Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Entrepreneurial Inspiration - Richard Branson’s 5 Top Tips to Starting a Successful Business.

1. Listen more than you talk
We have two ears and one mouth, using them in proportion is not a bad idea! To be a good leader you have to be a great listener. Brilliant ideas can spring from the most unlikely places, so you should always keep your ears open for some shrewd advice. This can mean following online comments as closely as board meeting notes, or asking the frontline staff for their opinions as often as the CEOs. Get out there, listen to people, draw people out and learn from them.

2. Keep it simple
You have to do something radically different to stand out in business. But nobody ever said different has to be complex. There are thousands of simple business solutions to problems out there, just waiting to be solved by the next big thing in business. Maintain a focus upon innovation, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel. A simple change for the better is far more effective than five complicated changes for the worse.

3. Take pride in your work
Last week I enjoyed my favourite night of the year, the Virgin Stars of the Year Awards, where we celebrated some of those people who have gone the extra mile for us around the Virgin world. With so many different companies, nationalities and personalities represented under one roof, it was interesting to see what qualities they all have in common. One was pride in their work, and in the company they represent. Remember your staff is your biggest brand advocates, and focusing on helping them take pride will shine through in how they treat your customers.

4. Have fun, success will follow
If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you feel like getting up in the morning to work on your business is a chore, then it’s time to try something else. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured and your business will flourish. A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life.

5. Rip it up and start again
If you are an entrepreneur and your first venture isn’t a success, welcome to the club! Every successful businessperson has experienced a few failures along the way – the important thing is how you learn from them. Don’t allow yourself to get disheartened by a setback or two, instead dust yourself off and work out what went wrong. Then you can find the positives, analyse where you can improve, rip it up and start again.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Star In Your Business Video, Even If You Hate Being On-Camera.

We work with a lot of business owners from coast to coast, and we always encourage them to take part in their Website Business Video. Their passion always seems to percolate up in the presentation and persuade in way that a 'spokesmodel' never can. That special personal contact has so much power with a prospect that is shopping around. People want to know the real person behind a business, especially with small and medium-sized companies.

However, many people truly hate seeing themselves on camera, or don't want to go to the time and expense of doing the whole lights/make-up/studio set-up necessary to look as professional as the typical TV production most people accept. Our solution is to do a voice-over with a music bed, and live video or motion-cam graphics. Check out our friend Deb Gorham in this example! 

Mel Hopkins is the founder of Q7 Marketing. Learn more about Q7's small business marketing services at or click to email for more information

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Web Video - Why Your Business Needs YouTube

Why is Web Video a great idea for your business? Imagine being able to give your 'elevator speech' about your company to prospects looking for a business - just like yours. We ALWAYS recommend hosting your video on YouTube. Why? Because Google owns it, so they help you 'get found'. Having the appropriate information about your company embedded means your message will get found by the searchers you want to speak with. Need help with that? Contact us! Also, YouTube lets you embed that video on your website. Here is a great example of a company introducing itself to potential customers that we produced.

Mel Hopkins is the founder of Q7 Marketing. Learn more about Q7's small business marketing services at or click to email for more information

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Impressions.

Whether you’re shopping for a new car, a new home, or new electronics, most consumers use the Internet to gain knowledge, check prices and options, and find a local company to start their shopping with. Basically, the Internet provides the consumer with their first impression of the product they are considering purchasing.

So, web presence is a must, but also web presence that is seen by potential customers. With inQubator’s local business and directory site submissions, you make sure your business is listed in the area the consumer is looking. Time is money, and consumers are using the Internet to cut down on the time wasted going from store to store, or dealership to dealership, when they can use the Internet to fine tune their search. If you website isn’t listed in the local business and directory sites, you have just lost the chance to get the consumer to your site to check what you offer versus your competitor’s.

When a consumer clicks on your listing and is taken to your site, the first impression of your site will make the difference on whether or not they continue looking at your site for the information or product they require. A website that is clean, with easy to read graphics, no formal education in Information Technology needed, will keep the interest of the consumer and allow them ease to navigate your site and find the product or service they are searching for. We provide websites that not only catch consumers attention, but are easy to navigate, easy to understand, and always provide ample means for the consumer to contact you for additional information. If it’s difficult to find things on your site, the consumer will hit the back arrow and start their search all over again.

We heard it as kids, and we should remember it as adults, keeping it simple has always been the most effective way of getting our message out to consumers. KISS, keep it simple stupid, worked prior to Mr. Gore inventing the Internet, and still works today as a means of reaching the most consumers with a clean and easy to understand, and navigate website. At inQubator, we do that and much more. Crisp clean graphics, large print, easy to understand information and direction.

Need some help for your business? Click here.