Category Archives: Business

Tips for Building a Successful Online Dating Site

People may be divided on many issues, but wanting to find that “special someone” is not usually one of them. Whether it’s in person or on a dating website, most people hope they can one day meet their soulmate. If you like the idea of playing matchmaker, you might want to consider the following tips for launching an online dating site of your own. The following tips can help you start a thriving business venture:

What’s Your Niche?

There are now many large and successful companies in the online dating industry (Match.com, eHarmony, etc.). This can make it difficult for startups to jump in on this marketplace. If you want your new venture to thrive, you’ll need to identify your niche. This includes finding your audience and building a site that suits their needs. The more limited your audience is, the more income potential you have.

Choose a Business Model

You’ll then have to decided which business model you would like to use for your dating site: a free site or a paid one. If you’ve chosen a small niche, a free site allows you to attract members quickly. PlentyOfFish.com, for example, is a free ad-supported site that has successfully attracted more than 30 million members. A subscription-based site like Match.com, on the other hand, may have fewer members – 1.3 million paying subscribers – but has nearly $350 million in annual revenues. Keep in mind, if you choose a subscription-based model your customers will expect more because they are paying. You’ll need to invest more time on tools and services.

Develop a Strong Algorithm

Typically, online matching services includes a questionnaire. Many are extremely comprehensive, asking about lifestyle, hobbies, work, among other interests. eHarmony, for example, asks users to complete a 400-question psychological profile. To develop a strong algorithm for your site, spend time thinking about what really matters to your potential users. What are their values?

Find Secure Payment Processing

Even though dating sites are a lucrative business, many banks and traditional processors are unwilling to offer their services. Because of a risk of fraudulent activity, these businesses are labeled “high risk”. An alternative processor, on the other hand, specializes in offering dating merchant accounts – like eMerchantBroker. This option provides you with secure payment processing options, flexible business funding solutions and chargeback protection and prevention programs.

 

 

Tips for Successful in Salespeople

It seems like most things in business can be automated and handled via technology, but sales is one of those things that requires real people skills. But not everyone is cut out to be in sales, so what makes a good salesperson?

Thinking about starting a career in sales or looking to hire new employees for your sales team? Make sure you (or your candidates) fit the bill. Here are eight important traits of successful salespeople.

1. They care about customer’s interests.

“Being a great sales person is all about adding value and building trust. Your customers want to know you get it, meaning that you understand their challenges, dreams and goals, and have carefully considered why your solution makes sense. And, they want to be sure you have their best interests at heart. They have to be sure you care [more] about their mission and the greater good, than your numbers.”

2. They’re confident.

“All great salespeople have confidence. If you don’t believe in your product, you aren’t going to make a customer believe in your product. If you can confidently explain how your product or service is going to solve a problem for the customer, then you’ve got the customer in the palm of your hand. It’s all about confidence in sales.” – Megan Ingenbrandt, marketing and social media representative, Green Technology Services

 

3. They’re always on.

“A good salesperson also understands being on all the time. She is always aware of her circumstances and surroundings and can see how her product or service might positively impact her environment, and will be prepared to present and make a sale at any moment.” – Judy Crockett, retail management consultant and owner, Interactive Marketing & Communication

 

4. They’re not pushy.

“Great salespeople never look like they are selling anything. They are educating, instilling faith and confidence. They are quietly and invisibly demonstrating why customers should believe in them and, in turn, buy from them. Everyone has to sell something. Whether it is cars off the showroom floor, selling your spouse on a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or selling your kids on becoming honor students.” – Mark Stevens, CEO, MSCO

 

5. They’re resilient.

“Top sales achievers have a unique ability to cope with difficulty, to negotiate obstacles, to optimize performance in the face of adversity. At the heart of resilience is this fact: Top sales professionals are pros at denying that a lost sale is a failure. They take rejection as a personal challenge to succeed with the next customer.” – Jim Steele, president and chief customer officer, InsideSales.com

 

6. They’re extroverted.

“An extrovert is generally sociable, gets energized by spending time with other people, likes to talk and start conversations and makes friends easily. They also tend to have many interests. This allows a salesperson to be willing to meet people, enjoy the interaction, and talk about many things. The more subjects they can converse about, the better they’re able to connect with the customer.” – Dominick Hankle, professor of psychology, Regent University

Suitable Business For Retirees

Looking for a new challenge now that you’ve retired from the corporate world? Why not start your own business?

Many retirees who’ve been employees all of their lives get excited at the thought of running the show, and building a business that reflects their interests and values. If you’re thinking of launching a business during your retirement, here are six ideas to get you started.

Online businesses

Many new business ideas well-suited for retirees harness the power of the internet, as long as you don’t let technology intimidate you.

“Online businesses are truly some of the best types of businesses for people over 50, but they need to get over their fears,” said Diane Eschenbach, owner of startup consultancy firm DE Consultants and author of “How to Quickly Start a Business Online.”

One simple new business option involves researching and compiling information on websites.

“One of my favorite types of online businesses for the ‘post-50 group’ is curation sites,” said Eschenbach.

As people get older, the time invested in activities (such as a new business venture) becomes very important, said Eschenbach. She is a big fan of the idea of retirees learning to use technology because of the time saved by automated programs, but she stresses the importance of choosing a business you enjoy.

“The key to a great retirement is doing what you love and finding a way to monetize it quickly,” said Eschenbach.

Consulting and coaching

Retirees considering starting businesses should start by thinking about two areas: skills from their previous jobs and life lessons. These experiences make retirees well-positioned to share their knowledge.

“Since they have a lot of life and career experience, a consulting and coaching business suits them well as a new endeavor,” said Dolly Garlo, business coach and president of Thrive!! Inc. By capitalizing on existing knowledge, retirees can spend their time learning the ropes of running a new business.

“Retirees should focus on jobs and business opportunities that leverage the individual’s years of work and life experience, such as consulting, teaching or tutoring,” said Jamie Hopkins, Esq., assistant professor of taxation in the Retirement Income Program at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and associate director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income.

Instead of sharing knowledge through a face-to-face business, retirees may prefer to teach or coach through a freelance writing business. “Writing and blogging can be a way for the retiree to stay engaged in an online or other community, generate some income and leverage their knowledge,” said Hopkins.

As you brainstorm new business ideas, Garlo suggests asking a few key questions. “How much time do you want to spend working? What kind of flexibility do you require? Do you want to work from a fixed location or be able to work virtually? What subject matter in particular excites you?”

Garlo says it’s also important to consider your potential business customers, and if they can afford to pay you. “This will determine whether what you provide becomes a hobby or charitable endeavor, or is an actual business,” she said.

Start a “mastermind group”

Have you left a successful career after establishing a large network of valuable and experienced business contacts? If so, the main ingredients of your new business idea may be as close as your address book.

“[Retirees] have learned lessons that many business owners won’t learn for another 10 to 20 years,” said Tobe Brockner, author of “Mastermind Group Blueprint: How to Start, Run and Profit from Mastermind Groups” (Aloha Group Publishing, 2013). “This is why starting a mastermind group is a natural fit for retirees.”

Members of mastermind groups meet regularly to collaborate and solve the problems or issues of their members, tapping into the collected experience, skills and knowledge of the group.

“Many [retirees] already have a network that they can tap into to find excellent mastermind group members, and by being the group organizer and facilitator, they can make a nice supplemental income,” said Brockner.

Depending on the size of the area in which they live, Brockner said enterprising retirees can start and facilitate multiple mastermind groups, and charge a premium for the value of being a member.

“Mastermind group facilitators can generate between $1,500 to $3,000 per month per group for just a few hours [of] work,” he said.

Service-based businesses

Providing services has long been a popular idea for younger, active retirees who want to start their own businesses; however, familiar choices like handyman services, tutoring or pet sitting aren’t the only games in town.

“There are many options for service-based businesses, but one area particularly well-suited for retirees is to provide eldercare services,” said Nancy Collamer, career coach and author of “Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement” (Ten Speed Press, 2013).

“Many elderly living on their own need someone to help out with the tasks of daily living: housekeeping, shopping, errands and cooking,” said Collamer. “They also hire people to help out with special projects such as relocating, medical claims assistance and bill paying.”

 

Self Doubt Got Junk Removal

I’ve created a business out of cleaning other people’s junk. In 2004, when I was 21 years old, a friend mentioned making $100 by removing an old fridge. I realized I could do the same, so I started handing out homemade fliers in my hometown in Connecticut.

At first I borrowed my mom’s SUV until I was able to purchase Old Rusty – a somewhat reliable pickup truck that allowed me to expand from Fairfield County into New York. The business grew quickly, and soon I had to retire Old Rusty to purchase the bright green trucks we use today.

Stuck in a rut

Fast forward a few years: My wife, Peggy, and I were on vacation in Florida. I was 30 and now considered a “seasoned” business owner. What should have been a relaxing getaway from the daily hustle and bustle of the business was anything but. After reaching the ten-year mark, I was unhappy with where I was and where the business was going.

Instead of focusing on the vacation with my wife, I could only think of the business and how unhappy it made me. I was very frustrated because other companies were expanding faster than mine, and that I had reached such a stagnant place. I was on the verge of a breakdown.

Peggy humored me when I grumbled about my unhappiness, offered me advice I didn’t take, and let me vent. It got to the point, however, where Peggy could no longer take the complaints. We were leaving a CVS, when I said for what had to be the hundredth time, “I can’t do this anymore.”

She looked me straight in the eye and said, “Then don’t. Give up and find something else to do, or suck it up and fix whatever it is you’re dealing with. But you have to do something that isn’t complaining.”

 

Clearing away my self-doubt

Hearing Peggy’s advice to get over it or do something else was a bit of an eye-opener for me. For some reason, what she said resonated with me. I decided to shut up and make things happen, which is exactly what I’ve been doing since that very day.

The story about doubting the business you created is not something most business owners want to share, but it’s a reality I faced. My self-doubt truly changed the company for the better because it made me challenge the status quo. If my wife’s comment hadn’t caused me to declutter my negative thoughts about my career path, I’m not sure where the business would be today. Junkluggers is something that is very important to me, and in order to keep growing, I have to lead by example by staying passionate about the business and keeping a positive energy.

People will always have junk that they need to get rid of. Sometimes, that “junk” is negative thoughts and self-doubt. But once that junk is gone, it’s just a matter of keeping things clean.

Business tips to success

From implementing plans to further grow their companies, to dealing with the likely problems that will need to be overcome, this is the time of year when forward planning is the centre of attention.

Here some of the best business leaders – and rock music legends – profiled in 2015 for the BBC’s The Boss slot share their thoughts on running or setting up a business in 2016.

Have a clear objective. Understand the DNA of your business.

What you put in is what you get out. Do not take “no” or “can’t” as an answer.

Socialise and network within your industry.

Gene Simmons, bassist and the business brain of rock band Kiss

Get rid of all your loser friends. You know the ones – they drink too much, they get high. And like vampires they will suck the life blood out of you.

That may not leave you with very many friends, but… in business your friends will not be much help.

You’re too young and not rich enough to take vacations. Work, it’s a good word.

Janine Allis, founder of global fruit juice bar chain Boost Juice

There are many reasons people get into business. For me it was creative pursuit, and being a creator of my own destiny.

You need to build your business the right way for the right reasons. If it is just for the money then you will only have a business short term.

New companies are hungry for cash, so anything you are making will go straight back into the business. And often the founder, who is working 120 hours a week, is the last person to see any returns for a long time from their hard yards.

Collective wisdom says that goal-setting, planning and managing your time wisely are critical for success.

However, there is a secret formula to achieving objectives that is widely overlooked – do what you dread first!

Tackle the task, have the conversation, do the mundane that you least want to do at the beginning of your day.

It takes incredible discipline to start with the unexciting, but when you complete the task, you avoid using psychic energy towards fretting about what you’re avoiding.

You will open yourself up to more inspiration and imagination and find more time to accomplish greatness.

Oisin Hanrahan, founder of cleaning and maintenance service Handy

In business, no two weeks are ever the same, but if your company has been in existence for a year or more, then analyse and learn from the previous 12 months.

Identify the surge periods and the quiet moments, and make sure that you have the proper staffing levels in place, as well as being ready to pre-empt problems and capitalise upon perennial opportunities.

As they grow, far too many businesses become rigidly hierarchical – the distance growing between senior management and the staff on the frontline.

Beyond the obvious fact that layers of bureaucracy are an enemy to innovation, listening to all staff members, irrespective of their position, is crucial. Not only does such engagement prove good for morale, but the insights that staff can offer could be the thing that changes your business for the better.

Having landed a big contract or launched a new service, it is entirely understandable that maintaining this new workload becomes a priority for a business. However, it should not do so to the complete detriment of maintaining company growth.

Keep on implementing new business strategies and growth plans at all times. It may seem an obvious point to make, but so many companies become wholly dependent on one big client or project that they suddenly find themselves in deep trouble should they lose the work.

Yet these are the businesses that succeed, and in the long run are the ones that are truly successful. By contrast, firms that are stripped of their cash to “fund” the lifestyle of their owners are very short-lived.

Building a business on passion and hard work, and surrounding yourself with great people, is the recipe for success.

Jacqueline Gold, chief executive of Ann Summers

Be digitally minded – digital is a vital part of any business now, and it goes beyond just having a good website and being on social media.

Consumers want a digital experience across all elements of any business they engage with, and they want it to be seamless.

Diversify – think about how your business can grow and diversify in to new areas, but always ensure these new areas reflect your customer demographic.

I always look for new ways to evolve the brand, and in early 2016 we will be launching Rabbit, our own dating app.

Listen – this is a tip that’s relevant every year, never stop listening to your customers. They are the most vital source of information and their feedback is invaluable.

Alex Cheatle, co-founder of concierge business Ten Group

When leading your business, focus on what makes you different – not what is generic.

This allows your team, customers and suppliers to all “buy in” to why your business matters, and why it is worth joining, and staying and working with.

It also means that everyone is better focused on your competitive advantage and unique proposition.

Talk about what makes your business what it is.

Stumpy’s Hatchet House Business Tips

Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. The owners of Stumpy’s Hatchet House, Mark and Trish Oliphant and Stuart and Kelly Josberger, explain how this image represents their business.

Stumpy’s Hatchet House offers a back-to-basics form of recreation, bringing together friends for a primitive and organic experience. In this adults-only business, our customers experience “a social throwdown” — meeting friends, throwing hatchets to targets in a competitive game, cheering one another on, and ringing the bulls-eye bell!

We believed there was a need for activity and socializing, a place where people could “power down” and engage in something that was invigorating and unique. Stumpy’s features eight throwing pits that accommodate up to eight people each for the sport of hatchet throwing. After a brief training with their throwing coach on safety and procedure, participants are led into the rustic outdoor-like setting of the hatchet throwing pits, complete with tall timbers and an outdoor feel.

In their safe, controlled throwing pit (each with a clever name such as the “Brad Pit,” “Snake Pit” and ‘Peach Pit,” to name a few), customers take turns hurling their hatchet to the target, honing in on their form and technique. After several trials, most find this activity to be addicting. When not throwing, friends gather in the common area at large farm tables and comfy couches.

We also wanted our venue to provide more than just hatchet throwing. In our Wood Shed party room, the experience is extended to allow guests a place to gather and have meal. Additionally, for those who use Stumpy’s as a corporate team building venue, the Wood Shed also doubles as a meeting room.

This business did not open without challenges. Finding the right location with the proper zoning was a trick, and proper insurance was necessary, of course. Throwing sharp objects sounds dangerous, so we were determined to make our business safe and smart, attracting like-minded people who are looking to have a place to escape and do something primal and fun.

We opened in 2015, and in just a few short months, Stumpy’s Hatchet House has become a local Jersey Shore attraction. Adults of all ages have raved about the experience and returned for more. Repeat visitors are excited to bring new friends to share this hidden secret nestled in the industrial section of Eatontown, New Jersey. What’s next for Stumpy’s Hatchet House? Perhaps opening more locations in North Jersey, the northeast corridor, and/or across the United States. Who knows – maybe hatchet throwing will be the next Olympic sport!

 

How to reach the success business

To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they’ll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money – only to find that making money in a business is much more difficult than they thought. You can avoid this in your business ventures by taking your time and planning out all the necessary steps you need to reach to achieve success. Read on to find out how.

1. Get Organized
To be successful in business you need to be organized. Organization will help you complete tasks and stay on top of things to be done. A good way to do this is to create a to-do list each day – as you complete each item, check it off your list. This will ensure that you’re not forgetting anything and you’re completing all the tasks that are essential to the survival of your business.

2. Keep Detailed Records
All successful businesses keep detailed records. By keeping detailed records, you’ll know where the business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Just knowing this gives you time to create strategies to overcome the obstacles that can prevent you from being successful and growing your business.

3. Analyze Your Competition
Competition breeds the best results. To be successful, you can’t be afraid to study and learn from your competitors. After all, they may be doing something right that you can implement in your business to make more money.

4. Understand the Risks and Rewards
The key to being successful is taking calculated risks to help your business grow. A good question to ask is “What’s the downside?” If you can answer this question, then you know what the worst-case scenario is. This knowledge will allow you to take the kinds of calculated risks that can generate tremendous rewards for your business.

Entrepreneur Tips

The biggest problem founders and small business owners have is that they’re experts in their field and novices in what it really takes to effectively run a business. That’s what usually trips them up, sooner or later.

Don’t let that happen to you. Admit that you don’t know what you don’t know about business, starting with these 15 tips guaranteed to help keep you and your company out of hot water. Some are straightforward, others are counterintuitive, but they’re all true. And some day they’ll save your butt.

Always make sure there is and will be enough cash in the bank.

Period. The most common business-failure mode, hands down, is running out of cash. If you know you’ve got a cash flow or liquidity problem coming up, fix it now.

You can’t fire bad employees fast enough.

You just can’t. Just make sure you know they’re the problem, not you (see next tip).

Related: Busting the 6 Myths of Entrepreneurship

The problem is probably you.

When I was a young manager, my company sent us all to a week of quality training where the most important concept we learned was that 90 percent of all problems are management problems. When things aren’t going well, the first place to look for answers is in the mirror.

Take care of your stars.

This goes for every company, big and small. The cost of losing a star employee is enormous, yet business leaders rarely take the time to ensure their top performers are properly motivated, challenged, and compensated.

Your people are not your kids, your personal assistants, or your shrink.

If you use and abuse them that way, you will come to regret it. Capiche?

Learn to say “yes” and “no” a lot.

The two most important words business owners and founders have at their disposal are “yes” and “no.” Learn to say them a lot. And that means being decisive. The most important reason to focus – to be clear on what your company does – is to be clear on all the things it doesn’t do.

Listen to your customers.

It boggles my mind how little most entrepreneurs value their customers when, not only are their feedback and input among the most critical information they will ever learn, but their repeat business is the easiest business to get

Learn two words: meritocracy and nepotism.

The first is how you run an organization – by recognizing, rewarding, and compensating based solely on ability and achievement. The second is how you don’t run an organization – by playing favorites and being biased.

Know when and when not to be transparent.

Transparency is as detrimental at some times as it is beneficial at others. There are times to share openly and times to zip it. You need to know when and with whom to do one versus the other. It comes with experience.

Trust your gut.

This phrase is often repeated but rarely understood. It means that your own instincts are an extremely valuable decision-making tool. Too often we end up saying in retrospect and with regret, “Damn, I knew that was a bad idea.” But the key is to know how to access your instincts. Just sit, be quiet, and listen to yourself.

Protect and defend your intellectual property.

Most of you don’t know the difference between a copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent. That’s not acceptable. If you don’t protect and defend your IP, you will lose your only competitive advantage.

Unexpected Burning Man Business Inspiration

Despite Burning Man’s reputation for drugs, sex and EDM, many substantive conversations are inspired by the ethos of the festival itself: communal efforts, gifting and social responsibility.

Five years ago, the Burning Man Festival became the point of origin for Open Road Alliance, a philanthropic fund that helps solve the unexpected challenges that nonprofits face every day.

The problem we were discussing was the lack of fast funding for nonprofit projects that encounter an unexpected roadblock; in this case it was the absence of $25,000 to send donated hospital equipment worth $500,000 to a hospital in East Africa. The machinery sat for months on a loading dock in the U.S. because no one would pay the incremental costs to make sure it got there. Truly, a problem that could be easily fixed.

Although it would take us a year or two to prove out this notion, it turns out that there is virtually no back-up planning included in most donor grants to non-profits. The attitude is, “Congratulations, you got your grant. Don’t come back to us with a problem.” This would be akin to watching a fellow Burner run out of water in the desert and refusing to come to their aid. It doesn’t fly at Burning Man, and it shouldn’t be acceptable in the philanthropic world either.

Even putting altruism aside, leaving non-profits and their beneficiaries to suffer is bad business. When contingency funds aren’t available, donors essentially lose their original investments. Moreover, as the example of medical equipment demonstrates, solving these common problems often requires only incremental resources. In our portfolio, Open Road puts in only one-eighth of the original project budget on average. This leverage model gets us more bang for buck and has allowed us to rescue more than 70 projects to date, such as providing counseling on Indian Reservations, creating an open source sex-ed curriculum, and facilitating peace and mediation training for young African leaders.

 

Embracing the unexpected

“Be prepared” is the Burner mantra, and it is the message that Open Road Alliance brings to the philanthropic sector. Be prepared to act fast and responsibly to protect your investment in the people a non-profit project is designed to help. Don’t let patients go undiagnosed in Kenya because equipment is sitting on a loading dock; make sure the organizations trekking through deserts to bring water to stranded communities aren’t ironically derailed by unexpected flooding of the roads; and contribute to underserved communities by fully providing the resources they need to weather the unexpected storms we know they will inevitably face. Make sure the glass of water they have is full to the brim, because we should expect some unfortunate spills along the way.

My experiences at Burning Man made me realize that while you can’t plan for what you don’t know, you need to be able to adapt and evolve to get the most out of any venture — whether philanthropic or psychedelic in nature.

About the author: Laurie Michaels, PhD, is the founder of Open Road Alliance, where she works with her team to make charitable and recoverable grants to nonprofits in need of contingency funds. Dr. Michaels currently serves on the Board of Directors for PATH and Search for Common Ground.

 

Satisfaction onjob salary

But for many job seekers, it is about career growth in a company. A survey by TimesJobs revealed that career growth scored over salary while picking employer.

In an online poll conducted by TimesJobs, job seekers were asked-What is the biggest reason you will work for a particular company? Around 35% of the respondents said career growth was the major reason.

The poll also showed that job seekers were not as bothered about job security as parameters such as salary and work culture.

TimesJobs stated that 24% respondents said salary was the biggest reason on which they will decide to work for a particular company, while 21% of the respondents rated work culture as their biggest reason for picking an employer.

Also, 20% polled in favour of job security as the top reason for working in a company – showing a diminishing interest in public sector or government jobs.

This is in contrast to the results of a TimesJobs.com poll from mid. That time, 30% of the job seekers cited job security as the prime reason for going job hunting.

Meanwhile, a recent survey by Universum, a Swedish employer branding company, revealed that for majority of the Indian university students, the ideal employers were Google, Apple and Microsoft and the ReserveBank of India.

When the survey asked about employer attractiveness, business students listed ‘high future earnings’, ‘a creative and dynamic work environment’ and ‘leadership opportunities’.

However, engineering students said they felt attracted to ‘a creative and dynamic work environment’, ‘innovation’ and ‘a friendly working environment’.