Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Advice from U.S. Entrepreneurs: Starting, Growing, Staying Inspired

7 Jul

We can learn a lot from successful entrepreneurs in terms of how to start a business, how to scale a business, and how to stay inspired.

Recently, Tracey Wallace published (for Big Commerce) “234 American Business Owners on Starting, Scaling, and Staying Inspired:”

“This is about following your passion. This is about hope in the face of all odds. This is about hard work that builds a legacy of American business success. This is about building your own personal American Dream.”

 

Click the image to read more.


 

The Unique Back Story of Warby Parker

12 Jun

Warby Parker is a highly successful online — and now store-based — marketer of eyeglasses and sunglasses (“Prescription eyeglasses, starting at $95, with free shipping and free returns.”). As it notes on its Web site:

“Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty goal: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses. Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. The rest of us had similar experiences, and we were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t leave our wallets bare. Where were the options?”

“There was a simple explanation. The eyewear industry is dominated by a company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no options. We started Warby Parker to create an alternative. By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, we’re able to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price. We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket.”

“We also believe that everyone has the right to see. Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.”

 
Take a look at this Inc. video featuring Warby Parker founder Neil Blumenthal.

 

Skills That Entrepreneurs Need

14 Mar

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It requires creativity, patience, a willingness to take risks, expertise, endurance, and a whole lot more.

According to Growth Hackers’ co-founder and CEO Jonathan Aufray:

“An entrepreneur must be audacious, calculating, enthusiastic, and passionate. Creativity and managerial capabilities are also important to the success of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur needs to be a talented multi-disciplinary individual, a bit like the growth hacker job description, which is very complex, the entrepreneur job description is even more complicated.”

“Contrary to popular opinion, entrepreneurial skills and qualities can be learned, practiced, and developed. You must, however, make a conscious decision to nurture these qualities and skills. Once you begin to make a conscious effort to acquire these skills, particularly skills in the area where you are deficient, you would have repositioned yourself for tremendous accomplishments as an entrepreneur in the business world.”

Aufray has identified 29 skills as important for successful entrepreneurship. Here are ten of them:

  1. Personal capabilities
  2. Image building
  3. Effective communication
  4. Ability to negotiate
  5. Ability to lead
  6. Ability to sell
  7. Ability to concentrate (focus)
  8. Customer relations
  9. Preparedness to learn
  10. Inquisitiveness

 
Click the image for a full discussion of the above 10 skills and to see Aufray’s whole list of 29 entrepreneurial skills.
 

 

Great Books to Read in 2017

26 Jan

As we continue to look ahead to 2017, there are various books that provide valuable information and that are highly rated by reviewers. Here are a few sources for YOU to check out, by topic.

Click the images to read the reviews.
 

“5 Must Read Books That’ll Inspire Entrepreneurs in 2017”


 

“12 New Books to Help You Build Wealth and Get more More Done in 2017”


 

“11 Great Business Books to Read Right Now”

 

“20 Books Every Marketer Should Read in 2017”

 

“Top 15 Best Books on Social Media Marketing for 2017”

 

Best Business Decisions Ever?

19 Dec

As we approach the end of 2016, we are going to present some of the most popular of the nearly 1,500 posts that have appeared on Evans on Marketing. Today, we cover our MOST popular post ever.

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In 2012, a book titled The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time was published. This book is by Verne Harnish (CEO of Gazelles) and the editors of Fortune.

As Fortune’s Brian Dumaine said:

“Once in a great while a leader makes a truly game-changing decision that shifts not only the strategy of a single company but how everyone does business as well. These big decisions are counter-intuitive — they go against the conventional wisdom. In hindsight, taking a different direction may seem easy, but these bet-the-company moves involve drama, doubt, and high tension. What made Apple’s board bring back Steve Jobs to the company?”

“What motivated Henry Ford to double the wages of his autoworkers, and how did that change the American economy for the next century? Why did Intel decide to spend millions to brand a microchip? The following stories, adapted from the new book The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time, provide the background to these pivotal moments. You’ll learn how these groundbreaking decisions have shaped the thinking of today’s top leaders.”

 
Click the image to read the introduction of the book. [Please note: Since the publication of the original post, Fortune has removed its excerpts. However, the book introduction may be accessed from Amazon. After clicking the book cover below, wait for the pages to fully load; then scroll down to the introduction (which starts at p. 27). It is VERY interesting.]


 
What other “big” business decisions would YOU cite besides those noted?
 

Can You Start a Business in Your Garage?

1 Nov

Forty years ago, Apple was founded by 20-something young guys– some say, in a garage (Steve Wozniack disagrees with that depiction 🙂 ). Despite a number of ups and downs over the years, we know that Apple has emerged as the most valuable company in the world. Here is a video on the history of Apple.

 

In today’s post, we want to show that other small startups have also been very successful and remain so today. So, the answer to this question — Can you start a business in your garage? — is a resounding yes. And this remains true today.

As Matthew Anderson recently observed for TheSelfEmployed.com:

“For many people, the idea of just starting their own business lies somewhere in the realm of fantasy. It’s something for someone else to do, something that requires investors and business know-how, or something an average person could never think of doing. The truth, however, is that starting your own business requires only one thing – determination. Well, if history is any indicator, a garage might help as well.”

  • Amazon — “At one time, Amazon was simply an online bookstore; and founder Jeff Bezos ran the company out of his garage in Bellevue, Washington. Needless to say, the Amazon of today is just a bit bigger – the world’s largest online retailer. In keeping with its bookstore beginnings, the Amazon Kindle is widely regarded as the best E-reader on the market.”
  • Disney — “Walt Disney and his brother Roy moved to California and set up the first Disney studio in a one- car garage behind their uncle Robert’s house in Los Angeles in 1923 to film and sell his Alice Comedies, which combined a live-action actress with an animated cat. Nearly a century later, Disney is one of the largest media corporations in the world.”
  • Harley Davidson — “William Harley and his friend Arthur Davidson worked in a shed to make the motorized bicycle a reality. In 1903, Harley-Davidson was founded. Today, it is one of the most well-known motorcycle brands in the world; and you can buy  anything from aprons to clocks and outdoor oil-can-shaped lights with the Harley-Davidson logo.”
  • Maglite — “In 1955, Tony Maglica  bought a lathe and set up a tool shop in his garage. After operating his business for 25 years, the innovative Mag-Lite was released in 1979. It is now the standard-issue flashlight for U.S. police officers and was referred to by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Cadillac of flashlights.’”
  • Yankee Candle Co. — “Sixteen-year-old Michael Kittredge created his first scented candles out of melted crayons for his mother in the family’s garage in 1969. When neighbors showed interest, he began producing the candles in larger quantities. With help from two high school friends, Yankee Candle Company was founded. Fast forward to 1998, Kittredge sells the firm that began with a gift for his mom to a private equity company for $500 million dollars.”

 

Click the image to read more from Anderson.

 

GoSpaces, a Free Web Site Builder and E-Commerce Platform

23 Sep

Go Spaces (also known as Spaces) is a rather new Web site designer and host. It has a free design package that “Brings your business online. Get access to 15 free business tools. Branded Space. 3% per transaction + gateway  fees.” It also offers a premium package for $4 per month: “Take your business to the next level. Get access to 15 free business tools.Unbranded Space. 2.5% per transaction + gateway fees. Free custom domain name with annual subscription.”

According to ere’s what’s distinctive about GoSpaces:

“GoSpaces is expanding into 38 countries and 20 languages, making it accessible to more than one-third of the world’s population (2.7 billion people) in their native tongue. The platform will be tailored to each country’s needs regarding use of language and will include local payment gateways, full translations on the backend, and soon to come, auto-currency settings that will help international customers see how much products cost in their local currency.”

“Supported languages include Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Turkish, Italian, Thai, Polish, Dutch, Czech, Swedish, Bulgarian, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian, its blog post says. GoSpaces touts the expansion as advantageous based on the fact that most E-commerce platforms are only available in English, even though English speakers make up just five percent of the world’s population.”

“Kasper Christensen, GoSpace’s co-founder, says the platform’s flexibility in language and payment options opens it up to audiences across the globe. He expressed his excitement in this quote. ‘Already we’ve seen creative uses that we never imagined, like tour guides advertising their services, restaurants posting their menus, and bands using it to sell concert tickets. “Now that we’re in 38 countries, I imagine we’ll see even more variety in the Spaces being created by our community.”

 

Click the image to view the firm’s blog.

 

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