4 Tools for Strategically Branding Your Business

By Jennie Lyon / May 1, 2015

“Branding”, a term that once meant simply stamping your business logo on everything, has evolved into the process of building a company’s identity and personality. While branding still involves developing a name and symbol or design that sets your business apart from the rest, it is so much more than that. Effective, strategic branding gives you an advantage over competitors and makes it possible for your company to target markets as tight or broad as you like. Because branding is so foundational to success, I thought I would offer a few more tips for creating a strong brand that I’ve…

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Where to Find a Small Business Mentor

By Jennie Lyon / April 24, 2015

Whatever your industry and experience, a small business mentor will increase your confidence, your chance of succeeding, and your knowledge base. It is both empowering and validating to receive insight and encouragement from someone who has “been there” and can relate. Additionally, many mentees feel inspired by their mentors’ successes and can learn a great deal from their failures, as well. Whether you are starting out in small business or well established, with shaky confidence or a strong professional identity, a small business mentor can help move you to the next level. When you have found someone you might like…

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6 Ways to Show Client Appreciation

By Jennie Lyon / April 17, 2015

You’ve worked so, so hard to get clients—now it’s time to do everything in your power to keep them! Keeping clients is much less expensive than getting new ones, and client loyalty strengthens business. In addition, word of mouth, testimonials, and referrals are still some of the best methods to attract in new clients who want your products or services. What this all adds up to is that it’s important, from time to time, to show your existing clients you appreciate them. I hope that you are already providing exceptional, personalized service and have great client relations, but it’s also…

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10 Must-Have Small Business Software

By Jennie Lyon / April 10, 2015

Technology has given us so many incredible things, like modern medicine, instant toast, and spaceships, for example. For me, and many other entrepreneurs, one of the greatest gifts technology has given society is the virtual office. We now enjoy the ability to instantly access just about any person, piece of information, and resource imaginable—all from the comfort of a home office. In addition to the virtual container of the Internet, cloud-based small business software have made it possible to hold online calls and meetings, erect storefronts in cyberspace, and share schedules, data, and media of all kinds. Here are my…

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5 Healthy Habits for Women Who Own a Small Business

By Jennie Lyon / April 3, 2015

Like most women, you have probably heard that you can’t do it all—and you probably try to anyway. It is easy to run yourself ragged trying to juggle your business, social life, family, and household. Remember, though, that you are your company’s most valuable asset! Successfully managing all aspects of your life requires balance and prioritizing self-care. Healthy habits help us to be more effective in both business and life. When we are healthy and balanced, we can “do more”—and in less time (which is always the goal). Here are 5 healthy habits for women in business. 1. Healthy Diet…

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How to Choose a Virtual Team for Your Small Business

By Jennie Lyon / March 27, 2015

More and more small businesses these days are home-based or physically scaled down, operating out of a small office with minimal equipment. Additionally, more businesses start with modest budgets and aim to cut overhead costs in order to develop into successful startups more quickly. Because small businesses still need a team to operate, the cost-effective, simple solution is to partner with a virtual team of workers instead of staffing an office with salaried employees, which requires a bigger office rental, bulkier payroll, and an HR department—to name a few things. Even though virtual support teams are non-traditional (though they are…

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5 Unique Small Business Marketing Tips

By Jennie Lyon / March 20, 2015

Small businesses need to market to their audience effectively—period! In the days before social media and the internet, companies spent huge sums on visual ad campaigns that involved billboards, painted signs and posters, TV and magazine ads, and eventually commercials. Nowadays, this type of marketing is not only old-fashioned and expensive but becoming irrelevant, too. The majority of consumers read their morning news on a tablet, shop online, and communicate with friends and colleagues throughout the day via email, social media, and smart phones. While TV commercials and magazine ads are still a costly, chic way to market, the majority…

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How To Fail Well as an Entrepreneur

By Jennie Lyon / March 13, 2015

Every successful industry mogul, from Jack Welch to Sara Blakely, has faced failure. Sara Blakely, creator of Spanx and self-made female billionaire, told CNBC in an interview that her father would often ask her and her brother the same question at dinner: “What have you failed at this week?” The exercise was not one of self-flagellation and wallowing in disappointment but to one that pointed out that there is no failure without trying—and that not trying is a worse alternative than failure. As an entrepreneur I have faced my share of failures, too. In fact, because my process is all about…

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How I Became a Successful Female Small Business Owner

By Jennie Lyon / March 6, 2015

Whether it is to spend more time with family, to make a better living, or simply follow a passion or skill set, so many women these days are making the move into independent business ownership. As exciting as the decision to work for yourself is, it can be daunting when you realize how much work, dedication, and patience are required for success. You may have well-meaning friends or peers who have attempted to encourage you by saying that it can take months—or years—for your business to get off the ground or that starting out is hard for everyone, meanwhile you…

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4 Branding Tips Every Entrepreneur Can Use

By Jennie Lyon / February 27, 2015

I have been a small business owner for a long time and have partnered with dozens of other successful entrepreneurs. Through my own personal experience building my company, as well as helping the successful people I partner with, I have learned a few things about successful small business branding. Here are 4 branding tips that every entrepreneur can use.  1. Know Your NicheUnderstanding your target market is absolutely key to knowing how to market to them. In today’s economy, successful marketing means that a brand is more than a fancy logo or enticing slogan; in order to engage clients businesses must…

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