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Are you trying to get your small business off the ground? Then it’s the perfect time to think about developing a brand identity for your business. Strong brand identities are the foundation of effective brands. In the end, an effective brand is what actually sells your products. Brand identity makes a product more recognisable and differentiates your business from competitors.

The elements of brand identity.

Since properly developed and well-designed brand identity elements can bring your business numerous benefits, its creation is something that you should think about from the start. However, before diving into creation mode, you should think through several important things.

First, how do you want potential customers to perceive you? What message do you want to send, and who is your target audience? After answering these questions, you should carefully choose colours, shapes, and fonts for brand identity design. When the design is eye-catching, it’s easier for consumers to remember it and to find your products in a crowded marketplace.

The right combination of colours, fonts, and shapes spreads a message about the core values of your business. This is important in keeping your existing customers and attracting new ones. If you do not design your business’ identity properly, you risk sending out the wrong message. You could end up attracting the wrong kind of customer, which your business is not intended to support.

The infographic.

There creation and design of your brand identity can seem like a complex process, but it doesn’t need to be. There are a few simple but effective rules on how to design the key elements. These vary depending on the industry you operate your business in. To help you succeed you check out the infographic below which was created by our friends at Custom Labels. You will find out useful tips on how to properly craft the brand identity that will suit your business best.

The post Infographic: How You Can Create Your Brand Identity appeared first on The Fun Entrepreneur.

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What do Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, Arianna Huffington all have in common? These three are among a number of incredibly successful entrepreneurs that have come from immigrant backgrounds.

Immigrant entrepreneurs.

In fact, immigrant accomplishment is far from unusual in the entrepreneurial world, with 18% of America’s most successful companies boasting immigrant roots. This is a staggering statistic given that immigrants only comprise 13% of the total US population. Statistical, historical and anecdotal evidence shows us that not only are immigrants more entrepreneurial, but they are also more likely to succeed in business.

This prompts us to ask what lies behind this strong connection between immigration and entrepreneurship?

A possible answer.

It seems that there is something inherently entrepreneurial about leaving your home to start a new life in another country. Having made the move from one country to another means that many immigrants boast a particular set of qualities which can be of enormous benefit when building up a new business.

For one, immigrants tend to be less risk averse which means that they are, to paraphrase Michael Bloomberg, more likely to see opportunities where others see obstacles. What’s more, immigrants often bring a new, worldview to the table. This allows them to set themselves apart from their competitors. In addition to this, immigrants are more likely to have existing international connections. This tends to somewhat ease the process of worldwide expansion.

The infographic.

A new infographic from our friends at Hansen & Company sets out to look at the answer as to why are immigrants more entrepreneurial in depth. It analyses the various factors that give immigrants an entrepreneurial edge. It also shares some of the most inspiring immigrant success stories. These not only contain some great lessons on the importance of drive but also inspire uniqueness and perseverance. Check out the complete infographic below to learn more about immigrants who came to America and found success.

The post Infographic: Why Are Immigrants More Entrepreneurial? appeared first on The Fun Entrepreneur.

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The Fun Entrepreneur by The Fun Entrepreneur - 1M ago

It is an undeniable fact that most of us enjoy the sound of our own voice. This pleasure seems to grow when we are in meetings or discussing subjects with colleagues. Unfortunately, this normally leads to never-ending meetings. Worse yet, it may lead to meetings where decisions are not taken. To help you succeed, here are some tips to help you carry out a terrific meeting.

1. Send an agenda beforehand.

You want all persons attending the meeting to know what will be discussed. The best way to do this is to send a draft agenda beforehand and invite people to add other points for discussion. This will also help you determine who should be present at the meeting.

2. K.I.S.S. or you’ll lose them.

Do not try and cram too much into the agenda. Normally each meeting should focus on 1 or 2 main points and then 3 or 4 minor related points. You could even hold a meeting to discuss just 1 very important point. It is human nature to lose concentration and patience after a certain point, so do not expect miracles from your colleagues. If need be, set a separate meeting to discuss other points.

3. Give introduction and details on the topics.

Once the agenda is finalised, send an email with information about the topics being discussed. A terrific meeting is one which does not last a minute longer than it has to. Doing this will ensure that everyone is up to speed on what is happening before the meeting starts. If they have any questions about the email, invite them to ask you prior to the start of the meeting.

4. Be prepared.

If you are leading the meeting, prepare for it. Go to the location of the meeting before the others and place any tools, such as visual aids in an organised fashion so that you can refer to them quickly. There is no easier way to lose the attention of your colleagues by rummaging through your documents to find that important list or graph.

5. Stay in control.

Remember what I mentioned at the start of this post? Everyone loves the sound of their voice. If you do not control the meeting, a colleague will start talking and if he/she gets a conversation going, it could last for hours. If you see that colleagues are talking on and on or are drifting into new topics, guide them back to the agenda.

6. Time in, time out.

Remember that a meeting is a cost to the business. You have a group of people who are falling behind on their daily duties, sitting in a room discussing ideas. It can go on for hours, but you don’t want that. Set a realistic time frame for the discussion and decision of each point and stick to it, no matter what. Even if the team finds it difficult for the first meeting or two, eventually they will get the hang of how it’s done.

7. Location, location, location.

There is no law that a terrific meeting needs to happen in a boardroom. In fact, it can happen anywhere, even outdoors. The secret is avoiding distractions as much as possible. If there will be food during the meeting, that’s ok, but beware of any alcohol. Consider the time of the meeting too; try to avoid early afternoon meetings when people would be more tired right after lunch.

8. Focus on your goal.

What is the point of your meeting? Do you need a decision to be taken? Do you need to delegate certain tasks to different departments? Whatever your goal, make sure that by the end of the meeting you have achieved it. It helps if you remind your colleagues of the goal at the start of the meeting. You cannot have a terrific meeting if you don’t reach your goal by the end of it.

9. Send out a message.

It is customary that a minute taker or recording is present at the meeting. Alternatively, each colleague would take down their own notes. Whichever practice you choose, make sure that after the end of the meeting an email or other message format is sent out to all participants, detailing the outcome of the meeting. This will avoid any possible misunderstandings about what was decided in the meeting.

The post 9 Secrets To A Terrific Meeting appeared first on The Fun Entrepreneur.

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If you have never been in a situation where your business is growing too quickly, you might be asking yourself why this post exists. After all, isn’t it the dream of every entrepreneur to grow a business quickly? In reality, growing too quickly can be as dangerous as not growing at all.

In an ideal world, your business would grow steadily; not to fast, not too slow. You would be able to accommodate new clients and orders and keep your existing clients satisfied. Unfortunately, as we all know, the ideal world doesn’t exist.

Very often, in cases where a business is growing too quickly, it is as a result of a major order which it cannot handle. However, since entrepreneurs are wired to be profitable, this major order is accepted. Then, the entrepreneur and the team will decide how to deal with it. More often than not, they fail. These tips should help thrive in this situation.

Human resources.

I am a strong believer that a team is a business’ most valuable resource. Richard Branson recommends, “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business.” One of the best ways to take care of your team is to show them respect. If you’re working on a quote for a big order, let them in on it, ask for their input.

When staff members know about an upcoming project they can prepare for it. Planning ahead for the possibility of an order is much better than crisis management when the order suddenly appears. Be open and honest with your staff, addressing their concerns and inspiring them to accomplish this growth leap.

Your business is not only about you. Your staff work there for roughly 8 hours a day, so it is as much theirs as it is yours. If the majority of your staff feel that you shouldn’t take the order, it would be a good idea to consider why they are saying this. They might be saving your business.

Procedures.

One of the biggest challenges which a business which is growing too quickly will face is control. Whatever the size of the enterprise there are constant processes which are vital for the smooth running of the operations. Things like staff punching in/out, order tracking and follow up, chasing payments from clients are some examples.

When your business is booming you need to cater for the added number and volume of these processes. This would be a great time to check if you can tweak processes to make them more effective, or get rid of them completely. Together with your team, design a list of the main standard operating procedures for all staff to follow.

Then, once again, discuss these procedures with your staff, rather than simply imposing them. Explain why these SOPs will help improve work processes and, I cannot stress this enough, ask for their feedback. Tweak the processes again, if need be. Nothing is set in stone. Be also sure to select team members to ensure that processes are adhered to.

Customer care.

As your business is growing too quickly, one core group of people you tend to forget are your existing clients. You might assume that because you have served them well for many years that they will be patient as you deal with this new order. You would be very wrong to assume that.

I remember my Manager once taught me the phrase, “You are only as good as your last order.” Partly due to the rise of next day shipping and fast turnarounds, people expect things quickly. If you cannot satisfy their urgency then they will go elsewhere. That 1 big order may sustain your business for a while, but sooner or later you’re going to need your existing clients again.

Select members of your team who will handle existing customers as you work on your big project. Be honest with customers that due to a big order the business is busier than usual, but team member Joe will continue to cater to their needs. They may decide to pass orders to your competitors, but you will find that the majority would either delay orders, or if they do go to your competitors they will be back.

Boost your numbers.

No one can split themselves into two, although I know many entrepreneurs who wish they could. Simply because you receive a big order, your staff productivity isn’t going to double overnight. Sure, you could ask them to work overtime, but every person gets too tired at some point. Enter Outsourcing!

With the rise of the sharing economy, the number of professionals offering their services on the side has increased dramatically. This is excellent news for a company that is growing too quickly. You can increase the number of staff members, perhaps remotely, only until the project is completed.

Another, more traditional solution, is to hire temp workers. Specialised agencies can assist you, not only to find the right temporary staff but could also handle the employment registration and payroll for you. Although this comes at an extra cost, it will be worth it if it means a smooth operation even during these busy periods.

Cash flow.

If you are a small business who gets paid on terms, cash flow is always a major headache. Unfortunately, with a major order, this problem only intensifies. You risk overstretching your finances to buy what you need from suppliers and then spend time and resources chasing the client for payment. About 90% of small businesses in the UK fail because of some sort of cash flow trouble.

You need to take important precautions for any orders, but especially for major ones which could bankrupt your business. On quote stage, calculate the projected cost and expenses which you will need to pay out to begin fulfilling the order. This is a good time to negotiate better terms with your suppliers.

The money you need to pay to begin your order should be covered by the deposit you request. If you don’t normally request a deposit, you will this time! Then, calculate another 2 to 4 payments; time them to receive them before you would need to make a payment to your suppliers and staff. Ideally, you would receive the last payment upon delivery, but it is understandable that you might need to offer better terms to your customer.

The post How To Succeed If You’re Growing Too Quickly appeared first on The Fun Entrepreneur.

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Influencer marketing is something that has emerged in the last number of years for many niches. Basically, it means leveraging the social media following of a particular individual to get your message directly to them. Brands including hotels have started to use this tactic as part of their wider marketing activities.

Who are these influencers?

Individuals, known as influencers, have built up followings from their blogs or maybe even from using their social media profiles correctly.  These individuals are successful at influencer marketing thanks mainly to the size of their following. Indeed, many count their followers in the tens of millions globally. Forbes recently released a list of some of the best.

Of course the number of followers has a bearing on the price you will pay to start a brand collaboration. As a marketer, you need to assess carefully who you wish to work with and to represent your brand. A larger following doesn’t necessarily equate to a perfect alignment to your hotel or other business.

Don’t base your decision on numbers alone.

A number of factors are at play and inevitably some promoting services in influencer marketing would have inflated follower numbers, which can easily be done online. Rather than just focusing on followers, give special attention to engagement. Keep in mind that a smaller follower number might equate to greater influence so things need to be weighed up carefully.

It is vital that the influencer has access to the right demographic for your hotel. Otherwise, the whole campaign will probably be a sheer waste of time and money! It’s also important to measure the effectiveness of an influencer marketing campaign in terms of return on investment. Of course, brand exposure is difficult to measure but effort should be made in attributing any actual sales to the campaign to see if another collaboration is monetarily worthwhile.

The infographic.

There is indeed to learn about influencer marketing, especially if you are just starting out. Fear not, however, as our friends at The Dunloe Hotel have put together this infographic which examines the whole area of influencer marketing and details its benefits and also highlights how to plan for it.

The post Infographic: Using Influencer Marketing For Hotels appeared first on The Fun Entrepreneur.

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In case you haven’t noticed, “coaching” is kind of a thing these days.

No matter what you’re looking to achieve, there seems to be a coaching business out there ready and willing to help you get what you want out of life. Whether that’s losing weight, writing a book, finding true love, or just about anything else you could name.

That’s great news if you’re looking for help. But what if you dream about being a life-changing mentor in a space that is becoming increasingly crowded and noisy? To start off, don’t give up on what you want just yet. You can still be the coach you want to be. It just takes an investment of time, money, and passion. It also takes a solid foundation.

It’s time to cut the fluff, keep it real, and make your way to becoming the coach that you want to be. I’m going to show you three steps you need to take right now to set this foundation. You will become more than just another face in the online crowd. Let’s start building something amazing right now!

Step 1: Help yourself first.

What comes before a sparkling website, the perfect sales funnel, or shiny new branding? You do.

You have to believe in yourself. Have have total confidence in what you do. That means knowing that you have the solution to the problem that your potential clients have. More importantly, it means that you live that solution every day in your own life. You have to be the change that you want to see in the world.

If you want to help others, help yourself first. Become the person who practices what they preach and walks the walk themselves. Think about it for a moment. Would you want to be coached to run a marathon by someone who never endured a 26.2 mile race? I seriously doubt it.

But what if you’re not there yet? What if you have the interest and the passion for something, but not quite the expertise?

You need to heal yourself. Help yourself. Do the work, reach the goals, and become the person that you want to coach others into being. If you can make big things happen for yourself, you can show someone else how to do it.

This is the part where you ask yourself some serious questions. What coaching business do you want to be and what do you want to help others do? What do you stand for and what are your values? I recommend boiling it down to what I call the Five Characteristics. They’re the top five values that you bring to the table. The things that you want to represent in the world. And the things on which you will never compromise.

Take a few moments and really dig deeply into this one. Then write the answers down on paper. Next, start stepping into this space by embodying these characteristics every single day. This is the “coaching yourself” part. Decide what coaching business you want to become. Start taking the steps and making big things happen in your own life. It’s how you become your own first testimonial.

Step 2: Put in the time.

What if you’re dreaming about being a life coach, but you’ve spent 20 years as a medical professional or an accountant? You can transition into anything that you want to be, but it’s going to take work. You’re going to have to put in the time, get the experience, and get the results.

If you wanted to go from being a doctor to a lawyer, you’d have to go to law school, right? Same deal here. You can transition into whatever you want to be, but it takes an investment of time, money, and energy. It also takes practical experience working with real-life people.

Let’s say you’re living your Five Characteristics and you’re rising into the person you want to be. Next comes the practical part; getting out into the world, working with people, and building your credibility. You do this by working with real people in the real world. And sometimes you do this for free.

I know, I know! You want to run a business and not a charity! But offering services in exchange for testimonials will do three big things for your cause.

First, you get the chance to perfect your craft. Second, you can track the results that your test clients get and use them to shape your coaching business. Finally, the more real world experience you get and the more “IRL” (in real life) results you get for others, and the more confidence you get in yourself.

So coach yourself first and get big-time results for you. Next, start working with real people in the real world for real testimonials. And right from the jump, start tracking the results that you get along the way. You’re going to use it all in the last step.

Step 3: Own your value and your worth.

So you’ve worked with several test clients and got some some killer testimonials. Now the time has come to start (gulp!) asking potential clients for real money and get your coaching business on its feet. Kind of gives you heart palpitations, right?

Your first thought might be to play it safe and keep your prices low in the beginning. It might seem logical to start out cheap, get more experience, and then raise your rates.

But I’m here to tell you that going down this road might make you more miserable than not having any paying clients at all. First, you might find yourself taking any client rather than holding out for ideal clients. Second, you’ll be working really hard and not seeing the rewards. Put these two things together and the quality of your work will go downhill before you know what happened. Not exactly the recipe for a sustainable business.

This is the time to remember that you’ve already validated your services. Remember and review the results you’ve gotten for people. Take note of your testimonials. Then review the Five Characteristics that you stand for in the world. This is how you start to remember what you’ve worked for and honour your worth.

You seriously can start that coaching business that you dream about. But it’s just like anything else in life. You need to do the work for yourself first. Be the person that you want to be. Get yourself the results that you want to get for other people. Then start practising, serving, and helping other people make things happen for themselves. Curate your results. Celebrate your clients and yourself. Then start charging what you’re worth with confidence.

But remember, it all starts with you. Set that solid foundation first. Be the change you want to see in the world first. Then start making it happen for others.

The post 3 Steps To A Successful Coaching Business appeared first on The Fun Entrepreneur.

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Strategic renovation.

The healthcare industry is developing at an exponential pace. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes it’s a bad thing. For example, ACA’s induction and ineffectiveness were exponentially disastrous.  However, as a result of its introduction, secondary solutions have become a necessary component of the market, and those have expanded exponentially as well.

Additionally, the healthcare industry in the United States is widely subject to developing trends. Something else of a to look out for is the role of startup companies in healthcare. This may end up being something more significant than a simple trend.

Technology is playing a more integral part of the healthcare industry. Many have seen science fiction films where some “bionic” hand is developed which effectively mimics a real one. Well, today, that dream is more realizable than ever. In fact, many startup companies are pursuing ends just like these.

Twofold innovation.

Apart from tech startups bringing new, more affordable, health solutions to market, smaller businesses are being forced to determine means of providing health coverage for their employees. This is a market increasingly defined by options geared at larger numbers than those traditionally defining burgeoning companies.

So the smaller business has two choices. They could either relinquish some level of autonomy to be in alignment with a larger solution or come up with their own healthcare solutions for employees. Many vie for the latter if they can swing it. They often end up employing professional organizations and working with insurance brokers.

Now there are things a company can do to reduce associated costs. For example, if your startup company deals in the excavation of precious substances from underground, there are often “fines”. This term does not refer to fees. It refers to very tiny bits of rock and dust which can be inhaled and establish residence in the lungs.

If your business has unhealthy things like this silhouetting regular operations, healthcare coverage will likely be more expensive. However, on the other hand, if your business has that which is conducive to health defining it, you can save.

Cutting expenses.

In Japan, many large corporations make employees follow through with an exercise regimen on-site before their shift begins. For a startup up, investing into non-revenue generating expenditure may not be feasible.  A less capital intensive solution might be to offer employees bonuses for getting gym memberships locally.  You can then provide this information to associated healthcare facilitators and possibly save a bundle in insurance.

Insurance is a numbers game. It’s no secret that they are in it for the money, not for the wellbeing of their clientele. Ergo, you’re likely to get a less expensive rate if you’re at the peak of health. It is less likely, after all, that an insurance company will have to pay a settlement out to take care of you except in statistically unlikely situations.

Look into available professional employer insurance brokers and other options tangential to mainstream ACA provisions. ACA has been plagued since the beginning. What’s more, it is only a minor segment of the population that actually experiences benefit from this underthought and over-forced healthcare measure.

The new tax bill recently passed by the house has no provisions for healthcare in it. This is a very strong sign that ACA will sink below the waves of irrelevance very soon. Startups additionally realize this, which is yet another reason they’re exponentially revitalizing healthcare through seeking tangent options. So follow their example; find what works, do what you can to lower costs and experience associated benefits.

Editor’s comment: The information provided in this post is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily match the opinion of the publication and of the editorial team.

The post In Depth: Are Startups Shaping Healthcare’s Future? appeared first on The Fun Entrepreneur.

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If you want your business to stand the test of time, you need to focus on setting up a stable financial foundation at the very beginning. Your business’ success won’t amount to much if it crumbles down on itself like the ancient Roman Empire. This is why careful research and planning is crucial for building a strong business infrastructure. One which is made to last.

Furthermore, you should be aware that you’re not starting a venture on your own. Indeed, this is rarely the case. More often than not you’ll receive help in various shapes and forms. Keep reading and you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

Prepare a business plan for investors.

Don’t tell me! Someone has already shared this advice with you online, right? What a shocker. However, what they probably didn’t tell you is the real reason behind the importance of a business plan. See, it’s not just about keeping yourself organised. It’s more about creating a blueprint, or a ‘treasure map’ if you will, for your potential investors.

Angel and venture capital investors are only interested in financing your business if they see potential for rapid growth, especially in the next five years. The reason being that most of them will invest very early on when the value of it is still pretty low, only to sell their shares afterwards once the price has gone up significantly. They don’t want to wait too long for this to happen.

This is why your business plan needs to be like a rundown of your specific goals and the milestones you’re planning to achieve in a certain time-frame, say five years. Doing so will most probably turn your business into a magnet for investors in no time.

Gather the support of your friends and family.

Friends and family aren’t just there for moral support. They can offer some financial assistance as well. Many first time entrepreneurs choose to ask their dear ones to be the main investors at first. This option, however, could very well be a recipe for disaster. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get their money back which can strain your relationship with them to say the least.

Hence, finding alternative methods of financing your business might be a sound idea. In the end, if you do opt for this approach, then at least treat them seriously as you would a real investor. Namely, show them the business plan you’ve created and outline your business idea to them. Show them the ways you can not only pay their money back, but also earn them an attractive profit.

Most importantly, be honest with them. Take the time to explain how you might also be losing their money, so they know exactly what they sign up for.

Refinance yourself with loans.

The most straightforward way of financing your business is by the use of loans. Especially in the case of easily accessible online loans which are much faster and more easily obtainable than your traditional banking loans. This is because they don’t have a long and complex application process as traditional loans do.

It takes just a few minutes to fill in your data and you can apply whenever and wherever you want, as long as you have an internet connection. In addition, the loan will be approved in about a day or two, so you won’t have sleepless nights or have to bite your nails for days until you get an answer.

Another important thing to remember is to use lower interest-rate loans to refinance yourself. This will help you pay off older loans you might have with much higher interest-rates.

Crowdfunding campaigns.

If you’re new to the business scene, perhaps you haven’t heard much about crowdfunding yet. Over the past few years crowdfunding has been instrumental in financing some of the most successful startups that initially had no money. Oculus is one example.

Today Oculus is worth a few billion dollars, ever since Facebook acquired it in 2014. This is why platforms such as Kickstarter are an excellent way of gathering funds and support for your business. Public support can give you a lot of momentum to promote your business on the next level, drawing even more investors into the fray.

One thing to note though, is that you’ll need to step up your marketing, as well as content creation if you wish to rally a large enough audience. Try turning to more concrete blogging and social media marketing campaigns to improve your brand awareness and win the hearts of the people.

Brush up on some veteran experience.

You’re not the first nor the last entrepreneur out there, so use this to your advantage. Someone has already gone down your road, so why now follow them in their wake? With social media and the internet in general, this has never been simpler.

Find an influential entrepreneur who’s relevant for your business. Choose someone you admire and try to learn from their valuable experience. Additionally, you can even find someone to guide you in person, for example a successful local investor you might know. Let them mentor you the general ropes of the trade as well as the ins and outs of that business. They might even be the key to financing your business.

In conclusion, being an entrepreneur requires a lot of deal-making. Be ready to hassle the people you know, experts, investors and even the general public for their support. If you have a unique business idea worth exploring, you will succeed in financing your business.

The post What You Need To Know About Financing Your Business appeared first on The Fun Entrepreneur.

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The internet is often seen as a challenge to traditional means of communication. Everything can be booked online these days, so much so that people think the phone has become obsolete. This infographic from our friends at M2 On Hold offers a counter argument for the simple phone. It takes you through how the advent of click to call has made the phone call more popular than it’s been in a long time.

What is Click To Call anyway?

Click to call appears in search results on Google and with one click of a button a person can call your company. Not everything is easier to do online and sometimes people just find it quicker to phone and get an answer or accomplish a goal. It a well known fact that often people prefer talking to a real person. This could, for example, be because there is insufficient information on the website.

There could be other, industry related reasons why people prefer talking to another human. Local services are a prime example of this. Consider that you’re looking to book a house cleaning service. Many companies now have an online booking platform, but you will often need to add additional information about what you need cleaned.

You may even have to get in touch to give them additional details such as how they will gain entry to your home, or ask them how long the cleaning will take. It would be difficult to do all of this online and get an instant answer.

If you do run a company that receives a lot of calls, ensure that you deal with them efficiently. Remember that 74% of people are likely to choose another business if they have a negative phone experience. Create a special experience for the caller so they’ll feel comfortable doing business with you.

Remember that they’re likely trusting you with credit card details and personal information. It is, therefore, important that you build a rapport with them. Find out more in the infographic.

The post Infographic: The Click To Call Opportunity appeared first on The Fun Entrepreneur.

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Many people under-appreciate the amount of planning that goes into stepping out on your own and starting a business. Besides all the core, business-centred questions, a major concern can be what the startup community in your environment is like.

Will there be local competitors working in your marketplace? Does the city welcome new entrepreneurship? What local resources, natural or human, can your business take advantage of? Asking these questions is just a small part in the process of creating and developing your startup into a self-sustaining enterprise. Here, we’ll go over the five best cities for startups in North America.

Toronto.

Toronto might seem like an unexpected city to top our list from a US citizen’s perspective. However the city is recommended for good, non-routine related reasons. Chiefly among these reasons is Canada’s startup visa program. This government program encourages immigrant entrepreneurs, possessing the skills and motivation, to move to Canada and build innovative businesses. The goal is to create local jobs and compete on a global scale.

Toronto has made good use of the startup visa program and created one of North America’s largest startup hubs. This, paired with Canada’s excellent research atmosphere, low taxes, excellent quality of life, and low cost of doing business make it an ideal place. Additionally, the city is a hotspot of engineering-focused universities full of innovation-minded students.

Technology and business reasons aside, there are other reasons Toronto is one of the best cities for startups. For starters, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes. The city offers flexible work-spaces, an efficient public transportation system, and boasts a vibrant city center.

Austin.

Austin has plenty of notable and convenient amenities. Much of the media around startups nowadays focuses on engineering and technology innovations. However other sectors with good startup potential exist. If you’re looking to work in a more retail-minded or creative sector, Austin’s diverse and well-educated workforce brings plenty of opportunities to the table.

It’s of little wonder, therefore, to learn that Austin grows startups faster than nearly every other U.S. city. Consider the city’s low taxes, low cost of living and lack of a personal income tax. Add the zero percent corporate tax rate and it quickly becomes an ideal place to start a venture.

Startup culture isn’t just about work though. Fortunately, Austin has plenty of things to do to keep you and your future employees satisfied and free from burnout.

Denver.

The Mile-High City has high marks for being one of the best cities for startups, though it’s lesser known than its coastal city competitors. Despite a modest number of startups compared to others on this list, Denver’s has over 2,000 startup events every year, with over 17,500 attendees in a week.

Because it has a smaller startup community than places like New York City or Chicago, networking in Denver’s startup community is more welcoming and team focused. The growing millennial population and area’s well-educated workforce has contributed to an influx of tech companies. This is what makes Denver one of Cushman and Wakefield’s top tech cities.

Denver also has a great work-life balance that brings out the best in employees, whether they’re natives or new to the area. With its reasonable cost of living and stable economy, employees aren’t forced to work a second job to get by. Instead, they can enjoy the area’s natural attractions and better develop themselves.

Montreal.

Time to move back across the border into Canada. Montreal startups benefit from Canada’s startup visa program. But Montreal’s government established grants and financial assistance programs to encourage technological development. Examples of these include the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SRED) tax incentive program and the International Science and Technology Partnership Program.

These measures make it possible for area startups to receive the funding they need to survive and thrive. Canada’s universal healthcare system also cuts down the costs of operating a business by lifting the financial and bureaucratic burden for employers.

San Diego.

San Diego’s natural beauty, low crime rates, and proximity to universities makes it a quality place for startups. There are already around 1,050 startups in the city, with strong numbers from the medical and science sectors. In the last year alone, there’s been well over 1,500 startup events.

A strong funding climate, comparatively low cost of living, and less competition of university talent makes capital last longer and helps to combat burnout.

Explore Your Options.

Worried your own city or target location isn’t on this list? Don’t fret. As industries and regional economies change, city policies do too. To encourage job growth and business relocation, more cities (and countries) are working with developers to construct business-friendly spaces. Many city officials also meet with hospitality and travel leaders to see how they can work together to attract big conferences and meetings.

If waiting isn’t in the cards, however, look at the locations available to you right now. With their amenities, business-friendly policies and strategic geographical locations, Toronto, Austin, Denver, Montreal and San Diego offer many opportunities for the startup community. This makes them, without a doubt, some of the best cities for startups.

The post 5 Of The Best Cities For Startups appeared first on The Fun Entrepreneur.

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