The Future of Entrepreneurship and Start-ups

We live in a day and age in which empowerment and individuality are embraced, and this mindset is only gaining momentum. The future without a doubt belongs to entrepreneurs and this is something to be really excited about. Long gone will be the days in which our commerce was dominated and monopolized by big box corporations and in will come heart-centered businesses in which people will be offering services and products full of passion. As a generation that values happiness over 9-5 cubicle paychecks envelops upon us, we begin to understand the bold transformation of the business world.

Currently, statistics show that amazingly five out of seven job holders in the U.S. will become entrepreneurs in the future, and the reasons behind this are hard to argue with. When you become an entrepreneur, you are your biggest and loudest critic, which brings forth some of the best, highest quality work in the world. Consumers are definitely privy to this fact, and more and more, they are taking their business to a thriving entrepreneur over a corporate entity. If the basic idea of being your own boss isn’t appealing enough, all of the other perks that come along with building a brand that belongs all to your blood, sweat, and tears should seriously make you reconsider your career path. The future of entrepreneurship is headed in a direction we’ve never seen before, and the changes are vastly innovative and fast-approaching. So what changes can you expect in the entrepreneurship world? Here are just a few of the momentous shifts happening.

1. Digital Nomads: This is the embodiment of what it means to be an entrepreneur within the paradigm of the small business. These types of entrepreneurs have been gaining tremendous propulsion as of late, and will only continue to dominate the small business sector. What is a digital nomad? This is someone who offers intangible services through the Internet. They can work from anywhere, at any time, and for any client anywhere in the world. Being a digital nomad means being in a business that virtually has no limits and here, someone can do what they are most passionate about on their own terms. It’s intellectual property that these entrepreneurs are selling, so there are no investments generally for inventory goods or staffing. There is a precious quality of life and empowerment that comes along with choosing this route, but there are also challenges. Not everyone has the self-motivation to work on their own schedule. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is a reality that some digital nomads face. The dedication and discipline it takes to work under absolutely no rules or regulations is hard to come by and it’s definitely not always easy to uphold. And, like for any entrepreneur, there is no guarantee of work from one month to the next, so being savvy with finances is crucial. But on the flipside of this, clients can view digital nomads as extremely valuable to do business with. Consumers have the impression that digital nomads will do good work, as it is their livelihood that depends on repeat business and word of mouth. Digital nomads will take the reins in the years ahead as the type of entrepreneur that paves the way.

2. Aggression Dissolves: In the future of entrepreneurship, we say goodbye to aggressive sales people. We say goodbye to pushy marketing ploys and invasive selling techniques. Entrepreneurs are in touch with a certain type of business value that focuses on the relationships with their customers rather than just the monetary side of things. This flips the script on age old marketing strategies and allows the entrepreneur to sell to their customers in a way that is catered to the business relationship. This further gives entrepreneurs the upper hand over larger corporations that have staunch systems in place for marketing, making the small business owner more appealing to the consumer.

3. Personal Brands: One of the best parts of being your own boss is that you have the power to stay true to your personal brand. The integrity of what you build, what you represent, and the passion that you have to offer people doesn’t have to be sacrificed when you’re the one in charge. For instance, if you’re an entrepreneurial writer, you want to stay true to your written word and there is no traditional publishing company or third party that stands in your way of the market. Your customers get to see the authenticity of what you have to offer and that goes a long way in the terms of value and loyalty.

4. Banding Together: While the entrepreneur of the future will be open and forward thinking when it comes to enlisting a mentorship with a coach, collaboration and partnerships will be key to entrepreneurship successes as well. Long gone will be the days when going it alone seemed to be the most viable option, and enter the method of running a business fueled by trusted relationships. When the entrepreneurial world becomes something based upon inner strengths, passions, and leading with heart, along with that also comes trust and integrity. By putting trust into loved ones or coaches in business, entrepreneurs become extremely empowered to be effective and monumental leaders. Working together in a new age in which small businesses trump old, big box corporations is the only way to be a successful entrepreneur that helps to pave the way for the future. When we band together, we have an entire support system we never did before, and when we reach out for help, we keep our humility, along with always being open to learn new things from one another. Knowledge is power in the future entrepreneurship world and we gain the best wisdom from our peers.

5. Networks Become Currency: Community is everything when it comes to being an entrepreneur in this world and especially in the future. In a business in which you work for yourself and making money while you sleep becomes a reality, you have to make sure you’re honing in on the right networks for your market to aid in that success. Entrepreneurs will focus on networking with other entrepreneurs that can help them expand their business and add even more value to it. And networks aren’t just person-to-person contact. In fact, a large portion of networks will be online through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Engaging with potential clients or trying out new marketing techniques can take place with the click of a mouse or the touch of a smartphone screen on LinkedIn in just seconds. This future type of networking is crucial to the success of any entrepreneur in any type of business, and what’s even better is that it allows you to connect with any network anywhere in the world at any time of day or night.

6. No More Cost Controls: There is no longer a financial barrier when it comes to starting up your own business. The entrepreneur decides what to invest in, as there is a streamlined vision to financial fruition. When an entrepreneur falls into the category of a digital nomad, this becomes even truer, as they are selling intellectual property that has no cap or flow through to be concerned with. Services such as PayPal and the Square allow entrepreneurs to manage their own profits at the simple touch of a button from any computer or smartphone anywhere. Not to mention that transactions are fast and safe, which adds even more to an entrepreneur’s financial freedom.

7. Internet of Things: This fascinating technology has become more and more popular over the last handful of years and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. In the age of convenience and instant results, the Internet of Things is something that speeds up our world. What exactly is “The Internet of Things”? It is the concept of which anything with power is connected to the Internet and vice versa. Whether it’s in regards to a toaster or a jet engine, the Internet of Things creates relationships between things and people, or with things-to-things amazingly. The future of this simply, but profoundly states that “anything that can be connected will be connected”. So what does this mean for the future of entrepreneurship? From an organizational and time management standpoint, the Internet of Things makes any budding entrepreneur’s life way easier by streamlining so many systems and processes within a business. Everything from how you manage your money to automatic systems put in place for business practices to even having an efficiently functioning morning alarm clock and scheduling platforms—the Internet of Things makes all this easier on you as an entrepreneur, and not only freeing up time and energy, but also ensuring that your business run the best and smoothest possible. On the other side of the coin, the Internet of Things will be perfect for the small business owner or start-up, as it allows an entrepreneur to offer services or technology necessary to the market that are innovative and original. Entrepreneurs will have the advantage to innovate in an entirely new kind of spectrum, offering services to customers, or to merge with bigger products.

8. Heart-Centric Businesses: Entrepreneurs will turn their businesses into something centered around their hearts, as they are doing what they are born to do. When passion and natural born gifts drive the momentum of a business, there is no better quality of a product or service in this world. Simply by embracing the power of the heart-centric business, entrepreneurs add real value to the world in ways we’ve never seen before. While most people are good at many things, there are only certain gifts we come by naturally and utilizing these to the fullest means the spectrum of entrepreneurship becomes the game changer in global commerce.

9. Choices Become All Your Own: No matter what niche the business is in, an entrepreneur will be able to run that business anywhere in the world of their choosing. There is something to be said about inner happiness and prosperity when it comes to being about to live, work, and breathe where you want. There is nothing more empowering than creating a dream around a place in which you are comfortable and fulfilled. This will give entrepreneurs the ultimate flexibility to create systems in which they can offer the best products and services to the customer while not having to sacrifice their true home.

10. Total Life Transformation: The future of entrepreneurship is a huge life transformation for anyone on board. It’s scary, it’s exciting, and above all, the most rewarding thing you might ever do. To turn your career into something that is one hundred percent true to your core, your gifts, and your spirit is something that we rarely saw in the past. We are coming to a point in time in which more and more people are running full force into that new way of life and giving into doing what they love. The conviction to make an inner passion a career is growing more and more every day, and it is humbly and widely accepted by other fellow entrepreneurs and potential customers. Much like the business these future entrepreneurs will create, their lives will bloom into what they were always meant for and this will translate into bold, inspiring, and cutting edge businesses.

Many people have the dream of working for themselves and being a part of the hugely fortuitous future of the entrepreneur world, but not everyone has tapped into their gifts to get there. Are you having difficulty discovering your life purpose and the passion you could bring to the future successes of entrepreneurship? Ask yourself these simple five questions to spark the flame within yourself that will guide you towards your true gifts.

✓ Between the ages of 4-16, what was your passion? Who we were as children tells us more about ourselves than we could ever imagine.
✓ Think about deep conversations you have with your closest loved ones—what topics seem to keep coming up? Chances are, if you’re talking about it constantly to those you trust the most, then there is a deeper, meaningful reason for this.
✓ If money was not an issue, what would you be doing? Imagining a life of financial freedom gives you the opportunity to really be honest with yourself about how you would spend your life.
✓ What fills you with the most energy? Energy is everything in a person and you must find what radiates the most positive kind from within
✓ What area do people typically ask for your help or opinion in? People will take notice of your natural abilities, most times more so than you yourself do.
✓ What are your non-negotiable values? Your deepest morals really shine a light on what the purpose of your life entails.
✓ If you knew you would die a year from now, how would you want the world to remember you? This speaks for itself, as the legacy we leave is ultimately our greatest passion.

Can a Test Determine Your Aptitude for Entrepreneurship?

What is the actual make-up of an entrepreneur? Does it take a certain personality, a mish mash of the right character traits, or a certain type of passion that a vast majority of people cannot tap into? Realistically, there’s not much science backing to help determine a real answer, but what about the next closest thing—personality tests? These types of tests are world renowned for pegging personality types on point, and they can take a step further by categorizing some of the most influential and successful entrepreneurs in history.

Personality tests have been used for fun, to steer a person in the right direction as far as schooling, career paths, or even within the home life. More specifically, it’s natural to wonder just what tell-tale signs a legitimate personality test could uncover in regards to the personality profile of an entrepreneur and what successes or failures could await them. To be clear, not just any personality test will be efficient in arbitrating a human being’s aptitude for entrepreneurship. Only a few select personality tests—all in splendidly differentiating forms—make the cut of an accredited psychological assessment that is tried and true, and could turn out to be a guiding beacon towards an entrepreneurial future. Let’s take a list at the seven personality tests that could reveal more insight than one ever thought possible.

1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): “Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. If people differ systematically in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only reasonable for them to differ correspondingly in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.” ~Carl Jung

Without a doubt, the MBTI personality test is the most popular and well known in the world. This 93-question test is taken by over a million people a year and holds strong to Carl Jung’s theory on personality types. Though like any such psychological testing, it has been met with skepticism, and while the MBTI shouldn’t be the only assessment you utilize as a tool when searching for an entrepreneurial purpose, it is definitely a must have on your list of resources. Time and time again, universities, government entities, and big corporations have used the MBTI when searching for quality employees, professors, students, and future entrepreneurs.

How It Works: 16 personality types fall within 4 categories, which form a single psyche of a character wrapped up in a clever acronym. Of course, saying that the entire world can fit into just a 16 x 4 box should definitely be met with a suspended bit of disbelief, however there is some pretty solid logic behind it. Here are the 4 main categories broken down:
1. Favorite World: Does your focus like within you (Introversion) or with the outside world (Extraversion)?
2.Information: Do you process basic data as it comes to you for face value (Sensing) or do you interpret your own way and add more value to it (Intuition)?
3. Decisions: When making decisions, do you make those decisions objectively (Thinking) or subjectively (Feeling)?
4. Structure: Are you prone to making decisions immediately and moving on (Judging), or do you prefer to keep your options open for more information that the outside world could throw your way (Perceiving)?

After taking the MBTI test, you’ll come away with your very own four-letter acronym that covers the most important basis of your personality and character. It is said that the ENTP acronym is the ultimate representation of an entrepreneur personality, however there have been many exceptions to this rule. Just because you don’t fit that MBTI mold doesn’t mean you don’t have a bright entrepreneurial future ahead of you, and this again is why the MBTI shouldn’t be your only source for personality assessment.

2. DISC (Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance): “Realize what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and puts you to work digging gold.” ~William Moulton Marston

Trailing close behind the accolades of the MBTI assessment is William Marston’s DISC behavioral test. Brought to us by a man who boasts a law degree, psychologist work, and the inventor of the polygraph test and the original Wonder Woman comic, Marston was the definition of a passionate entrepreneur in several different arenas. The DISC assessment—much like the MBTI—is taken by over a million people a year. The DISC hones in on the teamwork potential and the specific behavioral traits of a person, instead of just the individual personality itself. This is a brilliant tool when assessing the potential of a future successful entrepreneur and it can drastically help to increase the productivity and communication of a team based workforce. What’s great about this test is that it can be used once someone is already on a fruitful entrepreneurial path, to better relationship and adaptation skills.

How It Works: There are four key components to personality types: Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance. You take the assessment and you are rated for your top to bottom strengths in these four areas. One component in particular will be dominant over the other three.
1. Dominance: You prioritize accomplishing results, are confident and bold in your abilities.
2. Inducement: You are approachable, exceptional at forming relationships, and extremely persuading.
3. Submission: You are dependable and focus largely on cooperation and sincere authenticity.
4. Compliance: Your main priorities are always logical, as you prefer quality and competent work from an objective standpoint.
What’s exceptional about DISC behavior profiles is that unlike personality, behavior can be changed or coached. People tend to change within different environments (such as home and work), and this is something that can be transformed. DISC is really all about adapting and being flexible as you develop relationships with people of all different backgrounds and personalities.

3. VALS (Values, Attitudes, and Lifestyles): VALS is a different kind of assessment in that it focuses on your relationship as an entrepreneur with your customers. It helps you to better understand your market and what exactly it is that your client base really wants the most. This transforms you into an influential leader and keeps you ahead of the curve in your business. It helps you to build your brand and to showcase your value to your customers. In a sense, VALS is the perfect market research tool all wrapped up in an assessment.

How It Works: VALS breaks down the consumer personality into 8 types. 2 critical concepts are then merged with the personality type: primary motivation and resources. These last 2 concepts allow you to see just why and how a consumer will make choices the way that they do, which gives you a more accurate forecast advantage.
1. Innovators: These are dominant personalities who are confident and take charge.
2. Thinkers: These are well-informed personalities who are motivated by ideals.
3. Believers: These are moral personalities who are rooted in age-old values and traditions.
4. Achievers: These personalities are always pushed forward by goals and you will never meet an achiever who is ever satisfied with just one completed goal.
5. Strivers: These fun personalities are trendsetters that you always want to keep your eye on for marketing opportunities. They are the catalysts of the “word of mouth” success.
6. Experiencers: These personalities are usually younger and more rash and impulsive in their experiences.
7. Makers: These independent personalities are very hands on and are extremely resourceful.
8. Survivors: These cautious personalities are simple in their tastes and typically take a long time to think on something before they come to a decision. They are not big fans of change.

4. StrengthsFinder: This one-of-a-kind assessment is a special one, as it focuses on only strengths within a personality—not weaknesses. While areas of opportunity are always good to know about so that we can be our best selves, it’s refreshing to be able to examine the most positive attributes in detail. This test is especially wonderful for aiding in finding a purpose-driven life and to understand your own specific gifts that you offer as an entrepreneur.

How It Works: 34 “talent themes” are measured with this assessment. “Talents” are people’s natural gifts gauged by reoccurring feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. While the list is extensive, it features talent themes such as Achiever, Focus, Harmony, Relator, and Intellection. These themes are versatile and cover a wide span of what it means to be a passionate human being. By focusing on the best of our strengths, we are able to open our eyes to all the possibilities our natural gifts hold for us and what value we can offer the world.

5. Genius Test: “Every culture, nationality, and religion can also be understood as forming from a type. This philosophy on types is so grand in its applications that it instantly expands consciousness.” ~Bob Cooley

The Genius test is an out-of-the-box and albeit fairly new assessment of personality. The test pinpoints the “type” of a person, which is determined at the time of conception, and is better known as a genetic blueprint of who you are. The idea is that this “type” you are born with never changes, no matter what life’s conditions hand to you. This is a much more introspective test that helps you to really look inside yourself and in others completely bare and authentic. When someone can be viewed as a “type” over all other labels, it helps you to better connect and understand.

How It Works: This test involves a self-filmed, five minute video that is sent to the GPT Foundation in Boston, where founder Bob Cooley and his experts will watch the video and determine what genius type personality you are. Check out the 16, pretty self-explanatory types below:
1. The Genius of Decision Making and Devotion
2. The Genius of Freedom and Giving
3. The Genius of Truth and Power
4. The Genius of Perfection and Completion
5. The Genius of Sobriety and Self-Knowing
6. The Genius of Peace and Communication
7. The Genius of Unconditional Love and Right Action
8. The Genius of Creativity and Passion
9. The Genius of Mastery and Problem Solving
10. The Genius of Intimacy and Will
11. The Genius of Openness and Judiciousness
12. The Genius of Athletics and Community
13. The Genius of Hope and Honesty
14. The Genius of Understanding and Humor
15. The Genius of Change and Integrity
16. The Genius of Healing and Soul

6. Passion Test: This assessment is all about finding your true passion and it is the most vital test you can take on your journey as an entrepreneur. While it is the simplest of all the personality assessments featured, that doesn’t take away from its significance to your life and prosperity as an entrepreneur.

How It Works: Answer 7 simple rate-style questions that range from things like “I make decisions on what will help me live my passions most fully” and “I spend my days doing what I love, surrounded by people I love”. These questions are then analyzed into a personalized Passion Test Profile just for you. Your specific profile then gives you resources into how to find your true passion in life. While the specific Passion Profiles do not have titles, each question you answered is broken down and analyzed for you to better understand yourself.

7. Carol Tuttle’s Energy Profiles: Known as one of the best personality assessment tools out there, Energy Therapist Carol Tuttle’s Energy Profile test assesses both characteristics and behavior. The test is based around our DNA and how the components create every bit of our true selves. This is the perfect mirror for any person—or entrepreneur—to take a long, hard look in the mirror at themselves. It is a test that can help you understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and can help you grow.

How It Works: The test puts people into four different possible type categories. These “Four Types” as they are referred to come from the idea that we are made up of 4 main elements: nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Every person possesses a dominant strength in one of these 4 types.
1. Type 1, Nitrogen: Bubbly personality that attracts people easily and is an eternal optimist.
2. Type 2, Oxygen: Calm demeanor with a patient personality and a love for facts.
3. Type 3, Hydrogen: A natural born leader who is constantly on the move for action.
4. Type 4, Carbon: Objective and logical thinker with the intellectual gifts to innovate.

Marketing a Product vs. Marketing a Service : Benefits and Challenges

As a business owner, good and mindful marketing is the absolute key to success. But all marketing is not created equal. Whether you’re offering tangible products to the world, services, or both, you’ll need a marketing strategy that caters efficiently to each—especially since selling products versus selling services are both entirely different beasts.

First, it helps to define what exactly each one of these two sellable items is and what makes them so different. When you are selling a product, you’re selling something that consumers can obviously touch, therefore physical demands apply here that don’t with selling a service. When you’re marketing a service to the masses, you are selling something completely intangible: you’re selling a relationship, and sometimes this can prove to be more trying than hardships associated with selling tangible products. On the same token as challenges, however, both product and service selling offer some pretty fantastic benefits as well, from customization to longevity of quality. Let’s take a broken down look at both of these business ventures and how pertinent it is to choose the right one that packs the best impact for your business.

Selling a product is the age-old way of doing business, and for small business owners and entrepreneurs, selling palpable products still harbors original and new challenges and benefits alike. No matter what product you’re offering to consumers, you can be sure that investing money into supply will most likely come before the actual sale. Being prepared, organized, and an apt forecaster for the future of business are top traits to have as a business owner selling products—and that’s not always so easy to come by. But at the end of the day, a good product can be marketed successfully, and fully understanding the pros and cons of what it takes to do this can be truly fortuitous for your business.

BENEFITS OF MARKETING A PRODUCT: Marketing a product comes with loads of benefits, especially if your marketing strategy itself is on point. We’ll use the example of a product being a book to better illustrate the needs of fruitful selling.

Versatility: When marketing your book, you have the option of offering both physical and digital material. This can go a long way with sending samples and discounts out to your current or sought after customers. Through email blasts, you can send samples of your book, and more specifically, coupon codes and alerts on specials going on with your product offers. This can also be done with a variety of media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Creative Cost Cuts: The reason that you want to utilize digital media for marketing samples or coupons for your product is because it saves you from eating up front costs. Giveaways are an even better way to do this, as you market tons of exposure for your brand while really only paying the cost of the giveaway to the winner.

Trust: Consumers tend to trust what they know, and selling a product is a business practice that has been around for centuries. Consumers understand the general process and are comfortable with it. This is an advantage that service sellers simply don’t have. Being able to give your customers a product they can see and touch can make all the difference when it comes to ease of marketing successfully. Following through with delivering a good product to your customers is entirely dependent on you, but it sure makes for a great start when you can hit the ground running with a trusting audience.

Imagery: People respond quickly to what they see and another advantage you have over service sellers is that you always have something to show your potential customers. From websites to purchase pages to billboards to TV spots, there are tons of different avenues that you can showcase photos and videos from every angle. Once you have satisfied customers, free marketing from those happy consumers come into play, as they will begin to use social media to post their own photos and videos of your product.

Niche: When marketing a product, you have the ability to zero in on particular niches of consumers. For instance, let’s say you’re selling a children’s book. Obviously, you know to hone in on the sector of parents to young children and elementary school libraries most specifically. By being able to target a specific group of customers, you don’t waste precious resources or dollars on unsuccessful selling strategies. In short, by marketing to your niche, you guarantee yourself success.

CHALLENGES OF MARKETING A PRODUCT: Attempting to market physical products in a high-tech, smartphone kind of world can be a big mountain to climb, and at times, an unforeseeable uphill battle that you just can’t seem to win.

Up Front Costs: Inventory and forecasting the future of your products is costly, no matter how you look at it, and it’s completely necessary. Not only is this a financial investment when talking about keeping inventory always on hand, but it gets more expensive when referring to events and third-party stores. Say you have a book signing or a talk. You’ll need to invest in an inventory of books to have with you for these events and all you can do is give the best educated guess when deciding the amount of inventory to order. More times than not, you’ll leave taking some of that unsold inventory back. Likewise with other venues, such as bookstores, many times you won’t get paid in full for your product until all inventory is sold. Even then, you run the risk of not selling out and therefore losing on any profit. Risks are a given when being an entrepreneur, but costly risks can sink your ship fast.

Distribution Channels: Otherwise known as your third-party sellers, distribution channels can be tricky for product sellers in the loud, somewhat chaotic world of advanced technology. The biggest part of a marketing strategy for selling a product first comes with selling it to reputable distribution channels. This daunting task is a bigger hurdle for the classic selling of products now more than ever before because to many big box stores, why invest in unsold inventory when there are usually so many viable alternative options available in the form of on-demand and digital property? For instance, with our example of book products: a big box store is less likely to invest in half the books it used to when online retailers like are offering kindle and print on demand editions that sell twice as many, twice as fast. Unfortunately, this is the reality of our current world and depending on exactly what physical product you’re selling, sometimes this can be a losing battle.

Gambling with Market Strategy: With the cost of marketing lumped on to product associated goods, you have to come up with the best marketing plan you can—and there isn’t much room to fail. Any market strategy is a gamble, but you have to be sure as a product seller that you make your risks small, because when a marketing strategy fails, you always take a pretty big financial hit in the process.

Storage and Manufacturing: Even once you manage to set up an organized space for manufacturing and storing your inventory, the beginning is always tough. A closet in your home or a garage might be a good start, but what happens when your company grows? Planning for costs on a successful business to widen your space can be difficult and sometimes success comes along faster than we expected.

Marketing a service is a bit more complex than selling material products. When you’re providing a service, without something that the consumer can physically touch, selling yourself can be slightly more difficult. You’re selling a bond and a trusted connection, and to do this takes experience and backing to gain experience and backing. Like business owners who sell physical products, you’ll have to be savvy enough to forecast sales—but an advantage you have is that no upfront costs on physical goods is necessary so this can really be a financial well for you as you’re learning how to best market your service.

BENEFITS OF MARKETING A SERVICE: Marketing a service comes with a wide array of empowering entrepreneurial benefits. Today’s technology is on the side of service sellers and there are no boundaries when it comes to being a global success.

Exponentially Lower Costs: One of the biggest benefits of selling a service over a physical product is the cost. With no materials needed to be made or preordered to create a stock, selling a service slashes all the financial investment associated with physical goods by a substantial amount.

Customization: Whether you’re a consultant or a coach, when you market a service, you have a huge advantage in that you can customize services specifically to what your customers want or need. And this doesn’t just ring true with the services themselves—it also falls into that same line when it comes to the price. Customizing the specific services to the market trend’s needs ensures that you can also market your services at a price point that fits your own business needs and at the same time, models the pricing that customers will pay.

Competitive Set Upperhand: Furthermore snowballing off of the customization advantage is the great upperhand you have at competitive service and pricing. Customizing services and pricing isn’t just about catering to requests from your customers. It’s also being the most competitive within your industry against other sellers of the same services. In general, this is one of the best things about being a business owner, as with no big corporation to answer to, you decide price points and you decide how aggressive you need to be when it comes to staying competitive within your industry. For service sellers, staying competitive particularly within pricing is much easier to do than it is for product sellers, as your upfront physical costs are slim to none. This allows you to offer any type of service—from coaching to classes to even the amount of trial period time—for whatever price set that helps you to trump the competition.

Word of Mouth & Repeat Customers: Yes, it may be a challenge and a bit of a long road to gather up repeat customers and positive reviews, but once you do, this is a monumental asset of selling a service that will make your company explode with success. Word of mouth has always been and still is possibly the strongest way of marketing there is in this world and securing yourself a handful of happy, repeat customers is the sure way to get this “six degrees of separation” ball rolling. Satisfied repeating customers will become your bread and butter as a foundation for a successful brand. Always remember this when it can seem challenging finding these customers in the beginning. If you stay patient, friendly, flexible, and consistently provide good work, you’ll wake up one morning with more business than you know what to do with.

Limitless Reach: Another wonderful fact about marketing and selling a service is that there are no bounds when it comes to where or who your customers are. With the amazing advancement of today’s technology, you can sell digital copies of ebooks, a coaching session, or a consulting training seminar to someone across the world from you, no matter what time of day or night it is.

CHALLENGES OF MARKETING A SERVICE: What you save financially by not having the physical product costs to worry about, you find equal hardship in marketing your services in the first place.

Marketing the Intangible—Trust: When you offer something that no one can touch, you have to market an idea, a rapport, and lots of times, free work in the form of a preliminary, “good faith” amount of time. You need customers to gain more customers, and this perhaps is one of the hardest types of sales to market. To reel consumers in to want to invest in your brand and your service, it is imperative that you gather up positive reviews and classic recommendations to give a solid backing to your craft.

The Taboo of New: Another challenge you’ll run into when marketing a service is the virtual newness of the entire concept. Selling intangible services such as life coaching or holistic practitioner-ing only came into fruition around 1980 and though that was over thirty years ago, when compared side by side to actual product marketing, it’s still a somewhat fresh idea. While selling services is without a doubt gaining momentum now, it can still take potential customers a bit to warm up to the idea. Some don’t trust the selling of a service at all and sometimes, you won’t be able to sway certain people to your brand mindset. This makes for quite a big challenge when trying to market a service, as the whole idea of selling a service in itself can really be against you in the first place.

Returns: It’s a common known rule in business that you won’t please everyone. However, when you’re selling a service opposed to a product, you’re putting in time and energy into something on an intellectual level. If the customer isn’t satisfied, you won’t be able to get your time and energy back as if you could selling physical products. And for your business, that time and energy lost is money practically flying out the window.

Niche: Just as this is a good marketing play for a physical product seller, it’s not as easy for someone in the business of services. When you sell a service, you can develop a sense for who your target market is, but more often than not, that’s an extremely gray area. Say you’re a life coach. Who is your niche? Everyone is in that possible pool to be a customer. What if you offer training seminars on entrepreneurship? You could say that specifically entrepreneurs are your niche, but that world has no face, name, or age. Again, it’s the whole world you’re selling to. While this can sound like a lovely “problem” to have in being able to sell your services to any and every person, it turns out to be more of a challenge. When you have no niche to focus on, it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with an effective market strategy, as you have no specific sector to target.

A Bad Rap: When selling an invisible service, you’ll run into plenty of “haters”—aka, people who completely disregard your services by using general and quite damaging labels. When everything is a hashtag or handle, the last thing you want is a #stupid #irrelevant #scam label beside your company name. You’ll have to anticipate this not only early on in your service business ventures, but throughout its lifespan. It’s just part of the deal. What’s worse is that you can’t exactly offer a free sample of something to put in a “hater’s” hands, and if they deem your service #irrelevant, then they wouldn’t take an offer to try it out anyway. Most times, you can’t fix situations like these and all you can really do is creative damage control in the form of overshadowing the “haters” with people who really love what you’re selling.

Diminishing Demand: Everything has a shelf-life, and unlike product sellers, restocking a new service on that shelf isn’t so easy. What will you do if/when your service falls out of demand? It’s important to be brutally honest with yourself when it comes to this inevitable part of business and to be flexible with what services you can offer. If you can’t adapt, then your business won’t survive.

From a marketing standpoint, it seems like the two options of selling a physical product or an untouchable service are pretty balanced when it comes to the advantages and disadvantages. As a small business owner, only you can decide what best fits the needs of what it takes to make your business successful. Maybe the appeal of limited, up front costs and hustle for good word of mouth is exactly within your skillset. Or, maybe the workings of a more traditional way of business in selling tangible products fits your business model. Or just maybe, you can somehow incorporate both selling points within your business and reign the best of both worlds. Either way, being a successful entrepreneur is directly connected to your knowledge of what works and what doesn’t for your ultimate, overall prosperity.

Neuromarketing: How to Talk and Sell to Your Customers’ Subsconsious Mind

Neuromarketing is the new buzz word that actually has merit. This is a marketing strategy that indirectly turns visitors into money spending consumers. Before likening this to subliminal messages used in the past, understand that neuromarketing is not about manipulating the mind to think of something else when viewing your website. Instead, it is a way to open up the 95% of the mind that is not being used and gently nudge it in the right direction. This is done with intuitive methods of marketing and taking them time to learn about your consumers and their goals.

Neuromarketing is a science, and one that has been used in retail stores for generations. Careful placement of goods on supermarket shelves for example, to be at the eye level of the targeted consumer. Research of the how and why these types of techniques are on-going, but there is one undeniable truth – in website design, implementing certain neuromarketing techniques will garner more conversions.

Techniques and Tactics
It takes a lot to pull the human mind away from its hundreds of other thoughts and get it to focus on your web page. It is now evident that you only get 10 seconds to do just that before the consumer is ready to move on. Neuromarketing grabs that attention quick before that person has time to make the mouse click away from your site.

It starts with you figuring out who your target consumer base is, and creating content that grab their attention and makes them want to know more. Neuromarketing means you are able to be as focused on your consumer as you want them to be on your product or service.

The Microscope Approach
When you view items under a microscope, you are able to see them in more detail. The field has been narrowed, allowing you to intensely focus your attention without any distraction. The market you target is under that microscope. Now that you have your target market, you can formulate the plan that makes them want to stick around and see what else you have to say.

Without any fuss immediately let a visitor know what your site is about. If you sell SEO content then that should be the focus of the landing page. What your content can do for a website and a call to action that inspires the conversion. What you do, and what that can do for them. Now that you have their undivided attention, you can add text that gives a more detailed explanation of the service, how it is beneficial, and for whom.

Using a Magnifying Glass
We all know how a magnifying glass is able to compact beams of light to be strong enough to light a fire. Neuromarketing works on the same principle. By focusing all of that energy onto the true target, a fire is lit and the conversion is made.

Over and over, studies into marketing techniques show that consumers buy what they can relate to. They want products that fit the image of who they think they are. With that magnifying glass, you can create the messages that will have the most impact on your target audience. A sharp reference to their identity without defining it, makes them stop, think and convert.

Tag lines and slogans are great methods of using this neuromarketing tactic. In fact, some of the most memorable tag lines and slogans in marketing history have used that identification technique. Nike’s “Just Do It” and Fortune’s “For the men in charge of change” lets the target know that this is the product for them, without telling them who they should be.

Peer through the Telescope
Once you have your target audience interested, neuromarketing takes a broader look at things to find out what their goal is. Consumers find services and products more valuable when they are able to use them to reach a goal. Go back to the consumer looking for great SEO content. What is his goal? Overall it is to gain more online visibility and therefore increase his revenue. You, as the website that is promising to increase his SEO will now need to first show him what his goals are and how you are able to help him achieve them. This type of neuromarketing requires a more intense look into the subconscious to find out what is driving it, and what you can do to control it into your direction. Liken it to looking at a night sky full of stars, and trying to piece the right ones together to form the Big Dipper.

Ask yourself what is their real motivation? Are the women shopping at online clothing stores really looking for the top trends, or do they want clothes that make them look great when they wear them. Find the true motivation behind your consumers and cater to that, and you will see a rise in the number of conversions you make daily.

Adding the Right Contrast to Your Slide Shows
There is no question that color can play with a person’s subconscious, but how do you make use of that on your website? First you have to have an understanding of color and the emotions they invoke. It is not about what colors get the most conversions, but which colors does your target audience relate to best.

For example, if you are selling high end watches or ladies purses, dark and black tones will draw in the consumer who has the money to spend on luxury items. Black is a power color that subconsciously brings images of wealth to the consumer’s subconscious.

Some colors may seem like no-brainers, pink for a feminine site for example. But, if you add bright splashes of yellow, you will grab the attention of consumers who are typical online window shoppers.
There is real science behind the color tactic for neuromarketing, science that has been tested and proven in a number of applications in addition to website design. When you think about the color blue are you warm or cold? The human subconscious automatically assigns emotions and feelings to colors without you knowing it.

Study your target consumer in relation to your site and then do the research to find out which colors you should be using. Tapping into the color subconscious of the consumer is one of the simplest methods to applying neuromarketing to your website.

Why Neuromarketing Works
When it comes down to it, a consumer does not always know what it is they want on the conscious level. You can take advantage of that with neuromarketing by digging into the subconscious. It is there where you find the real motivation for buying, and how you can convert that to your favor.

One you have pin-pointed that real goal every consumer has, and your product or service fulfills, you can use clever neuromarketing tactics that force consumers to achieve that goal on your site.

Holiday Revenue Boost: Make Your Small Business Sparkle This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a joyful, albeit busy time of year for small business owners. No matter what industry you’re in, this is a prime time to really aim to stand out above your competitors. But as a business owner, with everything else you have on your plate especially during the holidays, where do you find the extra hours to put towards good marketing, smart budgeting, and staying ahead of your competition?

The good news is that you don’t have to drown amidst trying to figure out how to navigate your business during the holiday season and beyond. Business coaches are a saving grace in times like these and can truly help you bring your business to the next level. From finances to hiring to the right holiday inventory expansion, a business coach can truly be your beacon to success in even a most overwhelming few weeks of Christmas time. A business coach can really elevate your company to blow away all the rest by working with you to make decisions large or small. Don’t know exactly what a business coach is or if that’s something your business needs? Let’s start with the basics.

A business coach can sit down with you and assess your business, helping you to form a financially savvy blueprint to prepare for extra costs – and extra earnings – that occur during the holiday season. Knowing just how to use additional holiday profits and turn them into investments back into your business is key and a good coach is going to help you do this seamlessly. Even more specifically, what kind of investments back into your business will you need to make? Your coach can help you decipher if profit is best donned towards emergency savings in case of market crashes, or if it’s time to take that profit and expand your business.

But what about the finer details in your business wheel? The stuff that really makes your business run? While handling financials during Christmas time is an extremely integral part of fruition, you have to get there first. To do this, you need dependable employees, great customer care, organization for inventory, workspace, and beyond, and a solid web presence. An expert business coach will maneuver you through each and every one of these necessary facets of having a successful holiday season within your company.

Xmas MarketingFirst, your coach will help you to determine if you need to hire on extra, seasonal employees for the holidays. If you do, your business coach will walk step by step with you through the hiring process, be it interviews, specific paperwork, and even scheduling after-hire. If you don’t necessarily need extra seasonal employees, you might need to completely adjust your schedule for demand, which especially includes holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and even New Year’s. Your coach can help you create a fair and efficient work schedule for you and your employees.

On the same line as making sure your business is well staffed, you need to be sure that you are equipped with the tools to offer the utmost best service to your clients. While your staff should already be trained to treat your customers like royalty, a refresh on good customer service in the highest of holiday spirits could be beneficial, and again, your business coach can help you do this. Moreover, the holidays bring a time of major competition within businesses and you definitely want yours to stand out above the rest. To do this, your coach can help you come up with out of the box ways to gain more customers or retain existing ones. A small business coach will also be able to help you redefine your target audience, choose the right channel to reach them in big numbers and run effective marketing and advertising campaigns on a tight budget.

Web presence in this day and age is one of the building blocks of any business. It’s a way to reach clients and offer services all over the world, and without it, only a tiny portion of your business potential is mastered. But creating a web presence for your company can be daunting—and so much work that it sometime becomes a whole other business in itself. With a business coach, this doesn’t have to be an overwhelming ordeal that takes you away from all the other important aspects of being an entrepreneur. Your coach can help alleviate the long hours of research and setting up webpages and social media hub outlets. Furthermore, after the initial set-up is done, your coach can lead you through utilizing this web presence to exponentially increase your business’ growth and productivity. Plus, with holiday marketing campaigns such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’re hurting your business by not ensuring your web presence is where it needs to be. But even more, your coach can use your updated web presence to help you find new markets that perhaps you never even thought possible.

marketing-coachFinally, possibly the most important—and most of the time, overlooked—part of running a small business is proper organization. We are not just talking about shelving units and desk drawers here. Organization within your company also defines tools that you and your staff need to keep your business running to its optimum potential. Is all your software up to date and able to handle big, holiday orders? What about a revenue management or scheduling system? Software such as these help you organize the fine details of your business so tremendously that they can become key factors in your productivity. A business coach will help you to figure out just what organization tools you need and furthermore assist you in implementing them. Proper organization tools will take away that overwhelming feeling that comes during busy times of year such as the Christmas season, as all the resources you need to run your business are at your fingertips.

A business coach is a fountain of knowledge on all things entrepreneurial, and can be your guiding light through the world of small business. A business coach is there to help you know what you don’t know so that your business reaches its highest potential. The holiday season is a somewhat chaotic time for businesses, and while this can be a great blessing for profits, we mustn’t forget that being an entrepreneur is not the only important thing on your plate. Christmas time is the time for family and loved ones, or really just taking time out for yourself to celebrate your accomplishments throughout the year. Attempting to juggle everything on your own could very well harm your business rather than do good. With a business coach, you’ve got an expert in the field helping you down the path to posterity through the holidays and beyond and it will enable you to focus on keeping your business operational and profitable.