Fight for Your Franchise

Introducing a new challenge that will hopefully help us all get through this tough time together. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Most business owners feel as if we have collectively driven off a cliff. The economy was great, people were optimistic, and the overall outlook was very good. I am sure that most of you can remember how hard it was to hire good staff members just a few months ago because the job market was so strong. Now, we just had the largest number of single-week unemployment filings in history.  I serve as an executive coach to many franchisors and franchise owners around the world. Usually, tragedies are localized.  I have had many conversations over the years where the person on the other end reported a regional disaster like a hurricane or earthquake, and we’ve offered support and encouragement. But while on a Zoom call with a client in Australia a few days […]

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What COVID-19 Means for Ecommerce Startups

A firsthand account of how supply chain disruptions are just the beginning. April 3, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. A lot of small businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its global spread. I wanted to give a firsthand account of how this situation has personally impacted my company and those I work with, as well as offer some perspective to help businesses move forward. I am the cofounder of Darkroom, a digital-marketing agency that helps ecommerce companies build their brands and drive revenue through online channels. We also work extensively with sourcing networks and are in the process of launching a luxury sneaker brand called NERA. I was one of the early alarmists among my co-workers and friends when COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan. I was aware of how lucky we were to have avoided a total SARS outbreak back in 2002. […]

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Quarantined? Boost Your Social Proof With These 5 Strategies

We’re all making the best of a bad situation, and that includes maintaining your brand’s online presence. April 3, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Given the climate of the world right now, free time has become a more commonplace concept than usual for most corporations, small-business owners and entrepreneurs. But it can also be viewed as an opportunity to build influence with your network. If leveraged properly, your authority, or social proof, can act as a lifeline for your business — even during the most precarious circumstances. Here are five strategies you can activate today to extend its impact and hopefully help ease the quarantine blues. 1. Tell engaging stories to your followers. Now is the perfect time to deviate from the norm. Yes, business is always in session, and your following looks to you for the best tips and tricks to grow their business. However, consider the […]

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Were You Zoom-Bombed? Video of It May Now Be on YouTube, TikTok for All to See

Zoom-bombers have been recording their exploits and uploading the footage to YouTube and TikTok. In some cases, the videos are a privacy issue because they show AA and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. April 3, 2020 4 min read This story originally appeared on PC Mag It’s one thing to be humiliated. It’s another to have footage of the incident circulate on the internet for anyone to see. Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening to victims of hijacking attacks on the Zoom video-conferencing service. You can now easily find video footage of “Zoom-bombing” incidents on both YouTube and TikTok. And some of the content is heinous and disturbing.  One video posted on YouTube shows the culprit infiltrating church meetings held over Zoom to shout the words “child porn,” “Heil Hiter” and “I’m the Devil” at over a dozen people. In the same video, the perpetrator calls out specific attendees, saying he wants to have sexual intercourse […]

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5 Things Advertisers Should Consider Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

There’s never been a more crucial time to message your brand carefully. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The current COVID-19 pandemic has created enormous challenges for the business community, including those in the advertising industry. Amidst the huge human toll and ongoing suffering, businesses are having to change the way they operate, as well as the way they market their products and services. Given the gravity of the current situation and the worldwide panic surrounding it, it’s easy for advertisers to make critical mistakes — blunders that could stay with them long after the coronavirus crisis has passed. Here are five things all advertisers should consider when navigating the tricky waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. 1. The public is deeply worried.  Marketing in the midst of a global pandemic is always a delicate proposition. First and foremost, you need to know where people are coming from and […]

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Amid Pandemic, Microsoft Alerts Dozens of Hospitals Vulnerable to Ransomware Threat

Microsoft said it warned ‘several dozens of hospitals’ about vulnerabilities in their networks that could be used to deliver ransomware to their IT systems. April 2, 2020 3 min read This story originally appeared on PC Mag As doctors care for the sick during the coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft is trying to protect their hospitals from ransomware attacks.  On Wednesday, Microsoft said it warned “several dozens of hospitals” about software vulnerabilities in the online systems they use. The company is concerned hackers could end up exploiting the same flaws to deliver ransomware to hospital computers.  “To help these hospitals, many already inundated with patients, we sent out a first-of-its-kind targeted notification with important information about the vulnerabilities, how attackers can take advantage of them, and a strong recommendation to apply security updates that will protect them from exploits of these particular vulnerabilities and others,” the company wrote in the blog post.  The vulnerabilities Microsoft […]

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Paul Krugman Warns of Fiscal Time Bomb If Relief Is Insufficient

The Nobel Prize-winning economist says we will likely need a stimulus bill as large as $4 or $5 trillion. April 2, 2020 15+ min read This story originally appeared on Business Insider Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and the author of many books including the recently published “Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future.” Krugman spoke with the Business Insider editor-at-large Sara Silverstein to discuss why this recession was different from any we had ever dealt with. Following is a transcript of the video. Sara Silverstein: Paul, your newest book is about zombie ideas, which are basically things that we know are false. We can prove they’re false, but people still believe and they still impact our policies and our economy. How does this idea of zombie ideas apply to the coronavirus crisis? Paul Krugman: This is new. No one was — I mean, it’s […]

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Long Beach Beer Lab Could Have Closed; Instead, They Became Essential

The story of how one small brewery and gastropub semi-pivoted on the fly and has been busier than ever. April 2, 2020 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Levi Fried barely has time to talk. “It’s never a good moment,” he concedes somewhat wearily. Along with his wife, Harmony Sage, the native Californian owns and operates three-year-old SoCal hotspot Long Beach Beer Lab. And despite the viral pandemic that has shuttered small businesses from coast to coast, Fried’s doors are open and he is, as he puts it, “busy as all get-out.” The reason? By mid-March, he and Sage saw the writing on the wall and temporarily rebranded themselves Long Beach Bodega Lab, semi-pivoting from microbrewery and gastropub to suds maker-meets-sundries store. Thanks to a robust supply chain and some quick thinking, the duo has transformed literally overnight into a bustling enterprise that preps curbside pickup […]

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What to Do If You’ve Lost Your Job Because of COVID-19

You’re not alone, but there is an action plan. April 1, 2020 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you’ve been laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans are losing their jobs as businesses across the country shut their doors or cut back on operations at an unprecedented rate. If you’ve lost your job or been furloughed, start with these seven steps to regroup and, eventually, rebound.  1. Ask the right questions The first step is communicating with your employer. There are different types of layoffs. Some may not even be legal, or they may be addressed in your employment contract or collective agreement. Figure out if your employer is willing to commit to your return to work. Knowing the timeline can be very helpful for planning your finances and how you approach the time off. 2. Find the right support There […]

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One CEO’s Tips for Communicating During a Crisis

A communications agency veteran shares why maintaining your audience’s trust is the most important factor. April 1, 2020 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Recently, I was sitting in the bistro area of our office when someone saw a big bag of chips and some queso on the kitchen counter. My response to “Is this for anyone?” was “Sure. And it only has a little virus in it.” That was followed by (nervous) laughter from those nearby, and I watched the team member pause, deliberate and ultimately walk away from the bowl of chips. Our words, even in jest, are powerful. It may be that I’m biased having spent 20 years leading communication agencies, but I believe communicating the right things at the right time is often the most important thing you can do. Related: 3 Key Steps for Crisis Communication Peter Sandman has an interesting risk […]

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How to Prepare for Major Supply Chain Disruption

Right now, we face the most serious threat to global supply chains in our lifetime. March 31, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Globalization has made the world much smaller, a shift that has benefited businesses of all sizes and industries. With a diverse global supply chain, your company can stimulate growth by reducing costs, increasing volume and improving efficiency.  But globalization also comes with risks. If your company depends on a network of suppliers around the world, your supply chain is always vulnerable to disruption from factors outside your control, like natural disasters, tariffs, shortages or geopolitical clashes. Nearly 75 percent of U.S. businesses have experienced supply chain disruption because of COVID-19, according to a survey conducted between February 22 and March 5 by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). You’re probably already seeing repercussions that affect your company’s labor, materials, transportation or consumer behavior. The […]

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Watch Out for ‘Zoom-Bombings’ on Online Video Meeting Apps

The FBI’s Boston field office issued the warning after hijackers infiltrated two school-held Zoom sessions to harass a teacher and display the swastika sign. March 31, 2020 3 min read This story originally appeared on PC Mag The FBI is warning the public to watch out for hijackers trying to infiltrate Zoom video sessions. “The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language,” the agency issued in a notice on Monday.  The coronavirus pandemic has helped make the videoconferencing service one of the most popular apps in the country. Unfortunately, that same popularity has also turned Zoom into a target for racists and pranksters, which can be especially problematic for educators reliant on the service.   In today’s warning, the FBI’s Boston field office recounts two hijacking incidents involving local schools that were using Zoom to conduct online classes. “In late March 2020, a Massachusetts-based high school reported […]

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New Stimulus Bill Unlocks IRA and 401(k) Dollars for Financially Affected

The $2 trillion relief package provides penalty-free early retirement-account distributions and increases loan limits. March 30, 2020 9 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The coronavirus stimulus bill signed into law on March 27 creates new exceptions that allow 401(k) and IRA owners affected by the pandemic to tap into their retirement accounts early. The new law increases the dollar amount you can loan yourself from your own 401(k) from $50,000 to $100,000 and also creates a penalty-free early distribution rule whereby IRA or 401(k) account owners under age 59-and-a-half can take a penalty-free retirement account distribution of up to $100,000. These new rules greatly increase access to retirement account funds, which have become one of the most reliable savings tools. At the end of 2019, Americans held more than $30 trillion dollars in retirement accounts, according to the Investment Company Institute. That’s right, trillions.  These new exceptions are among the many ways business […]

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For International Dominatrix Mistress Eva Oh, Business Is Booming

The multimedia entrepreneur was ahead of the curve, and now virtual customers are clamoring for her services during lockdown. March 30, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You’ll have to excuse Mistress Eva Oh if she sounds a bit sleepy. It’s 4 a.m. in Australia, where she’s connecting via Skype Audio. “I entirely messed up the timing,” she concedes in a rich delivery that could best be described as Zsa Zsa Gabor-chic. The professional dominatrix, podcast host and sex educator grew up across Asia, Europe and the land Down Under, which helps explain both her incomparable accent and way of relating to clients all over the globe. Oh’s early entrepreneurial pursuits were more conventional — she once owned a sustainable design company — but at the age of 26, she pivoted into her current occupation and never looked back. She was forward-thinking from the […]

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6 Conversations Entrepreneurs Must Have ASAP

Have these critical conversations sooner than later to get ahead of the crisis. March 28, 2020 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Offices are closed. Production is halted. Billings for your products or services are frozen. Clients/customers have been lost, and crucial past receivables aren’t coming in. While things will eventually turn around, no one knows when that will be the case — which makes it impossible to plan or budget strategically in order to stay afloat. Related: This Is What the Ultimate Sales Conversation Sounds Like Rather than be paralyzed or petrified, it’s crucial for business owners to proactively stave off disaster by quickly pursuing six categories of conversations. They may not be easy or comfortable to have, but for the sake of your organization, they must happen: With small business bailout programs Talk to your local and state elected officials and economic development representatives to learn how to get low-interest loans, […]

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How to Prepare for the Great Unknown

A helpful checklist for entertainers and service professionals to stay productive and healthy while sheltering at home. March 28, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Mark Twain once said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened. “ This has been the default screen in my mind for quite a few years when I felt I was worrying too much about something that probably doesn’t matter and never will happen. Then on March 17, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak passionately made the following statement: “You’re being told not to go out!“ And my default screen blew up like an atomic bomb! Being that I’ve been a Las Vegas resident most of my life, just trying to comprehend the idea of the casinos closing for even one day was daunting, but for at least 30 days? That’s just pure insanity! Related: 8 Ways for Your […]

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10 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Actually Get Work Done While Homeschooling Kids

Homeschooling kids is the new normal, but our work still needs to get done. March 27, 2020 10 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. I have a new appreciation for teachers, and I know I’m not the only one. Most of our schools are closed indefinitely and many of us working parents are expected to homeschool our kids while running our businesses and working. Although many schools have distributed online programs and learning packets, and we’re seeing an emergence of articles about how to homeschool, the majority of them don’t explain how to continue to work effectively while keeping your kids at home, and learning.   I’ve worked from home for 12 years, and although I’ve had nannies along the way, below are 10 tips to help make the time you spend with your kids productive, enjoyable and educational — all while keeping your business going. 1. Teach independence.  Kids need to […]

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A Healthy and Productive Guide to Virtual Meetings

We need to embrace change and rethink virtual meetings. Here’s how to promote a positive remote culture. March 27, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. “Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.” — Anthony J. D’Angelo, American author How can leaders adapt to a rapidly changing environment? According to D’Angelo, we should learn to embrace the turning of the tide. And there’s perhaps no better example of this than the present. In the coming years, the business world will no doubt be affected by continued periods of crisis that will make remote/virtual work part of our daily lives. The scale and scope of organizations asking employees to work from home so quickly is unprecedented, writes Harvard professor of business administration, Tsedal Neeley. “It’s not that people are going to permanently adopt this new format of work, but […]

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How to Deal With the Economic Impact of the Coronavirus

Make a plan for managing your money during this pandemic. March 26, 2020 1 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The full economic impact is yet to be felt, so it’s more important than ever to establish a plan to deal with the economic fallout. Ben shares four simple steps to get started on your plan in the third and final video of his three-part series. Watch part one on how to boost your immune system and part two on how to manage the emotional fallout of the outbreak so you can be prepared in a variety of ways. Are you strong enough to rise above the chaos? Take this 60-second quiz now to see how you will fare, and be sure to grab a copy of Angel’s new daily planner, The Unstoppable Journal, today. Related: How to Manage the Emotional Fallout of the Outbreak Read_More Related posts: How to Manage the Emotional Fallout of the Outbreak 3 Areas Where Enterprise-Focused Startups […]

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This Company Is Making Texting With Your Doctor the New Normal

Vermont-based startup OhMD is making HIPAA-compliant texting free for medical practices across America and accelerating the ubiquity of telemedicine. March 26, 2020 6 min read Sometimes, the stats just speak for themselves. “We know that 98 percent of patients will read a text message, and 90 percent of those patients will see that text message within three minutes,” says Ethan Bechtel, founder of telehealth startup OhMD. “When you compare that to email, which is read 20 percent of the time, or a patient portal message, which is read 7 percent of the time, you quickly realize there is literally no other way to do this at scale.”  When Bechtel says “this,” he’s referring to the desperate battle that healthcare workers across the globe are waging against the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. One of the most essential ways that doctors can slow the pandemic is by communicating with patients from afar, so […]

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