Competitive Edge Blog

13th, October 2017

8 Great Online Tools for the Self-Employed

As everyone who has launched their own business knows, becoming self-employed can seem like a double-edged sword. You have all the benefits of being your own boss, choosing the direction your business takes, and selecting the team you work with. However, as Benjamin Parker often told a young Spiderman, “with great power there must also come great responsibility.” After all, if things do not go as planned, you are the one who will have to bear the co...

13th, October 2017

So you want to be a consultant

What is your concept of what a consultant does? They consult with businesses, but what is it that they offer that the business can’t handle itself? Generally they have a specialty that the business lacks, or a specialty that is in short supply. The specialty is often called the consultant’s “niche.” Can you identify your niche? It is important that you be able to describe this niche to the prospective client so that they are clear about what you have to offer. Specialties include busine...

30th, September 2017

Consulting Services for Small Business

When an entrepreneur is starting a business he or she is faced with the requirement of several functions in which they might not be experts. They may know, for example, all there is to know about wholesale distribution but have no idea how to build a website.

Since most companies are started with very limited funds, many entrepreneurs are reluctant to set money aside to pay for consulting services to fill in their knowledge gaps. For example, many create a website from the many t...

26th, September 2017

Mining Market Data

With a heightened awareness of opportunity, ideas can often be generated by market research. The National Women’s Business Center (NWBC) defines market research as “a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about your target market, competition, and/or environment with the goal being increased understanding. Through the market research process, you can take data–a variety of related or non-related facts–and create useful information to guide your business decisions.

17th, September 2017

How to Write an Irresistible Business Proposal

1. Find out about your potential partner by talking to them, reading their mission statement and researching them – as well as learning how they make decisions. This will reveal the "buttons" that you’ll need to press as you describe the benefits of the partnership (i.e. more profits, something new to offer their clients, giving their business a new edge on competition, etc.).

2. Make an offer they can’t refuse. Again, this will also take some re...

2nd, September 2017

We Are All Self Employed

Q: I am not yet ready to be self-employed, but wish to be in the near future. What can I do in my current job to prepare?

We are all self-employed; even as employees of a firm, we are still primarily personal career managers. Still, some of us are, or will become, entrepreneurs.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has developed a Checklist for Going into Business (http://www.sba.gov/content/use-our-starting-assessment-tool) that leads the prospective entrepreneur thr...

29th, June 2017

8 Steps to Starting a Business

About 8 Steps Can entrepreneurship be taught? Many of the skills of successful entrepreneurs can be taught, and sensitivity to business opportunity can be sharpened. A thorough and orderly approach to business planning allows us to assess whether an opportunity exists, and to chart the best way to take maximum advantage of that opportunity.

From there, a hardy individual can decide, with a little less uncertainty, whether or not to pursue that opportunity. A feat...