Recently, Intuit released an interesting snapshot of their speculation on what the next 10 years will look like for entrepreneurship. In fact, they claim that in the next 10 years will see the most diverse pool of entrepreneurs ever.
Look around you. The face of entrepreneurship is changing. More often than not, the guy sitting next to you in the baggy jeans with a flipped back cap is heading up the next hot tech startup. Or possibly the girl in surfer shorts with the So-Cal swagger is behind a line of eco-friendly clothing set for explosive growth. Don’t underestimate the diversity of entrepreneurship, or the universal challenges that we all face.
Have you ever wondered if anyone has dealt with the same problem you’re experiencing in business? If so, the answer is yes. While entrepreneurs are unique and diverse personally and professionally, we face many of the same common challenges at various stages of business development.
More often than not the challenges are concentrated in operational management. Pain points usually exist in four areas: finance, marketing, technology and management. Here are four essential tools to help turn your weaknesses into strengths and master your business challenges with ease.
- Cash Flow: Take control of your finances by proactively measuring cash flow – the money that comes in and out of your business. For instant help, checkout an online app from Pulse that lets you monitor your cash flow on a monthly, weekly or daily basis. This tool let’s you organize your income and expenses by company and project with data and visuals. Try Pulse.
- Cost Effective Advertising: The advertising landscape can be daunting and seemingly complex. How can you reach your target audience the quickest and most effectively? A myriad of options exist including TV, Radio, Online, Outdoor, Product Placement, Point of Sale (POS), mobile and more. Minimize waste and surgically target your medium and the message. Start driving traffic to your website with paid search campaigns that will maximize your budget and awareness. Try Google AdWords.
- Creating a Website: With the availability of free tools and low-cost resources there is no excuse not to have a fully functional website to grow your brand presence online. If you don’t have a strong web presence you are missing out on a plethora of opportunities. Set up a site with limited technical knowledge and start selling. Try Magento Go.
- Control Your Own Time: “I’ll get to it later.” Sound familiar? Procrastination is the kiss of death for small business. Before you set out to find and retain great employees, start with mastering your time successfully. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound), develop a daily To-do List and prioritize the Urgent vs. the Important.
Fire drills are common in business but don’t confuse them with more important projects. Everything that is urgent is not necessarily important. Turn your time into money with an online app that is completely honest about ‘time-waster’ activities. Try Toggl.
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