AM Days, ICON15, Many More Events Fill March Calendar

The Big EventEDIT

The Marketing, Myths, and Magic — Demystifying the Marketing Pipeline event will be taking place this week starting Tuesday, March 3. This is a chance to learn your marketing strengths and get tips to become better at what you do. It’s just one of the many events packing the March calendar.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Marketing, Myths, and Magic—Demystifying the Marketing Pipeline

March 3, 2015, New York City, N.Y.

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Mistakes and Other Lessons From the Small Business Community

Business MistakesEDIT

Business lessons can come from many different sources. You can learn from those who have been successful in your industry. But you can also learn from those who have made mistakes. This week, some members of our small business community shared some mistakes and misconceptions that other entrepreneurs can learn from. Those posts are just part of this week’s Small Business Trends community and information roundup. Read on for the full list.

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11 Things You Should Outsource to Save Money





If I’m trying to save money, what is the best area of my business to outsource?

outsource

The following answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. PPC

Paid search is one of the easiest things to outsource. Most companies don’t need a full-time paid search expert on their team. Outsourcing this is pretty easy and will save your business money in the long term. I personally like 3Q DigitalHanapin MarketingAdogy and Wordstream to manage my paid search. – Murray NewlandsInfluence People

2. Document Formatting

If you create a lot of presentations and spreadsheets, consider outsourcing the formatting of this to a college student or remote employee who can handle these repetitive tasks. I especially recommend creating step-by-step screen capture videos to explain precisely what needs to be done. –Sathvik TantryFormSwift

3. Anything Outside Your Core Service or Product

You may think you’re saving money by trying to do everything yourself, but it’s a false economy. Focus your staff hires on people who perform your core business. Everything else — accounting, payroll, marketing, etc. — can be outsourced. – Mary Ellen SlayterReputation Capital

4. Anything You Hate Doing (and Aren’t Very Good At)

There is nothing more frustrating than “trying” to do things well that I am bad at and don’t like. Do what you love, and what you are gifted in. Outsource the rest. It is an expense, but this expense will allow you to be more effective building and generating revenue because you are inspired all day doing what you love. – Matt ShoupMattShoup.com

5. Payroll and Benefits

Few people are payroll, tax and benefit experts, so it’s best to hire those who are. We’ve found that having one company manage both payroll and benefits simplified our life even more than two separate companies. It’s nice to have payroll automatically adjusted when benefits change — that used to be a manual process to make sure deductions were right with payroll and adjusted with each change. – Angela HarlessAcrobatAnt

6. Human Resources

We use a company called Zenefits to take care of many of the traditional human resources functions. This allows us to spend our timedoing what we do best. – Jason KulpaUnderground Elephant

7. Content Creation

The best area of a small business to outsource is probably content creation for your blog or website. Plenty of freelance writers are available via sites such as Guru or Freelancer – just be sure to hire writers with industry-specific experience, and pay them commensurately. Remember, if you offer 10 dollars per article, you’re going to get 10 dollars worth of content quality. – Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance 

8. Prospecting

Hire a virtual assistant to put together a spreadsheet of prospects. Provide them clear instructions by creating a set of ‘prospect criteria’ (i.e. post Series-A SaaS companies with at least 10 employees that target the Healthcare industry), provide a few ‘prospect outlets’ (i.e. AngelList, Product Hunt, etc.) and recommend a few ‘prospecting tools’ (i.e. BuiltWith, Sales Loft, etc). – Ross BeyelerGrowth Spark

9. Social Media

It takes so much time and can be easily outsourced — just be sure to conduct adequate training in the voice of your brand before giving up full control. – Alexis WolferThe Beauty Bean

10. Administrative Support and Personal Assistants

Nowadays, there are much more cost-effective options than hiring someone to handle the routine duties of your business. Virtual assistants can help you in a variety of ways, and even seemingly small tasks can add up to save you a bunch of time over the course of a few months. – Phil LaboonEyeflow Internet Marketing

11. Software Development

The best area to outsource is software development because it can be the most expensive. However, you should only outsource development through a service such as Elance if you have a dedicated developer in your company. If you have a developer, he or she can outline specific feature requirements to ensure you get what you’re looking for. – Eric Schaumburgeventr.io





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Entrepreneur Cleans Up With Handmade Product Businesses

AM Head Shot

The craft and hobby industry is booming, reaching the $30 billion mark in the U.S. alone. Online resources and marketplaces like Etsy have made it incredibly easy for almost anyone to turn a hobby or creative passion into a business. But with so many of these businesses popping up daily, it can be a challenge to make one really stand out.

Still, Anne-Marie Faiola, a former correctional officer, has managed to build not just one, but two successful handmade businesses, Bramble Berry and Handmade Beauty Box.

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