After we released Zoho Social last month, I’ve been talking to a lot of customers, replying to love and hate emails, helping them set up their accounts and what not. It’s fun helping small businesses get better at social media marketing!
Last weekend, I was looking forward to meeting someone at my favorite cafe. No, this wasn’t about work. It was about food! A young entrepreneur who started a food-delivery business right after he graduated got in touch with me over Twitter. He said he was meeting some foodies in the city over the last couple of weeks and wanted to meet me to talk about my favorite food joints in the city. Well, that tells you a thing or two about me.
You enter your favorite café. You are greeted with the same familiar warm smile! “The usual?” you are asked. You smile in agreement, and get yourself seated in your favorite seat overlooking the driveway. Within a few minutes of comfortable wait, there comes your favorite expresso, along with a copy of the Times “Here you go, sir! Double Shot, just the way you like it!” You smile, totally wondering which is a more pleasant experience – sipping your favorite coffee from your favorite café, or the warmth with which you are being treated! Every single time!
I asked myself this question: When was the last time someone connected with me on a personal note? When was the last time I was greeted with such a warm smile? Well, I realized I have to take you back in time. My time, from my childhood!
Our neighborhood baker knew my family well. My father would just say “the usual” and the baker would give us bread for the day. He knew that we preferred french bread on weekends, and would take the necessary care to make sure it was there during weekends. We never had to tell him anything, he knew us so well. He’d quietly gift us some muffins whenever there was a family occasion. Everyone in the bakery knew everyone in the neighborhood. We might not have known many people or had many contacts during those days. But the ones we knew, we knew them well. Very well!
Do you spend sleepless nights worrying about your business debt? If you do, then you’re not alone. Recently, Gallup, a research-based global performance management consulting company, conducted a survey and found that 49% of small business owners find it extremely difficult to manage their current debt. The fact is, handling debt can be one of the most difficult challenges a small business owner can face.
When things get really tough and there’s no way out, historically, many ailing businesses declared bankruptcy. But, new laws have made it more difficult to simply declare bankruptcy to get out from under piles of debt. Furthermore, bankruptcy is no easy way out, as it comes at a high price. Typically, a bankruptcy filing costs thousands of dollars in court and attorney fees. Even worse, your credit scores, not to mention your business reputation, will take a severe hit, making it nearly impossible to regain business stability.
Fortunately, there are ways to avert this type of financial disaster. Here are a few helpful tips to control your debt before it controls you.
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?
At 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
Coffee 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.”
I’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.