Would You Diversify If You Had A Small Business?

The recent writers’ strike that has paralyzed the television and film industry in USA has also hurt the many innocent victims who run small businesses that make a living by providing services for the benefit of the members of the industry.Under the circumstances, it may have been critical for the writers to strike as they did because the movie moguls and television heavyweights were not prepared to play ball, having gotten major concessions from the writers as a result of the previous writers’ strike in 1988.Small businesses operate on a competitive basis. Unless they provide services at the right price using quality products they often do not survive. In situations such as what has occurred with the writers’ strike, small businesses are always the ones that suffer in silence. The very nature of their existence does not allow them the opportunity to have a collective voice like unions and guilds that can also use withdrawal of services to back up their demands. Therefore small business operators need to consider some form of diversification to help them survive in difficult times.One of the dilemmas small business operators have is whether diversification will be detrimental to the building of their main business. Usually it is because of the persistent focus on developing their goals that small business operators are able to succeed where others would fail. Another reason small business operators are able to succeed is because of the above average productivity which enables them to be more competitive than larger companies. This is particularly so when they have less overheads than larger companies.Nevertheless, small business operators need to have cash flow in order to survive difficult times. Therefore it often prudent for small business operators to develop businesses that can complement their existing operations without diminishing their focus on their business goals. The recent writers’ strike has demonstrated this, especially for those reliant upon the television and film industry.It does not pay to become reliant upon just one industry, just the same as it not advisable to rely upon one client for work. Diversification within an industry is advisable, but it is also advisable to develop a secondary income source in another industry.One of the best ways of doing this is to become involved in promoting something that is not going to take up too much of your time, but will allow for continued future growth.Some of the options that are available for small business operators are to become silent partners in other businesses which are in a different industry. Developing a property portfolio or a share portfolio are other ways to hedge against income lulls and prevent small business operators from going broke.Apart from investing in shares or becoming a share trader, a cheap way to get involved in a business that fits the criteria of continued future growth with minimal involvement is multi-level marketing. This is because over time residual income tends to grow without too much effort being required, especially if you have a quality product and above average company.Another way is affiliate marketing. Actually, if you have access to a computer, all you have to do is become an affiliate marketer and spend an hour every day developing your future goals. The initial cost of starting up a business as an Internet marketer can virtually be no cost at all.With the knowledge that there are other options available to develop as an insurance hedge against no cash flow from your main source of income, even if you are not a small business operator, it is your interests to diversify and find a secondary source of income.

Personal Branding Strategies for Women in Business

How a Personal Brand Plan Benefits Your Business Brand
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Truer words were never spoken, and they apply to both you and your business.If you’re a store owner, for example, you know that if someone has a negative interaction the first time they visit, they’re going to walk right out, and likely never come back. They might even tell a few friends.But if they have the time of their life on their first visit to your store, you’ve got a loyal customer for life. And again, they might even tell a few friends.But what about if you’re someone who works with clients? Someone who hopes to be a leader, a speaker, an author, an entertainer, a consultant?Perhaps you’ve done the hard work of building your business brand, with a logo and professional website to match.But your business brand is only half the battle. Because if you want to stand out and reach your ideal clients, then you need to spend just as much effort on understanding, developing and maintaining your personal brand.While personal branding is critical for all business people of all genders, the reality is that women are so often conditioned to be meek and mild. So while anyone can benefit from the tips I’m about to share, I highly recommend that women, in particular, listen up (so they can get the confidence to speak up and stand out!).Why You Need a Personal Branding Strategy
Women often ask me, ‘how does a personal brand contribute to my business?’Branding takes work and effort, and business leaders are tuned in to ROI. So they often want to know how a personal brand can benefit their business, before putting in all the effort.In short, your personal brand is a representation of your business, and people will judge you accordingly. The reality is that people do judge a book by its cover.So creating a brand is like the cover for your business. You want that cover to not only stand out, but also to be a true reflection of who you are, and what your business is all about.And whether intuitively or directly, most people believe that how you do one thing is how you do everything. If your personal brand is haphazard, lazy or nonexistent, that will reflect on your business whether you want it to or not.On the other hand, when you align your personal brand with your business brand, you’re much more likely to not only connect with the right people but also turn them into raving fans. So that’s the ‘why’ of developing a personal branding strategy. To learn more about how personal branding dovetails with professional branding on our website.Now let’s get into the ‘how.’Creating A Personal Brand
If every journey begins with a single step, then the first step on this journey is to embrance your personal brand.That means being confident in who you are. This calls for authenticity. Honesty is important over all else in branding – being genuine builds trust, and trust builds customers.
This can be difficult for women who are often raised to be people-pleasers and all-things-to-all-people.That’s why you need to keep your target audience in mind.When building up your brand you need to define yoour ideal client.And then realize that only your ideal client matters. Not everyone has to like you, and that’s OK. Remember that the people who don’t embrace your brand were never likely to be customers, anyway.So be confident in who you are. Own it! Own your personality and don’t be afraid to share it with the world. Embrace what makes you unique, and share it with the world. READ:8 Personal Branding Mistakes that are Hurting Your Business
Personal branding blunders can repel customers. But how do you avoid them so you don’t actually harm your business?Here are the biggest personal branding mistakes to avoid.Read more online.Examples of Building Your Brand and Building Your Business
In my role, I wear lots of hats. Our Canadian-based agency provides just about every service you could require for digital marketing: logo and graphic design, custom website design and development, SEO and SEM marketing, social media marketing, content writing, copywriting, newsletters, and strategy consulting.And while I love all my hats, I think what I love most is working one-on-one with small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them define both their personal and professional brands and use them both effectively.It’s so powerful to help women have their ‘aha’ moment of getting crystal clear on who they are and what they have to offer. For example, our good friend and (now retired) client Dana Smithers is a woman who lives, eats and breathes her personal brand. Always the ‘lady in red,’ Dana is a shining example of integrating her personal brand with her business brand and her whole life.Our client Katherine Hartvickson of Quantum Ascendance is another shining example of creating solid and consistent personal and professional brands.Katherine is a high performance leadership and HR Consultant, as well as speaker and best-selling author.She is also a powerhouse personal brander, infusing professionalism and grace into everything she does. This includes regular insightful blog posts and a longstanding social media presence that establishes her as a go-to expert.And like we’ve covered, it’s important to fully embrace who you are.For example, our client Yvonne Douma isn’t afraid to show her playful side! While her company Douma Leadership offers serious services to entrepreneurs looking to improve their communication skills, Yvonne brings an infectious lightheartedness to her work that her clients love.So instead of forcing herself into the ‘somber businesswomen’ role, Yvonne embraces who she is, with a social media presence that reflects the fun, family-oriented person she is.Don’t get us wrong: Yvonne is a super serious entrepreneur and consummate professional who also shares incredibly insightful tips and strategies to establish herself as an expert in her field (for example, see our talk on communication skills on our website).But that doesn’t mean she needs to shoehorn her personal brand into something that just isn’t her.Branding Tips for Women In Business
So once you’ve got a little clarity on your personal brand, what comes next?Here’s are some tried-and-tested ways to build your personal brand:Optimize Social Media
The best way to effectively use social media in your marketing is to be consistent and create authentic engagement.Social media is not a tool to sell your business. Instead, it offers a wonderful opportunity to share your personal brand. Keep your social media presence consistent in order to build and enhance your personal brand awareness and develop a “know, like and trust” factor with your followers.Learn some more tips on how to create an effective social media strategy with us online.Develop An Appropriate Content Strategy
A good content strategy is important for so many reasons, one of which is establishing your personal and professional brands. We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘content is king,’ so it should be no surprise that well-written content is one of the most important elements of your website and marketing materials.Now, the right content strategy will look different for different companies. It can include:
Website content

Webinar/Teleseminar registration pages

Product and service sales pages

Blogs and newsletter articles

eMail Marketing / Newsletters

Social media posts

Press Releases

Print marketing materials

Ultimately, the goal of all content should be to showcase your brand, appeal to more clients, gain conversions and, ultimately, increase business.If you’re new to content marketing, we have some great resources to help you get started:
How To Create Blog Content to Attract Your Target Audience

How To Convert Newsletter Signups Into Customers Without Feeling Sleezy

How To Engage And Inspire With Interactive Content Marketing

Accept Praise With Grace
This is a personal fault of my own, and I suspect it’s something many women struggle with. It’s sometimes tough to respond to a compliment, but I highly recommend you take a moment and accept it. Part of owning who you are is being grateful when people recognize it.So instead of shrinking back and deflecting compliments, accept praise with graceAnd don’t shy away from your accomplishments, either! It’s not bragging if you simply list your accomplishments and let them stand for themselves.Find your Community
Surround yourself with your target market. That way, you’re more likely to be spending time with people who are more likely to respond to your personal brand.Not everyone appeals to everyone, so put yourself in places where your ideal clients will be present. Mixing water with oil will just cause you unnecessary problems.By placing yourself in the right setting and letting yourself shine with a strong personal brand, you will lead yourself to your ideal clients. The opposite – trying to be all things to all people – just leads to hurdles that are best avoided.You can connect with your community at networking and community events, and never underestimate the importance of a great Facebook group!Work With A Branding Expert
If you’re an entrepreneur, then I have no doubt you are good at what you do. But what you do may not be branding and marketing.Remember, personal and professional branding takes a lot of time and effort. It can also be a little intimidating.You’d outsource your accounting if numbers make you cross-eyed, and you’d outsource your building management if you were swamped for time. Similarly, it’s often a great idea to outsource your branding and marketing if you feel like you’re in over your head, or if you just don’t have the time to dedicate to this important work. That’s where our team can help, with consulting and branding strategies to help you get to the next level. I can’t wait to learn more about your business goals!To your business success,Susan

Different Career Paths for Online Education Degrees

It’s the age old question, what do you want to be when you grow up? As kids we say things like ballerina, astronaut, and doctor. How many of us really became the things that we dreamed we would when we were kids? There is nothing wrong with changing you mind. As we grow up our taste changes and we learn to adapt to the world. More and more we see people putting off the pursuit of their dreams in order to pay the bills. What if there was a way that you could go to school and still explore your passions? When you attend an online school, this notion can actually happen. You have time to set your own schedule and work your school schedule around your busy everyday life. Now that you know you can get a degree and work…where do your passions lie? Online education offers many fields of study. Here are a few that you can choose from. Each school has their own programs so make sure you do your research if you are interested in these programs or want to explore others.Can you take an ordinary object and transform it into something else? Many people who are creative and artistic thrive in these sorts of situations. There are many different degrees that you can obtain that tap into your artistic mind. Schools now offer degrees in: architecture technology, architecture, design (fashion, graphic or interior), and urban planning. For those who are interested check with the schools that you are interested in and find one that offers a program tailored for your dreams.More and more we see our economy change and sometimes it moves very rapidly. This notion is probably what makes a business degree one of the most popular and the most practical degree available. With a business degree you lay the building blocks down for the corporate world and have a better understanding for what makes the world go round. If you decide to, you can focus on a concentration and get a degree in anything from Accounting to Human Resources.Another area that is almost as popular as business is communications. Our world is constantly connected now to everything that surrounds us. With social media, news, internet, text messages, etc. You can be connected to the other side of the world by the click of a button. If you enjoy interacting with people and can keep up with fast paced and ever changing field, then communications may suit you.Currently in the United States our education system is constantly under a microscope. For this reason, educators are extremely important. With an education degree you will be teaching the future of our country and play a role in shaping their lives. Careers in education are for those who do not seek personal gain. It is truly for the love of the subject matter and the children. There are many different forms also. You can specialize in general education or focus on working with individuals in special education that need a little extra attention. Maybe you don’t like tiny children, then working in a high school or on a higher level may be your calling.