Business Resources

5 Easy Ways to Scale an Online Business

If you’re planning to scale your online business, the first thing you need to do is make sure your website can handle it. It’s easy to focus on the design, layout, and overall feel of your site which are also important but you’ll also want to plan for long-term success. Most successful e-commerce sites are built in a way that makes scaling up easy, but if your site isn’t there yet – no need to panic. You just need to be prepared for some extra work and research before taking things further.

Research Your Target Market

  • Thoroughly research your primary and secondary target markets.
  • Understand their needs and desires.
  • Learn how they think, what they do, and where they go.

Understanding your customers and their needs is the foundation of any online business; the more you know about them, the better chance you have to keep them satisfied and return for more—and recommend your service to others.

Invite Customer Feedback

Customer feedback, both positive and negative, is essential to your online business. It helps you learn what customers like and dislike about your products or services. It also gives you insight into how they use them so that you can make changes that better serve their needs. One effective way to get customer feedback is by inviting them to provide it on your website or in a live chat system like Olark Live Chat or Zendesk Intercom Chat.

  • Offer an incentive for responding (such as a discount on future purchases)
  • Give people time restrictions for completion (e.g., one week)

Whether it’s through a survey tool like SurveyMonkey, a live chat system such as Olark Live Chat or an in-app review option like Yelp’s Check-in System, getting customers’ opinions about what works well for them when using your product or service will help guide future improvements that will give you an edge over competitors who don’t have this kind of information at their disposal!

Invest in a Live Chat System

Live chat is a great way to answer questions and engage with customers. Depending on the industry, live chat can also help you build trust and increase sales. Your customers will not only feel more comfortable asking questions or making purchases but also be able to do so in real-time, which is especially useful if they’re looking for a quick answer or don’t want to spend 10 minutes on hold with customer support. In addition, live chat allows you to improve your customer experience by providing extra help and ensuring that everyone receives personalized service at all times.

In fact, according to research by UserTesting (a user testing platform), 82% of consumers would rather hold a conversation than fill out forms when they’re trying to solve their problems online—and that number increases when people feel like they’re talking directly with someone who cares about them as opposed to having their issue passed around through several layers of employees before someone gets back to them days later!

Migrate to the Cloud

One of the easiest ways to scale your online business is by migrating to cloud hosting. Cloud hosting has many advantages, including:

  • Scalability – You can launch new products or services quickly and easily.
  • Load balancing – Your customers will always be able to access your website, regardless of how much traffic you receive.
  • Cost-effectiveness – You won’t have the high costs associated with maintaining hardware or software in-house.

Use Your Website

Use your website to its fullest potential as an extension of your online business. Provide informative content about what you do and how you do it, and make it easy for people to contact you with questions or requests.

A blog is a great way to get in front of potential clients and generate leads by providing information on topics related to your industry. Your blog can include anything from helpful articles about how to use social media correctly, tips for successful marketing campaigns, or even posts about the latest trends in your line of work.

It’s also important not only that you provide information on your website but also that visitors can easily find it. If they’re having trouble finding certain pages or sections on your site (i.e., if they don’t see any links anywhere), then they’ll become frustrated and leave without engaging with your content.

It’s important to think ahead when growing your online business

To make sure that you’re scaling your online business in the right direction, it’s important to do some research and planning.

  • Research Your Competition: As you grow, you will start to see other companies in the same field as yours. You need to know who these competitors are and what they offer so that you can stay ahead of them. What does their website look like? Do they have a blog or newsletter? Are there any partnerships with other websites or online businesses? The more information about your competitors’ companies, the better prepared you’ll be when approaching customers for new online business opportunities.
  • Customer Feedback: There are many ways for customers to provide feedback on any given product or service—from social media comments through review sites like Yelp or Facebook reviews down through support emails from clients having issues using products purchased through Amazon Marketplace (a third-party site where sellers sell products without having an actual storefront). If someone has had a positive experience with something related.

It’s important to think ahead when growing your online business, so you can make sure that you have all your bases covered. This will help you scale up quickly and efficiently once the time comes!

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Top 7 CRM Solutions for Small Business Growth

If you’re a small business owner, you probably have a lot on your plate. You’ve probably got your hands full with all the day-to-day operations of running the company and keeping things in order. The last thing that should be on your mind is how to manage all your contacts and leads. But if you want to grow your business, it’s important that you have an effective customer relationship management (CRM) system in place that keeps track of all this information for you—and helps you find new opportunities for growth as well. With so many options out there, how do you know which one is best for your needs? The good news is that there are plenty of both paid and free CRM options available which makes setting up a CRM easy and affordable. We’ve narrowed down our top 7 CRM solutions below.

1. Nimble

Let’s start with a quick brief on Nimble. Nimble is a cloud-based sales and marketing software that helps you manage your sales, marketing, and customer relationships. It’s available on all mobile devices, so it can be used by small businesses on the go. You can easily set up workflows for your team and easily create and monitor assigned tasks.

Nimble offers an intuitive interface with drag-and-drop customization tools for creating lists, tracking activities, managing contacts, and more.

2. HubSpot

HubSpot, a marketing automation platform, also offers CRM software. The HubSpot CRM is integrated with the rest of the company’s offerings. This means that it will function similarly to other tools in the HubSpot ecosystem and won’t require you to learn a new system or change your workflow.

HubSpot CRM is best suited for small businesses that have fewer than 100 employees and need a relatively simple solution for managing contacts and leads. The free version provides an intuitive interface for creating leads, tracking interactions, sending emails, and scheduling meetings with clients. Paid plans include additional features such as lead scoring, reporting dashboards, and team collaboration tools (such as contact groups).

3. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based solution that can be used for free by up to 10 users. It integrates with other Zoho apps, such as Gmail and Google Drive, which makes it easy to use the product from within these existing tools.

The user interface is also intuitive and pretty easy to navigate. A simple sidebar menu allows you to access your contacts, leads, tasks, reports, and more.

Zoho’s mobile app also has a great user experience; it’s fast and responsive so you can make quick changes on the go without having to worry about losing your train of thought while switching between apps or devices in order to do so.

4. is the most affordable of all the CRMs listed here. It offers a free plan for up to 3 users and costs $7 per user per month for its paid plans. You can integrate it with your existing website using their API or Zapier integration feature if you wish to do so.

The price point makes it an excellent choice if you don’t want to spend too much on managing your leads and contacts, but still want an easy-to-use tool that will help you improve customer relationships over time.

5. Freshsales

Freshsales is an excellent CRM for small businesses. It’s affordable, easy to use, and has a mobile app.

Freshsales’ free plan allows up to five users with two-way integrations with email marketing platforms Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign (not included in the free plan). You can also extend your Freshsales account by adding more users or upgrading your package.

In addition to its features on the web app, Freshsales provides a mobile app that syncs with your desktop version of the software so you can view data while on the go.

6. Really Simple Systems CRM

Really Simple Systems CRM is a cloud-based system that helps you manage and track your contacts, leads, and opportunities. You can also use it for customer service. It’s easy to set up and use. It integrates with Gmail, Outlook, and other email clients so you’re able to create notes from messages in any of these applications.

If your business needs to keep track of multiple sales channels or project teams then this tool will help you achieve those goals by giving you an easy way to update information about deals on all fronts without double-entry into multiple systems or losing the context behind each piece of info.

7. Salesforce Essentials

Salesforce Essentials is a lightweight CRM solution designed for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. It offers a range of features to help you manage your contacts, leads, and opportunities.

Salesforce Essentials is easy to set up and can be accessed from anywhere. This means that not only will it save you time, but it will also allow you to work on the move no matter where in the world you are.

Try one of these systems to grow your business and get to know your customers better.

To grow your business, you need to know your customers and how you can best serve them. CRM software helps you do this by managing the customer information you collect, store and analyze.

You can also use CRM to grow your business. CRM can help you identify new leads, manage existing clients and build trust by providing them with valuable information or services.

There are many CRM software options for small businesses. We hope this list helps you make an informed decision when choosing your own CRM solution.


Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

5 Unconventional Ways to Raise Money for Startups

Your startup has been in the works for months, or even years. You’ve thought of every detail, from its name and logo to how it will be marketed and sold. You’ve even formulated an exit strategy—but now you need to raise money to get your idea off the ground. In this post, we’ll explore five unconventional ways founders can raise capital without going through venture capitalists or angel investors: crowdfunding, competitions, pitch festivals, grants, and government loans.


Crowdfunding is a way to raise money by offering your product or service to a large number of people. The most popular crowdfunding platforms are GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Crowdfunding is a great way to get validation for your business idea. If you can’t find any early customers, then no one will come back later when you’re ready to sell more products or services. It’s also useful for raising funds without having to give up equity in your business (more on this later).

If you’re just starting out, crowdfunding may not be the best option for you because there aren’t many people who have heard about your company yet and that means there may be a limited demand for what you offer. On the other hand, if there’s already demand for what you offer (for example: dog grooming products) then crowdfunding could be worth considering as an alternative financing option. This is especially the case since investors are looking at metrics like conversion rate when deciding whether or not they want their raise money involved with projects such as yours!

Idea validation competitions

An idea validation competition is a competition in which you, the startup founder, submit an idea for a new product or service that you want to build. The organizers of the idea validation competition will then assess it and award one or more raise money or prizes for the most promising ideas.

An idea validation competition differs from a pitch contest in that it does not require you to make a formal presentation on stage. Instead, your work should be judged based on how well you write about your business plan to raise money and how much research you have done into what users want in this market space.

In addition, unlike most pitch contests which take place at events like TechCrunch Disrupt or SXSW Interactive Festival (and where every presenter gets their stage), during an ideation competition everyone’s ideas are posted online so no one feels like they’re getting lost in the crowd.

The good news is that there are many different kinds of Idea Validation Competitions out there – some focused on specific industries like healthcare while others focus on sectors within technology such as FinTech(Financial Technology). And since these competitions are growing(raise money) increasingly popular among startups looking for funding they’re often open year-round with multiple rounds each month so don’t wait around – submit your idea!

Pitch Festivals

Think of a pitch festival as a cross between a job fair and speed dating. You get to meet with lots of investors and potential partners, all in one place. Pitch festivals are also great for gaining exposure for your idea—you can do it at events like SXSW Interactive or TechCrunch Disrupt that draw thousands of attendees from around the world.

If you’re planning on applying to pitch festivals, here’s what you should know:

  • Know your audience. Who are these investors? What are they looking for? How much raise money do they have available to invest? Do they prefer early-stage startups or later-stage ones? Do they like consumer products over enterprise software?
  • Have an elevator pitch ready. Even if you’re not sure someone will ask this question outright (and many won’t), it’s good practice to have something ready just in case so that you don’t waste anyone’s time when they try asking about your idea too early on in the conversation.”

Government grants

If you’re looking for funding and don’t have a lot of experience, grants may be a good way to go. While grants typically aren’t as prestigious as venture capital or angel investment funding, they can provide the necessary capital to get your business off the ground. Grants are often awarded to startups that are socially responsible, environmentally friendly, or innovative.

In order to qualify for government grants, there are certain criteria that you’ll need to meet some which include:

The startup must be registered as a business in the country where the grant is being offered. You’ll need to have a business plan, which means you’ll need to know exactly how you’re going to use the funding and what your goals are.

Angel investors

  • An angel investor is a person who invests in startups, generally when they are at the seed or early stage of funding.
  • Angel investors are not as concerned with financial projections and projections as VCs, but rather focus on other factors like the team or market opportunities.
  • Angel investors often invest their own raise money in startups and can also bring their professional networks to bear on behalf of your business. They may be willing to invest up to $25,000 in a company with no formal pitch deck, but expect you to have done some research about them before approaching them directly (e.g., social media accounts).
  • You can find angel investors by starting with your network (friends and family), then expanding outward based on those who have invested in similar companies previously.

Recap: Ways to raise capital other than venture funding

There are many ways to raise capital other than venture funding. Here are a few options:

  • Crowdfunding – A great way to get your name out there and test your product, but you have to prove that people want it.
  • Idea validation competitions – You might win raise money or be able to pitch at a prestigious event. These are great if you’re just starting out, but they can also be a distraction from focusing on making sales.
  • Pitch festivals – Same as above, but these tend to be more focused on startups with proven traction and products rather than ideas alone (though there are exceptions).
  • Government grants – Some governments offer non-dilutive funding for early-stage companies; it may take some time before these help you make raise money or even see any return on investment (ROI), but they’re an option nonetheless.
  • Angel investors/seed funds/VC funds – If you’ve already been rejected by VCs above this level then try pitching them again with more experience under your belt!

Conclusion Raise Money

Raising capital or raise money is a critical part of starting up your business. The more capital, raise money you have, the more resources you’ll have at your disposal and the more time you can spend figuring out how to use those resources effectively. But don’t worry—there are plenty of unconventional ways to raise capital that don’t involve selling equity or taking on debt (which could limit your ability to grow). If all else fails, crowd-funding campaigns might be a good place for startups to start when looking for funding opportunities.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Promoting Happy Hours with Video Marketing

Happy hours have been a staple of nightclubs and bars worldwide, allowing drinking establishments to boost their revenue streams during slow hours. 

However, they also attract new customers and ignite interest in a particular business. With our lives gradually returning to the pre-lockdown normal, nightlife establishments are looking to rekindle their business using happy hour promotions.

You can do the same for your establishment by using video marketing to advertise your happy hour offer.

Video Marketing Steps For Happy Hours

Now that you know how advantageous happy hours can be, you might wonder how you can successfully advertise them. You have to execute this flawlessly to ensure you attract customers non-stop. 

Video marketing is the best medium to put your promotion out there. It allows you to stand out from your competitors and directly reach consumers. Follow these steps to effectively market your business’s happy hour specials using video ads.

Step 1: Create Promotional Videos

First, create advertisements informing viewers about your business and details about your happy hour services (location, time, discount, etc.). You can supplement this video with additional ones that include customer testimonials and footage from your business.

Make sure this video marketing is attractive, aesthetically pleasing, and in sync with your brand and design trends. You can use professional video ad templates available online to take the guesswork out of design. 

You might also want to consider making multiple versions of the same video marketing, edited to play to the strengths of different social media platforms. For instance, edit your video to make it shorter and to the point for Twitter, coupling it with trendy hashtags. In contrast, you should adjust your video marketing for silent auto-play for Instagram or Facebook since consumers are likely to view it mid-scrolling.

Step 2: Upload Online

Once you have created a promotional video, it is time to upload it to a video marketing hosting platform. Make sure you have an eye-catching thumbnail ready, too, as videos lacking any seem unprofessional.

Naturally, the most popular choice is YouTube. The video marketing platform has millions of visitors, and with video SEO, you can attract a large chunk of them to your channel. 

Other options include Vimeo, known for its high-quality videos and ad-free services. Similarly, Vidyard allows you to upload and update your video advertisements on all your social media and video marketing platforms from its central location – making it perfect for businesses. Therefore, select a hosting platform wisely.

Step 3: Post On Social Media

Once your promotional video is on a platform, it is time to enhance its digital reach. Use your business’s social media handles to share it alongside an attractive caption to catch audiences’ interest. 

Once you’ve uploaded them as posts, stay engaged with your audiences, by replying to comments. This way, you can engage, retain, and encourage audiences to share your video.

What Types Of Videos Should You Create?

Make sure your videos are: 

  • Short but informative
  • Not too promotional
  • Exciting and full of narrative that leaves an impression 
  • Includes branding cues that are personal to your business and your business alone

We suggest you start with:

Social Videos 

Consider creating social media posts and videos showing off your bar, the different drinks you make, and perhaps even some bartending tricks—everyone loves those! 

The best part about social videos is that they can generate massive engagement. Thus, by uploading promotional videos on your social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, you’ll get your audience to share, like, and comment on these videos.

According to some statistics, Facebook experiences an average of 4 billion video views every day. Since social media platforms are excellent tools for boosting brand awareness, more people get to know about your happy hour and your bar in general. 

Explainer Videos

One thing that most marketers can agree on is this: connecting with an audience is tough! Thus, when you set out promoting your bar’s happy hour, it’s best to put out a video explaining the days and times your happy hour deals are available. 

Not only can you use these short video marketing to promote your happy hour, but also your business in general. Be sure to highlight the unique selling points (USPs) of the happy hour and why it’s the best. 

Wrapping Up

The restaurant, bar, and nightclub industry is highly competitive. Bars go stale or other, and trendier joints prop up all the time, making it a constant challenge for marketers to keep the footfall up and the booze flowing. 

To ensure that your bar or pub remains the hottest place to socialize after business hours or on the weekend,  amp up your video marketing efforts. This should help keep your place abuzz with locals and tourists alike.

If creating bar and restaurant marketing videos still feels daunting to you, start small. Take a look around you to find props and ideas to use in these promotional videos. Interview staff, explore menu items, and do all you can to capture the ambiance of your happy hour, enticing viewers to come in and experience it for themselves. 

You got this!

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

5 Powerful Podcasts for Business and Entrepreneurship


Nowadays there’s a podcast for everything. From true crime stories to comedians roasting each other, there’s no shortage of content to keep your ears busy on your morning commute or during a long run. But what about entrepreneurship? Are there any good podcasts out there that can help small business owners and entrepreneurs learn new skills and get motivated? The answer is yes!

Starting and running a small business is no easy task.

There are a million and one things to think about, from finances and marketing to product development and customer service. It can be tough to know where to start or even where to turn for help. Luckily, there are some great entrepreneurship podcasts out there that can offer advice, insights, and inspiration.

Here are five of the best entrepreneurship podcasts to help build your business.

1. The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series: This podcast from Stanford University features interviews with some of the biggest names in the entrepreneurial world. If you’re looking for some big-picture thinking on starting and running a business, these podcasts are perfect for entrepreneurs ready to launch their new venture.

2. How I Built This: This popular podcast from NPR tells the stories of how some of the world’s most successful businesses got their start. If you are interested in first-hand accounts of entrepreneurship in action, this could be the perfect podcast for you.

3. SOB: Style of Business: This podcast covers a wide range of topics related to small business ownership and startups. If you’re looking for practical advice on everything from creative inspiration to marketing and finance, Style of Business will get you moving in the right direction to achieve your goals.

4. The Fizzle Show: This podcasts is all about helping creative entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses they love. If you’re struggling to find your passion in your business or if you’re just looking for some motivation – don’t sleep on The Fizzle! There is a lot of great information and advice in each episode.

5. Startups for the Rest of Us: This podcast is geared towards helping so-called “regular” people start and grow their businesses. If you feel like you’re not cut out for entrepreneurship, or if you’re just looking for some relatable stories, this podcast will fuel you with the courage and inspiration you need to move towards your goals.

Podcasting is a great way to learn and be inspired as an entrepreneur.

By listening to podcasts, you can gain new insights and perspectives on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

What type of podcast are you listening to help build your business? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it! And if you need help getting started with your podcast, don’t hesitate to reach out. We can chat about the different ways we could help you bring your vision for your business to life.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

5 Reasons Holding Companies Are Used For Real Estate Portfolios

Real estate is an immensely sought-after investment venture (having recently hit $10.5 trillion in value) that, unfortunately, has several idiosyncratic risks. These risks should not deter investors away from this market but merely inform them of the precautions they should be taking to safely capitalize on their investments.

While often the first thing that comes to mind, insurance is not the most effective safeguard that investors can employ to protect their real estate portfolio. That title goes to holding companies, which not only mitigate risk but also grant several other fringe benefits.

After explaining what a holding company is, and how it’s structured, this article will explore the reasons it is used for real estate portfolios.

What Is A Holding Company?

In the context of real estate portfolios, holding companies are entities designed to contain several subsidiaries, each of which is responsible for a single, specific asset (i.e. a property) of the owner. The purpose of the holding company is merely to hold all of these other subsidiaries responsible for each property of the owner.

Furthermore, holding companies will not get involved in the daily undertakings of each of their subsidiaries to maintain a separation of the risks of each business. It is common for holding companies to be formed as an LLC in a business-friendly state such as Nevada or Texas.

Limited liability companies (LLCs) have become more popular as holding companies than corporations since the latter is far more complicated to manage and is less adaptable to taxation.

Why Use Holding Companies

  1. Tax Benefits

Since the IRS views holding companies used for real estate purposes with a single owner as equivalent to a “disregarded entity” (such as a sole proprietorship or general partnership), it benefits from the tax advantages associated with these structures. Namely, they are subject to a reduced form of tax called ‘passthrough taxation’ since any capital gains and income tax the business would be liable for is only paid by the owner instead, rather than both.

On top of this, if the holding company chooses to organize itself as an LLC (which it is recommended they do, not least because there is no extra tax associated with this decision) it is able to avoid double taxation too. This would mean that neither the rental income of the property nor its raw value can be subject to tax penalties.

In fact, mortgage interest on the property is tax-deductible for owners of single-member LLC holding companies. That being said, the IRS takes a slightly different approach with multi-member LLCs, which are considered more similar to partnerships if anything.

  1. Insulates Against Economic Downturn

Establishing a holding company in order to manage all the properties on your real estate portfolio is an extremely effective measure to insulate oneself against the effects of an economic downturn on properties.

Since property values are highly volatile and, to quite a large extent, determined by the state of the economy itself it is important for real estate investors with multiple properties to use holding companies to protect themselves most effectively from a drop in the value of one or several of their properties as a result of an economic downturn.

  1. Precludes Personal Liability

It is well known that real estate investment can yield great returns, due largely to the pure amount of capital involved in single deals. Because of the size of this capital, and the highly volatile nature of the housing market, it is paramount that real estate investors use holding companies in order to protect their personal assets (i.e. their liquid, car, house, etc.).

Holding companies are able to provide this protection because they are normally either LLCs or corporations – both of which curb a business’s liabilities to the business itself. This stops the owner’s personal assets from being drawn upon to cover business debts in the event the business becomes bankrupt or is subject to a lawsuit.

As such, only the holding company’s business assets would be at risk in the case of these events, so the owner can rest easy that their personal assets are not on the line with every investment.

  1. Association LLC Benefits

Since holding companies are very often established as LLCs, they get to share in a number of additional benefits associated with this structure, primarily its:

  • Cheapness – LLCs are by and wide much cheaper than corporations to maintain, the starkest example of this is the difference in fees each business structure has to pay for its authorized number of shares. That being said, the cheaper state registration fees of LLCs do not go unnoticed either.
  • Transferability – ownership of LLCs is fairly simple to transfer, which perfectly suits the needs of a holding company as the owner can use this as a way to ‘gift’ the LLC to their heirs every year to avoid some taxes without the need to sign a deed.
  • Straightforward nature – LLCs are far simpler to manage than corporations because the latter is mandated by law to have appointed directors while no such requirements are present for LLCs. This means that it is much less of a headache to apportion responsibilities and roles between owners (or even a third party) at an LLC
  1. Increased Privacy

Since holding companies can be LLCs, owners who do not wish their ownership of the company to be public knowledge can establish it as an anonymous LLC. This is a specialized way of registering an LLC which means that the owners of the LLC do not need to be publicly recorded by the state in a database of some sort.

Things to Consider Before Hiring Developers


When you employ developers for your company, you may save the burden of recruitment. There are several things you may do to prepare for the procedure. Here are some ideas to help you get started with your planning. In and of itself, recruiting in the software sector is difficult. According to a Forbes report, there may be a developer scarcity in the industry. So, finding great talent to recruit might be difficult.

So, if qualified developers are already rare, where do you look for them? Or, to put it another way, how can you compete in terms of remuneration with significant IT firms?

You may always prepare for the recruiting process to relieve some of the stress. Before you hire developers, there are a few things you can do to prepare.

Before you hire developers, keep these things in mind.

Hiring requires more than just placing a job ad. When a result, think about these items ahead of time as you recruit software engineers, both before and during the process. These pointers may even make hiring easier for you and your company.

1. Get your company’s name out there.

Do you want to compete for top talent with other significant corporations? To improve employer branding, brainstorm with your marketing and human resources teams. Potential applicants will approach you for opportunities if everything is done correctly.

Present your organization as a wonderful place to work in order to achieve this. Make a point of emphasizing your company’s culture and ideals.

Also, avoid placing anything in front of your new job that can jeopardize your integrity. Otherwise, if word comes out that you were dishonest in promoting your organization, your reputation may be jeopardized.

2. Familiarize yourself with the software development cycle.

This will allow you to assess how well the person will fit into your workplace. In addition, applicants can assess their ability to perform successfully on the job. This reduces the chances of new recruits quitting after onboarding because their expectations were not met.

3. Clearly define qualifications.

What technical skills are required for this position? What kind of experience do you think qualifies as relevant? Is there anything specific you’re looking for in terms of soft skills? Before you submit the recruiting notice, you must address these critical questions.

Many failed hiring occurs as a result of businesses failing to properly define what they require. This may lead you to recruit developers who do not fit the culture of your company or who do not perform effectively on the job.

As a result, make a list of the qualities that are required for the position. You may also make a list of desirable talents to assist you in reaching a compromise in various scenarios.

4. Make a detailed job description.

While hiring developers, be cautious when establishing the job description. Make sure precise duties and responsibilities are listed for the potential applicant to evaluate.

Any company-specific needs, such as technology to be employed on a certain assignment, should also be included. You may also customize the position’s details.

For instance, if you require the role to work on a shift that corresponds to a different time zone. This may appear to be extraneous information, yet it might play a significant role in an applicant’s choice. It can also play a role in the retention of new hires.

5. Make a plan to assist in the verification of credentials and portfolios.

This is a piece of cake if you have a well-established HR department. However, if you’re still a small business, it could be tempting to skip over the applicant’s qualifications. However, even if you opt to engage freelance developers, this must not be the case.

Now, to make things easy for you, seek assistance from the staff. You may start with react interview questions when interviewing people and even ask the help of experienced developers to check credentials and portfolios. Because they have the technical expertise, they know who’s who.

Also, be sure you arrange the applicant’s credentials to be verified. It’s important to keep in mind that candidates may misrepresent themselves. As a result, it is preferable to be comprehensive during the recruiting process.

6. Prepare an evaluation of technical skills based on real-life events.

Create a test utilizing real-life challenges to assess how well a candidate fits within your business. You may look back at prior projects to see what troubles you had and try to replicate them.

Request that the candidate address the problem for you during the technical skills evaluation. Inquire about their solutions throughout the interview. This way, you can get a sense of how they operate and see if they fit your expectations.

7. Have a recruitment consultation lineup

Do you believe you aren’t qualified to acquire coding assistance? Then seek for persons with whom you may consult during the hiring process. These folks might be industry contacts or senior developers on your team.

There is no shame in seeking assistance. So, anytime you hit a stumbling block in one of your activities, ask them to assist you.

8. Look into the developer rate standard in the business.

Because good developers are in high demand, you’ll need to make a compelling employment offer. To make this happen, conduct some studies on industry salary and benefit requirements. After you’ve received an estimate, you’ll need to determine your budget and devise a strategy for presenting the offer.

Before hiring coders, do your homework.

The expense of hiring new personnel might be significant. It extends beyond the remuneration and perks you provide. However, you must also consider the costs invested prior to finding the suitable developer.

As a result, it’s important to be as informed as possible while hiring software engineers. And with these pointers, you’ll be more equipped to deal with the obstacles of recruitment. Take note of what relates to your scenario and tailor the rest of the advice to your needs.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

How to Build a Team of Freelancers

Remote working is continuing to grow, and it’s estimated that 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025. Here are a few tips to help you build a successful team of freelancers. 

Consider Nearshoring

While outsourcing allows you to hire freelancers located anywhere in the world, nearshoring usually involves working with freelancers from countries located nearby, such as the Dominican Republic, and therefore a  similar or close enough time zone. This lets you increase efficiency by maintaining a similar daily workflow.

Post on Online Job Boards

To find freelancers, post a job listing with information about the available position. If you have a specific country in mind, you can often find job boards for that location. In the Dominican Republic, for example, it’s possible to hire freelancers via the online job portal Workana.

It’s also important to be industry-specific. That means posting job listings in places where they will be seen by relevant talent. There are job sites geared towards specific fields, from cryptocurrency to social media. Pick those most in line with the position you are looking to fill.

While a portfolio or work samples are helpful, you’ll still want to have a Google Meet, Zoom, or FaceTime call to learn more about each candidate.

Schedule Weekly Check-Ins

Be sure to schedule at least one video call a week with your freelance team when possible. Remote teams using video conferencing can build better relationships.

Establish Communication Lines

Be clear about how you’ll communicate with your team. While there are numerous social messaging channels, it’s better to try and keep workflow on email or in a messaging channel such as Telegram. Depending on the size of your team, you may want to have a Discord channel or set up Google Meet to make sure everyone is aligned.

There are a few options when it comes to paying freelancers. First, you’ll create a contract or negotiate a rate based on your needs. This can be hourly or a fixed fee delivered on a project basis. You’ll need to also discuss a timeline for payments. Consider using a money transfer service such as Remitly to ensure low fees and reliable transactions. Remitly can help you avoid high transfer fees, and instant payments to the Dominican Republic are free for first-time transfers.

Form an LLC

You’ll need to handle some logistics and admin work before you begin hiring freelancers. Depending on the amount you need, you might want to consider forming an LLC. An LLC is a limited liability company and comes with many benefits that are useful to a small business.

The amount of time it takes to form an LLC and the regulations associated with doing so differs depending on the state in which you’re planning to register. Formation services can help you with paperwork and other logistics associated with incorporation, such as ensuring you file the correct documents. They can also save you expensive lawyer fees.

Build a Team For Success

Every great idea needs support to come to fruition. Hire a team of freelancers to help you accomplish your vision. Utilize the internet to connect with talented professionals around the world. It takes a team to achieve success, and now you can choose the one that’s right for you.

Explore Keetria for more entrepreneurship insights and tips.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Keeping the Cash Flowing: Top Tips for Business Money Management


Cash flow is always top of mind for small business owners, but sometimes, financial problems seem to materialize overnight. This often happens when owners don’t monitor cash flow property, and therefore, don’t always recognize there’s an issue until it’s too late. Advanced planning and appropriate tracking tools can help position you for a healthy financial outlook, and Keetria offers the following guidance on making it work for you.

Watch Your Numbers

Cash flow can vary from one season to another, and there are myriad factors that can influence the amount of revenue that comes through your business. Tracking your income and your accounts payable will help you identify trends, in addition to helping you monitor overall finances — both practices that will keep you aware of and in control of your company’s finances. According to the Prince’s Trust, this starts with smart business planning, utilizing the right software tools to track cash flow, and making the commitment to regularly review your books to ensure you know where you stand.

Use the Right Software

There are numerous moving parts in a small business budget, so find a software program that will help you monitor trends, as well as segment categories and set benchmarks with which to measure your finances. Being able to recognize at a glance the various income categories in your business will help you spot red flags as soon as they arise and allow you to take proactive steps to mitigate the damage. This process will also help you with short and long-term planning, as well as identifying products or services that sell well versus those that underperform. This type of strategic planning can pay big dividends down the line.

Mind Your Money …

Of course, part of tracking your money also involves having a degree of fiduciary responsibility. Make calculated purchasing choices based on market research, consumer demand, and by assessing your own finances. Regularly review pricing structures and inventory and revisit vendor and supplier contracts on a regular basis to ensure you’re getting the best deals. While it’s wise to invest in staff members who will help build your business, it’s smart to look for redundancy in roles so you can ensure you aren’t filling positions you don’t really need. Sometimes contractors and freelancers can take the place of full-time employees.

… But Mind it Carefully

While a common inclination is to slash your budget to ribbons, this can backfire. Items that usually end up on the chopping block include deeply reducing your marketing budget or hitting pause on employee development. In dire circumstances, these might make sense, but avoid measures that could ultimately hurt your bottom line. Instead, look for ways to mindfully reduce costs.

For example, instead of seeking an outsider to find solutions to business issues, turn to your staff instead to find a path forward. This creates more buy-in and can even increase morale if a collaborative effort improves processes. When it comes to marketing, ask your team to explore more cost-effective processes like tapping into the free aspects of social media or even the less expensive paid social media. Your team can even take advantage of free tools like an Instagram post generator. Rather than forking over cash for a graphic designer, your staff can create captivating posts that are polished and professional in a matter of minutes.

Follow-Up on Accounts

Small business owners often have personal relationships with their customers, which can make it uncomfortable if there are outstanding invoices you need to collect. Make sure your bills all spell out your terms and conditions and make it easy for customers to pay you by giving them multiple options — electronic, debit, check, cash, or bank transfer. If payments are slow, let customers know you understand their dilemma, but reiterate your company policy and, if necessary, utilize a collection agency to intervene on your behalf. You may be able to salvage the relationship and still get paid, all by removing yourself from the transaction.

Make Regular Audits

Once you have your cash flow monitoring well in hand and your budget shored up, you can devote time to segmenting your various revenue streams and looking for ways to grow your business. Regular audits can help you make educated decisions about how well your business is performing, where you’re losing money, or spending too much. Operational decisions can be made from this knowledge — like expanding the business, or alternatively, downsizing, or going strictly online. Staying ahead of the cash curve will help ensure that all of the business decisions you make are informed ones.

Small businesses often operate on a shoestring budget, making financial monitoring all the more important. Maintaining good standing with creditors and suppliers and not allowing yourself to become over-leveraged will keep you on the right path to long-term business success.

Need help kickstarting your startup idea or getting media exposure for your brand?
Feel free to reach out for a free 20-minute consultation where we can chat about your business and how I can help! To schedule your time: 

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

7 Benefits of Running a Business in Houston

Is the cost of living in your city becoming unsustainably high? If you’re trying to get a new business off the ground, high prices for everything from real estate to labor can set you back. Or perhaps you’re opening a small local business, but you’ve found that the lack of a thriving business community in your area is making the process harder. You’re thinking about moving for the sake of your company, but you want to make sure your family will be happy wherever you settle down.

If you’re trying to figure out where your entrepreneurial future lies, you might want to consider moving to Houston, Texas. In contrast to cities with higher costs of living, it’s a great place to build up your business without making major financial sacrifices. And with PR coaching from consultants like Keetria, you’ll see business growth in no time. Plus, it’s a fantastic city for families! Here are a few reasons entrepreneurs can thrive in Houston.

Reasonable Cost of Living

Houston is a major metropolitan area with a surprisingly low cost of living, and reasonable prices have drawn in entrepreneurs and their families. For instance, if you’re thinking about buying a home, Millionacres states that you can expect to spend about $263,000. Median rent prices are also quite realistic for families and young professionals at $1,464 for a rental unit. Furthermore, there are plenty of apartments available for rent in the city, with a healthy rental vacancy rate of 7.4%.

And the low cost of living won’t just benefit you when it comes to renting or buying – it also means that you won’t have to spend as much to entice top talent. With lower labor costs, you can relax, knowing that your business has a longer “runway.”

Growing Population

Houston is a growing city, and this massive metro area is only gaining more residents. For business owners, this is a bonus: there is an ever-expanding talent pool in Houston, and every day, more professionals who are seeking new opportunities are choosing to settle down in the city. Right now, Houston is growing by 0.07% annually, and since 2010, the population has grown by 10.68%.


Are you hoping to hire talent that can bring varied perspectives and creative solutions to your business? It’s time to start thinking outside the box and approach your recruiting and hiring process with diversity in mind. Houston has large African-American and Hispanic populations, and residents of the city speak more than 90 languages. The greater Houston area is definitely a cultural melting pot, and if you want to prioritize diversity within your business, it’s an ideal place to relocate your company.

Highly Educated Workforce

Houston doesn’t just have a large business network – it’s also a hub for higher education. Business owners can hire educated recent graduates from right in the city, and you can even bring on interns from local universities who want to gain valuable experience. These Houston colleges and universities graduate bright students who are more than ready for the professional world:

  • With multiple local campuses, the University of Houston offers unique programs in subjects like Space Architecture.
  • Rice University is consistently ranked as one of the best colleges in the United States.
  • Baylor College of Medicine is a top medical school for research students.

Entrepreneurial Community

No entrepreneur is ever on their own in Houston. You’ll be part of a community with loyal customers, helpful business owners, advisers, and local leaders. When you’re dealing with a problem, you’ll have the guidance you need to push forward, and you’ll feel inspired to take on bigger projects and challenge yourself. Bold Patents recommends these supportive organizations for entrepreneurs:

  • The Small Business Development Center provides free educational resources for business owners.
  • The Indus Entrepreneurs facilitates networking and mentorship opportunities for entrepreneurs.
  • LaunchEffect is a local incubator that offers lots of helpful services to entrepreneurs, as well as classes, hackathons, and more.

Fun Local Activities

Simply put, you’ll never be bored in Houston. On any given day, there are plenty of things to do, and no matter where your interests lie, you’ll be able to find an outlet in the city. From the eclectic restaurant scene to the gorgeous green spaces, you can enjoy a very high quality of life in Houston. And this benefits the local workforce – after all, happy employees are more productive and motivated! Here are a few places and events to check out in Houston:

  • Explore an extensive trail network and view stunning art installations at Buffalo Bayou Park.
  • Spend a day perusing the gardens, renting a pedal boat, and having a picnic at Hermann Park.
  • Let loose at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and revel in the city’s creative side at the Houston Art Car Parade!

Business Launch Resources

If you’re relocating to Houston from another state, it’s important to make a checklist of all the requirements you’ll need to fulfill in order to officially open and run a business in Texas. A few important tasks for business owners include:

  • Choose a unique business name that is not already on file with the Texas Secretary of State and file to register your business entity.
  • Apply for state licenses and permits, such as a sales tax permit from the Comptroller of Public Accounts, relevant regulatory permits, and necessary occupational licenses.
  • Take out a business insurance policy and open a business bank account.

And with so many transactions conducted remotely, you’ll need a strong internet connection to launch and grow your business. To find a fast and reliable internet service, check out local internet providers that cover your area and research their average maximum speeds. If you can get fiber optic internet service in your area, it’s worth the investment – it’s generally about ten times faster than DSL service.

With so many perks for entrepreneurs, it’s no wonder that business owners and hard-working professionals are flocking to Houston. For Houston’s entrepreneurs, the future is bright! The low cost of living, growing business community, and bountiful resources mean that success is well within your reach in Houston.

Ready to start building your business’s brand? Seek PR coaching from Keetria! Schedule a free consultation call through our website today.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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