8 Books to Help Plan Your Next Steps as a Leader

In times of uncertainty, even entrepreneurs have a hard time knowing what they, or their teams, should do next. May 7, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. In times of great uncertainty, great leaders need to step up to the plate. But the best leaders aren’t just defined by their titles or accomplishments; they’re defined by a constant need for growth. New perspectives and techniques are key for solving difficult problems on the job, and the right book can go a long way toward broadening those horizons.  Those hoping to shepherd their companies through challenging circumstances need the right tools to help them do so, and these eight reads are great resources to start with. 1. Beyond Wins: Eastern Mindset for Success in Daily Business Negotiations by Mala Subramaniam Far too often, negotiation is treated like a win-lose scenario in business, but this doesn’t always […]

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How to Make Every Marketing Dollar Count During a Crisis

April 22, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Not even the most well-prepared businesses have the resources to hunker down and wait out a months-long crisis. Stop investing in marketing, though, and your company won’t make it through the long night of the coronavirus pandemic. The only way to survive is to keep pushing forward. Investing in your business is easier said than done, especially in times of financial hardship. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, nearly a quarter of all small businesses in the country have already shut down temporarily. If the situation doesn’t improve substantially, 43 percent of small businesses expect to close permanently by October. The outlook for tech startups and even mid- or large-sized businesses is no clearer. The country won’t return to normal before the landscape of business is changed forever and we see unknown changes for our most […]

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18 Freelance Sites to Find Your Next Gig

April 17, 2020 10 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Consider this: Freelancers are expected to become the U.S. workforce majority in the near future. That means we can expect to see more and more freelancing job boards appear. That’s not to say we need them. Take a look at the Google search results for “freelance jobs.” You’ll find hundreds of websites that can connect you with prospective clients. The problem, however, is that not all job boards are created equal. Some are a bit suspicious, causing both freelancers and businesses to question their legitimacy. Others are meant only for seasoned veterans. There are also boards capable of finding work quickly for freelancers, but they won’t get paid very much. Consider it the “price of entry” to the freelance realm. These obstacles make finding freelance work more complicated than it has to be. That’s why I’ve put together a list of 18 freelance sites […]

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How Coronavirus Could Wreak Havoc on Your Supply Chain

Procurement might be one of the last things on your mind, but it should be one of the first. March 20, 2020 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Over the past few weeks, COVID-19 has transformed American life in ways many never thought possible. As schools close, stores shutter early and business goes digital, procurement might be one of the last things on your mind — but it should be one of the first. Every business leader knows she needs a steady supply of key products to continue operating. The spread of COVID-19 promises plenty of unknowns well into the future, but one thing is certain: Your supply chain is at risk of major disruption. The coronavirus has already impacted the supply chains of 75 percent of American businesses. While that number is bound to go up, so is the severity of those disruptions. Here are a few ways COVID-19 might […]

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4 Ways Marketing Automation and Personalization Can Work Together

We accept automation in our personal lives. So why are we so afraid of using it to optimize our companies? March 14, 2020 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Automation makes 21st century life possible. Siri and Alexa help us schedule our days, adjust our thermostats, lock our doors and turn off our lights. Our cars park themselves and remind us when another vehicle is in a blind spot. We accept automation in our personal lives, so why are we so afraid of using it to optimize our companies? In a word: control. Entrepreneurs don’t want to let go of the reins. They want to curate the customer experience themselves.The truth, though, is that automation doesn’t make a business less personable. In fact, paired with the human touch, it can provide a personalized experience from the first interaction. Here’s how to do it. 1. Segment leads […]

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4 Tips for Successfully Breaking Into a Saturated Industry

You don’t have to revolutionize the world to revolutionize an industry. March 12, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When you take the first steps toward starting a business, it’s easy to get discouraged. Every market already has major players making tons of money. Unicorns like Uber can make their own markets, sure, but not every company gets to revolutionize the world. Fortunately, you don’t have to revolutionize the world to revolutionize an industry, and you might have a better opportunity than you think. Take the smartphone industry, for example. Apple and Samsung dominate markets, and Huawei owns the third-largest chunk. Other popular vendors, like LG, take their own cuts. You might think the market has no room for new players, but don’t forget that consumers are always looking for something better. Stephen Dalby, CEO of Gabb, couldn’t find a kid-friendly smartphone, so he built […]

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4 Tips for Taking Your Startup’s Sustainability to the Next Level

Getting from intention to reality doesn’t always follow a straight path. March 6, 2020 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Consumers love sustainability, and plenty of business owners would love to operate more sustainable companies. Getting from intention to reality doesn’t always follow a straight path, though, even for businesses that have already begun their journey. Everyone, from solo teams to heavy hitters, recognizes the importance of smarter sustainability. Salesforce just put out a call for corporations to rethink their environmental impact, arguing the benefits of sustainability for both the companies that practice it and the planet on which they operate. No one can profit in a broken world, and it’s up to innovative companies to make the biggest changes. Whether you’re about to start a sustainable business, looking to develop more earth-friendly processes or seeking inspiration to take your sustainability to the next level, these […]

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5 Ways to Improve Your Startup’s Project Management

Don’t be afraid to get picky about nailing down great processes. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Put together a team of brilliant designers, programmers, engineers, marketers and salespeople, and what do you get? Unless you add project management to the picture, you end up stressed out with missed deadlines, frustrating communication and mountains of duplicated effort. When mismanaged projects turn into real products, the results can be disastrous. The recent caucus catastrophe at the Democratic primary in Iowa, for instance, traced back to a faulty app. A simple piece of technology that should have accelerated accurate reporting ended up creating 10 problems where only one existed before.  Better project management may not have saved Shadow’s app, but the story remains the same for every launch of a bad product. Something goes wrong behind the scenes, no one knows exactly what’s happening and the end results speak for […]

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4 Easy Tech Tweaks You Can Make Today to Boost Productivity

Get your tech right or your workflow and productivity will suffer. February 11, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. For most entrepreneurs, technology is a lifeline. Devices mediate vital communications. Scheduling programs help organize busy lives. Data infrastructures make it possible to collect, secure, analyze and transmit information as it happens in real-time. Managing employees is much easier with project management software.  But when your technology isn’t productive, it kills your productivity, too.  Making some simple tweaks can help you optimize your performance — and that of your entire company. Ready to start streamlining? 1. Upgrade out-of-date technology Is your equipment sluggish? Does it struggle to run new applications? Are you spending as much repairing your old devices as you would by replacing them? Related: 9 Productivity Mistakes You’re Making in the First 10 Minutes of Your Day No matter how cutting-edge your technology once was, its functionality will […]

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3 Ways You Can Bring Sustainability to Your Workplace

Like charity, sustainability begins at home – your work home, that is. February 1, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You don’t have to search too hard to find a company flexing its green credentials. There are startups like co-working company Upflex, which plants a tree for every booking it receives. Then there are the industry behemoths. Recently, massive asset-management firm BlackRock announced its plan to shift away from investing in companies that contribute to the climate crisis. A January report from McKinsey urges companies large and small to take immediate action. “Much as thinking about information systems and cyber-risks has become integrated into corporate and public-sector decision making, climate change and its resulting risks will also need to feature as a major factor in decisions,” observed McKinsey Global Institute Director Jonathan Woetzel, in the report. Sustainability is a business imperative, and a great place for […]

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5 Innovations That Will Dominate CES 2020

CES 2020 is set to give a glimpse of the leaps forward that today’s consumers are most excited about. December 30, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Once again, the hottest event in consumer tech is just around the corner. Hosted in Las Vegas, CES 2020 will run January 7-10. Entrepreneurs who attend will get more than a sneak peek at the coolest gadgets hitting the market. They’ll also see how much the competitive landscape has changed in the space of a year, giving them fresh insight into where other disruptive opportunities lie. Related: Does Appearing at CES Actually Pay Off? Plant-based burgers, 8K televisions, and smart toilets wowed audiences at last year’s CES event. This year, five tech innovations are likely to take center stage: 1. Remote health monitoring Most remote health monitoring devices to date have used biometric sensors to read vital signs, […]

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How to Make Sustainability More Than a Buzzword

We only have one planet, and your business has only one bottom line. Here’s how to make the two fast friends. December 9, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. These days, sustainability is much more than a buzzword, and wise business leaders have realized that you don’t have to choose between what’s good for business and what’s good for the planet. Business and environmental objectives can — and should — work together. Sustainable products are a growing industry, and Nielsen predicts customers will spend as much as $150 billion by 2021 on sustainable, fast-moving consumer goods. That includes products like packaged foods, toiletries and other consumables that are sold quickly at a low cost. While the term “sustainable” can mean different things to different audiences, research indicates that environmentally friendly products are currently resonating strongly with consumers. But wooing customers comes down to more […]

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5 Trends That Will Reshape Customer Service Over the Next 5 Years

If you’re going to grow through the 2020s, you’ll need to innovate. December 5, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Presented by Customer service isn’t static. Phones replaced house calls. Email edged out phones. To keep existing customers and attract new ones, you need cutting-edge customer service. Consumers are four times as likely to buy from a competitor after a service issue than they are after a product one, according to research by Bain & Company. Still, customer-service overhauls aren’t cheap. Invest wisely by considering these five predicted trends that will shape customer service over the next five years. 1. Social media will become default channels. Just 13 percent of consumers over the age of 55 have used social media for customer-service purposes, a Microsoft study showed; on the other hand, 55 percent of those aged 18-34 have. As millennials and Gen Zers make up a larger and larger […]

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Grow Yourself — and Your Company — With These 4 New Year’s Resolutions

December 4, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growth comes in many shapes and sizes. To you, it might mean growing your team by bringing more developers on board, boosting revenue by overhauling your sales process or growing your interpersonal skills via emotional intelligence training. But there’s no need to choose between business and personal growth. These four New Year’s resolutions can help you grow in both directions. 1. Take a load off. With entrepreneurs like Grant Cardone claiming that you need to work 14-hour days to earn a million dollars, work-life balance can seem like a pipe dream. While overwork might help your business in the short term, it won’t benefit you or your company in the long run. Overwork can lead to burnout, health problems and team dysfunction. One of the best ways to lighten your load and strengthen your company in the process […]

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3 Ways Your Business Can Start 2020 Strong

A new year is nearly upon us. Here’s a three-point plan for success in January and beyond. November 27, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The end of the year is fast approaching, and it’s on track to go out with a bang. Adobe projects that U.S. online sales will reach record highs from this month through December, a 14 percent increase over last year. Capturing that year-end sales rush is key, but it’s even more crucial to properly prepare your business for 2020. Don’t wait until January to get the new year’s wheels in motion. Instead, give yourself a couple months runway to get up to speed for a powerful takeoff. If you haven’t started prepping for 2020 yet, don’t fret — it’s not too late to begin today. Here are three ways you can start next year strong. 1. Budget for training. To […]

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5 Tips to Stop Entrepreneurial Stress Before It Starts

November 25, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Entrepreneurship is a daily stress test. Sales fall through. Some marketing campaigns simply don’t deliver. Employees quit, occasionally in anger. Every entrepreneur will face those things. Why do some wallow in frustration, while others seem to bounce right back? Because some have learned how to keep stress at bay. Difficult though it may be in the moment, staying cool is actually easier than cooling down once you’re stressed. Here’s how to do it. 1. Start with something for you. Every day, you spend at least a third, if not half, of your waking hours building your business. Committing to your company is a good thing, but don’t let it get in the way of your self-care. Starting each day with an activity that rejuvenates you creates a buffer against the stresses you’re sure to encounter during the workday. […]

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What Can The End Of Alcohol Prohibition Teach Cannabis Entrepreneurs?

Research, regulations and consumer sentiments move more quickly today than they did in the 1930s. But cannabis entrepreneurs can learn a lot from their predecessors. October 18, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. As the United States crawls slowly toward the end of the cannabis ban, the end of alcohol prohibition may provide a roadmap for entrepreneurs. Nearly 100 years ago, Congress passed a law banning the sale and import of alcohol in the U.S. People who had been drinking all their lives didn’t simply quit, as those pushing for the law had hoped. That led to a spike in organized crime, speakeasies and homemade liquor. Thirteen years later, Congress ended the failed experiment by repealing prohibition in 1933. Cannabis and its byproducts have faced a much longer road. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a few states placed restrictions on the sale and […]

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3 Ways to Market Effectively to Different Generations

Start by discarding some unfounded assumptions. October 17, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It’s no secret that different generations of consumers think differently. It seems reasonable to assume, then, that you’d need separate marketing strategies to target each one. Fortunately, there are at least a few basic rules of thumb that span any generational gap, and they can help ensure your marketing efforts reach everyone. The mistake many marketers make is in designing their entire strategy around generational assumptions that aren’t always true. These principles can help you avoid making that mistake and ensure that your marketing campaigns reach as many eyeballs — of as many ages — as possible: 1. Keep marketing efforts diverse. Consumers want to see themselves reflected in your marketing efforts. Just make sure all of your customers are reflected. For a single campaign promoting its 2018 Camry, Toyota created […]

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Creative Marketing Ideas to Get More Customers and Followers

If your marketing team’s creativity has stalled out, these three tactics will get it flying high again. October 14, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Earlier this year, KFC debuted the KFC Innovations Lab to raise crowdfunding support for bold, attention-grabbing marketing concepts. The public can vote on wild ideas such as a Kentucky Fried Hot Tub and a figure skating show about the life of founder Colonel Sanders. KFC intends to find out what a kernel of creativity is worth to its fans. While it may seem like this strategy is all in good fun, the truth is that creativity costs money and resources — and not every company is keen to invest what the marketing department needs. The high cost of ignoring creativity Research shows that creative brands consistently see better results. According to McKinsey’s Award Creativity Score, companies that win the highest […]

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Use These 7 Tips to Get Better.

It’s not too late to make them brief, valuable and relevant to your productivity. October 4, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you don’t own a mug that says, “I survived another meeting that should have been an email,” someone else at your company does — and for good reason. Modern companies hold too many meetings. The more time your teams spend in conference rooms, the less time they spend selling, marketing, creating or producing. Good meetings are a necessary evil, but take away the necessity, and they become plain evil. Quit wasting time and hold better, more meaningful meetings by following these tips: 1. Automate the schedule and agenda. Instead of playing email tag, use workflow-automation tools to find a time that works best for everyone. With the right tools, you don’t have to worry about whether important players will attend or how many times you’ll […]

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