Month: September 2014

There’s a pervasive belief among hopeful new entrepreneurs that if you have a great business idea, you just need to work hard in the start-up trenches for a few years, at which point your business will start taking off. Unfortunately, that’s not always the reality. The Small Business Association estimates that half of all new businesses fail within the first five years, and Bloomberg estimates that the number is even higher (80% in the first 18 months!).

Of course, that doesn’t mean your business is bound for failure. You may have a genuinely profitable business idea that just needs some time to grow. However, you should do yourself the courtesy of performing an honest assessment to determine whether it’s worth sticking it out. Ask yourself the following questions to get a better sense of whether it’s time to call it

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Apple’s origin story is well-known: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started the company out of Jobs’ parents’ garage and originally focused on building and selling personal computers. But how did the company grow into one of the biggest tech companies and one of the most well-known brands in the world, with a wide range of iconic products including the iPod, the iPad, and the iPhone?

A lot of the company’s success comes down to its creative and strategic branding efforts. Ironically, Steve Jobs reportedly hated the terms “branding” and “marketing.” But even if he didn’t like the semantics, he and his colleagues were certainly skilled at getting people to remember, trust, and buy Apple products. Here are a few of Steve Jobs’ branding techniques to consider when you’re building your own brand name.steve-jobs-apple

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If you’ve spent some time scrolling through your personal Twitter or Facebook feed, you’ve probably noticed certain businesses promoting sweepstakes contests. These posts will typically say things like “Enter for a chance to win” and will then offer up a prize in exchange for the contest entrant performing a specific task, such as ‘Liking’ the business’s Facebook page, submitting their email address, or subscribing to the business’s newsletter.

You’ve also probably wondered whether these social media sweepstakes are worth it for the businesses. The short answer is yes—as long as the business goes into the contest with clear goals in mind, targets the appropriate audience, and continues to promote the contest for its entire run in order to encourage entries. Here are a few of the benefits you can get from running your own social media contest.giveaway

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You’ve been incubating a great idea for a product and service, and you’re ready to unleash it upon the world—but have you done any product market testing yet? Rushing a new product or service to market without doing any market testing is kind of like jumping behind the wheel of a car before you’ve learned the rules of the road—you might pick some things up through trial and error and the signposts along the way, but you might not fully get the hang of it before you crash.product-market

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