Tag Archives: Louise Gaillard

Entrepreneurship Ideas

Entrepreneurship: Should You Quit Your 9-5?

Do you have to quit your job in order to become an entrepreneur? The 40-50-80 theory will help you put things into the right perspective.

If you survey a group of would-be entrepreneurs on what holds them back from starting their own businesses, one of the most common reasons is lack of time. They already work a full-time job, so they don’t think it’s possible to pursue entrepreneurship unless they quit their jobs.

I think a bit of reframing is necessary to dispel this myth that in order to start your own business you have to quit your job first.

So here is my 40-50-80 theory. It says that if you work 40 hours a week, and sleep about 50 hours per week (7 hours per day), you still have roughly 80 hours left in a week left to yourself. Let’s call it YOU TIME. Some of your you time will be spent eating, cooking, running errands and doing other necessary duties, but that still leaves plenty of hours to pursue your entrepreneurial goals.

Entrepreneurship Ideas

80 hours. That’s DOUBLE the average number of hours you spend at a standard 9-5 job. So no, it’s not necessary to quit your job in order to start your own business and pursue entrepreneurship.

Your Current 80 Hours

How do you currently spend the majority of those non-working, non-sleeping 80 hours in a week?

How many hours out of those 80 do you spend watching television?

Playing video or cellphone games?

Going to parties or buying entertainment on the weekends?

Tweeting or reading social media sites?

There’s definitely nothing wrong with some play time, but you have to ask yourself if using the majority of those 80 hours for playtime at this time in your life is the best idea. OR do you make some sacrifices now so that you can play more later (with more cash and freedom).

How to Best Invest Those 80 Hours

Now that you’ve reframed your week a bit, here are some suggestions for how to use those other 80 hours in your week.

– Start writing your business plan outline.

– Listen to motivational and educational audiobooks written by great business minds like Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell and Brian Tracy.

– Spend time practicing your talent, whether it’s art, music, writing screenplays, crafting jewelry, creating designs, speaking or serving customers. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell theorizes that people who spend 10,000 hours on their talent will MASTER it, so every single hour counts.

– Schedule weekly lunches with a potential business mentor (on you of course).

Join Toastmasters in your area or a similar skill building group and attend at least twice per month.

– Start building social media accounts that are only to be used for business purposes.

– Start building a small, modest yet professional business website where interested parties can contact you.

– Create a money plan and budget that will allow you to invest a portion of your monthly check into your entrepreneurial activities.

These are just a few examples of how you can spend those 80 hours. Start off by investing about an hour or two per day into the things that you really love that could make you a profit, and you’ll probably start to look forward to getting off of work so that you can invest even more time into those things.

In fact, if you put a microscope to your average day, you’ll probably find blocks of time when you can focus on your plans. For instance, if you take a train to work, how long do you spend sitting and looking out of the window each day (back and forth)? What about your down time when waiting for your bacon to fry or egg to boil? Pull out a tablet or an actual pad of paper and start writing down notes and ideas — if only for a few minutes.

Everyone Has Potential But…

I am a firm believer that everyone has a special skill or talent that would make them a good living if they invested time and effort into it. At the very least you can make a side residual income that will be a part of your personal retirement plan for a lifetime and beyond.

BUT not everyone truly WANTS to be an entrepreneur. And that’s okay. If that’s you, then no amount of motivation can make you change the way you use your 80 hours.

On the other hand, if you’re someone who definitely wants to pursue entrepreneurship but just feels a little “stuck,” you have to be willing to put your all into it—that means making some sacrifices and embracing change. Just a small shift in your daily or weekly habits can put you on the road to being a successful working entrepreneur or solopreneur.



The 40-50-80 theory doesn’t apply to everyone—at least not those specific ratios. Your work week, chores and sleeping schedule may be more complex than the traditional 40 hour-work week (especially if you have kids).

But even if your schedule is more demanding than the average 9-5 lifestyle, you can dedicate at least 30 minutes to an hour per day to starting a small business and pursuing entrepreneurship. As you will see in the coming years, now is the best time to get your feet wet in the pool of people who choose to create an income stream for themselves.

Louise Gaillard

Louise is a prolific writer, social media manager and marketing consultant.



A “Crazy” Idea: Instead of College Loans, Fund an 18 Year Old’s Small Business Idea

I received a tweet from Forbes magazine today that says the United States is now $1.2 trillion in tuition debt. People are taking out college loans for students at an alarming rate.

In light of these startling stats, I think it’s time we got off of the “gotta go to college at 18” train for a moment and start seriously considering alternative ideas .

Parents in Debt

Pocket Watch And Five Dollar Bills
© Alan Crosthwaite | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Parents are going into serious debt to help fund their kids’ college education. Many of them still have this debt at age 50, 60, 70 and beyond. Some of them are literally *dying* burdened with this debt.

Then the cycle continues with their children, who also find themselves in debt with private and public loans. When their kids’ kids reach 18 they will also feel the pressure to take out tuition loans. Then those kids will have to go through life with this great burden. And so on and so forth.

I believe the main source of this grief is colleges, who keep increasing their tuition costs year after year because they know how easy it is for parents and students to get these college loans. They should be ashamed at how they are sucking families dry, but as corporations they are mostly concerned with making their shareholders as wealthy as possible, so they’re not ashamed one bit.

The only real answer is for the general public to get off that merry-go-round ride that tells us we have to do whatever possible to send kids to college at the age of 18.

A New Idea (“Crazy” Talk)
So here’s a new “crazy” idea for parents to consider for their 18-year olds:

– Save as much money as you can from the time your child is a baby if possible. Even if you put just $30 per month into a savings fund earning 6% per year your child can have at least $12,000 saved in an account by the time she’s 18.

– Enroll your 14-year-old child into a local or nearby entrepreneur school or take him to an SBDC center to learn about entrepreneurship. Ensure that the child attends classes at least once every month up until he is 18 and starts running a business by 16.

– At age 18 give the child a choice: 1) take the money you have saved to put toward a college education 2) put it toward his business or 3) put half toward starting a small business and the other half toward going to college in the near future.

– Encourage, promote and fund self-education for your child (books, audiobooks, courses) while she’s in high school about her industry of interest, marketing, sales and general self-improvement concepts.

– If the child chooses option 2 or 3, encourage and assist her with growing her small business so that in 2-3 years she is making enough income from it (still living with you) to afford to pay for her college education. Every dollar of profit she earns from running her business should go toward a fund to help pay for her education.

– After 3 years has passed, the child can still enroll in college if she chooses. She may even decide at that point that college isn’t that important because of the success of her small business, which she can run and maintain for as long as she wishes.

Here are the benefits of this “crazy” idea:

– You teach your child from a young age about entrepreneurship. You also teach her from age 14 that going to college at 18 doesn’t have to be her only choice for success.

– You teach your child from a young age that she doesn’t have to go along with the “crowd” (all you have to do is show her what the “crowd” is doing when they’re 40,50, and 60 years old and still knee-deep in debt).

– Your child still has the option to go to college if he wants, if only for having a chance to live the “college experience.”

– You jump-start your child’s future, giving her a real shot at becoming a millionaire instead of limiting her mind to being happy with a $35,000 per year 40 hour, 9-5 job for the rest of her life.

– You give your child the opportunity to avoid being burdened by large amounts of debt at a young age

– YOU avoid being in debt with college loans for your child until you’re 100

Also, if enough people were to take this or a similar route for educating 18-year-old kids, colleges would eventually be forced to reduce or plateau their tuition costs just to stay in business.

College Loans for Students – Something to Think About
This may not be a perfect alternative for every case, but it’s something to think about, right?

Remember that high school education is a necessity but a college education is not (unless your child is determined to become a doctor, lawyer or engineer). Ask Bill Gates and most of the country’s self-made millionaires.

Parents of today who have already taken out college loans for students may have to deal with this great tuition crisis, but we can start making changes today so that young children don’t have to go through the same situation. Giving your child an education in how to be financially independent and run his own business is just as valuable if not more than a basic college education.

 

Louise Gaillard is a prolific writer, marketing consultant, small biz owner and author.

 



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

The Ladder to Success: Why Most People Don’t Reach the Top

Napoleon Hill said, “The ladder of success is never crowded at the top.”

This certainly is true, but why is it true? Let’s use Mr. Hill’s metaphor of the “ladder to success” to dissect the various occurrences that prevent a lot of people from reaching the top.

  1. Ladder of SuccessLooked Down (Fear)

So you’re making your way up that ladder. You’re getting higher and higher, closer and closer. Then for some reason, you look down. Fear grips you and takes you back into your old reality. “What am I doing up here? This is dangerous / risky. What if I’m doing the wrong thing?” Then you slowly make your way back down to where it’s “safe.”

Fear of success is real — it holds a lot of people back from starting their own small businesses and pursuing other endeavors in life. Someone who is fearful of success doesn’t want to leave her comfort zone.

  1. Someone Yelled Up from the Ground (the Peanut Gallery)

We have all come in contact with one or more people who have tried to hold us back from progress in one way or another. They insult, discourage or distract us from completing our journey.

There’s that guy who always wants you to come out and drink, smoke and party (then you don’t want to do anything else). He’s down at the bottom of the ladder holding a cold one up to you. “Come on down buddy, relax, have a drink with me.”

That relative who keeps telling you that your “silly dreams” are useless and you should be doing something else. “What are you doing up there on that ladder? You could be over here digging a ditch instead. What’s wrong with you, you know you’re meant to stay here with both feet firmly on the ground!”

Then there’s that vindictive “friend” or family member who insults you and tries to pretend it’s just innocent fun. “You look so stupid up there on that ladder (laughs). And by the way, everyone can see up your dress!”

If you spend your life listening to the “peanut gallery” you will find it more and more difficult to ascend your own personal ladder of success.

  1. There’s a Snag along the Way

Another reason why some people don’t make it to the top of the ladder of success is that they catch a snag along the way. Something grabs hold of their pants on the ladder and they just stop cold in their tracks. They jerk and jerk their leg to get free and keep climbing, getting more and more frustrated with each tug.

It might be that the one idea you were counting on didn’t turn out the way you hoped or the bank said “no” to your small business loan. Maybe the product prototype you developed isn’t functioning properly.

A snag is merely a setback but unfortunately a lot of people take it as an indication that they’re not meant to go forward at all. So you sullenly descend the ladder and go back to “business as usual.” But what you don’t realize at the time is that all you really have to do is sit down on the ladder for a moment, take a rest, think things over, un-snag your pants and then get back to climbing with a better plan in mind.

  1. There’s an “Emergency” Down There

Another reason why someone might turn around and get off the ladder to success is when she learns that there’s an “emergency” going on back down on the ground that requires her to put the climb on hold.

What people often find is that the “emergency” didn’t really require their immediate attention, and now they have to start all over. Some people get stuck here, tired and weary from having to constantly put out fires, and give up on the climb altogether.

  1. They Miss an Opportunity

While you’re climbing, slowly and steadily, you might find that someone who’s up higher reaches down to offer you a hand. Maybe it’s unsolicited advice, a small loan, a partnership proposition or some other form of assistance. Some people let their egos get in the way of progress and refuse to accept the help they desperately need as they climb the ladder. “I can do it all by myself!”

It’s important to remember that no one reaches the top all by themselves — they need other people, whether it’s support from a customer or an investor.

  1. Not Satisfied With the Speed of Progress

Ladders to SuccessSome people stop climbing the ladder of success because they aren’t happy with how fast things are progressing. They feel that they should be farther along, higher up — that they’re peddling on a stationary bike and going nowhere. But the truth is that some people find success rather quickly while it takes others more time to see the fruit of their efforts. Slow and steady often wins the race.

  1. Too Occupied with What Others on the Ladder Are Doing

Too often we are distracted by the progress of others who are trying to achieve success when trying to achieve our own goals. Either we’re enviously watching what the guy is doing a few rungs up on the ladder or spending too much time looking down at others who aren’t as high as we are to feed the ego. This distraction and lack of focus causes us to stumble and fall down a few rungs or off the ladder completely.

Focus on your own climb.

  1. The Ladder’s a Bit Rickety…

Another possibility is that the ladder you’re climbing is a bit unstable. Maybe it’s breaking, damaged or cracking. If it were to fall apart you would go down with it and become discouraged by this major time-wasting setback.

If you notice that the ladder’s rickety, that might be an indication that you’re just on the wrong one. Maybe there’s a better, more stable ladder out there that you can be climbing to find success.

  1. They Never Start Climbing in the First Place

A lot of people don’t make it to the top of that ladder of success because they never start climbing in the first place. They don’t ever even try. This is due to that other type of fear: the fear of failure.

People who never try are usually thinking “I could never climb that ladder because _____”… just fill in the blank (money, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not skilled enough).

Can You Relate to Any of These?

If you’ve tried to ascend the ladder of success in the past but never quite got there, which of these reasons do you think most accurately describes why?

Regardless of the reason, what’s most important is to know that all is not lost — that ladder to success is still there, and no matter what anyone says you can start again anytime you want. Take some time to reflect on these points before you restart your climb so that you can maintain your resoluteness and keep going uninterrupted this time.

 

Louise Gaillard is a prolific writer, marketing consultant and social media manager.

Starting up a small business, even if it’s just on the side, is no longer an option — it’s a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Small Business Communication Tip: Use Positive, Affirming Phrasing

One of the most valuable lessons that I learned from being in a sorority in college was to always talk in positives. We were taught creative ways to avoid saying the word “no.”

Years later I learned about NLP (neuro linguistic programming) which also teaches people to speak in the affirmative instead of the negative at all times.

So say a customer or client asks you if you offer a certain service — instead of saying “no we don’t do that” you’d say “we offer an even better option to meet your needs.”

It’s actually kind of fun — it’s like a brain tease to figure out creative ways to avoid saying the word “no” or “not.”

And it’s good for business.

Customers Don’t Like Being Told “No”
The psychology of this is that people are more open and receptive to your messages when you speak to them using affirmative language. People don’t really like being told “no.” Do you?

Customers also respond better when a business offers them alternative solutions instead of just saying “no.” They feel respected as if you are trying to work with them.

When you use negative language with your colleagues and employees, you may find that you have trouble getting what you do want from them. For instance, telling someone “don’t be late” puts “lateness” instead of “being on time” in their mind, and they unconsciously do things that still make them show up late.

Real Life Examples
Here are a few more examples of ways that you can change your language when communicating with business clients, customers, employees, colleagues and suppliers:

Instead of telling your employees “don’t mess up the reports” you would tell them “please take special care to ensure accurate reports.”

Instead of “no refunds” you might say “we’d be happy to offer an exchange, store credit or upgrade.”

Instead of “there’s nothing more I can do” you might say “I have made every effort to satisfy your request.”

Instead of saying “no we aren’t open on Sundays” you would say “We’re conveniently open from Monday through Saturday, 9am to 7pm.”

Instead of telling a supplier “No, I can’t accept that discount” say “I would like to negotiate a better discount arrangement that is beneficial for both of us. What can we do here?”

You get the idea. Examine your last 10 emails and letters to see how you might be using negative language when communicating with others. In your small business communications, make every effort to modify that language in the future so that it expresses affirmative, positive feedback and viable solutions.

Louise Gaillard is a professional writer, marketing consultant and the author of Easy Twitter Marketing Tips for Business Success.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Time to Get Up Off of the “Nail” You’re On

Les Brown tells this story about a dog who’s lying on a porch next to his owner groaning in pain. Day after day he groans.

The guy finally decides to ask the owner of the dog why he’s groaning in pain. The owner says “oh, he’s just lying on a nail.”

The guy looks at the owner curiously and asks the obvious question, “why doesn’t he get up off of the nail then??”

The owner sheepishly responds, “I don’t know, I guess because it’s not hurting enough yet to inspire him to get up.”

So how does this story relate to starting up a small business?

Are You Laying on a Nail?
The dog laying on the nail is the average guy who is miserable working at a job he hates. It’s the mom who loves her children but hates where her own life is headed. It’s the college grad who is sitting at home, unemployed with loads of debt, in his parents’ basement stressing over whether to file for bankruptcy.

They’re hurting, but not enough yet to get up off the “nail” and do something about it.

Getting Up Off of the Nail
I have been on that nail before — laying there in pain feeling like there was no point in even trying to get up. Thinking “what’s the point?”

But what I’ve found is that the longer you sit on it, the worse it gets. The wound festers and becomes infected until it ultimately leads to your demise emotionally, mentally or even physically.

You have to find the strength in YOURSELF to get up off of that nail. Talk to your inner self (some people call it God or your intuition) and come up with a plan of action.

In many cases, that plan involves taking control of your life and starting your own business. Even if you keep your job, that’s fine. If you decide to become a WAHM (work at home mom), yes your schedule will become even more crazy but more fulfilling at the same time. If you have to file for bankruptcy, just start planning for the next steps — it’s not forever and a cash only lifestyle is possible. Just add something new to the mix and try something different. It’s okay to slowly move in a new direction.

You may be surprised at how quickly that wound starts to heal up.

 

About the Author:

Louise Gaillard is a prolific writer, marketing consultant and the author of  Easy Twitter Marketing Tips for Business Success.

The Real Barriers to Starting a Successful Small Business

I’ve lost count of the number of people I know or have met who have a major talent that they could “bottle up and sell.” 90 percent of the time they are also very unhappy in their current jobs.

Business Woman
© Dnadigital | Dreamstime Stock Photos

“Why not start your own side or small business?” I ask.

Here are the most common answers I receive:

– I don’t have the money to invest
– My job takes up too much of my time / too tired
– I don’t know how or where to start

But I have a theory.

The real reasons behind why most people don’t start up a small business are:

– lack of motivation
– lack of inspiration
– lack of knowledge (self-education)

Somewhere along the way you got the idea that the only way you could ever make money is to work for another person. Maybe it was your family pushing you toward a particular “way” of living life. Maybe it was college indoctrination where you and your peers are taught to compete for the best jobs. Maybe it’s just a limiting belief that you have about your skills, talents and ability to make or manage money.

But the truth is that anyone can start a successful small business — even if it’s just something you do on the side for the time being. It’s about offering value to the world — when you do that consistently and reliably they give you value in return.

Here’s what you really need to get started:
– the Knowledge/Know-how (self-educating yourself on the type of business you’d like to run, marketing, communication, how to use technology like social media to your advantage)

Inspiration (the idea, the innovation, the thing that gives you butterflies when you think about it)

Motivation (a push in the right direction)

K.I.M. for short. Keep it moving.

So this start up a small business website is mainly targeted at resolving those three barriers to starting a successful small business.

You have the basic steps outlined, conveniently to the left (see that nice little menu over there?) — that list alone can help you start forming your business plan. But you also need help with motivation, inspiration and self-education to start your own successful small business.

So subscribe to our posts below or sign up for the email list for updates, advice and tips.

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About the Author:

Louise Gaillard is a prolific writer, marketing consultant and author writing about small business, marketing and social media success.

When Starting a Small Business Family Members Can Be Your Worst Opposition

Woman talking by phone
© Abdone | Dreamstime Stock Photos

When you’re starting a small business, you might assume that your family members will be your staunchest advocates. Surely they’ll be the first in line to buy your stuff and give you a positive review. Surely they’ll call you up and say “congratulations.” Surely they’ll call and offer you some assistance to help your business grow…

But a lot of new small business owners (myself included) have a very, very different experience. In fact, the reaction from family members when you’re starting a small business can be downright cold!

Resisting the Negativity

If you find yourself in this type of predicament, your biggest challenge is going to be overcoming the negative thoughts, beliefs, words and actions of your family members. These are the people who know you best, so they also know how to really hurt your feelings if they really want to. You can probably think of one person in particular right now who seems to get a kick out of annoying or hurting your feelings.

Listen up: you have to do whatever you have to do to stay motivated to achieve your goals. If that means that you have to separate from your family members for a while, then so be it.

Second tip: that person in your family who gets a kick out of seeing you down and out? Don’t tell him or her anything about what you’re planning to do.

Third tip: Understand that when someone reacts negatively to you trying to better you life, it’s because they’re unsatisfied with their own life. They don’t want you (or anyone for that matter) doing better than them. That’s their problem — not yours.

Things don’t always happen immediately when you’re starting a small business; it takes time. That’s why it’s so important to stay around positive people who motivate you to keep pushing forward. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always include members of your family. Take the advice of the late great Napoleon Hill who suggests that all entrepreneurs join a mastermind group of like-minded people who all want each other to succeed.

 

StartUpaSmallBiz.com is a simple and easy-to-navigate site aimed at helping you to achieve your small business goals. Perfect for newbies and intermediate level business owners. Sign up for our newsletter to receive more motivational updates about starting a small business.

Can Listening to Audiobooks Give You a College Level Education?

Did you know that some experts believe that listening to audiobooks in your industry of choice can give you the equivalent of a college education? Zig Ziglar talked about this in one of this famed speeches. In my personal experience, listening to audiobooks every day for a year can give you the same level of training that someone would receive pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Listening to an Audiobook
© Danabeth555 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Think about it — when you go to college you’re basically sitting in a lecture hall (barely) listening to a guy talk for an hour or two. Then you go home and read materials based on the same things your professor was talking about in lecture hall. Besides taking an exam at the end of the semester, how is this that much different from self-educating yourself with audiobooks?

The Message Sinks In…

I’ve been consistently listening to audiobooks for the past year or so. In that time I feel as if I’ve acquired a superior body of knowledge in my field of interest (marketing, writing and communications). Though I was formally educated at an Ivy League college I feel as if the vast majority of the knowledge and training that I use today is due to a) experience and b) listening to books on tape.

The audiobooks that I prefer to listen to are a mix of motivational, scientific, informational and educational works. A few of my favorites include Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People and all of Les Brown’s speeches on personal achievement. I listen to those on repeat.

When it comes right down to it, they all pretty much have the same general themes: making your life better, making more money and getting better at what you do. Something special happens when you listen to this same message over and over again: you start to believe it can happen for you.


1 FREE Audiobook Credit RISK-FREE from Audible.com

Learn While You Live

When you’re studying a book, you have to set aside a special time to sit down and do so. Maybe, just maybe, you can turn on some music in the background while doing so.

The great thing about audiobooks is that you can accomplish a variety of other tasks while listening to your book. You can drive to work, workout, run around a track, prune your garden, mow your lawn, cook and even write or work while absorbing these books. There’s some kind of “left brain, right brain” activity going on where you can take in the message while doing other things.

Compare the Costs

As more stories hit the news about how kids are graduating with loads of college debt that they’ll never pay off, I think that we’re going to have to evolve as a society to a better way of getting educated for success. According to CollegeData.com, the average cost for a college education at a private institution as of 2013-2014 was $30,094 per year. The lowest cost is just under $9,000 for a state college (state resident). So the average student can expect to pay between $36,000 to $120,000 for a 4-year education at a private institution.

The cost of your average audiobook is about $15. Listening to three educational audio books per week for a year will cost about $45 per week or $2,340 for the year. Even if you were to purchase one book a day for a year it would be an investment of $5,475 compared to $30K.

Sometimes you have to look at things from a different perspective to find a better solution. Whether you’ve never gone to college or you’ve already gone to college but still feel like you’re not adequately prepared for success, consider investing in an audiobook education for the next year and beyond.

Bookmark this page of StartUpaSmallBiz.com for book reviews and more helpful information on self-educating yourself for small business success.


Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Why Do 55% of Small Businesses Not Have a Website?

A recent news story revealed new data showing that a majority of small businesses still don’t have a website as of 2013. To be exact, about 55% of small businesses surveyed said they don’t have an online web address. The process of creating a website is fairly simple thanks to easy web tools and WordPress, so what’s stopping small business owners from establishing websites in this day and age?

Fear of Uncontrollable Growth

You know, most people want their businesses to grow, but not everyone does. Some people are comfortable with their current volume of business and don’t want to expand. When a company gets to a certain level of success and notoriety, it can become overwhelming for some people to manage. So some owners may not want to get online out of fear of uncontrollable growth and too much of a demand on their time.

Little to No Computer Knowledge

A good portion of small business owners are over the age of 55 (about a third). They don’t have much knowledge or interest in the Internet or computers. If they do use the computer it’s to check email occasionally — managing and updating a website is out of the question. Lack of knowledge and general mistrust of the world wide web could be a reason why so many small businesses aren’t online.

It’s Just Not Really Necessary

Although I’m one of those people who believes that every business can benefit from having a website, some companies just don’t see the point. For instance, unless a pizza restaurant plans to take online orders, it doesn’t really need a site. It can get plenty of foot traffic by simply getting listed in online directories and putting up a huge sign outside of the door.

However, some storefront businesses can actually benefit from having a website but just don’t know it. For instance, a small neighborhood boutique could double its business by setting up a quick web store and posting fashions for sale online. A dance studio could post videos of classes on a simple WordPress website and get a surge of new visitors ready to hand over some cash.

There are some viable reasons why 55 percent of small business owners still don’t have a website — plenty of companies stay in operation without one. But at a time when close to 80 percent of Americans and over a third of the world population are online you have to ask yourself, why not?

 

Louise Gaillard is a social media manager, prolific writer and author.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

3 Secrets of Successful Small Businesses

Statistics show that the majority of entrepreneurs start small businesses with lofty plans and ideas that eventually turn to mush (to the tune of 8 out of 10 within 18 months) while others become successful rather quickly.

What is it that makes a small business thrive? Here are 3 secrets of successful small businesses.

Good Communication and Management

No one wants to deal with a difficult, stubborn or unreasonable business person. They might tolerate a person like that for a while, but eventually they are going to bail as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Entrepreneurs who master the art of relating to and with other people often find success. Smart small business owners understand the importance of learning superior communication skills so that they can effectively interact with their employees, suppliers, colleagues and customers or clients.

Staying Up to Date with Trends

Another secret of small business success is keeping up with what’s happening in the world and the industry as a whole. What’s working now might not work a few years or even months down the line. Resourceful business owners do their research, follow trends and make observations to get an idea of what’s likely to happen three, five or even 10 years into the future. They make adjustments or develop new product offerings to head off changes that might affect their businesses.

Asking for Help from Others


Napoleon Hill, the man who is considered the father of the personal success movement, among other accolades, taught about the importance of having a “mastermind” group. This is a network of people with similar aspirations, dreams, hopes and activities that help each other achieve their goals. Successful small business owners aren’t afraid to ask for assistance and advice from their colleagues and actively seek other motivated and resourceful people to join their mastermind networks.

Of course there are other factors in play that determine whether a small business will be successful, but these three play a major part. Be open to learning new things to ensure that your company keeps going strong.

 

Louise Gaillard is a social media manager, prolific writer and author.



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