How Entrepreneurs Can Build and Improve Their Network

There is a lot that goes into being a successful entrepreneur. One of the most crucial aspects is properly networking. Sometimes, it is more about who you know than what you know and that is the case in business.

As an entrepreneur, it is important to constantly build, develop, and improve that network. Here are a few effective ways that entrepreneurs can do so.

Start Building

As much as we would like it to be so, you don’t get connections the instant that you jump into a business. It takes time to build, strengthen, and improve a network. Having connections from friends or family is fine, but a business network needs to be diverse.

Start somewhere, whether that is reaching out to those family connections or those elsewhere. Connect through these individuals whenever you can to consistently grow your network.

Online Communities

The great thing about the Internet is that it is now possible to communicate with anyone at any time no matter where they are on the globe. There are even communities online where people can solely connect and network.

If you wanted to go a step further, you could join communities that cover topics within your area of expertise or niche. It may even help to join groups based on personal interests as well. Entrepreneurs can never have too many contacts.

Social Events

One of the most traditional ways to build a network is doing so face-to-face. That has changed somewhat in the post-COVID climate, but it remains an effective way of doing things. After all, most of these in-person events are based on the niche that you operate in.

Seeing others in person, having a little fun, and talking face-to-face can be an incredibly effective way of building a network. There are even some events that are specifically put on for the purposes of networking. These are great places to gather a huge list of contacts within your business or community to store for the future.

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How Technology Has Impacted Society Over the Past Two Decades

In 2000, around 50% of Americans had broadband access to the Internet in their homes. Today, it has increased to more than 90%. It has grown across the globe, with more than half of the people in the world having access to the Internet. The development of smartphones has played a huge role in this, as technology and connectivity are becoming more portable. The development of technology has revolutionized different aspects of society.

The Use of Media

One major change is in how people get the news. In the beginning, people could access the standard news, but publications were created that catered to particular groups of people. This was followed with the rise of social media, and as it has grown, people can join communities that share their interests. As a result, people are using media to customize their interactions and what they read. In addition to providing specialized groups where people can share information, it has also led to an increase in polarized opinions and the spread of disinformation. Currently, technology is working on AI powered content moderation to help curtail this issue.

Climate Change

Another place that technology is being used is in helping reduce the carbon imprint people have on the world. Tech firms are working on initiatives for clean energy, as well as carbon capture technology, which removes carbon dioxide from the air. This will reduce some of the damage done by burning fossil fuels. They are also working on alternatives to meat and dairy that will be greener than using farm animals for these sources of nutrition. 

Health Care and Biotech

Biotech has focused on better ways to treat diseases and research particular treatments. This includes projects such as using a single layer of cells to separate the blood vessel from the bloodstream. In addition, some tech companies are using tech for healthcare delivery. One of the growing areas is Telehealth, where people are looking for virtual healthcare options. They are creating apps where patients can keep track of symptoms or medicines, and there is much more in the works.

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Why You Should Write More Than One Draft of Your Business Plan

Having a business plan is one of the foundations of starting a business. It details everything: what you expect to happen, what could potentially happen, how much money you expect to make, and so on. No business should be without a business plan.

That said, many businesses start out writing their business plan and simply going with the first draft. That is a huge mistake and one that can be avoided. Here is why you should always write more than one draft of your business plan.

First Drafts Are Generally Terrible

The first draft of just about anything is probably bad. That’s because it is just a part of the process. When you write a draft, it needs to be revised (sometimes over and over again) to get things sounding and looking how you want them to.

Even the best writers on the planet need multiple drafts. So, if you are creating a business plan and think it looks good after the first go, think again, and again.

High-Level Planning and Formatting

Most new businesses will follow a template that already exists when they create a business plan. While it’s not a bad way to gain a foundation, it also isn’t the best idea when it comes to creating a long-term strategy for your business.

The business plan, structure, and formatting, should reflect what the business itself is. You may need to leave certain sections out or create new ones entirely. You can’t do that with just one draft.

Inaccurate or Incomplete

The reason that first drafts are also a bad place to leave things is that there will no doubt be missing or inaccurate information. No matter how well-prepared you think you are, something important will go missing from the plan.

Statistics in particular can change at a moment’s notice. Your business plan may need to reflect on those stats to support the case for investors. A first draft will miss those crucial changes and could sink the entire endeavor.

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The Evolution of the Internet

The Internet has changed a lot in the past few decades. It started as a way for the military to communicate and has become an essential part of everyone’s life. Take a look at how the Internet has evolved. 

In the Beginning

The Internet began as a project within the US Department of Defense that was designed to allow the military to communicate over a connected network. They created a network called ARPANET, which was able to connect military installations, some universities, and third-party contractors. In the 1970s, they connected to NORSAR, which was a system by the US and Norway that monitored seismic activity over satellites. It could connect to computers in other parts of the world, such as London. By the late 1980s, schools around the world were connecting for research and communication, and the military moved to its own branch of ARPANET, which was called MILNET. 

Dial-up Internet

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, universities, businesses, and people began to connect using the Internet. They used a modem in their phone line, and the computer would connect with a series of sounds. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee came up with the World Wide Web, which allowed people to connect and share information once they connected to it. The first web page was built in 1993, and the first browser was created, Netscape Navigator. Microsoft made its browser, Internet Explorer. 

Broadband

The next phase was Broadband access. It provided a faster connection, and it became more widespread in the early 2000s. The connection didn’t use the phone line, and it is usually always on unless it is shut off. It often comes into your home with the same connection as your cable. Wi-Fi was also developed, which provided some flexibility. Rather than sitting in front of a large computer and dialing up the Internet, you could have a fast connection anywhere Wi-Fi was available. Mobile broadband, or connecting to the Internet with your cell phone, really allowed the Internet to become accessible to anyone anywhere. It is hard to find people who do not have a cell phone with a connection to the Internet. It has progressed from 3G to 5G, and it offers fast connections and access to the Internet no matter where you are.

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Success Tips for Young Entrepreneurs

Being a successful entrepreneur is the dream of millions of people both in the United States and around the world. We have all heard the story of a young go-getter that took hold of the world at an age where most of us can barely get out of bed.

There are a few key traits that all young, successful entrepreneurs share. Here are some of the more important traits.

Push Yourself

Successful entrepreneurs are never content. They are looking for the next big challenge, motivating themselves to strive for bigger and better. If you ever think that you know it all, find something else to learn because you certainly do not know it all.

The most successful entrepreneurs are constantly evolving and learning. Never be content with where you are.

Care About Your Work

It is also pivotal to care about the work that you are doing. While the main motivator may be making money, it will only take you as an entrepreneur so far. Believing in and being behind the product or service you support is essential.

Steve Jobs, of Apple fame, noted that the only way to truly be satisfied in life is to do work that you can truly get behind and believe in.

Be Willing to Take Risks

Taking risks is essential for any successful entrepreneur. The path to success is never an easy one and just about anyone who has “made it” had to take some kind of major risk along the way.

That said, there is a major difference between taking a risk and being reckless. Seize the opportunity to take a calculated risk; don’t just take a risk to take a risk.

Believe in Yourself

No matter how great the idea or product may be, it won’t matter if you don’t believe in yourself to make it successful. There have been far too many instances of a seemingly can’t-miss product or service derailed because the person behind it didn’t believe in themselves. Know that you can succeed and believe it.

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Scientific Achievements Made Thanks to Technology

Technology has allowed science to advance by leaps and bounds. Technology has been rapidly advancing, and data can be processed and analyzed at faster rates all the time. This allows for scientists to discover new patterns and solve complex problems. Take a look at some of the scientific achievements that have been made thanks to technology. 

Electron Cooling with Bunched Beams

At the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, physicists and engineers showed a technique where they used bunches of electrons to cool beams of particles. This system was created because particles collide at different rates depending on the temperature. Scientists could track how they collide over a range of collision energies, which allows them to study how matter has interacted at different times in the history of the earth. 

Proton Spin Puzzle

Nuclear physicists who were from the STAR collaboration have been studying proton spin, which is what makes MRI technology possible. They discovered that there are particles called antiquarks that contribute to the proton spin, and they contribute differently depending on what type they are. Some are called “up” antiquarks, and they make a larger contribution to the spin than the “down” antiquarks. This allows greater understanding of how the protons work. 

Thin Films

Thin films are used in technologies that are critical in the world today, including computer chips, solar cells, and more. When scientists watch solar cells grow, they can learn how they are formed and what properties they have. This allows them to apply those findings to other technology. This new understanding can benefit technology in areas such as energy generation and storage or biomedical sensors. 

Catalysts for Energy Production

Chemists are always using catalysts to speed up chemical reactions, and they are experimenting with different catalysts for energy production. The chemists at Brookhaven have developed new catalysts that can extract electrical energy from ethanol, which is a liquid fuel that is made from renewable resources and is easy to store. The catalyst allows the ethanol to release more of its potential energy so that it can be converted into electrical energy and used.

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Easy Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Regardless of what type of business you are in, marketing is the name of the game. Without proper marketing, you will face the same challenges when it comes to reaching your target audience.

There are many concerns for small businesses, one of which is how to effectively market. There is a misconception that you need to spend millions to properly market. While that would be ideal, it is not the only way. Here are a few easy marketing strategies that small businesses can implement.

Facebook Advertising

There are literally billions of people on Facebook. Over two million businesses, small to medium, advertise on Facebook because it is not only effective, but inexpensive as well. Facebook ads use advanced targeting, meaning you can market specifically based on interests, location, sex, age, and a litany of other factors.

Even better, the Facebook Ads Manager makes it pretty simple to test and run ad sets. That allows business owners to hone in on the right approach and get profitability without needing any real technical experience.

Google My Business (GMB)

Being ranked on GMB is one of the most powerful marketing tools around. If you are a business that focuses locally on clients, it could be the most powerful strategy available for you. After all, Google does billions of searches per day.

With GMB, there is a focus on keywords in a local geographic range. So, if someone searches for a contractor, they will get results in their area first. By ranking in the top three of GMB, it can mean a huge number of qualified leads. All without having to spend much in the way of ads.

Content Marketing

There are also sites that make use of their content to drive traffic and retain an audience. This takes a little more work as it means getting each element of the process right: quality content, optimized SEO, relevant topics, and consistent creation and promotion of said content. It takes time to see ROI on content marketing, but it can be an incredibly powerful tool.

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The Many Benefits of Smart Technology

To say that technology has evolved exponentially over even the past 10 years would be putting it lightly. Just look at the evolution of the smartphone to see just how far we have come in a relatively short period of time.

Smart technology is becoming more and more prevalent in everything that we do. But what are the benefits to this technology?

Convenience

Perhaps the biggest benefit of smart technology is the convenience that it brings to our lives. Smart technology has made it possible to schedule tasks, turn on the lights, or change the temperature with just a tap or voice command.

More and more of our daily lives is becoming ingratiated into smart technology. Appliances are becoming smart, allowing users to make changes through their smartphones or with a simple voice command for the ultimate in convenience.

Energy Conservation

There is a larger emphasis on energy conservation, especially with the diminishing fuel sources available. Smart technology has made it possible to automate the energy that we use in our homes, bringing energy costs down.

It is not uncommon for us to forget to turn lights off or to turn off the thermostat before we leave. Both of those things seem like small missteps, but they add up over time. With smart technology, users can schedule shutoffs or simply perform the process manually through their smartphone or other smart device. All that equates to far more energy saved than ever before.

Increasing Security

Prior to the early 2000s, home security was relatively simple unless you were willing to pay for the major features. But now, with smart technology, homes are safer than ever, especially compared to manual security systems.

There are smart locks, cameras, and motion detectors that can all be linked up to a smartphone. Even when not home, users can not only see what is happening at their home, but verify locks are working, review security camera footage, and so much more. There are even some systems that alert both the police and the homeowner in the event of a break-in.

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How to Enter a Partnership for Your Business

While it would be great to come up with an idea and create a business all on our own, it usually takes a little help. Sometimes that means having a full-fledged partner along for the ride. That in itself brings about a whole slew of questions and consequences with it.

If you are planning to start a partnership with someone, there are more than a few factors to keep in mind. Here are some of the most important as you start a partnership for your business.

Partner Type

Not all partners are created equal. There are some who simply front the financing while others want to be a part of all the decision-making. That means knowing what type of partner you are dealing with.

General partners are the type who put in work, make decisions, and have liability for the obligations and debts of the partnership. A limited partner, meanwhile, contributes in some ways (usually money) but doesn’t make daily decisions pertaining to the business.

Registering Within Your State

Just because you agree to a partnership with someone does not make it legal. You need to go to your state’s website and look for the section pertaining to businesses and corporations. This is where you would register your business officially as a partnership.

This is where things get a little complicated. If your company will be doing business in more than a single state, then you would need to fill out that same registration within each state. The original state would be a “domestic” partnership while the subsequent states would be a “foreign” partnership.

Getting an EIN

When you are officially a business with a name, type, and location, you get your employer ID number from the Internal Revenue Service. Just about all businesses need an EIN whether they have employees or not.

The process is pretty simple and can even be done online. Just be aware of the fake EIN application websites. They will walk you through the application and then charge you; the IRS never charges.

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The Evolution of the Smartphone

Contrary to popular belief, the smartphone did not start with the launch of the iPhone in 2007. For the past 14 years, we have been able to access just about anything that we can think of with a few taps of our smartphone.

But what is the history of these devices? Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see where the origins and evolution of the smartphone lay.

The First Smartphone

The first smartphone was actually unveiled back in 1992. Simon Personal Communicator was unveiled by IBM and became available during 1994. After six months on the market, only 50,000 units (at a cost of $1,100) were sold.

The Simon, though bulkier than our traditional smartphones, had many of the same basic features. You could access an address book, handle faxes, and there was even predictive typing.

The Game Changer

Things developed slowly for the smartphone for the next two decades. Then, in 2007, the game changed. Apple launched the iPhone, the template for the modern smartphone.

The iPhone came with a 3.5-inch touchscreen display with internal storage capabilities of 4GB and 8GB. Users could access applications, share photos, text friends and family, and more. With eight hours of battery life, there simply was nothing like it before. The iPhone was a smash hit, launching Apple into the stratosphere as one of the biggest companies in the world while changing the smartphone game.

Today’s Smartphone

In the decade plus since the iPhone was unveiled, things have changed even further. With evolutions in technology, there are now competitors to the prior monopoly held by Apple. Android is the biggest competitor to the Steve Jobs empire.

Moreover, the improvements to smartphones have been substantial. A longer battery life, HD quality cameras that compete with some professional models, and a ridiculous amount of apps from games to banking and more.

The smartphone has made it possible for us to manage our entire lives through one device. All it takes is a few taps on something that was thought impossible even 25 years prior.

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