IRS Has Videos to help the Do-It-Yourself Tax Filer HamletHub
IRS Has Videos to help the Do-It-Yourself Tax Filer HamletHub
IRS Has Videos to help the Do-It-Yourself Tax Filer HamletHub
If you’re a budding entrepreneur, you’ve likely heard all the stories of the little startups that seem to grow overnight into mega-corporations and household names. The reality is that those business owners put in a lot of sweat equity to set their brands up for that growth — and still ran an enormous risk of failure. To grow a startup business, focus your marketing efforts on exposing your brand to as many potential customers as possible. Organize the few employees you have now so that when you need to hire new people, you have the structure in place to accommodate them. With a good product, strong branding, and a little luck, you can watch your business expand and have the tools to take it to the next level.
[Edit]Marketing Your Brand
Get your family and friends to help spread the word about your business. Family and friends are more likely to be loyal to your business because they’re loyal to you. Don’t be afraid to lean on them, especially when you’re just getting started. Encourage them to tell their friends about your business.
Make sure your family and friends are getting some benefit from promoting your business (other than the joy of helping you succeed). For example, you might offer them a discount for referrals.
You might also consider creating a group of friends and family you call your personal “influencers.” Give them access to new products or services before anyone else or allow them private access to events or promotions you have.
Prioritize customer service and interaction to increase customer retention. When you’re trying to grow your startup, strong, personalized customer service helps you keep regular customers and gain new ones more rapidly. People are often more likely to tell someone else about a new product or service if they had a good experience.
Even if someone is dissatisfied, reaching out to them personally can make a big difference. Listen to your customers and do everything you can to ensure that they have a positive experience with your company.
Train any employees you have to interact with customers positively and help spread your company’s culture and personality. If customers can expect a similar attitude every time they interact with your employees, they’ll come to think of your brand as a singular entity rather than a group of distinct people who each have their own way of doing things.
Build a robust website to reach new customers. On your website, give potential customers different areas to explore to find out more about your business and the products or services you offer. Include reviews and testimonials from current customers to encourage new customers to come on board.
You might also consider starting a blog with information about your business or your industry. You can create a lot of interesting content to drive people to your website. For example, if you’ve started a food delivery service, you might create blog posts about the most popular types of food in different regions or profiles of local restaurants.
Maintain an active presence on social media. Social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, give you the opportunity to interact directly with consumers. Through posts and comments, you can introduce consumers to the personality of your brand.
Ultimately, you’ll want to hire a dedicated social media manager to create and schedule 2-3 posts a day for maximum visibility, as well as monitor comments and respond to messages. In the meantime, you may be responsible for handling this yourself.
Interacting with established brands can also increase your visibility, especially if those accounts engage with you.
Exploit the marketing channels where you get the most traction. Many startups that surge onto the scene do so by limiting their marketing and advertising to one channel rather than spreading it across several. Look at your target customer and consider where they spend most of their time.
For example, if you were trying to target middle-aged consumers, you might find that Facebook was a good way to reach them. However, if you were targeting teenagers, you’d likely want to focus on a social media platform, such as TikTok, that was more popular with that younger demographic.
Partner with other brands to reach more consumers. If you’re offering a product or service that seems to go hand-in-hand with an established brand, make an offer to join forces. Your startup will benefit from the association with a brand consumers already know and trust.
For example, if you’re developing nutritional supplements can add to their coffee in the morning, you might consider partnering with a popular coffee shop chain, such as Starbucks.
Even if your startup is still relatively small, you can partner with smaller local and regional independent brands, then branch out to larger brands as you grow.[Edit]Building an Organizational Structure
Create a structure that reflects how your business will grow. Look at your current employees and determine their strengths and how they can best serve the company as it grows. If you’re mainly running things all on your own, think about your own weaknesses and where you can bring someone on board to help when things start getting too big for you to handle on your own.
For example, if your business is focused on delivering new products, you could organize product teams. It might be that, right now, you’ve only got one product and a few ideas. But as you develop those new products, bring someone on board to lead a team focused solely on that product. As your business continues to grow, each team would have its own leader and operate more independently from the others, with you overseeing all of them.
On the other hand, if your business delivers one service, you would want an organizational structure that was defined by the roles employees played in the company, with standard departments to handle areas such as human resources, marketing, and customer service. As founder, think about which areas you’re strong in and where you could use some help as your business gets bigger.
Group your employees into teams that can grow as your business grows. Assign one employee to lead each group who reports directly to you. That employee will be responsible for assessing the needs of their group. This allows you to focus on growth rather than having to look at every aspect of your business yourself.
Develop automatic processes for hiring and onboarding new employees so this can be done efficiently to anticipate growth. Talk to your group leaders about the needs of their groups so you can develop standard qualifications for each potential role in your company.
If team members are taking on new responsibilities as a result of the reorganization, you might want to consider providing additional compensation. This will become a bigger deal as your company grows. For example, you might start with one employee in charge of sales and marketing. As you grow, you start adding employees. When that original employee is overseeing 2 or 3 others, they have a more complex job.
Standardize routine processes to streamline internal operations. When you founded your startup, you likely did most of the operational and management work on your own. However, if you want your business to grow, you’ll need to delegate many of those responsibilities to other employees. Establish clear policies for how you want things done so your business continues to reflect your goals as it grows.
Having standard procedures also makes it easier to onboard new employees because you don’t have to worry about them being told 5 different things by 5 different people (or worse, nothing by no one).
Hire employees that fit your business culture and personality. If your employees are happy working with your company and feel as though they fit in, they’ll be more dedicated to your vision and help nurture the growth of your startup. Pay attention to the personality and work ethic of potential employees to make sure they’re the right fit for your company.
Make a list of key values you want your business to embody. When you’re interviewing potential employees, you can ask questions that help you determine if they value the same things. For example, if you value teamwork, you might ask if the candidate prefers solving problems on their own as opposed to working with a team.
Create a chain of command as your business starts to grow. When you’re just starting out, you likely have a skeleton crew of 2 or 3 employees who all report directly to you and are relatively equal in rank. However, you won’t have enough time and energy for this as your business gets bigger. Instead, set up a chain of command based on your basic organizational structure. This ensures that every employee on your staff knows exactly who they should report to about any given issue.
If you have a product-based organizational structure, you’ll likely have only the product managers reporting directly to you and everyone else reporting to their respective product manager.
On the other hand, a role-based department structure might have different people in charge of different functions. For example, an employee might go to the head of human resources if they had a question about their vacation time, but they would go to the head of customer service if they got a customer complaint.[Edit]Measuring Your Growth
Set a timeline for your goals to strategize effectively. If growth is your priority, create measurable and attainable goals for your business with specific dates by which you want to achieve them. This enables you to plan a controlled growth strategy and put the resources into place to reach those goals within the timeline you’ve set.
Specific growth benchmarks can also be used to trigger related actions or events. For example, you could set up job postings to release once you hit a specific number of customers.
Delegate specific tasks for each team member to help achieve each goal in your timeline. Find out what those team members need to complete their tasks and allocate the company’s resources accordingly. This also ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal rather than potentially working at cross-purposes.
Streamline your efforts by focusing on 1 or 2 growth indicators at a time. While you may follow many different growth indicators, work towards improving only 1 or 2 at a time. This allows for significant improvement in 1 area rather than marginal growth across the board. Once you’ve reached your goal for that indicator, move on to the next one.
For example, if you’ve designed a smartphone app, you might first focus on the number of users you have. Then, once you’ve reached the 100,000-user mark, you’ll focus on increasing the average length of time a user is on your app to 5 minutes.
Use software to efficiently track growth metrics. While you can track your performance indicators (KPIs, or “key performance indicators”) manually on a spreadsheet, this method of tracking will take too much of your time as your company grows. Instead, look at subscribing to a software platform that can plug into your business and track these metrics for you, giving you real-time data.
Software such as SimpleKPI is streamlined and easy to use, while other products, such as Salesforce, have a little more of a learning curve but allow for more customization.
Track and report on growth on a daily basis to keep employees motivated. Keep your employees informed about the startup’s progress in the area you’ve decided to focus on. If you report on the growth in that area every day, your employees will understand its importance and do what they can to improve growth in that area as well.
Take note of specific actions employees are doing to further growth and point them out to the rest of the team. This will encourage competition.
Evaluate the market for your product or service constantly to stay flexible. When you’re trying to grow a startup quickly, you need to be able to adapt to the changing market for the product or service you’re offering. The demand that existed when you first founded your company can change after a year or two, especially if other competitors have entered the arena.
When the market changes, you have to be willing and able to respond and change with it. Otherwise, your company’s growth will stagnate.
For example, suppose you started a food delivery service. However, another company has started doing the same thing and is more efficient and charges lower delivery fees. If you don’t act quickly to improve your efficiency and adjust your pricing, the other company will likely put you out of business.
Look over your finances at least once a week to identify problems. Keeping an eye on what’s going on with your business’s finances on a daily basis is crucial if your business is growing rapidly. Otherwise, a small problem could quickly morph into a huge one. Set a meeting with your accountant or financial officer for a weekly review of the company’s income and cash flow.
This will also help you identify problem areas or parts of your company that are holding you back or using more resources than they should be. If you’re focused on growing your company, you have to be able to react quickly to these issues as soon as they arise.
If you have investors in your startup, keeping up with your finances on a weekly basis also allows you to interact more knowledgeably with your investors and let them know exactly how their money is being spent.[Edit]References↑ https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2017/08/13/5-actually-useful-tips-grow-startup/
Rocco’s is Providing Do it Yourself Pizza Kits for Home TAPinto.net
1890 – General Federation of Womens’ Clubs founded
1902 – France and Russia issue a joint declaration that approves the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, but stipulates that they have the right to protect interests in China and Korea
1954 – 1st newspaper vending machine used (Columbia Pennsylvania)
1956 – Union workers ended a 156-day strike at Westinghouse Electric Corp
1965 – 27th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: UCLA beats Michigan, 91-80; Bruins’ back-to-back National titles; Gail Goodrich 42 points
2000 – Pope John Paul II visits Holy Land – Jordan, Israel, Palestine
More Historical Events »
1502 – Pierino Belli, Italian soldier and jurist (d. 1575)
1774 – John Braham, English tenor singer and composer, born in London (d. 1856)
1906 – Oswald “Ozzie” Nelson, American actor (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet), born in Jersey City, New Jersey (d. 1975)
1916 – Pierre Messmer, PM (France)
1945 – Pat Riley, NBA coach (Lakers, Knicks, Heat), born in Schenectady, New York
1957 – Spike Lee [Shelton Jackson Lee], American film director (Mo Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X), born in Atlanta, Georgia
More Famous Birthdays »
1646 – Matthew Vossius, historian (Annales Holland Zelandiaeque), dies at 35
1866 – Rikard Nordraak, Norwegian composer, dies at 23
1925 – George N Curzon, British Foreign minister (1919-22), dies at 66
1964 – Jean Rogister, Belgian virtuoso violist and composer, dies at 84
1996 – Victor Zorza, journalist/Russian specialist, dies at 71
2012 – Mel Parnell [Melvin], American Major League Baseball pitcher, dies from cancer at 89
More Famous Deaths »
Do-it-yourself pizza sold as solution to stuck-at-home blues WOODTV.com
You can easily make your own shadow box frame to display your favorite objects or artwork with a few materials and a little bit of effort. Start by measuring the item you want to display so you can gather the right materials. Choose a thin sheet of plywood to serve as the backing and a thicker length of plywood that you can cut to size and form the sides of the frame. Use wood glue to hold them in place and use nails to secure the sides of the frame. Use a wooden picture frame with the glass already attached to it to make a front panel. You can then paint it a color that will make your item stand out, and you’re ready to display it!
[Edit]Cutting and Sanding the Wood
Measure the item that you plan to place in the frame. The artwork or objects that you plan to place inside of the shadow box frame needs to fit inside of it. Use a ruler or a tape measure to find the length and width of the item so you can make a shadow box frame that fits it.
Write down your measurements so you can easily remember them.
For example, you could have a painting that measures that you want to install inside of a shadow box frame.
If you’re giving the shadow box as a gift, or you don’t know the dimensions of the artwork, choose a common shadow box measurement such as , , or .
Buy a piece of thick plywood for the backing. Purchase a sheet of plywood in good condition that is as close to your measurements as you can. Look for pre-cut sheets of plywood that fit the dimensions, or purchase a larger sheet that you can cut to size.
You can find thick plywood at your local hardware store or online.
Cut the plywood to size, if necessary. Use a ruler and trace the dimensions of the shadow box frame onto the thinner sheet of plywood that will serve as the backing. Then, use a circular saw to cut along the lines and cut out the plywood so it matches the measurements.
Use a pencil or marker to mark the dimensions on the board.
Use the ruler to draw a straight line so you can cut along it with the saw.
Get an board measuring . Buy a length of thicker plywood that you can measure and cut to size to build your shadow box frame. The thicker board will form the top, sides, and bottom of your frame, so cutting them from the same piece of plywood will ensure that they’re uniform and consistent.
You can purchase plywood boards at hardware stores, at home improvement stores, and online.
Cut the top and bottom pieces from the board. Measure the top or bottom of the plywood backing that you cut and then mark the measurements onto the plywood board. Use the circular saw to cut 2 segments from the board to form the top and bottom pieces of the frame.
You can also use a table saw or a hand saw to cut the board.
You will end up with 1 sheet of thinner plywood and 2 lengths of the thicker plywood.
Subtract from the length and cut the side pieces. Subtract the thickness of the top and bottom boards from the total length of the backing to find the length of your side boards. Then, cut them out of the plywood.
The 2 top pieces will be the same length as the width of the plywood backing of the frame. The 2 sides will be slightly shorter than the length of the backing because of the top and bottom pieces.
Sand all of the pieces of wood with 180-grit sandpaper. Use gentle, circular motions to lightly sand all of the pieces of wood to remove splinters and rough patches. Pay extra attention to the edges and the sides that were cut so the boards are even and consistent.
Wipe or blow off any sawdust from the surface of the wood when you’re done sanding.
You can use an electric sander as well.
Look for sandpaper at hardware stores and online.[Edit]Assembling the Frame
Apply wood glue to 1 of the short boards. Take 1 of the shorter length of boards that will form either the top or the bottom of the shadow box frame and squeeze a line of wood glue across the bottom edge of it. Use enough glue to form an even and consistent line along the bottom.
Wood glue is available at home improvement stores, at hardware stores, and online.
Press the glue side of the short board to the top edge of the backing. Press the short board at either short end of the plywood backing so the edges of the board and the backing are flush against each other. Hold the board in place for about 10 seconds so it sticks.
Gently release pressure from the board so the glue holds it in place.
Clamp the boards together with a C-clamp for 1 hour. Tighten a C-clamp on top of the board to apply pressure while the glue bonds the 2 pieces of wood together. Leave the clamped pieces of wood alone to allow the glue to dry and bond them together. After an hour, release the clamp and gently wiggle the wood to make sure it’s held securely by the glue.
You could also use a jaw clamp or a screw clamp as well.
You can find C-clamps at your local hardware store and online.
Check the packaging of the wood glue for specific drying times.
Drive nails into the 2 ends of the board. Use a hammer to drive the nails through the plywood backing and into the thicker board. Drive nails at both ends of the board to secure it to the backing.
Use light hammer strokes to drive the nails into the wood so you don’t crack the frame.
Attach the rest of the boards to the backing to form the frame. Apply wood glue to the bottom edge of a board, press it to the backing, and then clamp it into place with a C-clamp. When the glue dries, drive nails through the backing and into the top and bottom of the board. Continue working until all of the sides are connected to the backing.[Edit]Painting the Frame
Choose an acrylic or latex paint in a contrasting color. Shadow box frames are often black because it causes the art or object being displayed in the frame to stand out. You can choose any contrasting color to add depth and dimension to the item in the frame.
Acrylic or latex paints are easy to apply to the wood.
You can find paint at paint supply stores, hardware stores, department stores, and online.
Lay down newspaper or drop cloths over a clean work area. Clear a desk or table to use as a workspace while you paint your shadow box frame. Cover the space with drop cloths or newspaper so you don’t get paint on anything and cleaning up afterward will be easy.
You can use a tarp, plastic sheeting, newspaper, or anything else you don’t mind getting paint on to protect your workspace.
Use a paintbrush to apply a thin coat to the sides, inside, and back. Dip a paintbrush into the paint and use smooth, consistent strokes to apply a thin layer of paint to the wood. Paint the inside, the backing, and 3 of the sides. When the paint dries, paint the last side so you don’t create smudges by holding the frame to paint it.
Work to apply an even layer of paint.
Be sure to paint the corners and edges of the frame as well.
Allow the paint to dry for at least 1 hour. Drying times can vary based on the type of paint you’re using as well as the temperature and humidity of the room you’re working in, but you need to wait at least an hour to allow the first coat of paint to dry. Test to see that it’s dry by touching the paint with your finger.
Check the packaging on the paint for specific drying times.
Work in a well-ventilated room to avoid breathing in the paint fumes and aim a fan at the frame to speed up the drying time of the paint.
Apply a second coat of paint for better coverage. You may notice spots where you can see the wood through the coat of paint, so apply a second coat using the same smooth strokes to create an even and consistent finish. Allow the second coat to dry completely.
If necessary, you can apply an additional coat of paint to the frame.[Edit]Adding a Front Panel
Use a picture frame with glass that matches your dimensions. A simple way to add a front panel to your shadow box is to connect a wooden picture frame that already has the glass connected to it. Choose a frame that fits the dimensions of your shadow box so it fits onto it evenly.
Remove any backing or other materials from the picture frame so that only the front wooden frame and the glass remains.
You can buy new frames at craft supply stores and department stores.
Look for old picture frames at thrift stores that you can upcycle for your project!
Drill 2 hinges onto the inside of the picture frame. Flip the picture frame over so the back is facing up. Use a power drill to attach a small hinge to the outermost edge of one of the sides of the frame near the top. Then, attach another small hinge to the outermost edge of the frame near the bottom so there are 2 hinges on the same side.
Make sure the hinges are aligned with each other and evenly spaced from the top and bottom edges of the frame.
Use the small screws that come with the hinges.
You can find small hinges at home improvement stores, department stores, and online.
Screw the hinges to the front edge of the shadow box frame. Lay the picture frame on your shadow box frame and align the hinges so they lay flat on the outer edge on the front. Use your drill to drive the screws into the shadow box frame so the hinges connect the picture frame to it.
Open and close the front panel to make sure it works and the edges are lined up evenly.
You can also use a screwdriver if you don’t have access to a power drill.
Paint the front panel to match the rest of the frame. Use the same paint or stain that you used to paint the rest of the shadow box frame and apply a thin coat over the front panel. Allow the paint to dry completely and then add a second coat so none of the original paint or color is visible.
Use as many coats as it takes to cover the panel without any of the original paint visible.[Edit]Things You’ll Need
plywood board long
Ruler or measuring tape
2 small hinges with screws
[Edit]Quick Summary↑ https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-build-shadow-box