Roadmap for Choosing the Best Web Conferencing Software

The importance of a good web conferencing solution is undeniable. As video becomes even more indispensable, more and more companies are fast finding out, the hard way, that it doesn’t pay to go for substandard systems. In a market that changes often with each new platform, tool or technology, choosing the wrong system could spell doom for your company.

Using web conferencing software

Here’s how to make sure you don’t make that mistake:

Evaluate Your System

It’s going to be expensive to overhaul your entire communication infrastructure. Take a good, long look at your system and determine which areas require an urgent switch or replacement.…



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Thoughts Become Things

Many people have seen the movie The Secret or read the books As a Man Thinketh, Acres of Diamonds, or Think and Grow Rich. All of them are about the idea that thoughts can become things. And that is real. So, if I was to give you or any person wanting higher levels of success advice, it would be to think about your Network Marketing business all the time.

Think about your business when you’re working out, getting ready for bed, getting up in the morning, in your car, etc. The more you engage your mind and think about your business, the more successful it’s going to be.

Every successful person in Network Marketing that I know does this. I know some people brag about how they can turn off this part of their life and turn on this other part. But I don’t think that works when it comes to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs turn it on, and it stays on all the time. That doesn’t mean you don’t love your family or care about the people around you. But you are constantly thinking about your customers, distributors, duplication, leadership, presentation, training, etc. Your subconscious brain is always cranking and thinking about ideas and strategies. It is all constantly rolling around your mind. And that process allows you to get better.

So, think about your Network Marketing business all the time. And watch what happens to your success. You’re going to be amazed by how fast you grow.

The post Thoughts Become Things appeared first on Network Marketing Pro.



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You’ve Heard of Hiring Ex-Cons? This One’s an Entrepreneur!

The Ex-Con Entrepreneur

It takes discipline to run a successful business. And if you have that discipline, you have a pretty good chance of making your idea into reality — no matter what obstacles you’ve had to overcome.

Case in point: Coss Marte, founder of ConBody. Marte originally got the idea for his business in an unlikely place — a prison cell.

The founder had some health issues while serving a seven-year prison sentence. And since he only had a small cell and his body weight to work with, he had to come up with a creative workout plan. He created one that worked for him. And now he also shares it with clients at his fitness studio on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

The Ex-Con Entrepreneur

Marte had significant obstacles to overcome in his journey to entrepreneurship. Even just making it through his sentence was an accomplishment given the health issues that he started out with. But he persevered. He made it through the sentence and then built his business from scratch after finding limited job prospects upon his release.

For other entrepreneurs, the lesson is clear. If you have the discipline and a good enough idea, you can overcome just about anything. It won’t always be easy. And it might take a different shape or path than you’d expect. But if you put your skills to good use and refuse to give up, you can accomplish really surprising things.

Image: Conbody.com

This article, "You’ve Heard of Hiring Ex-Cons? This One’s an Entrepreneur!" was first published on Small Business Trends



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You’ve Heard of Hiring Ex-Cons? This One’s an Entrepreneur!

The Ex-Con Entrepreneur

It takes discipline to run a successful business. And if you have that discipline, you have a pretty good chance of making your idea into reality — no matter what obstacles you’ve had to overcome.

Case in point: Coss Marte, founder of ConBody. Marte originally got the idea for his business in an unlikely place — a prison cell.

The founder had some health issues while serving a seven-year prison sentence. And since he only had a small cell and his body weight to work with, he had to come up with a creative workout plan. He created one that worked for him. And now he also shares it with clients at his fitness studio on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

The Ex-Con Entrepreneur

Marte had significant obstacles to overcome in his journey to entrepreneurship. Even just making it through his sentence was an accomplishment given the health issues that he started out with. But he persevered. He made it through the sentence and then built his business from scratch after finding limited job prospects upon his release.

For other entrepreneurs, the lesson is clear. If you have the discipline and a good enough idea, you can overcome just about anything. It won’t always be easy. And it might take a different shape or path than you’d expect. But if you put your skills to good use and refuse to give up, you can accomplish really surprising things.

Image: Conbody.com

This article, "You’ve Heard of Hiring Ex-Cons? This One’s an Entrepreneur!" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Apple is Drastically Cutting App Store Affiliate Commissions

Affiliates Not Happy Since App Store Commissions Were Cut

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) this week sent an email to App Store affiliate program members telling them that it is slashing their commission rates from seven percent to 2.5 percent on May 1.

According to Brett Terpstra, an App Store affiliate who received the email, the changes only affect affiliate referrals for apps. Other iTunes and iBooks Store content like music, movies, TV shows and books will continue to receive the original seven percent rate.

“I use affiliate links on everything… and it generates a small portion of my monthly income. Not a lot, but it’s enough to notice,” wrote Terpstra in a post on his blog talking about Apple’s decision to cut affiliate commissions. While referring to the almost 65 percent commission rate reduction, Terpstra said “It’s a drastic cut to mention in passing just one week before it takes effect.”

Apparently, affiliates were only given one week of warning on the impending change.

Affiliates Not Happy Since App Store Commissions Were Cut

Federico Viticci, another App Store affiliate, and founder of Apple news and app reviews site MacStoriesNet, turned to Twitter to express his frustration, saying the move “sucks.”

Viticci posted a picture of what looks like a copy of the email affiliates received:

Apple App Store Affiliate Program

The App Store affiliate program allows websites owners from the Apple community to link to App Store downloads. The link they use has a unique referral ID for each affiliate. When customers click on this link and buy apps or in-app purchases, Apple pays a small cut of the qualified sales to the affiliate. The app developer gets 70 percent of the sale, while the affiliate partner gets incentivized to refer more customers.

Now that Apple is drastically cutting this revenue stream, the tech company risks alienating its affiliate partners who are a significant source of income for developers of the apps sold on the App Store. The new commission rate cuts, however, only apply to affiliates and won’t affect app developers.

App Store Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Apple is Drastically Cutting App Store Affiliate Commissions" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Apple is Drastically Cutting App Store Affiliate Commissions

Affiliates Not Happy Since App Store Commissions Were Cut

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) this week sent an email to App Store affiliate program members telling them that it is slashing their commission rates from seven percent to 2.5 percent on May 1.

According to Brett Terpstra, an App Store affiliate who received the email, the changes only affect affiliate referrals for apps. Other iTunes and iBooks Store content like music, movies, TV shows and books will continue to receive the original seven percent rate.

“I use affiliate links on everything… and it generates a small portion of my monthly income. Not a lot, but it’s enough to notice,” wrote Terpstra in a post on his blog talking about Apple’s decision to cut affiliate commissions. While referring to the almost 65 percent commission rate reduction, Terpstra said “It’s a drastic cut to mention in passing just one week before it takes effect.”

Apparently, affiliates were only given one week of warning on the impending change.

Affiliates Not Happy Since App Store Commissions Were Cut

Federico Viticci, another App Store affiliate, and founder of Apple news and app reviews site MacStoriesNet, turned to Twitter to express his frustration, saying the move “sucks.”

Viticci posted a picture of what looks like a copy of the email affiliates received:

Apple App Store Affiliate Program

The App Store affiliate program allows websites owners from the Apple community to link to App Store downloads. The link they use has a unique referral ID for each affiliate. When customers click on this link and buy apps or in-app purchases, Apple pays a small cut of the qualified sales to the affiliate. The app developer gets 70 percent of the sale, while the affiliate partner gets incentivized to refer more customers.

Now that Apple is drastically cutting this revenue stream, the tech company risks alienating its affiliate partners who are a significant source of income for developers of the apps sold on the App Store. The new commission rate cuts, however, only apply to affiliates and won’t affect app developers.

App Store Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Apple is Drastically Cutting App Store Affiliate Commissions" was first published on Small Business Trends



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2.5 Million Small Businesses Are Owned by American Military Vets (Report)

U.S Veteran Owned Business Statistics

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy recently released an encouraging report on veteran-owned businesses. The report, which is based on the latest available data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Small Business Owners (released December 2015 and February 2016), shows about 2.52 million businesses in the U.S. majority-owned by veterans.

Almost all of these veteran-owned businesses at the time (99.9 percent) were small businesses.

U.S Veteran Owned Business Statistics

According to the SBA report entitled “Veteran-Owned Businesses and Their Owners (PDF),” small business firms owned by veterans employed 5.03 million people, had an annual payroll of $195 billion and receipts of $1.14 trillion. The veteran-owned firms represented 9.1 percent of all U.S. businesses.

California, Texas and Florida had the most veteran-owned businesses respectively, while the highest percent of veteran-owned businesses in their populations were found in South Carolina, New Hampshire and Virginia. Other highlights from the study include:

  • Nearly 30 percent of all veteran-owned firms were in two industry groups: construction and the professional, scientific and technical services group.
  • The industry with the largest share of veteran-owned firms was finance and insurance (13.2 percent), followed by transportation and warehousing (12.1 percent), and construction (11.4 percent).
  • Five industry groups accounted for 71.5 percent of all veteran-owned firm sales: wholesale trade (22.9 percent), retail trade (19.5 percent), manufacturing (12.3 percent), construction (10.1 percent), and professional, scientific, and technical services (7.0 percent).

Also, a bigger percentage of veteran-owned businesses were home-based (57.0 percent) compared with other businesses (52.2 percent) in the rest of the population. And the most common method for veterans to become business owners was to start their own businesses themselves.

Support for U.S. Military Veterans Entrepreneurship

It’s encouraging to see military veterans take advantage of entrepreneurship opportunities available to them, and to continue to display many of the same qualities and resilience of civilian entrepreneurs.

If you are a military veteran who owns a small business or you know some vets, there are many sources of support for veterans, including the SBA’s “Boots to Business” Program. These resources offer varied resources from franchise opportunities to business loans that help combat unemployment among returning veterans, and also demonstrate appreciation to our veterans for their service.

“Entrepreneurship is a choice made by many of our men and women in uniform when they move into civilian life,” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, former Chief Counsel for Advocacy for the SBA, in a previous statement about a similar SBA study. “Knowing more about the factors behind veterans’ self-employment offers opportunities to lay the groundwork for successful ventures.”

Memorial Day Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "2.5 Million Small Businesses Are Owned by American Military Vets (Report)" was first published on Small Business Trends



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2.5 Million Small Businesses Are Owned by American Military Vets (Report)

U.S Veteran Owned Business Statistics

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy recently released an encouraging report on veteran-owned businesses. The report, which is based on the latest available data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Small Business Owners (released December 2015 and February 2016), shows about 2.52 million businesses in the U.S. majority-owned by veterans.

Almost all of these veteran-owned businesses at the time (99.9 percent) were small businesses.

U.S Veteran Owned Business Statistics

According to the SBA report entitled “Veteran-Owned Businesses and Their Owners (PDF),” small business firms owned by veterans employed 5.03 million people, had an annual payroll of $195 billion and receipts of $1.14 trillion. The veteran-owned firms represented 9.1 percent of all U.S. businesses.

California, Texas and Florida had the most veteran-owned businesses respectively, while the highest percent of veteran-owned businesses in their populations were found in South Carolina, New Hampshire and Virginia. Other highlights from the study include:

  • Nearly 30 percent of all veteran-owned firms were in two industry groups: construction and the professional, scientific and technical services group.
  • The industry with the largest share of veteran-owned firms was finance and insurance (13.2 percent), followed by transportation and warehousing (12.1 percent), and construction (11.4 percent).
  • Five industry groups accounted for 71.5 percent of all veteran-owned firm sales: wholesale trade (22.9 percent), retail trade (19.5 percent), manufacturing (12.3 percent), construction (10.1 percent), and professional, scientific, and technical services (7.0 percent).

Also, a bigger percentage of veteran-owned businesses were home-based (57.0 percent) compared with other businesses (52.2 percent) in the rest of the population. And the most common method for veterans to become business owners was to start their own businesses themselves.

Support for U.S. Military Veterans Entrepreneurship

It’s encouraging to see military veterans take advantage of entrepreneurship opportunities available to them, and to continue to display many of the same qualities and resilience of civilian entrepreneurs.

If you are a military veteran who owns a small business or you know some vets, there are many sources of support for veterans, including the SBA’s “Boots to Business” Program. These resources offer varied resources from franchise opportunities to business loans that help combat unemployment among returning veterans, and also demonstrate appreciation to our veterans for their service.

“Entrepreneurship is a choice made by many of our men and women in uniform when they move into civilian life,” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, former Chief Counsel for Advocacy for the SBA, in a previous statement about a similar SBA study. “Knowing more about the factors behind veterans’ self-employment offers opportunities to lay the groundwork for successful ventures.”

Memorial Day Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "2.5 Million Small Businesses Are Owned by American Military Vets (Report)" was first published on Small Business Trends



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48 Hour Start-up: Can You Really Launch a Business in Just 2 days?

48 Hour Start-up: Can You Really Launch a Business in Just 2 days?As the business world encounters technology, the barriers keeping many entrepreneurs out are slowly disappearing. Previously, you needed a huge investment of cash, good connections, a 50-page business plan, and a prayer. Now you just need a laptop and seven days. Actually, with 48 Hour Start-up: From Idea to Launch in 1 Weekend you might only need two.

What is 48 Hour Start-Up About?

The book 48 Hour Start-up is actually what it sounds like. Serial entrepreneur Fraser Doherty MBE wants to help prospective entrepreneurs discover and refine a launchable idea in just two days. Doherty’s reasoning behind his 48-hour deadline is simple. He argues that prospective entrepreneurs (aka wantrepreneurs) spend too much time and energy obsessing over the “perfect idea”. The time they waste waiting for the “perfect idea” is time that could be used refining and adapting that business idea for the customers who will actually use it.

48 Hour Start-up was designed to be a hacked version of the business-creating method developed since the start of Doherty’s first business. As Doherty readily admits, he had no idea what he was doing.He just knew that he liked money, liked selling things and liked connecting with people. That business is still running to this day, in part, because of the principles Doherty learned through either a mentor, experience (one of his first positions was “bacon boy” in Scotland), or by stumbling across it. In 48 Hour Start-up, he shares advice on how to find and shape a viable business idea that is ready to launch in two days.

Doherty is an entrepreneur, business owner and author from Scotland. Doherty’s first business as a teenager, SuperJam, featured an all-fruit jam that was inspired by his grandmother’s recipes. The incredible success of SuperJam earned Doherty the honor of becoming the youngest ever supplier to work with a retail chain and a spot in the National Museum of Scotland. Doherty is also the co-founder of Beer 52, a craft beer subscription service. In 2014, he became a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

What Was Best About 48 Hour Start-Up?

There are two key aspects of 48 Hour Start-up, the author’s transparency and his approach. In many startup advice books, authors are afraid to share their mistakes. In his book Doherty is very transparent about the trials he faced as an entrepreneur. These anecdotes are brief. They show his thinking process at the time, which is a theme throughout the entire book. Following its own philosophy that entrepreneurs need to leverage speed, the book doesn’t get stalled with fancy charts (there aren’t any) or financial projections, For those readers wanting a down-to-Earth business advice book, 48 Hour Start-up might be a welcome read.

What Could Have Been Done Differently?

48 Hour Start-up is extremely helpful when it comes to the initial decisions for entrepreneurs to consider when starting a business. The book continually reinforces the theme that entrepreneurship doesn’t have to involve complicated financial projections, elaborate presentations or extraordinary innovation. It is just a simple idea executed well. One area that could use more attention, though, concerns strategy and market research. The book doesn’t provide a lot of focus or direction on what strategies to consider after the 48-hour experiment is over or how to conduct more detailed research to maintain a business in the future.

Why Read 48 Hour Start-Up?

48 Hour Start-up is designed for entrepreneurs who have gone through a couple of business ideas but haven’t made that initial step to get started. It is also for serial entrepreneurs seeking to improve their thinking process in preparation for a new venture. For beginners, the book is a chance to brainstorm a business idea within the book’s deadline of two days. For serial entrepreneurs, the book is a jargon-free guide to refining the principles of business idea creation. If a serial entrepreneur can’t think of a good business idea, 48 Hour Start-up will provide practical advice with the inspirational real-life story of a businessman who started an empire right from his grandmother’s kitchen.

This article, "48 Hour Start-up: Can You Really Launch a Business in Just 2 days?" was first published on Small Business Trends



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48 Hour Start-up: Can You Really Launch a Business in Just 2 days?

48 Hour Start-up: Can You Really Launch a Business in Just 2 days?As the business world encounters technology, the barriers keeping many entrepreneurs out are slowly disappearing. Previously, you needed a huge investment of cash, good connections, a 50-page business plan, and a prayer. Now you just need a laptop and seven days. Actually, with 48 Hour Start-up: From Idea to Launch in 1 Weekend you might only need two.

What is 48 Hour Start-Up About?

The book 48 Hour Start-up is actually what it sounds like. Serial entrepreneur Fraser Doherty MBE wants to help prospective entrepreneurs discover and refine a launchable idea in just two days. Doherty’s reasoning behind his 48-hour deadline is simple. He argues that prospective entrepreneurs (aka wantrepreneurs) spend too much time and energy obsessing over the “perfect idea”. The time they waste waiting for the “perfect idea” is time that could be used refining and adapting that business idea for the customers who will actually use it.

48 Hour Start-up was designed to be a hacked version of the business-creating method developed since the start of Doherty’s first business. As Doherty readily admits, he had no idea what he was doing.He just knew that he liked money, liked selling things and liked connecting with people. That business is still running to this day, in part, because of the principles Doherty learned through either a mentor, experience (one of his first positions was “bacon boy” in Scotland), or by stumbling across it. In 48 Hour Start-up, he shares advice on how to find and shape a viable business idea that is ready to launch in two days.

Doherty is an entrepreneur, business owner and author from Scotland. Doherty’s first business as a teenager, SuperJam, featured an all-fruit jam that was inspired by his grandmother’s recipes. The incredible success of SuperJam earned Doherty the honor of becoming the youngest ever supplier to work with a retail chain and a spot in the National Museum of Scotland. Doherty is also the co-founder of Beer 52, a craft beer subscription service. In 2014, he became a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

What Was Best About 48 Hour Start-Up?

There are two key aspects of 48 Hour Start-up, the author’s transparency and his approach. In many startup advice books, authors are afraid to share their mistakes. In his book Doherty is very transparent about the trials he faced as an entrepreneur. These anecdotes are brief. They show his thinking process at the time, which is a theme throughout the entire book. Following its own philosophy that entrepreneurs need to leverage speed, the book doesn’t get stalled with fancy charts (there aren’t any) or financial projections, For those readers wanting a down-to-Earth business advice book, 48 Hour Start-up might be a welcome read.

What Could Have Been Done Differently?

48 Hour Start-up is extremely helpful when it comes to the initial decisions for entrepreneurs to consider when starting a business. The book continually reinforces the theme that entrepreneurship doesn’t have to involve complicated financial projections, elaborate presentations or extraordinary innovation. It is just a simple idea executed well. One area that could use more attention, though, concerns strategy and market research. The book doesn’t provide a lot of focus or direction on what strategies to consider after the 48-hour experiment is over or how to conduct more detailed research to maintain a business in the future.

Why Read 48 Hour Start-Up?

48 Hour Start-up is designed for entrepreneurs who have gone through a couple of business ideas but haven’t made that initial step to get started. It is also for serial entrepreneurs seeking to improve their thinking process in preparation for a new venture. For beginners, the book is a chance to brainstorm a business idea within the book’s deadline of two days. For serial entrepreneurs, the book is a jargon-free guide to refining the principles of business idea creation. If a serial entrepreneur can’t think of a good business idea, 48 Hour Start-up will provide practical advice with the inspirational real-life story of a businessman who started an empire right from his grandmother’s kitchen.

This article, "48 Hour Start-up: Can You Really Launch a Business in Just 2 days?" was first published on Small Business Trends



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