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Entrepreneurship

5 Ways to Develop Network Without Personal Meet-Ups

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Humans are social beings, hence, social gatherings are an integral part of life and by extension, of commerce. Meeting a group of people with the same interests, in this case for business, is an avenue to gain and share knowledge and technology. This, in turn, helps improve and expand our enterprise.

Networking group events, professional associations, and business seminars are a great way to broaden your circle. Networking events top the bill as attendees purposely seek to make new connections. Professional association assemblies provide a channel to meet people in your industry where you can correlate your career or company. Business seminar participants are a diverse group where you may find offbeat connections.

Online meetup
photo credit: Samson Katt / Pexels

Now that we are in the digital age, expanding your network can be done online as well. Personal meetings are indeed invaluable. However, in this busy world where traffic jams eat your time, rising fuel costs, and lots of other activities on your schedule, you should find ways to expand your network without the hassles of it.

1. Social Media and Online Forums

The most overt solution, of course. You might as well be doing it already. Joining Facebook communities or Linkedin groups is the easiest way to meet new people. The downside is that some people have a different offline personality than what they project online. Thus, one has to be extra attentive regarding the business transactions on these platforms.

Choose the social media platform that is preferred by your target audience. Facebook is still the most popular. However, Tiktok is conquering Gen Z by storm. Pinterest has a wide audience of adult females while LinkedIn caters mostly to B2B professionals.

You can also watch out for emerging social media sites. Being first among your competitors on upcoming social channels gives you many advantages. This includes establishing the ground better and original marketing content.

Then, there are website forums where discussions are often more in-depth, as people go to forums specifically to talk about that topic. Furthermore, some forums have qualification restrictions that make the group exclusive of certain demography. In this manner, your audience is already filtered allowing you to get feedback from those who will be using your product.

2. Contact Sharing Apps

Picture this, your business partner has many accumulated contacts from his previous company before your partnership. You can help him go through his contacts in promoting your newly opened business by accessing his contacts as well.

It’s not necessarily through CRM. That may be a wee bit complicated and pricey. Find a contact-sharing app that is easy to install and much simpler to use. No need for the technical knowledge of exchanging .csv files or an even lengthier process of one-by-one transfer of virtual contact files.

Shared Contact for Gmail

3. Find Your Yearbook

Aside from bringing back nice memories from your younger years, you may be surprised at who you would remember while you browse your university yearbook. The contact details may be obsolete but there’s a high probability that you can search the names online.

Some people change but some don’t. Rekindling with your former classmates may prove to be better than meeting complete strangers. With the aid of the internet, you may just be able to recollect some gems that weren’t connected with your social media profiles yet.

You can also borrow somebody else’s yearbook. If your target customers are older than you, ask your parents, older siblings, or cousins for their yearbook.

4. Scour the Internet

Take this scenario: you have developed a cleaning solution. You want to sell it to hotels and restaurants. It’s easy to keyword search “restaurants in Manhattan and contact numbers”. However, you may miss those small diners whose business is not optimized.

You can use Google Maps or any street view app for a virtual stroll in your target area and note all the establishments there. If you have the luxury of time, this will not cost any compared to marketing events. Just like any other methods listed above, you can simply be in your pajamas instead of the business attire you have to wear at networking events.

Developing a call list from the internet is the modern version of cold calling from yellow pages. You may think cold calling is obsolete but it is not. However, the calls wouldn’t be as cold and it’s not necessarily a call.

In this age of information, you can know a few things regarding the client before giving out your sales pitch. Once you find their business on Google Maps or by a simple search engine lookup, you can gain more insight about them by viewing their public profile as well.

Moreover, if you are not comfortable with voice calls, an email can work too. This works like flyering but with a bit more personalization should you choose to.

5. Hire a freelancer

If your plate is full of other stuff, you can outsource the generation of possible clients to online freelancers. There are lots of platforms to meet them like Upwork, Guru, and Toptotal. These sites gravitate toward certain fields of freelancers as well. Take time to understand which will suit your business more.

You can also choose whether you want it done by amateurs or professionals. The rates, delivery time, and quality of the database vary accordingly.

A client database is an important business tool. Just like any tool, you can buy it if you can’t produce it yourself. In this case, the tool you needed is a database of people or companies under your desired demographics. This is akin to outsourcing your marketing department like you outsource your accounting department. However, you outsource only the client list generation part and you still do the rest of the marketing and sales.

Takeaway

You may have developed your network online but nothing beats adding a personal touch to establishing business relationships. Initial meetings may be digital, even the whole business transaction can be pure online as well if your product or service allows.

However, making your clients feel they are not just cash cows secures brand loyalty and positive feedback. The way you have developed your client database or even your suppliers, be it personal or online, may mean something. Nevertheless, how you maintain these relationships will certainly impact the business more.

Entrepreneurship

Difference Between CFD and Shares

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Contracts for Difference (CFD) trading and share trading vary primarily in that when you trade a CFD, you speculate on a market’s price without acquiring ownership of the underlying asset, but when you trade shares, you must do so.

The main distinctions between a share and a CFD are ownership and leverage. You become the owner of the shares when you purchase shares. Investing in shares is equivalent to acquiring a modest ownership share in a business you support. You must pay the whole share price when purchasing stock shares.

CFDs vs shares

Contract for Difference is referred to as CFD. Without holding the underlying asset, you can speculate on the price of a security by engaging in online CFD trading. A stock, stock index, currency, commodity, or cryptocurrency might all be the underlying security for a CFD. With CFDs, you may join a trade with a lower initial investment because they trade on leverage.

Trading CFDs involves taking into consideration leverage and margin, fees and charges, instrument categories, going short, and asset ownership, which is one of the primary difference between CFD and share trading. Let me elaborate more.

What are Leverage and Margin?

Leverage and margin go hand in hand when trading CFDs. By using leverage, you may acquire exposure to an underlying asset without having to put down the whole amount of money needed to purchase and hold the real asset; instead, you just have to contribute a portion of the position’s overall worth.

The amount you must initially have available to begin a position, known as margin, fluctuates based on the contract size and the underlying asset you want to trade. Margin is not a cost. Based on the pre-determined leverage for the asset class, the first margin need is expressed as a percentage of the contract value. Risk is increased while trading on margin.

When you trade on the Invest trading platform, you must have the full asset value accessible, and you buy shares without applying leverage to your available funds.

Variety of Assets

You may trade on more than 2500 different assets on the Traders Union CFD platform, including shares, forex, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and options. You may do this to diversify your portfolio and get exposure to major exchanges across the world.

The Invest trading platform is a marketplace where you may buy and sell stocks and ETFs (ETFs). You may purchase and hold shares of your favorite businesses or any listed ETF on the platform, as well as benefit from the newest IPOs when firms go public, thanks to your access to over 1200 equities and 90 ETFs.

Asset Ownership

You may acquire exposure to an underlying asset, such as Gold (XAU), Apple (AAPL), or EUR/USD, without really holding it by using a CFD. Due to changes in the underlying asset’s price, you will either gain or lose money. The goal of CFD trading is to bet on changes in an underlying asset’s price. The size of the stake and price changes determine any profit or loss.

In contrast, when you purchase a stock on the Invest trading platform, you become the owner of the physical asset and look for a potential longer-term rise in the asset’s value before selling it.

Trader doing CFD trading

A Little More About How CFDs Can Differ From Investing

If your position remains open overnight while trading CFDs, you will be charged an overnight fee. While CFD trading is frequently utilized to speculate on near-term events like earnings announcements or the release of U.S. data reports, stock trading is typically favored for constructing portfolios.

In summary, both CFD and share stock trading offer benefits and drawbacks, and both let you profit from price changes that might result in either a gain or a loss. You should be able to choose which Traders Union platform best matches your trading preferences after you have an understanding of your trading goals. Which trading platform—CFD or Invest—does best for you?

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Entrepreneurship

Eight Types of Company Missions These Entrepreneurs Think Are Vastly Overrated

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What’s one example of a common company mission that you think is overrated, and why? What should replace it?

Company mission

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

1. Statements That Mention Being the ‘Best’

The missions that correspond to being the “best” are generic and overrated. Being the best there is at what you do is the pinnacle of success. If you get there, what’s next? Businesses don’t grow when they pursue excellence. They grow by making mistakes, learning from experiences and doing better next time. So, seeking continuous improvement can be a good replacement.

Jared Atchison, WPForms

2. Missions That Aren’t Measurable

Generally speaking, any mission statement that isn’t measurable can cause problems for your business. If you can’t track your progress, your statement is nothing more than words on paper (or a screen). People are more willing to get behind mission statements that focus on tangible long-term goals or aspirations.

John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

3. Statements That Could Apply to Any Company

Many mission statements contain generic terms that could apply to almost anyone. A common example is “We provide the highest quality service,” which is an admirable goal but doesn’t really tell you anything about what they stand for or how they deliver it. Terms such as “integrity,” “excellence” and “industry leaders” are similar. It’s better to pinpoint something more specific that you deliver.

Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

4. Phrases About Pursuing Excellence

“We pursue excellence” is generic and overrated — not to mention, the definition of achieving excellence may vary from one person to another. What will be the metric for achieving excellence? No one knows, as not everyone in your company is on the same page. So, replacing this mission with measurable indicators like sign-ups, conversions and other growth metrics would be a good idea.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

Developing mission statement

5. Missions That Mention ‘Social Impact’

Many companies use the phrase “social impact” in their mission statement, but the impact is rarely evident. For example, a clothing store may mention that it is committed to helping women in poverty, but it will still charge the same amount for its T-shirts. Instead of writing a mission statement, a company should inform customers about how they are helping the world.

Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

6. Missions That Call for Perfection

Nothing is perfect! I’d rather see a mission that pushes others to embrace imperfection and to strive harder to be better every day, knowing that there is such a thing as a bad day. The best thing we can do is to stop aiming for perfection and just be better than yesterday.

Daisy Jing, Banish

7. Statements That Don’t Mention Your Industry or Purpose

I think mission statements that don’t directly mention your industry or what your business does can do more harm than good. Failure to mention these details makes your message seem more like a fluff piece than an actual long-term goal for your brand. Instead, brand leaders should focus specifically on how their company will help the industry evolve.

John Turner, SeedProd LLC

8. Missions That Lack Connection

Companies should be able to use their mission statement to connect with their target audience. However, I have seen a lot of companies create mission statements that are too broad and generic. For example, “Helping businesses grow” is far too generic and does not connect with anyone. However, if it was “Helping small businesses grow with our marketing services,” it would connect better.

Sujay Pawar, Astra

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Entrepreneurship

Want to Start a Business? Read This First for a Reality Check!

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Are you going to start a business and looking for some ideas and tips? Well, you are reading the right blog post, as I will tell you what you might not want to hear, but at the same time, I will give you some reasons why you want to start a business you love – with the right mindset.

Thinking entrepreneur

I’ve heard some cynical comments about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship; one comment says that entrepreneurs are, well, becoming one because they simply can’t get a real job. Another one says that entrepreneurs are a group of people who use their parents and/or everyone else’s money to start a business and have fun with it without thinking of returning any of it.

Some say that entrepreneurship is easy – just get a product people want and sell it for a profit. Right. Some say that entrepreneurship is overrated – you won’t make more than a decent paid job. Right.

It’s sad, really… those naysayer just don’t realise that entrepreneurs and small business are two of the most prominent factors that make the economy moving. Just ask the mentors and experts about what a community could do if small business is not supported by the Government: Crippled. Then the butterfly effect kicks in, and eventually the whole economy of a nation is brought down just because investors, entrepreneurs and business owners are not well-supported.

Yet successful entrepreneurs thrive despite all the unfavourable policies, the naysayer’s boos and jeers, and the non-supportive friends and family, who laugh at their ideas of starting a business out of their garage.

If you are considering entrepreneurship, are you ready for such pressure? You will somehow face people who question your decision jumping into the entrepreneurship bandwagon. The worse part is, those who doubt you often your closest ones – your spouse, your parents, your friends…

Are you ready?

Startups are not for the faint-hearted

We can’t deny the fact that many startups are bound to fail. Well, did you know why many startups fail? There are thousands of reasons, but one of the reasons that I think as the main cause of startup failures is false hopes.

If you are thinking of running a business as traveling all over the world at will, riding a limo sipping champagne, or doing whatever you like in your pajamas or swimming suit – I apologise, but I need to pop your balloon.

Stop dreaming. Start looking into the reality. Entrepreneurship is not easy and if you don’t have what it takes to get a business launched and navigate your vessel through the storm, you’d better get a job.

Entrepreneurship requires to be able to juggle and decide on many things: Balancing your work-life; deciding from many strategic options; choosing between a list of suppliers; and so on. Initially, you need to be able to wear many “hats” – bookkeeping/administrative, marketing, development, production, procurement, and so on.

You need to be open-minded and be prepared for open-ended outcome of your decisions; you need to be ready for any circumstances requiring you to re-focus and re-strategise in the middle of your plan.

And those perks you are having while working for a boss, you don’t have them when you are an entrepreneur: Paid leave, managed retirement planning, and so on. You are literally on your own, supporting yourself with your own resources.

Whether you are a solopreneur or the owner of multi-business ventures employing thousands of staffs while running yours while having fun doing so (like what Sir Branson is doing,) “hard work,” “perseverance” and “delayed gratification” are three of the main “keywords” defining all what entrepreneurs are doing.

Indeed, entrepreneurs are hard worker and passionate about their business. What keep them going is their passion for what they do and their love for everything entrepreneurship, starting up and business ownership.

Entrepreneur dealing with self-doubt
photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

If startup is so difficult, why people are doing it?

Yes, this question is asked by many who are interested in entrepreneurship. This question might be your question.

It’s a fair question: With all the hurdles you need to take on if you are plunging yourself into entrepreneurship, why bother starting up?

There are many answers, but if you asked me, my answer would be this: I love this game.

I love the search of business ideas. I love the many sleepless nights working on my business to see it grows steadily. I love the possibility for me to create something useful for the community – while giving me the lifestyle and financial independent I want for my family. I love the ups and downs of running a business – sure, failing sucks, but I can learn a great deal from it personally and professionally.

I wouldn’t trade what I am doing right now (work at home, surrounded by the people I love) with any high-paying jobs requiring me to work 12 hours a day or more; I love the freedom money can’t buy. I love a business that is built around my lifestyle, not the other way around.

Of course, I don’t love ALL aspects of my business: I don’t fancy the back office operations – bookkeeping, administrative and so on – but you can always hire someone competent to do those for you 🙂

Takeaway

Indeed, entrepreneurship is one of the most risky careers of all. Well, if you want safety and security, just get a job. But if you love the unknowns and embrace risks, entrepreneurship is a path worth walking; it’s rewarding in every sense – financially and emotionally.

So, now you know some facts about entrepreneurship. I do hope you can start a business with the right mindset; I also hope you start your journey with humility; being passionate without arrogance; taking calculated risks, not gambling; eagerness to help others when you have finally reached the top; acknowledging the fact that without God and those people around you – friends, family, fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, etc. – you won’t go far.

Dream big. Start small. Just do it, seriously!

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