Business Growth Stalled? Here’s What’s Next

Are you ready to grow your business but don’t know where to pick up where you once left off? Sales and customer service can only get you so far. If you’re ready to expand, today’s tips can help you move past simply sending more invoices.

Get more space.

Although many businesses operate on a virtual platform either full or part-time, sometimes you need a bit more space to spread out, collaborate with your team, or physically create inventory. For office space without a permanent commitment, sign up with San Angelo Studios coworking space. There are many flexible membership options that start at just $50 per month.

Change your business structure.

Many small businesses began as sole proprietorships or LLCs. However, there are other options out there, including an S corporation. This is a type of structure that gives you the benefits of a corporation with the pass-through tax advantages of an LLC. This means you can count business losses on your personal taxes and skip paying federal taxes on the business level. To save, file yourself online.

Evaluate your process with BPM.

If all of your business processes are currently manual, it’s time to reevaluate. Look for ways to get your systems to talk to each other. This is usually achieved through business process management strategies, which help you automate many practices. Your workflow, data, and people will be in more constant contact with each other, and you’ll cut down on laborious tasks. Talk with your staff continually to see if your BPM plan is working, and listen to them when they offer advice on how to make it more effective.

Hire more people.

Even though everyone around you considers you Superman or Superwoman, you can’t do it all alone. Your business got to where it is with your hands-on guidance, but now may be the perfect time to let go of some responsibilities and hire new people. Marcus Lemonis has famously said for years that his employees are his number one priority, taking that coveted spot away from the customer. When you have great employees, they are an asset to your business and can help you grow in ways you never imagined.

Research complementary products.

Complementary products are those that your customers are likely to purchase alongside of or shortly after buying yours. Make sure that you know what your customers need and want, and then offer it to them. If you are a salon, for example, you might sell your shampoos, conditioners, and styling tools. You’ll also want to make sure you always have gift cards on hand, which is just one of the many marketing tips from The Salon Business blog.

Consider buying out the competition.

If you’re ready for a huge leap on the growth journey, consider buying out the competition. Lendio explains that this has many benefits, including fewer competitors and quick growth. However, you will want to proceed with caution as it may be tough to integrate, and you may go into debt to make the purchase.

Streamlining with business process management, hiring new staff, and moving to an S corporation structure, along with the other tips we presented above, are just a few ways to grow. What’s important for your business is that you look ahead and lay a strong foundation for the future. Remember, growth does not have to happen all at once, and even small steps along your journey toward success are something to be proud of.

San Angelo Studios has a desk for you. Contact us today to see how you can get a free day in our cozy and comfortable coworking space.

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How to Manage Entrepreneurship Across States

If you run a business that operates in several states, becoming a multi-state homeowner may have been a strategic choice that you made for entrepreneurial success. But managing multiple homes while running a business isn’t easy. Designing great workspaces with tips from Phoenix Home + Garden can simplify your life! Furthermore, these tips can walk you through everything from managing your cost of living to secure your homes to finding a registered agent.

Keep Your Homes Safe

If you own several properties and you move between them, you need to ensure that they’re safe and secure when you’re gone – especially if you store business tools or documents in your homes. You may want to buy security cameras, an alarm system, or a safe. To make sure you’re investing in high-quality products, check out detailed reviews from neutral sources before making any purchases. 

Assign a Registered Agent 

When your business is registered in one state, but you manage operations throughout several states, it’s a good idea to have a registered agent in the state where your business is officially based. You can rest assured that your business will run smoothly even when you’re on the road. You’ll have to lay out established processes and decision-making guidelines for your agent. If a lawsuit or tax notification crops up in your absence, your registered agent can handle the situation for you.

 Choose the Right Insurance Policies

Everyone needs various forms of insurance – but your policies are typically tied to the state where you live. What if you own homes in multiple states? If you divide your time equally between states, you can enroll in a health insurance policy in the state that offers the lowest rates. If not, you’ll want to enroll in a policy in the state where you spend the most time. To purchase car insurance, you will need to choose a policy in the state where your car is registered. 

Stay on Top of Organization 

Staying organized is key for multi-state homeowners and entrepreneurs. Keep your digital files in a cloud storage system that you can access from anywhere, and ensure that your physical documents are kept in order at your homes. You may want to make copies of key documents to store at different homes. If possible, you may want to hire a remote personal assistant who can handle your business affairs no matter where you are.

Control Your Cost of Living

Managing a business and several homes in multiple states means that you’re always dealing with changing prices. A service that’s expensive in one state might be cheaper in another state! These cost of living figures can help you balance your budget while living between states:

  • If you want to expand your real estate portfolio in Scottsdale, AZ, a new home will cost you around $845,000.
  • CareLuLu states that for couples with children in Tucson, AZ, daycare generally costs about $630 per month.
  • Payscale states that going to the doctor for a checkup in Salt Lake City, UT, will run you approximately $115.21.
  • Over the course of a year, residents of Albuquerque, NM, will typically spend about $3,792 on groceries.
  • If you’re seeking a storage unit in Las Vegas, NV, note that Vegas storage options are usually priced around $125.87 per month.

Operating a business in several states can leave you feeling pressed for time. Managing your life efficiently is key. With these tips, you’ll be able to make a reasonable lifestyle budget, choose the right registered agent, and ensure that all of your properties are secure.

Are you looking for a great co-working space that’s good for both handling your business and meeting like-minded people? Check out San Angelo Studios today.

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How to Create a Brand for Your Small Business

To grow your small business, you need to develop a brand that helps you stand out and attract customers. Branding can encompass many aspects of business, from advertising to product development. You can help your company succeed by understanding the different approaches and styles used in business branding. These tips can steer you in the right direction.

The Importance of Branding

Branding helps you differentiate your business from competitors and allows you to build recognition and reach your target market. Furthermore, branding practices can aid you by increasing consumer retention and loyalty. Successful branding strategies create emotional value for the customer.

A memorable brand also generates value for the company because customers tend to choose products or services they know. Positive experiences with a company improve the customer’s impression of the brand, and they are more likely to try other services and products offered by the business.

Creative Marketing Strategies

Marketing strategies help you identify and reach your target audience. Branding is an important part of any successful marketing strategy. You can build credibility and distinguish your business within the marketplace. Your branding practices should align with your company’s marketing plan. You should conduct market research to learn about the location, income and demographics of your customers. Surveys and interviews can provide valuable feedback about your company’s logo, products and customer experience. Working with a marketing professional can help you develop a consistent and effective branding strategy.

Using Social Media to Market Your Brand

There’s no doubt that social media is a powerful tool for marketing your brand. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter give you the opportunity to reach a huge audience. When marketing your brand on social media, it’s important to define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your message? Once you’ve pinpointed your target audience, be consistent in your branding across all social media platforms, and make sure you’re active on social media.

To get the most out of your social media marketing efforts, you can also create targeted ads on Facebook. Design a Facebook ad using a free ads maker. This tool allows you to use a premade template to create customized ads with your own text and images.

Developing a Memorable Brand

Research finds that 59% of customers prefer to buy from a trusted brand. You can create a consistent and cohesive brand by developing a memorable branding story. Your company’s mission can help you discover the voice and aesthetic of your brand. Explore various logos, fonts and colors on your own or work with a professional designer.

Stand out from the crowd by developing products and services that reflect your values and appeal to your specific target market. You should strive to create an experience that excites new customers and satisfies existing ones to help your business grow.

Successful Rebranding Tips

You should also conduct research to identify issues with your branding strategy before they impact your business and income. Using a wide range of marketing techniques can help you protect your business from changes.

If you notice problems with your strategy, you can alter aspects of your brand or, as Business News Daily notes, develop a new approach through rebranding. For example, you can update the design of your company to reflect more modern styles. For a fresh start, consider renaming your business. If you need to totally revamp your company’s branding strategy, start by redefining your mission and values.

Pollfish points out that customer feedback and market research can help you decide when and how to rebrand. For instance, you might discover that your target market struggles to remember your company. Creating a more distinct brand that contrasts your competitors could be helpful. You might also rebrand your business as you branch out and offer new services and products. Finally, if your company develops a negative reputation, changing your branding can help you recover and move on.

Regardless of the type of business you run, your company can benefit from a consistent, memorable brand. Your branding and marketing strategy should align with your values and reflect your company’s mission. By developing your company’s image and reputation, you can cultivate a loyal customer base and help your business thrive.

Looking for some help rebranding your growing business? SethLife offers great packages to get started turning your brand into a community!  

Need more space for your growing business? San Angelo Studios offers affordable coworking spaces. Schedule a tour!

How a Coworking Space Can Help Your Small Business Succeed

With so many people working from home, you may wonder what advantages a coworking space has. At first glance, it may appear that having your employees work from a home office would save the company money. After all, there are no rental fees to pay and you don’t have to worry about maintenance or cleaning. However, working from home can be isolating and distracting, leading to decreased productivity. Additionally, your company is missing out on the many benefits of a coworking space. Here are just a few of those benefits.

Expand Your Network

Within any group of people exists a wide variety of skills, knowledge, and connections. When you combine a group of people into a singular workspace, you synergize those skills, knowledge, and connections into something that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Why? Because each individual’s strengths are a potential boon to everyone else. Coworking spaces bring people together from a diverse array of industries, many of which would never think to collaborate otherwise. However, by uniting these professionals into one space, it is easy to intermingle and share expertise. All of this provides excellent opportunities for networking.

Access to Better Tools

When you move your business to a coworking space, you get instant access to the tools provided. Sharing tools saves you money and allows you access to high-end equipment that a small business might not otherwise be able to afford. One crucial technological advantage of coworking spaces is increased security. Free public Wi-Fi exposes you to cybersecurity risks

Increased Productivity

Coworking spaces are designed with productivity in mind. Working from home comes with a few perks for the employee, but virtually none for the business. This is because people tend to be less productive and feel more isolated when they work from home. At home, there are endless distractions, from crying children to a mind divided by work and home to-dos. Coworking spaces offer affordable, dedicated office space where productivity can be greatly increased. Coworking spaces eliminate that dual-focus of a home office and offer unique spaces that are specially designed for various work styles.

The many benefits of coworking spaces are causing this modern workspace model to catch on all over the world. With expanded networking opportunities, access to better tools, and increased productivity, it is hard to go wrong. Add to that affordability, flexibility, and versatility, and it is hard to imagine why you wouldn’t want to take advantage of the numerous advantages of coworking spaces.

Check out this article on startup essentials you can’t get by without!

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