The 4 Essential Needs Every Customer Has


Are you looking for new ways to jump-start your business in 2016? Trying to figure out why you’re not getting the type of customer response to your product or service that you anticipated? Want to improve your operating systems to get better results?

I hope your answer is, “of course, I do!” Because improving your systems is something you should be doing constantly. Always looking for better ways to serve your clients, better ways to manage your money, better ways to develop employees as leaders, and so on, is one of the hallmarks of entrepreneurship, not to mention just smart business practice.

I suggest that there is one simple construct that will help you do all these things. It’s a mindset, a way of thinking about your business and your customers, that will permeate everything you do and, therefore, every experience your customer (and all your other stakeholders, for that matter) has.

Every customer–every person–has four distinct needs that they are either consciously or, more often, subconsciously seeking to have gratified at all times. These needs are visual, emotional, functional, and financial. In order to

Do startup names matter


startup-notepadStartup names may be a dime a dozen, but most founders still agonize over what to call their dream. Are they right to invest so much energy and time — or would any random string of letters be fine?

If anyone knows the answer, it’s Jonathan Nelson, who created the well-known startup incubator Hackers/Founders (aka H/F). A mainstay in the tech community, H/F spans 75 cities in 32 countries and throws events where entrepreneurs can network, hone pitches and gather advice. We asked Nelson for his thoughts.

Is naming a startup a big deal?

Founders spend a lot of time on it. It’s kind of like that question, “What do you name your band?” What if you name your band Mudhoney or Nickelback? It’s hard to change that name once you get a bit more popular, because the brand is so tightly tied to your name. You don’t hear of startups changing their name after they’re bigger so it tends to be something that people obsess about.

I think that there is a corollary between the names of hedge funds, startups and bands. I’ve been reading

How the next generation should innovate


“Economic development is of the people, by the people and for the people,” declared entrepreneur and economist Iqbal Quadir on the TED stage back in 2005. In his talk, he offered a bold vision for bottom-up development and shared a searing critique of foreign aid — that it actually does more harm than good. His own story of innovation in his native Bangladesh illustrated his vision for grassroots development: Grameenphone is a network of mobile phones for Bangladesh’s poor that increases productivity by increasing connectivity.

Eight years later, Quadir is still thinking deeply about development in the world’s poorest countries. Grameenphone has grown to become the largest phone provider in Bangladesh. And Quadir, now a professor at MIT, has turned his attention to training the next generation of grassroots entrepreneurs.

At the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT, which he founded in 2007, Quadir teaches bottom-up development to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to invent and distribute productive technologies in developing countries. “I’m trying to teach them how to create real businesses that will help mainstream folks, businesses that will be sustainable in serving ordinary people.

The Benefits of a Virtual Office


Growing a small business is one of the most difficult tasks you can undertake in the 21st century. There are so many different challenges that you will face as you attempt to grow your business. One of the big challenges is establishing an air of legitimacy. Customers and clients tend to trust established businesses that have what they perceive to be credibility. If you are just starting out, or if you’re trying to run a business with very few employees, it can be difficult to get someone to trust you with their money. You have to slowly and methodically build up a history of delivering quality, reliable service. However, there are a few things you can do to build up your perceived credibility. One of the most effective ways is to sign up for a virtual office.

What Is a Virtual Office?

A virtual office isn’t actually virtual; the place does actually exist. It’s considered to be virtual because you don’t actually do any business out of that office. When you sign up for a virtual office, you get a call answering service and a business address. For example, if you sell organic cleaning products

Waste Disposal Solutions For Businesses


Waste disposal and recycling solutions are vital to the modern business. Not only do some businesses in some industries have to meet certain legal requirements, but the modern and forward thinking business is one that is aware of its environmental impact and that tries to reduce its footprint. Other businesses, such as those that are involved in heavy industry or in manufacturing, have highly specialised waste disposal requirements, and even local garages create some waste that needs to be disposed of carefully and specially in order to avoid causing additional damage.

Chemicals leaking into the soil and into local water supplies can have serious consequences. It can cause illness to the locals, damage or kill local wildlife and fauna, and it can lead to considerable financial penalties and other penalties imposed by the government on the business. In some cases, it can ultimately lead to the downfall of the business, because of the lost revenue from closing down and from the addition of penalties. By using a professional and experience waste management service, your business can help ensure that this doesn’t happen to you.

Hazardous waste does need special attention and, in most cases, waste of

Four Reasons Your Business Needs IT Support


Computers and technology have expanded to the point where they play essential roles in just about every industry. For this reason, the need for professionals that are able to properly maintain and safeguard the computers used by businesses has risen exponentially.

Even with the fact that computers play an integral role in the success of modern businesses, many business owners are still not convinced that they need ongoing IT support. To prove that it is, here is a look at a few reasons why your business needs IT support.


The biggest reason that businesses today need to have IT support is because of the protection that it provides against potential cyber-attacks. Cyber protection is a huge issue in a modern era where online criminals are becoming more and more prevalent. Opening up the door for a criminal to enter into your database can cause damage to your business that you may never be able to recover from.

With business IT support, you can know that you have professionals on your side taking proactive measures to ensure you are protected. In addition, they will help you put measures in place in the

5 Easy Ways to Create Credibility for Your Business


Small companies often feel as if they’re at a disadvantage competing with large businesses. They feel as if customers are likely to consider a larger company more reliable than a smaller competitor.

However, a smaller business need not fear a larger rival if customers believe that the smaller company can build and maintain credibility.

Most people believe that credibility comes from spending big money on branding and advertising. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For small businesses, credibility emerges naturally from five inexpensive, easily executed tactics:

1. Recommendations

Recommendations cost almost nothing and yet create enormous credibility.

To get a recommendation, ask your existing customers and contacts if they know somebody who could use your services. Don’t just ask for contact information; ask the existing customer to send an introductory email to the potential customer, copying you on the email.

This has three important benefits: 1) it launches you into the conversation, 2) it white-lists your email address, and 3) it avoids any suspicions that you made up the referral, as is often the case with emails that start, “Joe suggested I contact you.”

More important, when an existing customer or contact recommends you to a potential customer, you have automatic credibility because the recommender is putting his

Mentally Strong People


For all the time executives spend concerned about physical strength and health, when it comes down to it, mental strength can mean even more. Particularly for entrepreneurs, numerous articles talk about critical characteristics of mental strength—tenacity, “grit,” optimism, and an unfailing ability as Forbes contributor David Williams says, to “fail up.”

However, we can also define mental strength by identifying the things mentally strong individuals don’t do. Over the weekend, I was impressed by this list compiled by Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker,  that she shared in LifeHack. It impressed me enough I’d also like to share her list here along with my thoughts on how each of these items is particularly applicable to entrepreneurs.

1.    Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves. You don’t see mentally strong people feeling sorry for their circumstances or dwelling on the way they’ve been mistreated. They have learned to take responsibility for their actions and outcomes, and they have an inherent understanding of the fact that frequently life is not fair. They are able to emerge from trying circumstances with self-awareness and gratitude for the lessons learned. When a situation turns out badly, they respond with phrases such