The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Archive for “Launch a Home Business”

Couponing

Reality TV Entrepreneur Starts Quick Couponing

How a Mother of Four Turned her Quest for Saving into a New Business If you are a struggling entrepreneur who is trying to take care of your family, save money and be a rock star business owner, you’ll love this story. Meet Pamela Davis. When her grocery bills skyrocketed, she decided to do something [...]

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Business Writing

I Need Writing Help! Sound Familiar?

Take Advantage of Content Management – Even without a Budget! If you are a business owner, you know the importance of content marketing and SEO, or search engine optimization. It helps you: Provide value to customers and the search engines. Stand out from the competition. Build customer word-of-mouth. Boost credibility and sales and more! Who [...]

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SEO

SEO Pays Off For New Business Owner

Meet Robin Kuriakose of Direct BS/MD Programs After applying and being accepted into medical school, Robin Kuriakose saw a need to help others go through this difficult process. With this in mind, he started Direct BS/MD Programs, www.directbsmd.com, while going to school and working. He recently shared some of his tips with me on how SEO [...]

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Enjoy Summer More by Outsourcing

Hire Outside Experts to Boost Sales Summer is flying by and August is here. With this in mind, what are you doing to make your life easier during these warmer months? As a business owner, it’s easy to want to control every aspect of your business. But you can actually save time and accomplish more [...]

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SEO Is Not About Keywords

Follow These 6 SEO Guidelines for Search Engine Optimization Success? If you think SEO, or search engine optimization, is just a buzz word and a matter of adding keywords to your site to increase traffic, you are wrong. Search engine optimization is a big part of your overall, content-strategy program tied directly to your marketing [...]

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Entrepreneur Helps The Environment With Aqwastream™

Startup Tips from Founder, Mare Van Dyke

Recently, I went scuba diving in Redondo Beach, California and was looking forward to seeing fish, crabs, lobsters, and some interesting sea snails. But that wasn’t the case. This time, I dropped down into the ocean, and there was a sea of garbage.

I can’t say I was that surprised. ABC News reported that, “approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags” and an article at The Mother Nature Network states that, “80 percent of plMare Van Dyke of Aqwastreamastic bottles are simply thrown away.”

I was sharing this story with an associate and discovered that she is actually doing something about it. Meet Mare Van Dyke, founding partner of Aqwastream and what she had to say during our interview…

Tell us about Aqwastream and why you started the company.

In a nutshell, we are developing a system of personal, water-bottle refill and digital media-stations that dispense free, filtered water on college and corporate campuses. The program for universities will be funded by corporate sponsors and provided to them at no cost.

Aqwastream™ stations include a micro-broadcast network where videos play to promote sponsor sustainability efforts to a targeted audience. Our goal is to partner with sponsors, schools and corporations to attack the issue of plastic-bottle waste one refill at a time.

I’ve worked continuously in various education and marketing related positions for over 40 years. During that time, I had the privilege to learn many facets of business, both B2B and B2C and felt strongly about becoming involved in something that could make a difference in our world – some small action with an educational twist that had a long-term benefit. I’ve been carrying a refillable water bottle for more years than I can remember, so the opportunity to create Aqwastream was a perfect fit.

What makes Aqwastream unique and why do you think it will be successful?www.aqwastream.com

Aqwastream™ is unique because of the total system solution technology we’ve incorporated in our network of stations to educate and engage users. We are taking the idea of the prehistoric “watering hole” or more contemporary “water cooler” concept where users quench their thirst, and get caught up on the important news of the day.

Our broadcast network is designed to display content directly related to issues around sustainability – produced by corporate sponsors or creatively designed by students – and shown in an environment where education and company loyalty can increase engagement and action.

We’re also utilizing M2M (machine to machine) technology to manage all mechanical and technology systems on the station. Sponsors and hosts (corporations and schools) won’t have to worry about maintenance or service calls. We handle it all, having developed a proprietary remote monitoring system.

What has been the most difficult part about starting a new company and becoming an entrepreneur?

From a personal perspective, there’s a lot of buzz around young entrepreneurs taking their great idea to market. You see them on TV, in social media and on magazine covers. The excitement of their risk is buffered by the time they have in life to re-group if they lose all their money or that of their investors.

We don’t hear much about professionals who later in their careers, take their beliefs, experience and savings and combine them to start something new in what’s supposed to be a winding-down time. With everyone “working toward retirement,” you only hear warnings that you’ll end up as Wal-Mart greeters if you fail. In actuality, according to a December 2012 article in Inc. magazine, “Older Entrepreneurs Get a Bum Rap,” those starting businesses later in life have a pretty good shot at success.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far starting Aqwastream?

The most important lesson I’ve learned is to get outside of your current network. Fresh opinions and perspectives open your mind to possibilities and new connections. One particular new contact gave me advice that proved to be most valuable. She advised me to take advantage of my years of experience and connect only with those at the top level in each organization. She stressed the importance of “owning the start-up space” and adding value in every category by working top level players.

As a marketing expert, how are you marketing and promoting your new business?

Since becoming a founding partner of Aqwastream LLC, I’ve spent a lot of time learning how sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and green movement professionals are communicating to their constituents. There is a tight network of those who already “get it.” Expanding our concept to broad and targeted audiences will happen through expansive efforts of social media. It’s where we all look to learn.

What tips do you have for other entrepreneurs just starting out?

My tip to new entrepreneurs is to create value right from the beginning by acquiring assets for your business. File for trademarks, create systems with technology, apply for patents, establish your brand standards, set up a solid accounting system, and add equity partners to your team. Put your ego on the sideline and skip the fancy office, address and business expenses that do not add value to the business you are building.

That’s great advice Mare. Is there anything else you would like to add?

One of the most poignant statements that I heard about building a new business or even running an existing company goes like this. “Everything a company does should be done to make it more successful. Everything else is just a waste of time and resources.” For entrepreneurs like me, this is timely advice.

Thanks for your insights Mare, and we wish you all the best with your new business. If you’d like to contact Mare, visit www.aqwastream.com.

Do you have comments or a good, startup story to tell? Please write to us below.

And if you need help with your PR and SEO content strategy to boost sales, please write to me at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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Startup Tips from Founder, Mare Van Dyke Recently, I went scuba diving in Redondo Beach, California and was looking forward to seeing fish, crabs, lobsters, and some interesting sea snails. But that wasn’t the case. This time, I dropped down into the ocean, and there was a sea of garbage. I can’t say I was [...]

Continue Reading

Think That Copy is Gone? Think Again!

SEO copy, business procedures and PR stories are protected! Earlier this month, I attended a seminar by an FBI Search and Recovery Diver. He showed us all of his high tech equipment and talked about how he searches for missing people, evidence, and other items underwater. And while it was cool to try on his [...]

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Why Isn’t Your AdWords PPC Campaign Working?

Don’t Waste Time on SEO That Is Not Working “Why isn’t my SEO, PPC campaign working?” “My site traffic is not increasing with my AdWords PPC campaign!” “I’m spending a fortune on PPC each month with no results!” If any of these statements sound familiar, you are not alone. Many entrepreneurs come to me asking [...]

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Communicate for Business Success

Are You Communicating? You have a great idea for an upcoming, marketing campaign and pitch it to your client. Silence. You need information to finish a project and send out an email, call and text. Silence. You call your client and leave a message to get some information for a looming deadline. Silence. Do any [...]

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InventionHome Product Spotlight – Tipsy Tower

Memorial Day has come and gone.  The holiday signifies many things…a time to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our country, as well as a time to visit the gravesites of our loved ones to pay respects.  In a much less ‘official’ manner, this day also marks a changeover in the season making it [...]

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Stop Writing Your Online Content!

Are You a Trained, SEO Copywriter? If not, please stop writing your company’s content! If you are writing your own copy for all of your marketing needs, but you are not a trained, SEO (search engine optimization) copywriter, stop! You may think you are saving time and money, but you are actually losing out on [...]

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What is Content Marketing?

Does your business need content marketing?

There is a lot of buzz out there about “content marketing” and how it can make your business successful.

But what is content marketing, anyway?

It’s just a fancy name for using content to market to customers. And as I’ve said many times before, by providing value to your customers with good copy, or content, you create a more credible reputation. Plus, if you offer good content, people will want to tell their friends about your products and services.

Why use content marketing?

Ragan Communications offered a great article on why content marketing is important here. In the article, they list “24 stats about the importance of content marketing.”

For example:

“According to Roper Public Affairs, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.”

And per an article on “Engage the Blog,” research conducted by the Custom Content Council indicates that, “90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% of people believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.”

These are just a few of the many statistics out there about the importance of marketing with content and why copy is still king.

How do you use content marketing?

If you want to increase online sales and awareness fast, start writing some valuable content. Here is a good process to help you get started:

  1. Figure out what your audience wants and what you want to accomplish with your content.
  2. Write an article or blog about that information providing valuable tips and information. (If you are not a copywriter, hire one to do the work for you. They will help save you time and money and provide better results.)
  3. Include your search engine optimization, or SEO, keywords in the headline and throughout the copy a few times.
  4. Add a link at the end of your blog or article to a landing page on your site or a page where site visitors can get more information.
  5. Track the results with Google Analytics or another program.
  6. Repeat!

Content Marketing Works!

If you see this process is working (and it does when done correctly), create an editorial calendar for the year which spells out what topics you’ll be discussing and the kind of content you’ll be distributing (blogs, articles, tip sheets, videos, social media events, etc.).

By creating valuable content (especially with SEO) specifically for your target market, you will bring in new customers and stand out from the competition. For the best results, plan your content in advance and test different topics and methods for sharing your content.

It’s a lot of work to provide good copy on a regular basis. But if you hire experienced, SEO copywriters to help you with the entire process, you will see sales and customer loyalty increase.

What are you waiting for? Start providing great, SEO content marketing and see what happens!

For more information on SEO content marketing, please contact me at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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Does your business need content marketing? There is a lot of buzz out there about “content marketing” and how it can make your business successful. But what is content marketing, anyway? It’s just a fancy name for using content to market to customers. And as I’ve said many times before, by providing value to your [...]

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Find Out Why Your SEO Isn’t Working

Are you making this big, SEO mistake? Does this sound familiar when it comes to your SEO, or search engine optimization, efforts? You added a bunch of keywords to your site but haven’t seen an increase in site rankings. You paid a big, SEO company to help you, but you are still waiting for results. [...]

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Does Your Brand Have Curb Appeal?

The truth about branding – (a brief confession) Deep down in my heart of hearts I carry a dirty secret about branding — it’s all a facade! And I mean that in best and worst sense of the word. On one level, branding is completely made up, a construct – an image in the collective [...]

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Come on… are SEO press releases necessary?

Today’s technology allows small businesses to build awareness online cost-effectively. Traditional public relations (PR) activities such as developing story ideas, talking to media members and promoting various events are important. But if you are not combining these activities with technological advancements, you are missing out on excellent opportunities to build buzz and increase sales. You [...]

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How to Pick the Right Technology

Get what you really need to succeed If I didn’t have spam filters in place, I would be inundated with e-mail messages about the latest technology tools, software and services. It’s bad enough as it is with phone calls and snail mail. How about you? Are you overwhelmed with tech information that will supposedly solve [...]

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Stop Your SEO Resolution Now!

What are you thinking? Did you make a New Year’s Resolution for your search engine optimization (SEO) activities? If so, why? We all know that the chances of keeping a resolution are slim. Instead, why not make SEO goals for the year? By setting goals, you can plan specific activities and timelines to actually make [...]

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3 Tips for Juggling Tech Priorities

At Rich Dad, we use a combination of innovation and speed to meet the needs of our ever-changing business environment and exceed customer expectations. And I’m sure you are dealing with the same issues at your small business. Things can get out of control fast (especially if you are outsourcing a lot of work) so [...]

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