Category Archives: Events

How I Knew I Was Ready to Become an Entrepreneur

 

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A friend of mine, who is an avid reader of my blog, asked me if I could write a post on when and how I knew was ready to start a business. Thinking back, I remember it started at the age of 19 when I was in college studying business. To keep afloat, I worked small part-time jobs in restaurants, bars and small offices. While I was enrolled in business classes I learnt that starting a business wasn’t as hard as it everyone said it was. I also realized that I would much prefer to work for myself than the employers who I had currently worked for. With that in mind, I made my first step into the world of entrepreneurship but before I took that important step I ran down these 6 points:

  • Was ready to start crafting my passion?:

When we start our careers we usually start in low entry jobs. These jobs generally entail tasks that are repetitive or soon become repetitive. It came to the point where I wasn’t pshcially capable of doing work I didn’t want to do anymore. I knew that by becoming my own boss and by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship I would be able to experience and practice a much broader line of skills. Entrepreneurship allows you to focus on the activities and passions you care most about or are most interested in. You can do this by finding ways to incorporate them into your business or forming your business around this concept.

  • I never received anything from the companies I worked for that was as valuable as the time I invested:

Building someone else’s dream is what we call a job, or even a career. If you have a job, it needs to bring something into your life. As for me, completing projects that brought an already wealthy person more money wasn’t filling in my achievement meter. I found the companies I worked for generally lacked a sense of community, meaningful goals and proper values. If you’re going to work for a company find one that you can admire and if you can’t find a non-materialistic value in them don’t work for them. Start your own projects, make a difference in the world and don’t submit to a greedy CEO. I decided that my time was best invested when it was towards my own dreams and passions.

  • I desired to live my life to its fullest and was ready to create the time to do so:

When you’re employed you will always have schedules, mannerisms and goals to follow. You’ll have deadlines to follow, a boss to follow, a contract to follow – you’ll be following something constantly. To me, becoming an entrepreneur was my entry way to following my own schedule and creating my own rules. I know, many people who put up with unjustified behavior and treatment at their jobs because they enjoy the comforts of their stability within their jobs. Something they don’t realize is that their quality of life has declined for all the wrong reasons and reasons that are not worth it.

Maintaining a free schedule that allows you to stay disciplined is important. Being able to freely decide on what they are doing, when they are doing it, how they’re doing it and who you are dealing with is what I define as true freedom.

  • I wanted to do make decisions and felt entitled to my opinion and beliefs:

I am a free soul who bases everything I do off of my vision, morals and values. Within a job, often times employers make you operate on their terms. They force you to see from their perspectives with the bribery of money which will eventually corrupt the soul. You have to always remember that you can be your own leader and develop your own methods of business even if they are not as prosperous as other solutions. For example, I am completely against non-environmentally friendly production so I do my best to find dealers who are socially and environmentally friendly.

When you give yourself the freedom to navigate your operations the way you desire – you’ll notice immediately the inspiration that will fill your mind with good.

  • I had the will power to minimize my life in the mission to maximize it.

Almost every self-made business owner knows the struggle of starting their own business with no support other than our own two hands. We have less money, time, social life and romance all for the sake of our start-up. Building a business from the ground up is like having a new born baby – you invest everything into its growth. You have to give up the expensive life style that included your fancy meals – unless it’s for potential business, reduce the amount of times you go out, limit your unnecessary shopping, etc. This sounds depressing but it’s actually so empowering. I’ve become a minimalistic through these strict practices and I do not not feel as if anything in my life is missing. I believe it is because I am working towards something that I believe is far greater than materialistic things.

  • I felt uncomfortable staying in something I didn’t believe in:

This point is my finishing point – it is also the most important. This doesn’t just apply to work or business – it applies to everything in life. As individuals, we have so much power and groups we have even more. When you are in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or feels wrong you must take action. For me, I simply didn’t agree with  my past employmers which is why I took a step in my own direction. You should do the same.

I hope you enjoyed this read and please share your experiences and thoughts in the comment board!

Sponsored by :Lider Marketing & The Sustainable Entrepreneur (TSE) Project

Great Holidays Gift Ideas For Your Clients

Christmas gift for clients

Finding great gifts for your clients that are affordable as well as impressive is a very hard task to achieve. So I decided to help you out by listing a few gift ideas that you can treat your clients to and make them feel even more appreciated; all for under $5-$10/ gift.

1. Packaging always makes a gift more exciting to receive. Don’t get giant bags for small gifts and don’t try to squeeze bigger gifts into smaller bags. Be sure to buy a number of different wrappings, bags and gift decor(such as ribbons, bows, etc) that are presenation and match with different gift themes and sizes.Holiday gifts for clients#1

2. Picking a small gift that everyone will like is difficult so I always give something edible such as candy in a jar/pot with a bow on top!

Holiday gifts for clients#1

Follow these steps for packaging your gift:

Holiday gifts for clients#1

Step#1 : Make sure your gift fits into it’s wrapping/gift bag

Holiday gifts for clients#1

Step #2 Place and measure gift on a piece of wrapping tissue.

Holiday gifts for clients
Step#3 Wrap the gift within the wrapping tissue as shown in picture.
Holiday gifts for clients

Step#4 Place wrapped gift into appropriate sized bag

Holiday gift ideas for clients

Last but not least, place your card within the bag with your client’s name written on the front of the envelop and a happy holiday message within the card.

Holiday gift idea for clients

And VOLIA! There is your first gift! Let’s move on and explore a few other quick gift ideas for your clients!:

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Candles! This may be a bit too feminine as a gift to men (ask a male friend recently confronted me).

Photo on 2013-12-19 at 5.00 PM

If it is, too small perhaps match it up with a small pot of candy

Holiday gift idea for clients

Calendar or a cake! Perhaps even freshly baked cookies!

Holiday gift idea for clients

While having a pre-made package for the item is great (cake being the perfect example) however it’s not always supplied. So for the calendars I would recommend wrapping it in wrapping paper!

Holiday gift idea for clients

Agendas and pens are great holiday gifts but they are also a great way to advertise yourself and have a permeant spot on someone’s desk!

Holiday gift idea for clients

Chocolates are a big YES! Not many people dislike chocolate, just make sure you don’t eat them.

Holiday gift ideas for your clients

For your biggest small business clients a bigger gift would be very wise such as a nice bottle of wine with an agenda+pen($20-$30). This is actually a gift I received from an organization I work with.

Holiday gift idea for clients

So there it is! Small budget items that make fantastic gifts! If you have a bigger budget try to stay on the technology side of things such as tablets, office technology and more. For my 10k + accounts I invest a minimum of $150 for each gift because they deserve it. Be sure to show your clients you appreciate them and  would like to keep them!

Holiday gifts for your clients

Hope this helps and Happy Holidays to all my readers!

Christmas Gifts for Clients

Katie Raspberry | Creative Business Blog
Sponsored by:
Attorney Sebastien Dube |  Montreal Lawyer

Attorney Sebastien Dube |  Avocat Montreal

Attending Networking Events

Attending events that could be a great networking opportunity can sometimes be stressful and/or nerve wracking so here are five pointers you can follow to help you through the night:

1. Dress Well, Don’t Look Sloppy
You want to look presentable so that others recognize you as a quality individual. Most people are under the assumption that proper looking people are those who can produce and provide the best. Show the crowd you are of quality.

2. Bring a Social Friend
Bring a friend who will not always be by your side the entire night but will help you get into your social mood.

3. Check Out the Attending List
Give yourself a head start and know who is coming in advance. You can send the familiar attendees a message before hand or if you don’t know anyone – target certain people you would like to get to know better.

4. Get Involved
For smaller businesses or starting professionals, always look for opportunities to help out – whether it be setting up before the attendees come, bringing something or even planning the event ask if you can help! People who contribute to the event are generally recognized by those attending; they also usually meet the event planners which is a great contribution to your business network.

5. Get There First
Last but not least, try to get there as early as possible so you are introduced to the first people who arrive. It’s always an easier way of breaking the ice if you aren’t generally a social butterfly.

Thanks for reading and leave your comments or suggestions/feedback!

Katie Raspberry – Business Blog

Sponsored by:
SDA Law Firm – Montreal Lawyers

An Artistic Start-Up

While exploring the start-up fund raiser Kickstarter , I came across an extremely interesting  and unusual start up. I have many friends who have studied art but have decided not to pursue it directly. Being that of an intelligent choice; we wonder why – People say how there is no future in someone with the artistic background; in terms of making any kind of money on art alone. This assumption was concluded by people who failed due to the mass amount of artists in the world. When there’s a lot of competition with a generally low demand –  it’s much harder to gather clients. However, competition is never an ending point – it can always be beaten.

After saying that, you can understand why I admire this start-up. They’ve managed to use their artistic skills to raise more than 5.7 times their goal- the total they raised was $105,463.00. They’re trying to create a book with many different artists’ work on display. Check out the project TOME you will be just as flabbergasted with how much success they have obtained….

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/44flood/tome-0

Here are a few of their pieces:

Business start up - Artistic start-up

They’ve managed to fund raise all of this through the website Kickstarter. Where so many people were willing to give them almost 6x their asking! It was truly incredible!

If you’re looking to do fund raising for your start up or even your small – medium sized business then Kickstarter is the place to go!  Let me know how this post helped you and what else you would like to know!

Thanks for reading!

Katie Raspberry

Sponsored by: Kontego Networks the coolest internet providers in Montreal

Creative Marketing Material

 

Many start-ups know how expensive marketing material can be. Especially when they hire someone else to do it; they don’t do it themselves because they don’t know where to start or how to begin. There are so many aspects that need to be taken into consideration in order to create effective material. I can’t say it’s easy but it sure does take time which is why marketing company’s charge as high as $16,000 – $50 000 for a small business (depending on the services). The $16,000 package would probably include a few flyer templates, a business logo and concept, a website layout etc.  Here are a few ways to help you come up with a concept and a list of materials you NEED to have for successful promotions:

 

 Come up with your own custom made templates – never copy one off the internet OR allow your marketing company to take the same idea as another company but change it a bit. It doesn’t look good especially if someone starts a scene about it. It’ll ruin all your hard work – be careful.

 Take your OWN photos – don’t buy photos off those photo stores online. Why do you think they’re so cheap? Because everyone is buying them and already have them. Be original and come up with your own concepts – it makes you look so much better. If you suck at photography there are loads of people who love doing photography as a hobby offer them $100 or another currency in return for their help.

 Do your research – if you can’t think of anything original then look up a few other companies. Don’t steal their entire concept but take little details/parts of MANY companies and mold it into your own original creation. Figure out what colors to use (check my blog post ‘’Create & Design Your Business Image’’ for a link describing what each color reflects)

Picture source: http://stocklogos.com/topic/ultimate-creative-business-cards-collection

 Make original shapes, paper cuts and content. Why be average when you can win your clients over by being original? Come up with something that will seriously impress people.

I hope this helps in some way or another. Good luck in making the material and content! Til next time!

Please let me know how this post helped you!

Katie Raspberry

Sponsored by: Kontego Networks the coolest internet providers in Montreal

Posts this month:

July 5th: Choosing the Right Key Words

July 15th: Creative Marketing Material

July 25th: The Business Morning Talk

Choosing the Right Key Words

A lot of people find it hard to get natural traffic without advertising or promoting… Here’s a tip for you:

Select Popular Topics!

Let me show you how :)

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Step.1: Open a Google Adwords Account

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Go to Tool and Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step3: Once there, select the ”Keyword Tool” option

Step 4: Start typing in words that relate to your industry or to the things you wish to talk about. Those are what we call keyword.

Step 5: Analysis the results: (read below)

As you can see once you hit the search button a list of results will pop up. The first thing you will look at will depend on whether you are international or a local business. I am a local business so I will look at the ‘’Local Monthly Searches’’ in the purple color I have circled it. If you’re international your main focus will be Global searches.  Once you’ve picked you’re target’s location analysis the number. 3,350,000 views is amazing. Once you’ve figured out the search status of your search look at the competition – Low competition with 3 350 000 searches per month is more than phenomenal. Not to mention rare. When the competition is low it means your CCP rate will be low. In the green box there are other keywords that many relate to what you’re looking to advertising – the more keywords the better so click the ‘’more like these’’ button and see if it comes up with something better than what you have. My advice for a popular blog is to choose keywords that are popular so that it actually shows up in search engines. And if your competition is low it probably means that you have an easier time showing up on Google’s top spot. If you Google ”bizarre facts about Monday” you’ll find that I have taken the 4th spot; where Oddee has taken 1st.

Please let me know how this post helped you!

Katie Raspberry

Sponsored by: Kontego Networks the coolest internet providers in Montreal

Posts this month:

July 5th: Choosing the Right Key Words

July 15th: Creative Marketing Material

July 25th: The Business Morning Talk

A Business Dinner

You’re a small business owner and discovered a potential client you would like to win over. Most entrepreneurs use dinner as a way to communicate and connect with their future clients. For small contracts I wouldn’t suggest it but for the big ones – go for it. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when hosting a business dinner:

1.       Attire:

Be sure to dress very well; this seems obvious but 98% of the time business persons DO care about your appearance. Be sure to dress accordingly – whether it’s semi-causal or formal. Don’t wear ‘’cheap formal’’ impress your peers as much as possible and try to stick to good quality clothes and accessories… no cap hats, no jeans, no sweat pants, no faded shirts (honestly – I’ve seen it before)

2.       Conversation:

Sometimes the conversation isn’t always about business; that being said always be ready with fresh and new topics ready to be thrown into the engaged conversation. I actually do a lot of random research for fun and it comes in handy every time I am evolved in a conversation  with someone; my mind is full of ideas. Try searching interesting topics that are in relation to the event.

3.       Restaurant Picking:

Be sure to choose a restaurant that compliments you and your business ex: let’s say you choose a restaurant with fine wine along with quality food it can possibly help you come off as well established company that offers quality services. This all depends on the type of business you have or what type of client you’re trying to sell to. Not all businesses would prefer fine cuisine; sometimes a small and original restaurant with a special aspect about it would be more effective than an expensive meal. You need to pin point what mood and emotions you want to trigger and then figure out what they would enjoy more.

4.Wine Choosing:

Not many people realize this but when it comes to wine choosing it matters more than you think. It will show how you handle certain job related situations such as: If you choose a good quality wine in a short period of time it will influence your peers to believe you are a fast yet good decision maker.  If however you’ve taken your time and have chosen a bad wine it will bring negative assumptions about you AND your work.

When I think about it the details sound so idiotic yet they really do influence people – the funny thing is they don’t even know it. Its physiology more than anything; we’re playing with moods, emotions and stereo-types I suppose.

Let me know if this post helps you!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Katie Raspberry

Posts this Month:

Sponsored by: Kontego Networks the coolest internet providers in Montreal