Browse Tag

business advice

4 mins read

6 Steps to Ensure You’re Building a Legitimate Business

When starting a legitimate business, the last thing you want to do is give an unprofessional impression. In order to ensure your business is legitimate, you need to demonstrate your trustworthiness to potential customers. Concentrate on these legal, regulatory, and insurance matters, and you will be able to do so.

Pick a Name for Your Business

Make sure your business name is legally available before deciding on it. Perform an internet search to see if the name is already being used as a domain or a social media account, and then consider conducting a trademark search to avoid any legal issues later on. If your company’s name is too similar to another, you may be unable to register it when you form a legal entity.

Establish Your Business Entity

Although it may be tempting to try your hand at being a sole proprietor, you could be taking an unnecessary risk. If your company gets into legal trouble, your personal assets could be at risk. Furthermore, the right entity—for instance, LLC or S or C Corporation—may provide tax benefits.

Creating a separate legal entity also makes it much easier to establish business credit and obtain small business financing.

Get Your Employer Identification Number (EIN)

EINs, also known as Federal Tax Identification Numbers, are used to identify a legal business entity. According to the IRS, generally, businesses need one, and you can request one online for free.

Obtain Business Permits and Licenses

Clients will notice approval stamps in the form of business permits and licenses. Check with the federal, state, county, and local governments to see if your company needs this authorization. If a federal agency regulates your kind of business activity, then you will require a federal license or permit. In general, states license more broadly, ranging from restaurants and retail to construction.

Set Up a Business Bank Account

Do not merge your personal and business bank accounts. It’s a good idea to keep your personal and business finances separate to make it easier to track company expenses and income.

Checking, savings, credit card, and merchant services accounts are available, allowing you to accept credit and debit card transactions. Additionally, business accounts help your company establish a credit history and provide limited liability protection for you and your customers.

Insurance for Your Business

Protect yourself and your personal finances with insurance. In the worst case scenario — property damage, liability, or an injured employee — insurance has you covered. It should be noted that workers’ compensation laws and regulations vary by state.

Small businesses should also consider purchasing a business owner’s policy, which combines property, liability, and income insurance. This will compensate for lost income if your company is unable to operate during a loss.

If you have these structures in place, your business will be more solidified, and you will be able to assure customers that you are legitimate.

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4 mins read

5 Effective Modern and Old School Marketing Ideas for Your Real Estate Business

Successful real estate business owners enjoy several benefits, including independence and flexibility. You can be your own boss and help people buy, sell, or rent out properties.

However, the unpredictable housing marketing, changing real estate trends, and real estate legislation amendments can make the business a little challenging.

So if you want your business to thrive, it’s vital to employ the best marketing strategies and techniques. Here are some modern and old-school marketing ideas to help your real estate business grow.

real estate business

1. Create a Website

Besides helping deliver better customer experiences and building strong customer relationships, your website also boosts your visibility online. You can be available to your customers 24/7 with an easily navigable website that contains relevant business information. The site should ideally share detailed information about the different real estate services you offer, your contact information, and options for customers to book your services online.

Over 44% of customers search for properties online. So it’s essential to include property listings with good, credible pictures of the property on your website. Posting videos that highlight the property features can increase the traffic even further. These video walkthroughs also help clients understand what the property looks like.

2. Build a Blog

Blogs are cost-effective and easy ways to get your message across to your target audience. They also help increase your digital visibility and SERP rankings.

If you want to build your real estate business’s credibility, work with a reliable content marketing team that specializes in developing and optimizing web content. These experts will choose the right topics, keywords, and linking strategies to ensure that your website lands on top search results consistently.

3. Use an Email List

When used correctly, email lists can help you create and maintain good relationships with your clients. Giving customers the option to “opt-in” or “subscribe” to your emails is an excellent way to ensure your emails don’t end up in the spam list or junk mail.

There are several things real estate business owners must consider before building their email list. For instance, if your specific niche is first-time homebuyers or luxury home buyers, then it’s crucial to create and deliver emails that address questions and concerns of that specific market. A team of experienced digital marketing experts can help you develop a strong email marketing plan.

4. Work with Local Media Channels

A lot of real estate agents operate under the misconception that local television and radio advertisements are outdated marketing channels. However, they continue to be some of the most efficient ways to reach local clients. Create quality, catchy video advertisements describing your business and get local radio stations and TV channels to play them. This way, you’ll capture the attention of local buyers, sellers, renters, and investors.

5. The Good Old Referral System

A strong referral system or referral-reward system could potentially cause your success rates to skyrocket. These programs help gain and strengthen the trust of potential clients. In fact, studies on referrals show that referred clients generate 16% more ROI than other clients.

 

We can help real estate professionals raise their success rates using email lists and blogs. Email us at agency@shoppeblack.us to get started.

4 mins read

7 Steps to Starting a Successful Trucking Business

The trucking industry can be very profitable, but it is also extremely competitive. Every year, many truckers attempt to enter the industry and fail.

Usually, this happens to people who are great drivers, but not effective business owners. It takes more than just knowing how to drive a truck or choose a route to run a successful trucking business. Check out the seven steps below to learn how to start a successful trucking business.

trucking business

1. Create a Business Plan

Just as you would begin a new job with a fresh outlook and set of goals, you should start a new trucking business with an organized plan. A business plan serves as a roadmap to success and can be tweaked as your business grows. It assists you in getting organized, identifying goals, articulating your value proposition, and evaluating possible roadblocks.

2. Obtain Your Commercial Driver’s License

If you operate your own truck or hire drivers, they must have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL), as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Drivers aged 21 and over can apply, while those aged 18-20 can drive intrastate.

3. Get Your Trucking Authority

When you search for information on how to start a trucking business, you’ll realize one of the first steps to take is to get your trucking authority. Trucking businesses must have an operating authority when they work as a hired carrier over state lines for vehicles more than 10,000 gross vehicle weight (GVW).

4. Identify Your Business Type

You will need to file taxes with the IRS when you start a trucking business. You need to choose the type of trucking business structure you want to establish. For example, you may establish a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Consult a tax accountant if you have questions.

5. Set Up a Business Bank Account

Set up your small business bank account and business credit card. So you can separate your personal funds from business funds for tax planning and establish a good business credit score in case you need funding or a loan in the future. You can start building your business credit right away once you have your business account. It will also be possible to apply for a business license, permits, and insurance as soon as you start your trucking company.

6. Choosing the Right Insurance Coverage

When you become an owner-operator of your own trucking company, you will have to obtain business insurance. The most reliable thing to do to secure the best available premium is to contact several agents and consider the following options before selecting a policy.

  • Cargo insurance
  • Primary liability insurance
  • Passenger accident insurance
  • Physical damage insurance

7. Ensure Compliance

It is your responsibility as a business owner to ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. This includes filing quarterly tax returns, renewing CDLs, and staying up to date on state and national trucking industry regulations.

Furthermore, brokers want to hire and work with carriers that have up-to-date regulations in order to reduce liability. Keeping up-to-date on regulations and monitoring compliance is critical to being successful as a truck business owner.

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8 mins read

What Does It Cost to Run a Successful Beauty Business?

Salons, barbershops, and other beauty-based businesses can do well even in poor economic times. However, running a successful beauty business is dependent on several factors.

Apart from providing high-quality services, you need to ensure that you’re aware of all the financial requirements and have plans in place to take care of them.

Beauty Business

Essential Steps Before Starting Your Business

It’s impossible to overstate how much you’ll need a business plan before taking any steps in pursuit of your beauty business. A business plan allows you to clearly state the purpose of your business, your target clients, the budget, marketing plans, the company’s potential growth, and the standard operational costs.

Then, as you document these, you’ll dig into details that you likely wouldn’t have considered without the plan.

It would be best if you decided on the location of your potential business and the size of the salon or barbershop. That information will influence a few of the costs that we will discuss later and your options for financing.

The Set Costs of a Beauty Business

As you might have expected, you can’t just choose a location and start operating a beauty business. You’ll need to ensure that you’re adhering to the various regulations of your specific state. If you’re not sure what those are, contact the local Occupational and Professional Licensing Division. There are also costs associated with setting up your business or location and ensuring that any staff you hire remains compliant. Here are some figures to keep in mind:

  • Certification – This cost varies according to your location but can be confirmed with your local authorities.
  • License – A license for a beauty-based business can cost up to $12,000 if you don’t already have a cosmetology license. For a product-based business, there are costs associated with obtaining patents and ensuring that your product meets regulatory standards.
  • Insurance – It’s mandatory to ensure your store, but the cost can range from $450 – $2900 depending on the type of insurance you undertake.
  • Purchasing a location – If you plan on owning the site outright, this can cost from $40,000 to $250,000 for a place that is already a salon. Building something from scratch will likely be twice that figure.
  • Legal fees – Generally, these fees are $200 per hour, so the final cost will vary as your lawyer helps with regulatory matters.
  • The equipment – Unless the space you’ve chosen comes with salon equipment; you’ll need to get your own. Including styling chairs, hood dryers, coloring stations, and such, you can require as much as $27,000.
  • Inventory and Supplies – Depending on the type of beauty business, the startup supplies and inventory can be as little as $100 hundred for a service-based business to upwards of $20,000 for a product-based. If you offer a variety of products or expect a large client base, you can expect that your supply costs will be closer to the upper end of this range.
  • A website – Studies show that most consumers find their next purchase online, so it’s a good idea to have a website set up. A website can be free if you know how to do it but can cost up to $10,000.
  • Possible renovations – If your space is not up to scratch, you may need as much as $32,000 to fix any issues.
  • Signs and marketing – These can cost you up to $7,000 depending on your skill level and how you want to market your Black-owned beauty business specifically.
  • A computer system – Having a designated system and effective point-of-sale program can cost up to $5,000 to set up.
  • Start-up cash – Experts recommend having at least $500 on hand for the start of your first business day.

The Recurring Costs of A Beauty Business

Once you’ve started your beauty business, the ongoing costs will be another consideration for you. The ongoing cost is the money you’ll need to spend on a scheduled basis to keep your business running. Here are some of the general expenses.

  • Rent, lease, or mortgage – These costs can vary based on the location and size of your building but aim for up to $4,000 per month.
  • Utilities – These can range from $600 – $4,000.
  • Employee wages – Wages can be a large portion of your monthly expenses, so research what’s typical in the industry.
  • Marketing – Continuous marketing helps grow your client base, including $30 for a simple campaign in your budget and $4,000 for more complex ones.
  • Credit card processing fees – The exact number will vary, but each transaction can cost 1.5% and 3% depending on the provider.
  • Taxes – The figure will vary, but payroll or self-employment taxes can be as much as 7.6% of your sales.
  • Cleaning costs – Many businesses use cleaning services to ensure the hygiene of their surroundings, which can cost up to $200 per month.
  • Insurance payments – This is applicable if you’ve negotiated a monthly fee.
  • Repairs and maintenance – The upkeep of your business is essential, so budget $500 monthly for that.
  • Emergency funds – If the unexpected occurs, an emergency fund of about $500 per month can help.
  • Legal fees – Again, the actual costs can vary based on the legal services you need throughout the year.

Other Important Considerations

As you can see, there are several costs associated with starting and running a successful beauty business. First, it will be imperative to secure financing, so you’ll know where you have a source for your start-up costs. Some people seek help from friends or associates, while others get access to a business loan. Whichever you choose, you must consider your loan repayment in the costs of running the business.

Bear in mind that the first year or two can be challenging for a new business, so repaying a large loan during this time can be difficult, depending on your business model.

While there’s a demand for Black-owned beauty businesses, you can’t only count on that fact to run your business successfully. The key will always be carefully managing your finances while meeting the needs of your clientele. It’s essential to have a plan before taking steps to start your own beauty business. A support structure can also make a difference in the first few years, so make sure you have a good team behind you that can offer advice and help when necessary.

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4 mins read

Metaverse Marketing: Opportunities and Strategies for Brands

Traditional marketing approaches are no longer sufficient. Marketing methods are evolving, and marketers must adapt to the new environment. Through metaverse marketing, companies and brands have a chance to reach a global market.

Some of the world’s most well-known brands have already begun to integrate and build their digital presence in the metaverse.

Is there anything else it entails? Keep reading to find out what marketing in the metaverse is all about, and what opportunities it offers.

What is the Metaverse?

The metaverse is a persistent, online, three-dimensional universe that integrates numerous virtual spaces. It can be compared to a future version of the internet. The metaverse will allow people to work, meet, play games, and socialize together in these 3D places.

It combines multiple elements of technology, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and video where users “live” in a digital world. In the metaverse, users will work, play and stay connected with friends through everything from concerts and conferences to virtual trips around the world.

Metaverse Marketing: Opportunities

Although the metaverse has been around for some time and some companies have even experimented with metaverse marketing, the guidelines for mainstream marketing for most brands have not yet been established.

As new technologies are introduced almost daily, it is still unclear how to make the most of metaverse marketing by creating the perfect marketing plan.

Establishing these rules and developing appropriate strategies might just be the key to achieving success in the metaverse for a brand. Here are a few strategies being pursued by some brands.

Accessibility and Availability of Virtual Venues

The earliest websites were able to take their brands and businesses to the next level by simply being there first. Today, brands enjoy the same opportunity, but on a much larger scale.

Brands can now design fully immersive and engaging virtual venues, universes, and locations from scratch using 3D virtual reality technology.

Creating virtual venues, worlds, and spaces in which to hold events and experiences is instantly possible in the metaverse for brands.

Virtual Ownership Made Simple

Since people spend a lot of time online every single day, there is a higher value placed on digital assets and the showcase of acquiring virtual ownership rights.

In the world of virtual ownership, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are the most popular because they make it possible for individuals, businesses, and creators to own these virtual assets and to transfer them with other virtual entities at will.

Real World and Virtual Entertainment Redefined

Whether we like it or not, the line between real and virtual interactions is getting more and more blurred, resulting in new forms of entertainment and immersive virtual reality experiences.

New experiences are frequently participatory and shared by a group of individuals nowadays, resulting in the transfer of physical behavior to all sorts of digital platforms and creating an entirely new reality.

Establishing a Brand Presence Everywhere

A lesson that brands and retailers around the world realized as a result of the pandemic was that their digital presence cannot be ignored any longer.

The pandemic caused the whole world to shut down, forcing merchants to create digital versions of their businesses since real-world versions could no longer be accessed.

When customers can’t physically visit you, you must bring the brand’s 3D experience to them online.

What are your thoughts on the metaverse? Comment below!


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