How an Online MBA Can Benefit Your Small Business

online MBABecoming an entrepreneur and running a small business are both difficult mountains to climb. You need to have a certain amount of business knowledge, understand sales and marketing, as well as be capable of handling day to day details and be an expert delegator. However, one of the benefits of going out on your own is that there’s no one who can tell you no – you don’t need a university degree in order to start your own business.

However, just because you don’t need an online MBA, doesn’t mean you should avoid earning one. Here are a few ways an online degree can benefit your small business.

Day to Day Business

Successfully managing a business requires you to utilize two different abilities. You need to be able to run the day to day business while also keeping your eye on the big picture. An online MBA will prepare you for managing the day to day aspects of running your own business by familiarizing you with administration, basic accounting, sales, and marketing principles. When you train new employees, an online degree will give you the know-how to do so properly.

Manage the Big Picture

As mentioned above, in order for your business to be successful, you need to have vision beyond the day-to-day life of your company. An online MBA will help you understand how to improve your long-term marketing strategy, and how to successfully launch new products that can take your business to the next level. You’ll also learn business theory, and more importantly, the practical implications of that theory. Quality online programs will introduce you to difficult problems that real businesses have dealt with. You’ll learn about their approach, and you’ll learn how to apply these solutions if they happen to your small business.

Why You Should Pursue an Online MBA

For years, the biggest drawback of pursuing an MBA while running your own business is that you simply didn’t have the time to do both. However, thanks to online degrees, that’s changed.

Work Around Your Business

Your business has a set schedule. It’s important for you to keep this schedule for your clients and your employees. An online degree allows you to work around your business schedule. You can look over material when you’re not enveloped in running your business, and you can work on assignments when it’s convenient for you. Thanks to online degree programs, you no longer have to sacrifice your business for your education.

Professor Interaction

In a traditional university setting, your professor may have to deal with hundreds of students. It’s easy for you to get lost in the shuffle. However, in an online degree program, you’ll have direct access to your professor and fellow students through a class forum and email system. This high level of professor interaction improves your chances of getting your pressing questions answered.

As mentioned earlier, an online degree isn’t strictly necessary for a small business owner. However, those that choose to pursue an online MBA will gain a heavy competitive advantage over those that don’t.

To learn more about online MBA, visit the University of Liverpool.

Author Bio

Nick is on the blog outreach team at Liverpool University Online. Check us out on Facebook here.


How to Boost Your Credibility With Potential Clients

You know you’re really good at what you do.

But how do you convince others? When you meet a potential new client, how do you earn credibility without sounding like a pushy retail attendant or sleazy car salesman?

Derek Halpern, founder of Social Triggers, helps bridge the gap between what science knows and what business does when it comes to using psychology to improve marketing and sales.

Derek just released a video in which he describes 3 ways to earn instant credibility.

They’re so good, I have to share them with you. Take 8 minutes to watch this video and improve your credibility with potential clients.

Then, leave a comment with your thoughts below. I’d love to hear how Derek’s wisdom will impact your marketing and salesmanship.

(PS – If you’re having trouble viewing the video, you can check it out on YouTube here.)

If you liked this post, don’t miss out on the next one!

Get your copy of Contracts for Creatives Today!

A Jumpstart to Contracts for CreativesIt’s finally here! For $14.99, you get the following:

  • The full ebook, A Jumpstart to Contracts for Creatives
  • 10 BONUS Contract Templates (Just plug in your company information and you’re ready to go!)
  • 5 BONUS Legal Essays (Taken from reader questions here at GDB. For example, “Should repeat clients have to sign a contract?”
  • BONUS Right-brainer’s legal glossary. (Because legal-speak isn’t fun for us right-brainers.)

What are you waiting for? Go get A Jumpstart to Contracts for Creatives and protect yourself with an improved contract – and hey, I’ll get a few bucks as an affiliate!

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Contracts for Creatives – Get Your Copy March 15!

A Jumpstart to Contracts for CreativesDeveloping a good contract is one of the most hated duties of any freelancer, independent contractor, and entrepreneur.

We all know we need one, but none of us wants to “waste” hours of our time wading through legalese learning how to protect ourselves.

Great news – my friend, Preston, over at Graphic Design Blender has done much of the work for you. He’s written a great new eBook called “A Jumpstart to Contracts for Creatives” that makes all of those difficult legal concepts easy for us non-lawyers to understand!

And the best part is, he’s selling for a crazy-low introductory price of just $14.99 (if it’s wildly popular, which I think it will be, the price might go up).

The eBook goes on sale this Friday – March 15, but you can head on over to GDB right now to try your luck at winning a free copy.

Mark it on your calendars – this Friday, check out “A Jumpstart to Contracts for Creatives” – don’t worry, I’ll remind you later this week.

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Improve your business 20 minutes at a time

Have you ever put off education because, while you knew it would improve your business, you weren’t excited about it?

Have you saved that podcast or blog post you know contains useful information because you knew you didn’t have the extra hour in your day?

It’s okay, I have too.

But recently I’ve stumbled upon – and devoured – a series of talks on every subject you can possibly think of. (With new talks almost daily, I’ve still got a long ways to go.)

TED Talks: Ideas worth spreading

If you’ve never heard TED talks, you’re missing out. Each talk is about 20 minutes long and presents research-based ideas, experience-based lessons, and sometimes surprising conclusions from some of the most brilliant minds on the planet.

And best of all? They’re entertaining. You’ll laugh. They make learning fun and interesting.

Most importantly, they’ll improve your business in creative and unusual ways.

Let me give you three examples:

Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

In this talk, Amy reveals how your body language not only speaks to others, but it actually changes your physiology. By using ‘power poses’ before going into stressful business situations, you can raise your testosterone (power) levels and lower your cortisol (stress) levels to give you the best physical ability to nail that presentation or sales meeting.

Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation

Did you know financial incentives can have a negative impact on overall performance? Dan makes a compelling case for changing the way you motivate your team, especially for non-mechanical, creative problems. By using intrinsic rewards like autonomy, mastery, and purpose, people find better solutions in less time, often solving additional problems that weren’t part of the original task.

Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice

Make no mistake, some choice is a good thing. But too much choice is paralyzing and decreases our overall satisfaction. Barry discusses these and other inherent problems with providing too many options for your customers.

Improve your business and yourself at the same time

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about TED talks is summed up in the tagline: ideas worth sharing. It’s not just your business that will benefit from these 20-minute videos; it’s your life and the lives of those around you.

TED has a great app for tablets and phones so you can download, watch, and share them no matter when you have an extra 20 minutes (e.g. while pedaling away on a recumbent exercise bike like me).

What TED talks do you find most applicable to your business? Share them in the comments below!

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April Greer on Writing About Design (a Design Recharge Conversation)

I had a wonderful conversation this morning with Diane Gibbs from Design Recharge on writing about design. Check out the interview, where I discuss some tips to improve your business professional communication, writing, and marketing!

Note: The interview is about an hour long.

Leave a comment and tell me what you’d like to know more about, or what you found most helpful!

How to turn data into engaging content

Jersey Shore Hair InfographicThe beginning of a new year is a time when many businesses, organizations, and non-profits publish numbers about the past year.

And you know what? Usually it’s boring.

Am I right?

How often do you really read the numbers section, even if it’s nicely designed?

Do you know if .02 ppm of calcium in your water is safe or harmful?

Yeah, me neither.

What do you really want to know? That your water is safe to drink.

Sure, often times you’re required to list specific information that most people won’t understand, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be the focus of the document.

Whether your company creates a ten-page annual report or simply posts a few graphs on social media, the goal is the same: engage customers with data.

So how do you make numbers exciting? What makes information interesting? How can you turn data into engaging content?

I’m about to tell you. I’ve developed three principles of information presentation (what’s that anyway?) that I’m going to share with you today.

And not only that – I’m going to tell you how I apply these three principles when transforming a boring list of data into engaging content like graphs, charts, or infographics.

Are you ready to see an improved ROI on your data presentation? Let’s get to it!

Greer Genius’ three principles of information presentation:

  1. Your data must be easily understood.
  2. Your data must be interesting to look at.
  3. Your data must explain why I care.

So how do you satisfy these three principles? Read on…

Know your audience

Turn data into engaging content by personifying your audience. Who are they with respect to gender, age, income level, living standard, marital status, fashion sense, and more? If you don’t know who you’re targeting, you can’t make your data relevant and interesting to them.

Determine your purpose

What ONE conclusion do you want your audience to take away from your data? Not three conclusions or even two. One thing. Just like an essay or speech, you make many related points throughout your presentation, but they all support one conclusion. Hone in on yours to make sure your audience “gets it.”

“Visualize” your data

Turning your data into engaging content starts with giving your audience something interesting to look at. I don’t care if you have the most ground-breaking information in the world to share – if people won’t entertain it, your information will be lost.

Provide context

Data without context is meaningless. A humane society re-homed 10,000 animals last year. Is that good or bad? How do you know unless you have a comparison to the previous year and a total number of animals received? Turn data into engaging content by providing relevant sub-content.

Tell a story

Another great way to turn data into engaging content is to humanize your data by telling a story. Rather than presenting the cold, hard facts, see if your data fits a compelling personal story with a bright future or happy ending. (This works really well for charities or non-profit welfare organizations.)

Use a positive perspective

If your data is negative or sends a negative message your audience doesn’t want to hear, turn your data into engaging content by putting a positive spin on it.

Have you seen those commercials about how quitting smoking will add years to your life? “In one hour, your heartbeat returns to its normal rate. In one day…” It’s a much more positive spin than the pictures of blackened lungs and rotting teeth that I grew up with; it gives smokers hope that it’s not too late.

Draw conclusions

You should never assume your audience will draw the conclusions from your data you want them to. Provide your data, and then provide your conclusions…or work your way backward from your main conclusion to proof.

Final thoughts on turning data into engaging content

How have you turned your data into engaging content? Have you used one of these methods with success? Have you developed your own? Leave a comment and join the discussion!

Turning data into engaging content might seem impossible or expensive, but why go through the trouble and expense of publishing a document that nobody is going to read?

Contact Greer Genius today to let me help you turn your data into engaging content.

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