Tuesday, November 4, 2014

We're excited to announce that we have a new, refurbished blog hosted on our website, Emerge212.com! Don't worry, the content will still be the same. We'll still be bringing you practical tips for small business owners, advice for entrepreneurs and industry related news, we've simply moved space. Take a look at the new Emerge212 Small Business Advice blog for fresh business news and advice. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How to Decompress After a Stressful Day at Work

Who hasn’t had a stressful day at work?  And most especially for entrepreneurs, stress at work is a huge part of their lives.  They’re trying to make a go of it on their own and with that comes fear and anxiety.  Often, people have to deal with difficult bosses or co-workers.  Often there’s too much work at the office to even get accomplished in one day.  There are deadlines to meet on time and other demands to be met as well and it often leaves us feeling like we having nothing left in us at the end of the day.  But if you take some time for yourself, even if it’s just thirty minutes or less, that can make a big impact and most especially help with job performance the following day.  Here are some tips for decompressing after work.

Turn off technology.  While many people like to go home and just turn on the television and zone out or play on their iPhones or iPads (which I often do myself), take some time to reflect on your day.  Find a quiet space in the house where you can be by yourself, even if that means just a ten minute shower.  If you’re lucky enough to have a terrace in NYC, go spend some time on it with a glass of wine or take a stroll through the streets and do some window shopping.

Meet up with friends for a fun night.  Often, your personal life gets neglected when you have a stressful day or week at work and so it’s difficult to motivate yourself to make time for important people in your life.  This is most especially true with entrepreneurs who often have to give up that time and focus all their attention on getting their businesses up and running 24/7 but don’t lose contact with the outside world and the people that are most important to you in it.

Read.  If you haven’t had a chance to pick up the paper and see what’s going on in the world, do so.  If you’ve been dying to start a new novel that has peaked your interest, do so as well.  By reading, you get to immerse yourself in another world and it’s often more soothing than listening to a loud television show because you get some peace and quiet and can drift off into someone else’s world.

Exercise.  While some people are forced to exercise to keep off weight and hate going to the gym, exercise isn’t just about maintaining a healthy body; it’s also about maintaining a healthy mind.  Along with exercise, comes endorphins which can help boost self-esteem and make you vastly happier.  Slimming down or bulking up is great but exercise plays another role in our lives that is often more important.

Go to the movies.  Instead of sitting at home and lying like a lump on the couch watching a movie where you can constantly be distracted by others, take some time to go to the movies by yourself and just like with a book, you can immerse yourself in another world.  Have a big popcorn and soda and remember what it was like to be an excited child going to see their favorite superhero on the big screen.

Follow your passions.  One of my favorite things to do is write after work.  Get back in touch with the things you love to do that you often don’t have time for because you’re so consumed by work.  Look at old pictures or create a scrapbook.  Turn on a baseball game or any other sport for that matter and cheer on your favorite team.  Remember, try to get lost in all you do in your free time away from the stress of the workplace.

While it might not work for everyone, try meditation or yoga.  If that’s not getting the job done, light some candles and take a relaxing bubble bath.  Put on your headphones and zone out.  Always remember that “me” time is important and that even if you have a crazy life to come home to with a partner or children, that there’s a difference between being selfish and putting yourself first so do, in fact, put yourself first.

Go on social media that you haven’t had time to all day while at work.  Go on Facebook to catch up with old friends and reconnect with what’s going on in their lives.  Or go on Twitter and catch up with what’s been going on in the world.  For me, I quite enjoy Pinterest – creating my own boards and looking at other people’s photos, soothes me so maybe you might find that it does the same for you.

Call up and old friend or write a letter or email to someone you’ve lost touch with.  Reconnecting with people you haven’t had time for in a while due to the high-stress demands of work is important and can only enrich your life.  Also, it’s a great way to vent and discuss the mutual demands of work or just talk about fun things and have some laughs.

Do anything you haven’t done in a while which could include: giving yourself a facial or doing some online shopping or even creating a new iTunes playlist.  Try doing all the things you’ve been putting on hold for such a long time.  If cleaning up the house or cooking a nice meal soothes you, than do so.  If you prefer to put off chores and just order in, do that instead.

Lastly and maybe most importantly, try spending five free minutes making a to-do list of what you plan to get accomplished for the week ahead at work.  While you might want to completely put work out of your head when you come home, if you organize the upcoming week, you’ll feel much less stressed when you do return to work.

So what have we learned here today?  Are some of these tips things that help you decompress after a long, stressful day of work or have you found other methods that help you more?  What are some of your favorite things to do that keep your mind occupied and make you forget about the hassles of work?  Leave a comment and let me know.  Let’s start up a conversation!

Here are some articles you might want to check out about decompressing after work:

“Easy Stress Relief: 5 Ways to Decompress in Just 5 Minutes”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/24/easy-stress-relief-5-ways_n_3017084.html

“Fresh Ways to Decompress: Stress Busters That Really Work”: http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/02/08/healthmag.energy.boosters/

For more information on the real estate services provided by Emerge212, check out our official website here: http://www.emerge212.com

Until next time…

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Biggest Challenges Entrepreneurs Face In Business

There are a multitude of challenges that every entrepreneur faces when starting up a new venture.  As a business grows, different problems and opportunities demand different solutions, especially as the market evolves because what might have worked not even a year before may no longer be the best approach.  Recognizing and overcoming the common pitfalls associated with both stagnation and growth in business is essential if you want your company to grow and thrive.  All entrepreneurs must be prepared to solve whatever problems come their way.  The best thing for any entrepreneur to remember in the face of adversity is that such challenges are commonplace but if you face each problem with determination, you can usually always overcome it.

Likely the first challenge that always needs to be overcome by any entrepreneur is uncertainty.  Many young business owners are unsure how to push their businesses forward without the guarantee of a stable future.  Business growth and continuity stem from business owners being able to look ahead and plan accordingly.  It’s often even more daunting because with the current economic environment being so unsteady, it’s harder to see what the impending fiscal “climate” holds.  That being the case, it’s exceedingly important that every entrepreneur put a long-term strategic plan in place so that they can clearly see how they want to progress moving forward.

Attracting new business is also a hardship entrepreneurs often face and it’s often even more difficult to maintain customers once you’ve gotten them.  With the often small marketing and advertising budgets young businesses have, startups are often simply unable to reach a wide audience.  Additionally, potential customers are often hesitant at taking a chance on an unknown, untested brand.  Most tend to go with companies that they’ve had experience with before and that have a larger following.  However, there’s good news: bigger companies often charge more than young ones.  Entrepreneurs need not be discouraged by larger competitors as many clients and customers alike look for companies that provide cheaper services.  However, they want to make sure it’s quality service.  Therefore, it’s always best to put your product out into the market when it’s one hundred percent ready to go.

It also goes without saying that lack of money is another pitfall that entrepreneurs face and it’s obviously one of the largest problems that can lead to business failure.  As a new business, the biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is expecting instant profit.  Entrepreneurs often get overexcited and feel that they can start with little money and instantly earn big.  Experts usually predict that it can take up to roughly two years to see a profit.  The lesson then becomes: always prepare for the worst case scenario.  Before starting any business, make sure you have enough money to tide you over during that timeframe and remember to start slowly and remain patient.

Entrepreneurs often unknowingly harm or, rather, can even sabotage their new ventures through lack of knowledge about the market.  It’s important that you do ample research about the area you are trying to grow into.  Of course, you must always keep track of your competitors so that you can learn from their mistakes and see what is and isn’t working for them.  Additionally, make sure that you are up-to-date on the most current trends in the marketplace.  Don’t jump in head first.  Make sure to prepare yourself and always possess the necessary skills needed to be successful.  Constantly be educating yourself.  Seek advice from mentors and other business owners.  Read books and relevant periodicals.  Check out web content.  If you don’t, you’re ultimately headed for disaster.

Time management is also another major challenge entrepreneurs must learn to overcome.  As they always say: “time is money.”  And, of course, that’s most especially true for business.  It’s imperative to plan in advance and stick to a schedule no matter how prolonged.  Ensure that your schedule is actually feasible and achievable.  Always give yourself enough time to perform every task with acute accuracy.  Live by your calendar and business planner so that you never miss a deadline.  Spending your time effectively will only help you save money and earn you more revenue in the long-run.

Additionally, lack of innovation can also be a major hindrance to starting up a new business.  There are many young companies that play by the “old” rules instead of making up their own as they go along which are very helpful in keeping you on trend and on point.  If you’re an entrepreneur just leaving the corporate nine to five world, throw out the old rule book and take a fresh approach.  When people get accustomed to a certain style that has worked in corporate America, it often holds them back from thinking outside the box.  In order to grow, you can’t be resistant to change.  In fact, you must rather embrace it if you want to succeed long-term.

Trying to do it all alone is a major mistake that many entrepreneurs make.  Oftentimes they are so concerned with start-up costs that they feel it’s their only option.  That said, sometimes you have to realize that you need help, whether it’s merely advice or hiring employees.  If you really don’t have the funds, try getting an intern to help with the more mundane day-to-day operations of running a business so you can focus on the bigger tasks at hand.  It’s better to pay someone to help out in the beginning by spending a little money as it could garner big financial returns in the future.

Never forget that marketing often makes or breaks a business.  Young entrepreneurs need to be aware that apart from a detailed business plan, proper marketing is one of the next most important areas to focus on.  Always make sure that you set some money aside for marketing so that once you have a clear idea and are ready to move ahead with it, you can make a direct impact on your target clientele.  If you’re on a tight budget come up with innovative ways to get your ideas out there.  Social media is always a great place to start.

Lastly and probably most importantly, while it’s often difficult to maintain a positive attitude as you face challenges in growing your startup, you always must.  Have confidence in yourself.  Make sure that you’re your own biggest cheerleader and not your own worst enemy.  If you keep faith and belief that you can achieve your goals, then, in truth, you most certainly can.

So what have we learned here today?  If you’re an entrepreneur just starting out, what’s the best advice this blog has given you?  If you’ve already made a go of it as a successful entrepreneur, were some of the things discussed challenges you faced as well or were there others that you felt were even tougher?  Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.  Let’s start up a conversation!

Here are some articles you might want to check out about the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs in business:

“Entrepreneurs Share Their Biggest Challenges in Growing a Business”: http://www.inc.com/adam-heitzman/entrepreneurs-share-their-biggest-challenges-in-growing-a-business.html

“What is the Biggest Challenge Facing Small Business Right Now?” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/15/small-business-challenges_n_927279.html

For more information on the real estate services provided by Emerge212, check out our official website at: http://www.emerge212.com.

Until next time…

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ten of the Best Business Blogs Every Entrepreneur Should Read

It’s no secret to any entrepreneur that starting a business can be exceedingly tough.  While exciting, it can also be scary at times: leaving corporate America and the security of a weekly paycheck, tapping into your own personal savings to get up and running, keeping up with the competition, finding the right ways to market on a tight budget, etc.  These are all things that could in fact paralyze someone starting their own business.  But instead of standing still, the best thing for an entrepreneur to do is seek advice and just as I blog each week in order to provide that service so to do other people out there.  A great way for new business owners to get free advice is by reading business blogs that can run the gamut from hysterical to controversial but most being mainly informational and thought-provoking.  Here are some of the top ten business blogs every entrepreneur should check out. 

1. Quora:

Quora is a question and answer site where a wide range of business experts take the time to answer your questions with serious thought and precision.  The best answers get voted on by the Quora community so you can easily find the best conclusion to your problem. (https://www.quora.com/)

2. LinkedIn Today:
While it might not sound farfetched that LinkedIn would offer a great business blog, LinkedIn Today is really great for one reason in particular: in essence, what the blog does is curate all articles that are specifically geared towards your industry.  It’s a great place to find all articles relevant to your business in one place. (https://www.linkedin.com/today/)
3. Steve Blank:
Being a Professor of Entrepreneurship, Blank discusses a wide range of tops from innovations in small businesses to the innovations in big business that often start off small.  Being a teacher at heart, that’s exactly what Blank does: teach.  He walks readers through his points step-by-step and often uses visuals and graphics just as if you were sitting in a classroom with him.  He includes a great section at the bottom of each blog summing up the post called: “Lessons Learned.” (http://steveblank.com/)
4. Church of the Customer:
Written by author and management consultant, Jackie Huba, Church of the Customers attracts over roughly 100K readers daily and was named a 2010 “Best Of” for small business blogs by Forbes.  The blog is especially useful for entrepreneurs because it documents successes and failures of both small and large businesses so that those starting up new ventures can see what does and doesn’t work in business and can garner useful tips for making a real go of it and avoiding the pitfalls of disaster. (http://jackiehuba.com/)
5. Wise Bread:

Wise Bread is produced by a variety of writers and entrepreneurs who specialize in saving money, cutting costs and budgeting wisely which makes it a particularly good read for any new business owner on a tight financial plan.  Wise Bread lends credence to the fact that frugality can make or break your company and offers tips on how to manage business finances and gives advice to entrepreneurs that want to do small things on a small budget. (http://www.wisebread.com/)

6. All Business:

All Business is a blog written by a pool of entrepreneurs and other experts who specialize in areas from marketing and strategy to financial management.  All Business differentiates itself in that it covers all aspects of business by giving how-to advice, analysis and commentary from experts in all areas of business.  Another unique feature is that their content is updated daily, and even on the weekends, and is searchable via different categories. (http://www.allbusiness.com/2984958-1.html)

7. Entrepreneur Daily Dose:

Entrepreneur Daily Dose is a great place for business information as it’s written by writers of the well-renowned business publication, Entrepreneur.  Its usefulness is mainly in the fact that it takes articles from that day’s paper and extracts marketing lessons for small business owners. (http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog)

8. Small Biz Survival:

Small Biz Survival is a blog written by Becky McCray and a few of her, as they describe themselves, “small town entrepreneurs.”  By reflecting on their own successes and failures, they offer real life stories that guide an entrepreneur through his or her very own successes and failures.  (http://smallbizsurvival.com/)

9. Small Business Brief:

Small Business Brief is a great resource and one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs seeking business information as the site finds important business “intel” from across the web and aggregates it into one place.  So instead of an entrepreneur having to do his or her daily research on the business world overall, this blog does it for them. (http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/)

10. Copyblogger:

Copyblogger is written by Brian Clark who refers to himself as a “recovering attorney.”  Clark believes that businesses aren’t as successful growing their online presence because they’re lacking both “content marketing” strategy and copywriting.  Clark serves to help entrepreneurs improve their online writing and blogging skills. (http://www.copyblogger.com/)

Every entrepreneur needs advice to make a successful go of their business and oftentimes, small business blogs are the best place to find them.  Garnering the right mentor is often challenging and time-consuming so, in the meantime, using business blogs for guidance is a great place for new business owners to start!

So what have we learned today?  Have you read any of the business blogs mentioned here before?  If so, how have they helped your entrepreneurial endeavors?  If not, are there other business blogs you’ve found more useful?  Leave a comment and let all our readers know!

To learn more about the real estate services provided by Emerge212, check out our official website at: http://www.emerge212.com.

Until next time…