So, You Want to Be Your Own Boss? Take These Steps to Succeed

It’s 2018, and the climate is perfect for entrepreneurs of all sorts, hence the growing number of people who are starting their own businesses, and successfully so. From stay-at-home parents, students, digital wizards, all the way to fully-developed remote companies, there’s a whole range of profitable careers you can tap into directly from your sofa.

And what makes it even more appealing is the fact that nothing prevents you from growing your business globally. However, as dreamy and perfect as all of this sounds, there are several key steps you need to take in order to make your way through the crowd of home-grown businesses.

Do what you love

And what you are brilliant at, since being average in this day and age will not get you too far, especially if you have to cover your own business expenses for the time being. The same goes for a business started out of passion, but without a clear idea of whether or not your product or services are actually needed, so you need to consider if there is a gap in the market for what you are offering.

Spend some time (but not forever) thinking about and brainstorming on everything you could see yourself doing for hours on end, with enthusiasm and vigor, and assess whether or not you are actually good at it enough to make your business attractive and stand out in the market. Love is where it starts, but skill and need are also essential.

Create a business plan

Now that you have established your ideal profession and analyzed the market to learn that it’s actually needed, you need to put it all in perspective. A business plan should include every single branding, marketing, communication, production, advertising strategy for the next year (or more), along with measurable metrics, milestones to track your progress and alternative routes for added flexibility.

A detailed business plan still makes room for adjustments on the go, because you can never fully anticipate market fluctuations or prevent slumps in your marketing campaign performance. You need contingency plans that will help you run your business even when things are slow or you come across an unexpected obstacle.

License and registration, please

Of course, before you start working on developing your business for the customer, you need to cover the legal bases that will make your company a recognizable legal entity in your country (or the entire world). From obtaining a federal tax number, completing company registration forms for your business, getting the needed licenses and certifications, to deciding on bookkeeping systems, it can take some time to make your company come to life from a legal perspective.

It’s unwise to do both the legal and the creative aspect simultaneously, since you might find yourself overwhelmed with work, and the complexity of each task may vary from one profession to another. Getting to know your country’s laws and regulations is a must for a business that wants to have a long and prosperous life.

Learn about your target customers

Who is your product or service intended for? How do you envision your ideal customer? Where can you find them, where do they spend their time? What sort of communication channels do they prefer and what language can they relate to? What’s their average age, most common occupations and anything else that makes them who they are?

Understanding your future clients means that you have shifted your view from your product itself to the person for whom you are creating the brand. This information and analysis of it may lead to adapting your product or its presentation to make it more appealing, or completely rethinking your brand identity to have a better chance at establishing trust and offering value to your customers.

Keep learning

Even if you are starting your business with a decade of experience in the field, it’s crucial that you stay open-minded to new ideas, concepts and discoveries emerging every day. As you develop your company, you will need to keep up with the trends in your profession, so that you can stay in the forefront and offer more quality than your competitors.

Do your best to take online seminars, attend networking events, take up additional courses and education whenever possible. These added skills and certificates will only add more value to your brand and give you more skills with which you can keep your company strong.

Control your environment

A seemingly insignificant factor that has brought many a home business to its knees is the mere atmosphere of where you do your work. Just like you put so much time into defining your talents and your business, you should adapt your home to have a designated work area.

It doesn’t have to be an entire room, as long as you know how to steer clear of distractions such as your TV, private social media profiles and other irrelevant notifications. Create a work area that will inspire you to work, create and devote yourself to your work, and be mindful of the time you spend growing your business – although it may be a pivotal segment of your life, don’t let it consume all of your time. Make sure you stay healthy, lead a social life and expand your horizons, because you never know from where your next favorite project may come!


Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. Alex is a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog



7 Ways To Make Your Site More Exciting

If you’ve recently started to look at your website and think that it just seems so boring, then it may be time for a change. On the one hand, this may be because you’ve just gotten used to it. So you’re more bored with it than anything else. But, it may also be because the website itself is actually boring. And when that’s the case, you may have to worry. Because if you’re finding it boring, the what are your customers thinking? Either way, you don’t have to just leave your website as it is now – you can really change things around and make it so much more exciting.

Sometimes, you just have to get yourself into a position where you’re bored with your website to then be able to change it. Because you’re not always going to be able to see what’s wrong when you’re not looking at the same old things. But, even when you know that something isn’t quite right, you don’t always know what will make it better. And that’s where this post comes in. Even if you quite like your site as it is now, you may take something away from this that can take it to the next level. Because we’re going to walk through seven different ways that you can make your website more exciting.

Do A Complete Redesign

Of course, the very first option you’re always going to have is to do a complete redesign of your site. Because when you think that the site is boring, or it’s just not really giving you the results that you want, you need to shake things up. A great way to do this is to make sure that you’re taking your analytics and really honing in on the elements that need improving. When you do, you should find that the end result not only looks great, but it much more suitable to what your customers want functionality wise too.

Change Your Branding

Sometimes, you’re not going to have to go to such drastic measures to make your site more exciting. If you love the layout and the functionality is perfect, maybe it’s just the branding that needs to be changed. From your logo to the fonts and colors used, sometimes you just need to shake up the visuals you have to make them more suited to your brand identity.

Start A Blog

From here, you’re then going to want to think about starting a blog on site too. If you have a blog already, then maybe you need to refresh your content or start a new series – both can be incredibly influential to your customers and viewers. This should also become a huge part of your marketing too. It can be a lot of extra work, but if you put the effort it, it will pay off.


Launch An App

How are you doing on the mobile front? If you’re not optimized for mobile at all, then this should be your first change. Even if you don’t know an awful lot about it, you can work with the software companies that do. By launching an app, you’re going to be adding a new dimension to your offering and even be able to target a new segment of customers too.

Use Video

Next up, you should give video some thought too. A lot of customers prefer video to imagery or written content. It can often get information across in a much more engaging way. So definitely think about what you can do with YouTube or onsite content going forward.

Create A Members Area

If your feel like your site is just the same, and that it’s not really offering anything exciting to your customers, you’re going to want to up your game with a member’s area. Not only is this exciting for your customers, it gives off an air of exclusivity. It’s somewhere that you can engage your customers more, and interact with them more – which has a huge benefit to both parties.

Focus On Interaction

Finally, you’re also going to want to make sure that you’re interacting with your customers as well as possible too. And you can definitely use your website to do that. With a great live chat offering, you can often add to the customer experience and make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your customers happy, and even improve your conversion rate too. It’s a great way to not only get feedback, but stop customers from dropping off through the sales funnel too.

Turn Your Online Business Into A Fortress

The internet has made it possible for so many people to build businesses from their own home; it saves them on paying rent for a premises, it makes it cheaper for them to advertise their products and services, and it gives them a wider customer base to buy their products. Unfortunately, no one really considers that online businesses have a few vulnerabilities that aren’t usually seen in physical stores. Whether you’re conducting your business part-time, or you depend on it as your sole source of income, here are a few vulnerabilities that could affect your business, and how you can protect it like a fortress.


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Cyber safety

Since 2016, there has been an increase in reports of online businesses being targeted and held to ransom by cyber-criminals. Experts are warning that small businesses are fast becoming their favorite target because most of them are woefully unprepared for hacks to their online domain. Don’t make your business a weak target for cyber-criminals – this is your livelihood, so protect it like a fortress. Invest in antivirus and encryption software that automatically updates to patch vulnerable spots in your security, blocks spam, and detects spyware. Companies that sell this type of software include McAfee, Norton, AVG and Avira. Cyber criminals also look for exploits in WordPress and popular plugins, so it’s vital you keep them up to date if you’re using this to host your website.

Get insurance

Depending on the kind of service you offer, you might want to consider professional indemnity insurance; this will protect you if a client accuses you of providing  inadequate advice, services or designs that resulted in a financial loss. You can get professional indemnity insurance to cover both defence costs and any liability found owing in the event of a claim up to the limit of indemnity. There are different kinds of insurance for different services, so make sure you do your research to ensure you’re properly covered.


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Secure payments

If you’re selling something online, enabling mobile payments such as PayPal can increase your sales by allowing more impulsive purchases. You’ll also receive prompt payments rather than dealing with a billing or invoicing system. A good merchant service provider can sort you out with an online payment system for your eCommerce store. But more importantly, they can help you set up secure payments. The minute your customers enter their card details into your system, they are vulnerable to cyber attacks. You need excellent encryption software and top of the line credit card security to keep these details safe from cyber thieves. No one will use your store again if they’re worried about their details being stolen.


The best kind of protection you can provide for your business is building up a solid reputation. Establish yourself as a reliable salesperson, a provider of good quality products, and someone who responds well to customer feedback. Customers are usually very trusting of online businesses, but once they hear of any hacking incidents or lawsuits, they are less likely to return.

10 Non-Verbal Gestures and Movements That Can Make or Break a Sale

There’s the old saying that first impressions are everything. But have you ever thought that what you don’t say to people is as important as what you do say? Verbal gestures can convey a number of different things—some good, some bad—that become important to relationships with new or returning clients.

The handshake, of course, is something that might come to mind for many people. Firm, but not too firm, direct, and with an eye gaze—all help to convey confidence and positivity. In fact, most of the little gestures that matter are so small that they become a problem when they’re missing: When they’re performed as we expect, we don’t even notice they’re there. That includes slouching or even directing your gaze away from the person that’s talking or that’s your prospect. All convey disinterest and lack of respect.

Need a refresher course on non-verbals? Use this graphic.

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10 Non-Verbal Gestures and Movements That Can Make or Break a Sale Header

Stop Cutting Costs! Increase Your Income Instead

When profit margins are slim, most businesses decide the best course of action is to cut costs. They limit their expenditure, trim their budget, and try to spend less and less. However, this isn’t always the best option. Instead, you should focus on increasing your income instead. How can you do this? Just look at these three ideas for inspiration:



Make As Much Money From Advertising As Possible

Advertising revenue is one of the best secondary sources of income for business. It helps keep your income ticking over, and can present huge profits come to the end of the year. The key is ensuring you make as much money from adverts as possible. How? By monetizing as much as you can. Get ads on your website, ads on your mobile app, you should even have a separate blog site and get ads on that too! One brilliant idea is to start a YouTube channel and monetize it. You can earn some serious revenue through YouTube, and it will dramatically increase your income. Plus, there’s the added benefit of helping reel in new customers and broaden your appeal with a YouTube channel too. The bottom line is that you must take advantage of ad revenue and use it to boost your income in any way possible.

Sell Gift Cards

Gift cards are a brilliant way you can boost your income without having to come up with a crazy new product idea. With a gift card, someone can spend money and get a car that they can only use with your business. Most people buy these for friends and family as a present on birthday or Christmas. They’re convenient, and benefit you in that you have one extra thing to sell and gain money from. It’s easy to get gift cards printing done and have some cards that look great and follow your business design ethos. Also, gift cards are brilliant for bringing new customers to your store too. A loyal customer might buy their friend a gift card, meaning they have to buy things to spend the money, a real win-win for you.



Start Selling ‘Add-Ons.’

A great way to boost your income is by selling add-ons along with your main products. What this refers to are any additional things that can be sold to go with your main products. For example, phone companies sell smartphones, then they have loads of accessories like cases, headphones, chargers, etc. Look at your product and figure out what things you can sell to compliment them and provide something more for the customer. That’s the key with these items, they need to enhance someone’s purchase. A customer needs to feel like their main purchase is made better by getting an add-on as well. The good thing is, these items are usually much cheaper than your main products, which helps entice customers while keeping your income ticking over.

Focus on improving your income, and you’ll see larger profit margins without having to make sacrifices and cutting your budget.

If you’re looking for advice on how you can boost your personal income, then we’ve written a guide on that for you to enjoy too!

Lead United: Leadership Skills For A Top-Scoring Team


The very best sales teams can feel the pressure on occasion. The world is littered with targets and performance tools, and these can contribute to a lack of productivity, rather than aid it. People will feel the tension in different ways, and with some people, it can help them by giving that adrenaline and kick that they need, others can crumble. The one thing that can make a difference to a team is its leader. The manager of a group of people can dictate, or they can guide. The leader of a team is the barometer, people will look to that person for praise and encouragement, and there are many line-managers that don’t have the right touch, and will inadvertently cause low morale. Where do you, as a leader, begin to give your team the right type of push?

Communicate Consistently

Communicating the vision of the team is one way to reinforce the purpose. By doing this, it keeps people clear in the knowledge of what their end-product is. By making sure that each person in the team knows their own individual role and what their own goal is in relation to the bigger picture. This will instill not only purpose but focus in each part of the machine. Each team member should be able to see the vision set out reflected in the decisions you make as a team leader, and the vision should be connected to their own goals. Transparency in an organization is the valuable trait to inspiring employees and helping them to understand their part in the whole company.

Work On Developing Talent

Mentoring and feedback are something that can be lost in the midst of targets and goals. While it is an important aspect of a business to monitor the productivity of a member of staff, using their “numbers” as a reason to make them work harder is not enough. This is where the power of “why” comes into play. By asking opinions and perspectives of a situation, this will get you to the core of a person. Their attitudes and behavior is key to understanding how they work as an individual. Speak to them and see what the underlying issue is. As leaders, we are so focused on the short-term tasks that we neglect the long-term ones, and our employees are a long-term investment. We need to see if there is a fundamental skill they may need to brush up on. There is sales team performance enablement software that can be used to develop employees, from providing training to using systems to help make peoples’ jobs easier, and by using the right tools in conjunction with the development of talent; it is working to make a better workforce all round.

Express Your Gratitude

On a personal level, expressing your gratitude for a person’s work will really help to bolster performance. You are making them feel valued, and this will translate into a better working attitude. It is easy to give a pizza to your team as thanks, but personal and heartfelt appreciation will last much longer.




Psyche! Learn Some Consumer Psychology to Increase Your Sales



Psychology is an important thing to consider in business. After all, potential consumers are all people with psyches! Here, we’re going to take a look at the psychological aspects of consumer decisions. These are the things you need to pay attention to as you do business.


People love friendly people. Well, except miserable people who aren’t all that into sociability. If your business appears friendly, then a consumer is more likely to want to engage with you. People are more aware than ever about the corrupt doings of many businesses. There are several out there who don’t want to be complicit in that. When you show yourself to be an ethical and friendly company, people will be compelled to support you.




Commitment and consistency are signs of a strong character. The chances are that you like to see those traits in people. And it’s the sort of behavior that consumers want to see from a company. In a way, they want you to be a little predictable. They want to know how you’ll respond to a given query. They want to know how you’d respond in a particular crisis. Being consistent in your practices will give your consumers more confidence in you.

Attention spans

People say that this generation has atrocious attention spans. Technically, our attention spans really aren’t any worse than they’ve ever been. But because there’s so much distraction out there, it’s actually more difficult to stay focused on any given thing. This is more a consequence of the Internet and commercial industries than it is a flaw of the new generation’s character. The fact is that you’ve got to keep the attention of your consumers. One of the best ways of doing this is by remaining active on social media. Contact a social media specialist if you want to know more.




People expect you to brag about how amazing your products and services are. But do you know what really gets their interest piqued? When you admit your flaws. If you do it right, you can actually highlight your positive attributes. Honesty, a sense of humor, an understanding about the importance of quality… All of these things can be displayed with the right “honest ad”. The classic “lemon” ad from Volkswagen was a fantastic early example of this.


We love to feel special. It boosts our self-esteem. Anyone familiar with the Maslow pyramid knows that self-esteem is extremely important for most people. Self-esteem is often boosted with a feeling of uniqueness, of exclusivity. This is why you’ll get adverts or content that is proudly “not for everyone”. Of course, when you make a consumer feel like they’re getting exclusive treatment, you generally have to commit to that. If you treat everyone like they’re getting exclusive treatment, your plan will eventually unravel!




Fear, uncertainty, and doubt. If you sow the seeds of any of these within a consumer, you may compel them to make certain decisions. Of course, it’s often nowhere near as ominous as it sounds. In this sphere, it’s usually nothing more than taking some shots at the competition and making consumers doubt them instead of you. Beyond that, you should probably leave fearmongering to the politicians and the media.