Financing Failures: Why so Many Startups Can’t Survive

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Every year thousands of people fulfill their dream of becoming an entrepreneur only to encounter unforeseen obstacles that cause their venture to fail. In fact, 90% of startups fail within their first year. Learn why it’s so hard to start and sustain a successful business and how you avoid some of the common pitfalls like financing failures.

Product or Service Isn’t Wanted

A survey conducted among failed startup founders said that the lack of market or need for their product, was the main reason for their failed business. Basically they didn’t have a product or service enough people wanted or need. Check for flaws in your demand with these areas.

  • Weak Value Proposition

A value proposition is a statement that says why people should buy your product. For example, people buy Aspirin because they know it will get rid of aches and pains. Your product needs to have a clear value proposition in order for people to know why they should buy your product.

  • Wrong Time

No matter how great your idea is, your business must be relevant to today’s consumers. If your business is ahead or behind the times, it’ll be very hard to gain traction. Are there already a thousand stores just like yours in the neighborhood? Get in at the right time and your business will take off.

Not Enough Money

Money management is critical for any business, but especially in a startup. The key to proper financial management is having the right equipment when you start. In order for your business to function, you need certain essential equipment. Do not decide to invest in the necessary items after you have open up shop. That’s like flying a plane that’s only 95% ready. You should also keep enough cash on hand for day-to-day operations. A business cannot be sustainable if you don’t have enough daily cash. If you know it will take off in time, a loan might be a good way to get on your feet. Talk to investors as well to see what options you might have for outside funding.

Not the Right People

In order to have a successful business, you need to build it with the right people. However, just because someone is skilled at their craft, does not mean they are great management partners. Business is a tough environment and your team needs to be composed of people with key skills, leadership ability, and similar vision. Find people who will work with you to achieve your vision. You should also be willing and able to compensate them. Even if you picked the best, they will easily fall away or desert you if they can’t see the rewards. Use a good system and a Pay Stub Calculator to make sure everyone is compensated accurately.

You team will need to generate good business ideas, test them, and thoroughly carry out your business strategies. If you have a great management team you will probably be able to avoid the other two causes of failed startups.

Plan Now

Before you decide to open your own business, create a well thought out business plan. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Study why businesses fail and plan how you can overcome these challenges. Once you have a solid plan, get what you need, and start your dream business!

The post Financing Failures: Why so Many Startups Can’t Survive appeared first on Small Business Can.

Growing Fast but Smart: 6 Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

If you were the head of a large enterprise, hiring new staff would probably less of a headache. You would have staff who is well-versed in employment law, recruiting practices, researching candidates, and conducting interviews. These staff members would be able to quickly review all CV, conduct phone screens, and even first interviews. Your role would be to conduct final interviewers, or even to step out of the process entirely, leaving the final hiring decisions to department managers. Unfortunately, as a small business owner, these duties fall solely in your lap.

6 Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

Things can be especially overwhelming if you are hiring your first employee, or first set of employees. Fortunately, there are a few tips that you can use when you first begin to navigate the hiring process. Hopefully this will make things a bit less daunting.

  1. Prepare a Set of Appropriate and Relevant Interview Questions

It may be tempting to keep things informal by conducting interviews as a casual, conversational, getting to know you session, but this is only asking for trouble. It’s too easy to miss key points if you do not have a list of questions that you plan to ask.

In addition to this, writing out your questions before hand gives you a chance to make sure that you are not asking anything that could get you into trouble. If an interview happens to go too far off topic, you can also use your list of questions to get both yourself and your interviewee back on track.

  1. Re-Read the CV of Any Client You Have Called Back for a Second or Third Interview

You may interview more than a dozen possible hires before you create your short list of callbacks. There’s no possible way to keep track of the relevant information about each of them.

Before you a carry out a second or third interview, take a few minutes to remind yourself of each person’s education, experience, and skills by reading over their resume one last time. You’ll be better prepared and you won’t risk embarrassing yourself by asking irrelevant questions.

  1. Follow Up with All Interviewees

As a matter of personal courtesy, be sure to follow up with everybody that you interviewed, even if it is to express your regrets. Even if they aren’t getting the job, the folks you interviewed will appreciate any feedback that you give them, and simply knowing that they can continue their job search.

If you develop a reputation as an employer who does not let interviewee know that they are no longer being considered, you will likely lose word of mouth references that can be so important when filling new positions.

  1. Value Your Gut Instincts

Hiring a new employee is more involved than simply matching skills, education, and experience with your requirements. You want to hire a person who fits into your little organization and is trustworthy and reliable. You want to work with somebody who is going to thrive in your work environment, get along with others, and demonstrate the passion and hard work that is required when working for a small business.

If you suspect that a potential employee won’t fit into your team, the best thing you can do for all involved is to move on to a candidate is a better fit.

  1. Use Networking in Addition to Posting Positions for Hire

Get word out to your online and offline contacts that you are hiring. You may be very surprised at how quickly candidates come your way via referrals from friends and business contacts. Don’t be afraid to mention that you have openings on social media pages either.

The more avenues you take when reaching out to new hires, the more likely you will be to fill any openings quickly. In fact, many younger job seekers will look for jobs via social media sites more often than they will traditional job sites.

  1. Be Clear and Detailed in Your Job Postings

If you have requirements about which you have no flexibility, make this clear when you write the post advertising your job. In addition to this, if you have specific instructions about how you wish to be contacted, or the format in which you would like to receive the job seekers’ CV, this should also be explicitly stated in the job posting.

Keep in mind that the more clear you are, the less likely you will have to spend time sifting through applicants of candidates who do not meet your requirements. Before you send your job posting off to be published, read it over and over from the perspective of a job seeker. Then, ask yourself if more clarity is in order. If you have a friend or acquaintance that is familiar with all of this, you might see if they will take a look at your job posting for you.

The post Growing Fast but Smart: 6 Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners appeared first on Small Business Can.

8 Professional Qualities That Can Help All Budding Entrepreneurs

Running a business successfully takes more than just making plans. It takes careful execution of the said plans and the readiness to face the outcome, whatever it may be. While no one can guarantee that your plans will lead you to success, you can be certain of the fact that every experience you gain will bring with it a lesson, irrespective of whether you succeed or not.

As a budding entrepreneur, you’re bound to feel overwhelmed at times. Rest assured, you aren’t alone in this. Running a business successfully is no mean task, especially for an amateur. It is important, however, to stay positive and continually challenge yourself to perform better.

Wondering what it takes for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to make it big in the business world? You’ve come to the right place.

Entrepreneurs Remember the Why

Break up the word ENTRE-PRE-NEUR to understand the fundamental rule of building a flourishing empire. Entrepreneurs need to figure out why they need to “ENTER” a space in the first place. Is it just the money? Or is it passion? Being passionate about your work is a skill. Have you seen anyone succeed because of plain luck and no passion? You can’t stay in business if you don’t have the will to sustain it. Entrepreneurs find out what their strengths are and work on their weaknesses. They also make sure they recruit passionate people who can egg each other on along the journey.

Entrepreneurs Do the Ground Work

“PRE” signifies “before” or “prior to.” The thumb rules are to pre-plan and pre-estimate. Entrepreneurs never work with assumptions (which lead to apprehensions). They get the facts and stats on everything that matters. They are information-oriented. They think like no one else does, which takes practise. They filter out the negatives. They serve a purpose; fill a hidden gap. Details beat presumptions every single time.

Entrepreneurs are Enterprising 24×7

Entrepreneurship is a craft and entrepreneurs are masters of this craft. They are updated about everything in their business (and that of others). They maintain a 360-degree view of the world and current trends. They seek internal and external feedback, and even hear out criticism. At the end of the day, they review their actions and priorities. Their mind is constantly fertile with words like “new,” “innovation,” and “growth.”

Ideating comes naturally to them. There’s a popular adage that talks about winners not doing too many different things, but doing regular things differently. This is what sets them apart. Entrepreneurs need to think on these lines in order to become winners. As they move from one project to another, they need to challenge existing notions and raise the bar.

Just like “NEUR,” a combining word form that means related to nerves, business acumen surely needs to run in an entrepreneur’s nerves!

Entrepreneurs are Go-Getters

Entrepreneurs trust their instincts, of course, after they have gauged the rational and calculated elements. Instincts are the feathers and perseverance the wings. They are perceptive and work with foresight. They never lose focus on why they got into it, where they stand now, and what tomorrow holds.

They compete more with improvement and excellence than with rivals. They never settle for mediocrity. They are not satisfied with temporary solutions. They ask questions, and find (or create) answers. They reinvent and rediscover.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t wait for things to happen; they make things happen. They want to learn as much as they can and use that knowledge to get things done and achieve their objectives.

Entrepreneurs Value People-Power

Progressive entrepreneurs invest as much in their team as they do in assets, technology, and the other overall business areas. They get the right people to do things right. They care for their team and encourage them to excel. They don’t build a business; they build people – with whom they can in turn build a business together. They connect with all their stakeholders: clients, customers, and critics.

Entrepreneurs Manage Time

Taking accurate and time-bound decisions is vital to any business. The speed of the “boss” determines the speed of the team. Checks and balances are key words. When time tests them, they adjust. They return with a bang.

Entrepreneurs are Conscious

Successful businessmen do not hold themselves back from setting lofty goals and take on challenges that are seemingly unachievable.
Entrepreneurs know that they do not “run” but “lead,” or even “guide” a business. They safeguard it and its people. They are always ready for the best and prepared for the worst. They spearhead transformations when required. They say Yes or No prudently. In short, they know the implications of their words and actions, and are always aware of what they’re doing or saying.

Entrepreneurs are Always Cheerful

The ability to stay positive and cheerful, in the good times and the bad, is the hallmark of a successful entrepreneur. The entrepreneur is the face of his business, and its reputation depends greatly on the way he presents himself in public. Entrepreneurs establish cheer in their own and their team’s hearts. They don’t mull over losses. They are amazingly positive. They know there’s more to achieve and the world is their oyster.

Over to You

Are you a founder or a leader of a company? How many of the above traits do you share with other immensely successful entrepreneurs? Do a self-check and share your experiences with us in the comments.

The post 8 Professional Qualities That Can Help All Budding Entrepreneurs appeared first on Small Business Can.

5 Necessary Skills for Every Entrepreneur

Successful entrepreneurship requires a certain mindset, collection of personality attributes, and a battery of skills. Each CEO and entrepreneur may have a slightly different way of doing things, but the essential elements of success remain the same. The following includes 5 Necessary Skills for Every Entrepreneur. These skills are necessary to achieve, persevere, and dominate in the world of business as an entrepreneur.

Necessary Skills for Every Entrepreneur: 1. Leadership

Not everyone has the ability to lead. Leadership qualities are more than just ordering subordinates about. A true leader inspires people to want to well for the company. This is not necessarily accomplished by ruling with an iron fist, but neither is it suggested that an up-and-coming entrepreneur take a relaxed attitude toward management.

Leadership encompasses many skills that required decisiveness, finesse, and sound decision-making. A leader needs to be willing and able to delegate tasks to employees, have a clear, workable plan fully formed before implementation, understand the financial expectations of the business, and build an effective staff by hiring applicants that will be assets to the business. An entrepreneur who can work with their staff is more likely to succeed than one that simply dictates orders without being in touch with what is actually taking place within the company.

2. Motivation

Without drive success will never occur. Slacking off and procrastination will get a person nowhere in the world of business and enterprise. Someone who starts at the bottom and works their way up by being a team player, taking initiative, and possessing a willingness to both learn and volunteer for tasks that are unpopular can create a reputation with important people who will remember the work put into achieving success.

A career or business that is stagnant or stuck in a rut will likely fail. Entrepreneurs who actively seek out new business, solutions to problems, and make the tough decisions quickly and decisively will reach their goals in a timelier manner than their lackadaisical counterparts will. It may take time to become a successful entrepreneur, but patience and perseverance will win out in the end, and last far longer. Expecting an overnight success will last just as long, and the flash-in-the-pan entrepreneur will burn out as quickly as they sparked to life.

3. Communication

Communication is essential for an entrepreneur is two major areas: within a business and outside in the business world. Effective entrepreneurs understand that communicating clearly and effectively with staff can mean the success or failure of a business. The ability to explain what is needed, and the specifics of a business plan are paramount to effective leadership. Staff should not need to have tasks explained in minute detail, but should have a good grasp on the style and focus of the business beforehand. This can only be done if management communicates these expectations from the beginning.

Networking throughout a specific area of the business world to further contacts and business relationships can only aid in the success of an entrepreneurship. Reliable contacts among people with influence can only benefit the budding entrepreneur, and possibly increasing future patronage.

4. Innovation

Some old-fashioned entrepreneurs have difficulty in keeping up with the times, refusing to modernize or adapt to changes in how and what business is conducted. This stubbornness can lead to the death of a business. A successful entrepreneur keeps abreast of new trends and technologies to keep a business updated, well maintained, and accessible to new clientele from younger generations.

In order to achieve this goal, an entrepreneur needs to be willing to accept and implement innovativeness to the business. Sticking with outdated methods and technology may be cheaper in the short term, but it will eventually lead to higher costs and loss of revenue. Embracing change in deference to accommodate the ultimate end goal of the company may help an entrepreneur realize that goal that much sooner.

5. Accepting and learning from failure

Every successful business person has a story about a failure on the way to success. Failure should never be viewed as the end of a business venture or a dream. Failure is an opportunity to learn from mistakes, and should be motivation to start again. Yes, failure can definitely hurt, and taking a hit in business can make building again more difficult, but simply giving up is never an option for a true entrepreneur.

If a business venture is struggling, it is sometimes better to cut the losses rather than trying to breathe life back into something that is never going to work. A successful entrepreneur learns to recognize the signs that something just won’t pan out. Acceptance that failure cannot always be avoided is a hard-won skill, but essential for understanding what makes a business succeed, and what will cause a business to fail.

The post 5 Necessary Skills for Every Entrepreneur appeared first on Small Business Can.

Small Business Secrets: Technologies To Invest In

Almost every business today, whether large or small can see the amazing effects the right technology has on total revenue. Many of today’s customers relate well to technology whether utilized for marketing and advertising, bill paying, or communicating. Although it may seem expensive to invest in at times, the initial cost of better technology will reap dividends in the future. These four options are among the best types of technology for small businesses to invest in now.

Small Business Secrets

Accounting Software

Although most large businesses have their own accounting staff or hire out for their accounting needs, small businesses don’t have the capital to invest in such large services. In addition, many small business owners, while having what it takes to run their businesses, may not have the financial knowledge it takes to keep detailed books, do end of year taxes, or payroll. Accounting software doesn’t require a large financial investment, but instead decreases the amount of time spent doing the books each week.

Cloud Storage

Speaking of online programs, a smart choice small businesses can make is to store company information in a digital cloud. While many companies have recognized the importance of changing their filing systems from paper to digital, this process can become even safer by using an online cloud. The cloud safely stores any information in a variety of off-site servers, ensuring that if anything happens to the business’s on-site computer systems the information remains safe on the cloud.

Company Website

A company website is vital in today’s marketplace, since most customers will turn to online browsing to find products or services. A website is often the first introduction consumers have to a business. Small businesses should either invest in a premium website building service, or hire an IT services company to build a unique website that includes search engine optimization. The best websites catch the eye, show up in the top search engine results, and include a blog and social media links. SEO services will help you connect with more business for an investment that’s well worth the cost.

Online Security

As with any part of your company, data and information need to be kept stored and secure. Your website and online programs that will launch you into the modern world will need to be refined with better security. A good option is to outsource here as well to IT services like the Bedrock managed services in Ottawa who work with local businesses to protect websites and programs against outside attacks. You should also consider getting new anti-spam and malware services.

Each of these technologies will take a substantial amount of money and time for any business to set up initially, and learn how to use. But because these services will save employee time and be cost-effective overall, they are each well worth the investment. As information technology and online services boom, businesses of all sizes must keep up in order to retain current clients and gain new customers.

The post Small Business Secrets: Technologies To Invest In appeared first on Small Business Can.

Sun Life Enterprise & Innovation Awards

Sun Life Financial has worked alongside Waterford Institute of Technology to promote enterprise and innovation among Computing students and this was never more evident than at the fourth annual Sun Life Enterprise & Innovation Awards.

Two outstanding students picked up the annual awards. The Innovation Award for a project that demonstrated uniqueness went to Sophie Renshaw from Charleville, Co Cork for her project ‘Deploying Openstack on Small Scale Architecture’.

The Enterprise Award for a project that demonstrated commercial potential went to Samuel Haycock from Clonmel, Co Tipperary for his QRLang project, allowing for complete games to be coded into a QR code.

Competition for the two awards was fierce with 20 projects submitted from a pool of final year honours undergraduate projects. Ten finalists invited to showcase their projects at an exhibition at Sun Life’s newly refurbished office in Waterford.

Following the exhibition, David Healy, Senior Vice President Client and Technology Services, SLF, United States, presented Sophie and Samuel each with a prize of €1,000.

Commenting at the ceremony, David Healy said, “The level of innovation and application of technology I have seen here today is outstanding and it’s only through innovation and idea generation that the global economy will continue to grow. It is really important for Sun Life to maintain and develop our links w  ith colleges such as WIT. I would like to congratulate WIT for the quality of students and projects we have seen here today and reiterate our commitment to nurture this type of innovation at the Institute. I’m looking forward to being part of this event again next year.”

Professor Willie Donnelly, President of WIT and founder of the globally renowned ICT research centre TSSG congratulated Sun Life on its courageous decision to set up in Waterford 16 years ago which has had immeasurable benefits for the city and the wider south east.

Prof Donnelly went on to say that “the institute and Sun Life have forged a deep relationship founded on strong synergies and mutual goals. Our two organisations have collaborated on multiple levels over the years at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The Masters in Communications developed collectively by WIT and Sun Life defines the industry-academic collaboration at the heart of what a technological university is about. At the centre of the programme is the concept of academic responsiveness building on the institute’s excellence in teaching and research to deliver regional economic impact.”

Karen Burns, General Manager Sun Life Waterford remarked on the standard and quality of the projects as ‘outstanding’.

Outside of these awards, Sun Life has a long standing relationship with the institute with 60% of the workforce having studied on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at some point in their career.

The successful finalists were: Samuel Haycock, Sophie Renshaw, Tony Finn, Stephen Long, Jamie Hegarty, David Ryan, Jamie Moore, Daniel Treyvaud, Eamonn Ryan and Seán Bray.

The post Sun Life Enterprise & Innovation Awards appeared first on Small Business Can.

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland: Think Big, Act Now, Change Ireland

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland: Slow down. Take stock. Decelerate.

Not the typical thing you’d expect to hear from an organisation like Social Entrepreneurs Ireland perhaps. We are set up to scale the best solutions for social problems around Ireland. We support projects that have the potential to take an idea and replicate it elsewhere. After all, if we have found a solution to a problem in Wicklow, shouldn’t we be implementing this in other counties around Ireland? If we have found a more effective or more efficient way of doing something, shouldn’t more people benefit from the positive impact?

And it is a core trait of all entrepreneurs that they want to grow and develop their idea, to reach as many people as possible, to impact upon the world. As Steve Jobs said, entrepreneurs want to ‘make a dent in the universe’.

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

At Social Entrepreneurs Ireland we love that attitude. Our slogan is ‘Think Big. Act Now. Change Ireland’ and it is because of this passion and the potential to significantly impact Ireland that we work with social entrepreneurs.

But over the last 10 years we have learned that all of this should come with a small note of caution. The rush to scale projects, to work with more people and to increase your impact, while totally understandable,  is potentially counter-productive. Our experience has taught us that often what some of the most exciting projects need is a period of deceleration before they can think seriously about acceleration.

Getting the Model Right

Before you can deliver a solution at scale, it is vital to delve deeply into the core service, product or solution that you are delivering. And once that is clear, the scaling model needs to be clearly developed and defined before starting to roll it out. We have seen it many times that early success is seized upon and attempts are made to replicate something before it is ready. And the danger is that a really powerful idea might fail and as a result be written off.

Is your model scalable? Is it sustainable? Can you replicate the core elements of it or is it dependent on the actions of a few key individuals? Do you have the capacity to deliver at a bigger scale?

At SEI we now take a lot of time at the beginning of the Awards Programme to work through all of these things with the entrepreneurs, and only move to scaling conversations once the fundamentals are in place.


Another challenge that we have seen in recent years is that big, exciting ideas often receive a huge amount of attention very quickly. In particular, projects led by young social entrepreneurs can receive a lot of interest from media, potential partners and supporters. While this support and coverage is potentially transformational for the entrepreneur, the risk is that they may become over-exposed, they may burn out, or they may just be distracted by all of the noise, events and attention, to the detriment of their projects. In these cases they may not fulfil the early potential that their projects have.

Learnings for SEI and for Social Entrepreneurs

Indeed, this is a challenging issue for us in SEI, as our Awards Programme celebrates these social entrepreneurs quite publicly. It is a constant challenge for us to find the right balance between protecting the social entrepreneurs and showcasing their work. I’m not sure we’ve always gotten it right but we are constantly working on it.

Over the years at SEI we have changed and adapted our approach and now have a much more nuanced approach to how we work with social entrepreneurs. We are very conscious that sometimes the best thing we can provide a project is to give thempermission to decelerate for a while, to take a breath, to take stock, to slow down, so that when they do choose to scale, they are ready to give it absolutely everything.


Darren Ryan, Chief Executive, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

The post Social Entrepreneurs Ireland: Think Big, Act Now, Change Ireland appeared first on Small Business Can.

Calling all Innovators & Entrepreneurs, we need your help & your green VOTE !!

As with any Irish technology company, we all suffer unique challenges when growing business internationally. As a country we have a small population so we struggle when trying to make as much noise as our International competitors. Even places we assume are tiny states such as Haiti & Togo have twice and three times our population.

Hence we need your help…

One of our company’s, Surface Power HONE which has developed a revolutionary “daylight” powered Nano-heat engine technology is short-listed (final 18 was judged by experts) for the 2Degrees Champions Award –  “Innovation of the Year” which is the world’s leading collaboration platform and service for sustainable business with over 46,500 members from 177 countries.

Surface Power HONE has nearly 7,000 installations of this patented technology over 8 countries to date and it has been kept fairly secretive until recently. The technology was field tested in the West of Ireland & New Zealand as the daylight levels are some of the lowest in the OECD. In short, it replaces the use of oil and gas for heating and cooling with free daylight. Have a look at LIVE customers on our website such as the UK National Health Service running their hospital’s central heating on free “daylight” (sounds mad but true !!)

The next phase of the 2Degrees “Innovation of the Year Awards” is a voting stage which will reduce the final 18 to 5 for the big awards ceremony and we need your help and your vote. 

Although already in the short-list of 18, we are the only Irish Technology company in this shortlist and are up against huge players such as Nestle, General Motors & B&Q.

You can vote for us by clicking the link below to get us into the final 5 and we thank you in advance for that vote. Be sure to tweet it afterwards using the link so we can personally send you a thank you tweet. Go raibh maith agat as do chabhair.

Best Regards, John Quinn, CEO. (Twitter – @johnquinn_irl )

Read our story and VOTE from below.

The post Calling all Innovators & Entrepreneurs, we need your help & your green VOTE !! appeared first on Small Business Can.

Webinar Best Practices

Preparing a presentation through a webinar is only half effective as the preparation that goes into the webinar presentation. Webinars can be very cost effective and can reach a broad audience. The webinar can be as official, or as informal as the host wishes it to be. Depending on the sophistication of the marketing and IT departments, the webinar can be robust or elementary. Read on for Webinar Best Practices…

The goal is to effectively communicate with the intended audience. At this point it is presumed that the host has decided that the webinar is the most effecting medium to communicate the host’s message.

1. Select Your Presenters and Speakers

Your message cannot be effectively communicated if you chose the wrong communicators to convey your message. Understanding the type of medium that you are using with your webinar and the speaking style of your presenter. Your presenter may not be comfortable speaking during a webinar format. This should be addressed with a short test run prior to the actual presentation. Some speakers can be coached to present in the webinar format while others may find it difficult to adjust.

2. Determine Your Presentation Format

How you present your information is just as important as what you are trying to say. You will have to see you webinar presentation from the perspective of the your audience. Your presentation may be viewed on different mediums, including smart phones tablet devices, laptops as well as desktop computers. Again a test shot of how you may want to present your presentation is not as important as how your presentation will be received. If you ask two or three friends to view a five minute segment of your presentation you may receive valuable feedback regarding the proper manner to organize your information.

3. Plan Your Exhibits and Visual Displays

Your visuals are critical in a webinar. Depending on the receiving device graphics, it may not be visible to someone participating with your webinar using a smartphone or a tablet device. Some exhibits and visual displays may need to be distributed to the webinar participants prior to the presentation starting. Others may have to be simplified too so the images or graphics can be viewed easily.

4. Select Your Webinar Medium

There are many services that offer online meetings for free, and there are several for webinars as well. Most have a modest cost for their use, but will allow a free trial so you can see if the medium is easy to use and whether it is a site or program that you are comfortable with. Again you should decide on a webinar medium that is reliable and is easy for your audience to sign in to use. Also, you may want to compare the various features between the mediums. Use of graphics and playback ability are important in the communication of your message.

5. Determine Your Webinar Registration

If you have a specific guest list for your webinar you may want to ensure that your webinar facilities have the capability of easy registrations so you are able to tell who from your target audience is actually participating on your call. This will help you to determine if you need to take additional steps to advertise your webinar and the presentation subject matter. Webinars allow for very specific audiences and messages in a compelling way, with limited interaction. Ideally you’d want everyone on your business’s mailing list to attend, but don’t plan on it. You may also want to determine if you desire the registration list to be viewable to other participants of the call.

6. Prepare a Detailed Agenda

This is the most important part of your webinar. You must first decide how long your webinar will be and then literally script each segment of your webinar. If you plan to have a period for questions and answers you should plan a set amount of time for questions and answers and stick to that time period so you do not run out of time. Otherwise, members of your audience will start to fall off the webinar if they feel or sense that there is no structure to the presentation. Additionally, once an agenda is shared, your audience will know what subject matters are going to be covered and when to present timely questions.

7. Set and Execute a Dry Run in Front of a Test Audience

After you have put your presentation together you should do a real time presentation with a test audience to see if all facilities of the webinar work properly. This will help you to perfect your presentation and will keep your audience engaged.

8. Reserve and Check Your Equipment and Space

Prior to the commencement of your webinar presentation you or your staff should do a check of all of the systems to be used for your webinar. This includes making sure that call in or login numbers and passwords are working properly. This will avoid any unforeseen delays in the start of your presentation. Studies have shown that if someone has difficulty signing into a webinar then they will leave before 10 minutes and that audience is lost.

All and all, with these tips you’ll be on your way to a better, well-prepared webinar presentation.

The post Webinar Best Practices appeared first on Small Business Can.