Connect with us

Entrepreneur

Facebook Ads For Small Businesses: Expectations vs. Reality

Published

on



Facebook currently has an estimated 2.6 billion active users, out of the 7.8 billion people living on planet earth. That is almost twice the population of China, country with the most citizens in the world. Armed with this incredibly huge audience and data, it is easy to see why Facebook is the largest online marketplace for brands, especially small businesses showcase their products and services to a global reach of targeted buyers.

But, for these small businesses, there seems to be this controversy regarding whether or not the money spent on Facebook ads yields the expected Return on Ad Spend-{ROAS}. So, while some seasoned internet marketers believe that running Facebook ads is not only the quickest but also the surest way to ramping up sales figures. Others reckon that it is simply a waste of scarce resources. The fact, however, is that neither of the two positions is entirely true or false on its own.

In this piece, I shall explore facets of both divides and present you, as a small business owner, with the best strategies to keeping your ad performance expectations realistic, so as not to freak out when your analytical reports throw up insights that are less than desirable.

To be exact, the fact is, the performance of a Facebook ad campaign depends heavily on how effectively you can target your intended audience. Especially the custom and lookalike audience, based on your buyers’ persona.

Facebook ads are effective to the extent that they help small businesses reach thousands of leads than they would with organic posts. The platform’s laser-targeting capacity is an additional plus. Imagine, for instance, the satisfaction you could feel as a clothing line entrepreneur, if can target all the female fashion lovers, aged 20 to 32 in Los Angeles, as leads for your business. Then convert most of them to repeat buying customers. That would be awesome, right?

So, if your expectation is to have your Facebook ads campaign yield optimum performance, then you must endeavor to do the following:

· Above everything else, be sure to target the right audience.

· Install Facebook pixel-(correctly) to improve ad targeting.

· Maximize your campaigns’ Return on Ad Spend.

· Carry out A/B split testing for your ads.

· Create a great strategy, plan, and measurable objectives for your ads.

· Commit a reasonable budget to ads.

· Be sure to master the ads platform to gain requisite skills to run ads campaigns effectively.

While on the contrary, for internet marketing gurus who contend that spending money on Facebook ads isn’t worth it, listed below, are stuff they are apparently, aren’t doing right.

· Inadequate or total lack of understanding of Facebook advertising tools and resources

· Not having a comprehensive Facebook ads strategy

· Committing audience targeting errors, such as either too broad or specific targeting, as well as targeting the wrong demographics.

· Absence of an opt-in page and autoresponder system to convert leads to buying customers.

· Sending traffic to leads whose temperature are cold and aren’t ready to buy yet, due to it being their first time of coming across such ads.

On the whole, the reality is that for small businesses, running a Facebook ad to promote their brands, products, and services can be a goldmine. Only of course, if done correctly. Dave Collins of the website www.softwarepromotions.com/news/facebook-advertising-is-a-waste-of-money/ describes it this way “treating Facebook advertising like a long-term investment, rather than a short-term sprint to boost vanity metrics like page views or followers, is the best single way to ensure a positive return on investment.’’

submitted by /u/Glass-Bend
[comments]



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Entrepreneur

BAME Business: Finding Business Success as an Asian Female in the UK

Published

on


by Dr Priyanka Chadha

The route to business success is not an easy one; requiring dedication, hard work, and a fierce entrepreneurial spirit. Forging this path as women, especially women of Black Asian or Minority Ethnicity (BAME) origin is an even trickier endeavor, but not for lack of the aforementioned qualities. BAME women are grossly underrepresented in higher level positions across many industries and often face socio-economic barriers as well as battle stereotypes – alongside any cultural and/or social discrimination served to them for existing as women. Whilst research into the UK business enterprise is woefully limited in relation to gender and race, it is widely recognized that BAME people are disadvantaged and BAME women even more so. A 2018 study by the Office for National Statistics into ethnicity pay gaps in Britain found that workers of ethnic minority in London earnt 21.7% less than their white peers. The data was not disaggregated to interrogate BAME women stats specifically (yet another example of the ever-prevalent gender data gap) but given what we know about pay inequalities relative to gender – the figures are disheartening.

 

What are the barriers?

Many women look to build their own businesses as a result of hitting the well documented ‘glass ceiling’. This presents as a lack of opportunity to progress within their career, a gender pay gap, and a sparsity of support and mentorship from their seniors, among other general issues such as the penalization of mothers, less than full time workers, or those with caring responsibilities. These issues are found to be particularly prevalent for BAME women, where disadvantages connected to gender and race intersect to stifle the advancement of their careers and prospects.

However, in practice, conceiving, building, launching and managing a business presents its own set of challenges unique to BAME women. For starters, they are more likely to have difficulty accessing formal financial support and investment. A study by Diversity VC found that 65% of London Venture Capital funds have all-male decision-making teams, with Asian and Black venture capitalists significantly underrepresented. This was proven to directly impact the success of a female founder seeking capital. Additionally, there is a lack of BAME female role models to look up to during childhood and education, and limited provision of mentorship and entrepreneurial guidance focused on the particular social and economic obstacles of BAME women.

 

Fighting Conformity

Whilst reflecting on the situation makes for bleak reading, all is not lost. Many BAME women are enjoying great success across various industries, including within their own start-up businesses or self-employed enterprises. Rupa Ganatra, co-founder of global event management company Millennial 20/20 speaking at an Asian Business Association Women in Business networking event, advised aspiring entrepreneurs not to be afraid to move out of their comfort zones, and to build their networks before they need them.

Rupal Patel, director and founder of the Orcha Group media agency has spoken of her longstanding passion for entrepreneurship – saying she knew she always wanted to have her own business. Although recognizing the pool of Asian women in business is still small, Patel believes there are opportunities – if you look for them. “There’s a lot of help out there but I have found people just don’t know what support is available to them. A critical factor to increase the number of Asian women entrepreneurs is ensuring this support reaches individuals who would like to have their own business but haven’t yet taken the steps to realize the dream.” She speaks unequivocally on the invaluable role of mentorship for Asian female entrepreneurs, encouraging this be sought early. “There are more people who want to help you than want to hold you back”, she says.

Other general advice for BAME women seeking business success includes ensuring you attend relevant industry events and participate in member organizations, continually invest in your professional development, and ensure the work you are doing adds value to your industry and its growth.

 

Looking forward

As a top-ranking Plastic Surgery Registrar for the NHS and director and co-founder of a successful aesthetics training academy, I am no stranger to hard work, long hours, and the many sacrifices that come with success. The barriers for BAME women and women in general are very real, but it is imperative we hold a steadfast self-belief and ensure we are ready to take a seat at the table; partaking in the conversation and showing the way for the up-and-coming BAME women entrepreneurs who are waiting in the wings.

Though there is still so much room for improvement, equality between the sexes is moving slowly in the right direction and recent events have shaken the world; sparking a reignition of the Black Lives Matter movement and increasing awareness around systemic and institutional discrimination of BAME people. Acquisition Aesthetics is proud to host an outstanding surgical-led faculty of medical professionals, over 60% of whom are BAME women who also operate their own successful business ventures. We will continue to collaborate with high-calibre professionals who uplift our academy and bring diversity and excellence to our team and the aesthetics realm as a whole and hope to launch an all-inclusive mentoring program in the near future.

 

 

By Dr Priyanka Chadha MBBS (Lond), BSc (Hons)’ DPMSA (Lond). MRCS (Eng), MSc (Lond); co-founder and Director of Acquisition Aesthetics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post BAME Business: Finding Business Success as an Asian Female in the UK appeared first on She Owns It.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Entrepreneur

How Valence Aims to Provide Better Access and Funding for Black Founders & Executives

Published

on


“I gotta say it was a good day.”

I’m so fricking pumped today. Really, truly. Yeah, Valence announced > $5 million in funding led by GGV and Upfront. That IS a big deal, but I’ll get to that. But Kamala Harris was picked to be the Vice Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. That means she’ll be the first female Vice President of the United States, the first female Black Vice President and the first Indian-American Vice President. I don’t take this for granted, be ready for a fight. But let’s be clear. WE WILL WIN. We might have to fight for it after the votes go our way but let’s get ready for the fight.

So let’s get it.

Guy Primus, CEO of Valence

Valence. It is a company with a mission to create better access and more funding for Black entrepreneurs and executives. Valence is led by a talented CEO, Guy Primus and was the brainchild of my partner, Kobie Fuller. If you want to follow two great Black executives who work at the intersection of technology and venture capital make sure to click on those links and follow them on Twitter.

So what exactly is Valence and why does it matter?

18 months ago, my partner Kobie Fuller was inspired to build a solution for a problem he faced regularly: as one of the few Black partners at a VC firm (an estimated 3% of GPs in venture are Black vs 14% of the US population), he was consistently asked for warm intros to Black professionals, to Black VCs, and to talented Black operators and entrepreneurs.

Venture firms wanted to meet talented Black founders but didn’t know where to start to find them. And Black entrepreneurs wanted access to decision makers but didn’t always have the easy connections. In fact, one of the biggest criticisms I personally get when I suggest that founders should “get introductions to VCs” is that this might reinforce existing racial imbalances by providing easier access to White professionals than people of color.

An imbalance clearly exists in access and networks that has resulted in a tech industry where an estimated only 1% of venture dollars go to Black founders and only 3% of the workforce is Black and a country where Black individuals hold a disproportionately low amount of the wealth — only 3%. As Kobie says, he didn’t have a “magical database” of great Black talent, so he set out to build a solution not just for himself, but also for the community.

Personally I believe that to fund more people of color you need to put check-writing authority in their hands the same way that if you want to see more women funded you need more women GPs. My greatest criticism of our industry is that women and people of color feel the need to leave larger VCs to create their own firms. We have a responsibility to help propel them to the top ranks of our biggest firms to make our check writers more representative of our society overall.

There is a very clear economic rational and strategic advantage for doing so. There are amazing Black entrepreneurs, Indian entrepreneurs, Chinese entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs, gay entrepreneurs and so forth. OBVIOUSLY! If 90% of the check writers are White, straight men then it’s clear if you are different than that you’re going to have an advantage. As I always say, being great as an investor is about having “edge” and edge means knowing somebody or something that very few others know. It’s about swimming in lanes where others aren’t present. Being diverse in the VC industry is a VERY LOW bar and a clear differentiator.

At Upfront we believe in improving access for founders and entrepreneurs to networking, professional development, and economic opportunities, and that’s what Kobie set out to do with Valence, which he incubated in our offices. Huge hats off to Kobie for the idea, energy, direction, evening hours and the foresight and salesmanship required to bring on Guy to take the helm.

Building a mission into a business

By the time Valence launched in late 2019, the team had built the necessary systems and technology to seamlessly engage and onboard the community — not just the users, but also some pilot corporate partners who also believed in the mission and opportunity and who wanted to leverage and support this amazing database of talent. It was also important to Valence to not only connect users, but also to celebrate the successes and spotlight great Black leaders through high-quality content and design.

As soon as Valence launched in November 2019, the business quickly had proven demand from the community, not only from senior business leaders but also from so many young, talented professionals who could benefit from the inter-generational networking that Valence supported so seamlessly. Since launch, the Valence platform has supported more than 5,000 micro-mentoring sessions (AKA Boosts)— allowing the kind of invaluable network support that’s so critical to success and advancement for even the most talented founders and operators.

You can hear more about the importance of mentoring from Kobie Fuller, Valence advisor James Lowry, and John Legend — yes, THE John Legend — in this video from the 2020 Upfront Summit.

https://medium.com/media/ca4b009ff76eb6ee18c50cdedd2ae63d/href

So things were going well for Valence in 2020, amazingly even in a pandemic. And then in May the world was galvanized by the tragic murder of George Floyd (and Breonna Taylor. And Ahmaud Arbery. And Rayshard Brooks. And the many Black women and men before them whose lives were taken at the hands of the police.)

When the mission meets a movement

In these months, not only did we see widespread civic protests but so many industries, including ours, faced a reckoning that despite even the best intentions, lip service wasn’t enough. We all needed to take action to address the imbalance of access, and to literally put our money where our mouths are. Suddenly a spotlight was put on everything that the Valence team had been building, and there was even more energy around the business.

I always say that you can judge a startup’s future based on how fast they’re able to execute when it counts. Well, I can tell you that within weeks of the civil unrest, Valence had:

  • Introduced the Valence Funding Network, where GPs from more than 30 of the top venture funds representing more than $60B in assets under management joined Valence with the goal of linking Black entrepreneurs on the platform directly to venture decision makers.
  • Increased membership by more than 20%
  • Hired a CEO, Guy Primus, who was previously the CEO of The Virtual Reality Company as well as the COO of Overbrook Entertainment. He’s been a leader at the intersection of media and tech for many years and we’re grateful to partner with him.
  • Announced their Series A funding round, which Upfront participated in and which was led by Hans Tung from GGV. Hans has been a great peer and collaborator on other portfolio boards and we’re excited for him to join Valence at this pivotal time. We have worked closely with GGV for years and they were a natural fit for helping to build a network like this given their investment in Chief (for women) and The Mighty (which helps families with people facing health challenges).

Since day one we have anticipated great things for Valence and with this groundswell of support at the civic level as well as the industry level, we hope to see meaningful improvements in access and dollars for Black professionals. Please join me in congratulating Guy, Kobie and the team for what they’ve built so far, and what’s to come.


How Valence Aims to Provide Better Access and Funding for Black Founders & Executives was originally published in Both Sides of the Table on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Entrepreneur

Mistakes I made as a first-time manager

Published

on




NEW MANAGER

Contributed by Shawn Johal, business growth coach, leadership speaker and co-founder of DALS Lighting, Inc. He is also an active member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Montreal chapter. 

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
–Albert Einstein

It’s almost hard to believe that I have been managing teams for more than 15 years. Time definitely flies!

I had the incredible privilege of being trained at one of the best schools for leadership in the world: Newell-Rubbermaid. As a business, it isn’t necessarily known for a dedication to improving talent, but I can say from first-hand experience they truly care about building each employee into a leader from the get-go.

I received weeks of leadership and sales training, learning from the industry’s best. They challenged me and pushed our entire team to always aim for higher goals.

In today’s fast-paced world, I often come across new managers who have never been trained for their job. The pattern often goes like this:

1. An employee performs very well at their job
2. They are promoted into a manager position
3. They are given a team and told to lead

From there, they are off to the races with an ill-equipped toolbox to learn from their mistakes.

It’s a dangerous game to play. The consequences can often result in poor company culture or a lack of focus and vision. Accountability is hard to come by and goals are either missed or never established in the first place. I don’t blame companies for doing it: We have an almost natural tendency to assume that “A” performers will figure out what to do—and they’ll (somehow) eventually succeed. Sometimes they will succeed, but often they won’t.

Even with great training and mentors, I made my share of massive mistakes as a first time leader. Learn from mine!

From Colleague to Boss

After 14 months in my first role as a sales representative, I was promoted to district manager. Suddenly I had a team of seven reporting to me. Half of them were former peers who worked with me—daily, side by side. Now they were being asked to report to me, and I was being told to lead them.

I decided to take on the “friendly” approach: We were all friends, after all! That failure was an epic one: I was not able to earn any respect and had so much trouble setting expectations and providing feedback. Being liked was too important to me. Ultimately, the friends strategy failed, and I wasn’t able to make the leap from colleague to boss while being a successful leader. Many problems were caused and the first six months were a major challenge.

While I eventually figured out a better way to lead the team, some of the employees left, not wanting to work for a former colleague and friend.

TIP #1:

If you are thrust into a position where you must suddenly manage a former peer, have an honest discussion with them. Set expectations. Be sure to communicate that while it may be an awkward situation, you will do your best to provide leadership and set up your team for success. It’s your team’s choice to respect the roles and perform at a high level.

The Firing Fiasco

There comes a moment in every leader’s life when he or she is forced to fire someone. It is a tremendously difficult moment that often causes anxiety and fear. I certainly felt both emotions when I was faced with this daunting task the first time. I did my best to prepare. I tried to plan in advance what the employee would reply, but things didn’t go as planned.

I came to the meeting with resolve. The problem? I hadn’t practiced what I would say or how I would handle any deviation from what I expected to happen. As always, the unexpected made its presence known quickly.

During the meeting, instead of explaining the reasons for the firing, I simply blurted it out. The approach was insensitive and lacked empathy. My employee began crying wholeheartedly. We were in a coffee shop as we didn’t have local offices. People stared in horror. They were right to do so: The scene was becoming a bad movie. I had unnecessarily hurt someone due to my insensitivity, my lack of planning and my nerves.

TIP #2:

If you are ever put in this situation as a first-time manager, it’s important to be prepared. Understand the facts inside and out. Rehearse what you will say. Write out bullet-point notes and stick to a script, but prepare for a difficult reaction and expect the unexpected.

S.M.A.R.T.

As a young leader, I was obsessed with showing my boss how hard I worked. I wanted to put in the most hours and prove that, by pounding the pavement, I was the best employee in the company’s history. I was wearing 60+ hours per week on my sleeve as a badge of honor. My second boss showed me the error of my ways.

He explained that it was obvious I was trying to show my “incredible” work ethic as measured in hours—which had zero impact on him. He cared only about results and progress—and he wasn’t impressed with me trying to be a machine (all machines break down eventually, after all). He taught me how to value working smarter, not harder. He didn’t care how many hours I worked, as long goals were accomplished.

Second, he genuinely worried I would burn out and wanted me to care for my mental health. He had experienced burnout in his career and it set him back. Teaching me how to use my time better, while also showing me how to teach the practice to my direct reports was eye-opening. Everyone understood that our culture was based on setting expectations and doing our best to surpass them by always thinking through our actions.

TIP #3

Be clear on what productivity means to you, and learn to measure productivity for your team members accordingly. “Hours worked” will not necessarily be the best key performance indicator. It’s crucial to understand what numbers they need to hit and help them work into that reality. By learning to set S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, attainable, timely, realistic), you are setting your team up for success.

As a young leader, mistakes will be made: There is no avoiding it. In fact, we will continue to make mistakes throughout our career.

How quickly you learn from these mistakes will ultimately define your level of progress. Ask for help, ensure you get the right leadership training, and enjoy the process. Leading is both challenging and exhilarating, but the world needs better leaders. Can you be the next great leader? 

Shawn Johal is a Scaling Up Certified Coach currently working with several entrepreneurs and their businesses to help accelerate their growth, while finding personal balance and happiness.

The post Mistakes I made as a first-time manager appeared first on THE EO BLOG.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Trending