Business

An Interview with Gary Lenett, Lawyer turned Denim Entrepreneur

The best athleisure is the kind that doesn’t pronounce itself as athleisure to the world—it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to look like you’re coming and going from a yoga class. Rather, it’s about a perfect balance of style and comfort, the ability to authentically hop from a bicycle to a board meeting. Gary Lenett saw the demand for that was being met in womenswear, but not so much within the denim industry. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs and the son of a successful clothing manufacturer Gary he knew the ropes, but came to the launch of the DUER brand in a roundabout way—he did a stint as a corporate lawyer, then teacher, and finally partnered up with his brother to become the largest manufacturer of retail clothing in Western Canada. That expertise led him to launch DUER, a brand that has absolutely perfected marrying denim and athletic wear, for fashion that looks professional but feels as comfortable as if you were lounging at home on your sofa...

Is Your Business Telling the Right Story?

Google processes over 3.8 million searches per minute. That's a lot of people looking for answers. This is happening because the way people buy has changed. People no longer respond to outbound tactics like spamming and cold calling. Instead they research products and services and find what they're looking for on their own. The message for companies is clear: You must provide lots and lots of content that's engaging and persuasive enough to pull in readers and win their business. This is called inbound marketing, and it's the way businesses today "get found"—by helping, educating, and entertaining prospects with valuable, relevant, and consistent content...

Eight Common “Flow Breakers” Leaders Face—and How to Defuse Them

Sometimes it seems like the workplace is designed to keep you doing anything besides, well...working. If you're a manager, this is a serious problem because everything at work hinges on your ability to effectively lead your team. Still, distractions abound in most offices, from buzzing phones to watercooler chit-chat to the endless lure of surfing the web. With all this chaos, it's difficult to achieve the intense state of concentration known as flow, where employees of all levels do their best work...

Disruption Doesn’t Happen Only to the Other Guy: Why YOU Too Must Be “Inbound”

Are you still running your business like it's 1989? Most leaders know (in theory) that buying and selling have changed forever, yet their own mindset and corporate structure are decades out of date. Everybody wants to grow but nobody wants to change. It's as true for companies as it is for people. Despite the fact that customers have changed everything about the way they buy—and have an endless array of sellers at their fingertips—too many organizations treat them like all parties are in a (pre-Internet) time warp. This is not just short-sighted; it's self-destructive. And it points to a massive collective blind spot that keeps leaders from seeing the disruptive forces flying up behind them...

8 Questions with Rafic Daud, the Cobbler for the Modern Age

A Portuguese native from Sao Joao da Maderia, Portugal’s shoemaking capital, Rafic took advantage of the desire and demand for bespoke men’s dress shoes without an insane pricetag. Since he launched Undandy, he’s disrupted the high-end shoe market with direct-to-consumer and impeccably handcrafted men’s shoes—in shy of just one year, Undandy has gone from selling 100 shoes a month to over 1,500 in over 100 countries. We sat down with Rafic to discuss everything from the new frontier for luxury goods to the Robert DeNiro quote that he lives each day by...

Why Raising Capital Isn’t Everything

When is the right time to raise money? That’s probably one of the most common questions that I get asked by entrepreneurs. There is a process I go through when deciding whether to spend my time raising capital or making money. This process is typically followed by a series of questions which include; When do I decide to take in money? How much equity am I actually willing to give away? Do I need to take on debt? It’s very common that people get excited about not using their own money, but a lot of times, as a result of not using their own money, people end up losing control of their entire company—sometimes without realizing their mistake...

Is Your Lack of Discipline Costing You Money?

The jobs with the highest earning potential often come with a lot of freedom. You can start and stop work when you want. You run your own schedule. No one is telling you what to do. That's great news if you have the discipline to stay focused and consistently follow through: You can have unlimited earning potential. But if you lack discipline, all that freedom becomes a detriment...

Is Your Brand’s Messaging Primed for Success? Find Out in Under 24 Hours

When it comes time for your business to develop the messaging of your brand, it is crucial that your messaging is properly aligned with the values of your customers. If you've asked the question, "How will prospective customers respond to our messaging?" and only answered with internal strategy, you're doing your business a disservice. Going in blind just isn't a risk worth taking — not when mobile surveying is so readily available...

We Talk Real Estate with the President of Tahoe Luxury Properties

Bill Dietz fell in love with Lake Tahoe as a young man, and knew he would do whatever it took to make the magical ski destination his forever home. He started off as the quintessential ski bum, became a local ski instructor, and worked in carpentry during the summers. We sat down to pick his brain on Tahoe’s unique market dynamic, how the rise of Air B&B didn’t hurt but actually helped, and how real estate in a mountain town differs from the typical metropolis...

The Polarization Problem: How to Dislodge and Move Forward When Decision Makers Are at a Stalemate

Polarization is a common problem for companies trying to make smart and agile strategic decisions. (Hint: That should be all companies.) When people band together with likeminded teammates, it's human nature for them to get more and more entrenched in their mindset. The result is two opposing camps, each seeking a decision that's more extreme than the original ideas of individual team members. This is a predictable outcome of group decision making dynamics. Unfortunately,  it can be a highly destructive one...

Customer Success: The Secret Ingredient for Engagement

In today's competitive market, customer engagement (or lack thereof) could determine whether your company sinks or swims. Due to recent changes in consumer behaviors, wants, and needs, businesses must find better ways to connect with and delight their existing customers. It's part of a shift toward the Membership Economy, a model based on customer-centric strategy using topics like subscription price, inclusiveness, and digital platforms that draw people in and win their loyalty. At the center is an emerging field you should know about called Customer Success...

Twelve Ways to Build Better Client Relationships

These days trust is at an all-time low. People are suspicious of organizations, institutions, and leaders across the board. At the same time, competition is fierce. Your clients can leave you at any time (and for any reason) and replace your services with something faster, shinier, and sexier. But here's the good news: When you're able to engage with clients the right way and build deeply connected, trust-based, authentic relationships with them, you automatically set yourself apart...

The Amazon Marketplace Dilemma: Five Strategies to Success

Amazon wants to build a marketplace with the largest selection at the lowest prices. While a brand may be attracted to the customer base of that marketplace, most brands want to protect their pricing. Hence the Amazon channel can be a frustration once the brand’s products start being sold by Amazon or third-party sellers well below MAP prices...

10 Small Business Trends to Watch Out for in 2018

With 2018 upon us, it’s time to revamp and rethink your strategies for your small business. Align your goals with what’s trending to ensure you meet, or even possibly exceed, your expectations. From hiring to technological advances, here are 10 small business trends you should keep in mind when setting your 2018 goals.

The Seven Rules of Fearless Growth

Growth has always been fundamental to business success, but it's never been more critical than it is now. Rapid changes in technology, shifting customer expectations, disruptive business models, and quickly evolving regulations force organizations to innovate quickly and invest in new lines of business that will fuel future growth...

Four Recruiting Tips for Small Business Owners in an Overtapped Labor Pool

As a small business owner, you're beyond busy—and that isn't likely to change. One moment, you're serving as a salesperson, trying to close that new piece of business. The next, you're playing service rep and solving a buyer's problem or doing executive tasks like running to the bank to sign loan documents. Add to these roles more selling, more service, and more managing. Suddenly, your best employee gives notice. As busy as you are, how will you find time to recruit, interview, hire, and train a replacement...

This Athleisure CEO Wants to Inspire Better Men

I know I’m going to catch some heat from Nate for referring to Rhone as “athleisure”, but after taking a close look at the market that’s what I think they do. And they do it incredibly well. Not in the sense that they manufacture yoga pants used solely for watching Netflix and drinking hot cocoa, but in the sense that they design and produce a multipurpose clothing line that’s just as functional in the gym as it is boarding a plane to catch a business meeting on the other side of the country. They’re based out in Stamford so our editor, Jenna Bostock, and I headed out there to meet Nate Checketts and talk shop last month...

The Activist Investor: Six Companies That Were Targeted in 2017—and What We Can Learn from Them

Activist investors were really busy in 2017. General Electric, AIG, Arconic, CSX, Pandora, and Buffalo Wild Wings are among the companies whose CEOs resigned under pressure from activist investors. Activist investors single out underperforming companies, then force changes, which may include giving the activist a seat on the board, replacing company leaders, divesting a division, or simply cutting costs. These relentless shaker-uppers are going after bigger and bigger companies, and both sides are spending more money than ever in proxy battles. That's why all C-suite leaders need to heed the lessons of 2017...

SaaS: The Next Target for ATO

When you think of account takeover (ATO), what comes to mind? High-profile data breaches? Embarrassing celebrity Twitter hacks? Although these companies are certainly at risk, they’re not the only ones vulnerable to ATO. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses are equally – if not more – vulnerable to damaging account takeovers...

The 7 challenges of Online Identity Verification

The Sharing Economy is transforming how we interact and conduct business, commerce, healthcare, and more. As the sharing economy is built on interactions between partners and consumers, lack of trust is the most important hurdle. The absence of a standardized, fully reliable method of verifying the identity of participants and equipping them to prove the authenticity of their credentials could pose a real challenge to the success of sharing economy participants...

WINFertility’s Founder On Being In The Business of Miracles

20 years ago, orthopedic surgeon turned entrepreneur Dr. Roger Shedlin saw an opportunity to help families who were looking for a miracle. He saw that the process for accessing fertility services was completely overwhelming, given the lack of fertility benefits in the healthcare marketplace, the astronomical prices of fertility treatment and the complexity of obtaining assistance in starting a family. Dr. Shedlin wanted to change that...

Seven Steps to Manage A Global Team

People often think great teams come together by happy accident, or that they just got lucky that one time they had a great team. Our research shows otherwise. When we looked at thousands of teams in dozens of industries, we saw that extraordinary teams always shared a specific set of traits and characteristics. It didn’t matter if these teams worked in the U.S., Europe, Asia, or had team members in all three...