Gunning for Gold: Why Owning a Business is Like Training for the Olympics

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As a small business owner, one needs to stay inspired at all times. Everything around you motivates you to follow your dream and do anything you can to keep it alive. Watching a sporting event like the Winter Olympics, is a great reminder to stay committed to your business goals.

When we watch the Sochi events on YouTube or read about it in the news, rarely do we think about the preparation, the intense training these athletes had to undergo to be eligible for competing at the greatest sporting event in the world. We remember only the winners, the people who performed exceptionally well. We forget about the years, the decades of hard work that come down to just a few seconds.

Ever thought what you and a sportsperson training for the Olympics have in common?

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Freedom to focus on your email campaigns with an even better free plan

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Better Free PlanAt Zoho, we believe that growing businesses should have the freedom to try and experiment as much as they want, without having to worry about limits. When we launched Zoho Campaigns, we had a similar goal. We wanted to make it easier for your business to define your email marketing campaigns and not worry about the process. And that’s why we’re constantly working on improving our product and pricing plans towards this theme.

It was during the first year celebration that we strengthened our free plan. Read more

Lessons from a Coffee Mill for All Small Business Owners

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Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetCoffee touches everyone differently. For some, coffee is essential to functioning the way motor oil is essential to a combustion engine or oxygen to fire.

Some drink coffee because it’s become part of their daily routine alongside showering and getting dressed. It’s a habit.

Others — my roommate for example — drink coffee through their nostrils and are perfectly content with never letting it touch their lips. It is an aroma of comfort. An aroma of home.

Coffee has a sense of nostalgia and urgency. Of past memories and of days ahead. John Steinbeck may have said it best when he wrote, “coffee has a special taste of a frosty morning, and the third cup is as good as the first.”

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Are Small Business Incubators the Future?

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iStock_000021656315XSmallI’ve been to Las Vegas once in my life. A group of friends and I made the trip in November 2009 to celebrate a close friend’s bachelor party. Yes, we had a good time. No, it wasn’t anything like the cliché “Vegas baby Vegas,” experience we’ve come to expect thanks to Hollywood.

Either way, the Vegas strip is an incredible spectacle. People are everywhere. Buildings stretch to the sky like a stack of chips on a heater. Roller coasters weave and duck right above the sidewalks and you can eat your weight at any of the mile-long buffets.

Think about the image you have of Las Vegas. Casinos, hotels, money, expensive food and live shows. Doesn’t exactly describe a mecca or hub for entrepreneurs and small business owners working to establish their product in a city overrun with people in search of nothing but brand names, or who are even aware Las Vegas exists beyond the four-mile-long strip.

As much as the casinos and hotel feed the city’s economy, most people on the strip are not citizens. They are tourists in town for two to five days and then gone faster than Lady Luck at the craps or blackjack table. Local businesses aren’t making money off tourists. They have to appeal to the citizens of Las Vegas in a location that appeals specifically to them. That’s why I found this recent story so fascinating.

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Small Business Stories You Might Have Missed

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iStock_000015589126XSmallWelcome back to our ongoing series geared toward getting you the stories and information you need to improve your small business. As a small business owner, you can never stop reading about the state of the market or learning new ways to improve and expand. That’s where we come in.

So in case you didn’t have a chance to read the tens of thousands of articles or Facebook posts since our last installment, here are some of the most useful and interesting stories we came across.

Getting the Most from Your Blog

Blogs used to be the butt of a number of jokes that usually revolved around an unemployed “writer” in his or her parent’s basement eating Cheetos or Twinkies. However, this is far from the truth. Blogs have since become an essential part of a business’ SEO value and overall online presence.

Getting a blog is no problem. Providing quality, shareable content three to five days a week is the challenge. This article from Search Engine Journal addresses this very issue. From organizing thoughts and ideas in an editorial calendar to simple tips on coming up with blog post ideas, you will immediately improve your company’s blog overnight. Read more

Small Business Stories You Might Have Missed

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iStock_000019387075XSmallThe amount of information that comes across our computer, smartphone or tablet screen on a daily basis is overwhelming. Photos, and videos, and status updates, and tweets, and links. It’s too much.

We click on 100 million Twitter links and share 2.5 billion items on Facebook everyday. Yes, you read that right. Everyday! You can’t possibly see every story or read every useful article pertaining to the growth and success of your small business.

Keep in mind that we can’t either, but we can do our best to get you a few of the most relevant and interesting articles concerning the small business market in this new blog series. So, in case you missed them, here are four articles you should check out right now.

Job Creation

Despite the United States unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 7.6 percent from May to June, small businesses are continuing to add jobs. Last month, companies with fewer than 50 employees created 84,000 jobs — 45 percent of the total new jobs added in June.

For a full breakdown of the stats and what it means, check out this article from Small Business Trends.

Managing Your Time

If you are a small business owner, you’ve come to one important realization:  there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Time management is crucial to efficiency and maximizing your efforts. Vice President of Marketing at Nextiva Yaniv Masjedi takes you through five ways you can manage your time more efficiently so you can not only improve your business, but also have a more peaceful workday.

Optimize Content Marketing

Content marketing is no longer just a trend. In fact, it is believed to be the future of marketing because it encourages people to share links on social networking sites; therefore, driving more traffic to your website.

Sam Slaughter at Mashable discusses the danger of content marketing drifting away from its original intention and purpose and simply becoming link bait. He also gives useful tips to improve your content marketing strategy immediately.

What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?

Not every entrepreneur or small business owner has the same personality or work style. From investing your time and money into a start up to possibly buying a business, it is important to understand the different types of entrepreneurs so you can make the right decision.

This article takes you through five entrepreneurial styles like total risk takers to “Do It Yourself” enthusiasts, so you can learn how you can maximize your efforts.