What You’re Doing Wrong As An Entrepreneur Or In Your Small Business

Business owners and entrepreneurs are not always good at asking for help. Be honest, when did you last reach out to someone? Perhaps this is the reason why they are entrepreneurs in the first place. Business owners are self motivated and self reliant. But if you’re operating a business in this way, it could be the one thing which stands in the way of progress.

Entrepreneurs are hard workers too and will work hard in areas which many people wouldn’t consider. They look forward to the long term effects of their actions rather than for immediate rewards. Often business owners have built up their businesses over many years of difficulties and sacrifice.

However, thinking into the cause and effects of all this work there is one thing in common: you. As the ‘owner’ of a business it can be easy to become complacent. Perhaps business growth isn’t what it should be? You are always the limiting factor in your life. Unless you are growing, your business isn’t.

If you keep operating from the belief that you know everything, you will always keep getting the same results in your business, and in your life. Growing in awareness and developing your self along with your business is what smart entrepreneurs do.

Working Hard And Smart

It can be easy to run things ‘as you’ve always run things’. You can get stuck in a mode of operation, especially if you’re largely on your own. But working hard and working smart are not the same things. You need to get smart about working hard if you are to make any progress. Don’t become a ‘busy fool’ doing those things which you have always done, just because it’s always been that way.

Smart business owners know this, and work hard at learning what the best activities are to move their business forward. This ‘trap’ of working as a ‘technician’ in the role of an entrepreneur is easy to fall into. This is especially true if you have recently ‘graduated’ from a role as an employee to that of an ‘owner’.

The role of an employee is to listen to your boss and do the best for them. You are paid by the hour, or for work done. An owner on the other hand isn’t paid for their time. They get paid when the business makes a profit. As such this is an entirely different role. Ask yourself whether you are playing a ‘technician’ role in your business. Should you be doing things differently? Can someone else be employed to do what you are doing? If so the answer should seem obvious. Your role should be the ‘driving engine’ of the business, the overseer and the planner.

Smart Advertising

Advertising is the ‘engine’ of your business. If cash is the ‘life blood’ of your business, advertising is the heart beat. Without a successful and progressive advertising campaign, your business will at best stand still. If you’re standing still while other competing businesses move forward, you’re effectively moving backwards.

Today we are lucky to have the internet as a source of advertising. We can reach anyone globally and target them down to their preferences, intent and geographical location. Platforms like Google’s AdWords and Facebook advertising let us ‘follow’ our potential customers around the internet. Should someone land on our website and not purchase, we can remind them of our business later on. The advertising available to business owners today is very clever, and we should definitely be capitalizing on it.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay per click advertising is one of the best things to come out of the internet for business owners. Many owners doubt the effectiveness of pay per click advertising, but this is only because they don’t understand it properly, or it’s potential to massively change their business.

Initially pay per click should be tested and measured. Only by testing and measuring each element of an advertising campaign can you effectively ‘tweek’ it and learn which elements work best for your customers. If you run a campaign but don’t measure it, how can you know if it brought you any customers?

The ROI

Knowing the return on investment (ROI) of any advertising campaign is a game changer. Many owners get this wrong because they only look at the initial sale. But once you can effectively determine the long term return on investment, you will start to see why it is so important to use paid advertising.

Paid advertising is effectively buying new customers. If your business model lets you earn again and again from each customer, your long term gain from a loyal customer is far more than you might spend to attain that customer. By altering your paid for advertising to reduce your cost and increase your ROI over time, you can find yourself in the nice position of being able to scale up.

Working Against Yourself

We are predisposed to think that spending is wasteful. In terms of ‘smart’ advertising the opposite is true. Of course you don’t start out by spending huge amounts on your pay per click campaign. You start small and only increase your budget when you see tangible results and profitable ones at that.

But the main sticking point is the contrasting viewpoint that we need to ‘cut back’ while at the same time wanting to expand our businesses. This is a contradiction and although this is based in safety and reasonableness, your long term goal should be to be spending more and more on advertising as your business grows.

How do you feel about that? Most likely you want to spend less and less over the course of time. However, with pay per click advertising, once you have developed your adverts to pay out double what you put in, the only reasonable decision is to increase the budget.

So initially you might tentatively spend some money on advertising, see some results and then stop your adverts. This is especially true if you don’t see any tangible benefit of advertising. Most people will give up too early.

Start small with a budget you can afford to lose. Test your adverts with several different strategies, keywords, images and landing pages. By cross testing adverts you can more effectively determine which ones work the best.

Once you have done this for long enough, you will see the power of pay per click. This puts you in charge of your business. Once you have one profitable campaign set up, you can simply leave it running. Then you can move on to another one and another one. This of course takes time but this strategy puts you in the driving seat of your business and eventually will mean you can grow your business more effectively.

This is smart work. This should be the focus of your time if you intend to grow your business.

Relying on free advertising methods or ‘word of mouth’ advertising doesn’t put you in control, however valuable those methods might be.

Being a ‘technician’ in your business should be the work of a manager or an employee, not the business owner. As an owner, your job is to grow your business.

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Travel Tips to the French Riviera, France

FOR YOUR TOUR TO THE FRENCH RIVIERA, FRANCE, MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY!

PASSPORTS

You will need a passport to go to Europe, including France. We recommend applying for a passport as soon as you register for a tour, as it could take few months to process. You can find out all you need to know about passports at the US government passport website. Airlines will not permit you to travel if the name on your ticket does not match exactly the name on your passport, including your middle name.

VISAS

You may need a visa for your tour. Consult the destination countries consulates for more information and specific requirements.

MONEY

Europe uses the Euro. You should familiar yourself with the exchange rate before departure. You will be able to get Euros with a credit card as soon as you arrive at the airport. ATMs are the most convenient since they accept a wide number of bank and credit cards; Visa and MasterCard are the most popular in Europe. Check with your bank to make sure your card will work abroad. Do not forget to get your PIN number from your credit card company (for each card you are planning on using) to be able to withdraw money from ATM machines. Before departure, always let your credit card companies know you are going to Europe. Vendors like stores or restaurants will take Visa and MasterCard; markets vendors will take cash only. Each time you use your Visa or MasterCard, for purchase or withdrawal, the credit card company will charge you a fee.

PACKING

In May and September, the average temperature in the French Riviera is between 55 to 70 degrees. It is hard to predict what the weather will be like when you will be there, so bring something for cold and mild weather. Bring an umbrella (hopefully, it will stay in your luggage!!!), and don’t forget sunglasses and hats. You will be walking so bring comfortable shoes (tennis shoes are OK). The French dress up when going to restaurants; bring jeans, and also dress pants or dresses. No shorts. Don’t forget your camera! Bring your medicine! You will be able to carry your medicine in the plane with you, except liquids and gels (more than 3.4 oz or 100ml) which should go into your luggage. Pack everything in a plastic bag to show at the security check point. Aerosols are prohibited. Scissors, knives and tweezers should go inside your luggage, not in your carry-on. Visit http://www.tsa.gov for more details. Check out the baggage restrictions and carry-on rules with your airline. Don’t forget, you will certainly buy few things during your trip, so pack light!

NOW, YOU ARE BE READY TO HAVE FUN!

Planning Your Travel To Europe For A Memorable Vacation

Many thousands of people travel to Europe each and every year for vacations and on business trips. With so many countries to visit it is possible to plan a vacation that is perfect for every traveler. The first thing that you need to decide on, is which country or countries within Europe do you want to go to? Are there particular locations that are important to you to see? Do you have family or friends who you can stay with or will you need to arrange accommodation at each of your stops?

Once you have some idea of which cities and regions that you want to visit when you travel to Europe, then you can look at how you are going to travel and the kind of accommodation you prefer. For instance, does the idea of backpacking across Europe appeal to you? If so then there are many great resources to assist backpackers in making their vacation the best it possibly could be.

There are many quality hostels across European countries that especially cater for the needs of backpackers who travel to Europe. It is important when you look at the available hostels that you ensure that your preferred hostel has all that you require. Such things as:

Is Wi-Fi Internet included in the daily accommodation cost?

Is the facility secure?

Do they provide secure lockers that have an electrical power point inside so that your smart phone and laptop can be charged securely without threat of being stolen?

Is 24-hour access available to your room so you can easily enter after those late nights out on the town?

Is breakfast included in the nightly fee?

What kitchen, laundry and bathroom facilities are provided?

Are there common areas where you can meet new people and gather some great travel tips?

Many backpackers set up their vacation so that they pick up some jobs along the way to assist in paying for their trip. Is this something that you may be interested in when you travel to Europe? If so then there are resources that can assist you with finding work that is available to travelers.

Aside from backpacking there are many other options when people travel to Europe. You may prefer to stay in 4 or 5 star hotels and to relax and take it easy as you take in all of the sights. Perhaps you are planning a family trip and you want accommodation and places to visit that will suit each member of your family. If you have children with you then they may want to spend some time at Disneyland Paris in France. It is also possible to plan your travel to Europe around a theme, such as visiting European Castles. In fact, many European Castles have been turned into luxurious accommodation for travelers from all around the world. This could be the most unique vacation of your lifetime as you stay in luxury in a room where Kings and Queens of the past also slept!

Once you have a clear idea of where you want to visit when you travel to Europe then you need to begin to gather the necessary paperwork for your trip. What travel documents you require will vary from person to person depending on which European countries you are planning on visiting and also which country issued your passport. The length of your proposed stay in European countries will also have an impact on whether you require a visa for your visit or not. For instance, for visits to countries that are governed by the Schengen Convention that are less than a total of 90 days in length, a visa may not be required. But again, this is dependent on your country of origin that issued your passport. So you can see that it is very important, while in the planning stage of your trip that you investigate and see what the requirements are for each European country that you want to visit when you travel to Europe.

Five Vacation Planning Travel Tips to Save You Time & Money on Your Vacation

Vacation planning is fun and easy so you don’t need to get overwhelmed. The first thing I want you to do is to take a deep breath and don’t panic. If you’ve never done this before, relax. I am here to help you with some simple steps to plan a great vacation.

1. Determine Your Budget.

There are many ways to go about determining your budget, but I usually set a price of how much I want to spend (per person) and then go from there to determine how to find the best travel deals based on where I want to go on a cheap vacation. You need to be reasonable regarding what the budget will be for your vacation or getaway. A very realistic and reasonable budget for a cheap vacation is between $800-$1200 per person including airfare, hotel, car rental, food, tips, and airport parking. I’ve traveled all over the country on business and the average budget for a two-to-three day business trip is about the same amount so it’s a very reasonable for a cheap vacation for an entire week (especially when it involves air travel and a much longer stay).

2. Choose Your Destination.

Here’s a little insider travel secret. I’ve traveled to some amazing vacation destinations at amazing prices, but I don’t usually choose my destination. The destination chooses me. It can get a little frustrating but I can tell you that if destinations did not chose me, I would never have went to Jamaica and seen a live starfish swimming underwater when I was snorkeling off of a beach in Negril, climbed the Great Wall of China, traveled through the Panama Canal or met a baby sloth at a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica just for starters. I went to those vacation destinations not because I had a deep desire to travel to Montego Bay, Beijing, Panama City, or Puerto Limon, but because I was chasing a travel deal. Now, vacation planning via chasing a deal is a great way to get cheap vacations and save a lot of money. I have been on some incredible trips and gone to vacation destinations I never would have had at the top of my travel destinations “bucket list,” but I realize chasing the travel deal has prevented me so far from going to Tahiti’s island paradise of Bora, Bora (my life long travel dream) and I still want to do the “Sound of Music” tour in Salzburg, Austria. So you usually have a choice: chase the best travel deal or choose your travel dream.

3. Book Your Airfare, Hotel, and Car Rental.

When you’re vacation planning, the best way to save hundreds of dollars on your vacation is to book everything together as a complete travel package. I don’t have any technological reason as to why this saves you money, but it does. Feel free to experiment with your own online travel booking engine of choice with this concept by making queries separately and then as a package, but it’s been done before and proven to save you money. I do know that Rovia Travel has the best online price 68% of the time as compared to Travelocity and Expedia according to a recent independent survey by Topaz International so you may want to check them out.

4. Research Your Vacation Destination & Plan Your Travel Itinerary.

Researching my vacation destination and planning great itineraries is one of the things that I sort of excel at in vacation planning because I love researching the hot tourist attractions of the vacation destination I’m visiting. I know some people just like to “wing it,” but that lack of vacation planning can really add hundreds of dollars to your trip. There are two great ways to do your research. First, there are so many online tools at the local tourism offices of the areas your visiting that have all the main information at your fingertips, plus many have coupons or travel deals you may not have been able to find in other ways. The second thing I like to do is pick up a great guide book for the destination I’m going to. Frommer’s Travel Guide Books and Rick Steves’ Travel Guide Books for Europe are very well researched and written and these authors update their books almost yearly so you know you have up-to-date information.

5. Make Two Checklists.

Now you need to make two checklists for your vacation planning. One is a list of things to do before you go on vacation. This includes finding a pet sitter, getting a neighbor to pick up the mail, calling your mobile phone service to arrange for a text/email package while you’re away if you’re traveling internationally, secure a passport or visa (if you need them), get medical vaccinations if necessary, call your credit card companies to let them know you’ll be traveling and what cities or countries to expect charges to come up on, and things like that. The second list for your vacation planning is a list of things to pack.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now you see how simple vacation planning is even for an inexperienced traveler. These are the basics of vacation planning and now that you know how to plan your vacation, we have a lot of extra bonus travel tips my travel website (see below) to help you discover a world of ways to see the world. Bon Voyage and have a fabulous vacation.