4 Steps To Increasing Your Startups Online Presence

When owning a business it is important to take advantage of the tools you have access to. The internet has afforded many opportunities that were not readily available to everyone previously. Below you will find tips that I believe can help any company increase their online presence and attract consumers through their website. After a visit to the website, consumers should be persuaded to become a customer.

  1. Facebook

Facebook is a necessity for any company right now. Facebook has over 1.86 Billion monthly active users. Facebook also offers strategic and targeted marketing that allows you to be right where your customers are. Creating a Facebook Page for your company is also beneficial because it makes the company website easily accessible.

  1. Twitter

Twitter is growing necessity in the world of customer relations. Twitter allows your customers to have a voice, and provide useful feedback. Twitter can help you connect with your customers on a personal basis and helps fix any problems, or just answer simple questions they may have. Companies also can pay for advertisements that can boost posts and help market their business.

  1. Blogs

I believe that blogging can help with a few things. 1. Blogging can help boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which means that it can boost your relevance on google searches. 2. Blogging can increase traffic to your site and familiarize your customers to the company. 3. Having content can humanize your company and give you a voice.

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  1. Instagram

Instagram can give your customers a look into your world. You can show them the world as you see it. Instagram currently has about 600 million Monthly active users and is owned by Facebook, so a lot of the marketing goes hand and hand with Facebook.

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The Game of Football Gave Me Life

The game of football to many may look like a bunch of overgrown men running around in pads just trying to score a touch downtown but to me this game is life. Since I could remember as a kid I’ve always wanted to play football. I used to sit in my living room and watch the Redskins and the University of Maryland play any chance I got. My dad and uncles used to take me to Redskins park during training camp so I could see them practice. I remember watching Darrell Green run around thinking he was insanely fast. I grew up for a while idolizing LaVar Arrington for his play on the football field. I thought he was awesome and used to wear his jersey around everywhere.

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While the game has not always been good to me it has taught me more than anyone will ever know. Football is the ultimate team sport but it teaches you more about individuals than you would think. Trust in football is the #1 if you can’t trust the man next to you to do what he is supposed to do on every play how are you to trust him in life and vice versa.  Much of my success in business I could have never achieved without the lessons I have learned from the game because football brings together individuals from different walks of life together to accomplish one goal and business is the same way.

Football has also blessed me with putting several male figures in my life that have pushed man to become a better man. While my father was a great role model growing up, my coaches gave him great support. Enforcing what he was saying at home. My coaches growing up like Coach Ward, Kelly, Patterson and Gillespie to name a few all made sure I was always pushed.

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Employees Are the Life Of A Business

When owning a business one of the most essential elements is having the right employees. Having good employees can make or break any company from the start. An important fundamental quality that I look for in a potential employee is one who works hard and self sufficient. Once I take them through the basic training it is my intention to leave them to it and have them be able to be productive without my micromanaging.  I find that this empowers my employees and lets them grow in their decision making and business sense as an individual. Of course I am there for guidance if needed, however  I encourage their independent work ethic. While empowering your employees you must also hold them to a sustained standard, and keep them responsible for their decisions. The employees that are not micromanaged are more likely to be happy and work harder for the company. When employees feel that management trust them to make their own decisions, the feeling of confidence is reflected throughout the rest of the company and has a chain reaction is often seen and received well by customers.

When employees are happy they typically are willing to go the extra mile and put in 110% for the company. When the employees are happy, customers can pick up on this. Stores and offices are typically better kept because the employees are taking ownership and respecting the place they work. Once you have employees that feel like that are part of the company on a deeper level they we go to the ends of earth to ensure the success of the company. This is a rare quality to find in many companies but it’s out there.

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Some examples of good companies that value their employees are Google, Zappos, Southwest Airlines and Twitter. Out of all these companies Southwest Airlines sticks out the most. From my personal experiences I have always noticed the flight attendants and employees always go out of their way to cater to the customers needs. This culture has allowed Southwest to operate with the success they have for decades.

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Business Tips from One Entrepreneur to Another

Being an Entrepreneur is one of the greatest decisions I have made in my life but always one of the most difficult. Everyone day I get up at the crack of dawn to nurture my business to make it grow. Most people don’t see the work that being an entrepreneur takes except fellow entrepreneurs. The late night and the struggles are yours because they are a small step on the way to your journey. Your dreams are your and you must remember that. Below you will find my tips from one entrepreneur to another.

 

Understand that your dreams are yours and no ones else

When I developed my business I quickly realized that no one is ever going to work as hard as I am to make my dreams work. The late nights staring at screens and the constant early morning are not for everyone.

Love What You do

There will be A LOT of long nights. Make sure you are doing something that interest you. Not just in the present but you will know in the future too. The second you stop loving what you are doing is the second your business begins to fail. That passion is often what drives people to your business. Customers feel that passion and connect with it.

Listen To Your Custumers

Always take some time out of your week to listen to your custumers and connect with them. I say this because companies are often looked at as the villian and when you reach out and listen to the concerns of your custumers this humanizes you and begin to form a bond between the company and custumer. People like to buy things or work with companies they have a personal connection with.

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You Are The People You Hire

The people you hire are a reflection of you in all facets of their life. If they do not carry themselves well if can affect the business. Having good people is essential so taking the hiring process seriously is vital.

These tips I have come up with are things I believe have been essential to my success in business and I hope they can do the same for you. I leave you with this, find employees you can trust. The last thing you want to do is micromanage your people. When employees have the freedom to do what they need to do they often feel connected to the company and want to work harder. This is what all business owners should strive for. If may not be that employees dream but they can certainly help you get to your dream faster.

 

 

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Keys to Starting A New Business

A lot of people think that starting a business is hard but this in fact is the easy part. When starting a new business it is important to have a solid foundation from the start because that will allow you to thrive and succeed well past the immediate future. A successful business is never made overnight but is a long journey.

  1. Brain storm

When brainstorming, take your time. Make sure you find something that is compelling and fills a market need. But as an entrepreneur, find something that interests you makes you excited to get up everyday. If not, you will burn out. Businesses are like babies in the beginning- you have to nurture it and give it the attention it requires.

  1. Build a business plan

Business plans are a dying step to this process but is still very important. A Business plan provides you with a clear and concise path for your business to move forward. As you start your business, you will find yourself referring back to this document more than you think making tweaks.

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  1. Develop Business Name

Pick something that your customers will appeal to. Remember this name is not for you but for your customers. Having a product matters more than having a service based company.

  1. Filings

Make sure you have all of the filings you need with the government. This is extremely important. You want to make sure you are not violating any trademarks. Make sure you have all of your tax info squared away. If not this could cause a lot of issues.

  1. Get finances in order

The financial foundation of a company is KEY. Businesses need to have a solid foundation from the start. Also, make sure you have a back up fund for things that may arise throughout the process of starting a new business.

  1. Marketing

Marketing your new business can be difficult but using social media outlets for targeted marketing like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is vital. Also creating content such as a blog can help boost your SEO allowing customers to find you easier. As your business grows, social media will help you listen to your customers and have a dialogue.

Follow Me on Twitter @LifeofKM

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Down But Not Out

I went to one of the best high schools money could buy in Washington DC. However, my high school experience was far different than most. While I was often times extremely cocky, I was no different than your average high school football player who was destined to play for a D-1 University. My story is far more distinctive than most. In high school I often experienced bullying. However, my experiences with bullying further demonstrates what no child should have to go through.

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My senior year my life changed forever on a Friday afternoon at a pep rally on the football field. All faculty and staff were filing into the stands. It was the day before we were set to play against our crosstown rivals, Gonzaga. It was also my first game back after missing three games because of a high ankle sprain. As we walked in the announcer began to call out each of our names one by one. The seniors were last and I was the last of all the seniors to have my name called. As my name was called the entire school as well as my teammates booed me for what felt like 30 minutes. I have thought about this moment for a long time and the only rational explanation that I have come up with, is that many of those students worked their entire lives, and had been told that academics trumps everything and if you work hard enough in school you will get into whatever school you desire.

My circumstances were completely different, I wasn’t the best student but I excelled at football. While all of these students were waiting to get answers back from institutions and stressing about schools and what paths their lives were going to take, my life had already been decided. Outside of every class during the month of November my senior year college coaches lined the hallways to get five minutes of my time as I walked to my next class. Looking back on this now I would have hated me too. While others dedicated themselves to school I dedicated myself to the game of football and was rewarded. Every athlete in high school lives for the moment to be recognized in front of their entire school for his or her accomplishments their senior year. When that moment came for me, I truly believe those students let out their envy and frustrations towards me.  They were all laughing including coaches, teachers and administrators because that was the only way they knew how to accept my successes.  

The only person that wasn’t there for the joke was a lady named Ms. Younger. She looked at me and knew that inside it was eating me alive. After the event was over I played it off the best I could, even holding back tears. As I began to walk back to the locker room I remember looking at the ground to be sure no one could see the emotions on my face. Then one of my coaches said something to me as trivial as my beard not being trimmed and I retorted with a  sarcastic comment which resulted with me receiving detention. My head coach at the time endorsed his decision because of my “lack of respect”. At that moment all I was looking for was just the smallest sense of empathy like “Are you alright Kevin?”, and I couldn’t even get that.

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As I continued to walk off the field with my head down I heard a voice calling my name, it was Ms. Younger who was the school counselor, and most likely the sole person who helped me graduate from high school. As she walk towards me with her arms open she knew the pain I was experiencing. She gave me a quick hug and told me to come with her. Before letting me go she whispered in my ear “Don’t let them see you sweat.” Please explain to me why on that day, out of the 1,000 students in the stands, the 200 administrators, teachers and staff only one woman showed compassion at a place where the schools values are built off of respect and compassion? How is it that at a distinguished Lasallian school, something like this could happen?

Now don’t get me wrong I’ve been booed before. I’ve walked into stadiums  where 100,000 people will boo me just because of the jersey and school I attend, but I must ask, is this how people are suppose to treat one another? On that day I learned a valuable lesson of compassion and respect for others. I will never go out of my way to make someone’s life and living hell just because I’ve been through it and back. That day will forever be apart of me and in a funny way I’m appreciative that it happen because it has made me so much stronger.

Follow Me on Twitter @LifeofKM

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The Power of Good Mentors

In life having good mentors can provide you with an incredible amount of guidance and perspective that you would have never had before. I have been fortunate enough in my life to have several individuals that have helped to develop me into the man I am today. From my dad, Gregg Colvin, Jon Klein, or Monroe Gorden they have all played a direct part in the man I have become. I have also been blessed to have a great stable of coaches to this day who during my childhood and teen years made sure that I never went down the wrong path. My mentors have opened so many doors for me and push me everyday to raise the bar for my success. While they are all leaders in their industry they continue to help me network and make my own path.

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In my opinion Mentors should be someone you look up to and value their input. But this should also be someone who you can take honest and constructive criticism from and respect their thoughts. Unfortunately in the millennial generation many of us cannot take hard criticism and grow from it. What I always suggest is to never have a mentor who will hold your hand. A mentor should let you fail from time to time and help build you up to be stronger.

Having a mentor in business is a valuable asset. I say this because we all need someone to help us make it. As much as we all like to take credit and say we do it all by ourselves this could be furthest from the truth if you are honest with yourself. Mentors open doors and can help eliminate the noise. Having someone who you can call that has been in your shoes is powerful.

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