Posts tagged business advice

Sarika Doshi, a co-founder of the fashion and beauty website Rank & Style, shared some insight into how she launched her company while still working a full-time job:

It was a lot of work. I was working at a legal startup that was doing really interesting things, and I was learning so much, so it really wasn’t a drag. Basically I would work during the day, and then Pooja and Sonal would come over at night. We would order food and then start our second shift, building Rank & Style. It was like being in full-on final exam mode all the time. I would usually take Saturday off, but that was it.
How did you know when it was the right time to quit your job and dive in?
I was dedicated to getting my savings account to a certain place before quitting. That, and I wanted to get funded before launching. I know that isn’t traditional for a lot of risk-taking entrepreneurs, but I think everyone needs to do their own math. We ended up raising $500,000 right before we launched.

Learn more about Doshi and her company, Rank & Style, on OPEN Forum.

Sarika Doshi, a co-founder of the fashion and beauty website Rank & Style, shared some insight into how she launched her company while still working a full-time job:

It was a lot of work. I was working at a legal startup that was doing really interesting things, and I was learning so much, so it really wasn’t a drag. Basically I would work during the day, and then Pooja and Sonal would come over at night. We would order food and then start our second shift, building Rank & Style. It was like being in full-on final exam mode all the time. I would usually take Saturday off, but that was it.

How did you know when it was the right time to quit your job and dive in?

I was dedicated to getting my savings account to a certain place before quitting. That, and I wanted to get funded before launching. I know that isn’t traditional for a lot of risk-taking entrepreneurs, but I think everyone needs to do their own math. We ended up raising $500,000 right before we launched.

Learn more about Doshi and her company, Rank & Style, on OPEN Forum.

Small business owners share the 6 apps they love using on the job, including ProPrompter, an ingenious teleprompter app that’s great if you’re creating scripted videos for your marketing efforts.

The 9 Types of Profits You Should Avoid

Not all money is good money when it comes to the types of profits you earn through your company. Avoid these nine practices and types of profits:

  • Upselling customers on products or services that are high-margin but not in their best interests
  • Using negative-option billing to automatically charge customers for services they may not need.
  • Employing hidden fees and charges
  • Eliminating all research and development expenses
  • Firing needed customer service staff
  • Inflating prices in exchange for offering overly generous payment terms
  • Capital gains on the sale of investments held by the company
  • Profits earned on discontinued products and services
  • Gains earned on the sale of company equipment

From OPEN Forum’s “When Profits Can Kill Your Business

7 Financial Numbers That Can Predict Your Business’s Success (Or Failure)

  1. Cash flow
  2. Net income
  3. Profit and loss
  4. Sales
  5. Price point
  6. Gross margin
  7. Total inventory

To learn how those numbers can help your business’s growth, visit OPEN Forum.

Turing outlandish ideas (Record stores where people actually want to buy music! Commercial space travel!) into great businesses is what Virgin Founder and the “original disruptor” Sir Richard Branson is all about. But being a great entrepreneur also means knowing when to stomp the brakes on an idea that’s not yet meant to flourish, he says:

You’ve had plenty of “disruptive” ideas over the years. Some, of course, haven’t panned out—Virgin Cola being one of the more notable examples. As an entrepreneur, when is the time to pull the plug on an idea that isn’t working?
Slightly sooner than I’ve done in the past. [Laughs.] It can be quite expensive to pull a struggling company up with one of your other companies and cling on too long. So once the writing is looking like it’s on the wall—it’s beginning to cost you money—it’s better to really cut your losses and use that money to start something new.

For more business advice from Virgin’s Richard Branson, visit OPEN Forum.

Turing outlandish ideas (Record stores where people actually want to buy music! Commercial space travel!) into great businesses is what Virgin Founder and the “original disruptor” Sir Richard Branson is all about. But being a great entrepreneur also means knowing when to stomp the brakes on an idea that’s not yet meant to flourish, he says:

You’ve had plenty of “disruptive” ideas over the years. Some, of course, haven’t panned out—Virgin Cola being one of the more notable examples. As an entrepreneur, when is the time to pull the plug on an idea that isn’t working?

Slightly sooner than I’ve done in the past. [Laughs.] It can be quite expensive to pull a struggling company up with one of your other companies and cling on too long. So once the writing is looking like it’s on the wall—it’s beginning to cost you money—it’s better to really cut your losses and use that money to start something new.

For more business advice from Virgin’s Richard Branson, visit OPEN Forum.

7 Things You Should Probably Know About Your Competition

  1. Their revenue and threat level to your company
  2. Who their top salesperson is
  3. Their best customers
  4. What new products and services they’re offering
  5. How satisfied customers are with their offerings
  6. The latest in their company and industry news
  7. Top keywords people search to find them

Small-business expert Mike Michalowicz tells open what savvy business owners should do with that information.

Small-business owners should be more proactive about their search results online. "There’s nothing worse than letting a small blemish on the Internet fester into a gaping wound that’s been on the first page of search engine results for months or even years before doing anything about it," says Reputation Maxx CEO Walter Halicki.
One way to keep the “Negative Nellies” at bay?

3. Bring positive results higher. If you can’t find a way to quash or change the negative comment, you can try to add positive feedback or articles that will show up higher in search results. Take advantage of the social media platforms you use to incorporate and publish positive customer comments. The idea is to fill the search space with so many rave reviews that they push the negative comments further down into the search results.

For more help on improving your search results, visit OPEN Forum.

Small-business owners should be more proactive about their search results online. "There’s nothing worse than letting a small blemish on the Internet fester into a gaping wound that’s been on the first page of search engine results for months or even years before doing anything about it," says Reputation Maxx CEO Walter Halicki.

One way to keep the “Negative Nellies” at bay?

3. Bring positive results higher. If you can’t find a way to quash or change the negative comment, you can try to add positive feedback or articles that will show up higher in search results. Take advantage of the social media platforms you use to incorporate and publish positive customer comments. The idea is to fill the search space with so many rave reviews that they push the negative comments further down into the search results.

For more help on improving your search results, visit OPEN Forum.

4 Reasons Why You Should Pay Yourself More ASAP

  1. To avoid being a crutch.
  2. To make yourself replaceable.
  3. To keep from resenting your business.
  4. To become more efficient.

To see what we mean, read small-business expert Mike Michalowicz’s take on the importance of paying yourself what you’re worth on OPEN Forum.

Business owners are always looking for ways to attract and retain new and existing customers. OPEN Forum contributor Christopher Litster says you have to go beyond your typical loyalty program punch cards:

… Create a memorable experience. For example, one restaurant presented an offer in a sealed envelope at the end of the meal. Only when the customers returned were they able to open the envelope. Inside it was a special offer, which ranged from a glass of wine to a free dessert to a free meal.

Read more tips on engaging customers on OPEN Forum.
Flickr User: Swaminathan

Business owners are always looking for ways to attract and retain new and existing customers. OPEN Forum contributor Christopher Litster says you have to go beyond your typical loyalty program punch cards:

… Create a memorable experience. For example, one restaurant presented an offer in a sealed envelope at the end of the meal. Only when the customers returned were they able to open the envelope. Inside it was a special offer, which ranged from a glass of wine to a free dessert to a free meal.

Read more tips on engaging customers on OPEN Forum.

Flickr User: Swaminathan

Best known for his workplace comic “Dilbert,” Scott Adams is also a serial entrepreneur. With 30+ businesses under his belt, Adams knows a bit about success and failure. 
Adams on finding the right business partner:

“Humans are flawed creatures, and we’re all crazy in our own ways. If you get the wrong kind of crazy—the destructive kind, the toxic kind—then there’s no recovering from that.” On the other hand, if you find someone just insane enough, you’ll find they’ll have more creative and off-the-wall ideas and solutions than you could ever imagine.

On the value of “bad” ideas:

“What I learned—humbling and shocking at the same time—was that the readers couldn’t tell the difference between my genius inspiration that came out of nothing and the 15-minute horror story that I had to throw together because I simply had to.”

Get five more lessons about success and failure from Scott Adams on OPEN Forum.

Best known for his workplace comic “Dilbert,” Scott Adams is also a serial entrepreneur. With 30+ businesses under his belt, Adams knows a bit about success and failure. 

Adams on finding the right business partner:

“Humans are flawed creatures, and we’re all crazy in our own ways. If you get the wrong kind of crazy—the destructive kind, the toxic kind—then there’s no recovering from that.” On the other hand, if you find someone just insane enough, you’ll find they’ll have more creative and off-the-wall ideas and solutions than you could ever imagine.

On the value of “bad” ideas:

“What I learned—humbling and shocking at the same time—was that the readers couldn’t tell the difference between my genius inspiration that came out of nothing and the 15-minute horror story that I had to throw together because I simply had to.”

Get five more lessons about success and failure from Scott Adams on OPEN Forum.