6 Variables To Assess When Building a CBD Brand

Don’t be among the bad actors flooding this busy market. December 6, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Since its legalization in 2018, the CBD retail industry has experienced explosive growth. Brightfield’s 2019 U.S. CBD report predicts that the market will grow to an astonishing $23.7 billion by the end of 2023. That’s led to a flood of entrepreneurs looking to make a profit in this lucrative space. Unfortunately, the abundance of businesses has made it difficult to choose a trustworthy brand or go-to CBD product — especially for newcomers. Although there are several great companies in the CBD industry, sadly, there is also an overwhelming number of bad actors producing low-grade products. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 69 percent of online CBD products are mislabeled; some had extra CBD, some had less, and some contained hidden cannabinoids. As a consumer, you do not […]

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Why So Many LLC Operating Agreements Fail

December 6, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Every limited liability company (LLC) needs an operating agreement to serve as its backbone and ensure that partners are treated fairly. However, it can easily be inaccurately written or leave out important sections that have a massive impact on the future of the company. In minor cases, an LLC operating agreement mistake or failure can merely result in an inconvenience. In more extreme cases, it can result in a contentious legal disagreement or even result in the collapse of the company. So why is it that so many LLC operating agreements fail, and what can you do to prevent this from happening in your business? The Components of an LLC Operating Agreement Let’s start by reviewing the key components of an LLC operating agreement. The operating agreement is meant to outline each partner’s ownership stake, as […]

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How a First-Time Entrepreneur Wooed Corporate Clients in Year One

Altru Labs CEO Alykhan Rehmatullah shares some of the secrets to his early success. November 19, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When you’re a first-time founder, there are a lot of daunting challenges that you might find very difficult to overcome. In most of these scenarios, you often have little credibility among customers and investors. Why should a huge corporation trust you to handle a service need? Why should an investor put money in your company even though you have very little operational experience?  These were some of the most pressing questions that CEO Alykhan Rehmatullah asked himself when he started Altru Labs, a company that helps both large and small businesses create personal connections with would-be candidates by sharing authentic and engaging employee-created videos. As a former associate at Goldman Sachs, Rehmatullah had experience working at a wildly successful company, but of […]

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3 Ways to Succeed in a Startup Accelerator

Getting into an accelerator is an incredible opportunity for your startup. Here’s how to make the most of it. November 13, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The startup craze is far from over. Just take a look at Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 class, which welcomed 197 startups into its ranks. Participants gained access to $150,000 in capital in exchange for around 7 percent of equity, as well as the opportunity to pitch prominent venture capital firms and investors on Demo Day. While Y Combinator is perhaps the world’s most storied accelerator — with household names such as Airbnb, Dropbox and Instacart among its list of graduates — smaller accelerator programs have emerged in cities around the world. Research from the Brookings Institution indicates that there were 172 U.S.-based accelerator programs in 2016, and the International Business Innovation Association has reported that there may […]

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6 Entrepreneurial Lessons From Evan Britton of Famous Birthdays

The successful web entrepreneur talks turning points, sticking to your vision and mastering your niche. November 13, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When Evan Britton was a marketing major at the University of Pittsburgh, he decided to embrace a new frontier that had appeared: the World Wide Web. He narrowed in on the market, started the site Famous Birthdays — which has been called the Wikipedia for Gen Z by The Atlantic — and built a widely successful business. As an entrepreneur himself, Britton shared his tips for focus, niching out and embracing new technology to build a successful business. 1. Embrace the new frontier. Britton’s success hinges upon the decision he made in college to move and groove with a new idea. “I remember being fascinated that I could publish content on the web,” he recalls. “It was a new frontier happening right when I was starting to […]

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4 Secrets to Starting a Business and Scaling an Online Platform

The real work begins after you start your online business. November 1, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. These days, your online platform is crucial. Consumers trust brands more readily if they have an online presence, and per Vox, top tier influencers with substantial followings are now raking in a whopping $100,000 per sponsored post. Online platforms are as lucrative as they are important for customer engagement. And, believe it or not, they’re continuing to grow.  According to Brand Watch, even though there are 3.5 billion social media users in the world, another newcomer creates an account every 6.4 seconds. With almost everyone online — and with that number growing daily — the sheer potential of your online platform for building a business or sharing your message should not be taken lightly.  Related: 8 Crucial Steps You Need to Take Before Starting an Online Business But, there […]

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How to Identify Your Perfect Co-Founder Match

Finding “the one” in business doesn’t have to be so elusive. October 31, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Getting a company off the ground is hard work. A great business can only go so far without proper planning, adequate financing and, arguably most importantly, the right team to help it succeed. The people that you take along with you on this journey can have a direct and lasting impact on its success, and that holds especially true for those who are with you from the beginning.  Identifying and solidifying the right co-founders is a bit like trying to find “the one” in dating. You are ultimately seeking a lifelong commitment, or at least for the life of the business. Like any relationship, a co-foundership isn’t always a walk in the park, but it can be a rewarding and successful union if you take some critical steps to […]

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6 Ways to Get the Training You Need to Help Your Photography Business Take Off

The more expertise you have, the more likely your photography business will be a success. Find out how to improve your skills with these six sources. October 29, 2019 6 min read The following excerpt is from The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. and Jason R. Rich’s book Start Your Own Photography Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound It’s assumed that if you’re planning to launch a photography business, you already have photographic skills as well as familiarity with your photography equipment. You may even be a graduate of an accredited school with a degree in photojournalism or fine art. Regardless, continuing your photography-related education and training is essential if you want to succeed and stay ahead of the competition. For example, even if you’ve become highly proficient shooting with a digital SLR camera, you may discover the equipment upgrade involves […]

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3 Popular Business-Naming Habits Worth Breaking

One-size-fits-all wisdom doesn’t always apply to a wide range of businesses. October 21, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. So it’s time to create a name for your new brand, business, product or app. You’ve read all the articles and guides, and now you’re even more confused than before. The biggest problem is that most naming experts have a specific clientele, as well as a branding and marketing philosophy. A bootstrapped tech startup, international rollout from P&G and small bakery in Maine will all need take very different approaches. With this in mind, here are three commonly accepted business-naming guidelines that may be worth reconsidering on your path to landing on an identity that you love. Related: 8 Mistakes to Avoid When Naming Your Business 1. Shorter Is Better Unsurprisingly, many experts tout the importance of a short brand name. With the success of companies like Xerox, Zara, Nike and […]

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The Importance of Getting Advisors to Invest in Your Business

Outside consultants can show true conviction with their capital. October 11, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. I was sitting outside at Samovar Tea Lounge in the heart of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center. It was the middle of July, but the 55-degree temperatures and brisk coastal winds made it feel more like late November. “I thought this one advisor would be great with connections to multiple customers, but after signing the advisory agreement, I have not heard back from her in six months,” said an entrepreneur I knew who was starting a company for remote product shipping in Europe. “I’ve seen this before,” I replied. “Did she invest capital in the company as well?” “No,” said my entrepreneur friend. “She said that she did not have available dry powder, but wanted to help out.” After much prodding by my friend over the ensuing weeks, nothing […]

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Which Path Is Right for You?

Here are three factors to help you determine how best to expand your business through franchising or licensing. October 3, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Whether you’re deciding how to best expand your business or buy into a business, there are lots of factors to consider, from emotional to financial to legal and more. When my first exercise machine came out in 2006, people started asking me: “Where are you going to open a studio? Can I open one?” I never had intentions of creating what Lagree Fitness is today, I just wanted to teach clients the method. For me, I knew I didn’t want to operate my business as a franchise based on my personality type, my management style and my passion for inventing – where I really wanted to continue to spend my time. Now obviously, deciding to become a licensor or […]

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Got a Business Idea? Billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman Has 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Launching It.

If you’re going to start a business, it must pass three basic tests, says the CEO of global private equity firm The Blackstone Group. September 30, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Stephen A. Schwarzman’s book What It Takes: Lessons In the Pursuit of Excellence. Copyright © 2019 by Stephen A. Schwarzman. Reprinted by permission of Avid Reader Press, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.  I once attended a meeting of student entrepreneurs at a top American university. A professor of entrepreneurship showed a slide illustrating all the steps a startup must take, from hiring people and raising money to developing a product and going to market. His slide showed the business on a predictable, upwardly curving trajectory hitting various milestones. If only, I thought to myself. My experience of entrepreneurship was anything but a smooth, upward curve. It was so grueling that […]

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How to Choose Your First E-Commerce Product

And do it without taking too big a risk. September 29, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you’ve been wondering when to get into e-commerce, the answer is now. E-commerce is huge, and getting bigger every year. According to Statista, in 2014 the global e-commerce market was 1.3 trillion dollars. In 2023, it’s projected to be a whopping $6.5 trillion. The best time to get in was when it was still nascent. The second best time is right now. “Okay,” you say. “But I have no idea what I’m getting into. How do I even choose what to sell?” A great question, and one that’s easier to answer than you might think, but it’s important that you get it right. The products you sell are fundamental to everything you do. They’ll affect your marketing, your profit margins and the design you use. Logistics […]

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How to Be a Successful Leader in Your Industry

Jessica Abo sits down with the founder and CEO of Pretty Litter. September 27, 2019 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When Daniel Rotman was 10 years old, his sister gave him a cat. Gingy went through junior high, college and post college with him.  “She was my baby,” he says. “She went from being her normal purring, amazing affection self to rapidly lethargic and all of a sudden just stopped eating. It seemed to me like it was overnight. That obviously stressed me out. I rushed her to the vet and $5,000 later I was able to extend her life by six months only to find out that she was suffering from a terminal disease. This apparently had been festering in her body for a very long time and she was able to hide it like all cats are because that’s what they’re built […]

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4 Important Areas for Ensuring Maximum Startup Protection

From data to finances, here’s how to keep your new business bullet-proof. September 25, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. More than half a million new businesses are started each month, but unfortunately, the number of businesses shutting down is also on the rise. To keep your small company from failing, there are four important measures of protection that no startup can afford to overlook.  Insurance Protection Three-quarters of businesses in the U.S. are reported to be underinsured. Many small business owners attribute lack of warranty and insurance to financial constraints, but having no contingency at all can cost several times more than monthly premiums when disaster strikes. Besides, there are several affordable insurance policies and packages designed specifically for small businesses. And as Freshbooks VP of Strategy and Entrepreneur contributor Matthew Baker notes, using personal insurance to protect your small business is like having no insurance at all. Where a business policy protects against […]

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Why Your Elevator Pitch Isn’t Working

Here’s how to keep it short, sweet and successful. September 25, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. An elevator pitch is one of the most important tools in the earliest stages of any startup’s development. Designed to be a short, catchy way to describe your business concept when you don’t have time to explain the details (as in during an elevator ride), there are a few hallmarks for effectiveness, but just as many ways it can go wrong. Here are some of the likeliest culprits, as well as how they can be resolved. You Sound Like Everyone Else It’s tempting to describe your business in terms that are familiar to other entrepreneurs, but the danger here is that you might fall into cliché. For example, how many times have you heard a new tech startup describe itsef as “the Uber” of its industry? While it’s natural to want to ride on the […]

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How to Turn Your Hobby Into Your Job (Without Losing Your Passion)

All it requires is following three crucial guidelines. September 23, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It’s the dream, isn’t it? We all want to wake up excited on Monday, enjoy the work we do and come home invigorated to do it all again tomorrow. The obvious answer is to turn your hobby — the passion you already have — into a career or a business, into your main source of income. If you did that, then work and play would become one and the same. You’d enjoy your Monday-Friday just as much as the weekend and your entire life would revolve around doing the things that you naturally love doing.  At least, that’s the idea. The only problem is, as one naysaying contributor over at YourStory concludes, “When that hobby becomes a job, it becomes too tedious and you will not enjoy it as much […]

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So You Launched Your Startup — Now What?

The co-founder of Harry’s on navigating your startup business’s adolescent stage. September 20, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Harry’s started with a simple premise: to provide guys with a great shave at a fair price, and a brand that they could trust to always give them the best experience possible. Six years later, we’ve expanded beyond shaving into other product categories and brought Harry’s to major retailers like Target and Walmart. We are no longer a DTC shave brand, but despite this, we’re still often referred to as an online-only shave club that exclusively offers men’s razors. We’ve evolved as a brand, but some consumers still view us as the “old Harry’s.” How do we change that? It’s hard to equate company years to human years, but at six years old, I think it’s fair to say we’re out of the startup phase […]

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How Steven Li Balances School and Business

Five principles that helped this young publisher forge ahead, and could help you too. September 14, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If recent research is any indication, Generation Z is poised to become unprecedentedly entrepreneurial. One 2017 survey conducted by Babson College in Massachusetts found that 41 percent of the cohort plan on becoming entrepreneurs, and a whopping 64 percent of college students want to start their own businesses. Though a lot of young people want to start their own companies, it’s not always tenable due to a busy queue of priorities including attending school and completing job applications. But Steven Li, founder of current events and commentary site The Rising — which boasts more than 500,000 monthly impressions and 30,000 monthly readers — proves it’s not impossible. After starting his entrepreneurial pursuits (Li also co-ran a popular publication titled Youth Business Collective while still in high school) with money he earned from internships, Li currently runs […]

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Want to Start a Business? Ask Yourself Why.

Sometimes your success depends on why you are starting a business in the first place. September 13, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It’s no secret. Most entrepreneurs will never build successful ventures, no matter how much they risk to start and grow and business. A select few will take the same risks and have major success. Why? I found that the difference between the two is not the availability of resources, perseverance or support. It’s the reason they want to build a startup in the first place. Are the reasons below one of your drivers for starting a business? Related: Jeff Bezos Shares His Best Advice for Anyone Starting a Business 1. To build wealth. If you’re a hustler, an entrepreneur at heart and looking to create or grow wealth, build a small business — not a startup. Small businesses like a restaurant, coffee […]

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