Small Business Success Expert and Coach Sam Cibrone: Five Myths That Make Starting a Business in 2020 Feel Impossible - PRNewswire

Small Business Success Expert and Coach Sam Cibrone: Five Myths That Make Starting a Business in 2020 Feel Impossible - PRNewswire


Small Business Success Expert and Coach Sam Cibrone: Five Myths That Make Starting a Business in 2020 Feel Impossible - PRNewswire

Posted: 20 Nov 2020 05:39 AM PST

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla., Nov. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- For many entrepreneurs, the last year may have thrown a wrench into their growth plans, or scared them off from starting a small business entirely, but opportunities still abound for entrepreneurs able and willing to find where they can make an impact.

That's the advice of entrepreneurial success coach and small business magnate Sam Cibrone, author of the book Cracking the Startup Code: 5 Myths of Starting or Growing a Small Business (2020, Indie Books International).

"Even through a crisis like COVID-19, you can endure a changing environment successfully. I know you can start a great small business," said Cibrone. "Too many people talk about the negative sides of doing so. People with negative mindsets fail in business. Avoid the negative influences out there."

In addition to being a multi-time coach of the year for collegiate sports, Cibrone is a business owner, business coach, and speaker. As a business professional, he has spent the last 23 years starting and growing small businesses. Cibrone has started and grown five successful small businesses and has coached four companies in business growth.

In his book, Cibrone discusses the five myths he's discovered that aspiring small business owners must debunk to achieve the right outlook and strategy for success. Using examples from his multiple business, Cibrone discusses how small business strategies can change to adapt to the challenges of COVID-19 and other pitfalls, and offers advice to alleviate the uncertainty and fear that comes with venturing into a new business.

"I surveyed many people who wanted to start a small business about what was holding them back and found 90 percent of the responses had something to do with fear," said Cibrone. "That included fear of the unknown, failure, potential loss of money, lack of resources, incompetency, enormous workload, and the list goes on and on. I wrote this book for these people."

Cibrone's practical, prudent, and thoughtful advice can help aspiring business owners take every step strategically. Below is an excerpt of five tips for reducing initial investment and operating costs in a business' first few years.

  1. List your top ten initial costs to start your business, then prioritize them. (Which are truly necessary?)
  2. List the three mandatory expenses and how you will resourcefully cut costs. (Reducing your biggest known expenses will have the most impact).
  3. Explain how you will acquire income while slowly growing your business. (Investment? Keeping your day job for the first year?)
  4. List three ways your customer service will be better than other companies. (If you're not better than the rest, why are you doing this?)
  5. Explain the key elements in your strategic plan. (Make every move with this plan in mind!)

Cibrone adds that building a value system and making a strategic plan around those values is a solid framework to make small businesses more resilient in these volatile times. If your business is focused on fulfilling a customer's actual needs, it will find success.

About Indie Books International

Indie Books International (www.indiebooksintl.com) was founded in 2014 in Oceanside, California by two best-selling business authors. Since then the company has released more than 100 titles. Similar to indie film companies and indie music labels, the mission of Indie Books International is to serve as an independent publishing alternative to help business thought leaders create impact and influence.

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Small Business Saturday is next week—here's how you can give back to local businesses - CNBC

Posted: 20 Nov 2020 12:52 PM PST

While major retailers like Amazon and Target are running month-long holiday deals, you should consider paying it forward and shopping small for gifts this year since your spending can make a big difference for a small business owner.

Roughly three in four (75%) small business owners have said that they need holiday spending to return to normal in order to stay in business in 2021, and almost half (46%) expressed the need for above average spending, according to the American Express Shop Small Impact study.

Thankfully, there are simple actions you can take to support local businesses, such as participating in Amex's 11th-annual Small Business Saturday®, which falls on November 28 this year.

Purchasing gifts from a local shop is more important than ever since many businesses were shuttered this year due to the coronavirus and lost sales.

In order to remain open during the pandemic, the majority (92%) of small business owners have pivoted how they do business, including:

  • Selling on social: 38%
  • Using a third-party platform: 28%
  • Introducing curbside pickup: 46%
  • Offering contactless delivery: 40%

Not only do these changes help keep their businesses afloat, but they also make your shopping experience easier and safer.

If you shop in-store this holiday season, consider using contactless payments whenever it's an option. That can include adding your card to a mobile wallet like Apple Pay, or use a credit card with contactless capabilities. American Express cards have contactless capability, such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card.

To start shopping small, visit the Shop Small Map to locate small businesses in your area.

You can even help local businesses without spending anything and opting to post on social media. The study found that the majority of (78%) small business owners say that positive feedback on social media is a significant driver of business and that endorsements on social media may be worth as much as an estimated $197 billion for the U.S. small business economy.

So the next time you plan on shopping, consider visiting your local business — whether that's online, in-person or through contactless services — and sharing your experience on social media. These simple actions can help local shops bounce back and stay in business through the new year.

Don't miss:

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

5 Ways to Help Your Small Business Survive During the Pandemic - Entrepreneur

Posted: 13 Nov 2020 02:30 AM PST

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Covid has been the ultimate disrupter to the global . Fortune 500 companies and small start-ups alike have felt the blow, but it's the  that have suffered the most.

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. According to the World Economic Forum, small businesses are responsible for employing nearly half of the private sector workforce. However, during these volatile times where social distancing measures have been put in place and mandatory shut-downs have happened, many small businesses have not been able to survive.   

In September,  released its latest Economic Impact Report revealing closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of Covid. According to Yelp data, permanent closures have reached 97,966, representing 60 percent of closed businesses that won't be reopening.

"Overall, Yelp's data shows that business closures have continued to rise with a 34 percent increase in permanent closures since our last report in mid-July," Justin Norman, Vice President of Data Science at Yelp, told CNBC.

These reports can give everyone a feeling of doom and gloom, but here are five ways to help your survive the pandemic. 

1. Become truly social on social media

As someone who works in business development, I highly rely on meet-ups to help foster my relationships with clients. But when Covid caused the U.S. to shut down back in March, I found myself feeling isolated from my business relationships. That's when I realized that I needed to become truly social on social media.

According to Smart Insights, more than half the world uses social media. Social media users are now spending an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day multi-networking across an average of eight social networks and messaging apps.

With this high usage, social media has become a lifeline between businesses and their customers.  When businesses use their social media to bring free value to their potential customers, that's how they will continue to build and maintain their relationships.

Also, businesses must go beyond just posting creative content on their social media platforms. They must also interact with their followers. Following back your potential customers on social media can do wonders for building online relationships. Liking posts and responding to comments will further build the relationship. Validating your followers by doing these simple steps can turn them into potential customers or clients.

Although these items are easy to do, it's surprising how many small businesses and brands only post content on social media, but don't actually socialize with followers in return.  Building relationships with customers through social media is a give and take. As in any relationship, it can not be one-sided.

Related: 3 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Stay Visible During the Pandemic

2. Learn how to pivot

With the volatile economic climate and the ever-changing rules of re-opening the economy, business owners need to learn how to pivot. Pivoting means that you shift to a new strategy to address something that may not be working well within your company. Pivoting can be something as simple as a company changing its platform from software to an app. Or it can be something as complex as changing their entire .

did a major pivot when they went from selling beans and espresso makers in their store in 1971 to a full-blown coffeehouse that brewed and sold their own coffee in the mid-1980s.

Flexibility in a company's strategy and knowing when it should pivot can be crucial in both surviving and thriving in the marketplace. 

3. Optimize business spending

There is no better time than now to reevaluate how money is being spent in your business. Reducing costs is the most impactful way to continue pursuing business goals during these uncertain times. 

A specific example of how business owners may better optimize their business maybe switching from print ads to digital ones. Investing in digital marketing can give businesses an opportunity to dramatically reduce the cost of their monthly marketing expenses, while also providing more targeted and precise reach to their ideal buyers.   

Another example of optimizing business spending is shopping vendors. When businesses let their vendors know that they are shopping around for better prices, this gives the vendor an opportunity to give the business a better deal. Or it gives the business the opportunity to find a better deal elsewhere. Either way, it can prove to be a great way to save money for the company.

There are several ways to optimize business spending. Do a close evaluation of where all of the monthly expenses are going and then see where and how the company can make cost-effective changes. 

4. Get help from your local government

It's important for business owners to know that they are not alone during these critical times. Reaching out to legislators is a good way to find out what resources are available to help.

According to the National League of Cities, "Cities are creating simple, user-friendly websites that act as a one-stop-shop for resources, tools, and information for small businesses. The best sites are updated daily with relevant news from City Hall and state and federal agencies." 

Another excellent way to get support is to join a local task force that focuses on small businesses and the issues at hand. Getting involved is the best way to be an advocate for your business and your local community.  

The only way to find out what your local government has to offer is by reaching out. Business owners should not hesitate to do so.  

5. Get mental health support for yourself and for your staff

The pandemic has not only put people's physical health at risk but also their mental health. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, KFF Tracking Poll conducted in mid-July, "53 percent of adults in the reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. Many adults are also reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and wellbeing, such as difficulty sleeping (36 percent) or eating (32 percent), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12 percent), and worsening chronic conditions (12 percent), due to worry and stress over the coronavirus."   

Related: How to Be a Leader Who Brings Unity and Calm to Your Team

A business owner can not tackle the of their company without first tackling the well-being of themselves and their staff. By giving social support to one another during uncertain times, it will help to build a closer community within the organization. It's important to continue open , company updates, as well as offer resources for mental healthcare for yourself and your staff to help alleviate vulnerabilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers several resources to help cope with stress during the pandemic.  

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