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Article Contributed by Jessica Gust

Find the market with the best outlook for your business.

Niche markets are crucial to the success of many organizations. Your specialized products and services require a specialized market to consume them. Aim too broadly, and you risk entering a saturated market or one in which there is little money to be made. For companies in the early stages of establishment, the goal may be to identify a niche market to serve before entering the research and development phase for any products. For others, a new product may be on the horizon and you need to ensure that a market exists that will be receptive to the new product. No matter the case, you will want to be sure that you’ve thoroughly researched the niche market before you invest time and money into serving it.

Define and understand your target market

Niche markets aren’t based on industry categories and subcategories alone. To effectively offer products and services that your niche market will want, you first need to a) determine what your target market looks like and b) understand the demographics within that market. For example, if you decide that your target market will be composed of travelers, you will then need to decide on other variables of said travelers. Determine their age range and estimated income (travel among students and retirees looks different than travel among corporate execs), determine where your market audience is concentrated (travelers based in California are more likely to seek tropical excursions in Hawaii or central America rather than the Caribbean), and learn about their hobbies and interests. From there you may decide, for example, that you intend to cater toward women embarking on solo travel with an emphasis on water sports. The point is: be specific.

Study up on keywords

Search engines like Google are data treasure troves when it comes to vast keyword statistics. With the help of Google’s Adwords, you can search for keywords to find their popularity over time, among other potentially helpful metrics like relevant keywords. It can also give you some insight into the market’s competition.

Keep up to date on industry trends

Like Adwords, Trends is another of Google’s highly useful data tools. Trends shows you longitudinal patterns in web traffic for a given niche. It’s a pretty good indicator of whether or not it’s safe to enter a particular niche, as you can see if a trend is on the decline. You may even be able to spot new trends that look promising, but you will want to expand your research before you fully commit to the trend.

Once you settle on a niche market to enter, it’s important to continue to follow up on the above tips to see if the market atmosphere is shifting. Another way to accomplish this is to follow your competitors and regularly check in on what products and services they offer. Read their customer reviews, too (on top of reading your own!). You may be able to spot a niche within that niche based on what consumers are saying.

About the Author

Jessica Gust is a Marketing Assistant at– a new postcode finder. She is passionate about new marketing strategies, she is always eager to share her ideas through blogging.



Article Contributed by Rachelle Wilber

There is no doubt that today’s most important business consideration is understanding buyer motivation. When business owners understand buyer motivation, the design of the target market is accurate and effective. This premise is true for hiring the best employees which also requires understanding motivation.

The problem for many business owners is separating deeply embedded ideas about buyer and employee motivation from actualities that drive customers to a business and employees to perform at their peak levels of productivity. With a firm grasp on motivation, it becomes easier to win customers and attract incredible employees who respond instinctively to specific business needs.

Design a Strong Business Plan

The first myth to dispel is the idea that one size fits all in business. While there may be related factors between all businesses such as marketing and sales, hiring and human resources and product and service development, there simply isn’t a single design that fits all businesses perfectly. Each business owner needs to design a strong business plan that incorporates business operations and specifies how those business operations will be delegated to staff. This begins with management and includes all employees involved. The size of the business determines whether departmentalization is required.

In a small business, for example, some employees “wear many hats” and cover a broad range of duties like in-house sales, logistics, human resources and customer service. In a large company, these duties are the domain of departmental managers. Sometimes, these employees will use HR software to help make tasks easier and more streamlined. Create an organizational chart to define management from staffing.

A Strong Marketing Plan

Every business needs a strong marketing plan, no matter how large or small the business may be or how many customers are served. Before a strong marketing plan can be implemented, the business owner needs a strong staff. This is why designing a hiring plan with specificity is essential. Create a basic profile of the ideal employee that includes skills, experience and ability to anticipate business needs. Use the profile as a guide during job interviews. This is the fastest and most reliable method to ensure hiring is effective and efficient.

What is Your Business Message?

Many businesses ignore the subliminal message their advertising and promotions send to the public. In order to maintain competitiveness in the specific industry, it is important to be objective about your business message. To win customers, your marketing message has to be foolproof and without potential innuendo. This is the point where understanding buyer motivation enters the picture. Buyers don’t always buy what they need. Many buy on a sense of the impulse of wanting a service or product. If buyers can read between the lines of business marketing promotions and the subliminal message is somewhat negative, that will not win customers. The business message needs to be direct and encourage the buyer to “want” the business offering.

The link between attracting incredible employees and the business message is inextricable. Consider how a team of highly skilled, experienced employees appear to buyers. The team should create a visual presentation of the business message and possess a keen understanding of buyer motivation. Today’s savvy buyers have access to vast sources of information before they make decisions to buy.

Employees of your business should be more informed than customers about desire to “own” the product or service offered. They should also provide supporting evidence. Convincing customers to buy is like a silk thread that is carried off in the wind. To avoid loss of customers and reduction of employee morale, business owners should provide regular support in the form of human resources programs.

Marketing magic occurs when businesses present an irresistible message that attracts incredible employees. This is how to win customers who value your business.


Article Contributed by Mila Payton

It is not very difficult to undertake an unsuccessful business. Lack of devotion or abilities, as well as the factors out of your control can create a situation in which business success could be categorized as a miracle. In some other times, failure to spot and exploit a unique market opportunity can cost your business the success. In any case, I think we could all agree that the secret of unsuccessful entrepreneurial undertaking is not exactly something we are eager to find more about.

Surely, being a successful entrepreneur isn’t easy. Even though the oft-repeated claim that 9 out of 10 startups are destined for failure has been disputed as of late, the simple truth is that starting and maintaining a successful business isn’t a walk in the park, and that having a great idea does not guarantee a profit at the end of the day. By studying all the success stories of years past, however, you’ll be able to get a glimpse at what lies behind a truly successful undertaking, and possibly even find if there’s a way to apply these time-tested strategies to your own situation:

Be sure you have what it takes

There’s no denying the fact that the business world isn’t exactly the most forgiving industry. When money is on the line, people tend to give it their all, and occasionally the less savory aspects of mankind also pop to the surface. That’s why it’s essential that you have what it takes personality-wise, including traits such as self-discipline and the ability to separate feelings from reasoning. The people who are able to navigate the complicated landscape of the modern business environment are the ones that are ultimately destined to succeed.

Spend ample time on the planning stage

Each and every single company that exists in the world today started out as an idea in someone’s head. But an idea, no matter how brilliant or world-changing, can’t guarantee success all by itself. The importance of a well thought business plan is paramount to any company’s ultimate success, and too many would-be entrepreneurs unfortunately gloss over this step. A good business plan should be short and concise, but it should cover all the basic angles of your idea, including the products or services you’ll be offering and the customer base you hope to tap into.

Figure out your financing

With the advent of the Internet, many novice entrepreneurs have sought to establish the idea that you can start a business with little or no capital. While in some rare cases this might turn out to be true, as a rule of thumb starting a business will involve some initial costs. Whether these come in the form of an outside investment, a crowdfunding campaign or a bank loan is your choice, but always remember to take into account all the variables associated with each type of funding before you commit to any one of them.

Assemble a great team

The next step lies in finding like-minded people that share your goals and enthusiasm. Don’t automatically assume that just by paying someone you’ll be able to get the best out of them, as people are complex creatures driven by all sorts of factors aside from monetary compensation. In order to truly gain their trust and loyalty, you’ll have to inspire them and make them feel like your dream is also their dream. Of course, things like distributing a cut of the company profit or offering shares to particularly notable individuals can’t hurt either.

Learn from others

Especially in the early stages of setting up a company, good leadership can often be a real difference-maker. Most of the companies that rule the world today have benefited immensely from the visionaries that have helped put them on the course to success. But being a good leader isn’t something that you necessarily have to be born with – it’s something that can be acquired, just like any other skill. That’s why it can be quite useful to find a mentor, someone who is willing to show you the ins and outs of the trade before you jump head first into it.

Focus on your customers

Customers are the lifeblood of any industry, which means that every company that plans on sticking around for some time will need to develop a good relationship with the very people who are ultimately responsible for its continued existence. Now, contrary to the popular saying, customers are not always right, and it’s definitely true that you can’t possibly make everyone happy at the same time. But all successful companies take the time to listen to their clients and then make adjustments according to their wishes and suggestions.

Keep macroeconomic factors in mind

When first setting up a business venture, it can sometimes feel like the entire world revolves around your office. There are so many things to do and so many aspects to pay attention to, that it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening outside of it. Things like international trade agreements, business cycles, inflation and the occasional national disaster are bound to impact world economy in one way or another, which tends to have a trickle-down effect on everyone involved. To give just one recent example, the recent Brexit debacle in the UK has changed the game for local companies who are used to doing business with the EU. In order to prevent such events from blindsiding you, try to remain connected with the outside world, even if your attention sometimes feels like it’s being pulled in a million different directions at once.

Understand that failure is part of the process

Finally, most experienced business owners will tell you that running a company is a marathon, not a sprint, one that’s filled with plenty of ups and downs along the way. Failure in some form or another is to be expected, but that doesn’t mean you should give up at the slightest sign of turmoil. Instead, view every failure as a learning experience, something that you’ve successfully internalized in order to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Just looking at these strategies that are associated with successful entrepreneurial ventures, and which differentiate them from less fortunate undertakings make us realize that making business a success is far from easy. Nevertheless, always keep in mind that every situation is different, and that even the concept of “success” can vary quite a bit depending on each person’s own set of expectations and desires. So be patient and continue to follow your dreams, and sooner or later you’ll be able to reap the benefits of your work.


Optimize Your Website

When you are building your small business, you want to take every advantage you can to attract new as well as retain loyal repeat customers. In fact, your website can be the hub for your brand to connect and funnel all of your advertising and marketing efforts together. This makes it necessary to optimize your website to attract and retain interest in your business.

Extension of the Brand

Your website is the extension of your brand and what all of your social media, advertising, and directory listings should link to or land on. People will develop their impression of your business within seconds of landing on your website. With one chance to make a great impression, your website needs to get its image and usability right. Here are some things that your website needs to be a value-added public image of your company.

Good Design

The goal of your website should be to first attract and then truly appeal to your potential customers. Good design takes extensive planning. Figuring out who your target audience is before you start your website design is essential. The website design process can in fact be a way for a new business venture to delve into defining marketing issues such as the company’s tone, personality, and mission.

The design elements you choose to define your brand on your website can be followed through on your logo, packaging, and additional advertising. Your social media sites that are linked to your business website can share the same design features.

A Brand Experience

Prospective customers are having an experience with your brand for the first time when they visit your website, so small business websites need to be well-designed to visually evoke the outlook and values of the company. Your website design will give them an idea of what it would be like to interact with your business face-to-face, so you want them to have a positive first experience. A professional image on the internet begins with professional design skills.

Design Tips

The visual appeal of your website should be strong, but that does not mean something that will overpower your audience. Your relevant visuals should not be overloaded with unnecessary animation or action buttons. Consistency in format is key. An engaging website can be sleek and modern and yet simple. A strategic use of distinctive font styles and color that works well with your image adds a touch of detail.

Powerful images that communicate quickly and memorably are best supported by relevant website content. Your design can be top drawer, but if you do not have appropriate page content such as the email address missing from your contact page or click buttons that go nowhere, your great design is all for naught.

Visiting the website of a business is fast becoming part of the shopping process for most people. Great visuals combined with relevant and direct content in the appropriate places will set a positive tone for your company’s image. Even the simplest of designs, if well done, can clearly showcase your products or services and grow interest in your business.


Article Contributed by Brooke Chaplan

As an entrepreneur, it’s important to learn more about how to manage your time wisely. Time is the one commodity you can’t get back. If you waste money, that’s unfortunate but hopefully you can always make more. If you waste time, you can’t buy more time back. You just have to work with what you’ve got. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a parent, or a student, once you maximize your time, you’re unstoppable. Your profits can skyrocket and you won’t necessarily need to work harder to make that happen. It takes strategic intention and planning. Consider six time management tricks that will help you go far.

Limit Social Media
Social media is addictive. It’s one thing to log on to Facebook and update your company account, but it’s also very easy to look up and notice that an hour has gone past and you’re still scrolling. Be realistic with yourself. If you’re a total social media junkie, give yourself a solid fifteen minute binge every other hour. As you get better, you can decrease the time even more. Don’t allow scrolling to kill the precious time you have.

Start Early
It’s a common statement heard, that the early bird gets the worm. Start by going to bed early. You’ll feel more refreshed and be able to wake up earlier. Once you get started with your work, you’ll find that your mind is more alert, clear, and focused.

Stay Focused
Speaking of focus, it’s important to do just that. Don’t veer off and start looking around your work space at what needs to be cleaned. Don’t stop to fix your manicure. Don’t even stop one project to pick up another. Work on finishing the one thing that’s in front of you. As you finish one task, you can move on to the next. You’ll have greater and more long-term success.

Create Plan
The night before your next work day, you should have a five to ten minute session where you look over all the things you need to accomplish the next day. Create a realistic to-do list and be sure to include only things you are sure to get finished or make good headway on. This will help you to focus solely on making sure you accomplish everything on your list.

Take Breaks
Whether you work at a computer or you’re in and out of meeting with clients, you need to take frequent breaks throughout the day. These breaks shouldn’t be thirty minutes at a time, but they need to feel like breaks. Take a ten-minute walk outside to clear your head. Do a few jumping jacks near your desk. Have a five-minute dance session with your favorite songs. This will help you to get any pent-up stress out and energize you to continue working. Students who study in organizational development are often taught negotiation techniques that make use of breaks like these. Click here to learn more about organization and the best way to make good use of your time.
Ignore Email
Turn off the sound effects for your email notifications. Email can be a major distractor for people who work on their own. Do not allow your emails to consume you. Try to narrow the email routine to once or twice a day.

These time management tricks will help you in the long run in a great way. Be patient with yourself and understand that it will take time. Time is the greatest commodity you have. It’s best to manage it well!

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