Marketing - Page 3

From digital marketing strategies to ideas for increasing brand awareness. Here we share powerful marketing tips for entrepreneurs, startups, & small businesses.

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 Manage Your Own Marketing Department


Marketing departments can be expensive for startups and small businesses. Because it is vital to ensure your business is visible and accessible to the right people at all times, many small businesses tend to go beyond their budgets on marketing departments.

For those who aren’t familiar with the industry, it may seem overwhelming to get started. But with these helpful tips from Keetria, you can be on your way to managing your own marketing department.

What Are “Channels” in Marketing Terms?

Companies use marketing channels to send out their messages to consumers. Marketing channels are essential in order to reach as many customers as possible with a particular message.

Marketing channels can be both offline and online. They can include anything, from phone pole advertising to email marketing. For email marketing, for example, consider using eye-catching subject lines and include content that addresses consumer needs.

It is important to select the channels that best suit your brand and business model. To get the best feedback, you should test several different channels at once. These channels can be used to direct your marketing efforts.

What Is “Messaging” in Marketing Terms?

Many industries use messaging in marketing. It describes the communication your company has with customers. This type of communication is meant to keep customers trusting you and to encourage them to take the next step in their conversion or sales journey.

It’s much more than simply communicating with customers. It’s about creating meaningful messaging to influence customers’ behavior over time. It’s also about getting the customers excited enough so that they take action via the channels you provide.

How Can You Tell if Marketing Worked?

Did your marketing campaign work? Marketing can be complicated, especially when you are trying to reach new people. You can use five methods to assess whether your marketing campaign is successful.

  • Traffic to websites has increased
  • Increase in social media interaction
  • Always positive feedback from clients or customers
  • Sales or conversions increase
  • Value your own feedback

Effective Marketing Strategies

Marketing campaigns are crucial to any company’s success. Marketing strategies are essential to growing your customer base. You can get help from a professional marketer if you need it. Here are some tips for those who want to do it on their own.

Find Your Target Market

Before you can create a marketing campaign, it is important to identify your target audience segment. You can identify your target market’s needs and provide the products or services they need by conducting market research.

Protect Yourself

Marketing doesn’t count for much if you fail to safeguard your customers’ financial information (as well as your own). So make sure you’re implementing tough measures to protect your business – and your customers – against cyberattacks. With new strains of malware and viruses popping up constantly, routinely updated patches are a must if you want to safeguard financial information from hackers, as well as facilitate data recovery.

Create a Marketing Budget

Before investing in any marketing strategy, you should create a Marketing Budget. The campaign should be considered for how many people it will reach, how often it will appear, and how long. If you’re launching a new product, a marketing budget will help you stay within your means.

Use Different Types of Media

Social media is one of the best ways to market your product. You can reach millions of people through social media, and they will share your content easily on their profiles. This will generate a positive buzz around your business.

Different media types, including pictures, videos, and text posts, can be used to increase engagement on social networking sites.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, business consultant, and lifestyle wellness coach with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, media personalities, and entertainers. If you have a question or would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Innovative Approaches to Recruiting and Selection


Do you want to enhance your recruiting and selection processes? Make sure you discover candidates that will not only fit in well with the corporate culture but will also become as enthusiastic about working for your firm as you are.

It’s critical to write job descriptions and outline what the position requires so that you can ensure that you’re attracting qualified candidates throughout the selection process and, of course, the selection interview.
You’ll be on the road to seeing your business grow if you make sure you’ve covered the following recruiting and selection processes, especially if you nail the onboarding process as well.

Say goodbye to employing the incorrect people, and rest assured that you won’t make the same mistakes again! The only tough decision you’ll have to make during the hiring process is to choose between so many qualified candidates! Our recruiting and selection methods will appeal to hiring managers, therefore bookmark this page so you can return to it if necessary. With these recruitment efforts, say welcome to discovering the greatest applicants!

You’ll learn about the following topics in this recruiting process guide:

• How to write the perfect job description
• Where to look for the best talent
• How to make your background check technique more efficient
• Begin hiring for attitude and skill development
• Bias-reduction and efficiency-increasing tools
• How to gather and analyze candidate feedback
• Recognizing the significance of the onboarding process

Improvements to the Recruitment and Selection Processes

1. How to Write a Fantastic Job Description

If you don’t have enough competent individuals applying for employment at your organization, the problem might be hiding in plain sight. Poor job ads, according to researchers from the United States and Canada, are the leading reason of low application rates.

But how can you know whether a job ad is good?

Researchers believe that job ads should be more than just a list of requirements. They must also be motivating. An excellent job description should, above all, address the question, “why is this firm a suitable career and life option for me?”

You might want to include the following ideas in your job description template:

Describe the firm in a few words. – this might be the tagline or pitch for the firm.

Mention the location of the employment. – so, you don’t waste anyone’s time, let the prospect know right away if you’re open to a remote position or where the office is located.

Mention the company’s top three achievements. – remember, you must sell this position in order to attract the best candidates

Discuss the character’s role. – who will the candidate report to, and a brief description of who they’ll be working with and what the job entails?

The things that aren’t negotiable and the things that are great to have. –  it would obviously assist if you had some flexibility in the recruitment process. List any abilities that will be a plus but aren’t technically required for the function to be scored.

Discuss the role’s responsibilities in greater depth, as well as what a typical day may include.

To attract candidates, emphasize the benefits of the position. – before they ever talk to you in person, you want to make sure they know they will be respected.

Include a statement from the potential candidate’s boss introducing himself and what he or she enjoys doing in their leisure time. It’s crucial to know that the new employee and the management will get along.

Discuss the company’s culture. – is the firm committed to promoting diversity? What are the personalities of the existing employees?

Finally, mention who the company’s directors are. What is their professional history, and where have they previously worked? If you’re a startup, this will assist you to figure out who should be in charge.

2. Unique Job Boards Can Help You Find Talent

Think beyond the box and come up with creative ways to advertise job openings. You might choose to avoid the main job boards and employment sites in the United States and instead look for applicants on smaller sites.

If prominent job sites haven’t been able to assist you uncover acceptable applicants, go deeper into the talent pool. LinkedIn, along with Facebook job ads, is one of the finest places to find job searchers that match your requirements. Most sectors will have job boards set up; it’s just a question of spending a few minutes online looking for them, which all hiring managers should do.

Great chances may be found at networking events, and employee referral schemes are an even better offline approach to talent recruiting.

Your employees are well-versed in your company’s objectives, culture, team dynamics, and day-to-day operations. Existing workers are more qualified to recruit talent than anyone else, so make sure they understand the recruiting process and can locate the best internal applicants for the job.

And, because they are supposed to vouch for their prospects, they will be hesitant to recommend someone for the position.

3. Make Your Background Checking Process More Efficient

Why undertake a background check on all candidates when screening is costly and time-consuming? Many businesses streamline this procedure by making a preliminary selection and then just reviewing the final applicants.

This stresses what’s genuinely essential, as well as the hard and soft talents of candidates. In addition, reversing the order allows you to make a speedier final selection.

On a similar issue, certain positions may not need the completion of specified screening examinations. For example, a candidate’s driving record will not assist you to determine whether or not they are a good software engineer.

Consider adapting your background checks to the demands of each role to make them more efficient.

4. Begin by hiring for attitude and then providing training for skills.

This increasingly trendy method to hiring helps establish dynamic teams by valuing work ethics, flexibility, and cooperation over experience and technical abilities.

In the long run, candidates who pass the attitude test become better workers. They have the mentality to learn, gain new talents, and contribute to the growth of your firm.

Furthermore, in today’s world, critical skills change quickly—the tools your employees will use in three years will be different from those they use now.

5. To eliminate bias and increase efficiency, use tools.

Developers and HR professionals are expected to release a new generation of AI-based hiring solutions aimed at automating screening, improving selection, and removing bias from the recruitment process.

These tools will establish a recruitment marketing practice, allowing you to leverage marketing tactics such as a multi-channel approach, targeted adverts, and deep analytics to find, attract, and engage better-qualified prospects, making the hiring process much smoother.

6. Candidate feedback should be collected and analyzed.

Another technique that helps recruiters save time and money is candidate rediscovery. It’s also one of at least two reasons why candidates you didn’t fire should never be forgotten.

The second reason is that I want to get better.

An applicant who has just been offered a position at your organization is unlikely to rate your hiring process on the record. On the other side, the prospects you’ve turned down are likely to have a lot to say about your employer brand.


It’s possible that you’ll discover that the recruiting procedure is more crucial than you thought. You must devote time to finding appropriate individuals while the organization is operating at 100 miles per hour. You’ll notice results if you make recruitment a top focus.

If you nail the job description, publish it on appropriate employment pages, and make sure the interview process is simple with the right questions, you’ll be ready to find the ideal new employee. If you’re recruiting a developer, for example, be sure you ask react interview questions.

Don’t forget to ask applicants about their experiences throughout the process so you can learn from them and, most importantly, get the onboarding process right. How many people do you know who quit their work because they weren’t adequately taught or didn’t understand their role? Here’s to building your company with a group of people that are just as enthusiastic as you are!

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!

How To Build A Business with Little Money


A Newbie Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating a Business from the Ground Up


Entrepreneurs today are lucky to be hopeful business owners during an era of resources. It used to be that business owners would work hard and only have a small hope that their business would take off in their area, but the Internet has now globalized the way we think about how to build a business.

The best part? It’s extremely inexpensive. Unlike marketing methods of the past that would cost entrepreneurs an arm and a leg, we’re now living in an age when social media, digital and content marketing strategies are inexpensive and easy to utilize, vastly increasing a business’ ROI potential.

Traditional physical business models are always going to be here to stay, but the age of the Internet is upon us. Entrepreneurs who want to save money while still creating and owning a business can now lease digital room at a rate that’s a fraction of the cost of a brick and mortar storefront.

The Internet is a Global Platform. It allows business owners to introduce themselves to a virtual audience while making real profits they can take to the bank.

Not only does the Internet give entrepreneurs a platform on which to reach their audience, it opens them up to audiences from around the world. Businesses that have a global potential can find success via the more than 3 BILLION users online as of August 2015. Since 1995, the Internet has grown at a staggering rate with 42% of the global population now having access to the Internet in some way.

This allows entrepreneurs to grow incredibly large businesses without investing that much capital. As businesses grow, of course, more money is needed to maintain the company — but profits grow with businesses online. Jeff Bezos created Amazon as an online bookstore and didn’t have a sale for a year. Now he owns the largest online retailer of any product imaginable.

When you use this ebook article as your guide to starting a business, you learn the benefits of the Internet as an online business platform, how to maintain costs and keep them low, as well as learn about incredible resources that can help your Internet storefront thrive.


Let’s back up. At this point, you haven’t made a business yet, whether it’s a brick and mortar storefront or an online ecommerce hub. Before an entrepreneur ever launches any kind of business, crafting an executable strategy is the first step to success. 

First, entrepreneurs must test their marketplace. When you know your audience and what they need, you can better plan for your business launch.

The first step in marketplace testing should always be to examine market presence and competition. The easiest way to do this is to simply Google your potential business’ purpose online, like “haircare for kids” or “pet training kits.” What ads show up? How many relevant results are there? Perform your searches with quotation marks and examine how many results there are — any number under 50,000 is your sweet spot. This means competition will be minimal.

From here it’s easy to examine the competition that does exist and adjust business expectations accordingly. If a business idea has too much market competition, it may be time to rethink things.

Now we can examine the benefits of information marketing and media downloads. This is the sale of information online and media, respectively.

Information marketing is one of the most budget effective forms of business because it’s original, based on information a person already knows and only requires two things to be actionable: a website and a .PDF. Selling ebooks or online courses also help an entrepreneur grow their credibility. It’s one thing to sell a product, but the knowledge about that product is much more valuable. For instance, a dog training kit doesn’t present the same credibility as an ebook on simple dog training tips.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a downside to information marketing. An ebook isn’t worth a lot of money in the long run, and entrepreneurs who marketing ebooks or online courses at exorbitant fees will find they don’t move a lot of volume.

In general, you make what you put into information marketing. A five or six-page ebook isn’t worth as much as an in-depth, professionally designed, four-week course package. The amount of money to be made will vary based on the quality, length and credibility of the product.

Media downloads are similar but include a different formatting. Instead of “print” media, media downloads include videos, podcasts and other forms of auditory or visual media. These, however, require more investment capital — it costs a lot less to write an ebook as compared to selling a successful podcast.

Do you have a talent or skill that can translate into online sales? Selling online services can be a great way to make money online with a personal brand as a business.

Whether you’re a writer, a graphic designer or video specialist, you can make money online without a fully-realized business to invest in. The goal may be to build up to a content marketing firm, but brand establishment is important when you’re starting out. Sites like Freelancer, Fiverr, and Upwork are great for advertising your services so you can work your way up.

There are obvious benefits and negatives here. The pros are that you get to make money without spending money and you’re performing a service you already know how to do. The negative is that you aren’t protected in the way you would be if you owned a business of your own.

On the other hand, you may already have a brick and mortar store or physical products. How do you translate a physical business into digital sales?

This can be a bit trickier when it comes to keeping things on a budget. This requires a true online business, though it doesn’t mean a lot of capital has to be invested. There are either different skills or objects needed to make this happen:

• Knowledge of ecommerce solutions

• Web design skills

• Graphic design skills

• Online-to-offline business integration

• Attention to detail

• Copywriting abilities

• Domain name & website hosting

• Customer service

With all of this work comes a lot of profit, however. The benefits of an online storefront include owning your own business, there are resources that make the process easier and easy access to scaling up a business.

This also applies to selling someone else’s physical goods as a reseller. If you want to create a business based on selling physical goods that haven’t yet been, understand that creating goods increases business startup costs by a large margin.

Sometimes it’s possible to make money in business without creating your own products or even selling your own services. Entrepreneurs can make money via other business owners via commission.

Affiliate marketing is a way to make money online without even creating a website. How is this possible? Essentially affiliate marketing is the art of sending traffic to someone else’s website or product. When that person makes a purchase, the company makes money AND so does the person that sent them there — A.K.A. you.

Owning a website and affiliate marketing for multiple companies is the best way to make money in this “business,” but it’s not something that’s required. If you already own a business, affiliate marketing isn’t something you can’t participate in. It’s all about promotion and being paid for this promotion.

The cons of this method of money making include being at the mercy of the business in question and being distanced from the product itself. On the other hand, it’s money that can be made easily with little to no time or capital investment. The company is the one dealing with products and customers — not you. In general, affiliate marketing is great for entrepreneurs that want to put their foot in the door while still making some cash at the same time.

There’s also CPA — cost per action marketing. The difference here is that there’s no selling of a product, but instead the money comes when you get someone to take some type of action. This can include something like a trial membership, newsletter subscription or another type of CTA (call to action). The purpose? Businesses know that getting in new customers or creating actionable leads is worth commission.

Finally, entrepreneurs must look at this variety of startup models and ask themselves a few questions that cement their identity as a business person.

Before deciding on a specific type of business model, these are three questions that you need to ask yourself:

• What is it that you’re good at?

• What do you enjoy doing, and can it be actionable as a means to make money?

• How much of your own business are you capable of handling yourself, whether because of your skillset or time management?

How you answer these questions may determine the business model you should choose. It’s important to know the answers to these questions in order to create a business that you’re comfortable fostering and continuing — it should be based around your wants, needs and capabilities for the sake of longevity.


You’ve asked yourself some hard questions and decided your business model. Now what? The next step is deciding what your budget is going to be. While the cost of your business model will vary greatly depending on the model you chose — for instance, creating a product and then establishing a website won’t be as inexpensive as an affiliate marketing site investment — it’s also worthy to note that there are always inexpensive options to choose, no matter the model you went with.

For your business start up, avoid spending money on all the business bells and whistles. Look for free tools and resources that will lower your costs.

For both startup investments and continuous operational costs, there are three different types of costs that factor into these different business areas.

The costs being discussed are:

• Fixed — These are one-time investments that you’ll only have to spend once or very rarely.

• Recurring — Costs that are cyclical and will be a constant concern, whether monthly, weekly or yearly.

• Invisible — Hidden investments that relate to a business but not specifically.

To keep things simple, let’s break down each type of cost and common expenses that fall into that category, as well as an estimated cost for that expense:


• Software needed to run a business (can be free or up to $500)

• Web design (free to $2,000)

• Extra development (up to $500)

• Branding creation (free to $300)

• A computer for work ($350 to $1000, laptop preferred)

• Business cards and other startup marketing material ($20 to $50)


• Domain registration (varies depending on your host, but typically $10 to $15 a year)

• Web hosting (varies depending on host, $6 to $15 per month at startup)

• SSL certification ($70 to $300 per year, not totally necessary but recommended)

• Maintenance ($100 to $2000 depending on your experience level)

• Payment processing (usually 2.9% commission)

• Advertising (free to varied, like $5 per day via Facebook advertising)

• Email autoresponder ($20 or more per month depending on email volume)

• Shopping cart (free to $200 plus per month)

• Cloud storage (free to $10 per month)

• Site backup (free to $5 per month)


• Time, in the context of wage and business cost

• Rent or mortgage of your own home, A.K.A. your business hub

• Bills for Internet, phone and electricity

• Education required to run said business

• Email management

It’s important to make a very obvious note here:

This is an example. It is used as a starting point for one type of business model. Some expenses may apply to your business model, some may not. Some may not be listed. Your own budget depends greatly on your business model, experience and the tools you need to get started.

Smart business owners will look for ways to cut their costs and vet any only deals they think can lower their budget. For your own reference, copy this sheet to a document of your own and edit it accordingly. What does your own budget look like?


You now have the business model you want to go with and the budget required to make it happen. Now the next step is to further estimate those costs via reliable and cheap service providers that can further decrease your budget.

It’s worth saying that just because a service is cheap, it isn’t worthless — many big name companies still use “tight budget” companies because there’s no use spending lots of money on a service when you could be saving all that cash for something else.

For each area, three different inexpensive service providers are listed. Choose one of these or do your own research on a cheap service alternative!

If your business requires one of these services, consider the recommendation:



For more information on choosing a provider for your business, check out this best web hosting provider resource from



WooCommerce (Free plugin for WordPress, but expensive for additional features/extensions)




Google My Business 

Bing Places for Business

Yahoo Local

We also suggest using a PASSWORD MANAGEMENT SYSTEM to protect your information. Check out this complete password management systems guide from

These are just a few types of resources and a few examples of each resource — this gives you a starting place for looking for your own inexpensive resources.


Creating a business and setting up a budget are actually the easy steps within this ebook. Now we get to examine how to continue to stay on a budget as your business grows and resources necessary to keep things on track.

Maximizing business profitability is something a lot of experts talk about, but new entrepreneurs often don’t understand how to make it happen. Thus, they’re often lured into profitability scams — or resources that live by the old adage “you have to spend money to make money.” The sad thing is that entrepreneurs will spend money on these services, then find they aren’t making the money they were promised.

Starting a business doesn’t mean you have to spend lots of money to make it work. It’s essential to understand how to manage a business while simultaneously making money doing what you love.

First, don’t throw away your day job just because you got your first ecommerce sale. A startup company shouldn’t be what you sacrifice a living wage for, especially when you don’t know if your first attempt at business ownership will be successful or not.

Learn how to barter for goods and services. Being cash poor doesn’t mean you aren’t extremely wealthy due to your assets, skills, abilities and connections. If you can’t buy graphic design work, why not leverage your content writing abilities for a logo design?

Do you watch Shark Tank? You don’t have to go on national TV to find a great business investor. There are venture capitalists out there that would love to give you money to run your own business in order to see an expansive return.

Always look for ways to be thrifty. Don’t ever spend money without thinking first: “can I find a less expensive way to accomplish this task?” If you like looking for deals while grocery shopping, apply those same techniques here. Look for coupon codes, do your research and always be willing to haggle.

Finally, don’t spend big bucks on invoicing or accounting. Budget marketing tools like TurboCash or FreshBooks exist for a reason.

It’s also unnecessary to spend big bucks on marketing. Online marketing is cheap, easy to do and gives businesses an incredible ROI.

Online reviews are your friend. When a business is starting out, credibility is paramount. CTAs (calls to action) and requests for reviews can make all the difference in the world. Promote your business on sites like Yelp! or Google+ Local for an added incentive.

Blogging can be another way to make your business more credible while simultaneously creating marketable content. Blogs are easy to link to on social media, create SEO potential and establish yourself as an industry expert.

Speaking of social media, businesses that aren’t on social media are behind the times. Promoting products and deals on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (depending on whether your business is B2B or not) can bring in new traffic, generate new leads and give businesses the ability to connect with consumers.

You should also consider joining industry groups. Whether they are forums or chat rooms, these are vehicles for building great industry relationships while also promoting SEO in search engines.

Sites like, or HARO, will help to promote your business via press releases or news stories you provide them. This helps media channels to find verified information about your business.
Connect with other businesses via a tit-for-tat relationship. Promoting another business via testimonials or cross-promotion efforts can mean they’ll do the same for you.


It’s one thing to have all the information necessary to start a business, and yet quite another to actually make it happen. I’ve provided you with advice and resources — now it’s your turn to turn it all into an incredible business!

You now know:

• It’s possible to make money online and to lay the foundation for an Internet business without investing a lot of capital.

• The Internet can give any business global reach.

• How to create a budget and stick to that budget with easily actionable tips.

You can start and own a business for as much as $1,000 to as cheap as being completely free!

You don’t have to fully commit to all of these tasks yourself — outsourcing can be an incredible asset to new entrepreneurs.

It’s always important to consider what you’re capable of and what you can delegate to someone else. As your business grows, so will your need to ask others for help and to create new jobs for new employees. Every business starts with one person, but great business owners will soon realize their small startup has the potential to be something much bigger than they ever thought possible…

…and all of that is possible thanks to the Internet and low-cost business techniques.

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!

Why you Should Add a Business Line to your Smartphone


Entrepreneurs often wait until it’s too late to add a separate business line to their smartphone. Using your personal phone number is economical and convenient when a start-up is in its early stages. But when your company begins to develop its brand, getting a separate phone number for business communications becomes very useful, essential really. There are lots of great reasons why you should go ahead and take the leap as soon as possible.

Reasons Not to Use Your Personal Phone Number for Business

Studies show that 75% of consumers say a phone call is the easiest way to get a response, while around 52% who convert following an online search do so over the phone. Having a business phone number for your operations regularly rates better in popularity for consumers, regardless of how digitally linked you are to social media and online mobile applications.

What’s more, many businesses you interact with, government agencies, and other services use your personal phone number for identity verification. Your personal number can provide access to highly sensitive information and potentially lead to identity theft or other online scams.

The list of reasons why you shouldn’t give out your personal number to customers, clients, or suppliers is a long one. Here are a few key reasons to avoid using a personal number for business, in a nutshell:

1. Exposure to online threats like scammers and phishers

2. Exposure to telemarketers and robocallers

3. Your business is tied to your personal number and difficult to change

4. Limited calling features that don’t scale with company growth

5. Lack of control over additional business lines

6. Personal privacy is compromised as you can always be reached

7. Inability to distinguish between work and personal phone calls

8. Lack of control over work vs. personal time with friends and family

9. Inability to transfer calls to team members when needed

10. Using a personal number for business just looks unprofessional

Benefits of A Separate Business Line for Your Cell Phone

A business phone number is a critical part of your brand identity, and provides an essential convenience for customers. 70% of mobile users who look for goods and services online opt for a phone call over other forms of communications. 94% of users call a business after searching for it on their phones. Here are some other great reasons to get a separate business line for your smartphone.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

A phone number used explicitly for your business works to enhance customer service and satisfaction. Customers can get frustrated when they try to get in touch with a specific company, but can’t find their contact information or easily reach you.

If you do continue to use your business number, take care when using it on the internet or giving it out to clients and suppliers. Getting a business line makes sure customers can easily find your contact details and reach you. People can reach out to you and get answers to their queries and doubts.

Reliability and Portability

Whether you own a small or big business, having a business phone line works wonders. It gives your business credibility and works to promote your brand. It’s also easy to transition to a new location, so even if you move your business your customers can still contact you with the same number.

Separate Your Personal & Business Communications

We often change our personal numbers, but your business number needs to remain consistent. By separating business from personal contacts, you can more clearly distinguish calls and messages from friends and family, or from work sources. Also, using your personal number on marketing materials would render all those materials obsolete if you had to change it.

You Can Choose a Business Number That’s Easier for Customers to Remember

Thousands of local and toll-free phone numbers are available across all area codes, so you can get one that’s convenient and easy to remember. A toll-free number will appeal to landline callers especially, and can give your business an added appearance of professionalism, making it a potent marketing tool.

More Control Over Employee-Customer Communications

If your employees use their personal numbers when dealing with customers, you have little control over their communications in your business’ name. Perhaps more importantly, you won’t have access to call records and notes about clients that help streamline efforts among internal teams.

Easier to Maintaining Work-Life Balance

Giving out your personal phone number for business reasons, your personal and professional life can get mixed up. Customers and providers can always reach you, and your privacy gets restricted. Having a separate business line with set hours helps maintain a seamless work-life balance.

Minimize Your Need for New Devices or Hardware

Many small businesses and start-ups begin by using their personal number for business, but as the company grows, having a second number becomes more and more important. If you operate as a solopreneur, maintaining a second cell phone and business calling line can quickly add up in expense.

Why You Should Add a Second Phone Number to Your Cell Phone

Modern phones have gotten more powerful and easy to use than ever, and communications are getting better, faster, and clearer all the time. There’s never been a better time than to try out using a separate business line. There are lots of advantages of having one phone with two numbers, including:

  • Personal privacy: keep your personal information and details safe from your business-only contacts.
  • Work-life Balance: easily maintain separate personal and professional communications.
  • Saves money and time: keeping two cell phones can get confusing and expensive.
  • Mobility: connect with customers and colleagues from home or on the road.

Personal numbers are not meant for doing business, not to mention they lack professional calling features. Getting a phone number for your business is affordable, is a great idea for companies of all sizes, convenient, and safeguards your personal data from scammers. A virtual phone system will allow you to put up a professional front with a very low cost.

Adding a Separate Business Line to Your Mobile Device is Easy

Many great business line mobile apps are available on the Google Play or Apple App Store for iPhone and iOS. Mobile calling apps also provide essential extra features, such as voicemail transcription and auto-attendants. Incoming calls have a characteristic ring so you’ll always know who is calling. Operating a virtual business phone system helps you easily expand to additional team members. It doesn’t matter what hardware you use: smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, office IP phones or traditional landlines. All your business phone lines will be linked to one single number for anyone who calls in.

You can sign up for a free trial of most business calling apps to get a better idea of how their features can work for your business. Tiered pricing plans are available for businesses of all sizes. Bring your business calling into the 21st century by adding a business line to your smartphone 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!

Podcast Recap: Business Growth Strategy & Execution with Mal McCallion


Growtion Founder & CEO Mal McCallion shares valuable business growth strategies and startup activities he has gained over the years. Over the course of his career, Mal has been involved with the launch of national brands such as Zoopla and Primelocation. He’s also contributed to the development of dozens of small-to-mid-size enterprises (SMEs). To listen to the full SOB The Podcast interview check out the video below. Here, we share 7 key takeaway points directly from the interview.

1) Importance of execution

Mal places a lot of importance on the execution of an idea or a plan. His own organization-growing is a blend of growth and execution; the philosophy behind it is that execution of growth is more important than mere theories. He believes that a theoretical plan that only relies on knowledge but not on actual practice or implementation is destructive for startups. So, he considers an executable plan a very important part of a business or startup strategy.

2) The essential aspects of growth

The three essential aspects of the growth of a startup or business are product, marketing, and sales, the rest of all the business operations are of secondary importance and if these three aspects are executed with perfection the other operations also become quite easy to handle. The product should be made while keeping the target audience in mind which helps in increasing sales and promoting word of mouth marketing among people. For the second step, marketing, social media is very important as it helps to gain a following and promote a sense of brand among potential customers. Lastly, sales are also essential because a common mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs do is that they hope that marketing would be enough for selling their product which, unfortunately, is a wrong notion.

3) The importance of Why

The main question that every entrepreneur or businessperson should ask himself is that why they are doing something. This applied in every single activity of business from meeting to management to marketing to customer relations to investor relations it is important to ask yourself that why are you doing this? This helps in clearing the vision as well as connecting with other people who share the same vision. It also helps in minimizing the distractions that surround a person.

4) Building a relationship with the customer

Building a relationship with the customer on a personal level is very important because that builds the reputation of the company and helps in better satisfying the customer as they feel themselves being considered important in it. A story or narrative around the product is very important; this helps in attracting customers who have the same vision as you and helps in gaining their trust.

5) Common mistakes of entrepreneurs

The most common mistake among entrepreneurs and business people is that they get carried away by the distractions that their environment offers. The immense amount of information that surrounds a common person in this age makes it very difficult to be decisive and this, in turn, can lead to a person pursuing a lot of different goals at the same time, which ultimately is destructive for the person or the organization. This is why the three important aspects of a business product, marketing, and sales have been mentioned which if focused on can help minimize distractions.

6) Steps of sale

Important steps of sales have been mentioned as the identification of the potential customers, engaging with them through social media or any other means, converting them into followers, and then, the most important step, urging them to actually buy their product.

7) Words for aspiring entrepreneurs

Lastly, he mentions that the pandemic has brought many opportunities for aspiring business professionals and entrepreneurs. The importance of working remotely and online has grown significantly which has made its effects on the business world giving rise to these new opportunities. People who want to be successful should recognize them and try to innovate their business accordingly to succeed in this domain.

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!

4 Tips for Making Your Way in the Sharing Economy


This is a great time to start or grow a small business. With the rise of collaborative consumption as a viable economic model, people are inventing brand-new ways to earn a living and reshaping the world of work. It’s much bigger than Uber and Lyft; people are using phones and computer-based apps to find all manner of peer-to-peer work. Airbnb and Couchsurfing allow you to rent a room in someone’s home. You can also locate pet sitters and custom crafters online. There are even apps where you can hire someone to make you soup when you’re sick. Human ingenuity has no bounds; if you can imagine it, you can monetize it. However, it just takes the right setup and planning to become successful in the sharing economy.

The following tips from Keetria can help you find your footing in the sharing economy.

Understand What You Need to Do

Thanks to the gig economy, you don’t need to be an experienced entrepreneur to run a successful business today! As long as you find a platform where you can offer your services and find your first customers, you can start your own business. First, you’ll need to work out a business plan and preliminary budget. These documents will come in handy should you ever decide to apply for grants or look for a business partner.

After you’ve sorted out these important documents, think about how you’ll pay yourself and any staff you hire. It’s important to keep your business and personal finances separated, and you need to dogear funds to send to Uncle Sam on a regular basis. You should also set aside money to pay for health insurance, retirement, and so forth. A payroll app like Quickbooks is the easiest solution. It will remind you about paydays and tax deadlines, allows you to do things like generate payroll on the fly, and even provides you with free direct deposit. The easier you can make it to tackle mundane and complicated concerns like payroll, the better!

Find Your Niche

Having a great idea is just the beginning. Do a little homegrown market research and find out if you have competitors. If you do, consider taking one to lunch. For the price of a meal, you can pick up some information about the nature of the work you plan to do and what the market for that work is like. Look around online to see what is doing well in your area and what platforms exist to support your work. Make sure you avoid the most common pitfalls. Businesses fail when they forget both sides have to get something they want. Sharing should be a win-win situation. However, if you provide poor service or fail to solve the problem you’re addressing, your business will fail too. Make sure your focus is narrow enough to make you stand out from the competition and your consumer base broad enough to support a profit.

Create a Workspace

When your jobs come in on your phone around the clock, it can feel like you’re always working. Designating a workspace and work hours can help you balance your life. This can be a room or area at home where you keep your computer, printer and records for your business, but it can also be a place you leave home and go to each day. Individually rentable office space is another big part of the new economy. The point is to have a place where you handle work-related business away from your personal life. This will help you to be more productive during the hours you are working and allow you to “leave work at the office” mentally when you aren’t.

Get Buzz Going

It’s hard to get clients if you aren’t easy to find. Make sure you’re on social media and all the relevant apps and platforms. Think of it as good advertising. You may even want to up your game as you get a little more successful and network with others in related lines of work. Say that you’re running a tidy little shop online making custom wedding cakes. You have a friend who is running her business over on Etsy doing calligraphy and etching glass. Consider working together to throw each other clients; people who want wedding cakes often want engraved champagne flutes as well. These supportive networks can be as important to your success as the very platform you use to market your work, so don’t neglect them.

If you are a successful small business, making use of online apps, social media marketing, and the sharing economy will really help you to reach new customers and expand your brand. And if you’re thinking about going into business, the sharing economy means it has never been easier. Every day brings some new way to find your market, and the future is limitless.

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!

Why Creativity is So Important for Startup Founders


Creativity breeds original ideas of developing products and carrying out various tasks. Creative people make new things or find new ways of doing things. A startup founder should possess several skills, and creativity is key among them.

The creative process begins with fragments of ideas. With time and research, the idea is solidified and expanded. Writing is encouraged at this stage. Express your mind on paper; then finally take the steps to bring your idea to fruition.

Bring Something New to the Market

As a startup founder, your main goal should be to bring something different to the market. Can every other new business be referred to as a startup? Hardly. A startup refers to a new business that has put together a definite structure for its operations. With such a structure, the expectation is that you should come up with something that is out of the ordinary. Your startup success will be determined largely by your creativity.

Elevate Your Brand

Have you noticed that some brands take years if not decades to make their mark on the market, if at all, while others are established and shoot into prominence within no time? If you settle for the usual products, and the usual way of carrying out procedures, your brand is likely to fall in the first category.

Once you inject some creativity, your product instantly creates a buzz in the market. People will be falling over themselves to check out this revolutionary product. With social media, word travels fast. Your brand will be on the lips of consumers within no time; held in high regard. Who wants to purchase and use products associated with a high-ranking brand? Everyone! With such a first impression, you already have yourself loyal clients even for future products.

Learn to Take Risks

New products are not always a success. The market may not be excited about your invention as you are. Every time you choose to do things differently, you must be cognizant of the possibility of failure. That’s what taking risk is all about; proceeding even when you’re uncertain about the outcome.

What’s the worst that can happen really? If the market does not resonate with your invention, you can improve on it. Or scrap it entirely and start afresh. Take the feedback and let it guide you along. Startup success is hardly ever instants. The disappointments and rejections are part of the process. This process will teach you to view failure as a stepping stone, and this will anchor you throughout your entrepreneurship journey.

Inspire Others

As a creative startup founder, you inspire those who work for and with you to do the same. They know that they’re not confined to the rigid, conventional techniques of doing things. They can also try out new ideas, whether they work instantly or not. Such a team will be motivated to get to work. A creative environment boosts productivity and enhances teamwork. Remember their ideas ultimately offer creative marketing for your startup, and you stand to benefit in the long run.

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 Effective Content Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses


Content marketing is one of those budget-friendly small business marketing avenues. Unlike traditional advertising where you just put your information out there and hope that it gets to your target audience, here you can track the reach of your advert and receive instant feedback from those who have interacted with it.

Content marketing gives you an opportunity to offer in-depth information about your brand. Your interaction with the consumer goes beyond the sales, and this gradually establishes brand loyalty. Here are some content marketing ideas to start you off:

  1. Create Informative Articles

With article writing, you have an opportunity to not only inform your audience but also boost your search engine visibility through SEO articles. Here you utilize the keywords that are most likely to be used in your niche. For instance, if you deal with skincare products, find out the most prominent topics here. They could include acne, wrinkles, sunburns, blackheads, pimples, and so on.

Create factual, enlightening articles on these topics. Once the search engines lead the readers to your site, they can then view the full range of your products. With time your site will be considered an authority in this niche, and clients will readily trust your products.

  1. Use Audio and Visual Clips

People are sometimes too occupied or tired to read. Podcasts and videos provide an easier alternative of passing the information. One can listen when driving, walking, attending to house chores, or just resting. If you need a step-by-step demonstration, such as a skincare routine, consider uploading a series of photos or a well-edited video that users can watch. Remember to bookmark all your images and videos. Even when they’re shared on other platforms, they should clearly showcase your brand.

  1. Capitalize on Social Media

Facebook and Instagram remain the most visited sites on the interwebs. Visitors may not come to your website, but you can meet them where they spend the most time. Have active pages on Facebook and Instagram at the very least. Interact with your audience often. Provide as much information as they need. Product details, location, prices, delivery terms, and all. Don’t be one of those ‘inbox for price’ marketers. Displaying the full details in plain sight builds trust and is more likely to earn conversions.

  1. Simplify the Numbers

If including the numbers does help your cause, use vibrant infographics to make the information easier to grasp. There are several templates online; all you have to do is insert the numbers and the rest is done for you. A colorful pie chart, for instance, is easier to digest than a cluster of numbers. Bookmark these as well; let them represent your brand wherever they’re shared.

  1. Call to Action

Engage your audience in a way. You can request them to provide their details, fill a form, subscribe, share, and so on. It should not be compulsory though. Just urge them. Some websites do not allow you to proceed before you provide your details. Such blackmail is just uncouth. Should they choose not to take the proposed action, they should still be in a position to navigate the site.

We hope that you can utilize these content marketing ideas to showcase your brand to a larger audience. What other forms of small business marketing have you tried out? Did they work? Do let us know.

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!