Entrepreneur

Checklist for Hiring a Contract CFO

Here are some additional things to consider before hiring a contract CFO:
– Hourly rate
– Are you paying for his or her commute to your office?
– What other costs will you have?
– Who will actually do the work?
– Will the work be done onsite, offsite, or both?
I would also consider insisting on a weekly hours cap in order to control your costs.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmxQWgUDlPJo0IHCIa6SzrQ

Raising Money for a Business Startup – Why You Should Raise Money

Why should you raise money for your startup instead of bootstrapping?

First, raising money addresses 2 of my 3 critical success factors for a business startup

– Not running out of cash

– Having at least one partner or co-founder

Raising capital forces you to put your plan in writing and clarify your thoughts so you can pitch someone else.  Most people will require some form of business plan.

When you find an investor, it also validates the business… There is s big difference between someone

saying that you a have a good startup and someone actually investing.

Is your business good enough for outsiders to put their money in it?

Investors can also be a great resource for introductions, advice, and assistance.

Want more?

You can watch the videos and subscribe to my YouTube channel here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmxQWgUDlPJo0IHCIa6SzrQ

Questions or comments?

​Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rencarlton

Twitter: @RenCarlton

IG: rencarlton

Raising Money for a Business Startup – Introduction

I have decided to document my journey of trying to raise money for a business startup.

The goal is to give you an unfiltered look at what it is really like to raise money for a new business

This is going to be 100% real, so there is a possibility that this it will not be successful

I have raised startup money in the past, but normally the process is not done in public, so I am not sure if broadcasting this journey will help or hurt the fundraising process.

I plan on publishing at least once per week.  Feel free to contact me with any questions, ideas, or comments.  I also ask that you share this with anyone you know that is interested in raising money for a business startup.

You can watch the video and subscribe to my YouTube channel here:  https://youtu.be/o92g836NKwU

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rencarlton

Twitter: @RenCarlton

IG: rencarlton

Benefits of Using Online Backups

Early one Saturday morning, approximately 15 years ago, something happened that changed my life forever. I woke up early to get some work done. As I pulled my Dell laptop out of its carrying case, I caught my sleeve on the case and accidentally dropped my laptop approximately 6 inches. I did not think it was a big deal until I tried to boot my computer…nothing.  After several phone calls and a trip to a computer repair store I learned the unfortunate truth, my hard drive had crashed and everything on my laptop was permanently lost. Work documents, personal records, photos, and much more were gone forever.

 

Ever since that morning I have diligently backed up every electronic storage device I own on a regular basis. We’re currently living in what some people are describing as the ‘digital age’ as seemingly every part of modern society is governed by computers and technology. Modern technology has advanced hugely over the last decade or so, which many people believe is due to the invention of smart phones and smart devices. We can now browse the web on the move, we can do our banking online, we can transfer funds and pay for items with a few clicks of a few buttons, and we can even earn an honest living online. Computers have revolutionized and changed society forever, which is why so many people and businesses rely on them. Unfortunately, as with all things, occasionally they do not work as well as they should and sometimes they do not work at all. In instances like this, secure backup and file backup services are not only useful, they are vital. Whether you are working on an important report or saving family photos, a sudden computer crash or an unwanted virus can wreak havoc on your life for weeks.

 

Secure backup services however, allow you to save all of your important files and data and allow you to restore data that would have otherwise been lost forever. Because of this, online backup services are becoming hugely popular, in fact, these services have been hugely popular for as long as we can remember and come highly recommended. Here is a look at a few of the benefits and advantages of using an online backup company or service to help protect and restore data.

 

Online secure backup services offer you protection

 

The main benefit associated with live backup services is that they offer you protection or rather they offer protection to your files and data stored on your computer. Let’s face it; computers do sometimes go wrong, sometimes for no reason whatsoever. 99% of the time they’re fantastic, but if it suddenly decides to freeze, crash, or break in the middle of an extremely important business document that you have spent countless hours, days, weeks, or months working on, it’s safe to say that if the file didn’t save, you would probably have a few choice words to say on the matter. That’s where remote backup services come into the mix. These web backup companies and services offer you protection against technological computer-related malfunctions that would have otherwise completely wiped out all of your work. Sometimes technology itself isn’t to blame, but rather Mother Nature herself. All computers require a power source, and in times of extreme weather, we can sometimes lose power, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes several hours, and in extreme cases, even days. Again, these remote backup services protect and store your files and data safely, so you know that even if the worst does happen, all is not lost.

 

Online backups run silently in the background

 

Another great thing about offsite backup services is that once you subscribe to them you are done. You don’t need to worry about anything else. They constantly run silently in the background and store everything. That means that you don’t need to manually save the files yourself, as the offsite backup service will take care of all of that for you. These services also provide you with vital statistics relating to each backup. Each time the live backup does its thing you can view extensive reports about each backup provided, so you know exactly when each complete pc backup was made.

 

Online backups are ready to go at any time

 

Another great benefit of these services is that they allow you to restore data at any time whatsoever, from any location, all with a few clicks of a button. Most of these automatic backup services are able to deliver your data instantly, so you don’t have to wait around very long for the data you backed to be restored. You can use them at any time, and retrieve files, data, and folders from anywhere, all with a few simple clicks.

 

Online backups allow you to retrieve corrupted files and data

 

Whether you subscribe to a complete pc backup service or you use an Apple Mac and subscribe to an online backup Mac service, the great thing about is they allow you unlimited backup capabilities. This means you can retrieve corrupted data or files. Computers pick up viruses, which can sometimes lead to data and file corruption.  In addition, sometimes files simply save corruptly for no clear reason whatsoever. Normally the file or data would need to be permanently wiped from your hard drive, but secure backup services mean you can retrieve corrupted files or data individually, or in cases of extreme virus attacks, you can retrieve all the files and data that would have ordinarily been lost forever.

 

Online backup services are extremely affordable

 

Another great benefit of automatic backup services is the fact that they’re extremely affordable and cost effective. Users are only required to pay small subscription fees for their cloud storage subscription service, and will save a fair amount of money, as they will not have to worry about paying for remote backup servers and software. They’re also great for saving money on energy bills, because these web backup services do not require a dedicated backup server to be running 24/7 for protection, your energy usage will be reduced as a result.

 

Online backups offer you peace of mind

 

Finally, the last, and some would say the most important benefit of using live backup services, is that they offer you peace of mind as you can restore data at any time, from anytime. You needn’t worry about losing that large presentation for work or your precious family photos, since the remote backup will ensure that the file is stored safely.

 

Conclusion

 

Using an online, offsite backup company makes sense for most businesses and individuals.  Whether you are storing vital tax information, or simply preserving a childhood video, taking a few minutes to install a secure backup system today can save you a countless amount of time, money, and frustration in the future.

 

Online Backup System – $59 Per Year! – Order Today and Receive a FREE GIFT!

Click the link http://bit.ly/saveyourdatanow if you are interested in a 15-day free trial of a computer backup system that has ALL of the following features:

  1. Easy to install and use
  2. Backups run automatically
  3. Backups are stored offsite (in the cloud)
  4. Backups are performed throughout the day (real-time)
  5. Backed-up information is easy to view and access via computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.
  6. Free customer support
  7. Affordable ($59 per year)

You will also receive a FREE GIFT if you purchase the online backup system using the following link, http://bit.ly/saveyourdatanow

 

References:

http://www.symform.com/blog/top-5-reasons-online-data-backup/

http://fileinabox.com/six-advantages-of-using-online-file-backup

LinkedIn Profile Writing System – LinkedIn Training and Sales System

LinkedIn, if used appropriately, can increase the revenue of a company. Social networking is often used as a simple, informal channel of communication; however, companies are now starting to realize that social networking is a powerful tool to promote a brand and increase sales.

 

LinkedIn Profile – Online Resume or Marketing Tool

LinkedIn was started in 2002 and officially launched on May 5, 2003. The company has become the world’s largest professional online network with over 135 million members in more than 200 countries. Many professionals join in LinkedIn groups, of which there are more than 2 million, so as to share knowledge and insights. As of November 2011, over 2 million companies had LinkedIn Company Pages.   There are 12 languages currently available on LinkedIn. These include: French, Germany, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, English, Swedish, Spanish, Russian, Romanian and Turkish. This makes LinkedIn a global social network where companies can get professionals to work for them from any part of the world. Thus, companies can create professional LinkedIn pages and attract the most qualified candidates worldwide

What Works and How It Is Done

There is no doubt that many companies are using social business to promote their products/services. The latest reports have shown the following:

  • The percentage of companies expecting to use social media for promotional activities pertaining to their business will rise from 71 percent to 83 percent in the next two years.
  • The number of companies expecting to use social strategies to generate sales leads and revenue will increase drastically. Today, 51 percent of companies use social strategies to generate leads and revenue, while 74 percent are planning to get on board in the next two years.
  • Post-sales support is expected to increase from the current 46 percent to 69 percent in the next two years. Each company has at least one social sales system.

 

Sales System – The Best Marketing Tools for Acquiring New Customers

Every company wants to apply the best marketing tools available to acquire new customers. A study was conducted to establish some of these tools. 62 SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) were asked to give their views on the best marketing tools that worked for them and the ones that didn’t work. The following results were recorded:   What NOT to use From the SME’s responses, the following tools were not recommended as a means of attracting new customers:

  • Call centers
  • Price cuts
  • Cold calling

The top three marketing tools that work The following are the three tools that were named to be the best for marketing, especially when looking for new customers:

  • Face to face networking: 84% of companies stated that face to face networking worked for them and would always use it when searching for new customers.
  • Partners and referrals: 80% of individuals and companies rated partners and referrals as “Good”, or “Very Good”.
  • Content: 76% of the people interviewed stated that creating and distributing compelling content in various forms helped them to acquire new customers.

From this information, it is clear that a combination of approaches if the best way to target your customer. The author recommends the following approach for obtaining new customers:

  • Use LinkedIn to identity potential customers.
  • Delivering appropriate content to the potential customers through various marketing tools.
  • Getting face to face meetings with potential customers.
  • Delivering better products and services in order to get more referrals and partners.

 

LinkedIn Profile Writing System – Why Everyone Should Have a LinkedIn Profile

  • It’s a way of getting your profile online. Your profile looks professional and is very easy to update. Some commentators see the LinkedIn profile as a replacement for the traditional CV. It will ensure that people find you on the web, as Google loves it. For those who already have an online presence, it can improve your ratings and increase the chances of you being found.
  • It gives more information than a traditional CV. It shows the extent of your network and recommendations from others, plus easy links to other online information that backs up your case.
  • It makes networking easy. As one independent consultant said: “it’s like they are making the networking aspect of freelancing too easy to fail.” It’s a useful database of your contacts that is easy to grow. It builds a professional community and reminds you of whom you know.
  • It gives you permission to keep in contact. If someone accepts your invitation to join your network, they are giving you permission to keep in touch. Using LinkedIn to keep in contact is a more personal and less intrusive method than email. It is a form of permission marketing; you can easily remove connections too.

 

Grow Your Network – Sarnoff’s Law

Undoubtedly, there is a direct relationship between the number of customers a company has and the volume of sales that the company makes. If a company has many customers, then it is like that their sales volume is higher. Sarnoff’s Law is attributed to David Sarnoff. David was an American businessman and pioneer of American commercial radio and television network. He was the founder of National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Sarnoff’s Law was created to relate the value of a radio station to the number of listeners. This law is of the view that network value is directly proportional to the number of listeners on that particular network. From a social network perspective, this theory simply implies that the more people are connected to a brand through social network, the more the effect in terms of brand awareness.

 

Accelerate Your Sales Cycle – How to Generate Leads Using LinkedIn

The truth is that a LinkedIn profile can be used to generate leads. Therefore, LinkedIn training such as profile writing should be taken serious. For you to benefit from LinkedIn as a tool to generate leads, you should understand the following social media attractions and distractions. Social media attractions

  • Making money
  • Gaining market share
  • Retaining customers
  • Building visibility

Social media distractions:

  • Fun and games
  • Friends and family
  • Sports and hobbies
  • Unrelated activities

You can use LinkedIn for both direct and indirect marketing campaigns by finding prospects via LinkedIn, but you need to build a relationship with the prospect first. The success of this approach will depend on your ability to connect with the prospect on a personal level, your ability to leverage mutual connections, and the strength of your value proposition.

 

Simplify Your Social Marketing Activities – How You Can Build a LinkedIn Marketing Campaign

There are numerous ways to build an effective LinkedIn marketing campaign.  Below is a process you can use to build one yourself:

  • Plan: It entails identifying your marketing objectives and outcome for LinkedIn, designing your client profile, and creating a compelling LinkedIn profile.
  • Connect: It entails segmenting your contacts, identifying the best search criteria, and building your sales system of targeted leads.
  • Profit: It entails building a relationship with your clients, promoting your call to action, and systemizing and replicating the process.

 

Conclusion – LinkedIn Training and Sales System

Social media is an effective tool for promoting an organization by improving brand awareness, generating leads, and increasing sales. For this to be achieved, your sales team needs to have well-written LinkedIn profiles, a large network of relevant connections, and good content to distribute to potential clients.

 

About Rencat

Rencat is a digital marketing company that specializes in helping organizations use LinkedIn to increase sales.  Our LinkedIn training and sales system grows your referral base, accelerates your sales cycle, and simplifies your social marketing activities.

  • Grow your referral base by connecting with more prospects.
  • Accelerate your sales cycle by interacting with prospects that have common connections and interests.
  • Simplify your social marketing activities by using our proven services, resources, and processes.

Rencat’s services include:

  • LinkedIn Profile Analysis – Learn how to attract the people and companies that will benefit you the most using your LinkedIn profile.
  • LinkedIn Profile Enhancement – Engage our team of professional writers in order to create the LinkedIn profile that is right for you.
  • LinkedIn Marketing Campaign – Leverage our services and resources to create a social marketing campaign that produces results.

 

Resources

  • Social Media as a Tool of Marketing and Creating Brand Awareness – Christine Adhiambo Odhiambo
  • The Business Of Social Business – What Works And How It’s Done – IBM
  • Which Are The Best Marketing Tools For Acquiring New Customers? – Malcolm Wicks
  • How To Use LinkedIn To Bring In Business – Sonja Jefferson
  • Sarnoff’s Law – David Sarnoff
  • How to Generate Leads Using LinkedIn – Hubspot
  • Business Accelerator Program – http://www.linkfluencer.com/business-accelerator-program/

 

How Remote Business Consulting is Changing Business

10 YEARS LATER : HOW REMOTE BUSINESS CONSULTING IS CHANGING BUSINESS, Article by Ren Carlton

I own a car.

In fact, I own two. But I don’t tinker with my own vehicles. Mostly because I can’t afford the tools, the time or the brain-power to know what is needed across two Makes and Models. Not only that, but I am so used to my own vehicles, and the way they run, that I overlook glaring issues any new observer might easily recognize.

That is why I take my cars to a mechanic.  

Now, you probably think that everything is running smoothly in your small business. You might be right. But even a well-oiled machine still needs a mechanic to run diagnostics, check levels and red line it for good measure. After all: how do you know that you’re headed in the right direction for the fiscal report? And are you sure the Six Sigma launch you had that potluck around has really made a difference? No matter how well you think you’re doing: you need a check-up.

That is why you need a business consultant.

Business Consulting is like car maintenance. For over ten years business consulting has been a staple in any company worth its weight. The Consultant is your mechanic. There to fix and prevent process issues. But more than that: they should make you more money. A good mechan—er, consultant will bring changes that translate into a fatter bottom line… But don’t go hiring any old Schmuck in a suit. Read on.

Despite a good run since ‘03, there was a plateau in business consulting about 4 years ago, mostly due to costs and office politics (It seems businesses don’t like tinkering on themselves). Internal consultants and managers are too close to the problems to effect real change. This produced lack-luster results, causing business consulting to level out in 2009 (along with everyone’s 401k…) when companies were scrutinizing every penny.

Another thing that makes having an internal business consultant a gamble is that there is no way to quantify their profitability. Another person on payroll can easily get lost in the shuffle come payday. Not to mention: certain companies were nothing but consultants. And we all know how that crooked E made everyone a little wiser if not a little more fearful.

By now you’re probably saying: “but I thought you said business consulting was a good thing?!” And it is. Only; not in the form it has been in the past. After 2009 internal consultants thinned out. But the ever-present need for checking under the hood brought the next wave in consulting: The Remote Business Consultant.

Having a remote business consultant is like having a dealership mechanic come to your garage.

The consultant from outside can see things that you and your team can’t. He or she is above the cultural radar; so corporate politics and office issues won’t skew the results of their work. A remote consultant can bring change management assistance, they can better implement new technology, bring a host of new methodologies and a fresh perspective all to help your business become more efficient and profitable. And best of all: as with most contractors you can tell where they have earned their keep.

If you want to learn more about business consulting or get your engine checked out; go to www.CFOAsk.com.

CFO SERVICES – GROWING YOUR BUSINESS AND MAKING MORE MONEY

Article by, CFO Service

You are an entrepreneur; a forward-thinker. A doer. You own a company. It might be small, but it’s growing. You are doing great, right? But could you be doing better? If you are the owner of a small or mid-size company and you aren’t using CFO services, you are probably missing out on ways to grow your business faster and make even MORE money.

WHAT ARE CFO SERVICES

CFO services are financial management activities that enhance performance, facilitate growth, and improve profitability.  Specific CFO services include strategic planning, financing, forecasting, risk management, etc. These services are typically performed by a CPA with significant industry experience.

BUT I HAVE A CPA FIRM. I DON’T NEED CFO SERVICES

CPAs are NOT CFOs and they are usually only telling you where your money is going; not how to grow your business or make more money. You typically use a CPA to create financial statements, prepare tax returns, and a host of other valuable services. They are crucial to a well-run business but they are typically not going to grow your business or help you make more money.

BUT I HAVE AN ATTORNEY. I DON’T NEED A CFO​

Your attorney’s main job is to make sure you don’t break any laws or get sued. Most attorneys are NOT going to tell you how to expand, grow, or further monetize your business. Do you need an attorney? Of course. No one wants to make crucial legal mistakes. But an attorney doesn’t take the place of a CFO.

CPAs and attorneys are both – generally – conservative. It’s likely neither will actually TELL you how to make money.

SO HOW DO I KNOW I’M READY FOR CFO SERVICES

The answer to this question isn’t a one-size fits all. Some businesses need CFOs early in the game and others can wait.  The real question is are you growing fast enough and making enough money?  If the answer is no, a CFO is probably the solution.  But for most small businesses, when you are ready for a CFO, there might not be money to hire someone full-time. So how do you have a CFO but not pay out the nose?

There are a number of companies that specialize in CFO Services (see www.dynamicadvisorysolutions.com). These companies pair financial experts with business owners in need of financial and accounting help. If you need more expertise – if you need a CFO – you can typically have one at your fingertips for a low monthly fee.

4 WARNING SIGNS YOUR BUSINESS COACH IS LEADING YOU INTO DISASTER

Article by Business Coaches,

Did you know that your business coach could be leading you astray without you even realizing it? That’s OK, it happens — but here are the top *4 Warning Signs Your Business Coach Is Leading You Into Disaster* so you can break the pattern before it gets worse:

1. You’ve teamed up with a drama queen.

Not everything is a reason to “sound the alarm, the ship is sinking!” You need a cheerleader _without_ all the drama. Consulting jobs were created to match small business owners with someone who could offer expertise on growing the business; coaching jobs match the small business owner with someone to help maintain focus and provide purpose. If your business coach is turning every situation into a three-ring circus, you may be getting distracted from growing your business as much as you could be — and paying for services you don’t need.

2. You’re getting billed up the wazoo.

If you find you’re receiving too-frequent bills from your business coach, it may be time to say good-bye. Sure, you’re going to have bills because you _are_ getting a service — but those bills shouldn’t be trumped-up charges because of all the exaggerated situations your melodramatic coach just HAD to rush in and solve. Accounting jobs are about maximizing your monetary potential and saving you from making costly mistakes – NOT putting out the flames of a dying fire. Make sure you aren’t getting billed for things you can do yourself. Unless…

3. Your coach is the jelly to your peanut butter.

Meaning, your business coach has trained you to think you NEED him or her to survive. Sure, your coach makes things a bit better for you, but just like a peanut butter sandwich is good by itself sometimes, so are you! When you have a business, accounting jobs are vital. But if your business coach is leading you into a co-dependent relationship, it’s time to reevaluate things…or run away.

4. You feel like you’re lying on the couch while talking to your coach.

Sometimes, having a business coach is like going to a therapist. You discuss your issues and determine what your roadblocks are and how to get around them. But if you spend too much time with your business coach wailing on the couch, you’re getting the short end of the stick. You’re paying for a business coach and consulting jobs shouldn’t cost you what it would to sit on the couch at your shrink’s office. Don’t waste your money.

Time for a new coach

For additional tips finding a new business coach and other accounting jobs and consulting jobs, visitwww.CFOAsk.com.

How To Hire The Right Social Media Consultant For Your Business

How To Hire The Right Social Media Consultant For Your Business

Article by Ren Carlton

Hay There Social Media/socialgig™ Blog

“Social Media Consultant” SEO

So you’ve realized it’s vital for your small (or large) business to maintain a consistent presence on social media — and you’ve also realized it takes a bit of work to cultivate an organic online relationship with your customers. With all the digital marketing campaigns taking the ad world by storm, you know how important it is to invest the time and resources into creating a social media marketing plan. That means it’s time to hire a social media consultant to “speak” for you online!

Most people use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Yelp, LinkedIn regularly and are familiar with them — but social media marketing for a business and posting about family dinners are vastly different. How do you know you’re hiring the right social media consultant for your business?

Here are 3 Things to Look for in a Social Media Consultant:

1. How good is their social media presence? How active are they? Are they online once a week or once an hour? Generally, the more time spent on social media marketing tactics, the better to learn and to promote. For your social media consultant to know how to promote your blog, they need to know the best audience and determine a social media strategy for the ideal ways to spread the word.

2. Do they know what they are talking about? A good freelance writer knows how to effectively break subjects down into understandable terms — and should know – the subject before attempting a writing project. If they don’t fully comprehend the ins and outs of your business and/or product, a freelance writer may not be able to make the leap and create the best social media strategy for you.

3. Do they have a proven track record of success? As with any business venture, you need to see previous results of digital marketing accomplishments. Did they come up with some great grand opening ideas and promotional giveaways to boost business? Your social media consultant should prepare a concise social media strategy to help you promote your business, with traceable metrics to show how the social media marketing plan is raising your online presence and developing authentic relationships with fans and followers.

SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANTS

Are you looking to hire a social media consultant — or are you looking to be a social media consultant? Check out socialgig™  and post or find a gig today!