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  • How To Bootstrap your Startup with Your Paycheck - Blogtrepreneur - For Busy Entrepreneurs
    As a self funded start up Voziq s finances were always tight and so its co founders decided to retain their day jobs until they had achieved reasonable validation with actual customers Vasu says that Voziq was able to reach this goal by utilizing oDesk and other freelance contractors outside of North America where they were able to obtain quality work for a relatively lower cost Voziq s situation illustrates the scenario of a startup with two or more co founders Vasu notes that not all of the startup s founders needed to move out of their day jobs at the same time one or two could continue working while others are firming up the business plan and reaching out to prospects This way he says you can fund your company through your paychecks while others are executing the core ideas of the startup He also emphasizes the importance of being willing to sacrifice when first validating the business idea Since each of Voziq s co founders maintained their day jobs they each took a chunk of business and product development tasks and executed these during evenings and weekends Once they began to see some traction they each took on roles as independent consultants in related areas to continue to earn a paycheck while they continued to focus their outside efforts on Voziq Vasu his associates have transitioned into Voziq 100 percent in 2014 as they bring in more customers and revenues While getting off the ground and becoming profitable are the ultimate goals for any venture these are especially significant milestones for a self funded startup With these goals within reach Vasu says that Voziq plans to continue looking to customers rather than investors as a way to further bootstrap and validate their work They have successfully transitioned into a cash flow positive scenario and are ready to take Voziq to the next level of success and profitability What I find gratifying about the Voziq story is that it can be a template for numerous other entrepreneurs that we hear from constantly Hundreds and thousands of professionals around the world harbor entrepreneurial dreams Most of them lack capital For these entrepreneurs heavy in expertise light on funding bootstrapping with a paycheck is a fine path to get going In many parts of the world there isn t much of a seed capital eco system Thus somewhere between 6 24 months of bootstrapping while holding on to a full time job is a reasonable option for many aspiring entrepreneurs In fact I would go so far as to say that most aspiring entrepreneurs ought to start their entrepreneurial journey while sitting inside a corporate umbrella Especially for technical people it allows for the enhancing of their technical skills while also developing the bricks needed to build a venture One thing you will find however that no incubator will be willing to work with you until you have quit your job As such we ve decided at the 1M 1M global

    Original URL path: http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/how-to-bootstrap-your-startup-with-your-paycheck/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Rethinking the Way You Plan Events, Weddings, Corporate Meetings, and Parties - Blogtrepreneur - For Busy Entrepreneurs
    a way to make online correspondence elegant and convince people to go digital With digital I could RSVP on the go order a gift online for the couple and keep dates and events organized not to mention save a tree or two I had a vision I wanted to redefine how people planned their events I wanted people to move away from paper and inspire hosts to go digital I wanted to start Greenvelope What problem does Greenvelope solve Wasting paper licking envelopes and tracking down missing RSVPs are just a few reasons that make sending traditional printed invitations a tedious process for the modern event host Greenvelope alleviates these obstacles by providing elegant digital invitation services perfect for holiday invitations annual board meetings sorority shindigs weddings and more Additionally the modern consumer is sustainability conscious and looks to make purchases that align with their values With Greenvelope customers are no longer forced to choose between sustainability and design they can have it all Greenvelope donates a percentage of every sale to Mountains to Sound a nonprofit that strives to maintain forests in Washington How did you raise the initial funds My shoulders are still slightly misaligned from the endless hours of pressure washing neighborhood driveways Pressure washing by day and delivering pizza by night served as the initial funding for the business This savings combined with a loan from a family member allowed me to contract the first developer and pay a designer to create our first logo Revenue has increased nearly every month since our launch allowing us to fund the growing needs of the company What is the hardest decision you made as a young entrepreneur After having the idea for Greenvelope I started school at Washington University in St Louis in the fall Going to school and running a start up was a challenge to say the least In between classes I was on the phone helping customers after class I was creating custom stationery designs and at night I was working with programmers and testing marketing results Work life balance was nonexistent I eventually had to reevaluate what I really wanted I made the difficult decision to take time off from school and focus 100 on Greenvelope The decision was one of the best and hardest I have ever made What advice do you have for entrepreneurs starting out With limited hours in the day and unlimited work when starting out achieving efficiency is key Here are a couple productivity tips that have been extremely helpful The Morning Workout In college I always structured my schedule so my classes started after 11am I was clearly never a morning person but a couple years ago that changed when I discovered the benefit of starting the day with a morning workout Waking up an hour earlier to work out helps me feel fresh think clearly and be most creative throughout the day I can definitely see the difference in productivity on days when I need to skip

    Original URL path: http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/rethinking-way-plan-events-weddings-corporate-meetings-parties/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Get Your Customers to Fund Your Business - NakedWines Did It! - Blogtrepreneur - For Busy Entrepreneurs
    shareholders A Customer funding requires absolute transparency and honesty For a lot of businesses that s hard It means you re accountable to loads of people rather than just one or a handful of investors Your transparency exposes your successes and failures to the competition and you need suppliers who are just as excited about your devotion to transparency as you are Q What do customer funded businesses need to do differently than traditionally funded businesses once they ve raised their startup money A Be honest Customers only fund projects that they believe in and they only trust companies that deliver what they say they will Every time our customers put money into one of our winemakers the wines have to taste better than the wines the customers can buy in a shop And the price has to be better If you try to pull the wool over peoples eyes you lose their trust and then you lose their business Our policy is to let the customers decide it is their money after all People will only fund our winemakers if they have a say in how the money is invested We also believe in the power of crowdsourcing for knowledge and strategy not just fundraising We have over three million customer ratings on the site which we use to decide which wines we are going to keep which wines we are going to grow and which wines we are going to improve NakedWines com s social aspect is very important to building and sustaining this valuable community We encourage customers to talk to each other and to interact directly with winemakers because the best way for people to gain confidence about a wine or a winemaker is to speak to other customers and directly to winemakers Angels can follow

    Original URL path: http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/get-your-customers-to-fund-your-business-nakedwines-did-it/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Here's the Perfect Starting Point for New Online Businesses - Blogtrepreneur - For Busy Entrepreneurs
    their portfolio they claim to have done themselves or have submitted to you Tineye is an image recognition service that will scour the web for a presence of the same artwork Establishing a Reputable Business Presence The next step is to create a presence online One of the first things people do when they are interested in hiring a contractor or buying a product or service is to search for it online You need to ensure that they find you when they do When setting up a website it s best to take the time to invest in building a website you own rather than on a free platform that limits what you can do or prohibits exporting your site once you ve grown Your website will need a hosting platform Hostt offers free hosting once you purchase your domain name the only service we ve found that offers this balance between cost and control over what you can publish since they support popular CMS like WordPress and others Promotion From day one you must consistently keep marketing your business Otherwise you will tend to have extremely busy periods followed by devastating slumps rather than a continuous flow of work One of the most effective ways to promote your business is via social media It s very easy to set up accounts but harder to maintain quality posting and tracking fan responses on a regular basis especially since you ll be busy running your business Consider a minimal investment in a social media management tool like Oktopost which not only helps you keep track of social media activities but helps you plan and execute campaigns to help grow your brand online Oktopost helps you visualize plan and execute social media tasks geared for bigger picture long term goals through advanced scheduling feedback and analytics and other detailed management features Build Relationships Social media is great for getting interest and leads but most of these users won t convert to customers through this method alone You will have to put processes in place to identify persons who are most likely to become your customers and nurture a relationship with them That s where email marketing comes in GetResponse is an all in one email marketing tool which offers everything you need from embeddable forms for your Facebook page landing pages for your special business offers responsive emails and the ability to track responses through A B testing so you can know what s working In addition they have an excellent blog geared towards helping businesses make the most out of email marketing and the rich tools they provide The great thing about email is that it s still a powerful tool and medium that is producing massive returns for marketers Getting Paid Managing Finance Getting paid may sound like a simple process until the IRS knocks on your door Business owners must ensure that they have proper billing income and expenditure records These will save a lot of money and headaches

    Original URL path: http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/heres-perfect-starting-point-new-online-businesses/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Two Skateboarding Dads Invent Award-Winning Kids Products Now in Major Retail Stores - Blogtrepreneur - For Busy Entrepreneurs
    backgrounds are in action sports I was involved with a company that distributed skateboard footwear to all the Wal Mart stores in the US Will has ownership in another company that screen prints t shirts for some of the largest action sports companies along with national chain retail stores and restaurants Q What was it like to start a new business and as dads Where did you start first Design prototype etc A It was actually a lot of fun when we started off We would prototype them in my garage out of wood and figure out the best way to design it before we handed it off to our patent lawyers and engineer to spec it for production One thing we ve learned and are still experiencing to this day is that everything takes a lot longer than you expect in every facet of the company It s just as much about the journey as it is the destination Q You have grown quickly and your product is in quite a few major retailers Congrats What is your best piece of advice for other dad entrepreneurs small business owners even mom entrepreneurs or even anyone trying to launch a new kids product A Patience and more patience When you invent a product especially something that never existed before it s going to take some major work to get your product to the masses and just letting the public know your product exists Q What are some of your top tips for getting retailers interested in your product A I think the two most important things are proving there is a want need for your product and that the product has sell through for them It s a tough retail environment right now so buyers are skeptical as to what they put on their shelves Q As dads how do you balance running a successful company with family A I don t think it s any different from someone that doesn t run his own company You have your hours you work a day and sure sometimes you exceed that but at the end of the day you always make sure you have time for your family Having a happy and healthy family is more important to me than anything Q What has been the biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome it A I think the biggest challenge for our company is marketing a product that s never existed and figuring out how to get our product known the public There are millions of potential consumers in our demographic that have no clue this product exists I will let you know the day we start to overcome this challenge but for now it s a work in progress Q Is there any piece of business advice you would tell your past self that you are aware of now A Honestly at this moment I don t think I have any advice We are still such a new

    Original URL path: http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/two-skateboarding-dads-invent-award-winning-kids-products-now-major-retail-stores/ (2016-04-26)
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  • What Can a Homeless Guy Learn From Sir Richard Branson? - Blogtrepreneur - For Busy Entrepreneurs
    INSPIRATION Surrounded and inspired by his many treasured and dog eared Branson books Jody had a wild idea He would help heal his earthquake ravaged hometown by bringing together music Christchurch and the inspirational wisdom of his hero Sir Richard Branson Put your ass on the line But how can a homeless man achieve this It was Jody s answer to that question that lead director Slavko Martinov to have to make this documentary Jody declared EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I M GOING TO ASK MYSELF ONE QUESTION WHAT WOULD BRANSON DO Inspired and hopeful and equipped with little more than a crazy idea Jody sold his meager possessions and set out on a remarkable quest to help heal his broken city And along the way he just might begin to pick up the pieces of his own life It s a journey that s happening at this very moment Right now as you read this Jody is in Ubud Bali the world s sound healing Mecca There this talented musician has been accepted into the close knit sound healing community and is gradually reinventing himself as a master of that ancient and mystical art While in Ubud Jody will use what he s learning to create an album of music that contains healing frequencies that help relieve pain and sickness When that is complete he will return to Christchurch and stage an incredible and utterly unique public event at which he will play his healing frequencies to his city s people and landscape It won t be easy but Jody is utterly determined Given the right circumstances exceptional people will reveal themselves Not only is that true for Jody Lloyd but it s also true for award winning director Slavko Martinov who once again revealed

    Original URL path: http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/can-homeless-guy-learn-sir-richard-branson/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Two Parents Turn $700 Savings Into a Million Dollar Business - Blogtrepreneur - For Busy Entrepreneurs
    Q What s even more astounding is that you grew your business by word of mouth What is the key to successful word of mouth marketing A We try to treat our customers the way we would want to be treated Our emails to customers are more like a conversation than a short answer and we genuinely care for our customers and their babies and we truly want them to succeed and get sleep using our product We also have a wonderful Facebook community of moms many of whom I ve grown close to through the challenges that come with being a momma We never pretend like we re perfect and have it all together and we re not afraid to say it and I think people relate to that Q As parents of two small children how do you balance running a successful company with family A This is a challenge for every mom regardless of what she does I do my very best every day to just be with my kids and my husband and I are a team and work together to make it happen We also have recently hired a friend to help with some of the workload and she is FABULOUS Q Now we must talk about your experience on the hit ABC series Shark Tank First off congrats What was your experience like and would you recommend other businesses to go on the show A It was an incredible experience and we made a deal with Daymond John The deal was for 200 000 in exchange for 20 equity in our company The Shark Tank producers were so fabulous Once the show aired we nearly sold out of inventory thousands of orders were placed We also got over 10 000 new Facebook likes practically overnight Plus the best part was the outpouring of emails praise and support we received Staying true to our business values we spent hours replying personally to each person who emailed I would absolutely recommend other businesses to give it a try Q How did you prepare for Shark Tank A I honestly felt like we were preparing for the Apocalypse Ha We beefed up our website in hopes of it not crashing we did our best to have as much inventory as possible for when it aired and we switched our email system to a more organized platform to create better work flow Before pitching the Sharks we thought of any and every possible question we could get asked and we practiced our responses The most important thing is to KNOW YOUR NUMBERS Q What is some of your best advice for other companies who are on Shark Tank A I will say it again KNOW YOUR NUMBERS Also if you are serious about getting a deal don t go asking some crazy amount that is unrealistic because otherwise you will go into the tank and they will talk all about your valuation and nothing about your business Q

    Original URL path: http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/two-parents-turn-700-savings-million-dollar-business/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Matthew Toren - 3/28 - Blogtrepreneur - For Busy Entrepreneurs
    an existing business can be demanding Staying one step ahead is the name of the game The evolution of the Internet has certainly changed the economic and business climate thus successful businesses need to stay on top and more importantly ahead of trends Reaching your business potential is no Continue reading Matthew Toren Blog Grow 2 5 Tasks Every Entrepreneur Should Outsource Even On A Start up Budget Money is usually tight for start up Entrepreneurs but regardless of the investment there are some things you should outsource Too many times Entrepreneur s are so busy working in their business they aren t working on their business When you re mired down in daily work that a hired staff could do more efficiently than you can alone Continue reading Matthew Toren Blog Grow 3 Robert Kiyosaki s 10 Crucial Elements to Financial Freedom You want to get ahead but you re barely making ends meet The rules aren t working for you You want to build financial security and wealth and stop living day by day Robert Kiyosaki one of America s most noteworthy investors and businessmen learned about business from two people his father who was a very well educated highly placed government Continue reading Matthew Toren Blog Grow 2 10 Self Made Billionaires Who Remain Grounded and Humble Remaining humble and grounded might be just as challenging as obtaining riches and success In life most of us seek out wealth and power but if we can remain humble and wise along the journey then that is the true reflection of successful life There are many success stories but few who have chosen to Continue reading Matthew Toren Blog Grow 2 10 Ways to Make Your Biz Look Bigger Than You Actually Are Projecting a professional image isn t

    Original URL path: http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/author/matthew/page/3/ (2016-04-26)
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