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According to research, there are more than 3 million active immigrant entrepreneurs in the United States, whose businesses employ upwards of 8 million people. A significant percentage of this hail from Mexico. If you’re an immigrant on the verge of starting a business, this article from the OmniMarketing2020 blog will provide you with an in-depth guide of all the important steps you need to take.
Choosing a Visa
Here are the best types of visa categories making you eligible to start a business:
E-2: Under this category, you can choose to open a small or large-scale business. While the investment requirements depend on the size of your organization, expect the amount to at least be $100,000. Additionally, you need to have a minimum of 50% ownership of the business.
L-1A: If you own or work in a successful business in your home country, through this category you can start a branch in the United States. This is a popular pathway used by entrepreneurs as it also qualifies them for citizenship down the line if certain conditions are met.
Defining the Company Structure
For immigrant entrepreneurs, the choices boil down to a C corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Both these options establish your company as a separate legal entity, protecting your personal assets from litigation.
However, with an LLC you can avoid double taxation as you only pay taxes once through your personal income tax. Additionally, LLCs require much less paperwork and provide greater flexibility to add or remove partners.
Funding Your Business
Securing funding is a major challenge that immigrant entrepreneurs face. However, obtaining one of the abovementioned visas or having a local business partner can make the process easier.
A business loan can be the go-to option for covering short or long-term business expenses. But, it requires a high credit score and collateral. If meeting these requirements is difficult, applying for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan is a good alternative. SBA loans can include amounts up to $5 million. Additionally, they have a longer repayment period compared to conventional business loans and are applicable for immigrants with low or no credit scores.
Focusing on Marketing
As reported by Sprout Social, after engaging with a brand on social media, 91% of individuals visit their website and make purchases. Hence, as a new business, you need to invest time in creating accounts on popular social media channels to attract customers and educate them on how your products solve their needs. In addition, to retain customers it’s important to consistently be in touch with them through emails, SMS, push notifications, etc., making them aware of new offers, products, and discounts.
Given the key role marketing plays towards the success of your business, opt to hire experts such as OmniMarketing2020 who can undertake all important activities from developing a marketing strategy to handling social media accounts, creating websites, and much more.
While immigrant entrepreneurs may travel alone to start businesses, their families serve as a constant pillar of support through their journey. Here are a few ways to stay connected with your loved ones:
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Virtual contact centers have been on the rise for several years. Now, with COVID-19 forcing companies to social distance, even more contact center employees are working from home.
In normal conditions, remote work would bring big benefits to productivity and employee morale. However, many employees are stressed wondering how they’ll juggle remote work with their children’s school year in the aftermath of the pandemic.
How can companies help employees manage these competing priorities while staying engaged and productive at work? While there’s no foolproof solution for the challenges ahead, these strategies will help companies and employees cope.
Keep employees at home
Countless companies are still nixing plans to bring employees back to the office as it becomes clear the pandemic fluctuations will continue, and since many working parents continue to have issues with childcare. That’s especially true in areas where child care centers remain closed and parents have limited options for childcare. By keeping staff at home, you eliminate the need for employees to choose between their job and their children.
Provide childcare support
Larger employers may be able to lend a hand when it comes to finding childcare. In addition to greater flexibility for paid leave, some employers are implementing or expanding work-sponsored daycare programs and childcare benefits.
Offer flexible scheduling
Flexible scheduling is the most important change that employers can make to support work-from-home staff during the pandemic. However, offering flexibility only to parents is a decision primed for conflict. Instead, companies should apply flexibility equally while encouraging accountability from work-from-home staff.
Offer Educational Benefits
Many employers are seeing the benefits of supporting their employees’ education goals through tuition reimbursement, as well as programs that help staff find company advancement. There are some excellent and affordable online degree programs that are perfect for working professionals, and many have fast-track options. Many degrees pertain to business administration and other commercial interests, so they can help open doors for your staff with upper management dreams.
Help employees save on back-to-school buys
Learning from home doesn’t just require more time from parents--it also requires more money. Between computers and digital subscriptions, e-learning can take hundreds of dollars more out of parents’ pockets if they must return to online school. If your budget allows, why not provide your employees with relatively inexpensive tech such as headphones that can be used either for either work or school?
A good pair of headphones will let your employees shut out the sounds of their children’s online classes--or keep the kids from being distracted by the noise parents make while doing their job. If you can’t offer a stipend to help cover those costs, tipping employees off on the best ways to save money on school supplies is a great way to show support.
Check in with working parents
Parents may feel guilty that they’re not performing up to their usual standards. One of the easiest (and cheapest!) ways that employers can support working parents is by simply checking in. By asking parents how the school year is progressing and expressing appreciation for their efforts at work, you let employees know that they’re still a valued member of the team. Also, it helps employees maintain a positive and balanced home environment so they can stay healthy.
Helping your employees through this challenging time isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s also a smart move for your company. According to USA Today, 92% of employees who feel supported by their employer through the pandemic say they plan to stay at their job for at least the next year. In a time that’s just as challenging for employers as it is for employees, investing in staff retention is simply good business.
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If you’re like many other people, you suffered a significant blow to your career in the last year or so. Maybe you lost your small business. Maybe you got laid off from your job of 15 years. Or perhaps you’ve gone through another type of setback that has you reeling and uncertain how to pick up the pieces.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, your disappointments and failures can be used to make you stronger, smarter, and wiser. And what better way to use your recent hardships to your advantage than to start a new business? OmniMarketing2020 is here with some practical advice for the prospective entrepreneurs out there who want to take their career to the next level:
Address the Problem(s)
Oftentimes, failure and success go hand in hand. Failing at something provides an opportunity for learning and improving, which is why many of the world’s most innovative and successful entrepreneurs have experienced setback after setback.
Nonetheless, failure is hard, and it’s essential to process your grief before moving onto your next chapter. Whether it’s a loss of business or a loss of job, embrace the setback and allow yourself time to get through the emotional and psychological impact of it.
For you to make the most of your failure, however, you must analyze it and figure out what you can do better next time around. For example, if you’ve suffered a blow to your reputation, look for how you can begin repairing it; working with an SEO and reputation management agency can help you rebuild your name in the industry. If team dynamics is the primary issue that led to your setback, figure out how you can better communicate and work with others. If you struggle to manage your finances, work with a financial planner to right the ship.
One common culprit of business failure is not paying close attention to your cash flow. If you’re spending more money than you’re taking in, it won’t be long before your business closes its doors. If you’re wearing a lot of different hats during those lean early days of your business, you can use software to help you stay on top of your finances. Software like QuickBooks Online Advanced, for example, allows you to easily track your cash flow using a number of reports, graphics, and data comparisons. Although this type of software provides you with the information you need, it’s ultimately up to you to put this data to good use.
Give Yourself Options
When you’re preparing to move onto your next venture, be sure not to limit yourself. Starting a company in the same industry in which you have expertise certainly has its benefits. But don’t shy away from exploring other options. Take time to brainstorm any industries, niches, and vocations that interest you. Make a list, do some market research to figure out which business ideas are feasible, and narrow down your options to a single idea.
Create a Killer Business Plan
Once you’ve chosen what business idea to pursue, start putting together a detailed business plan that you will use to secure funding and navigate obstacles during the first few years of the company. Among other items, your mission statement, core values, financial projects, funding needs, marketing strategies, and target audience should be included in your plan. Note that you will need to make modifications to your plan as your business grows; for now, just make it as accurate as possible.
Branding and Marketing
When kicking off your new business, make sure you’ve put together a plan for branding and marketing. Although this could involve hiring a freelancer to handle the work, you can actually do a lot of this on your own without a lot of hassle. Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) is a great way to market your business and get eyes on your new endeavor. You can also use a website builder to create a quick-and-easy home for your business online. Lastly, online tools such as a free online logo maker can help you create an identity for your business that you can use on social media and your website.
Use your setbacks to your advantage. Take time to process your grief and learn how you can handle things better in the future. Allow yourself to dream up brand-new business ideas, even if they’re in a completely different sector than you’re used to. And create a thorough business plan that will help your company get off the ground and succeed long-term. Remember: Embrace your failure, and you’ll be all the stronger, smarter, and wiser for it!
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If you’re looking for a place to open a small business, North Carolina is an excellent bet. The city of Charlotte, in particular, boasts healthy population growth, affordable housing, high quality of life, and a low cost of living. You’ll find no shortage of community-minded consumers who are eager to support the local companies who keep our city alive and thriving. And because this commercial hub is only growing in popularity among entrepreneurs, Charlotte is a great place to put down roots! Here’s a quick guide packed with everything you need to know about launching a business in the Queen City.
A Thriving Tech Sector
Cities like Austin, San Francisco, and Seattle often come to mind when we think about major tech hubs. But Charlotte’s budding tech sector is often overlooked! According to Charlotte Stories, the city was ranked as America’s top tech town by a leading IT association in 2018. Described as the “Silicon Valley of the East”, Charlotte attracts tech-savvy millennials from all over the country to work for major brands including Wells Fargo and the Bank of America.
If you’re thinking about launching an IT startup, consider joining the ranks of Charlotte’s top tech companies! The city is overflowing with professionals who can help you get off the ground. For example, OmniMarketing2020 can help you formulate your digital strategy, build your online presence, and leverage digital marketing to get your brand in front of customers.
No Shortage of Affordable Homes
Affordability is another reason why Charlotte is such a great place to open a business. Charlotte residents enjoy housing expenses that are 14% lower than the national average! And there’s no shortage of great places to rent, whether you’re looking for an apartment in the heart of the city or a townhouse in the suburbs. According to Rentals.com, there are currently 1260 homes for rent in Charlotte. By saving money on housing, you’ll be able to invest more into growing your startup!
Thanks to the low cost of living in Charlotte, starting a business is a realistic venture for people on any budget. Keeping your startup costs low will help you maintain the financial health of your business, so you can avoid cash flow problems and other financial setbacks. Try to establish good financial habits early. Learn how to read financial statements, prepay taxes, and manage employee payroll properly. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you out, from online financial classes to automation software.
A Surging Entrepreneurship Community
Community spirit plays an important role in the success or failure of any local business. Fortunately for Charlotte’s entrepreneurs, there’s plenty of small business support to go around. You just have to make sure those community-minded shoppers can find you! Content marketing is a great way to get the attention of local customers who want to support small businesses like yours. Neil Patel suggests targeting local keywords based on what locals are searching for and writing articles on these topics to drive traffic to your website.
Guest posting on local websites is another great way to boost your brand visibility locally. As a plus, local small businesses are typically happy to publish free content! Reach out to local businesses in related industries—ideally not your competitors, but brands that complement yours—and offer to write a guest post that would be valuable for their audience as well as your own.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to bring your business idea to life, Charlotte might be your answer. Charlotte residents are eager to support every new business that opens up in town. And thanks to the city’s ever-growing tech sector, you’ll have no problem finding the infrastructure, resources, and professional services you need to build a thriving online presence for your brand.
Are you looking for marketing help? OmniMarketing2020 can help establish a strong online presence for your new business. Contact us today! 910-557-6275.
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Starting and operating a new business is a wild and exciting ride. Entrepreneurship will push you to grow, learn, and take your creativity to new heights. Most business owners go into business because they have an idea, service, or goods they can offer to the public and people will pay money for it. Most entrepreneurs don’t have a master’s in business and—while specialized in their trade—are not specialized in accounting, tax, liability protection, or time management.
No business owner can be an expert overnight in all the areas it takes to run a successful business. However, all business owners can invest time to learn and outsource to professionals when needed. The primary goal of OmniMarketing2020 is to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams of success, which is why we’ve provided ideas to take your business to the next level.
We Can All Use a Little Help from Our Friends
Knowing when to ask the right people the right questions will save you a lot of time and headache. Develop your circle now to help you grow your business. Here are some pros you may want to reach out to and develop a relationship with as you launch your business:The right advice can help put systems in place that grow your business and safeguard its future.
The Key to Business Is Delegating
There are only a finite number of hours in the day. Wouldn’t it be nice to have guaranteed quality sleep, time to exercise, time to eat three healthy meals you prepared yourself, time alone doing a hobby, and time with your loved ones while getting all of your work tasks done? We can dream that the day will come where it all is easy, but for now, it’s a juggling act. Throw the balls up in the air and make sure that none hit the floor.
We all have our limits, and sometimes the “one more thing” on your to-do list is simply not realistic. As an entrepreneur, your time is best spent doing what you’re good at and what brings in the money. For instance, data entry, while necessary to run some successful businesses, is typically not the main breadwinner. Consider hiring a freelance data entry professional and free up your time to concentrate on growing your business.
Whether you are just launching a new business or have been at it for a while, it’s never too early or late to establish good financial habits. It’s important to know what money is coming in, what money is going out, how to develop financial statements, how to establish credit or loans for the business, how to prepay taxes, and how to manage payroll.
Pick up books, take classes, and invest in software. Even if you hire a bookkeeper to oversee the day-to-day activities, you should still be hands-on and know what you’re looking at when you review the books, bank statements, and tax returns.
Time Is Money
Your time is money. It’s cliche but true. When your schedule is in disarray, you will miss opportunities for development and earning. Not all time management methods work for all people and all businesses, but you won’t find the method that works best for you until you start trying them out.
Here are some things you can implement in your schedule to see if they make you more efficient:
Are you looking for top-notch digital strategy services for your small business? Visit omnimarketing2020.com to see how we can help!
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No industry made it out of the 2020 pandemic unscathed, but as the new year continues to blossom, opportunities to reopen are beginning to appear. While reopening your business may sound stressful, there are steps you can take to make your grand reappearance on the market a cost-effective success. The professionals at OmniMarketing 2020 have collected these proven digital strategies that can help you successfully reopen your business.
Plan for Safety
If businesses want to reopen, safety for customers and staff is a must. How will this affect your business and your bottom line? Concepts like social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizer are the new norms, so think about how you could implement these safety measures.
Determining how many people you need on shifts, your new building capacity, cleaning regimens, and even new hours will also fit under this umbrella. These are brand new concerns to many businesses, so spend some time thinking about your own shopping habits through this pandemic: what do you expect to see in stores? What makes a business feel safe to you, the customer? The only way to maintain your business is to keep your staff and customers safe, so remember that you’re marketing yourself as a safe business by instituting these protocols.
Connect with Your Customers
Many of us are feeling distant right now; connecting with your customers, through mailers, social media, or email, can help keep them in the loop about your reopening and other offerings you may have. There are plenty of email marketing services, even free ones, that make it easy to reach out to loyal customers and keep them informed in a stylish, simple way.
Keep in mind that most emails are read on smartphones, so choose an email marketing service that will also help make sure the formatting is appropriate for all viewers. Strong emails will help build credibility and relationships with customers, so don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with customers even before you’re ready to open your doors.
Think About the Long Game
Closures are stressful, but they can give you time to reflect on your business and its structure. Many businesses have pivoted to providing online service, even if they never had before, helping them reach new customers and expand their offerings. Whether it is through a retail site or you build your own website, making your business online-friendly can help defend against any other business disruptions, be they from the pandemic or some other disaster.
Another way to make your business more flexible is to consider forming an LLC; LLCs offer you limited personal liability for your business, as well as less paperwork, tax benefits, and greater overall flexibility. You can even file the paperwork to become an LLC by yourself, skipping the expensive legal fees and helping you control the process. Each state has different requirements for starting an LLC, so be sure to check the regulations for your state before you get started.
Bring in the Experts
Consider working with a marketing firm, like OmniMarketing 2020, who can help you determine who your customers are and how best to reach them. Our expertise is endlessly beneficial even when business is operating as normal; now, moving online and connecting more personally with customers, our skills are in even higher demand. From effective websites to tricks for successful mailing campaigns, marketing experts can help ensure your endeavors grow your business seemingly like magic.
Each of these aspects will help you bring customers back to your business and keep them, no matter what happens in 2021. While we have to rethink the details, like social distancing for in-person shopping and user-friendly e-commerce online experiences, the strategies are still tried and true. Connect with your customers to make sure your business resonates with their needs and wants.
The team at OmniMarketing 2020 is ready to help you make your business a smashing success, so contact us today to see how we can help grow your industry and make the connections you need.
Great companies are built with great leadership. It means the powers that be bring out the best in their team members, inspire faithfulness from customers, and earn respect from their peers. It means demonstrating leadership qualities in a manner that others find understandable, relatable, and motivational. Here’s how to nurture those qualities from within and ensure you can be a successful leader.
What Do You See in the Mirror?
Leadership is more than a title; it’s how you act, what you say, and your attitude. How you conduct your affairs is exactly what your team members and company culture will reflect. They look to you as their role model and then respond accordingly.
For example, if you see employees are generally uninspired and doing as little as possible to get by, it’s time to evaluate whether they can see your passion. When you are energized and excited about the work you are doing, that carries over into their work.
On the flip side, if they don’t see your positive energy, or if they only hear about their own failures, they are bound to feel discouraged, lose productivity, and forfeit creativity. You must embody the vision you hope to see mirrored in your team.
Demonstrate Your Vision
What particular qualities make a great leader, and thereby make a great team? You must have the courage to turn your plans into reality, setting aside your comfort zone to do what must be done. You must be vigilant, staying abreast of your company’s comings, goings, moving and shaking, so you know what’s working and what isn’t. You must also have the integrity to do what you say you’re going to do, and be where you say you’re going to be.
Lastly, when all is said and done, you must demonstrate openness. Being able to admit when something doesn’t work, to accept constructive criticism, to show compassion when others fail — openness alone will foster trust, honesty, and healthy debates within your team.
Learning and Growing
Naturally great leaders know that there is always room for improvement. Whether you come by leadership skills naturally or not isn’t really relevant; the important thing is to always search for ways to improve in your role.
There are courses specifically designed to enhance your leadership abilities or to focus on weak areas in your own job performance. From learning about finances to becoming a more confident leader, earning an online business degree can not only advance your skills, but it also shows your team you are actively working to become a better leader and can inspire them toward more excellence as well.
Keep in mind that while it’s true you can’t truly motivate your employees — they ultimately motivate from within — look for ways to connect with them and encourage a mutual exchange of ideas. Keep communication flowing in both directions, and if you find some aren’t participating, find ways to include them. By knowing they are valued, you once again demonstrate the leadership you want to be reflected throughout your team.
For help formulating a focused digital strategy, building your e-commerce presence, and improving website visibility, call 910-557-6275 to connect with Contact OmniMarketing2020!