Once you have that problem or need nailed, the next step is to validate that idea and make sure you’ve actually got customers who will pay for it. This means building a minimum viable product, getting objective feedback from real customers, incorporating updates, testing the market for demand, and getting pricing feedback to ensure there’s enough of a margin between your costs and what consumers are willing to pay.
"I see a lot of people starting a business without thinking about the long-term value it can bring them. One of the things me and my business partner decided on when starting our digital growth agency We Are Off The Record, was that we wanted to build value with people and make sure that we’re able to call everyone we now work with, in 5 years and still have a good relationship. I haven’t won at the game of business yet, but I know that building a long-term network is the most valuable thing you can do.”
It wasn’t until I decided to focus in on just ONE strategy, creating an incredibly high-value virtual summit, that I started to make serious progress in my business. After several months of super-hard concentrated effort, I launched the Branding Summit at the end of 2014, one of the largest virtual gatherings of experts on personal branding anywhere. I grew my email list by almost 3,000 highly engaged subscribers in a few weeks, and generated $20,000 in profit -- much more than I’d earned up to that point!"
Sure, there are plenty of businesses offering social media consulting services, but you can stand out from the crowd by focusing primarily on networks that are still gathering steam with businesses. Facebook and Twitter are still the top networks, but businesses tend to struggle the most with more visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat. All of these platforms have huge audiences, but many businesses don't realize how big they really are, how effective they can be and how to make them work for their niche. Snapchat has more than 158 million users per day, according to Business Insider. Instagram has more than 500 million daily active users, according to Statista, and Pinterest has more than 200 million. 
Once they’re happy with the site you’ve made for them and they know you live up to your promises, it will be easier to sell those additional digital marketing services to them in the future. Maintain an excellent reputation with these people and not only will they become your repeat customers, but they’ll also be more inclined to refer you to their friends and colleagues.
It doesn’t pay much, but if you’re a healthy person and want to make a bit of extra money online, the AchieveMint app will reward you for doing things like walking, tracking your food, or taking health surveys. AchieveMint works by connecting to fitness apps you might already be using like Fitbit, RunKeeper, Healthkit, and MyFitnessPal and then giving you points for certain actions. For every 10,000 points, you earn $10 with no limit on your earnings.

“There are only two ways for a person to learn about something that they never even know they didn’t know. Number one, they find out the hard way. We in the entrepreneurial world call that the school of hard knocks. The only other way to get it done is to have someone mentor them, train them, or share their knowledge with them. So instead of people having to re-invent the wheel, or find out things the longest, hardest, most expensive way through mistakes, those of us who have a skillset or have knowledge – it’s not just that we should, I feel that we have a responsibility to share that.” – Cole Hatter


You can delve into original content marketing research which includes information on the content marketing industry’s benchmarks, trends, and budgets. Their blogs are a home to several compelling articles written about content strategy, storytelling and blogging best practices. Another bonus is that it keeps you updated with the latest content marketing events.

There are many ways to get people onto your list. Lead magnets are one such resource. For example, you can build ebooks, checklists and cheat sheets. But you can also do content upgrades, such as PDF versions of an article with added resources in them, four-part video training series, and more. Think about your audience and what you can offer them to better serve them, then treat them with some respect and you'll eventually reap the rewards.
"These days, I advise young entrepreneurs to see their current employer as an investor in their own business, while they grow their business on the side. One of my guests mentioned that a day job doesn't need to be seen as a bad thing as long as it helps you develop the skills, capital and/or network you'll need when you do decide to go out on your own. So, learn to see and appreciate the job as a means to an end."
Believe it or not, we keep up with blogs by a familiar and comfortable (for me) method: email. I subscribe via email and read (or at least scan) nearly 50 blogs that way. It’s actually far more than that because several of the sources I devour are actually email aggregators that pull the best posts from many, many blogs. I find that gives me the best coverage.
When was the last time you went to a new restaurant without looking it up online beforehand? Or bought a product that didn’t have at least a few 5-star reviews? It seems like more and more our world is run on reviews. And you can make money online by writing them. Get started by creating accounts on sites like Vindale research, Software Judge, FameBit, CrowdTap, Influence Central, and Modern Mom. However, before you run off and start writing, be sure to check the small print on each of these sites. Writing reviews isn’t a huge source of guaranteed income and you want to make sure that it’s worth your time before you get going.
Research other listings in your city on AirBnB and see what the going rate is for a place like yours. You could also just rent out a private room as well or even a bed in a shared room. In fact, that's how AirBnB got its start. However, you might find it hard in the beginning without reviews, but as long as you take really good care of your guests and provide a lot of value, the reviews will eventually come rolling in.
Practically across the board, successful entrepreneurs will tell you to avoid debt whenever possible. Some, like Mark Cuban, will tell you to avoid debt entirely. According to Cuban, if you are starting a business by borrowing money, you are already doomed to fail. Other entrepreneurs will take a more moderate stance on debt, saying instead that debt should be kept to a minimum. Becoming an entrepreneur with no money is hard, but high amounts of debt is a pitfall for entrepreneurs.
Which is why people who have eyes for details usually contract the editing of their pictures to professional photo editors as against making use of photo editing software. The nature of this type of job make it easier for people to offer photo editing jobs online. If you a skilled photo editor, all you need to do is to list your services online and you are sure going to attract high paying clients from within your country and overseas.
4. Good Sync is another syncing service that does a ton of stuff and has a lot of customization options. I use it to sync all my files locally to a memory card that I can just pop into a new computer whenever I want. This is a good option because it’s so fast, but it isn’t as convenient as Sugar Sync if you’re wanting to backup to an online server.
Marketing yourself effectively can seem like a daunting task for today’s small business owner. There are so many tools and platforms to choose from that it is hard to know where to begin. The most important things to remember are to set reachable realistic goals with your strategy, provide people with helpful content, and to make sure you stick to best practices.
Another way to utilize your talent and business skills is to run corporate workshops online. Businesses are always looking for unique ways to help educate their workforce, and if you can package your talents into a day or half-day long session, you can sell that to companies all over the world to make money online. Start by building a portfolio and then reaching out on LinkedIn to influencers at relevant companies to see if they would be interested in you teaching their team.

Customers love to engage with brands and they really love it when a brand reciprocates. Take Wendy’s for example and the famous case of #NuggsForCarter. Carter Wilkerson tweeted at the major fast food chain and asked how many retweets he would have to get to receive a year of free chicken nuggets. Wendy’s replied with 18 million. Your brand doesn’t have to go all out like Wendy’s did, but replying to customer questions on social media platform is a sure way to put your brand above the rest.


Matt is the CEO and co-founder of Case Escape. After receiving his MBA from Chapman University at age 23, Matt started his first business in California (which we started together back in 2013) and has since grown it into a worldwide business with over 100 clients and counting. Case Escape was founded with the goal of helping 1,000 entrepreneurs start their own phone case business. Here's his best business advice for first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business of their own:
Moz blog is popular among digital marketers. It is one of the best sources available in the current condition to feed your mind with SEO updates. Moz discusses different aspects of SEO such as the latest trends, techniques, practices, and studies. This blog covers everything that a marketer should know about the SEO including keyword planning and recent algorithm update. The contents are simple, straightforward, and easily digestible. This blog is ideal to deepen your knowledge about SEO and its updates. You can integrate them into your marketing plan to increase the visibility of your website.

The entrepreneur meaning is a bit different for Jolijt Tamanaha, Director of Marketing and Finance of Fresh Prints, who shares “Entrepreneurs make their way down a never-ending list of problems with grit, passion, and energy. While intense, being an entrepreneur means you get to live life learning an incredible amount and maximize your impact on the world because you have to tackle the hardest problems.”
Social media is an integral part of any business but it’s time-consuming and ever-changing – so really quite difficult to keep up with and, more importantly, capitalize on. Many business owners are willing to outsource this time-intensive task, so it’s a great opportunity for social media fanatics. Bundle together a few interesting offers, such as “Startup social media kit” or “Small Business Social Media Starter Kit” that encompass everything from social media graphics to analytics reports and the seamless experience will bring you more clients than you expect.
Under no circumstances should any information from this blog be used as replacement for professional financial advice. DollarSprout.com is owned by VTX Capital, LLC and neither are licensed by or affiliated with any third-party marks on this website and third parties do not endorse, authorize, or sponsor our content except where clearly disclosed. DollarSprout.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
I’m sure you’ve seen YouTube videos featuring ads right at the start of their videos or at least somewhere in the middle. Yeah, it kind of sucks watching ads. Just like when you’re watching your favorite TV show and are then suddenly bombarded with commercials. To you, that’s the perfect time to flip channels. But for those who own those videos, advertisements that come from an authority site, or email list means cash and plenty of it.
You want to crush your competition when it comes to the professional look and pinpoint accuracy of your internet marketing methods. It is important to you that you are seen as the business that all other business look up to in this respect. Use this article for guidance. You should make it an option for users of your site to buy products at retail or wholesale prices if you want to increase sales. A good idea is to require users to purchase a yearly membership in order to be allowed to get things at the wholesale price.
“Our Facebook Group is not just a group, it’s a community and we have organically grown it to over 20,000 members in a little over a year. I help promote other people, we celebrate other women often, and truly practice collaboration over competition. I think that I have grown such a strong following not only because I create good, logical, content, but I have created a trusted brand that is uplifting, but also fun.” – Dana Malstaff
It’s a good idea to really personalize your retargeting for the best results. For example, someone who simply visited your website needs to be shown a completely different marketing message than someone who has already submitted a quote request. They are at different stages and require tailored marketing messages designed to push them to that next step, whether it’s completing a quote request or making the final purchase decision.
If you possess a great deal of business experience and knowledge, why not create a business that helps aspiring entrepreneurs find success? You can use your skills to help new business owners get off to a good start and help experienced entrepreneurs keep up with demand. To show off your knowledge and skills and bring in clients, you can also write articles about business on platforms like LinkedIn.

We talked about drop shipping and how it works. But fulfillment by Amazon, (FBA) works in the opposite way. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) lets you sell your products on Amazon. You can leverage this company’s popularity to get your products out there, and they’ll do the rest for you. Amazon will handle storage, pickup, packing, shipping, and even customer service!


If you love what you’re doing and it’s something you want to improve in continually, then you can have a more secure footing in your chosen business. Keep updating yourself with the latest in your online business, stay connected with your audience, expand your product offerings, and give the best customer service that you can, and it will set you apart from the others in your niche.
Do you have what it takes to get through hard times? Here are the traits that help home-based business owners thrive. Regardless of your definition of success, there are, oddly enough, a great number of common characteristics that are shared by successful businesspeople. You can place a check beside each characteristic that you feel that you possess.
Orbit Media Studios is a web design and development studio that, partnered with their results-driven marketing blog, can assist with any area of your company’s digital footprint across your website and more. From designing a strategic website that works as a high-converting marketing asset, to marketing it and measuring your results, Orbit has a fantastic team and guest blogger roster doling out advice.
Drop shipping is another great ‘hands-off’ way to sell products. Firstly you will need to find businesses that sell products in your niche that offer a drop shipping service. Then you will need to create a website promoting and selling the products. When you make a sale, you take the payment on your site and then the manufacturer ships the goods to the buyer. The profit comes from charging a higher rate than the manufacturer, and if you are selling a high number of products this can quickly add up to a healthy revenue.
It also doesn’t take much to get started with this type of business. Set up your blog, shoot those videos, advertise on Facebook, and build an audience. With 3.2 billion people or 40% of the global population as internet users, there’s no better reason to take advantage of these figures when you sell your informational products. Going online is indeed the way to go!
A website called AchieveMint gives you points for engaging in healthy activities, like exercise, tracking your eating habits, or even taking health related surveys. Points can be redeemed either for cash (10,000 points are worth $10) or for Amazon Gift Cards. The app actually connects with other health apps, like Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, to track your progress.
Successful entrepreneurs know the importance of lifelong learning. Whether you’re new to the business world or a seasoned veteran, you should always be looking for new information about entrepreneurship and trends in your particular industry. If you’re looking to learn and grow your business this year, here are some insights from members of the online small business community.
From an institutional perspective, it's worth noting that most universities don't break even on their tech transfer operations. Patent prosecution and skilled staff are expensive and difficult to justify solely on the basis of economic return. It can be very difficult to determine which technologies are worth pursuing at the early stage at which they are disclosed in a university environment (WAY before VCs make their decisions, with typically a 1 in 10 hit rate for big returns), but even so, many investments need to be made with low hit rates for a financially successful outcomes. Less than 1 percent of university inventions generate more than $100k in licensing revenues (per analysis done at Stanford).
If you have experience as a personal assistant, secretary, admin assistant, or something in a similar field, then becoming an online PA may be a great role for you. Many professionals want someone to help organize their business and personal affairs. Jobs could include sending emails, managing financial affairs, booking flights and arranging day-to-day activities. If you are interested in this line of work there are many PA agencies that are crying out for reliable assistants.
1. Boost your posts. "Give your social media content a boost. Businesses are finding it more and more difficult to get their message heard. By the latest estimates, Facebook is showing only 6 percent of a business' content to their fan base. So give your content a paid boost. If you have more than 100 likes on your page, a 'boost' button will appear at the bottom of each post. Use it. For less than $30, you can get your message out to thousands of unique users."

The Moz blog is undoubtedly one of the best to read if you're looking to stay on top of industry news related to SEO or inbound marketing initiatives. Any good digital marketer understands the importance of SEO, and how ever-changing the guidelines, rules, and regulations associated with search results can be. The Moz blog covers everything you need to know with the right amount of detail to make it comprehendible without being overwhelming. Even if you're a beginner with SEO, their content is quite digestible. Each of their posts provides real value, offering actionable insights or even "how-to" articles related to SEO. Every Friday, they post a "Whiteboard Friday" video as part of a recurring series, diving into different topics under the giant SEO umbrella. Whether it's an analysis of an announcement from Google about a recent algorithm update, or a guide for keyword planning, the MOZ blog should be a go-to for any marketers or business owners looking to deepen their knowledge of SEO and learn how they can better integrate it into their overall marketing plan (if they aren't already).
Noah's the Chief Sumo at AppSumo, a community for entrepreneurs to discover and utilize the greatest products and online tools for growing a business. He also runs Sumo, a powerful suite of tools for growing web traffic, and was employee #30 at Facebook before getting fired and moving on to be an early director of marketing at Mint. Here's his business advice for entrepreneurs wanting to start a business for the first time:

More importantly, though, when you learn how to implement some of these simple marketing methods, resources, tools, and strategies, you can use them as often as you’d like, without having to pay a middle man, every time you’d like to grow your business more efficiently. You have the control to keep a careful eye on what is working well and what doesn’t.


Mobile applications are more popular than ever, and people are willing to pay good money for ways to manage their lives from their smartphones. If you have a great idea and happen to know coding, you can run with it and create your app yourself. If you just have an idea and don't know the ins and outs of how to turn it into a reality, there are plenty of software developers looking to collaborate with people on app creation.

6. IZEA – IZEA works in addition to a blog or on its own. You get paid to blog, tweet, take photos and take videos. The pay is mostly based on your following, so if you want to make money with your tweets, you’ll need to grow you Twitter following.  Likewise, if you want to make money with blogs, you’ll need substantial blog traffic (more on blogging below).
media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest and more. You can look forward to advice from social media experts on how to formulate an effective social media strategy for each channel. Blog posts and articles include expert interviews, innovative case studies, reviews of the latest industry research, podcasts and the latest social media news.
Yet another Amazon service providing the possibility to make money online is the Audiobook Creation Exchange. You can create a standalone audiobook, or create an audio version of your eBook as complementary media. And you can narrate your audiobook yourself, or Amazon can put you in contact with a professional to help. Once sold, you can then earn up to 40% royalties per audiobook.
Gary Vaynerchuk says that in order to be effective, you have to market like the year you actually live in. In five years, marketing will be different, and what is successful now may not work. Doing things the way we’ve always done things is not always effective, so marketers need to do what works right now. In 1997 Vaynerchuk was selling wine with an email list while most companies were still using fax. When Google Adwords came out, he was the first to advertise to people searching for “wine.” He was able to grow his store from a $3 million business to $60 million with his innovative tactics and by using current marketing.

6. IZEA – IZEA works in addition to a blog or on its own. You get paid to blog, tweet, take photos and take videos. The pay is mostly based on your following, so if you want to make money with your tweets, you’ll need to grow you Twitter following.  Likewise, if you want to make money with blogs, you’ll need substantial blog traffic (more on blogging below).
You should have a succinct and compelling story about what your startup does and what problem it solves. Have this ready for potential customers and investors (although you will need to tailor it to the specific audience)‎. Keep it to 30 seconds or less. Articulate your mission and goals, and why your product or service is compelling and unique. And if an investor is interested, be prepared to follow up with an executive summary about the company or a 12-15 slide PowerPoint “deck” that dives into more detail about the company and the market opportunity.
The kind of content you create depends on your audience's needs at different stages in the buyer's journey. You should start by creating buyer personas (use these free templates, or try makemypersona.com) to identify what your audience's goals and challenges are in relation to your business. On a basic level, your online content should aim to help them meet these goals, and overcome their challenges.
Caroline is a writer and entrepreneur helping millennials uncover their professional purpose with stories, statistics and heart. You can find her at carolinebeaton.com, on Forbes and right here on my blog where she shares her incredible story of going from secretary to self-employed. Now, here's her best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business the right way:
Here are my recommendations for the Financial Industry.  In 2016 investors hope not to drop the ball by missing out on a big opportunity in one sector or hanging on too long in another. Here, we present 10 sectors to watch in the new year, with financial and industry authorities weighing in on the potentials, opportunities and pitfalls to consider. You may also enjoy my Free Daily Signals.
Derek Halpern has built a really strong personal brand. He’s the founder of a software and business training company called Social Triggers and makes a LOT of money teaching people how to sell what they know best. And what he knows best is how to sell. If you’ve got some serious expertise, start making money out of it by selling online courses or simply teaching online.
Is there a product or service that you are particularly enthusiastic about? If you are, you may be able to develop a website that is built around selling it. You don’t have to be the actual provider of the product or service either. There are many businesses that offer these products and will allow you to sell them on an affiliate basis. For example, you may be able to sell a product on your website for a commission of 20% or 30% of the sale price.
It’s one of the oldest and most proven ways to make money – buy low, sell high. The buy low part comes from searching garage sales, estate sales, and even thrift stores to find items that are in good condition (“gently used”) but selling well below what they would if they were brand-new. In this way, you might be able to acquire an item for $5, and later sell it for $50.

Just be sure to put a lot of care into your product listings. Everything from the titles you use, to how effective the description is at convincing potential buyers your product is better than the rest, and even taking care to shoot high quality product photos can have a dramatic impact on your sales. I recommend using photo editing tools like Fotor, which gives you the ability to edit your images, create captivating graphic designs and more.

Crypto currency trading is the next big thing in finance. The value of crypto has shot up in recent months with Bitcoin reaching over $18k for just one Bitcoin! You too can get a piece of the action by purchasing crypto currency from one of the bitcoin / crypto exchanges and waiting for the value to increase. I would recommend you do your research before you dive in, and don’t forget to only invest what you can afford to lose.
If you're at all interested in starting your own online business, there's no time like the present. We live in a golden age of wealth. As much as the media tries to glorify the perils of our society, we actually live in a time that's ripe with opportunity and the potential for monumental business growth at a scale never before experienced. Thanks to the internet and smartphones, the amount of commerce being conducted online has experienced explosive growth.

My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

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