5 marketing practices for your service-based business

If you're starting a service-based business you need to understand some critical differences between a service-based marketing strategy and a product marketing strategy. Most of the marketing advice for entrepreneurs is aimed at products rather than services, which can make learning how to market a service-based business more challenging. People don't like the uncertainty of buying something they can't see, so when there's no tangible product involved you need to find other ways t...

Mistakes U.S. companies make when working with influencers

Individuals with a strong personal brand and a loyal following on social media can have significant influence over the purchasing decisions of their audience. And collaborating with influencers in your marketing campaigns can drive engagement, create a buzz around your brand, and boost sales. "It's often assumed that U.S. companies are fairly sophisticated at marketing tactics," writes Kimberly Whitler. Yet compared with their counterparts in other parts of the world, U.S. companies don't have a...

How to create a successful crowdfunding video for your startup

Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular way for young businesses to raise the capital they need by amassing small sums of money from a large number of individuals. A crowdfunding campaign is essentially pitching a lot of potential investors at once and before parting with their cash, investors want to know about the business, how you're going to spend the money and what they're going to get in return. And creating a video is one of the best ways to provide this information, says Emily Ludolf. He...

21 brand style guide examples for visual inspiration

When it comes to branding, consistency is key. Your brand identity includes everything from your background story, your mission and values, who your clients are and the problem you solve for them, to how your visual identity is portrayed through your logo, fonts and typography, color scheme, photographs and other visual assets. With so many elements to keep track of, you need a style guide to document them properly and ensure how your brand looks, feels and sounds is the same everywhere—bot...

10 budgeting tips to keep your business costs down

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any small business and running out of cash is one of the top reasons for startup failure. Understanding your burn rate—how much you spend each month to keep the business going—helps you manage your cash flow. And while startups need to pay extremely close attention to their burn rate because they may take years to become profitable and need to know how long their funding will last, every small business owner needs to be diligent about their operating costs. To help ...

Why you should apply entrepreneurial thinking to every big decision you make

Being entrepreneurial isn't just about starting a business; it's a way of thinking that makes you more innovative, creative, resourceful, adaptable and resilient. Successful entrepreneurs are known for seeing challenges as opportunities and being able to cope uncertainty. They're willing to risk making mistakes and they know how to recover from setbacks. And they can adapt to changing circumstances and find new ways to work towards their goals. These are all essential skills for everyday life. H...

7 women investors reveal what's different when a woman evaluates your pitch

While the number of women-led startups is increasing, the venture capital industry is still overwhelmingly male. And even though more women are being funded than ever before, they're still receiving a very small share of venture capital compared with male founders. The number of female investors is also starting to rise, however. And, according to a study by Babson College, a female entrepreneur is more than twice as likely to get funded if a woman is part of the investor decision-making team, w...

10 African startups winners of MIT Solve initiative

Ten African startups are among 33 winners of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Solve Challenge, which seeks innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing issues. A total of 1,150 applicants from 110 countries took part in the first stage of the competition and the winners were chosen from 60 finalists invited to pitch their tech-based solutions to a panel of expert judges and a live audience at the Solve Challenge Finals in New York City. As the MIT class of 2018, ...

The ultimate guide to social media marketing campaigns

There are billions of clicks, views and sign-ups on social media every day and its constant presence in the lives of so many consumers makes it an essential—and powerful—tool for marketers. Having a social media presence without an active social media marketing strategy can be just as bad for business as having no presence at all. From improving brand awareness and connecting with your target audience to increasing website traffic and driving sales, Kristen Baker shares here everything you need ...

#FoodNextAfrica: The SA startup making ice cream from insect milk

In response to increasing demand for nutrient-rich foods and the high cost of producing animal protein, Cape Town startup Gourmet Grubb is turning to insects as a sustainable alternative to traditional agriculture. Although "an age-old practice in countries within Asia, South America and Africa," using insects as a food source is a novelty in western culture. Here, Lauren Hertzenberg reveals how Gourmet Grubb is rising to the challenge of creating a new market for insect-based foods and winning ...

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