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What You Need To (And How To) Outsource Today: Avoiding the “I Can Do That” Trap

[Kyle: This is a guest post from a Gina Smith. She’s going to show you maybe the most effective productivity hack out there: hire more hands.]

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The words, “I can do that”, can be like nails on a chalkboard when they are spoken by a small business owner or entrepreneur.  One of the most common mistakes made when opening a business is trying to wear too many hats. 

As a small business consultant, I come across aspiring entrepreneurs in all types and stages of business.  Most have gone into business for themselves because they have a certain skill, talent or aspiration.  It always baffles me when a business owner has invested in an impressive office or workshop space and hired employees to produce and deliver their product and/or services but then chooses to handle their own marketing, information technology, tax filings, etc.  Really?  And, the kicker is in 99% of the cases, the business owner has no prior experience in any of these areas.

Have you ever heard of the saying, “it is better to do a few thing well than many things lousy?”  When a business owner is also the hiring, marketing, fulfillment, tax and IT manager, problems will inevitably arise.  While it may not be necessary to hire full time employees to handle certain functions, you can consider outsourcing these tasks to an experienced and reliable individual or company. [click to continue…]

Honesty IS the Best Policy in Business (Usually): How to Make Honesty Your Competitive Advantage, Drive Sales, Increase Profits, and Make Life Better in General

Suit & Tie (1)

It doesn’t always pay to be good.

There are huge stretches of human history where the only way to win has been to lie, cheat, and steal.

Luckily for those of us who suck at being bad, goodness is paying off.

Particularly honesty.

It doesn’t always feel this way. We see people getting ahead by doing bad every day. Sometimes it’s in the news. Sometimes it’s in the office.

So, honestly, honesty doesn’t win in every situation or domain. And not every type of honesty wins either.

Nobody wants to lie. It just seems to be the only option sometimes. Especially when we’re feeling weak or scared.

But honesty is quickly becoming the best option in the most interesting and profitable areas in life and the economy.

Early on, all my chips were on honesty. It wasn’t a choice. It was a struggle though.

Common wisdom says that you should be honest to be a good person despite the general understanding that getting ahead sometimes requires lies and thus giving up your good-person status.

This assumption that you have to lie to be successful is not just poison for society but also ineffective in the long-term.

The lifetime of a lie is shrinking and the compounding effect of honesty is increasing. We’ll get into the mechanics of this later.

My goal is to prove to you that honesty is the best policy. Not just for being a good human, but to get ahead in business and life.

The remainder of this post will be broken down as follows:

  1. Honest Stories. I will tell you three personal stories to demonstrate how honesty plays out in relationships, networking, and business. These stories will help frame the rest of the post, especially the business story.
  2. What Honesty Is & Isn’t. This section will help us understand and define honesty in a way that is useful and powerful. A lot of people are confused about what is honest and dishonest behavior and so fail to be functionally honest. (Hint: Having no filter isn’t honesty.)
  3. Dangers of Honesty. We’ll look at some of the main ways people get scared off from being honest, and why most of the fear of these possible outcomes are unwarranted.
  4. Benefits of Honesty. Some of the most important reasons to be honest.

Time to tell some truth… [click to continue…]

How I Started A Startup from Scratch and Turned a Profit in Less Than 6 Months

This is a guest post from the founder of 48hourslogo.com, Chris. He’s awesome. And generous with his startup experience.

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I graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Electrical Engineering and got a job as an application engineer in Silicon Valley.

48hourslogo was one of several side projects I initiated. Luckily, it turned out to be the one with the most potential and allowed me to quit my engineering job and fully focus all of my attention on my own startup.

I have always enjoyed reading StartupBros and thought that sharing my own startup story may provide some interesting insights for some of you. I’ll show you how I came up with the idea, how I had the site built, how I got customers and designers, and some ways we’ve grown the company. I think you’ll enjoy it!

Why 48hourslogo?

Like most people launching logo contests for their first time, I was amazed by the selection of logo concepts presented to me when I started a logo contest back in 2010. I liked it so much that I decided to drop my earlier business idea and start a logo contest website of my own.

The idea behind 48hourslogo is quite simple: Instead of paying an average of $400 to have 30 or 40 designers competing on your logo project, customers can spend a third of that and have 10 or 20 designers competing.  This is plenty for bootstrapping founders. [click to continue…]

9 Game-Changing Startup Strategies You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2015

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Your head is probably hurting right now from the sheer volume of articles you’ve read about what you need to do to make it successful.

Let’s start by quashing an assumption: You don’t need to know everything, ok? You’re going to find it far easier to start your business if you just give it a go, and learn by doing.

However, things change quickly in the online world. What worked for a business launch five years ago – even two years ago – isn’t necessarily what is going to work today. But there are some simple strategies you can adopt from the outset that will help you get a head start.

Ignore the noise. Get these nine strategies embedded in your business. Then launch and learn. [click to continue…]

4 Step-by-Step Strategies to Uncover Your Next Big Business Idea Today

4 FreeTools to Find Business Ideas

[Kyle’s note: Remember that product ideas are business ideas. Sarah knocked it out of the park with this post, I think you’ll love it. Sarah’s]

It’s daunting, isn’t it?

You want to start a business, but you don’t have the time or money to test idea after idea only to discover that they won’t be profitable.

You don’t want to be a statistic: just another wantrepreneur whose business idea failed.

But what if I told you that you can learn exactly what people want?

That your target market will practically come to you with ideas. And that if you do the right research, your idea is almost guaranteed to succeed.

It’s true.

And the best part is that you can do it in a weekend.

After reading this post, you will know exactly how to do this research to find the perfect business idea that people will actually pay you for.

You don’t need a 160-page business plan. You don’t need focus groups. You don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars to test the market.

You just need to get into the minds of your target market.

Luckily, that’s easier than ever before.

4 Free Tools To Get Into Your Target Market’s Heads and Find Out Exactly What They Want

When you are frustrated with something, or have a question, what do you do?

Chances are, you’ve tried to find a solution online.

Maybe you’ve asked a question on Twitter or searched Google to find experts who can answer your question or fix your problem.

If you’ve ever done that, you’re not alone. [click to continue…]