How Female Entrepreneurs Can Build and Market an Online Business

 

While practically everyone suffered during the pandemic, women, in particular, bore the brunt of the hardship. Women who worked in the service industry were the first to go, followed by retail workers. Those women who had to leave their jobs to care for their children when schools closed found themselves replaced. If that was you, and going back to your old job is no longer an option or desirable, San Angelo Studios is here to share some ways you can make a living from home with your own online business.

 

The World of Online Business

With little to no capital or inventory required, online businesses are open to anyone who has an idea, an imagination, and a determination and drive to succeed. Women entrepreneurs are the fastest-growing sector in the county with 1.2 million or 21% of businesses being owned by women in the year 2020. If you found yourself handed some lemons during the pandemic, here are some ways to turn those into lemonade. 

  • Teaching Even if you’re not a professional teacher, if you’re a mom, chances are you had to be one for your kids during the quarantine. If you thought to yourself, I should get paid for this, there’s a good chance you can. Tutors, English language teachers, music and art teachers, and reading coaches are all available as online businesses. You can network with your local schools, dance and martial arts studios, PTAs, and other parenting organizations to get the word out. 
  • Retailing Your Home Crafted Goods. If you enjoy making candles, soap, jewelry, clothing, baked goods, or handmade home accessories, why not turn that into a business? Before, there were few sites to market them, with Etsy being the one most identifiable. Now there are dozens of sites where you can sell and market your products to a group of consumers who are looking for something not only unique but handcrafted. A lot of people have been turned off from shopping in the big box stores and want to support small businesses.
  • Selling What You Know Are you fluent in a second language? You could earn a modest full-time income being an online translator. Can you design websites? Are you adept at Photoshop? There are loads of people who are in need of those services. Are you a good organizer? You can market yourself as a personal assistant. Almost anything you know how to do can be turned into an online business. 

 

Marketing Your Small Business

You’re all about online businesses, so use online tools to help you market it too.

  • Marketing is like sending out invitations to a party. You can have all the food, drinks, and ambiance for a great big blow-out, but if nobody’s there, it’s not really a party, is it?
  • First, write a marketing plan. A comprehensive marketing plan will address budget, target market, sales goals and strategies, and how to quantify success. 
  • You can learn how to market yourself with some tutorials or you can attend college classes and even earn your degree in marketing. It’s all up to how much of your own time you’re willing to invest.
  • There are sources to find free apps, downloads, and programs that can help you save a lot of your cash resources too.

 

Managing Your Small Business

Running a small business has a lot of moving parts and it’s easy to get overwhelmed or even worse, run the risk of all your hard work going down the drain because you weren’t prepared. Thank goodness there is online help for that too. 

  • Use online experts to walk you through what you need to know, from staying legally compliant, to finances and taxes. Eventually, you’ll want to hire an outside professional for help, but in the beginning, a good solid online resource like this one can make the process easy to understand and give you a thorough knowledge of everything you need to get started.
  • Write up a business plan. You can use a professional who specializes in that, or you can find some online templates and guides to help you if you feel you’re up to the challenge. And it is a challenge. A good business plan not only outlines everything you’ll need to run your business now but forecasts what your needs will be as it grows.
  • Don’t neglect your bookkeeping! Maintaining precise records is a must, no matter what direction your business takes, so invest in a bookkeeping system that you can trust.

If there is an upside to living through a worldwide pandemic, it is perhaps the great awakening to the possibilities of doing something new. If you think this is the right time to step out on your own, there’s a whole world-wide-web of help out there, right at your fingertips. 

San Angelo Studios is a community of bold minds who have decided to work under the same roof. Our workspace and the people around us inspire us to take action, to grow, to do better. Call (325) 400-9957.

9 Clever Moves Successful Entrepreneurs Can Make So Their Business Thrives

It’s no secret that being a successful entrepreneur requires grit, determination, and a lot of patience. You may already know this if you own a business or hope to start a new one soon. However, there are a few key tactics that savvy business owners use to get ahead of the competition and help their startups thrive and grow.

If you’re an upcoming entrepreneur, work for yourself not by yourself at San Angelo Studios coworking space. Visit our site or call (325) 400-9957 to schedule a tour!

Invest in Automation 

There are some projects that are too complex for even savvy entrepreneurs to master solo. If you want to get ahead, invest in tools that help you automate these tasks. For example, if you have employees, you’ll have to be sure they get paid accurately and on time. Fortunately, you can use a payroll template to keep accurate and organized payroll records and calculate employee wages and taxes.

Choose Your Business Structure Wisely

The business structure you choose will affect the taxes you pay, how much personal liability you have, and your day-to-day operations. For example, if you need to raise capital or take on investors while protecting your personal assets, then a corporation could be the ideal business structure for you. The easiest way to register a Texas corporation is to work with an online formation service.

Value Time  

Why automation? The top reason for automating payroll and other detailed tasks is to protect your time. You see, entrepreneurs who are in the know understand that time is one of their most valuable commodities. Unlike profits, products, or services, you can never make more time and you can never get time back once you’ve lost it. So you should make every minute count.

Maximize Productivity

Automation is a good way to make the most of your time, but there are also quite a few popular productivity tools that can help. You can use these apps and services to manage your own schedule and projects, or you can put them to work to boost productivity for your entire team.

Master Branding  

Learning how to optimize your time is a good way to boost your business, but so is learning how to optimize your branding. SethLife offers web design, social media management, and search engine optimization (SEO), all of which are key to projecting a polished and professional brand. Visit their website and learn what they can do to set your startup apart from the competition.

Network Locally

Branding will help you connect with more customers, but you also need to look for ways to connect with other entrepreneurs and small businesses. A good place to start is with your local chamber of commerce. Join your chamber and then attend events to network with other businesses in your area, and of course to spread the word about your own small business.

Learn From Others

Connecting with other small business owners is also crucial because you will have the opportunity to learn from these seasoned entrepreneurs. You may even find that your chamber of commerce provides guest speaker events and mentoring opportunities. More than 93% of successful small business owners agree that connecting with mentors is key for success.

Prioritize Self-Care

Ask your mentor or other business owners for advice, and they might emphasize the importance of self-care, especially the everyday self-care routines that are essential for managing your health and well-being. Making time to eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, fit exercise into the day, and focus on sleep will also give you the focus needed to be a better business owner.

Practice Saying “No”

Wondering how to find time for self-care when you’re busy with meetings and building your business? The secret is to say “no” more often without feeling guilty about it. Yes, you should still keep yourself open to potential business opportunities, and you should be willing to take risks. At the same time, you don’t want to take on too much and end up burning out. 

Thriving as an entrepreneur is less about secrets and more about savvy. If you know which steps other successful business owners have taken, you can simply replicate their efforts and tailor each one to your specific goals and needs. Start with the tactics mentioned above and then connect with other entrepreneurs, mentors, and professionals who can help.

Photo Credit: Pexels

 

 

 

Startup Essentials You Can’t Get by Without

Are you a passionate business owner who wants to be successful in the free market? If you are working on a personal start up, you need to follow the example of thousands of businesses who have preceded you. Obtaining three practical, business essentials will make your business instantly more successful and start you off right.

A Place to Work

It is going to be hard to have a business if you don’t have a workplace. While many mom and pop shops start by operating out of their basement, they still set apart an area for them to make their product undisturbed. You may have more employees than the average family shop, however. In these cases, you should work on finding an affordable business place.

You may be able to strike a deal with another business. Renting out a small office can be incredibly affordable. Additionally, you could have your employees work remotely just like you, which helps mitigate the cost of rent. Many businesses are going this route to cut costs.

A Plan for Your Business

Next, you have to have a roadmap in order for your business to be successful. Otherwise, it can be difficult to know if you are making progress and ending up profitable whatsoever. Analyze your current goals, decide how you want to improve on your current model, and counsel with employees and specialists.

Financials and marketing strategies should all be included in your business plan. You should also consider innovative decisions in your products, as well as the way you brand yourself too. All of these decisions can influence what market you are reaching out to, and how effectively your current ads will work out.

A Digital Framework

Last but not least, you should be heavily involved online. A digital framework consisting of a well-designed website, clever SEO strategies, and multiple social media pages can make your product easier to find and interact with. This is essential, since the digital landscape has been intertwined in business.

Do you know how to use analytics effectively? You better learn. As you continue to use these digital platforms, you’ll be able to learn about your audience, what makes them tick, and what content of yours is most beloved.

Once you have all three of these things in your business coat pocket, you’ll be able to make strides within your industry. You’ll be able to connect with other companies, with new customers, and with strong minds in your current industry. You might just be a start-up now, but you can grow into something big.

Read this next: How to Get the Most Productivity Out of Working at a Desk

How to Steer Clear of Legal Trouble at Your Business

Whether you are starting up a business, hiring an employee, or merely beginning a new year for your company, you never want to run into legal trouble. Being a part of a business can involve a lot of paperwork, agreements, and legal procedures. It is important that you keep everything well organized and documented to avoid legal problems, so here are a few ways to keep your business free.

Run Things by a Lawyer

Especially as you are setting up your business or hiring a new employee, it is important to run things by a lawyer to make sure that everything is taken care of. Having a lawyer on your team, or at least one that you can hire, is an imperative step to keep a business above board. Lawyers will help you to put into order your documents, contracts, taxes, and more. They can help you to know how to move forward and meet the needs of your employees and business in a way that is lawful and secure. They also provide legal advice in the event your business does face legal problems.

Source: https://voneschlaw.com/5-ways-businesses-avoid-legal-issues/

Work with Contracts

Another great way to grow your business while avoiding legal issues is to utilize contracts. Especially when you are hiring employees, it is important to make sure that you have a contract with set rules, boundaries, and agreements to define your expectations and working relationship. For example, a master services agreement can set expectations between two parties in a business arrangement and help avoid misunderstandings. Contracts and agreements foster communication and minimize liability for your business.

Source: https://www.podium.com/article/master-services-agreement/

Document Everything

Lastly, one of the best things you can do to avoid legal problems in your business is to document everything from agreements, to accountability, to intellectual property. You should not only document rules and procedures, but agreements between employees, meetings with employers, important conversations, resources, intellectual items, and more. If you keep things well documented and organized in your company, you’ll be able to produce the information that is needed if you ever do have a legal problem present itself. Although it may require additional effort and labor, you’ll see that documenting everything in your workplace will be well worth it.

Source: https://www.tmf-group.com/en/news-insights/articles/2016/may/importance-of-documentation/

 

Running into legal problems is something to avoid, as they can be expensive and complex in repercussions for your business. These different ideas of working with a lawyer, utilizing contracts, and documenting everything will be helpful in this endeavor, but won’t protect you from all legal problems. Make sure that you research to see the different business laws and regulations that your specific business should be following so you know how to avoid any future issues.

 

Read next: How to Connect with Others in Your Industry

Why Every Entrepreneur Should Be Wary of Comparing Themselves

Being an entrepreneur can be a very exciting opportunity. Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs tend to compare themselves to others. Of course, it’s a natural response but you should still be wary of comparing yourself to other entrepreneurs.

It Decreases Creativity

One of the dangers of comparing yourself is that you are more focused on what others are doing rather than your ideas. This can actually decrease your creativity because you might shift your focus to replicating what others have done. Even if someone else has been successful with an idea, you don’t need to do things the same way. In fact, by focusing on your own ideas, you can come up with something that might be even more successful. Comparing your efforts to other people only distracts you from your business.

Survivorship Bias

Another problem with comparison is it opens you up to survivorship bias. This is a term that refers to referencing only businesses that currently exist. By only looking at these businesses, you might come away with overly optimistic conclusions. These businesses might have a lot going for them, but they might also be lucky. Only 35 percent of businesses remain after ten years. Because of this, it’s important to look at past businesses as well. This can allow you to learn lessons on other strategies that might have worked as well as things you should avoid. Making comparisons between yourself and others can lead you astray and prevent you from learning important lessons from the past.

You Lost Authenticity

Focusing on comparison can lead you to see other entrepreneurs as competition. This in turn can encourage you to hyper-focus on “winning.” If you do this, you are creating a clear definition for your business that doesn’t work well in the entrepreneurship world. Being an entrepreneur is all about having an independent business. It’s about having a unique idea. In today’s market, authenticity is highly sought out. People like to see the passion behind business. If you compare and compete, you aren’t being authentic. You’re just trying to do something better than someone else. Stick to your own business and be authentic to your own idea.

It is so easy to compare yourself to others. While it’s always a good idea to be mindful of what others are doing, it shouldn’t be your focus. Comparisons detract from your own business and can drag you down. Instead, focus on you and your business and allow your ideas to carry you.

Read this next: How to Get the Most Productivity Out of Working at a Desk

How to Connect with Others in Your Industry

Working with other people is one of the greatest ways to find success in the business world. While one company might be able to advertise and sell a successful product, two companies helping each other out can provide a huge safety net. Connecting with others in the industry is essential for making effective deals for both parties.

Use Coworking Spaces

The best way to practice connecting with other companies is by connecting with your coworkers and employees. While meetings are a great way to evaluate your constituents’ long-term and daily plans, they can become too formal and vocally oriented. Connecting people sometimes requires you to loosen and up and focus on directly working together.

Coworking spaces can be perfect for this. Rather than keeping people huddled in their cubicle, people can pitch in ideas that they have in an open environment. Facing one another can help you have honest conversations about the route your company is going in a relaxed way.

Join Networking Groups

As you develop a stronger working relationship with your employees, you should seek opportunities to connect with other businesses. Joining an organization in your industry can help you find resources to succeed. Not only do they open the door for networking moments, but organizations also often provide training workshops and speeches from successful people in your industry.

The industry you choose to join may depend on your company’s needs. Some organizations provide a diverse pool of classes and speeches to learn from, others provide a focused approach on a single topic. Whatever you think works, just remember to share your business name and products regularly.

Host an Event of Your Own

It might even be worth it to host an event of your own. Preferably, you should contact the other business owner about the event. Be incredibly clear about the expectations of the meeting, saying that you think a deal between your businesses could work. While you can invite more businesses to the event, having one can make it more straightforward.

If you decide to go ahead with multiple companies, you should present the event as a networking party. This can help people naturally connect, and may lead to successful follow-up phone calls. There are even ways to do this during the pandemic.

Improving the way you network will help you in the long run. People enjoy working with those that treat them with respect and remain optimistic. Don’t let your fear of rejection cloud your ability to reach out to others.

Experience the benefits of a coworking space for yourself at San Angelo Studios! Start by contacting us to get a free day to try it. 

Is the Age of the 9-to-5 Workday Coming to an End? 5 Ways Businesses are Ditching the Status-Quo and Embracing Flexible Work

While the flexible and remote workspace isn’t a new concept, the upending ramifications of Covid-19 has put the entire business industry in new territory whether they were ready or not. Below are 5 ways companies are shifting the office-space norm to a new modern-era of the workplace. 

 

Virtual Team Management

 

Over the last 6 months in the USA there has been a revolution of the working mindset. Companies have embraced remote work set-ups utilizing collaborative platforms such as Google Suite, Basecamp, or Sococo to manage teams, projects, and meetings. These innovative platforms have displayed that working collaboratively outside of the board room is entirely possible, and may even be more productive to schedule management. 

Virtual Team

Flexible Schedules

Some companies have gone so far as to say they worry only about deadlines and not a set work day. If you’re getting your work done on time, who really cares if you did it at 9:00AM or 7:00PM? This has been the appeal of freelancers and contractors around the world. This opens up the pool of potential employees to military dependents stationed oversees, persons residing in foreign companies, or caregivers with outstanding contributions to your business, but have obligations at home restricting them from the standard office. 

 

Global Team Members

As mentioned above, moving outside of the standard office building to a new virtually connected company opens the doors to a vast and diverse workforce.  You may have an ideal employee who cannot relocate. Why lose out on their expertise when remote work set-ups allows them to be a part of your team? Or perhaps your start-up isn’t located in a big city with a hub of potential employees around the corner. If the culture of 2020 has taught us anything, it’s been that diverse viewpoints, backgrounds, and living experiences strengthen the collective foundation of a business place. Utilize the rural-based web developer who understands the needs of specialty internet shopping or hire the single parent living in the city who sees innovation benefit of prompt delivery services first hand. 

Global Team

Remote Individual Workspace

Another unseen benefit of “the new virtual office” is fewer workplace liabilities. Some companies operating completely remote don’t have to foot the bill of a large rental space or the insurance for the people and products within the building. There are companies that restructured those business costs to their employees by giving them a budget to outfit a comfortable home office or a stipend to maintain membership at a co-working space supplied with copiers, fax machines, fast and reliable internet access, and coffee. It’s in our human nature to make our work spaces comfortable whether that is in aesthetics, pictures, or comfortable seating. Allowing employees their ultimate individualized space will see more creative output, less burn-out, and overall increased mental health. 

 

Increased Social Media and Online Presence

With less foot traffic brought on with Covid restrictions, many businesses have embraced the innovation needed to keep customers. This has resulted in all-new ways of communicating and connecting online both as a producer and a consumer. Businesses are learning how people consume online and realizing it works. We’ve never lived in a more virtually connected world, so why have services remained in brick and mortar facilities? New audiences and clients are accessible as your online platform grows. Why limit your reach to the people who can only physically enter your store or sit at your desk for a meeting? 

 

We can call it the “new normal” but this may be the era of the largest global business growth in recent history. Don’t let this opportunity to recreate or break out of the old pass you by.

 

How to Get the Most Productivity Out of Working at a Desk

How to Get the Most Productivity Out of Working at a Desk

One common struggle experienced by many people who work a “desk job” is maintaining motivation and productivity. Sitting in one space all day repeating the same tasks can become monotonous. Despite this, there are a few ways to increase your productivity and maintain your motivation, no matter what job keeps you stuck at your desk. Keep reading to find out how!

Stay Focused on Work

A desk is much more than a desk. It’s a workspace, an environment. You have control over how you create and maintain that environment. You can greatly increase your productivity if you make your desk strictly a workspace, and do other activities like eating lunch or taking a break elsewhere. There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t eat lunch at your desk. One of these main reasons is that if you eat lunch at your desk, you condition or train yourself to get used to not focusing at your desk. Conversely, if you eat lunch in the breakroom, you train yourself to stay focused on work while at your desk, ultimately remaining more productive.

Keep it Clean

Keeping your desk and office clean can be a key part of staying productive. Having clutter all over your desk can be distracting and hinder your productivity. If you keep your desk clean and free of distracting materials, you’ll make physical and mental space to focus on your work. Of course, you don’t have to completely sterilize your workspace—adding a fun bit of personality such as personal mementos or inspiring quotes can help you be motivated and have fun too! The main idea is to avoid distractions that hamper your productivity.

Use a Planner

In addition to optimizing your physical workspace through environmental conditioning and cleanliness, you can (and should!) optimize your mental workspace through detailed planning. When you don’t have a specific plan, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. This can lead to procrastination and a lack of productivity. To avoid this common pitfall, use a daily planner, and come up with a few manageable, specific tasks which you can accomplish each day to feel productive. Checking things off your list will feel good and serve as a visual symbol of your success, encouraging you to continue working hard. Set yourself up for success through environmental conditioning, cleanliness, and planning! These three suggestions will help you stay productive and make the most out of your time at your desk. With these productivity tips at your disposal, why wait? Contact us now to schedule a free day and take advantage of our amazing workspace!