All Articles Tagged "entrepreneurs"
On Wednesday, we participated in a Twitter chat with Loop21, LaKesha Womack, and Chris Denson about using social media to grow your business. If you didn’t hear about it, fret not! It was a last-minute opportunity (thanks Loop21!) so we didn’t have a chance to talk it up too much beforehand. But we’ve got a recap here! Here are some of the big takeaways from the chat.
People are already gearing up for Hillary Clinton’s possible run for president in 2016. And it seems she has the backing of entrepreneurs, according to a new poll. In an Inc. survey of fast-growth CEOs, the former Secretary of State gets a surprising level of support for a Presidential bid.
Surprising, because Republicans are supposed to be the party of business. But in an exclusive survey of fast-growth CEOs, 36 percent of these entrepreneurs say they’d support Hillary Clinton for President. “That’s more than any other potential Presidential candidate except for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whom 47 percent of survey respondents said they would support,” reports Inc.
The findings are based on a survey of the Inc. 5000, which is an annual ranking of the fastest-growing private U.S. companies.
Besides Clinton, some of the other contenders were Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, with 34 percent; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, with 31 percent; and Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, with 21 percent. The best-scoring Democrat was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, with nine percent of fast-growth entrepreneurs saying they’d support him.
What’s even odder is that many business leaders are registered Republicans. “The conventional wisdom is that two-thirds of business owners are Republican and one-third are Democrats. That’s misleading. In the Inc. survey, 47 percent of fast-growth CEOs describe themselves as Republicans, compared to only 17 percent who say they’re Democrats. But more than a third–36 percent–say they’re independents,” reports Inc.
When the respondents were asked about their political philosophy as opposed to party affiliation, only 31 percent say they’re conservative. Liberals were only 10 percent. The majority–59 percent–claimed to be moderate.
And women CEOs were even less likely to be Republican. “About a third of fast-growth women entrepreneurs said they are Republicans, a third said they are Democrats, and about a third are independents,” reports Inc. Meanwhile, about two-thirds of male fast-growth CEOs voted for Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the last U.S. presidential election; more than half the women–53 percent–voted for Barack Obama.
Forty percent of fast-growth CEOs who considered themselves independents also said they’d vote for Clinton. Eighty-seven percent of Democrats said they’d back her; 13 percent of Republicans said they would as well. Sixty-one percent of women said they’d back Clinton for President.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, was the only one to make a stronger showing than Hillary. In fact, more than half of independents–53 percent–said they’d support Christie for president.
Entrepreneurs are typically after two things: funding and advice. Many early stage entrepreneurs turn to incubators, and accelerators to gain access to both. Entrance into these elite training groups can offer resources like legal advice, office space, access to investors and in some cases, seed money. The accelerators typically take a piece of equity in exchange for this. But getting into these elite institutions can prove more difficult than getting into an Ivy League university. Angela Benton’s NewMe Accelerator has joined the ranks of incubators like Y Combinator, and Techstars, with some of its participants already on the fast track to success and national awareness after being featured in CNN’s 2011 edition of “Black In America.”
Entrance for any these programs is typically through an application process, where many experts and industry insiders explain that the make-up of the team is more important than the idea or the product. Spots fill quickly, but getting one has often proved especially difficult for entrepreneurs of color and women to gain admittance. That’s where NewMe comes in. (Another, DreamIt Ventures, has also taken on an initiative to recruit minority entrepreneurs.) Recently, NewMe made a major change. Instead of applications, the incubator has now switched to an invitation-only model.
“At the time our application process we had was not dissimilar to what other accelerator and incubator programs offer,” explained Benton. “We got a range of applicants including personality types and wanted to make sure that we weren’t just looking for the best companies but that we were also looking for people that we really wanted to work with.”
“We launched a national tour earlier this year (we are halfway done) where we provide one-on-one coaching, a two-part workshop, and a demo day for entrepreneurs,” Benton shared in her blog. “It allows us to dig deeper and learn more about the individual, the business, and if our values align.
This change might lead one to wonder how will NewMe bring in promising minority entrepreneurs, who are outside their network or their reach. They say they look to find “diamonds in the rough” — and work to make those “diamonds in the rough” the best.
“We have a pretty extensive network (directly and in-directly) and we do a lot of outreach to groups and organizations that aren’t in our network. Also I’m a believer that things fall in line when they should and we are doing the ground work so I believe that our paths will cross with the people we are supposed to be working with if we continue doing the outreach.”
Currently, NewME’s fifth cycle is up and running, it has two women on board, which, Benton says, is due to the invite-only process.
“The previous cycle was all men,” Benton explained. “That was the last cycle that was by application and while I love all of those guys we desperately needed some estrogen in the mix. Making the accelerator invite only also allows us to have more control over who we want to work with.”
Benton says in most cities the pop-up accelerators visit, the gender ratio is 50/50. A lot of the people she sees are working 9-to-5s in corporate America and looking to turn their passions and side hustles into real businesses.
“For me personally, I realize that most women, particularly in African-American households are the breadwinner or the head of the household so it makes sense that we see more Black women looking to have their ideas validated and get the mentoring they need from the popups in order to take their ideas to the next level.”
There are just three cities left in the tour. Register here for a PopUp Accelerator near you.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy and definitely doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a special someone to realize that they aren’t cut out for the ordinary nine-to-five. And some people realize it early in.
In recent years, entrepreneurship has skyrocketed. Let’s meet some entrepreneurs under the age of 30, who have threw up the peace sign to the nine to five and are already making their marks in the business world.
Most business experts advise entrepreneurs to get their business pitch down to 30-to-60 seconds, about the time of an elevator ride. The key is to deliver your pitch with just enough passion and business data that it will compel an investor to fork over some money, or convince a new client to use your services.
The perfect elevator pitch is a challenge for most every entrepreneur, marketer, and salesperson. On the surface it seems simple: “[C]ommunicate what you do in the time it takes to ride an elevator from ground level until the door opens and you have to leave,” writes Inc.
But the key is to give your audience what they want and need. A persuasive elevator pitch “communicates a compelling value proposition that attracts customers predisposed to buy,” notes the magazine.
According to Inc., there are a few helpful steps to organize your pitch.
Step 1–Reach Out with Empathy
Yes. Empathy. Think Olivia Pope. Put yourself in your client’s shoes and tell them how you are going to be their “fixer.”
“Create a specific pain statement for the customers you want. You really only want to talk to people who are willing to pay for the problem you solve,” explains Inc.
Step 2–Offer the Solution
Okay, you’ve gotten their attention. They feel you understand their situation. It’s time to tease them with the solution. “So now they are listening and they just got vulnerable. No need to put them on the defensive. They are thinking you might be pretty smart and insightful. Don’t prove them wrong by trying to close just yet,” writes Inc.
Step 3–Offer Differentiation
Closing time. “Now they are 90% there. The best way to close is by explaining why only you are the best to provide the solution they need,” says Inc. You will need to at this point explain–quickly and concisely–how you are different from your competition. Here’s an example:
My company uses proven project management and storytelling techniques honed from our background in theater. Additionally we use proprietary processes outlined in my #1 bestselling marketing books and my national column on Inc.
Perhaps I could send you a link to my column or a couple of chapters from my books?
Make sure to offer to send them something because it gives you permission to get their email and create a relationship.
Have you ever gotten any business from an effective elevator pitch?
People in most other countries think America as the ultimate land of opportunity. A place where anyone can strike it rich. But according to a new survey, the United States is lagging in creating rich entrepreneurs. The study from Barclays, “Origins and Legacy: the Changing Order of Wealth Creation,” found that developing countries now lead the U.S. when it comes to wealth creation by entrepreneurs.
Globally, 40 percent of millionaires (individuals with investable assets of $1.5 million or more) cited a “business sale or profit” from their business as their source of wealth. And, only a quarter of the millionaires cited inheritance as being the source of their wealth, reports NBC News.
But in the U.S., according to the survey, only 21 percent of millionaires cited business sale or profit as their source of wealth. Meanwhile, a much larger percentage cited saved earnings or personal investments as their wealth sources.
South Africa had 68 percent of millionaires who cite “business sale or profit” as a source of wealth. In Latin America it was 58 percent and in the Asia-Pacific region it was 57 percent—all higher than the U.S.
American entrepreneurial strength seems to be wavering. The Kauffman Foundation recently found that there were 514,000 new business owners a month in 2012. This was a decrease from 543,000 in 2011. In fact, the 2012 numbers were the lowest in five years. More evidence of the drop in entrepreneurialism in the U.S. came from a report by the Hudson Institute that found that brand new companies added 2.34 million jobs in 2010, compared with an average of about 3 million a year dating back to 1977. Though it should be noted that, among minorities, growth in small businesses in the US is robust, giving us good reason to celebrate National Small Business week. Though the numbers are smaller, entrepreneurs are still a large contributing factor to the US economy.
The Barclays report proposes that the difference between the U.S. and other countries could also be one of basic wealth cycles. “Wealth in developing countries is newer, and therefore there is more wealth from freshly minted companies than from savings or investments,” reports NBC News.
“These [developing] markets have a much shorter history of widespread wealth creation and many of the high-net-worth individuals in these markets are first generation wealthy,” according to the report.
The wealth of entrepreneurs is more volatile as they are more apt to take risk with investments. Also, they tend to increase their fortunes during the recession in comparison to those with inherited wealth or those who made their money from investments and savings. So the reports, on their own, only tell part of the story. Are you optimistic about the economy?
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, especially when it comes to the web and the world of fashion. These 12 entrepreneurs have given back to the fashion, beauty and creative communities in major ways and we think they’re worth noting. Whether you’re looking for your next stroke of genius or hoping to change the game, take a cue from Tumblr founder David Karp who shows it’s never too early to get a head start!
According to Inc. the seven deadly sins not only pertain to the Bible, but to entrepreneurs as well. Start ups, advises the magazine, must avoid the seven deadly sins in order to survive and thrive.
We’ve added our two cents to their take on these temptations.
1. Lust: “The vision of cash, fame, fast cars, and fancy houses can draw valuable focus, energy, and resources away from what is really important about building a business,” writes Inc.
Who doesn’t aspire to the “good” life, but too much of the good life can lead to financial disaster. Add luxuries to your life in moderation with an eye always to your bottom line. Have a financial planner map out with you the goals of your company as well as your personal goals and how to achieve them.
2. Gluttony: According to the publication, “Entrepreneurs seduced by gluttony will take on too much before their infrastructure is solidly in place, ultimately delivering poor performance and ruining their reputation before it’s fully established.”
Gluttony and lust go hand in hand. Moderation and patience are factors entrepreneurs must employ.
3. Greed: “Entrepreneurs seduced by greed will make immoral decisions that may increase short-term returns via shortsighted policies in pricing, marketing, and personnel, doing damage to their reputation and sustainability,” warns the magazine.
Greed can make people—including entreprenuers—to stupid things just for money. Start up owners must think every action through, putting instant satisfaction aside, and think for the long-term.
4. Sloth: Entrepreneurs can’t afford to be lazy. Starting a new business is not for someone who doesn’t like to work, andentrepreneurs work anywhere, anytime. “Entrepreneurs seduced by sloth will make sloppy choices involving untested business models and marketing techniques, burning valuable resources and putting everyone involved at risk,” notes Inc.
If you find yourself being worn out just at the sheer amount of work it entails when running a new business, make sure to surround yourself with a great team who can pick up the slack.
5. Wrath: “Entrepreneurs seduced by wrath will let unbridled emotion reign, creating fear, anger, and destruction internally and externally,” observes Inc.
No one likes to work for or do business with a hot head. Learn to de-stress and redirect your anger.
6. Envy: Do you worry too much about the Joneses? Drop the envy and focus on your business. “Entrepreneurs seduced by envy will spend so much of their time and resources trying to battle and sabotage competition that they will miss their own unique opportunities to perform and maximize growth,” says tee magazine.
Envy is a distraction that will having you trying to play catch up with your competition. Instead, try to make your product or service better and aim for a different niche.
7. Pride: It is good to be proud of your achievements, but just like anything too much pride is deadly. “Entrepreneurs seduced by pride will insist their ideas are always the best and be closed to outside suggestion just to feed their ego,” advises Inc.
Try to have people with you who will give you an honest assessment of how you and your company are doing. Having someone in your corner who holds no punches will keep you focused on your goals instead of being surround by ego strokers who will help you get distracted by pride.
Small business owners, are you trying to get your last-minute tax deductions lined up? There may be a few items you had not considered — or even know were deductibles. MadameNoire.com has a few surprising suggestions from a tax experts.
In just a few short years, Pinterest has become one of the top social media outlets generating more website referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn…combined. It boasts over 1.30 million unique users daily and has been giving search engine giants like Google a run for their money in the traffic source department.
More and more companies are turning to Pinterest as a means to site traffic and even selling product. Consumers are even spending more money on Pinterest than it’s popular counterpart, Facebook. This is major news as tons of businesses aren’t capitalizing on all of these advantages.
So while you may see Pinterest as a fun pastime to collage your wants and dreams, entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunity to generate new business.
Interested in pinning for your business? Here are some tips and tricks to make it beneficial .