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15 Must-Reads Small Business Owners Can Choose from This Summer

Summer is often a time of rest and relaxation, with plenty of time to sit out by the pool or on the beach with a good book. It’s no surprise that entrepreneurs fill up their summer reading list with books that will help them run their business better. There are the business classics like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Good to Great, but sometimes business owners can find valuable lessons in an unexpected read. We asked 15 members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question: “What’s one book from your summer reading list that may have insights for small business owners for an unexpected reason? “ Small Business Summer Reading List Here’s what YEC community members had to say: 1. Quiet by Susan Cain “I’ve been reading Quiet by Susan Cain and it’s all about introverts in a world that celebrates extroversion. As a leader, there are a lot of cues to take to better craft experiences and environments for both.” ~ Darrah Brustein, darrah.co 2. Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters “I would recommend this book for growing businesses with a founder that makes too many changes too often (like me). It’s all about clarifying the roles of a visionary and an integrator in a business and learning when the founders need to let go for better execution.” ~ Sunny Desai, Desai Hotel Group 3. The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius “Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor, but he was also a Stoic philosopher. His Meditations aren’t a thrill-a-minute read, but they are full of insights that can be useful to entrepreneurs and managers. In stressful times, I often think of this quote: “When anything tempts you to feel bitter: don’t think, ‘This is misfortune,’ but ‘To bear this well is good fortune.’” ” ~ Vik Patel, Future Hosting 4. The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan “Alex Banayan just released The Third Door, a book that took him seven years to write. I love it because it uncovers scrappy ways of getting to the likes of Bill…

How Much Do Small Business Owners Make? Read These Stats to Learn More

How much money do small business owners make? That’s a question that’s difficult to answer simply, since there are so many different types of businesses and industries that fit within that category. However, there are some recent statistics that can shed light on what types of salaries certain small business owners are likely to bring in. How Much Do Small Business Owners Make These Days? Payscale has found that the average salary for a CEO is $164,749 per year. However, that includes people who hold that role at large companies and those who came into that role without actually starting or owning the business themselves. According to a recent study by Fundera, 86.3 percent of small business owners said they take a salary of less than $100,000 per year. In fact, 30.1 percent said they don’t pay themselves at all. Of those who do take a salary, most put their range within $20,000 to $50,000 per year. When you break down earnings by industry, you can learn a bit more. For example, the median salary for a restaurant owner/operator is around $60,000. Retail store owners earn a median income of $51,270 per year. Those who run warehouses earn an average of $55,000 annually. And the median income for those who own construction businesses sits at $62,449 per year. While some of those numbers were fairly modest, some other types of businesses tend to bring in significantly more. For example, manufacturing executives and executives of holding companies earn an average of around $250,000 per year. Ten years ago, those figures looked a bit different. Some were significantly lower. For example, the average firm in accommodations and food services earned $37,992 in income, according to the IRS Statistics of Income in 2007. But others have dropped since then, including retail firms, which earned an average of $63,194 back in 2007. Some of the most profitable types of businesses weren’t even around, or at least weren’t as prominent, at that time. According to Fundera, mobile businesses, sharing economy business and online education businesses are among the most profitable today. So essentially, the exact…

How to Get Your Business Partner Motivated Today

If you own a business and have a partner it can make managing that business easier. For one thing, it gives you someone who will share the responsibilities, burdens, and triumphs with you. But it can also create other obstacles and problems to work through. For instance, you may be highly motivated and your partner more relaxed. Such different approaches in work styles can drive you crazy if you let it. But in such situations, there are things to help you motivate a business partner instead. How to Motivate Your Business Partner 1. Form a Mission Statement As you first open your business you should form a mission statement. It’s a great way to motivate a business partner as well as yourself. But even if your business has been around awhile, you can still create one. Mission statements provide others with a short sentence or two stating the reason for your business. It will tell what the company is about as well as why it does what it does. But the deeper meaning behind a mission statement is that it guides you. Sometimes it even reminds you of why you sacrifice and work so hard to keep your business going. After developing a mission statement together, you and your partner should look at it as you start each day. Both you and your partner may get just the motivation needed to stay on track. 2. Set Goals Together In addition to forming a mission statement, you should also set business goals together. While your mission statement tells the what and why, goals are the how. As you set goals together, create short term goals as well as medium and long term goals. This makes prioritizing them easier, but also helps to keep your eyes on the future. Kind of like a “To do” list, goals help you motivate yourself as well as a partner. They give you a reason to be excited about going to work each day. 3. Divide Duties Once you have business goals set you can divide up the duties in order to reach them. As you decide who will do…

10 Ways Your Small Business Can Save Money When Gas Prices Are High

Gas prices have hit a four-year high in the U.S. Fueled by increasingly expensive oil, the cost of gasoline has been steadily increasing in recent years. In May 2018, the price of premium gasoline averaged 50 cents higher than regular gasoline in 2017. Rising gas prices can have a negative impact on small businesses that rely on vehicles to conduct business operations. The rising cost of filling up company fleets is coming at the detriment to small business owners, forcing many to cut costs in other areas of the business. As Jason Boyne who owns three Goodbye Graffiti franchise businesses says: “The biggest cost for us is filling up the trucks. The rising price of gas means the costs get translated into higher costs for consumers.” “It also affects my ability to give raises to my staff,” the small business owner added. How to Save Money when Gas Prices Are High If rising gas prices are negatively impacting your small business, take a look at the following ten ways your small business can ‘fight back’ and save money when gas prices are high. Promote Sensible and Conservative Driving According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), driving aggressively and erratically can lower gas economy by up to 33% at highway speeds and by 5% on urban streets. By informing drivers of the pitfalls of aggressive driving and promoting sensible driving will help your business make vital savings on gas consumption. Keep Tire Pressure at Optimum Levels The EPA also notes the importance of tire inflation in vehicle inspection programs. The simple task of keeping the tires of a company vehicle inflated to its proper pressure can improve gas economy by up to 3.3%. If your business operates a number of vehicles, this can equate to a significant sum of money. The solution is simple – keep tire pressure on business fleets at optimum levels. Make Routes More Efficient Are your drivers using the most efficient routes to deliver goods and conduct business? The shortest routes don’t always equate to the most efficient in terms of fuel consumption, particularly if the route is through an urban area and involves…

Report Highlights Importance of Adaptability Quotient for Business Survival

A new study released by Advantage|ForbesBooks, is putting a spotlight on Adaptability Quotient (AQ), a concept many businesses may not be aware of. Titled “Adapt or Die: Why Corporate Giants Failed, How to Make Sure You Don’t,” it offers insights into how the AQ of a company plays a critical role in its long-term survivability. And the concepts the study recommends doesn’t only apply to large enterprises. In today’s digital, connected and global ecosystem, small businesses also have to adapt if they want to succeed. And no matter what your size, the paper says companies have to cultivate a culture of adaptability with a fundamental strategic shift to make it happen. What is Adaptability Quotient? At the business level, the report defines AQ as, “The ability to adjust course, product, service, and strategy in response to unanticipated changes in the market.” So Why are not More Businesses Aware of It? Even though the Harvard Business Review said it was “the new competitive advantage” in 2011 and the Fast Company claims it is “the key to the future of work,” not many people or businesses are familiar with it. This may be because AQ doesn’t yet have an established metric to gauge it and there are only a handful of experts, according to the study. Takeaways From the Study The major takeaways from the study are: “Don’t develop a product that hinges on the static positioning of a dynamic/changing audience; be permanently alert when you assess your competition; get a different pair of eyes on your product or services; adapt even if it means stealing from your competitors.” Conclusion The study concludes by saying, “Competitive reality is uncertain,” however, it goes on to say “What remains certain is the indispensability of a high AQ in the fight to keep pace with a changing environment.” For small businesses, it is easier to quickly change and adopt the latest technology, solutions and systems. And in today’s digital ecosystem it is much easier than ever to make this possible. But as the Advantage|ForbesBooks study points out, you have to position your entire organization to…

The Hidden Mystery Behind One of the Lesser Known Universities for Startup Entrepreneurs

For entrepreneurs, the idea of crafting a unicorn company from the ground up is usually the dream. After all, that means the business has a valuation of a minimum of one billion dollars, and that’s a significant accomplishment. If you take a look at what it takes to become a founder of a unicorn company, there are numerous factors involved. Hard work, dedication, and leadership skills are a must as, without passion and diligence, you likely won’t achieve success. Having a fantastic concept certainly helps, especially if it qualifies as a disruptor. But what about education? Does where a person goes to school make a difference? Many unicorn founders have a solid educational background, with their schools surviving as a makeshift “nursery,” a place where talent and knowledge can grow. A recent chart, published by Crunchbase, takes a hard look at this factor, including the schools that produced the some of the most successful CEOs. The Top Unicorn Universities If you were spontaneously asked which universities produced the most successful entrepreneurs, schools like Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, and MIT would likely come to mind. And, you would be right. Those institutions are numbers one, two, five, seven, and nine on the list, respectively. In fact, the Ivy League is heavily represented. The University of Pennsylvania is also on the list, at number three, largely thanks to its Wharton School of Business. But there are also some entries that might surprise you. The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is number eight. And the University of Waterloo lands in the top ten. These schools beat out some notable universities too, including Brown, Duke, and Princeton. The University of Waterloo When it comes to providing a high-quality education, the University of Waterloo is an elite institution. How do I know? I studied there. Plus, the school has been home to several unicorn entrepreneurs, another feather in the university’s cap, as well as multiple other noteworthy company founders and investors. Peter Szulczewski, one of the amazing minds behind shopping app Wish, received a degree from the University of Waterloo. Apoorva Mehta is also an alum and is best known in the business world for Instacart, the online…

The Secret Behind Growing your Business Through Outsourcing and Hiring

Most small business owners want to grow their business. At the same time, many are overwhelmed with all of the work that is on their plate. A brief thought of hiring a team member or outsourcing some tasks may surface before it’s quickly shut down. Your limiting beliefs may tell you that hiring an employee is costly and a hassle when it to onboarding. In reality, outsourcing and hiring a team is the only way to grow your business. If you feel stuck or unable to expand your business, it’s probably because you need to outsource something. How to Grow a Business Through Outsourcing and Hiring Here’s why this is the only legit way to grow your business. You Can Start Small Some people think outsourcing is super expensive. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be. You can start slow and work your way up. If your business is starting to gain traction, use your extra profit to invest back into the business by hiring some help. Choose one task you’d rather not do yourself and outsource it to someone else. Yes, you’ll spend a little money paying the other person to do it but you can set a budget so you know what’s affordable for you at the time. Having someone else take care of the task will instantly free up your time to work in other areas of your business which can increase your income even more. You Only Have To Do a Major Onboard Once Don’t let the idea of onboarding deter you from hiring a team. Yes, it takes time and a lot of effort to create systems and processes to teach your team members, but you only have to onboard them once for the most part From there, you just need to manage regularly and provide feedback and necessary updates. You can finally take a vacation worry-free when you have a solid and dependable team helping you push your business forward. The Right People Will Help You Get Ahead Some business owners who outsource still find their day-to-day operations overwhelming and somewhat frustrating. That’s because they haven’t hired the right…

Pervasive Startup Myth: Don’t Work for Free

Startup myth: The one about founders having to work for free to impress angel investors. This supposedly shows passion. Don’t believe it. Investors want people committed to working their startups, and that usually takes getting them paid. I’ve been getting a lot of upvotes on my answer to this question in Quora: How do entrepreneurs […] The post Pervasive Startup Myth: Don’t Work for Free appeared first on SmallBizClub.

Fascinating Pros and Cons to an Online Business You MUST Know for Success

Running an online business requires an unusual skill set. Though the basics are much the same as they are for operating a traditional brick-and-mortar business, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages. Knowing how to leverage the former and control the latter is crucial to success. Ecommerce: A Growing Industry By one count, there are roughly 110,000 ecommerce companies and online firms generating revenue of meaningful scale on the Internet. Retail ecommerce sales in the US alone are expected to amount to more than $461 billion this year … and predicted to rise to $638 billion by 2022. Ecommerce plays just as big a role in international business and commerce. Total worldwide ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021, with hundreds of thousands in further online businesses possible. The sheer tonnage of these numbers makes them easy to gloss over. Billions, trillions … it’s easy to lose the context once values go beyond your familiar frame of reference. You know intuitively that ecommerce plays a massive role in global commerce, but may not see what they suggest for you on a micro scale. The fact that ecommerce continues to grow should tell you, as an entrepreneur, that online business works. It’s working for hundreds of thousands of other executives around the world — and there are good reasons why. Yet it must also be noted that 90 percent of all Internet business startups end in failure within the first four months. In other words, there’s a massive gap between failure and success. Though many companies are thriving, nine times as many flop before they have a chance to lift off. If you study businesses in the latter category — the ones that don’t make it — you’ll recognize that many of these firms tried to fit square pegs into round holes. They didn’t understand their strengths and weaknesses, which put them at a disadvantage on multiple levels. So much about running and fostering a business — online or off — entails the possession of clarity. If you want your online business to thrive, you have to be a…

Secrets of Generating Work for Your Freelance Business Revealed

When freelancers first get started, it can be a little scary. They might worry about whether or not they will continue to have enough work to pay their bills. For me this was an issue because, being single, I have no one else to rely on. Keeping my bills paid is all up to me. How to Get Freelance Jobs Regularly But I quickly learned there are things freelancers can do to ensure they always have work available. Create Goals As a freelancer, one thing I do to ensure I always have work is to create goals. I stay motivated when I have goals to work toward. What’s more, it helps me to know why I am doing what I do each day. I include goals that generate more work such as finding new clients this week or starting a new client project. If other freelancers create similar goals it will ensure they always have work too. It’s a good idea for freelancers to include both short and long term goals in their planning. The larger goals create a big picture of what they want to accomplish overall. But the little ones help as stepping stones along the way. Get a Signed Contract Not all freelancers ask for a signed contract from their clients. However, if they want to do more than just a single project, they should. This is another way that freelancers can ensure they always have work to do. For instance, if website management is their area of expertise, a freelancer could create contracts that include website maintenance packages. This will help them have work now and for the entire life of the contract. Update Websites If freelancers want to be taken seriously and always have work they need to be as professional as possible. That includes having business cards, dressing appropriately, and keeping websites updated. They need to make sure all changes to their businesses are reflected on their websites. As an example, freelancers who take on virtual assistant work need to add that service to their websites. That way clients looking for virtual assistants will know it is something…

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