that... Read more »

starting
Do you have an early stage stage startup? Your business might need a safe place to come out it's shell.

Q&A with Business Incubator Co-founder Joe Maruschak

by Angelique O'Rourke

A business in its early stages can often use a leg up, whether in the form of wise words from a mentor or an introduction to a strategic partner. When you’re first starting out, you may not know who to connect with, or indeed how to do it. This is where incubators come in. Incubators... Read more »

funding
30angelinvestorquestions

30 Questions Angel Investors Will Ask You

by Tim Berry

When you pitch a startup to angel investors, you want to get questions. If you don’t get questions then your pitch fell flat and nobody is interested. So plan on answering questions—and hope you have some to answer! Embrace interruptions Most of the business plan competitions I judge ask the judges to listen quietly for... Read more »

managing
Z

Expert Robbie Kellman Baxter Reveals How to Generate Recurring Revenue and Grow Your Business (+ GIVEAWAY)

by Angelique O'Rourke

Growing a company, generating recurring revenue, and creating loyal customers is no mean feat, regardless of your budget, or the number of employees at your disposal. Robbie Kellman Baxter, author of “The Membership Economy,” has discovered one way to do this, and that’s by becoming a “membership company.” For most people, the word “membership” implies involvement... Read more »

managing
businessmistakes

The 8 Most Common Small Business Accounting Mistakes

by Ivan Lavelle

Thanks to the huge range of accounting applications available for today’s small and medium-sized businesses, it’s easier than ever to keep an accurate record of where your business’s money is going. While accounting software has made bookkeeping and accounting easier for small businesses, it’s also made errors and accounting mistakes—from incorrectly categorizing a transaction to... Read more »

funding
bankloan

10 Things the Bank Will Ask When You Need a Business Loan

by Tim Berry

That bank loan you want for your company? Well, the bank is going to want a lot before they give it to you. Do you find this daunting? Me too. I was really disappointed when I needed my company’s first commercial bank loan to finance receivables of more than $1 million—from well-known distributors no less—and we... Read more »

managing
marketingmistakes

5 Marketing Mistakes I Made as a New Entrepreneur

by Lisa Furgison

After years of working for micromanaging bosses, working ten-hour days, and feeling completely drained at the end of a workweek, my husband and I decided to call it quits. We left our jobs in the media world and started our own business, McEwen’s Media. Our business is an extension of the work we did for the... Read more »

funding
masteringpitch

Master Your Pitch and Find Funding Success

by Daniel Faris

As far as pitching an idea goes, business solutions very rarely sell themselves. If you’ve ever had to stand up in front of people with the power to decide the future of your enterprise, you’ll know how daunting it can be. The following article is divided into two sections. First, I’ll address a few of... Read more »

planning
IMG_2080

BloomNation: An Unconventional Startup Story

by Briana Morgaine

It’s like the plot of a Hollywood movie: Three best friends, with no prior business experience, decide to band together and form a startup business. They hope to create an innovative platform that will shake up the floral industry, and help both customers and florists alike. But, of course, they need funding—and wouldn’t you know... Read more »

managing
greenbrand

Building an Environmentally Friendly Brand: The Pitfalls to Avoid

by Tom Young

Several years ago the global PR firm Edelmen published a study which suggested that 73% of consumers would choose to buy from a different brand of equal quality if that brand supported a good cause. From a business perspective, there are few better causes than “being green.” As well as potentially benefiting from tax breaks... Read more »

funding
5

Is Bad Body Language Ruining Your Pitch? Here’s How to Fix It

by Briana Morgaine

During my sophomore year of college, I took a speech class called Intro to Public Speaking. Our final project was a 10 minute speech on a topic of our choosing. We were allowed note cards, visuals—anything that would help us give an engaging presentation. Sounds easy enough, right? I thought so, until I saw some... Read more »

starting
34ac9fa

The Candy Queen Store: A Story of Struggle and Perseverance for Entrepreneurs

by Anton Fraga

Have you ever noticed that children have a universal desire to play dress up? Kids love to be creative with their sense of fashion: they cover themselves in stickers, wear tutus with rain boots, adorn their heads with flowers and princess crowns. Mel Buchanan, owner of the Candy Queen Store, took notice. With drive and... Read more »

funding
Pitching

Business Pitch, Elevator Pitch, and the LivePlan Pitch: What’s the Difference?

by Tim Berry

What’s a business pitch? Clearly that depends on who you ask and what they’re thinking about when you ask. It might be a slide deck, or a 20-minute presentation livened by a slide deck, or a short talk, or even a strategy summary. Either way, it’s confusing and I’d like to help clear it up. Here’s... Read more »

funding
angelinvestor

11 Angel Investor Blogs You Should Be Reading

by Noah Parsons

In the business world, angel investors are sometimes equated with actual angels, sent to help us fund what could not otherwise be funded. These guardian angels of innovation are responsible for bringing many new ideas to life. The thing is, many of us—most notably those seeking investment—don’t know a lot about what angel investors are... Read more »