Why Goal Setting and Entrepreneurship Go Hand-in-Hand

Apr 18, 2018

The word entrepreneur quite literally means “the person who organizes and operates a business, taking on greater than normal risks and responsibilities.” Entrepreneurs must keep track of not only their own goals, but those of a company-wide initiative as well.

It’s a wonderful thing to create a business and have the means to run with it, but it takes a lot of self-discipline and accountability to manage so many working parts. Your personal responsibilities pile up, along with the responsibilities of the company you’ve created and invested not only money, but time and emotion into as well. That’s why it’s so important to stay goal oriented and organized so goals and standards don’t get thrown to the wayside, and focus remains on what’s healthy and beneficial to make your business last.

A small business owner must learn to self-report in the same way as if they’re providing details of progress to a supervisor. Staying on top or your own initiatives, reporting on the progress of your own efforts and making sure that they continue to make sense with what goals you want to achieve in the long term and the short term are essential, and will help gauge progress. For goal-setting to be effective, it also must be tangible. Simply thinking about what goals you have and dwelling on them isn’t enough. Get a notebook or a journal and write down goals and dates within a timeline of completion you deem reasonable. Write down not only what, but how they will be accomplished and give each goal a “due date.” Look back on these notes to measure progress and accountability for either reaching those set goals or falling short of them, and reflect on how they we’re achieved, or not. Becoming a self-manger as well as self-reliant on success takes initiative and dedication, and is crucial for making sure no initiative or issue is left unnoticed. Taking steps toward goal-setting may seem silly in the moment, but with proper attention and follow-up progress on a monthly basis, so much can be achieved through proper monitoring and goal-setting.

5 Books that Will Give You the Tools and Motivation to Change Careers or Start a Business

Apr 18, 2018

You may just be starting out and seeking the right career path, or you may have been working for years in the same job and just feel that it’s time to change. Changing careers or deciding to work for yourself, taking the leap into becoming a business owner can be one of the biggest moves of your life. A little guidance can be helpful, but if you don’t have someone to turn to for advice, these 5 books can be incredibly helpful in navigating the world of switching career paths, starting a business or understanding business ownership in general. Whether you’re in need of an inspirational push to make a career change, or maybe you’re hoping to identify some skill-sets that you can apply to your new venture, or perhaps you’re just seeking more meaning outside of the nine to five. Start reading and start discovering what possibilities lie ahead for you.

1. How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen , James Allworth, Karen Dillon Student, retiree or mid-career professional alike will benefit from reading the observations and insights that will force a deeper look at your desired path to absolute fulfillment. If you haven’t found your life’s work, or passion, this is the go-to book of inspiration and wisdom for achieving a fulfilling life. Even Steve Jobs said this book “deeply influenced” him, and it is widely recognized as one of the most significant business books ever published.

2. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, by Ben Horowitz While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. He amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.

3. The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success, by Nicholas Lore This is a classic, and a bestseller for a reason. The Pathfinder offers invaluable advice and more than 100 self-tests and diagnostic tools that will help you choose an entirely new career—or view a current job from a new, more positive perspective. If you feel you’ve hit a career rut and are yearning to move into something new and challenging, but don’t know how- working with the tools within The Pathfinder will help you make a solid educated decision into a new career.

4. The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries Lean Startup is a book designed to serve as your guide through the many changes that a startup brings. It will teach you how to effectively manage your budget, allowing you the freedom to innovate and make your way in the business world. If you want your business to thrive, you’ve got to have precise, effective budget-management.

5. What You're Really Meant to Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential, by Robert Steven Kaplan What a frightening task it is to build a life and a career without knowing if all your courage and hard work will pay off in the ways that you hope. We plan, we define success and strive for it, but when fulfillment isn’t reached in the way that we sought, we are left feeling like failures. Steven Kaplan encourages us to break out of the cycle of seeking the safe route, and regain the focus and desire to venture into discovering our own unique paths. He outlines specific steps and exercises to help you understand yourself more deeply, take control of your career, and build your capabilities in a way that fits your passions and aspirations.

Must-Have Online Tools for Small Business Owners

Apr 18, 2018

1. Google Analytics

How do you know how much traffic your site is receiving, or where your potential customers are finding you online? The way to understand the kind of consumer that your business is attracting and evidently how to reach them is more closely accessible than you realize. Google Analytics allows you to see the full spectrum of where consumers are coming from, what pages are getting more traction than others, and if these visits are converting to sales. Easy to use and hyper-intuitive, your business can’t afford not to use Google Analytics.

2. DropBox

Utilizing cloud-saving capability, you can save all your images, documents, and video clips onto your Dropbox account that can be accessed from anywhere. Don’t worry about losing a document, or sending files that are too large. With Dropbox you can easily share files to other users seamlessly through a link. Stay organized by creating personalized folders and save your documents accordingly; no matter where you travel, or what computer you log into, they’ll all be there waiting for you.

3. Wix

For those of us that don’t know how to build and code our own website domains, there’s Wix. For those Individuals who are less tech savvy and more design centered, Wix is a great resource for website and blog creation. The site uses a drag and drop template (void of coding) so you can fully customize your site. For those with a stronger tech background, Wix is offering a newly launched market app allowing users to mesh their personal apps onto the Wix platform. Did we mention it’s free?

4. Canva

Canva is a multi-functional design service with a built-in photostock library and endless templates to elevate your business. Creating and designing social media posts, online advertisements and print brochures. Even a simply designed Instagram post can all be done here. Not only can you design a beautiful Facebook advertisement, but in the event you want to reuse it on another platform, Canva offers a tool that will automatically resize the image for your specific needs with one click. You can also upload your designs to the Canva community and receive feedback. The online tool offers a well-equipped free version, as well as an inexpensive paid business version.

Platinum Rapid Funding Group is the Diamond Sponsor of this Year's Afghan-American Conference

Mar 22, 2018

Platinum Rapid Funding Group is thrilled to announce that we are the Diamond Sponsor of this Year's Afghan-American Conference, taking place March 23, 2018 to March 25, 2018 at New York University.

The Afghan-American Conference is an annual nationwide conference for community leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue, grow professionally and build relationships. The AAC strives to provide a forum to address issues affecting the Afghan-American community, and a platform to facilitate dialogue, collaborate, and build relationships to strengthen diaspora. It is an event that is professional, cultural, spiritual, social, and personal. AAC is a holistic conference consisting of keynote speeches, professional panels, skill-building workshops, roundtable discussions, safe space caucuses, town halls, networking mixers, entertainment, and even TED-style Talks.

In addition to this sponsorship, Ali is one the selected speakers at the event and will also be joining the Finance Panel and the Professional Networking Breakout sessions during the conference on Friday, March 23rd. Ali Mayar is proud of his cultural heritage and involvement in the Afghan community and hopes to reach Afghan professionals and entrepreneurs through the conference. Ali’s passion and enthusiasm for this event is fervent, “It’s an honor to be a part of this conference. I will do my best to make sure everyone comes out of this event with something more than what they came with.”

Platinum Rapid Funding Group is proud to be a part of this event, and encourages you to visit the conference website for more details:

The Importance of Online Reviews of your Business

Mar 15, 2018

As a business owner you may not see the need to solicit online reviews right away, and the possibility of receiving a bad review may be keeping you up at night. After all, your business is your baby, and you want to protect what you’ve worked so hard to build. But an online review is much more than the risk of unfavorable information being brought to public attention, it also helps to reinforce the validity of your business to the consumer. With the right balance and the right approach to consumer reviews, all reviews can serve as a huge benefit to your business’s future revenue.

Think about your own consumer behavior for a minute. Any time you inquire about a new place you’d like to visit, like choosing a restaurant, or booking a hotel room, you check reviews of other customers first. You’re not alone, 90 percent of consumers check online reviews before visiting or using a business. Think about it in this perspective, there’s only a 10 percent population that chooses a business for their needs without looking over online reviews. Without substantial online reviews, you stand to lose 90 percent of your future customers.

It’s not just having a few reviews that helps establish a repertoire among prospective customers, it’s building a diverse list of reviews, and growing that list that helps you in the long run. Ask satisfied customers to leave a review, and offer a coupon for your services for anyone that does leave a review in order to build a profile- it is entirely ok to incentivize as long as you’re open to honest reviews in return! An estimated 32% of consumers read 4-6 reviews before trusting a business, so getting above ten is a good start.

Having diverse reviews is more important and essential than having all stellar reviews. Nothing screams fraud like a list of 5-star reviews, with vague testimonials about how “amazing” your business is or “how great the experience was” for the consumer. In this case, it’s most definitely about quality over quantity when thinking about building those reviews. It’s also important to understand how these reviews affect your business. For example, on average, a one-star increase on Yelp leads to a 5 to 9 percent increase in a business’ revenue, and just one negative review can cost business 30 customers. Diverse reviews, and thoughtful replies to the negative ones show that you have great regard for a customer of your business, and will do what’s necessary to make a poor experience better. Overall, consumers want to see that you are listening to the suggestions of customers, and are considering them.

When comes to handling the negative reviews, always be prompt and polite, highlight strengths, admit to any outright mistakes and if necessary, take the conversation offline to resolve the situation.

Overall, if you take your online reviews as seriously as you take the quality of products or services that your selling, then you should see an eventual benefit or boost in sales or customer interest as a result. As any good business owner knows, never underestimate the power of the consumer!

Consumer statistics pulled from: https://www.invespcro.com/blog/the-importance-of-online-customer-reviews-infographic/

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