Business

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Use Hashtags to Market Your Business More Effectively

#HashtagsAreAmazing. What started as Twitter’s method of connecting tweets through keywords has now become one of the marquee tools of social-media marketing. Hashtags have been used to promote things as simple as the #MannequinChallenge, to full-scale campaigns like the #MeToo movement. For any entrepreneur attempting to improve their social media presence, hashtags are an invaluable asset. However, as with every tool, it has to be used strategically in order to be effective. To this end, we are pleased to share with our readers some helpful tips on how to maximize the effect of hashtags.

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A Simple Guide to Pitching Your Business Idea

With more and more people taking the bold step to become entrepreneurs, there is a greater demand for useful advice and information about starting a business. As a budding entrepreneur, the more preparation you put into launching your business, the greater your chances of success. One of the most important steps in gaining financial support for your business is The Pitch. The pitch is a presentation of your ideas to a potential investor or financier. Below are a few pointers that will help in perfecting your pitch.

 

Do Market Research

Market research involves gathering information from your potential market i.e. the likely customers for your goods or services. It includes studying your potential target consumers and understanding their likes and dislikes, whilst observing distinctive trends and patterns in the market. Diligent research will give you better insight into your target market and make you more confident about achieving your goals. By presenting detailed evidence that you have conducted thorough research, this will demonstrate to potential investors that you have a good understanding of the market and reassure them that you know what you are talking about.

 

Prepare detailed financial projections

Investors will also want to see detailed figures regarding the income-generating potential of your business. They will expect to see comprehensive projections of all costs, revenue and cash flows. They would also want to know what is in it for them, when will the business realize a profit, and what will be the return on their investment. It is important to be honest about start-up costs and your ability to deliver. Requesting large sums of money without indicating the purpose for which those funds are intended could be a turn off to your potential investor. On the other hand, if you understate the amount of money you need to try and make your pitch more attractive your business could later run into cash-flow problems and eventually fail.

 

Perfect your presentation

Even with an excellent business plan and a product or service that you have confidence in, presenting your idea can be a nerve-wracking experience. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind on the big day.Practice makes perfect. Go over your pitch with family and friends. Practice it in front of your mirror.

Organize your talking points. Prepare flash cards with your main points so that you can refer to them during the presentation. Your delivery should be thorough but as succinct as possible.

Body language is important. Practice maintaining good posture and tone. Even if you feel nervous, it is important to maintain an appearance of confidence.

Anticipate questions. Have answers prepared in advance for questions that are likely to arise. Prepare backup documents and data to support those answers.

Following these guidelines will take you several steps closer to realizing your dream of a successful business. It cannot be overstated how important it is to do your market research thoroughly, and to be fully prepared with detailed financial information in your presentation if you want to land an investor. Remember, you need to ensure that you come across as knowledgeable and confident on the big day. Good luck!

 

Pas Jalou – there’s Great Swimwear for Everyone

When a lifelong passion for swimwear meets determination, only one thing can result; Pas Jalou Swimwear, the brainchild of Kashima Montoute. Born and raised in the Caribbean, Kashima saw a gap in the market that presented the opportunity to cater not just to women seeking regular swimwear, but also to men, plus-size women and kids.

“It’s swimwear to suit the everyday person” says Kashima. Her goal was to create a brand whereby anyone who needs to purchase beachwear can find something that suits their taste. Continue reading

Vivre La Belle – Blazing a Trail of Innovation for Local Beauticians

Tasha and Queenie aren’t new to the business and they’ve certainly made a name for themselves. Their entrepreneurial journey started in 2014 where Vivre La Belle came to be, providing hair and makeup services.

“We don’t just sell stuff. We’re like a blog, kind of,” said Tasha. “We basically have a platform where we allow other beauticians to showcase their work.” Continue reading

Celebrating the One-of-a-Kind BodyB Wired Bra

Nicole Joseph started it all when she decided to make something she could wear for carnival in Trinidad. We all know how costly jumping carnival could be—too expensive—even in your own country. Still, that doesn’t deter carnival enthusiasts who want to join a band and enjoy the experience. She made a quick decision to make her own wire bra and one picture online set everything else off.

“I’ve always been a creative person. Even as a kid,” said Nicole. “I was into beauty and fashion, and I love carnival. I like to work with my hands, especially if it saves me money.” Continue reading

A Simple Guide to Stepping Up Professionally

There are plenty of articles that one can find in Dazzle Magazine or online about how to progress as a professional. Fear not, we have compiled some quick tips for you to consider on your journey to entrepreneurial success.

 

Set long and short-term goals

You hear it all the time; follow your dreams, achieve your goals. But have you actually sat down and taken the time to plan both the short-term and long-term goals for your business? Newcomers to the field of entrepreneurship often make the mistake of being short-sighted in their decisions. While it sometimes does take a stroke of luck for a long-term venture to pull through, you can increase your chances and be more prepared when you make decisions that will benefit you and your business in the long run.

So instead of buying something shiny and new that caught your eye today, invest in something that will bring you many returns over time. Even in this, there must be a balance as you would not want to invest everything into a long-term project that may take too long to be rewarding. The key to wise investing is to define realistic, growth oriented, short-term goals that will drive you to meet your long-term goals.

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6 Ways to Master the Art of Marketing

As an entrepreneur, one needs to be familiar with individuals who have succeeded – and continue to succeed – in their fields. Whether you think of Jeff Bezos, Sean Combs, Richard Branson or Bill Gates, they have all been established as titans in entrepreneurship. While the grandeur of their success and work ethics may seem daunting to the aspiring entrepreneur, there are very simple techniques that they follow religiously to not only get to the top, but to stay there. Following are some tips to help you chart your own road to success. 

 

People always buy the benefit, not the feature

It is okay to be different, innovative and unique. Your product or service can have jaw-dropping features and perks, however, if what you are selling is of no benefit to the consumer, why should they care about it? A feature may be authentically attractive, but if it does not improve upon the consumer’s way of life, chances are they would not be willing to pay money for it.

 

Remember to listen to feedback

Always keep your ears to the ground. Most entrepreneurs you ask will tell you that one of the reasons they got into the business in the first place is to fulfil a need or fill a gap in the market. If you are making a product for a consumer, it is sensible to think that their advice would be key in developing your product or service and improving its overall quality.

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Women vs Men in the Workplace


We hear it all the time: “Times have changed,” and this is most certainly true when we think of ‘women in business’.

Today we see women making outstanding moves in fields known to be dominated by men for centuries. However, most of us are aware that this wasn’t always the case. It’s no doubt been a long and arduous journey for women to establish themselves as equals in the labour force.

For the most part, women have come a long way from being oppressed, both in the home and the workplace. Men and women have always been at odds with each other in society. Society has been harsh to both genders, in some cases. Men have always had to keep up this façade of being the ‘one in charge’, in every situation possible. They needed to be the man of the house at home, the boss at work and nothing less than strong and masculine in between. Women weren’t the only ones with difficulties finding their footing. Continue reading

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Trans-Humanism

The rudimentary ideas of ground-breaking advancements in technology were once reserved only for the world of science fiction. From the imaginative minds behind sci-fi classics like the Terminator, Robo-Cop, I-Robot and Chappie, to name a few – not many believed they would be witnessing the inclusion of artificial intelligence models in the makeup of our strangely modern, brave new world. In the progression of this techno-revolution that appears now to be unstoppable, sights are set on the benefits of Artificial Intelligence, trans-humanism and biometrics. In a subtle manner, it has crept in all around us. It’s in our smartphones and smart televisions, tablets and iPads, smart 3D headphones, credit cards and RFID scanners, to name a few. Yet, amidst the glamour of a promised tech-utopia, critics are sceptical over the true motives of leading technology moguls of artificial intelligence, and whether their presence will serve to benefit or deficit mankind. Continue reading

The Changing Nature of Advertising

Advertising hasn’t changed so much as it has evolved.

The advertising industry has been in existence far longer than anyone reading this could possibly imagine. According to Mashable. com, the earliest records of advertising date back to 2000 BC, when Egyptians would carve public notices into steel structures for many to see. Fast forward about 4000 years and advertisements come to us through our phones, computers and other mediums.

It wasn’t terribly long ago either when flyers stuck to light poles was the norm for advertising a party, a missing animal or property for sale. As testament to the growth of the industry, ads of this nature are more common on Instagram, a strictly photo/ video platform. On a much larger scale, we’d see billboards with a variety of business types all grabbing commuters’ attention. Even those have evolved from the static billboard to dynamic digital ones with multiple ads, all rotating throughout the day.

Regardless of what the time period is, small and large businesses alike engage in some form of advertising, often times, more than one at a time. Continue reading

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