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3 Reasons Your Small Business is Failing

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

There is no time like when an idea, opportunity, passion, and resources all unite at once in the formation of a new business. The passion drives you to spend endless amounts of time chasing after your goals. You feel like you have these wonderful ideas that are finally taking shape. So what exactly was it that drained the life from your small business?

Isolation. Self doubt. Invisibility.

1. Isolation:

You have spent so much time under the surface level of these goals that you no longer remember the resources you have above water. This is how isolation works. A talented business owner is cast away into a creativity-killing abyss.  We seem to have this insane notion that successful people are completely independent.  This idea could not be further from the truth. Isolation avoidance is an integral part of a successful business. If you want to achieve your goals you need to rub elbows with those who know how it is done. Ideas take flight when exposed to the minds of entrepreneurs who know what they are talking about. We all want success. Why not help each other get there?

2. Self Doubt:

Ever wonder why great athletes talk so highly (dare I say, arrogantly?) of themselves? They know that to ACTUALLY be the best, they have to believe they ARE the best. This same concept works in the business world. When the newness of a small business fades, business owners can be left with a feeling of doubt and anxiety for the future of the company. This just might be the most dangerous position for a small business. You have to KNOW that you are a great business owner, that your ideas are good, and that you have what it takes to lead your business to success.

3. Invisibility:

Think you can lead a successful business without a strong social media presence?

THINK AGAIN.

We live in a media driven culture. People ask Facebook which dentist they should go to, how many eggs go in that highly-talked about recipe, and who to do business with. This reliance on social media opens a world of free advertising for small business owners, but you have to know how to work it. Which hashtags attract your target audience on Instagram and Twitter? What time of day do most people engage with others on social media? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself. Make 2017 the year of your small business’ social media revival.  Isolation, Self-doubt, and Invisibility can be difficult obstacles to tackle on your own.

Take the first step out of isolation and sign up today for our Fast Inc. Network Founder’s Circle, September 22 & 23! For more information visit www.fastincnetwork.com

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Tags:  arizona small business  ASBA  business  business owner  entrepreneur  small biz  small business 

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Why Positivity Matters

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Thursday, May 25, 2017

 

3 Tips for Staying Positive as an Entrepreneur

You know those people that always seem SO happy? I am talking always peppy, always smiling, and always nice. If that is not your typical demeanor, you have probably found yourself wondering how they keep it up. Surely not everything is always going well for them, and we all know that bad times are inevitable. It is easy to tell others how helpful it is to be positive when everything is going well. Why wouldn’t it be easy to be positive when you are in a position of success? You are achieving your goals, so you can easily be positive about at least that. However, we know that you are not always going to be in a place where you can see the growth that is occurring.

So how can you stay positive during those times that feel more like a valley than a mountaintop? Let’s explore some practical ways to practice positivity in your everyday life.

  1. Don’t let the little things slide by. When we fail to see the little things that are going our way, we can quickly fall into a state of negativity. Especially as an entrepreneur, those little tasks that you complete throughout the day snowball into significant, life-changing advances in your career. If you find yourself bored by the monotony of your daily agenda, do something to change it up that excites you. Not everything is going to be sunshine and roses. Nobody expects that. You do have the ability, however, to find the greater meaning and potential in the little things.
  2. Disassociate with negativity. Once you have reached adulthood, you don’t really hear anything about the power of peer pressure, but do not be fooled by thinking it no longer exists. Simply by nature, we tend to take on the characteristics of those we choose to associate with. This also applies to business. If the people you network with do not maintain the level of positivity that you need to thrive, it may be time to find new connections. Find business role models to look up to that produce an atmosphere of good energy and respect for others. Not only will this immediately raise your game, but it will also help you to model that same type of energy in your company.
  3. Gain the knowledge you need to succeed. Speaking of raising your game, there is nothing that will boost you up as an entrepreneur like accessing resources that provide you with applicable information for your company. Finding the right business coach to lead you in the right direction can certainly keep you from falling into a place of negativity. By having someone there to keep you focused or redirect your focus to a new area, you can train yourself to be more positive about your business. Another great way to increase your knowledge is by attending events that connect you with successful people. Fast Inc. Network’s Business Accelerators can provide you with instant connections with some of the most successful and positive entrepreneurs.

Sign Up Today for the Fast Inc. Network Business Accelerator this June 7-9 in Phoenix, Arizonawww.fastincnetwork.com/june2017

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Tags:  arizona  ASBA  business  business owner  business owners  entrepreneur  small biz  small business  success 

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Why I Consider Daymond John My Personal Mentor…Though We Haven't Even Met

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Monday, May 8, 2017

Published by Carrie Luxem

Most of us have at least one person who we look up to and strive to be more like. Sometimes this connection is sparked because of shared, similar backgrounds or because we admire how someone has catapulted themselves through adversity to realize their personal or professional dreams.

My own list of mentors runs the gamut. From the deep admiration for my brother for overcoming addiction to the super-fangirling of Pitbull for his business acumen and educational endeavors, it's time to add another one to the list.

Daymond John. Business mogul extraordinaire, Shark Tank panelist, and branding genius. His story has had a deep and lasting impact on how I view myself, my business, and the world…and we haven't even met. Yet (more on that later).

His Early Age Entrepreneurialism

Daymond began cultivating his entrepreneurial spirit well before many of his peers. Starting in first grade with his custom pencil business and eventually shifting to handing out flyers and waiting tables before hitting it big with FUBU, Daymond seemed to innately comprehend the level of hustle and go-gettedness required for success

Looking back, his history shows us that it's okay to try different things — with various levels of success and failure — until we find exactly what suits our talents, skills, and interests.

Where we connect: Growing up, I always had business on the mind, launching multiple companies starting in elementary school. From cleaning windows for local restaurants to designing balloon arches for Home Depot to coordinating job fair events, I pushed until my true niche was found with Restaurant HR Group.

His Dedication to Struggling Entrepreneurs

Throughout his time on Shark Tank, Daymond has interacted with hundreds (if not, thousands) of entrepreneurs. And while not every entrepreneur has received an offer or a deal, Daymond frequently shares at least a tidbit of fundamental advice with the departing business owner. Whether that is a quick suggestion to redesign the packaging or the encouragement to come back again in a year because the idea is too premature, these simple words of wisdom can be enough to breathe life back into the struggling entrepreneur.

And he doesn't stop there. Between his books and keynote note speaker appearances, Daymond continually shares his decades of knowledge with others, breaking it down into applicable steps for entrepreneurs around the world to follow.

Where we connect: While I'm certainly not to his level of influence or knowledge (yet!), I do regularly share advice with other business owners through my role at Restaurant HR Group. Between face-to-face meetings, trainings and seminars, and publishing content online, lifting up other entrepreneurs has become a daily, rewarding venture.

His Ability to Overcome Adversity  

Growing up in a single parent household following his parents' divorce at age 10, Daymond took on additional responsibility at a young age. Instead of letting that muddy and narrow his view of the world, he used it as initiative to explore his options and opportunities and dream big instead. And eventually, FUBU and a string of other successful endeavors came to fruition.

Diagnosed with the vague term "learning disability" early on in his education, Daymond struggled with reading and writing but found math to be a breeze. While he wasn't officially diagnosed with dyslexia until adulthood, he found a workaround to his troubles by enrolling in a business co-op program which alternated his studies between classroom time and the First Boston investment bank in Manhattan. This view of real world business at play only further solidified his passion for business.

Where we connect: My parents divorced when I was 10 years old as well. Despite the turmoil created during that time, I chose to stay focused on my eclectic mix of business dealings. Business, like life, is pretty much never smooth sailing. Overcoming those obstacles and finding ways to turn them into treasure is where it's at. Thank you, Daymond, for that invaluable lesson.

His Branding Genius

Have I mentioned that Daymond is an absolute branding genius?!? After successfully launching FUBU by identifying an untouched market in the highly competitive fashion industry, he learned early on that you have to narrowly define your market and identify their top needs and wants. Daymond's other branding advice centers around commonsense practices, such as keeping the message simple, always controlling your brand's image, and making transparency a top priority. 

Where we connect: While I can't claim to have gone from zero to $300+ million like Daymond, I have managed to build a multimillion dollar company from the ground up…and I have only just begun! Daymond's experience represents my ultimate stretch goal and pushes me to better define my business and target market each day.  

Meeting Your Mentors

If you had the opportunity to meet one of your celebrity mentors face-to-face, would you go for it?

Well, if I can sort out some scheduling conflicts, then I just may be able to say yes to that question! Recently, I found out about an incredible event that's happening from June 7-9 in Phoenix, Arizona. Fast Inc. Network is hosting an Accelerate Your Business conference (click on the link below to learn more about this event!) and is offering exclusive VIP access to Daymond John, complete with a meet and greet! Plus, there are master classes to attend, hours of small group learning sessions, and the ability to network with other likeminded entrepreneurs.

If you're as inspired by the work of Daymond John as I am, you can check out all of the details and register for this incredible event here >> https://bg322.isrefer.com/go/event/Carrie/.   

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram for more HR and leadership insights. Or check out my new website, carrieluxem.com, to learn more about my vision to impact the restaurant industry.

Who else considers Daymond John a mentor? What specifically do you admire about him?

 

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Tags:  arizona  ASBA  business  business owner  business services  entrepreneur  small business 

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Building the Perfect Team

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Friday, May 5, 2017

As small businesses look to grow and expand, hiring becomes part of the game. As a business owner, it’s often tempting to do everything yourself. But trust me, with the perfect team in place you’ll be able to scale and grow in a more sustainable and successful way.

Without sugarcoating it, there is a risk for failure when you bring new people into the fold.

Entrepreneurs are great at the thing they’ve created a business around, but they aren’t always as savvy when it comes to managing and hiring the right people. That’s why when I work with businesses; I emphasize the importance of finding the people who fit the culture, especially during the early hiring process.

With the perfect team in place and a commitment to creating synergy with that team, you gain access to growth. The biggest asset you have is your people, so building a high-performing team is one of the most effective mechanisms for growing your company. But how do you find those people?

Define Your Core Values

First, be truly committed to what your business is up to. What is your mission and what are your core values? Before you jump into hiring, you need to know what you stand for before someone else can stand for that with you.

Hiring for Culture

From there, you can look at what attributes and personality traits are most in line with your brand and develop a hiring strategy around that. Remember, you can always teach tangible skills, you can’t teach attitude and personality.

Pay Attention to Personality Types

As far as personality goes, there is a type of person that thrives in a startup culture. That person is hungry and eager to learn and grow. The person who displays initiative and is willing to take risks will prosper in the fast-paced entrepreneurial culture. Unlike traditional corporate positions, look for people who seek forgiveness and instead of asking for permission. Opinionated individuals who are willing to take a stand for their beliefs are the kind of employees who will stand up for your company and its mission.  

Keep Going!

Hiring isn’t easy. You might strike out a few times and have employees that don’t fit your culture or mesh with your core values. Don’t give up. Having a team and employees who keep you accountable, push you, and generate new ideas will make your business successful and help it grow for years to come!

To learn more about how you can hire the right people and build the perfect team, join me at the Fast. Inc. Business Accelerator in Phoenix from June 7-9. Register now at www.fastincnetwork.com/june2017.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Scava is a lawyer and the COO of Fully Accountable, an accounting, finance and human resources full-service and software solution for small businesses. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and hire the right people on their team; she speaks at events as a Culture Expert.

 


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Tags:  arizona  ASBA  business  business owner  entrepreneur  small biz  small business  success 

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Say Goodbye to Glass Ceilings

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Thursday, May 4, 2017

Everybody has been there. We set out to achieve our goals, and thanks to hard work and focus, those goals become a reality. We place ourselves in a bubble of success that appears to be long-lasting, and we think this is it. This is what my business does.  It is easy for us to become comfortable in our niche because more than likely it was the “bread and butter” from which the success of the company launched. However, nothing great ever came from a place of comfort. Nobody says I was so comfortable with where I was that I sprang forth this great new idea.

When Thomas Edison first invented the light bulb, it can be assumed that he was not determined to be innovative because he was completely comfortable with using a lantern as a light source for the rest of his life.

Great things come from motivated people who want more because where they are is not enough.

But what if there is more to the story? What if your business could plow through the glass ceilings that burned-out entrepreneurs place themselves under?

The first step in the process of breaking through those glass ceilings is to come to the understanding that your business does not have to keep doing what it has always done simply because it is a comfortable routine. Have you ever noticed that celebrities are continually re-branding themselves? They know that in their world, attention equals money. They cannot expect to keep the attention of their viewers forever by simply doing what they always have done. Just like notoriety, businesses have an expiration date if they do not do what it takes to keep things fresh.

Once a business owner has come to the realization that it is time to reach further, they have to locate the people who can take them where they want to be.  Connections can often be a greater resource than personal knowledge. Why place the load entirely on your shoulders when you can draw ideas from some of the greatest business minds out there. This concept of masterminding to reach success can exponentially grow your business. Founders of Fast Inc. Network, Kim and Lisha, discovered this to be the greatest truth when searching for growth opportunities in their 16-year- old business. By reaching out of isolation, they were able to 10x their business by busting through the glass ceilings that were limiting their success. This is just one example of the success that follows when you decide as a business owner that you are ready to get out of the rut, chase new goals, and destroy those glass ceilings that are holding you down.

Let us help you discover the success that exists beyond what is holding your business back.  Join us at the Fast Inc. Business Accelerator this June 7-9 in Phoenix, AZ! Register at www.fastincnetwork.com/june2017.

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Tags:  arizona  arizona small business  business development  business owner  entrepreneur  small business 

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How to add value to your business without going broke

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A universal concept that drives all businesses can be summed up in one word. Value. Even at a young age, we can determine what things are of more value than others. We knew that we had “dress clothes” and “play clothes.” This told us that one thing is of greater value than the next. We knew that As in school were of more value than Fs. It doesn’t take a person long to figure out that most things in life can be ranked by their value. Not only is the concept of value elementary, but it also expands to how we do business. Our customers want to know that the services or products that we are offering to them are equitable to the cost. This is how typical exchanges occur. However, we create loyal, repeat clients when we find ways to pack in value that gives them “more bang for their buck.”

A good business person knows that while it is important to provide value to your customers, it is equally as important to make sure that costs to oneself stay at a minimum. So how can you deliver value to your clients without going broke? These simple tips can help!

  1. Provide knowledge to your customers. There are some things in life that cannot be bought. One of those things is your experiences. No matter how you try to recreate them, your experiences are unique to your situation and knowledge. You can provide that expertise to your customers to add value to your services. Instead of just selling a product to your client, provide them with your knowledge and first-hand experiences. Not only is this of no monetary cost to you the business owner, but it also creates a fan instead of just a customer.
  2. Offering services in exchange for publicity. You can have a great product or service that you provide, but what good is that if nobody knows about it? One of the best ways you can provide value without cost is by partnering with the media to promote your business. While there may be some initial cost, partnering with the right media outlets can increase sales in dramatic ways. What media outlets do you listen to? These are the people to partner with to get the word out about your business.
  3. Offering publicity in exchange for services. Once you have secured publicity through media outlets, use that as leverage for other vendors to work with you. To be successful, collaboration is essential. Join with other businesses by offering them potential media exposure. These types of symbiotic relationships that are mutually benefiting can add value to your business with little to no cost to you.

Learn applicable strategies like these and much more at the Business Accelerator this June 7-9 in Phoenix, Arizona. Visit www.fastincnetwork.com/june2017 to register.

 


Tags:  arizona small business  business  business owner  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  small business  success 

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Cyber Liability Risk and Insurance

Posted By Jamie Low CPCU CIC, Low & Johnson, Inc., Wednesday, October 26, 2016
I'm sitting on a panel regarding Cyber Liability this Friday.  It's free at the Burton Barr Library from 10 to 2 pm.  Drinks and snacks provided.  Register at the link below and come on down. 
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-of-phoenix-protecting-your-business-cyber-security-forum-tickets-28443701878

Tags:  business  business owner  Cyber  data breach  entrepreneur  Internet Marketing  Principal Financial Group  small business  social media 

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Fraud: Does Size Matter?

Posted By George (Clint) Frederick CPA PLLC, George Frederick CPA PLLC, Friday, June 17, 2016

FRAUD:  DOES SIZE MATTER?

Henrique Haruki Cavalcante, commented in the General Forum of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) an article titled "Topic:  Should I be worried about fraud in my (small) business?”  Henrique is an attorney with the Corporate and Bankruptcy firm of Machado Gobbo Advogados.  Henrique analyzed the recently released ACFE 2016 Global Fraud Report.  He concluded that organizations of different sizes tend to have different fraud risks.  For example, corruption is more prevalent in larger organizations, whereas check tampering, skimming, payroll, and cash larceny schemes are twice as common in small organizations.  The loss suffered by small business (less than 100 employees) was the same as the big boys. Size really does not matter – it is the way it is done that counts.

Why?  Small business owners do not give much thought on implementing anti-fraud controls in their organizations, such as adopting internal controls and policies, or establishing a hotline for anonymous whistleblower calls.  The owners do not believe a long-time and trusted employee will steal from them.  With fraud controls implemented, fraud losses are reduced as much as 54% and detected 50% faster.  The most effective control is a hotline.  It accounts for nearly 50% of frauds detected.

Fraud is not prejudiced.  It can impact any size of company.  

Tags:  business owner  fraud  small business 

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Volunteers Needed: Peer to Peer Committee

Posted By Jamie Low CPCU CIC, Low & Johnson, Inc., Monday, January 4, 2016

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!!!


ASBA is going to start Peer to Peer meetings in 2016.  In order to do this we need volunteers to decide how this will work and to participate.

Below is what we need:


  •  Volunteers to sit on the committee and help determine how this should work.

  • Volunteers that would be willing to lead a peer group discussion 1 time a month either over lunch in which each person pays there own costs, or at their conference room at an agreed upon time.

  • Participates who would like to be including in a monthly peer group. 
 

My initial thoughts of how this would work, which might change when I meet with the committee, are as follows:

 

  1. Peer groups set at different locations throughout the Valley and in Tucson.
  2. Max group of 8 members.
  3. Meeting Monthly either at a restaurant or a volunteers conference room.
  4. Each month we would give all the peer groups a ‘table’ topic to discuss.  These topics would be determined by the peer to peer committee.

Please contact me directly if you are interested at jlow@lowjohnson.com or 480-596-0750.



Thanks for your help.

Jamie Low

 

Tags:  arizona small business  ASBA  business owner  decision-making  management  small business  startup 

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Why You Need to Learn More About Internet Marketing

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Thursday, June 25, 2015
adult-education-572269_1280.jpg  

On average, business owners and execs work about 72 hours per week. That’s a ton. This is because they wear so many different hats within their own company. If this sounds like you, then read on.


As an entrepreneur, you might dabble in your business’ sales, finances, content… the list goes on. But what you should really focus on is that one thing you’re amazing at. Then hire other people who are amazing at the other stuff to help.


The point here, though, is that the business owner usually knows a little bit about everything when it comes to running their company simply because they’ve had to practice that role before.


But there’s one position where that’s usually not the case: Internet marketing.


When you look for someone to manage the internet marketing of your company, you need to be knowledgeable about this field first. Otherwise… you might not choose the best candidate.

Why you need to learn internet marketing

Only 1 out of 10 owners know how to use their own social media for business or other online advertising. And 56% of business owners don’t even know how to measure their marketing programs to begin with.


But what’s most interesting of all is that 75% of businesses admit and believe that internet marketing is effective and necessary.


So where does this huge gap come from? It needs to be closed…


gap.gif


Business owners that aren’t familiar with internet marketing just don’t know what to look for in the right internet marketer for their company. And that’s when you run into a sales guy - you don’t want that.


A sales guy is someone who will read you all the right numbers, prices, and terminology in order to close the deal and get hired. But someone who actually specializes in internet marketing will actually know their stuff.


You need to be able to ask this person the right questions during the interview. And they should be able to answer you fully AND provide more information than anticipated. Internet marketing is always evolving, so you don’t want someone who is stuck in the past just looking to jump on board.

Make sure your candidate knows their stuff

So you need to make sure the person that you interview really knows what they’re talking about. If they don’t, there’s a chance your business will invest in the wrong internet marketing strategies. And that’s the last thing you want.


i have no idea.gif


They should be aware of the latest internet marketing tools, resources, methods, and so on. If you ask them a question, they should have the right answer and be able to teach you even more than expected.


If they can’t do this, part ways. You don’t want to bring on just anyone to your team. Again, you want to bring on people who are passionate about what they do. They should specialize in one specific area. This candidate should know internet marketing like the back of their hand.


And the only way for you to know whether or not they really know their stuff is to first familiarize yourself with internet marketing.


How to teach yourself

Read all the authoritative internet marketing blogs you can get your hands on. A few great ones to follow are:



In addition to this reading material, it’s great to attend free workshops and webinars on internet marketing. This allows you to ask the speaker more in-depth questions, interact, and take notes while you absorb more info. What’s also great about these is that the host usually sends you their presentation after the event for future reference. It’s a great resource.


If you have any questions on where or how to get started, please let us know! It’s what we’re here for.



 


Tags:  business owner  internet marketing  sales 

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