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Blog - Page 9 of 11 - Starting a Business in Ireland | Help for Ireland's Entrepreneurs | Start Up Your Own Business

1. Where can I find current and past examples of your work? Experienced candidates should readily share links to examples of their work that clearly demonstrate their capabilities, says Jason Hong, associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and chief technical officer of Wombat Security Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based cyber security training company. “Carefully examining their portfolio and work samples can help you assess their overall style and skills,” he says. Their work samples also can be a jumping off point to discuss their more technical skills, including HTML5, UNIX, JavaScript and database management. 2. May I have a list of your current and past clients? Candidates should

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For small-business owners, working with sales reps for the first time can be a frustrating experience. But establishing expectations early can go a long way toward heading off misunderstandings. Business owners should be able to tell potential new hires how many prospecting calls they’ll be expected to make in their first month, how many appointments they’ll be expected to go on during their first business quarter and how long before the new sales representative is expected to start selling. Anyone charged with managing a sales force needs to be able to answer those questions. Yet, because they aren’t sure how to set appropriate sales goals for the new hire, many

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Sales meetings are a critical component of a great sales culture — an opportunity to build the skills of the entire team and motivate them. In each meeting, if you provide your team with just one idea, strategy or tactic that will improve their game, and motivate with some positive reinforcement or reward, you will see a gain in productivity and sales results. Here are six keys that guarantee your next sales meeting will help deliver the results: 1. Start with an energizer. Begin your meetings on time and start with some fun. Reward those who are punctual to help eliminate the lateness factor. From week to week you’ll find

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After creating her fashion jewelry line KiraKira in 2006, Suzanne Somersall Allis knew her year of design school and dual degree in English and art history hadn’t prepared her to run her own business. What she needed was real-world sales experience. So Allis created her own sales apprenticeship, juggling three part-time retail jobs for a year. “Working at the stores helped me understand how much money people were willing to spend,” says Allis, 28. “I started to learn the psychology of people who buy my product.” Today, KiraKira is sold in 15 stores around the country, and last month, Allis opened her first storefront at the Dekalb Market in Brooklyn,

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Why do we choose one brand over another? Brand loyalty is not a mental act, but an emotional one, and brand loyal customers have an emotional relationship with the brands they’re faithful to. And like Woody Allen explained in Annie Hall, “A relationship, I think, is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” The challenge for many brands is how to spark that emotional relationship and then keep it going. How does a brand get that first date and turn it into a long, happy marriage? Here are eight steps to creating a successful brand-consumer relationship online. Determine your type. In today’s social media age,

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Back in the old days, when the primary form of networking was face to face, there were simple, universal standards that people used to judge you. Now, in the age of online networking, there is another set of rules, and not being aware of them can close you off from valuable opportunities. For in-person networking, the rules are pretty much common sense. If you smell funky, dress sloppy, have bad breath or are unfriendly, you won’t do very well at a networking event. Fortunately, there is a ton of information, from books to full courses, on how to be a good networker, so there really is no excuse for making

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By any definition, Beyoncé is a superstar entertainer, so it’s hard to believe that she would release an album without any fanfare or advance warning. But that’s exactly what she did when she dropped her fifth solo album, a “visual album” of 14 original songs and 17 music videos. What can you take away from this move? The importance of connecting directly with your fans — and for “fans” you can substitute clients, customers or what you will. “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” the singer said in a statement. “There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I

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1. Not making the deal clear with co-founders You absolutely have to agree with your co-founders early on what the deal is among you. Not doing so can cause enormous problems later (see, for example, the Zuckerberg/Winklevoss Facebook litigation). In a way, think of the founder agreement as a form of “pre-nuptial agreement.” Here are the key deal terms you need to address in some kind of written founder agreement: Who gets what percentage of the company? Is the percentage ownership subject to vesting based on continued participation in the business? What are the roles and responsibilities of the founders? If one founder leaves, does the company or the other

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Jennifer Berrent, a partner at the New York office of legal firm WilmerHale, says the three most common mistakes ‘treps make in the early stages are failing to adequately protect their intellectual property (IP), not formalizing the equity arrangements among founders and inaction or haste in choosing the right structure for their business. Berrent held court on how to avoid common pitfalls. How can entrepreneurs protect their IP early on? Before you form an entity, people are chatting; they might be at their current job, maybe they spend a couple of hours collaborating. And there’s a question when you are going to develop a business around that: Who owns that

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1. Watch Out for Your Advice When I first started speaking professionally and coaching individuals, I never thought that I needed special insurance. It is rare, but I have seen some people take advantage of well-intended “advice” by claiming it destroyed their life and then suing the communicator. If you are in the business of providing advice, look into getting some liability insurance. 2. Consider Vesting Your Equity Over Time It is extremely difficult to find the right co-founders for your business. You need to have a similar work ethic and timeline for the investment, your chemistry has to match, and you have to make sound decisions for the company.

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