Women in Business: Power UP Your Business – 10 Resolutions for the New Year!

The New Year offers a clean slate and a time to reflect on the changes you want or need to enhance your business.Take some time to look at the successes and failures of your life over the past year. Have you considered what changes you want to implement for 2012? Here are 10 resolutions to Power UP your Business for the New Year!

Resolution 1: Get a Handle on your Taxes

With the New Year fast approaching, it is important to get a firm handle on your taxes. To claim certain tax benefits, you need to act no later than Dec. 31. According to the IRS, here are “Six Year-End Tips to Reduce 2011 Taxes:”

Install Energy-Efficient Home Improvements
Make Charitable Contributions
Consider a Portfolio Adjustment
Contribute the Maximum to Retirement Accounts
Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution
Don’t Overlook the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

Resolution 2: Understand your Finances

This is extremely important for the health of your business. As a new or growing business, you need to be diligent about your finances. The NUMBER ONE reason that businesses fail is due to lack of control over finances.

Some experts suggest reviewing your profit and loss statements, balance sheets and cash flow reports on a monthly basis. To manage this, there is accounting software such as QuickBooks specifically for small businesses. Also, hiring a CPA or bookkeeper can be a wise investment.

Resolution 3: Create a Monthly Budget

This is crucial to controlling your monthly expenses. By creating a budget, forces you to examine your income and expenditures to track how much money you make and spend. Of course your living expenses, i.e., mortgage, utilities, vehicles, insurance payments and food are a must, but additional payments should be allocated to pay off bad debt.

A few handy financial tools:

HomeBudget is an expense tracker designed to help you budget, track and control your monthly expenses at home.
Moneytrackin is a free online web application that allows you to track all your expenses and income easily and without effort, thus allowing you to have a clear view of your financial situation. It intends to be a simple yet powerful online budget management tool.
MySpendingPlan is an online tool that provides consumers with the latest tools to help them manage their personal finances track their budgets, save money and keep up on the latest information about managing money and leading a better financial life.

Resolution 4: Get Out of Debt

Easy to say, difficult to do! According to some experts, Americans charge over one trillion dollars per year using Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. For many, money is a big source of stress; and it doesn’t help that we’ve had to deal with economic issues over the past few years. This coming year, make it a priority to resolve your money woes.

Resolution 5: Set Specific Time Management Goals

Why do you want to set specific goals to manage your time effectively? Well, setting simple goals will force you to plan your time wisely, thus, allowing you to get a sense of achievement and reduce work and life stress. For example, if spending time with your family is important, try working fewer hours on Friday so that you can honor that goal.

By scheduling your time based on your goals, you can assess if your goals truly align with the core values, both professionally and personally. If you find that your goals are out of align, then you are able to identify key areas that need adjusting before they get out of control.

Resolution 6: Learn How to Delegate

As your business grows, so should your ‘tight grip’ on controlling every aspect of it. The worst thing that you can do is become a slave to your business. This attitude can cripple you! I know this first hand; as a former owner of a building maintenance company; I was president, HR generalist, payroll specialist, trainer, janitor, sales woman and more! It took me a while to realize that not only could I not effectively wear every hat, but in order to grow and regain my sanity, I had to trust others.

It is important that you delegate non-core business tasks to your staff or consider outsourcing. Play on the strengths of others. The lack of delegation will stifle your growth, or worse, cause you to run your business and yourself into a pit fall.

Resolution7: Prioritize your Day

It is essential that you start your day with a ‘to do’ list. It doesn’t matter if your business is small or if you run a large corporation, having a daily plan will keep you on track in effectively running your business. Start your day by scheduling uninterrupted time to plan and create your list of tasks for that day, and rank your list in order of priority. For example, if you have 10 tasks on your list, of those, how many do you need to complete? Can you save the least important tasks for another time?

If you don’t accomplish all the tasks from your ‘to do’ list, it doesn’t mean you are having problems managing your time. It simply means that you only have limited time per day to get everything done and you may be trying to accomplish more tasks than you have time in the day.

To manage and prioritize my time, I rely on Microsoft Outlook’s calendar and task manager to plan my personal and business schedule. I then sync Microsoft Outlook to my I Phone. This helps me to stay on task and set priorities for my daily activities. Find what works for you and make it a daily habit to have a productive and organized day!

Revolution 8: Network religiously

A successful way to promote your business is through networking. You are in business to grow, so make networking a key part of your marketing strategy so that you position yourself to connect with the right people.

Networking is a lifestyle in which you need to incorporate onto your “To Do” list. By networking, you are developing your social skills by engaging or interacting in an informal gathering to communicate with others for mutual assistance or support. By acquainting yourself with other business owners or executives, you are building meaningful relationships. There are many organizations that you can become involved in such as the Chamber of Commerce, Business Network International (BNI), online communities or a professional organization related to your industry.

Resolution 9: Know your Credit

Do you know how important it is to establish business credit profile? According to some industry experts, “fewer than 10 percent of all entrepreneurs know about or truly understand how business credit is established and tracked-and how it affects their lives and businesses.”

Make sure you contact the major business credit bureaus that compile and provide copies of your credit reports. For a list of business credit reporting agencies, here’s an informative article by Marco Carbajo, “Top 10 Business Credit Bureaus.”

Resolution 10: Make More time with Family & Friends

An important reason we go into business is the idea of being flexible with our time. So, the idea of having time for family and friends seems like it should be a no-brainer, right? According to recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year.

You have control over your time, so make sure that you balance work and life to be able to spend it with those that are important to you.

Last but not least…

If it’s not working, drop it quickly

Don’t waste your time or invest any unnecessary energy nursing something that isn’t working for your business. Time = Money and in our current economic crisis, both are a very precious commodity that a small business can’t afford to gamble with. Move on and don’t look back!

Why Do You Need an Online Marketing Strategy to Be Successful?

Are you a business owner using the internet? If you are then you must understand why it is vital to have a marketing strategy online in order to get to the success you have always dreamed of.

When your business is online the only way for people to find you is for you to market that business. Traffic is the key to being successful online with any business.

That is the main reason that a marketing strategy online is so vital to your business. If people can’t find your website then they can’t spend their money with you.

You want to make money right? Of course you do and that is another reason why a advertising strategy is so imperative.

When you don’t market your business online you will not make any money. That is why you have to have an effective strategy that will bring traffic to your business so you can make that money.

You want to take the time to do your research and learn about one effective marketing strategy at a time. There are many different strategies that can be used and you definitely want to use more than one of them.

You just want to remember that it is important to learn them one at a time so you can put them into action before adding another one. That way you have one strategy working to bring traffic to your site while learning another one.

Do this until you have 5 to 7 different strategies working at all times to bring you traffic. Here are a few tactics you want to take time to learn and use for promoting any business on the internet.

Article marketing

Social networks

Blogging

Forum marketing

PPC or Pay Per Click

There are so many others that can be used also and you can even combine them to get the most traffic. Many successful internet marketers use both paid and free advertising to drive high traffic numbers and make more sales.

For example, you can add article marketing and blogging together to get the most traffic. You could also do pay per click advertising and SEO your keywords in new web pages or blog posts.

The thing to remember is that a marketing strategy is the only way you can be successful with any business. Don’t forget this and not build your own promotion strategy because this is the sure way that you can fail with any internet business.

A good online marketing strategy is the key to finding the success you have always wanted. Without it, you will always struggle to build a business that won’t be going anywhere.

7 Tips To Start Your Twitch Journey

On Twitch, you can stream your favorite retro games without any problem. If you are new to this platform, we suggest that you consider a few helpful tips before starting a channel. So, what are you waiting for? Read to know more.

1. Internet Speed

If you no Fiber connection, no problem. All you need is a 5Mbps ADSL connection that supports a minimum of 720p recording for a modem or router. As a new streamer, we suggest that you stream at 1800kbps, which is the bare minimum. Actually, the problem is that if you are not a Twitch Partner, you have to be in the list of top 10% Streamers.

2. Microphone

As far as streaming on Twitch goes, having a good microphone is a must. What you need is a good quality microphone that comes with noise cancellation. If you are looking for a wireless device, make sure that it won’t interfere with other wireless devices like your mouse or WiFi. Therefore, we suggest that you use a wired connection.

3. Webcam

Most people like streams with webcams. Actually, Twitch allows you to take a shot with an interval of a few seconds and show it as your stream thumbnail. So, the users will be most likely to click on your thumbnail and check out your stream. As a matter of fact, the thumbnail acts like a first impression and you know that the first impression is very important. So, investing in a good webcam is a great idea.

4. Overlay

If you don’t know, overlay refers to information that is sent to you for a glance. Some people opt for OBS, but you can also check out some paid alternatives like XSplit. You can create an Art Overly around the OBS, such as designing for the cam, donation alert and so on. However, make sure you take into account the DotA game resolution. With the right overlay, your scene will become more lively. They won’t be boring.

5. Games

You can’t compete with big streamers. Therefore, don’t think about popular games. Actually, for better rank on Twitch, you have to be among those who have the most viewers. In the beginning, you may want to give a go to a game that was released a long time ago. You can check out free games first.

6. Channel Moderation Bot.

You may have noticed that channels have moderation bots too. You may want to have them too. All you have to do is visit bot channels and then send an invitation to it. Once moded, it will start moderating your chat. Once you have sent an invitation, you should sign into your account. These mods will keep spams and unwanted links away from your channel.

7. Get A Team Mate.

Ideally, you may want to use Discord, not Skype. The reason is that it won’t consume a l of your system and bandwidth resources. The app is free to use. You can then talk to your teammate on Discord.