Acceler8Success Cafe Thursday 1.7.21

Survey: Small business owners see long road to recovery

With COVID-19 cases surging and a new wave of restrictions looming, challenges persist for small business owners according to data from the Q4 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. While the index score rose 12 points for the second straight quarter, overall optimism levels remain just over half of what they were in late 2019.

For the third consecutive quarter, respondents most frequently ranked the loss of business or closings because of the impact of COVID-19 as their top concern. Attracting new business, worries about financial stability and reduced cash flow were the other top concerns.

“With COVID-19 numbers hitting new high-water marks across many states, small businesses are facing another steep round of challenges,” said Steve Troutner, head of small business at Wells Fargo. Read more.

Why Small Business Owners Need to Reconnect With Their Mission

My business partner and I have operated a college admissions consulting firm, Top Tier Admissions, for almost twenty years. The first few months of 2020 were business as usual as we prepared a new class of applicants for the admissions cycle ahead. Then came March.

You know too well what happened next. Standardized tests were canceled. High schools closed. Colleges closed. Students were sent home. Sports, clubs, and every other activity were canceled. What would this mean for both our business and our students? Was college even happening in the fall? Given how radically the landscape had changed, was it time for us to pivot? Read more.

Your small business may need a ‘makeover’

Whether you’ve been operating 10 days, 10 months or 10 years, it’s time for a “makeover” for your small business. If you’re going to survive and thrive in the COVID-19-dominated economy, it’s time to think of your small business as a startup.

Remember what it was like? You had an idea, a dream. You didn’t know how it was going to turn out but you seized any opportunities that came your way, continually changed as you learned more about your business, and worked long and hard. But you believed in yourself.

It’s time to do that again, given that customers’ buying habits and needs have changed. It can be scary, but it can also be exciting. And most of all, it’s necessary. Read more.

Get Back to Basics with These 10 Small Business Improvement Tips

Running a business can get complicated. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details and forget the basic strategies that got you there. But staying strong in those areas is a must, as members of the online small business community can attest. Get their top tips for going back to basics in the list below. Read more.

The True Failure Rate of Small Businesses

Have you heard that 90 percent of new businesses fail? Or that 50 percent of new businesses fail? Stick around in the entrepreneurial community long enough and you’ll likely hear a wide spectrum of claims, mostly falling between these two extremes.

But what is the true failure rate of small businesses? And should it influence your decisions as an entrepreneur? Read more.

3 Choices for a Better Business Year: Plans, Goals, and Resolutions

There is a difference between plans, goals, and resolutions. We use these words somewhat interchangeably, but maybe we shouldn’t.

  • plan is a strategy or identified steps, and possibly includes a list of available or dedicated resources and costs.
  • goal is about the future, an aspiration, what we hope will happen if it goes well.
  • resolution is a purpose, something determined, approved, a decision, a commitment of time, money, and energy.

A plan can take the form of a standard business plan or marketing plan. It can also be a more individualized funding, HR, security, disaster, continuity, or operations plan, for example. It seems odd, but many plans have no specific goal to measure; their purpose is merely “to plan,” check a box, and be able to say that “I planned…” or “we planned to…” Read more.

The 13 Biggest Small Business Technology Stories Of 2020

Every week I round up the five most important technology stories for small businesses and give an explanation why. This week, I’ve selected the 13 technology stories that stood out for me. Why? Because they’re about technology trends than not only affected small businesses in 2020 but will continue to have an enormous impact in 2021. Read more.

4 Entrepreneurship Lessons That Will Help You Grow in 2021

New year and new learnings. The key for this 2021 will be to respond to what knowledge and capabilities did we acquire or develop during the past year that we can use to our advantage to continue operating?

According to the study “Entrepreneurship ecosystems in Latin America and the Caribbean against COVID-19” by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), technological enterprises are those that can better enhance their capacities to be more agile; something that we have verified over the last few months of working with Justo, a startup that, together with my partner, we created in Chile in 2018 and now we have expanded to Mexico, Peru and Colombia.

We share these four lessons that, like us, will help you to be prepared in this new year: Read more.

A Message from Acceler8Success Founder, Paul Segreto

Walking away or trying harder is a very precarious proposition that many face quite often in careers, relationships, etc. Basically regarding anything that requires a commitment for an undetermined length of time. Sometimes it appears easier to walk away, but I’d argue that wouldn’t be the case if you consider why you were there in the first place and recall your original goals and objectives. Trying harder may work but not without evaluating what needs to change to produce different results. In any event, if faced with this decision, definitive action must be taken. Act swiftly. Act decisively. Make it happen. Make it count.

Acceler8Success Cafe Wednesday 1.6.21

The coronavirus crisis: A catalyst for entrepreneurship

Throughout human history, crises have been pivotal in developing our societies. Pandemics have helped advance health-care systemswars have fueled technological innovations and the global financial crisis helped advance tech companies like Uber and Airbnb. The present coronavirus pandemic will arguably not be an exception; entrepreneurs can be expected to rise to the challenge.

Businesses play a key role both in helping society get through an economic crisis and in creating innovations that shape society after a crisis. So one key question is: how will the ongoing crisis influence future society?

While it’s hard to predict the future, we can develop an understanding of what is ahead by analyzing current trends. Read more.

These Young Entrepreneurs Saw Covid-19 Coming and Changed the Way They Serve Their Customers

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown affected businesses in many ways. There were problems from manufacturing to distribution. Many brick and mortar stores saw sales decline. According to Yelp , about 98,000 businesses closed permanently.

This development brought many entrepreneurs back to the planning table to find better ways to serve their customers. Many B2B ( Business to Business ) companies have adopted the D2C ( Direct to customers ) model to reach their customers directly. At the same time, it seemed that some companies received the memorandum and did something different beforehand, allowing them to prosper in the crisis.

And it seemed that e-commerce brands were some of the biggest winners of the whole situation, along with remote interaction, online entertainment, e-learning, and health and fitness . So naturally, companies shifted their focus to better satisfy their customers and, of course, prosper. Studies show that during the height of the pandemic in May 2020, total online spending across the globalized world reached $ 82.5 billion, an increase of 77% year-over-year. Read more.

These Are the Opportunities Entrepreneurs Can Capitalize on in 2021

Across so many industries, opportunities arise during crisis, due to newfound problems that entrepreneurs set their minds out to solve. We asked a number of our entrepreneurship professors to reflect on where those opportunities currently live as we turn the calendar to 2021.

“Families are particularly positioned to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities. Business families have long histories to draw from when dealing with difficulties. Family businesses tend to focus more on relationships with clients as well as suppliers and others in their business, which become a boon in a crisis because they provide business families with greater levels of flexibility when making changes in order to adapt or innovate. Family businesses also tend to be more conservative financially than their non-family counterparts, which allows them to take advantage of expansion, growth, and even acquisition opportunities during downturns when other businesses cannot.” Read more.

7 SEO Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most crucial elements of an organization, providing it with the necessary visibility to attract more customers. A strong SEO strategy allows a company to position its website to attract more visitors, increasing the chances of turning these prospects into customers.

Businesses often forget why they are in business and who benefits from their services. They often give SEO a short shut-eye and move on to the next fad. This is detrimental to your online success. Read more.

The Rise of Empathy in Digital Marketing

COVID-19 is, in many ways, proving to be a disease of uncertainty. The disease isn’t a crisis in just one area of the world or plaguing just one section of the population — the new coronavirus is a tangible threat to every single person on Earth.

People everywhere are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and depression as their loved ones fall ill, as they lose their jobs, as they are forced into isolation and as the future becomes even more shrouded in mystery. Businesses, too, are suffering from the disease, as consumer spending plummets and most everyone is driven indoors and online.

During this time of fear and uncertainty, businesses have responded by investing heavily in digital marketing, hoping to capitalize on the throngs of people logging onto the web for work, school, and entertainment. However, not all businesses are investing in marketing to sell their products or services; many are simply producing content to engage with consumers — or to show their audiences that they care. Read more.

Personal Branding: The Key to Success in the Digital Age

The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, famously said, “Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” In this digital age, as a company or individual, you should audit your presence online to see what would come up when prospects search for your name. Maximizing your digital presence is essential for your company or personal brand as online sales, resources, education, and sales have all skyrocketed. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, expert, thought leader, executive, or business owner, maximizing your digital presence has proven to bring more connections, customers, and revenue.

Since the pandemic, the majority of executive meetings, sales demos, and business transactions are conducted online. Consumers are heavily researching online, looking for the right connection or right representative that they can trust and build with. Read more.

A Message from Acceler8Success Founder, Paul Segreto

I’ve been thinking about how things continue to change and disrupt business, and life as we knew it. Some entrepreneurs are already responding to challenges by adapting, innovating and creating to not only survive, but to thrive. Why? Because they know that pivoting in tough times is essential… thinking outside the box, acting swiftly and decisively, embracing change, remaining open-minded to possibilities and ultimately, capitalizing on opportunities. It’s a very logical approach and plan of attack. It makes perfect sense as doing little or nothing would be disastrous. So, this poses the question, What are you doing to ensure your future success?

Acceler8Success Cafe Tuesday 1.5.21

Want to Take your Business to the Next Level in 2021? Try These 5 New Year’s Resolutions

Most business owners (and people!) are looking forward to moving on from 2020 and into a new year. While there will of course still be large challenges for businesses in 2021, many entrepreneurs and business owners are heading into January feeling hopeful.

Why? Of course positive news around vaccines is encouraging, but more so, many business owners feel the lessons they learned over the course of the pandemic will make them stronger in 2021 and beyond. Here are five New Year’s Resolutions from business owners who persevered through 2020 and are going into 2021 stronger than ever. Read more.

How Washington can boost American entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs play a critical role in the American economy. The new businesses they launch provide new goods and services. They also provide existing goods and services more efficiently, forcing incumbents to do a better job through competition. And while most media attention seems devoted to potentially high-impact technology startups, regular “mom and pop” businesses can be important mechanisms for upward mobility. We want a dynamic economy where labor and capital can be employed as productively as possible. Entrepreneurship plays a big role in making that happen.

It remains to be seen how entrepreneurs navigate the post-pandemic economy. But before the coronavirus outbreak, there were several disturbing long-term trends about America’s startup superpower. Among them: New businesses have become a smaller share of all companies than they used to be, as well as their share of total employment. These trends are illustrated in “Federal Policies in Response to Declining Entrepreneurship,” a new Congressional Budget Office report on the subject: Read more.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Aim to Fail — That’s Right. They Should Actively Seek It.

Here’s a viewpoint that might cause you to do a double take: Actively seeking rejection means you’re learning, adapting and getting that much closer to your destination.

Before you click away, just think about this a moment: Entrepreneurs are innovators: They defy conventional wisdom to find ways to improve it, and they challenge assumptions to approach a given industry or need from a unique perspective. They live at the intersection of innovation and practicality. For them, failure is a necessity to reach success.

So, maybe failure’s “teachable moments” are actually worth striving for because they help you attain that innovation. Read more.

States of Growth: When and Where American Entrepreneurship Has Thrived

Study shows ambitious U.S. startups are not in decline — but timing and location matter.

The year 1995 was a good time to be an entrepreneur. Especially a high-tech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, with the internet boom starting, the economy growing, venture capitalists searching for new investments, and a whole horizon of novel business ideas to explore.

Indeed, a new study co-authored by an MIT professor shows that U.S. startups founded in 1995 enjoyed more growth than startups founded in any other year from 1988 to 2014. Other things being equal, the startups of 1995 were three times as likely to grow significantly as those from 2007, which had to battle through the 2008-2009 Great Recession. Read more.

The Secret of Entrepreneurial ‘Luck’ in 3 Simple Steps

I’m going to reveal a secret to you: when I was seven years old and I knew a difficult day was coming, I would put on my Spider-Man underwear. The superhero was my favorite and making it part of my routine gave me a strange sense of certainty that allowed me to face any difficulty. It didn’t matter if it was Tuesday (PE day), if I ran into the bully in the classroom, or if I hadn’t studied for the test: if I was wearing my The Amazing Spider-Man boxers, I felt like luck was on my side.

And my little ritual worked. Or so I thought. Read more.

A Message from Acceler8Success Founder, Paul Segreto

Successful people use the power of visualization; their motto is visualize and materialize — from imagination to reality. Even Albert Einstein said: “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality.”