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The Small Business Launch Checklist

By Jennie Lyon / October 13, 2015

If you’ve ever started your own business, you know that there are—or at least seem to be—an endless amount of steps to take to get your business up and running. If we listed them all, this blog post would quickly turn into a book! In this post, I am taking for granted that you already know what services or products you want to offer and how to finance your venture, and are ready to get the ball rolling. The following is my small business launch checklist. 1. “Paperwork”All small business owners need to go through the “paperwork” process of starting their…

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6 Signs It’s Time to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

By Jennie Lyon / September 22, 2015

If you’re anything like me, you’re an ambitious entrepreneur who—at one point or another—has felt sure that no one else can do your work better than you. Or that if you just work a little harder and a little longer you can get it all done. I have news for you: if you want and expect your business to expand, thrive, and be successful and sustainable, at some point it will (and should) become too much for one person to handle alone. Growth is great—burnout and overwhelm are not. Here are 6 signs that it’s time to outsource your work…

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The Top 3 Reasons a Business Blog is a Must

By Jennie Lyon / September 15, 2015

Blogging isn’t just for emotional college kids and foodies any more! If you are serious about taking your business to the next level, you need to blog regularly via a professional, polished business blog. Here are my top 3 reasons why. 1. Blogging Makes You Visible OnlineConsistent blogging populates the web with your business name, the types of services you offer, and topics that appeal to your target market. This is important because when clients and other businesses conduct searches for these things, the likelihood of your business showing up in search results (and earning high rankings) goes up the…

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Partnering With a Virtual Assistant Saves You Time and Money

By Jennie Lyon / August 25, 2015

Despite the growing popularity of virtual assistants and employees, many business owners have never even considered hiring a virtual assistant because of budgetary fears, a desire to be the only steering their company, or one of many other reasons. The truth is that partnering with a virtual assistant can not only increase profits but can also offer you even more control over your company’s future. While US-based virtual assistants charge higher hourly rates than you’d pay an in-house employee, they also work less and work faster, so in the end you’re paying less money for better work. A virtual assistant…

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3 Hidden Benefits of Partnering With a Virtual Assistant

By Jennie Lyon / July 17, 2015

Most small business owners go it alone—for a while. Unless you had investors or an initial cash reserve to launch your venture with, you probably spent (or are still spending) all of your free time, money, and energy working because you haven’t felt you could afford an employee. If you’re finding yourself burned out, behind on tasks, venturing into uncharted territory, and neglecting your personal and family needs, it’s time to partner with a virtual assistant!  Virtual assistants can actually save you time and money, making it possible to grow a successful business without neglecting your personal life or becoming…

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Essential Elements for Your Small Business Website

By Jennie Lyon / July 10, 2015

Your business website is your online storefront, and the first impression you offer visiting and prospective clients. Obviously, it’s of utmost importance that your site is one that invites clients to visit and one they enjoy returning to. Here are my essential elements to include in your small business website. Functional and Easy to Use Your website MUST be easy to navigate and use and, of course, needs to be fully functional. Your shopping carts need to work and be free of bugs, links need to work, and your contact forms must send messages to the right place. Additionally, if…

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Why Every Small Business Needs an Active Social Media Presence

By Jennie Lyon / June 5, 2015

If your small business isn’t active on social networking sites, it should be! Active participation in social networking sites draws more traffic to your website, increases sales, deepens trust in your brand, and provides almost endless networking opportunities. Social networking is more than just Facebook; successful businesses also need professional, active profiles (that they post to at least once daily with a combination of visual content, text posts, conversational links, and referrals) on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Depending on your brand and client base, you may also consider accounts with Instagram and YouTube, as well. If you are not…

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6 Organization Tips for Small Businesses

By Jennie Lyon / May 29, 2015

Being organized, especially as a small business owner with a long to-do list, keeps your business productive, focused, and profitable—and keeps you sane. Spring is the perfect time of year to re-focus your energies and get your space and task list in order. Here are 6 great organization tips for your small business. 1. Use the CloudStoring documents in the cloud is a great way to protect them from computer crashes or viruses. Additionally, it’s a much cleaner, faster way to share files and information if you work with a virtual team. Applications to consider include Google Drive and Dropbox.…

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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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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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