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KillerStartups

Where Internet Entrepreneurs are the Stars

How to Market a Startup to a New Generation 23 Aug 2019, 8:00 am

How well do you relate to people two generations away from you? It’s hard to stay edgy and funny after more than 40 years, but “Saturday Night Live” is one Boomer brand that’s regained relevance in the digital age. Despite some rough seasons in the ’80s and ’90s, the show reinvented itself in the 2000s by hiring new talent, embracing online and social platforms, and leaning in to the cultural and political zeitgeist.

Entrepreneurs should take a lesson from SNL — or any successful legacy brand — when figuring out how to connect with younger generations of consumers. No, you don’t need to take a political stance (although it sometimes helps). But to grow an audience, startups must show they’re hip to the times to resonate with more consumers. 

Generation Z, in particular, represents a consumer segment of interest. According to Millennial Marketing’s “The Power of Gen Z Influence,” Generation Z commands spending power of up to $143 billion per year. These consumers, all born after 1996, have never known a time before the internet. They expect businesses to be fully integrated with web and mobile.

Perhaps because Gen Z consumers are so connected, they also prefer companies to take a stance regarding sociopolitical issues. Smart brands have boldly answered the call. Toms, a 13-year-old shoe company, has donated $5 million to organizations working to reduce gun violence. Levi’s, founded in 1853, uses its ads to promote inclusivity and progress. 

While they don’t yet have to reinvent themselves like legacy brands do, startups must demonstrate their relevance to engage with younger consumers. Consider three ways you can start doing that now.

1. Challenge traditional notions.

Expand the way potential customers view your company and its offerings. Dove, which first introduced its Dove Beauty Bar in 1957, took on this challenge in the 2000s with an advertising campaign that showed “real” women in an empowering light. “There are so few commercials that in any way are different, that challenge the stereotypical images,” notes ad industry critic Jean Kilbourne. Count Dove’s Real Beauty ads among them. One video, “You’re more beautiful than you think,” has received more than 68 million views, showcasing the message’s resonance with current generations.

Just as legacy brands must evolve, new brands should offer fresh perspectives to prove they’re culturally in step. As you get your brand off the ground, look for ways to round out its personality. A great place to start is with socially responsible messaging that promotes equality, fairness, and progress. How does your product or service enable your audience members to be their best selves?

2. Find the best meet-up spot.

Young consumers expect to find brands and products in a natural way as they explore their world, whether in person or online. A key tactic for staying relevant is showing up where your consumers are searching, hanging out, and going out. Get creative with it: Ads aren’t the only way to reach your audience.

For example, Jelmar, a 70-year-old company that manufactures CLR and Tarn-X products, created Spotify playlists to inspire happy cleaning vibes. Alison Gutterman, president and CEO, underscores the need to meet customers where they are. She notes that instead of waiting to be presented with a problem and its product fix, today’s consumers “self-identify issues and actively seek solutions. Because consumers have stopped being passive, brands have to follow suit and be where customers need them, when they need them.”

3. Enable personal growth.

Helping younger consumers meet their personal goals is one of the most powerful ways of staying relevant and top of mind. That’s because it appeals to this generation’s insatiable appetite for learning and personal growth. 

Provide ways for your potential customers to educate themselves and level up in skills. That may come in the form of video tutorials, online training, or other methods. Apple has put this tactic to good use in its Today at Apple program, which offers 30- to 90-minute training sessions. Taking place in its retail stores, the trainings cover topics like professional video editing. This sort of educational outreach can make a big difference for Gen Z consumers, accelerating them toward a tech-driven career or allowing them to make better use of the tools they own.

Startups need to be in tune with the times, and proving a brand’s cultural relevance is an effective way to appeal to the newest wave of consumers. Unlike SNL, you don’t need to hire a new cast of players. But you do need to re-strategize your messaging, meet potential customers on their own turf, and offer opportunities for personal growth. Whether a legacy brand or a brand-new startup, a company that demonstrates its significance will be able to fuel growth in the years ahead.

The post How to Market a Startup to a New Generation appeared first on KillerStartups.

6 Ways You Can Be a Happier Business Owner 22 Aug 2019, 5:45 am

Running a business is full of ups and downs. When things go well it’s one of the greatest and most accomplished feelings in the world. On the contrary, when things go south it can feel like there’s no more hope. While there will always be a few things out of your control it’s in your best interest to stay positive. Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways that you can become and stay happy as a business owner. Here are six of them.

Set Attainable Goals

One of the best ways you can be a happier business owner is by setting achievable goals. It’s great to be ambitious but if you’re constantly falling short of the mark it can be discouraging. Remember, it’s always better to overachieve than underdeliver.

Try setting one large goal each month with weekly goals that lead up to it. That way you can set yourself up for little victories along the way while keeping yourself on track.

Don’t Take “No” So Personally

As a business owner, you’re going to hear the word “No” ten times more than you’ll hear “Yes”. That’s just the nature of business.

You need to learn how to brush it off and move on to the next prospect. In fact, you should take the time to learn why that particular person wasn’t interested. This way you’ll gain value either way.

Be a Problem Solver

Think back to your High School days. Remember how good it felt when you finally solved that super long word problem in math class? That same feeling is alive and well in business.

Whether it’s for yourself or other employees you should always look to solve problems rather than create them. This will create a happier workplace all around.

Connect With Other Business Owners

The greatest thing about being a business owner is that you’re far from alone. There are millions of others just like you trying to accomplish the same goals. All these other business owners are a great source of support and feedback.

That said, you should take every opportunity you can to get out there and network. Whether it’s at an industry conference or at the local coffee shop you never know where a connection may take you.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

Happiness and productivity go hand in hand in business. Nobody wants to feel stagnant or that they aren’t providing value. If a task falls on your desk that you feel is out of your expertise, you need to delegate right away.

The misconception here is that delegating shows a sign of weakness or laziness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Delegating shows strong leadership and the ability to properly manage a team. That said, you need to delegate often and as soon as work falls on your desk.

Find a Proper Work Life Balance

This section could have a whole article to itself. Achieving a work life balance is no easy task, especially for a business owner. It’s also one of the most important things you can do to keep happy and sane.

Nobody is expected to work all day and night. In fact, you’re actually less productive if you work ridiculous hours every day than if you work a standard number of hours. Follow the motto “work smart not hard” and try to put a hard stop to your workday. During your free time do your best to stay disconnected and spend time with friends and family. If you make this a routine you’ll find yourself more energized and motivated to attack work the next day.

Becoming a happier business owner won’t happen overnight. Try to make one change at a time and build it into a habit. Overtime you’ll notice yourself becoming happier and more productive in the long run.


Originally published here.

The post 6 Ways You Can Be a Happier Business Owner appeared first on KillerStartups.

Let Your Inner Self Shine 21 Aug 2019, 2:29 pm

Few things capture attention quite like the glimmer of a fine piece of jewelry.

 

But looking beyond this initial sparkle reveals an ugly truth about our favorite accessories: most jewelry is just so plain.  No matter how luxurious and timeless some pieces might be, the majority of jewelry you see these days is little more than yellow or white gold featuring simple, unimaginitive gem settings.

 

So while the pure shine might draw you in, very few pieces go deeper with their design elements.  There’s no real artistic flare in most cases that talks to you on an intimate level; instead, pieces are manufactured quickly and without much thought (other than profit).  Today’s jewelry leaves few opportunities for the wearer to be uniquely expressive – which is especially an issue for those who value individualistic style.

 

It’s time to bring flare back to the world of jewelry.  Introducing G&D Unique Designs: an up-and-coming online fine jewelry store with a commitment to unique, appealing design.

 

G&D’s creations take the concept of fine jewelry much deeper than today’s cookie-cutter designs do.  An embodiment of the Founder & designer’s personal passions, they represent a true form of art – along with a love for music and obsession with detail.  This is expressed throughout a diverse product range that includes 14K-18K pendants, gold rings, and more.

 

Above all, the company’s jewelry is crafted to create a moving experience for those who grace them – bringing our their inherent beauty while not straying from self-expression.  Custom pieces are available upon request, too.

 

G&D utilizes a proven, perfected process to deliver this for customers each and every time.  Each piece begins with a hand-drawn sketch by their talented designer, involving many hours of intricate pencil strokes.  The intended stone is then closely scrutinized against the sketch (ensuring aesthetic and measured perfection), and then decorated with precisely-chosen hand engravings.

Customers can browse and purchase jewelry in just seconds on G&D’s easy-to-use ecommerce store, with completely secure checkout and free shipping.  The site also includes sizing charts, care recommendations, and even an affiliate program for visitors who wish to sell G&D pieces in their own stores.  Satisfaction is guaranteed with each purchase and backed by 14-day returns.

 

Some of the more popular offerings you’ll find on the platform include:

 

  • Amethyst Star Hanging Earrings (18K)
  • White Gold Lotus Rhodolite Pendant
  • Emerald Ring in Yellow Gold
  • White Gold Fleur-de-lis Rhodolite Cross Pendant

The man behind the unique design is Gregory G. Simonov, a well-respected jewelry designer who founded the company in 2016.  Mr. Simonov has always been drawn to music as an art form – which he eventually intertwined into his career to create a new take on stunning jewelry.  Going forward, he hopes to continue expanding G&D’s reach through growth of the affiliate program and other marketing initiatives.

 

To see more of these beautiful products yourself and learn more about G&D Unique Designs, visit them online at https://www.gnduniquedesigns.com/.  The company can also be reached via email at info@gnduniquedesigns.com.

 

Photos: G&D Unique Designs

The post Let Your Inner Self Shine appeared first on KillerStartups.

ADM Labs: Leading the CBD Revolution 20 Aug 2019, 3:55 pm

It’s about time one of the Earth’s great natural gifts got the treatment it deserves.

 

Hemp has been grown for centuries throughout the globe, lauded in earlier times for its wide variety of commercial and industrial uses.  But back in 1937, it was made illegal due to the presence of cannabidiol (CBD) in its flower – keeping hundreds of millions of people not just from the plant, but CBD’s life-improving benefits as well.

 

Despite this, testing of CBD and other cannabinoids by scientists and doctors around the world has continued – and we now understand even more about its incredible ability to keep the body in balance.  Pain, sleep, appetite, mood, and even reproduction are just a handful of the many areas that CBD is proven to help manage and improve.

 

Now, with federal re-legalization coming last year, it’s take to take advantage of everything hemp and CBD have to offer without restraint.  The team at ADM Labs is leading the way as one of the fastest growing and most innovative wholesale producers in the CBD segment – utilizing state-of-the-art technologies that produce the highest quality products at affordable prices.

ADM Labs is a vertically integrated manufacturer, processor, and distributor of cannabinoid products.  From their impressive Denver facility, the company is specifically focused on CBD extraction – in addition to the wholesale of industrial hemp offerings.

 

Through strategic partnerships with OEMs and farms, ADM has secured next-generation extraction equipment as well as biomass for their genetics R&D. research and development.  They also leverage joint ventures with smaller production facilities to achieve scalability and meet growing production requirements.

 

This supply chain efficiency allows them to sell to wholesalers and other manufacturers at every stage of the extraction process – providing the full range of CBD products that hemp derivative producers & retailers need.  White label solutions are also provided to top brands worldwide.

 

Here’s a glimpse at the various products ADM sells:

 

  • Hemp biomass (obtained before extraction)
  • Crude hemp oil (obtained during extraction)
  • CBD distillate cannabinoid extract (obtained during distillation)
  • CBD isolate powder (obtained after removing all olis, waxes, and other plant matter)
  • Custom formulations to the customer’s specifications

Launched in 2018 by Founder Arman Motiwalla, ADM now boasts an expansive team of executives, managers, and directors hailing from diverse backgrounds.  The company is a subsidiary of ADM Group, a global business group with products and services spanning more than 100 countries.

 

ADM Labs now supplies 110 companies with premium quality, white-label hemp-based CBD products at competitive rates.  Going forward, they hope to continue growing their already versatile product line while expanding their efforts geographically.

 

For more information on how ADM Labs is thriving in this new hemp economy, pay them a visit online at www.adm-labs.com.  The Founder can also be reached directly at arman@admgroupintl.com.

 

Photos: ADM Labs

The post ADM Labs: Leading the CBD Revolution appeared first on KillerStartups.

The 5 Most Important Relationships for Startup Founders 20 Aug 2019, 8:00 am

It’s not that you don’t want to, but as a startup founder or small business owner, you simply don’t have time to build deep relationships with everyone you meet. 

While every person deserves courtesy and respect, you have to think carefully about how you spend your time. Fail to invest in the right relationships, and you could cost your company a big opportunity. Worse, you could walk headfirst into a problem a partner could have helped you avoid.

Who should founders consider their key partners? Ask whether you’re doing enough to keep these five relationships going strong:

1. Accountants

You trust your accountant to make sure your money goes where it should. But if you hit a payroll snag, do you know him or her well enough to actually pick up the phone? Better yet, does your accountant know you well enough to identify issues proactively?

According to research from payroll solutions provider OnPay, only 21% of small business owners talk to their accountants more than monthly. Most owners (61%) talk to their accountants quarterly or even less frequently. People who communicate that rarely can’t develop meaningful relationships.

An accountant you know well won’t just lend a hand at tax time. Your accountant can help optimize your cash flow, evaluate potential opportunities, and avoid mistakes that would cost you serious cash. For nearly every business question you have, an accountant holds the answer. 

2. Investors

Your startup may not have taken venture capital, but it has investors nonetheless. Whether you got funding from a local bank, a grant, family members, or a crowdfunding campaign, your investors deserve to know what you’re up to. In fact, the people who believed in your business enough to fund it might be able to help solve its biggest problems.

Regardless of who signed a check for your company’s future, the best investor relationships benefit both sides. You should never feel like your investor is a parental figure making sure you’ve done your chores. In strong investor relationships, each side helps the other stay informed about industry developments and brainstorm for the future.

Even when growth slows, keep your investors in the loop. They’d rather hear about your struggles early, when they can still offer help. This dynamic applies to crowdfunded companies, too. By keeping your backers informed, you can get early feedback on your company’s direction. You can assure your audience members that you remain a good steward of their funds.

3. Vendors

Your business can’t fulfill its promises without vendors. If your vendors see you as untrustworthy or rude, they won’t prioritize your orders. That could cause a chain reaction of problems, ending with unhappy customers.

Make sure your vendors have all the information they need to complete your orders. If you anticipate big changes next quarter, don’t wait until order day to drop an unexpected demand. A simple phone call to keep your vendor informed could save you serious headaches down the road.

Remember that your vendors run businesses, too. Be the kind of customer you want your own company to attract. Don’t haggle for every spare nickel or act like a VIP every time you get on the phone. Treat your vendors as equal partners: The closer your vendor relationships grow, the better your position when market winds change direction.

4. Mentors

Even the biggest names in business need advice sometimes. Before Facebook became one of the most valuable companies in the world, Mark Zuckerberg received business and life advice from Apple founder Steve Jobs. The two regularly shared ideas — Jobs even told Zuckerberg to make a spiritual pilgrimage to India at one point. The relationship made both men better leaders.

No one makes it to the top without help from people with experience. Your mentors may be former bosses, investors, or colleagues from other industries. Wherever they originate, don’t let those relationships stagnate. 

As in every good relationship, both sides benefit from a mentor-mentee arrangement. You don’t need to set up formal meetings to talk about your problems. Grab lunch or a drink after work once a month or so. Those little conversations build more trust than any big meeting could provide.

5. Family

Research from Bank of America revealed how much entrepreneurs rely on their families as they build their companies. While only 14% of founders depend on financial support from relatives, 57% receive emotional support. Many families even get involved in day-to-day operations, with 29% of entrepreneurs receiving volunteer help from family.

Plenty of entrepreneurs have struggled to balance work and family life. What they don’t realize, however, is that investments in family are often investments in business. In dark times, founders who feel supported by family members can rebound and try again. Those who let family relationships wane may not have the same support.

If you aren’t close with your blood relatives, don’t worry. Family can take many forms. Relationships with your circle of college friends, your trivia team, or your fellow founders can be just as gratifying and helpful. Whether you shared a bedroom as kids or a dorm room at school, make a point to keep your family involved. 

It takes a village to build a business. Prioritize the relationships that matter so you have the support you need when you need it. And remember: Relationships go both ways. When your vendors, family members, and mentors need you, be ready to help however you can.

The post The 5 Most Important Relationships for Startup Founders appeared first on KillerStartups.

6 Things to Account for in Your Business Budget 20 Aug 2019, 5:45 am

One of my biggest pain points as a creative entrepreneur is budgets. Don’t get me wrong, apparently, I’m pretty good at managing money. The problem is I have a hard time conceptualizing what a business budget should look like.

Here are some of the questions I constantly ask myself as it pertains to a business budget:

  • How much should I be investing in my business?
  • What’s a good conversion for an ad?
  • Where should I be investing money?
  • Do I need to make any cuts?
  • When do I make those cuts?
  • What’s a good profit margin?

You see, despite the fact that I work in finance, I’m not very analytical. At least not when it comes to business budgets. I’m more of a big picture kind of person. And you know what? Most entrepreneurs are. That’s why we often need to hire financial professionals, CFOs or people who are way better at analytics than we are.

This very notion came up at a recent business retreat I attended. Since most of us are creatives, we get hung up on the details of a business budget. We literally drive ourselves crazy wondering if we’re making the right financial moves.

Fortunately, there was an attendee who was far more analytical which was extremely helpful. She gave us some major insights on what some business expenditures might look like. Additionally, every person in that room ran a very successful business, so it’s not like we’re totally clueless, we just think we are (that’s a topic for another time).

Here are some of the things to account for in your business budget. I want you to know this now so you’re not surprised later. Additionally, this comes from a combination of experience and having really smart financial people in my life which is a great segue to my first point.

Budget to hire smart financial people.

As I already mentioned, if you’re an entrepreneur you’re likely a visionary. Unless you happen to have an accounting background or really dig numbers, you probably need some help. Even if you do dig numbers, it’s way easier to handle other people’s businesses than it is to handle our own. And finally, even if you have the financial skills, your time may be better spent elsewhere.

Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of financial know-how, you’re probably going to need to hire help. Period. At the very least, you’re going to need an accountant that can help you with tax planning.

Although accountants can be expensive, they pretty much pay for themselves with the amount of money they save you. Additionally, they know every legal trick in the book so you don’t overspend on taxes. For example, I recently deposited $2,000 into a SEP IRA so that I could deduct it from the taxes I owed. I ended up getting a $400 refund as a result.

Would I have known how to figure that out on my own? Nope. My accountant not only helped me bring down my tax liability, he also helped me save for retirement. Win-win.

Depending on the size of your business, you may at some point want to consider bringing on a CFO. Since I’m not there yet, I don’t have much to say on the topic, but I do know it’s worked well for many colleagues.

Equipment and tools

No matter what kind of business you’re in, you need some kind of tools to help you run it. Even people who run businesses from their laptops need to pay for services that help them run it. This includes email marketing software, e-commerce, web hosting and a CRM. If your business deals with inventory or equipment, then you must account for that as well.

The truth is it costs money to run a business. And that’s okay so long as you have allocated for it in the business budget. It’s also okay to layer things in over time. That’s what I’ve done as a bootstrapper and while it’s taken me longer, I don’t have debt and I don’t have anyone telling me what to do.

Marketing

Here’s where things get really interesting. While attending this retreat, the analytical attendee mentioned how businesses should be spending a minimum 10 percent of their revenue just on marketing.

To a beginning business owner, this sounds terrifying, but it actually makes a lot of sense. In order to keep growing your business, you need new leads. In order to get those leads, you need to market yourself.

For example, you may decide to spend money on ads because it brings you lots of new leads into a sales funnel. Some of those leads will convert into sales. So, if you’re revenue is $10K a month and you allocate $1k toward ads which covert into thousands of dollars, then you’re good.

The problem when it comes to marketing is most people don’t know what they are doing.However, that is a topic for another time. The point I’m trying to make here is that you do need to spend money on marketing in order to grow your business.

Now, what constitutes a marketing cost? This question did actually come up during the retreat. Technically, my all-in-one CRM system handles email marketing, but I would consider that more of a tool than a marketing cost. On the other hand, Instagram story ads and public relations definitely constitute as marketing.

Judging by my new friend’s benchmark, I’m investing the minimum that I should be investing. After seeing how successful my IG story ads are, I decided to start throwing in more money.

Unexpected or non-regular expenses

Unexpected and non-regular expenses used to be the bane of my business budget. After a few years of being surprised by them, now I know there will inevitably be something I have to pay for that’s not in my monthly budget.

Here are some examples from my own business:

  • An annual report for the state of Florida (State fees vary by state)
  • The occasional website maintenance or fix.
  • A non-regular graphic design cost like a media kit or worksheet
  • Web hosting which is once a year
  • Auto webinar software which is also once a year
  • My accountant’s fee for filing a federal tax return
  • Any class I may want to take
  • Tools and services that are billed annually
  • Random equipment like a podcasting mic or a camera

Now what I do is reserve some money in a business savings account for these expenses. After all, I know they are coming I just may not know or remember when.

Taxes

The last thing you want as an entrepreneur is to fall behind on taxes. It’s not fun. That’s why you need to make them a part of your business budget. For example, I know I need to set aside about $2,000 per month for taxes based on current profit. As an aside, this is also why you need to budget for hiring smart financial people. Just saying.

Contractors and Employees

I left contractors and employees for last because it depends on the business model and not everyone needs big teams. However, at the very least everyone needs an assistant of some kind.

The thing to remember is that hiring people can help you make more money and give you back your time. Therefore, it’s something you need to take into account in your business budget even if it means you do it slowly over time.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to manage a business budget is an important part of running a successful business. At the end of the day, we cannot avoid the numbers, therefore, we must learn to befriend them.


Originally published here.

The post 6 Things to Account for in Your Business Budget appeared first on KillerStartups.

Customers Want to See Company Partnerships 16 Aug 2019, 8:00 am

No one can do everything alone. Big businesses constantly partner to meet consumer needs. Why shouldn’t smaller companies leverage their own advantages to do the same?

In an era of constant connection, the evolution of consumer needs outpaces most companies’ ability to keep up. Amazon and Netflix have taught consumers that personalization should be the norm. Alone, startups and small businesses might struggle to meet higher expectations. Together, companies can deliver customer experiences that are more than the sum of their parts.

To give your customers the experiences they deserve, consider opportunities to leverage B2B partnerships:

1. Help one another provide more value.

Big companies can afford to handle multiple verticals. Smaller businesses simply don’t have that kind of cash. However, you can create the same experience at a fraction of the price by partnering with other businesses.

Smart home brand Plume, for instance, works with ISPs to bring smart home technology to the homes of ISP customers. Up against big-money ISPs, smaller outfits rarely have enough resources to offer the same variety of services and perks. Through this partnership, ISPs of all sizes can offer perks like Adaptive WiFi and AI security. 

Consider how businesses tangential to your industry could help you provide unexpected value. An auto rental company could work with a travel agency to help visitors find the most scenic rides. A pet brand and a cleaning solutions provider could offer a co-branded line of pet-friendly cleaning products. When it comes to mutually beneficial partnerships, the only limit is your imagination.

2. Link your loyalty programs.

If you don’t have a loyalty program yet, what are you waiting for? Loyalty programs provide more personalized customer experiences, increase referral traffic, and create social proof you can use to market your company.

Several companies offer merged loyalty programs to help consumers get the best of both worlds. Many airlines work with restaurant groups to reward diners when they use airline credit cards. That creates another type of program connection through the banks processing the payments.

If you don’t see an opportunity to partner with another company, consider integrating your loyalty programs (at least partially). This move could introduce you to a new customer base and create a short-term spike after the program goes live. But be cautious about the math to prevent opportunists from taking advantage of loopholes.

3. Join for a cause.

Even if your company and your potential partner have little in common, you can still join forces for the greater good. Now that 63% of consumers prefer to buy from purpose-driven brands, companies need reasons beyond profit to attract new business. You can do good for your cause while introducing your brand to an audience predisposed to view you favorably.

Don’t limit your search for a partner to your industry or the industries that directly affect yours. Consumers don’t care if your partnership begins and ends at your commitment to the issue. They just want to see brands champion the same values they do. 

If your company hasn’t yet identified a greater purpose, unite your leadership team to pick one that makes sense. Which issues matter to your people? You can take inspiration from others, but don’t borrow someone else’s mission outright. Find your calling, then look for others with whom to combine your efforts.

4. Look to corporations.

You don’t need 10-figure revenues to find advantages in a corporate partnership. Corporations and startups make great teams under the right circumstances. Your company can provide niche value to a corporate partner; your new big sibling can help with funding, vendor relationships, or new audience introductions.

If your business sells B2B products and services, don’t view potential partners through the lens you use with potential clients. This isn’t about making a sale. It’s about forming a long-term partnership that benefits both sides. When potential partners realize you want to work together — not make a deal — they’ll at least hear you out.

Joining the big leagues might sound intimidating, but don’t let the high stakes deter you. Take pride in your company’s agility and novelty. Understand what you bring to the table. Even if your corporate partnership never evolves into a business agreement, your new partner could help you find clients down the road.

Your customers will always want a little more — and so will everyone else’s. Do the right thing for your audience and your business by partnering with other companies. You’ll be able to provide a wider range of services, boost your value offering, and set the foundation for stronger growth.

The post Customers Want to See Company Partnerships appeared first on KillerStartups.

The Pros and Cons of Joining a Coworking Space 15 Aug 2019, 5:45 am

Have you considered joining a coworking space? After all, they seem to be popping up everywhere. Coworking spaces have also become synonymous with startup culture.

The truth is there are pros and cons to joining a coworking space. Take it from me, I was a member of one for two years and recently canceled my membership. Whether or not you’ll benefit from a coworking space really just depends on you, your team and your situation.

In an effort to help you make the best decision for yourself, I’m laying out the pros and cons of joining a coworking space.

Cost

Coworking spaces are generally pretty affordable. At the very least, they certainly cost far less money than leasing office space. CoWorking spaces are also usually in hot neighborhoods where a lot of business goes down.

Now, things have changed when it comes to the cost of coworking spaces which is actually one of the reasons I canceled my membership. There are now spaces available where you can go cowork for free, therefore paying to cowork doesn’t necessarily make sense. For example, I have a client in Denver who has access to free coworking spaces. Or, my bank (yes, my bank), is opening up cafes in my area that look like coworking spaces. I can go work there for free.

Of course, I can get away with working at a free space because I hardly ever have in-person meetings. If I was a lawyer or my clientele expects and office space, then it would be a little different. In that case, I could get a dedicated space at a coworking space for less than the cost of a lease.

Additionally, some apartment buildings are also now combined with work spaces. My friend lives in a loft and the upper floors of her building are office spaces. She can use them and it’s already included in her rent. With more options like this, it’s making coworking spaces a little obsolete.

Location

Coworking spaces are usually in good locations. Every hot neighborhood in my city has a few coworking spaces to choose from. In my case, I was able to walk to my coworking space from my apartment.

Additionally, they are usually in areas where there is a lot of business or commerce. This includes downtown areas, near main streets and, as I already mentioned, trendy neighborhoods.

The downside to this is traffic. Granted, I didn’t have to worry about it because I could walk to my space. However, I never understood why people would choose to drive to a coworking space given the traffic nightmare near all of them.

Another upside is if you have a local team, you can meet at the coworking space instead of your home. I don’t have a local team so this totally doesn’t apply to me.

The actual spaces.

I have to give it to coworking spaces, their interiors are amazing. There is a lot to be said for how our work environment affects our productivity, and coworking spaces take this very seriously.

Granted, I feel like some do this better than others. It can also be a matter of opinion. For example, I don’t get the dimly lit coworking spaces. They make me want to shut down. I’m also not a huge fan of mostly open floor planning or the community desk area being next to a bar.

But, like I said, that’s a matter of opinion. Overall, I have no cons about interiors.

Networking

Part of the appeal of joining a coworking space is having access to a network of other professionals.

As with interiors, some spaces do this better than others. For example, some coworking spaces give you access to an app or an online directory. Other coworking spaces are far better at putting on community events.

Either way networking is a key part of running a successful business and it’s really hard to do that from your home. It was actually joining a coworking space that helped me get more in tune with Miami startup culture. While none of my clientele is local to me, it still helps to know people in the area.

Furthermore, the only part I miss about needing to be at an office every day is being around other people. With a coworking space you have “coworkers” without the baggage of traditional coworkers.

marketing guide for business owners

Flexibility

One of the major pros of coworking spaces is the flexibility they allow you. The reason I joined a coworking space in the first place was because I had a situation going on at home that made it difficult for me to work. The coworking space provided the temporary solution I needed at the time.

Now that things have settled, I’ve canceled my membership because I no longer need it. I’m  one of those people who actually likes working from home. If I ever feel like I need to be around other humans I just go to a coffee shop. Or, as is the case now, I can cowork for free in other locations.

There is also something else you need to keep in mind. Different coworking spaces have different policies for contracts. For example, mine would lock you in for six months to a year which worked for what I needed at the time. Others are month to month. It depends on the space so make sure to shop around.

Coworking spaces also offer different options at different prices. They have day rates, weekly rates, community rates, dedicated desk rates and private office rates. Again, what you need depends on you.

Environment

The environment of coworking spaces is a tossup between pros and cons. To be fair, it’s a 50/50. Some spaces are definitely crazier than others, however here are my thoughts based on my personal experience.

The benefits of an environment in a coworking space is you’re around people who get you. I also notice people tend to be in a better mood. Often times its because they are working on stuff they actually like to do. Most people are also entrepreneurial and therefore pushing themselves to be better every day. It’s good to be around people like that.

Here’s the con: Sometimes its way too many people. Again, this could depend on location. The original location of where I went to cowork was great because it was quieter. When I moved and started going to another location, it was a different story entirely. There was barely a moment where I could get a phone booth to take a call. It’s also difficult to do stuff like film videos for clients or record podcasts without shelling out for your own private space which makes no sense for my business.

I’ve also been to coworking spaces that are like a party on a Friday. I walked in and thought, “Oh my gosh if it has this many people on a Friday I don’t even want to know about Tuesday.”

I have to be fair, though. This totally depends on the coworking space and it’s location. It’s not fair for me to group them all together and assume they are all like this.

Final Thoughts

Joining a coworking space can be a great move depending on your business. It certainly helped me when I needed it. Regardless of the fact that I canceled, I still believe they fit a major need in the market for business owners.

 


Originally published here.

The post The Pros and Cons of Joining a Coworking Space appeared first on KillerStartups.

How to Bootstrap a Six-Figure Business 13 Aug 2019, 5:45 am

I recently achieved a major goal I set for myself many years ago – to have a six-figure business by 30. I accomplished this without taking on debt and without using other people’s money. Although using other people’s money would be nice, it’s not a route I want because I want complete control of my business. If you feel the same way, then you need to learn how to bootstrap a six-figure business for yourself.

What is bootstrapping?

Bootstrapping is a method of funding your business which gives you complete control. With bootstrapping, you’re using your own money to grow the business. At first this looks like dipping into your savings. Over time, it looks like reinvesting some of the revenue back into the business.

A word of caution…

Don’t think you can bootstrap a six-figure business overnight. It actually took me five years of being self-employed to reach the six-figure mark. This because I had less access to capital and I did not want to get in over my head with credit cards.

I slowly built my business over time. This is important to keep in mind because in the world of perfect Instagram photos, entrepreneurship looks easy. It’s not. It will probably take more time and cost you more money than you think.

I don’t say this to scare you. I say this so you’re aware of what it actually takes to make this work. Far too many people try to bootstrap a six-figure business and don’t realize the amount of time, dedication and work.

Furthermore, I say this so you focus on generating as much revenue as you can from the get-go. The faster you generate, the more you can invest and the faster you can get to six-figures. With that being said, here’s how to bootstrap a six-figure business.

Reduce your personal expenses ASAP.

You can free up some money to bootstrap a six-figure business immediately by reducing your personal expenses. This also puts lets pressure on you because you can live off less. That way, more of the money you make can be reinvested back into the business.

Furthermore, the first couple of years can be rough. Any entrepreneur can tell you this is true. You’ll want to make sure you’re not in over your head as you grind it out. The easiest way to do that is to cut your personal expenses.

Know how you’re going to make money.

The next step to bootstrapping a six-figure business is to know how you’re going to make money. What products or services are you selling? How many sales do you need to close? What’s the price point? How many people do you need to speak with to close that many sales?

Here’s a secret that took me years to figure out. If you want to bootstrap a six-figure business quickly, start by selling products and services that are expensive. Last year I created my group coaching program which is $2,000 per sale. Because of this, I increased my revenue by 40 percent in 12 months without trying very hard.

As such, my current goal is to go harder on those sales because they make the most money the fastest. If you don’t have a high-end product, how can you create one? The truth is you need something to sell in order to bootstrap a six-figure business.

Speaking of which…

Learn how sell, negotiate and close deals.

If you need to make money, start selling.

I fervently believe that every entrepreneur should invest in education that helps them with selling. Because without sales, you essentially have no business.

When you try to bootstrap a six-figure business, its likely that the selling is your responsibility at first. This is because you’re not yet ready to hire and manage sales teams. That’s okay so long as you know how to close a deal.

If you’re uncomfortable with sales, I would start by working on your mindset. The truth is sales is an art. It’s also likely that most of what you’ve been taught to believe about sales is wrong. After that, it’s a matter of learning skills and techniques so you can sell, deal with objections and close the deal.

Just note that this does take practice. I once got rejected 60 times in one month because I didn’t yet know what I was doing. Now I am able to close deals and get credit card information over the phone. In fact, many of the prospects who rejected me back then are now my customers.

Don’t shy away from marketing yourself.

One mistake I see a lot of entrepreneurs make is shying away from marketing themselves. They tend to hide behind other people or just not use the tools that are at their disposal.

I’m here to tell you the harsh reality of the internet. We’re living in a time where you need to get people’s attention. That means you need to be everywhere and market yourself consistently.

This is one of the reasons why I do IG stories every day. It’s also why I email my list almost every single day and have my podcast syndicated everywhere possible. People consume content in different ways and they need to see you as much as possible.

In addition to putting yourself out there, you should learn the art of good marketing. Invest in learning how to write effective sales copy. If you’re able to do that, sales become easy.

For example, last week I wrote a specific email that I sent out to my list. The copy was so well written that people were literally calling my business phone inquiring about my coaching programs. That is the power of good marketing. Being able to get people to move like this makes it easier to bootstrap a six-figure business.

Finally, he who markets himself makes the money. You get people’s attention and build their trust over time. Because if no one knows who you are, it’s unlikely that they will buy from you.

high money roi

Don’t be afraid to invest some money.

I hate it when I see entrepreneurs who are scared of investing money into their businesses. The reality is that you will need to invest at some point if you want to bootstrap a six-figure business.

I understand the feeling of wanting to hoard money. We’re so afraid to part with it that we don’t understand the value of investing. However, I also understand how investing thousands leads to a return of tens of thousands. For example, I invested about $3500 in a mentor and made a return of $40,000 with what she taught me.

It took me a long time to get here and I see a lot of entrepreneurs get stuck when it comes time to invest. It’s no wonder that many of them stay small and never make it to the six-figure mark.

Here’s how I’ve come to see investing in my business. If I slap an investment on my credit card, then I have a few weeks to figure out how to make more sales to pay for it. Because the money is never actually there when you need it. Instead, you need to go find it.

Of course, this is done slowly and meticulously over time. You also need a lot of discipline so you don’t go haywire. That’s where having a trusted accountant can come in handy.


Originally published here.

The post How to Bootstrap a Six-Figure Business appeared first on KillerStartups.

Fund Your Future with Richr 8 Aug 2019, 3:40 pm

Selling a home is expensive.

 

This is certainly not news to anyone who has been through the process.  Broker fees upwards of 6% of the sale price – in addition to flat fees – are enough to put a damper on what should be an exciting time.  In some cases, it’s enough to change best laid sale plans altogether.

 

Many accept this lofty expense as a necessary evil, as the cash ultimately received from the sale tends to spark an “oh well” attitude.  But upon further analysis, why should they? In today’s age of digital listings, brokers add less value to the transaction than they ever have before – making you wonder if they’re even needed at all.

 

It’s time to rethink real estate with Richr: a free multiple listing service (MLS) platform that’s ushering in the future of home selling.  The cutting-edge solution empowers homeowners and buyers to be independent – providing them with the tools needed to maximize equity by cutting out unnecessary third parties.

Richr provides the homeowner with full control by getting them in front of thousands of potential buyers, at no cost.  Flat fees, broker fees, and other hidden costs are eliminated as your home is listed free of charge on your local MLS – not to mention 750+ additional websites including Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin.

 

The result?  A “Richr” experience for all, as sellers keep more of their deserved cash at closing and buyers enjoy a more hassle-free experience.  It’s the collaborative, broker-free, on-demand economies that the real estate space has missed for some time.

 

Richr users also benefit from an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide that will steer them through each step of the selling process.  Designed by an expert team of industry professionals, here’s a glimpse at what to expect:

 

  1. Start with a self-paced primer that includes tips & tricks on how to maximize sale price;
  2. Then, utilize a proprietary tool to begin and execute the listing process;
  3. Once submitted, a licensed agent will contact you to confirm your listing;
  4. Home is added to the MLS and other top platforms for maximum exposure;
  5. Sit back, watch the offers roll in, and let Richr help you select the best one.

Sellers get added peace of mind knowing that their homes will be listed within one business day of signing their agreement, and that they can cancel the listing at any time.

 

Conceptualized by Founder Glenn Orgin, Richr has only been around since 2018 but is already gaining quite the reputation.  The company has been featured positively in a variety of publications – including Home Business Magazine and the South Florida Business Journal – and recently announced a strategic partnership with Cosmopolic Real Estate.

 

The platform is also receiving great early user reviews and producing outstanding cash savings on home sales, including over $13,000 in one case.  That’s a new car!

 

Going forward, Richr plans to expand its market reach outwards from their South Florida Tri-County base (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach) – starting with the rest of Florida and then going national.  Continuous technological improvements will also remain a focus.

 

Want more information on how Richr is changing the game for home sellers?  Check it out for yourself at https://www.richr.com/; or, email the Founder directly at glenn@richr.com.

 

Photos: Richr

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6 Ways to Go Green as a Startup 8 Aug 2019, 8:00 am

The market for green brands is red hot. Nearly three-quarters of Millennials are willing to pay more for products or services from companies dedicated to environmental sustainability. Unless they want to give up ground to competitors, startups that sell to young adults need to buy in.

Making your company more sustainable isn’t just a marketing move, either. Ask your accountant: Reducing your resource consumption and reusing supplies when possible are also smart financial strategies.

Although some of these tactics tend more toward the marketing or money-saving side than others, all six will make your startup more sustainable:

1. Take alternative transportation. 

Online booking platform Reservations.com reports that travel alone accounts for 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. But to court investors and make sales, many startups need team members to travel. For high-stakes meetings, phone calls and videoconferencing don’t cut it.

If you can’t skip a trip, at least avoid short-distance air travel. If you’re flying fewer than 300 miles, consider taking a bus or train. If you must fly, opt for an airline that’s working to lower its environmental impact. Some carriers let you pay to offset your flight’s carbon footprint, while others operate more efficient fleets or use new-age fuel sources. 

Travel doesn’t just have to mean long-term trips. Workers’ daily commutes can add up to a hefty impact, so encourage carpooling groups in order to slash those emissions. Some companies even offer incentives for taking public transportation to and from the office. Research different options to see which plan works best for your business. 

2. Embrace remote work.

Chances are high that most of your workers commute both ways by car — and by themselves. Letting them work from home some (or all) of the time minimizes those twice-a-day tailpipe emissions. Best of all, studies show it might also make them happier and more productive. In the “Dell 2020 Legacy of Good Plan” report, which outlined various company initiatives, including remote work, Dell CEO Michael Dell said, “Our 10×20 Goal is about measuring not only the sustainable and social initiatives Dell can execute, but also the ripple effect of how our technology enables others to benefit the planet. We believe it will be dramatic.”

Remote work can cut your incidental costs, both environmental and financial. Do you purchase plastic cutlery so employees can eat lunch at the office? Do you buy disposable water bottles in case they get thirsty? Especially if you operate a knowledge-based business, develop a remote work policy that works for you.

3. Purchase carbon credits.

What do General Motors, Barclays, and PG&E have in common? They’re successful and established companies, yes, but they’re also the largest private purchasers of carbon credits in the world. As smaller companies see top-tier corporations offsetting their carbon contributions, they’re following along. 

You can buy carbon offsets from dozens of different organizations. Look for one that offsets carbon emissions in a way that’s important for your business: You could pay to plant trees, operate wind farms, or support methane capture. Credits currently sell for a budget-friendly $5 per ton of carbon.

4. Look for like-minded companies.

No startup truly goes it alone, so it’s critical to team up with companies that are also dedicated to sustainability. Organizations like Nu Skin, a cosmetics and skincare company, partner with green startups from seed to solution. Nu Skin’s latest acquisition, Groviv, delivers ingredients grown through controlled environment agriculture technology to minimize resources by using a fraction of the water and land required in traditional farming without the use of herbicides and pesticides. Said Ritch Wood, CEO, “This is a natural evolution in our commitment to innovate where we intend to infuse the best of nature, the latest in science and the most advanced technology into pure, safe and sustainable products.”

Where might you spot a similar partner? Green Business Network connects 3,000 businesses that service more than 200,000 customers. Check whether GBN members, which have to meet certain sustainability standards, might have the services or components you need. Reducing your company’s carbon footprint is only half the battle — you need to make your company’s network green as well if you want to minimize your environmental impact. 

 5. Minimize office waste.

Paper, pens, pencils, and staples are just the start: Literal tons of disposable office products wind up in landfills every year. Although you might never fully eliminate some of them, modern technology makes it easier to reduce your workplace’s material waste.

At service companies, in particular, workers might need only computers and desks to do their jobs. Applications like DocuSign can eliminate the need for paper contracts, while Evernote and other note-taking tools let you set aside the paper notebooks. Whatever physical supply you might need, check whether there’s an app or web service that can take its place. 

6. Reduce utility usage.

Believe it or not, building maintenance accounts for 39% of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Heating, cooling, and lighting are likely nonnegotiables for your team, but there’s no reason to let old workspaces waste your operations budget. There are ways to save on utilities that don’t involve buying a new building or sweating the whole summer.

First, consider your HVAC setup: Is your insulation up-to-date? What about your air conditioning unit? Once they burn out, replace existing lights with LED bulbs. If your company rents its office, ask your property manager about installing smart thermostats or even larger upgrades, like rooftop solar panels. 

Going green is a no-lose decision. Sustainability can boost your brand, give you access to new customers, lower your overhead costs, and take a load off your conscience along the way. Small steps, including those taken by small companies, are how big changes happen.

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6 Surefire Ways to Get Motivated About Your Business Again 8 Aug 2019, 5:45 am

In business, it’s likely that you will experience some form of startup burnout – or worse – boredom. This is because starting a business is a marathon and sometimes even marathoners feel like they need to take a step back. The problem is when we mistake rest of laziness or lack of motivation. When this happens, we find ourselves not moving forward and it’s very difficult to get motivated.

I know because I recently experienced this. I reached a specific goal I had in mind and decided to take things a little easier. But after a few months, I noticed an interesting shift. My business was running well, but I was personally bored and unmotivated. Fortunately, I didn’t slip back into self-sabotaging behavior because I know how to get motivated when I need it.

If you’re currently experiencing something similar, here are a few ways you can get motivated again so your business can grow even more.

Realize it’s human nature at play

Humans are funny creatures. We do the strangest things to sabotage our own progress. At the same time, we’re never really satisfied.

Let me address the sabotage first. At this stage in my career, I’ve had thousands of conversations with people about their mindset. One common theme I’ve noticed is that we unknowingly sabotage ourselves because of beliefs we hold about money and success.

For example, I was sabotaging myself earlier this year. I said “I’ve reached my goal of $9,000 to $10,000 a month. I don’t need any more than that. I’m satisfied.”

Well, that’s what I was saying but it’s not what I was thinking. I was actually thinking “This is my limit I can’t make more than this. It’s not possible for me.” So, I started to sabotage.

It’s often said that successful people are masters of their own psychology and we really need to become aware of this negativity bias that holds us back and how it manifests. One way in which it does so is lack of motivation.

Now let’s address the second point. You often hear people telling you to just be satisfied with what you have. Well, that doesn’t really work with human nature. We’re wired to want to grow because fulfillment lies in expansion. That’s why I got bored after a few months of reaching my initial goal and not doing anything to meet a new one.

By realizing your lack of motivation may just be human nature at play, you can more easily choose to snap out of it and get motivated.

Put yourself in a room with other ambitious people.

Part of what helps me get motivated is to surround myself with other ambitious people. That’s what I did a few weeks ago when I attended a mastermind retreat.

I walked in bored and dissatisfied with my business. I walked out re-engaged and excited again. In fact, I took on a big project and now I’m about to have my highest grossing month ever.

Sometimes we need to be around other people who are doing big things to show us what’s possible. Other times, we need to them to see through our self-sabotaging behavior and tell us what’s up.

That’s what these people did for me at that retreat and it’s why I continue to invest in being in these kinds of rooms. I already have another event lined up for later this month.

Find your why

Another way to get motivated again is to find your why. Why did you start this business? Why does it matter to you?

Although money is important, people rarely get into business just for money. They get into business to solve a problem in that marketplace. What is that problem and how does your business solve it? Also, how does that make the world a better place?

For example, I had to remind myself that my business training programs offer a major service to the world. I know this because I see the messages in my inboxes all the time from people who are struggling financially. Or, they are struggling to get their own businesses off the ground.

This means multiple things. It means I need to make some money so I can reach more people and help them. It means I need to get the messages out there. Additionally, it means I need to find ways to improve my offerings. And finally, it means I need to bring my podcast back.

Do all of these things lead to more money in my bank account? Yes. But once you reach a level of boredom in your business money isn’t really a motivator. What is a motivator is remembering about the people you help.

hit your monthly goal

Set a bigger goal

During my stint of lack of motivation, I read a book by Grant Cardone called The 10X Rule. In it, he explains the importance of big goals.

First, as I already mentioned, humans like to expand. He’s quick to mention how that’s not a bad thing and encourages people to 10x their current goal. This took my goal from a six-figure business to a seven-figure one.

Second, if we have our eyes set on a goal or purpose, we don’t have time for petty problems. This one hit home for me because I found myself wrapped up in petty personal life problems back when I was bored. These problems were, in turn, negatively affecting my business. At the time, I didn’t realize my boredom opens the door for these types of problems to come into my life. The antidote is to set bigger goals so you don’t have the time for nonsense and you can get motivated again.

About 24 hours after reading this book, I started to implement some of it’s practices. I saw immediate results and am now on track to have my highest grossing month ever. The demand got so crazy I’m now in the process of onboarding two new team members to help me keep up.

Help someone else

A great way to get motivated again – especially when we’re bored or in a funk – is to help someone else. This not only helps you get motivated, it also opens up a floodgate of abundance and opportunity.

For example, I helped a friend create a budget for his finances. This isn’t a part of my business. It’s just a labor of love I do for people in my personal life who need it. Helping him get his act together and seeing his reaction was amazing and helped me realize I can do a lot to help people.

Not only did I feel better, but my business started booming shortly afterward. I don’t know if it’s because I was feeling better or because of some universal principle of repayment. What I do know is that it’s not a coincidence.

Bring on help

Part of the reason why I was feeling unmotivated was that I was also feeling overwhelmed. I was scared to get bigger because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it alone (there’s that self-sabotage again).

Fortunately, I got over that. I hired a new business manager, outsourced more of my PR and am now looking for a salesperson. Knowing that I have other people supporting me is helping me to get motivated again.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes our ability to get motivated again has more to do with what’s going on internally than externally. Other times it’s external problems that can be fixed. Whichever it is, you can overcome a slump and find your motivation again.

The post 6 Surefire Ways to Get Motivated About Your Business Again appeared first on KillerStartups.

Get the Most Out of Your Online Data 6 Aug 2019, 10:28 pm

In today’s intensely competitive business world, data is the new gold standard.

 

Being able to obtain key information on your team, products, and customers is perhaps the best track towards gaining a competitive edge in 2019 – no matter if you’re an international enterprise or mom & pop.  And while recent technologies have made this much easier, the data gathering process is still sloppy and inconvenient as it generally requires accessing multiple sources.

 

Not to mention, being able to leverage it properly is another thing altogether.  All the data in the world means nothing if it’s not organized properly, or the right analytical processes aren’t in place.  Doing so can be a daunting process, especially when sensitive data is involved – and the wrong move can be devastating in terms of wasted time, expense, and poor decision making.

 

The time has come to make data work for – and not against – any forward-thinker seeking a competitive edge.  Introducing Baserow: an open source data collaboration platform for users and developers.

The Baserow database is centered on flexibility – bringing long-sought user-friendliness to the world of data sourcing.  Developers and other user types can arrange data the way they want to, blazingly fast, without needing to access multiple platforms.  It’s all part of their commitment to freedom, speed, and user experience, which are all crucially important when working with data.

 

Baserow collaborates data from the Django and Vue.js frameworks and operates as an open source product, which gives the user control.  It can be easily installed on your own server if desired but users are also free to use Baserow’s own hosted environment. The open source nature also provides added comfort when working with privacy sensitive data.

 

Here are just a few more features and benefits that Baserow provides to the data world:

 

  • Has the capability to handle millions of columns & hundreds of thousands of rows
  • All actions on the platform are clearly documented and can easily be extended
  • Users may download or develop custom plugins when limits are reached
  • Video and text tutorials are available for users needing support
  • The hosted Baserow environment can be used for just a small fee

Baserow was conceptualized by Founder Bram Wiepjes just earlier this year, and is already gaining quite the following in the developer community.  The platform is now firmly in its beta testing phase and is currently gathering (and implementing) feedback from core users.

 

Interested in learning more about Baserow or becoming a free beta user?  Just visit them online at https://baserow.io.  The Founder can also be reached via email at bram@baserow.io.

 

Photos: Baserow

The post Get the Most Out of Your Online Data appeared first on KillerStartups.

How to Stop Supply Chain Snags Before They Start 31 Jul 2019, 8:00 am

Nowhere is the “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” saying truer than in procurement planning. Once a supply chain is broken, it can take months to put the links back together. 

Consider what happened when Bosch, an international auto parts supplier, ran unexpectedly low on steering gears. BMW was forced to slow or stop production of its 1-series, 2-series, 3-series, and 4-series cars for months.

Even bottlenecks in indirect supply lines can cause headaches. Ready for a hiring surge? Not if you can’t get enough desks. Have a company cafeteria? If cleaning supplies don’t show up, closing it could cost thousands in food waste.

Keeping the Chain Strong

Before your product, people, or pocketbook suffer from a supply chain issue, be proactive:

1. Develop a procurement strategy.

Preventing supply disruptions is mostly about having an effective procurement plan. For each spend category, ask yourself: Is getting the best price, maximizing quality, reducing risk, or saving time most important? Boutique suppliers might build the best product, but they can be expensive and may not be on firm business footing. Amazon might deliver your products quickly and at a good price — but you might struggle to build the sort of personal relationship that encourages vendors to go the extra mile. 

If in doubt, consult a group purchasing organization. GPOs work with thousands of major suppliers, making them a smart way to reduce vendor risks. And because they leverage the collective buying power of thousands of businesses, they can provide pricing that can’t be obtained individually. Beware, though, that GPOs rarely work with local suppliers. That organic soap your employees love may not be available beyond your grocery store.

2. Have a backup for key supplies.

Another benefit of GPOs is that they, almost without exception, have backup vendors. For example, while you don’t necessarily need a backup for something like staplers specifically, you should have one for office supply essentials. To make room for new relationships, first cull your list. Walmart may be able to manage more than 100,000 vendor relationships, but even a dozen or two can overwhelm a small team. 

Think about your nonnegotiables. If you’re a print shop, you can’t risk running out of paper. Ask industry peers where they buy theirs, and choose a secondary supplier. If you spot duplicates where you don’t need them, cut whichever vendor is more difficult to manage. Is one less reliable or less communicative than the other? 

3. Buy in bulk.

When you buy Costco’s largest pack of toilet paper, you don’t just get a better price. Assuming you can fit it all in your bathroom, you reduce how frequently you run out. And by purchasing less frequently, you reduce the chance that you’ll need to re-up when the shelves are empty.

Your business supplies work the same way. Don’t eat into your bulk discount by springing for a storage unit, but do buy what you can readily store. That way, you give yourself as much runway as possible if you find out your supplier is backed up or out of business. At higher order volumes, bulk sellers like Boxed and Zazzle also tend to throw in extras, like dedicated account managers and free shipping.

4. Over-communicate.

For all of the supply chain management software on the market, the best tool you have to avoid supply chain snags is your phone. If you’re an e-commerce company that hires temporary workers around the holidays, for instance, pick up the phone around September to tell your suppliers what to expect. Then, call them back in early January to thank them and say that you see a slowdown ahead.

Ask, too, about their expectations and policies. Would they prefer a standing call? Is there someone on the team you can text? If you can pay with cash or check, would they give you a discount? The easier you can make your suppliers’ lives, the more they’ll want to help you out when disaster strikes.

Building a procurement strategy, culling vendors, and communicating with points of contact takes time, to be sure. But however long those things take, they won’t add up to the amount wasted by a supply chain disruption. Don’t risk it: “Pounds of cure” don’t come cheap. 

The post How to Stop Supply Chain Snags Before They Start appeared first on KillerStartups.

6 Ways to Foster Better Collaboration in the Workplace 30 Jul 2019, 7:10 am

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Collaboration is a vital part of building a business. If the company encourages collaboration your team members will feel a part of something much bigger than themselves. This creates an environment in which people can communicate effectively, innovate to solve problems, and work cohesively.

That said, here are six ways to foster better collaboration in the workplace.

Define clear roles and responsibilities

In order to build an organization that runs efficiently you need to define clear roles and responsibilities for every member. Sure there will always be some crossover but you want to avoid it the best you can.

You need to be able to define both individual and collective roles for everyone and their teams. The bigger the organization the harder this becomes. For example a large sales organization will have multiple teams within the sales umbrella. There will be the sales development representatives prospecting and qualifying leads. The account executives will be responsible for the sale and the account managers will be responsible for maintaining customer relationships. At a high-level these are teams that are among most sales organizations. As the sales executive, it’s your responsibility to make sure each individual is aware of their role as well as the team.

Invest in the right talent

Better collaboration really comes down to the talent. If you want to have a team that works well together and produces amazing results you need to invest in the right people.

So how do you know who to bring on? Well you can reference the point made above one more time. You need to define which roles you need to fill in the company.

Let’s say your a startup building a mobile application focused on augmented reality. You want to launch on the App Store only since you don’t like Androids. Who would you look to hire in this case? Are you going to go out and hire a marketing team and an accountant? Or are you going to look for an iOS engineer and a 3D designer? Yes this is an obvious one but you’d be surprised how many people fail to invest in the right talent at the right time. Remember – define the gaps and fill them with the right talent.

Build healthy relationships

Collaboration and healthy relationships go hand in hand. If your team doesn’t like or respect one another what makes you think they’ll work well together?

A big part of building healthy relationships is improving your teams’ ability to peacefully resolve conflicts. People may get upset, feelings may get hurt, but if you’re able to come out of a stronger team you’ve done your job. It’s important to encourage constructive criticism and create an environment in which your team feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.

One way you can accomplish this is by leading a feedback session once a month. Allow your team to give feedback on anything and everything on their mind. In this case, always start with yourself. Allow people the chance to share their criticism with you and your work. This will break the ice and create a comfortable environment for people to share their honest thoughts. If you hold these sessions monthly, your team will constantly improve on giving and receiving constructive criticisms.

Encourage innovation

In order for teams to grow they need to be encouraged to brainstorm new ideas and truly question the status quo. Teams need to be taught to believe that all obstacles they face can be overcome through innovative solutions.

This attitude will keep your team motivated even through the toughest times. It’s important to always ask your team members for their thoughts and reward those who come up with creative solutions. The more connected your team feels to their leader the more they’ll innovate and strive to exceed expectations.

Use the right tools

In the age of technology there’s always going to be an “app for that”. When it comes to team collaboration there’s a multitude of solutions you can choose from. Below are a list of solutions that you may find useful when it comes to fostering better collaboration in the workplace:

  • Slack is the heavyweight amongst messaging applications. Slack operates in channels which allows you to track and archive conversations. This way you keep teams and projects in order to get things done.
  • UberConference provides conferencing solutions for businesses of all sizes. If you’re just getting started, you can use their free version to take care of all your conferencing needs.
  • Dropbox is a great platform for storing and sharing files across teams. If you work with a lot of documents, Dropbox Paper is another great tool you can utilize.
  • Basecamp is a simple an affordable project management software that helps your team keep everything in one place.
  • Calendar harnesses the power of machine learning to give you smarter suggestions for when, where, and how your meetings can take place. Calendar offers team solutions that allow you to fully automate your scheduling process.

Encourage your team to socialize outside of the workplace

Most people will tell you not to mix business with pleasure. Well you need to take that saying with a grain of salt. If you want to build a team that works well together, they need to be able to get along in more than just the workplace.

Organize events that encourage people to get together, destress, and talk about non-work related topics. You can take people to a sporting event or even encourage them to join a recreational sports league.

If you want to keep things casual, try to make an effort to take people to lunch. If you want to take it a step further, have people over to your residence for a meal. This will help build a personal connection and encourage others to do the same.

Collaboration is imperative for any businesses survival. If you want to foster better teamwork and collaboration make sure you take note of the six tips listed above. You won’t be disappointed.


Originally published on Calendar by Angela Ruth.

The post 6 Ways to Foster Better Collaboration in the Workplace appeared first on KillerStartups.

Don’t Sweat Subscriptions: 10 Freemium Tools 29 Jul 2019, 8:00 am

Whether you have wealthy investors backing you or merely your own savings to draw on, your startup can’t afford to waste money. To grow your business without sacrificing your budget, you need free workflow automation tools that empower you to compete in your industry.

The problem is that many companies adopt tools and never use them — or have a hard time making a decision among the dozens available. One easy way to nip those issues in the bud is to ask other startups what they’re using and benefiting from.

When you need to rely on your own research, consider these 10 free tools:

1. HubSpot CRM

Every business in 2019 needs a CRM. If you can’t track customer interactions, you can’t provide the personalized communications modern consumers expect. Unlike other free tools, HubSpot’s free CRM doesn’t lock necessary features behind a paywall. You can create email templates, automatically update contact records, schedule meetings, and set up notifications without paying a dime. HubSpot’s product supports up to 1,000 contacts in the free version, so get out there and generate some buzz. 

2. Slack

Email is old news. Slack’s June IPO exceeded expectations because investors recognized the value of a simple, effective communication tool. Slack lets users organize conversations, share files and documents, and consult older threads to keep relevant information accessible. Easy integration means you can add Slack to your existing technology stack with little hassle. When your teams get talking, good things happen.

3. Hootsuite

Your startup has multiple social media accounts, but you don’t have to manage them all individually. With Hootsuite, you can post to multiple accounts, collect relevant analytics, and keep your brand’s voice consistent as you promote your content across platforms. The free version includes up to three social media platforms, which should be plenty for startups — no need to stretch yourself too thin. Get ahead of your social media strategy with Hootsuite’s scheduling tools, which allow you to schedule up to 30 posts in a queue.

4. Wave

As you build your business and grow your revenue, don’t forget about that pesky bookkeeping work. Wave provides a no-frills solution for startups to handle all their basic accounting needs. Manage your accounts, invoices, and receipts without shelling out big bucks for unnecessary features. Wave also provides payment processing services for industry-standard fees. If you upgrade to the paid version, you can manage your payroll as well. 

5. G Suite

For startups, nothing beats Google’s alternatives to Microsoft Office. Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Calendar provide incredible and scalable functionality for companies with tight budgets. Many companies continue to use G Suite even as they grow because Google’s cloud-based apps make remote collaboration a breeze. Instead of paying substantial fees for niche features you don’t need, stick to Google’s simple but powerful arsenal.

6. Trello

Popular among freelancers and founders alike, Trello makes project management simple. You can add as much or as little detail to your projects as necessary using Trello cards, which contain all the information you need to keep track of your work at a glance. Trello integrates seamlessly with other popular tools, like Google Drive and Slack, so you can stay on top of everything with minimal interruption.

7. Medium

Medium is more of a platform for speech than a tool, but it’s the perfect place for entrepreneurs to get started on their content marketing journey. Sign up for free, then leverage Medium’s existing audience to get people excited about your brand and your product. You can blog about your growth to appeal to investors, discuss new features to excite early adopters, or offer industry news to position yourself as a thought leader.

8. Smylelytics

Google Analytics may be free, but that doesn’t make it simple. Smylelytics removes the stress of website monitoring and tracking so you can evaluate your website’s performance without trying to anticipate Google’s every next move. With Smylelytics at the helm, you can rest easy as the free software sends regular reports on website data and transforms complex concepts into easy-to-understand graphs and images. 

9. Answer the Public

You know you need to generate content to build your audience, but you don’t know exactly what to make or how to get your wise words in front of interested readers. Fortunately, you don’t have to guess. Answer the Public allows you to see the types of questions people ask about relevant topics so you can optimize your posts to address real concerns. If you feel slowed by writer’s block, use Answer the Public to develop a list of potential blog topics that will help you get noticed.

10. Grammarly

Grammarly won’t turn you into a professional copywriter, but it will do the next best thing — ensure you don’t make any obvious mistakes. A bad typo could ruin an otherwise brilliant email pitch, so don’t leave your writing to chance. Use Grammarly’s free tool to keep your prose clean. If you feel like taking your content to the next level, you can try Grammarly Premium, which offers deeper writing advice and a built-in plagiarism detector.

Ready to make more and spend less? Don’t throw away cash on premium options. Take advantage of these free tools to get your startup moving.

The post Don’t Sweat Subscriptions: 10 Freemium Tools appeared first on KillerStartups.

5 Types of Video Ads Audiences Love 25 Jul 2019, 8:00 am

Video advertising should be one of your most effective marketing tactics. If not, the issue isn’t the format itself — it’s how you’re using it. 

Tactics like performance video have proven successful for brands as large as tech stalwart HP to fast-growing startups focused on niche products like women’s underwear company ThirdLove. By aligning messaging and visual elements with specific audiences, these new approaches to video ads are becoming key to companies’ growth strategies. 

What vein of video ads should you mine? Choose — or even combine — from the following:

1. The Sucker Punch

Great videos capture your attention and hold it hostage with vibrant, engaging content. Videos with a sucker punch rely on a solid hook. Big or striking claims attract eyeballs from the get-go. 

Remember those depressing ASPCA ads featuring Sarah McLachlan singing over images of abused dogs and cats? Of course you do — that ad goes right for the emotional jugular from the start. When McLachlan herself can’t even watch the ad, you know it’s powerful.

What’s the most disruptive or powerful thing about your brand? Is it an upsetting statistic you’re in business to solve? The wild trips you help millennials take? Whatever it is, place it front and center. To deliver a good sucker punch, you need an emotional, inspiring, or otherwise shocking video opening.

2. The Topical Leader

During the 2015 Super Bowl, most viewers expected to see commercials for cars, wings, and beer. They didn’t expect Procter & Gamble’s feminine hygiene brand Always to steal the show with its “Like a Girl” video.

Always turned a derogatory phrase on its head by asking real young girls to show what it meant to do something “like a girl.” The kids in the commercials ran hard and threw hard, inspiring viewers to question preconceived notions about gender and confidence. In the midst of the #MeToo movement, it’s no wonder Always’ video won hearts. 

Create a killer ad on social issues by spotlighting your brand’s mission. How does your company make the world a better place? Consumers love brands that take their social responsibilities seriously. Go ahead: Develop a video that demonstrates just how much good you do.

3. The Mobile Marvel

According to a Smaato and Liftoff study, video ads in mobile apps earn 7.5 times more clicks than display ads. The fact is that users view mobile display ads as spam on a good day. Videos let brands infuse a little life into a cluttered medium.

With that said, you can’t just take a video ad that works on desktop and jam it into a mobile campaign. Mobile users want short videos with clear promises. 

To accommodate on-the-go users, get to the point quickly in your mobile video ads. People surfing their smartphone on the bus ride to work don’t have the time for long setups. Hook the viewer, make your point, provide a clickable call to action, and watch the conversions add up. 

4. The Natural 

Native video content looks and feels like non-promotional content. The alter ego of The Sucker Punch, native video content seeks to blend in with the surrounding environment. Companies that struggle with native tactics typically don’t see the results they want because they miss the point of the format.

Native ads should provide value to viewers in either an educational or entertaining way — ideally, both. People will only engage with branded content in the middle of organic content if the branded material matches the quality and tone of the rest. 

What if you’ve been sticking to pre-roll ads because native sounds too difficult? Challenge yourself. Research from Sharethrough and Nielsen found that native content provides substantially more brand lift than its pre-roll peer.

5. The Social Proof

No matter how honest and authentic your brand may be, people will always trust other people more than they trust companies. A good word from a friend or an influencer carries far more weight in consumers’ minds than branded information.

That isn’t to say developing branded video ads is a waste of time; rather, adding real people to the mix can amplify your ads’ reach. To prove the people are on your side, turn to client testimonials, action shots of real customers using your product, and compilations of social media buzz. 

Can celebrity endorsements create the “people like me” effect? Perhaps, but it’s important that your audience members see themselves in the same boat. Whether you select someone famous or a random person on the street, be sure to show the real-world value of your product. 

What if, as you test different video ads, you’re still not getting the conversions you’d hoped for? Don’t get discouraged. Certain types of ads work better with certain groups of people. Boomers who play mobile games might love the mobile ads you’ve been targeting at millennials. Socially conscious Gen Zers may rally around your topical content if you give them the chance.

Experiment until you get your blockbuster hit, and you’ll know you’ve mastered the medium.

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How to Recover from Burnout Quickly 25 Jul 2019, 7:10 am

At some point in your entrepreneurial journey, you will experience burnout. Because of this, you need to learn how to recover from burnout – quickly.

The reason you need to recover from burnout quickly is so that you can get back to your life. You also want to be able to bounce back and move on to the next project. But, before going into how to recover from burnout, we have to get very clear about what I’m referring to when I say “burnout.”

Burnout happens sometimes, but it should not be the norm

Now, ideally, you don’t experience burnout in the first place. You also shouldn’t be experiencing it all the time. If you are, something is off and you need to rearrange some stuff in your business.

For example, sometimes I have coaching clients come to me because they are experiencing severe cases of burnout with little to show for it. This usually means they need better systems, need to outsource, or need to start charging more money.

In very extreme cases, they’ve been taught that over serving is how they receive validation. As such, they burn themselves out all the time. This is not what I’m talking about in this article. This is an entirely separate issue that needs to be addressed because there is a lot more going on.

I’m talking about those moments when you’ve taken on a big project or work is more hectic than usual. For example, I recently shared that I worked very hard for six weeks to complete six months of podcast and video content ahead of time. This is not something I’m doing all the time, it’s just something that happened for a set period of time.

Or, I know December and January is very busy for those of us in the business and finance industry. I can already expect to feel a little burnout during this time because it’s my busy season. Again, that is very different than burning yourself out all the time. The former happens in life, the latter is a health concern that requires serious changes in your mindset and the business.

Now that we’ve differentiated between the two kinds of burnout, it’s time to address how to recover from burnout quickly.

How to Recover From Burnout Quickly

Let’s assume you’re burned out because you took on a big project or are coming off of a busy season. Like me, I’m currently coming off of feeling burned out because I went very hard to complete a big project for my business. That’s when we can talk about recovery.

Take preemptive measures so you don’t burn out too badly.

Hopefully, you didn’t burn out too bad. Most likely, your mind and body are just temporarily done and you need some rest. This is very different than severe cases of burnout I’ve seen where the person literally gets sick and cannot function.

In order to make sure the latter doesn’t happen, you need to take some preemptive measures. For example, I gave myself a deadline of two months to complete a big project on top of my normal workload. I knew that was the amount of time I needed to complete the project. Furthermore, I also knew I’d be exhausted, but that I wouldn’t be out for the count once everything is completed.

I also made sure I was getting some sleep. And finally, although I couldn’t take too much off my plate, I did decide to take a step back from cranking out content on my website. I also didn’t go to my fitness classes, but I knew this was a very temporary sacrifice (I only missed a couple of weeks).

You have to be realistic with your timeline and you also have to realize you can’t do everything during this time. That’s okay. Remember, it’s only temporary. The way you can recover from burnout quickly is to make sure the burnout isn’t too bad in the first place.

Once you’ve gotten out of the busy season or completed a big project, it’s time to do some other forms of recovery.

Take a couple of days off.

The first thing I do when I recover from burnout is to immediately take a couple of days off. In my case, I’m taking the weekend off. I’m catching up on sleep, seeing some friends and family, and relaxing by the pool.

During this time, I’m not working at all. I’m not even reading a book that can help me with my business. Additionally, I’m limiting my time on social media. I’m simply relaxing.

Granted, this is easier said than done for us entrepreneurial Type-A personalities. After all, we like action and being productive. However, it’s important for us to remember that resting when warranted is a form of taking action and being productive.

You will also feel much better once you let your mind and body rest. Hopefully, with you’ll get better at noticing the symptoms of potential burnout and can start listening to your body. You’ll also soon start to notice that rest actually helps you get more done.

I know this sounds very counterintuitive, but trust me on this one. It’s a lesson I’ve already learned the hard way.

get more sleep

Ease back into your regular schedule.

Another thing I do to recover from burnout is to ease back in to my regular schedule. For example, I’m not taking on too much this week. I have a few consultations and a VIP coaching client. I’m not even trying to pitch content marketing clients too hard.

In fact, I’m looking for ways to improve my regular schedule so I have more recovery time moving forward. Namely, I’m trying to find ways to make sure I’m going after the right opportunities. Anything else can either wait or I’m getting rid of it.

Onboard more help if you need it.

Here is something I noticed during my most recent bout of burnout – I need to hire more people to help me. This is especially true because sales in my business blew up at the same time that I was working on a big project. This means I was even busier than I anticipated I would be.

The truth is, even with this big project done, I realize I’m still doing way too much on my own. As such, I’ve given my PR people more hours. I’m also giving my virtual assistant more hours and bringing on a manager to help with brand partnership deals. The next phase is to bring on a salesperson to help with selling my business training courses.

This sometimes happens after you experience burnout. If this is the case for you, then make sure to bring on more help sooner rather than later. Because sometimes the best way to recover from burnout is to make sure you’re not doing too much after your busy season is complete.

Start working out again (if you stopped).

I sacrificed my fitness classes during my most recent busy season. Quite frankly, they took up too much time so I needed to temporarily pause. I also didn’t want to burn out my body by forcing it to do difficult workouts during this time of intense work. I’ve made that mistake before and didn’t want to repeat it.

Now that this is complete, I’m easing back into my regular schedule. It will be rough at first, but I will feel so much better afterward.

Final Thoughts

I want to drive home the point that experiencing burnout all the time is not normal or healthy. However, for those occasions in life where it’s inevitable, you can use these tips to recover from burnout quickly.  You will not only feel accomplished that you completed a big project, but you will feel rested sooner rather than later.


Originally published on Calendar by Amanda Abella.

The post How to Recover from Burnout Quickly appeared first on KillerStartups.

Get Social Cash Back with :Qounter 19 Jul 2019, 4:34 pm

The term “cash back” just has so much allure to it.

 

Credit card companies have been using it for years with great success, readily featuring those two magical words as a perk to lock in new customer accounts.  The trend is now finding its way over to the tech world, too – as evidenced by the increasing popularity of cash back apps over the past decade.

 

Whether it’s groceries, gas, or even just general spending, chances are most types of purchases you make have a rebate app associated with them.  But despite what these platforms promise, the vast majority don’t deliver. Instead of lining your pockets with cash, they load you up with items of far less value – like points, coupons, and QR codes.

 

This adds even more annoying steps to the process; and even if you are able to turn these digital “perks” into actual cash, there are usually extra fees attached to it.  All the tricks, false promises, and inconveniences are enough to make you tap “delete” just as fast as you installed.

 

It’s about time “cash back” actually meant cash back in the mobile app world.  Introducing :Qounter: a social-friendly platform that allows you to earn simple cash back for every purchase made with an online or offline merchant.

Offered as a mobile app or web extension, :Qounter works by letting you earn real cash back – not points or other “currency” – when you shop online, in retail, or at restaurants.  From Target to Sephora to Forever 21, it’s simple money in your pocket every time you use it at your favorite stores.

 

But that’s not all – the platform also includes a social networking element that allows members to connect with friends, who get the chance to earn too.  In fact, for every purchase made by a user, an equal cash distribution is triggered to that user’s friend network. So as your social circle grows, so does your :Qounter.

 

Quite simply, users will encounter no tricks when using the app – all they need to focus on is increasing their :Qounter.  Plus, they go the extra mile by even getting charities involved – as the nonprofit organization of the user’s choosing can also be set up to receive a cash distribution with every qualified purchase.

Getting started and connected to your favorite stores & charities on :Qounter is 100% free.  Just seconds later, users are able to add friends & family to their networks before shopping, spending, and earning some cold hard cash.  Other platform features & benefits include:

 

  • Get notifications every time you or your friends make purchases & earn cash
  • Easy viewing of the most popular deals & offers from your favorite stores
  • The ability to send money from the app to your PayPal account
  • Can also donate your cash, or transfer it to a friend

 

Founder Raul Triveno launched :Qounter back in 2018, and has quickly turned the app into an up-and-coming force in the cash back market.  The company now boasts an impressive 2,000+ online US merchants on its platform, including The North Face, Vans, T-Mobile, Walmart, and many more.

 

Adding 40,000+ more offline US merchants is in the plans for Triveno over the near-term future – as is adding to a partner charity list that already includes organizations like United Way, American Red Cross, and the American Cancer Society.  As for platform improvement, the app will soon feature exclusive content right to users’ feeds created by top influencers and brands.

 

Interested in trying :Qounter for yourself?  Visit them online at www.qounter.com to learn more and download the iOS or Android app.  The Founder is also available for contact via email at rtriveno@hotmail.com.

 

Photos: Qounter

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Build a Lasting Digital Impression with Labinator 13 Jul 2019, 12:36 pm

You no longer have to be a coding genius – or loaded with cash – to have your own website.

 

Not long ago, creating your own functional website required either in-depth technical knowledge or the freedom to fork over many thousands of dollars.  But thanks to increasing technology adoption and user interface advancements, the feat can now be achieved by virtually anyone for a fraction of the cost.

 

A great thing, without question – but the website builder market is far from perfect.  Despite the ease of use and visual appeal they provide, leading services like Squarespace and Wix are quite limited in terms of customization, responsiveness, and other areas of general functionality.  This not only holds the user back in terms of brand building, but also leaves behind gaps that can actually have a negative impact on your business.

 

WordPress does provide significant functionality improvements over these other services; but then again, they’re also more difficult to use.  Plus, due to the sheer number of available themes and the subpar quality of so many, it can be very tough to find one that ideally suits your needs.

 

But fear not, ambitious developers, the peoples’ WordPress provider has arrived.  Introducing Labinator: a leading provider of website & app builds, optimization, security, and marketing.

 

The company’s latest offering, a robust suite of premium, 100% GPL WordPress themes and plugins, have been crafted to help small businesses build up and promote their brands in an extremely user-friendly manner.  They are being made available via the Labinator WordPress Marketplace – which includes a special subscription service for those who need complete WordPress websites management.

 

The GrandSpace Theme is a great example of what Labinator offers: it’s a modern multipurpose fully-responsive theme with a feature-rich, multi-concept design.  It provides highly customizable header, footer, & blog layouts and a built-in Megamenu with 915+ Google web fonts. Compatible with all browsers, it fully supports RTL languages, WooCommerce, & more, and is SEO-friendly.

Plugin offerings include Labinator Advanced Custom Codes (the ability to add custom CSS & JS codes to any page or post), Labinator Beaver Builder Templates (adds expertly designed templates to the Beaver Builder Pro plugin), and many more.

 

Both available pricing packages – the $89 one-time Premium and $197/year Gold – include everything (including lifetime access to all themes & plugins) with Gold including technical support on top.  Labinator also offers their proprietary WordPress Autopilot Service to Marketplace subscribers, which includes:

 

  • Uptime website monitoring, daily updates, and complete daily backups
  • Complete website security and speed optimization
  • Complete website analysis
  • Expert consultation and technical support at a moment’s notice
  • Digital marketing consultation services
  • Lifetime access to all products

The man behind the Labinator vision is CEO Roland Zelhof, an online entrepreneur with nearly a decade of experience in web development and digital marketing.  Roland has served as a professional consultant for several European & American companies, and has also won an IEEE award. He’s an advocate for open source, and loves programming games in his spare time.

 

Going forward, Labinator will remain focused on adding to its already impressive selection of WordPress themes, plugins, and digital support services.

 

Be sure to keep up with their progress by visiting https://labinator.com/wordpress-marketplace/, and feel free to give their themes & plugins a try.  The Labinator team is also reachable via email at pr@labinator.com.

 

Photos:  Labinator

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