Business

Is It Time to Join the Gig Economy? Why It’s a Great Time to Be a Consultant

There's never been a better time to become a consultant. Why? It boils down to three words: the gig economy. By 2025 a majority of the workforce will be employed in an agile capacity, as a consultant, contractor, temporary, or freelance employee. In fact, a recent report predicted that as early as this year, as much as 50 percent of the workforce will be comprised of agile workers. If you have a skill to share with the world and you long to be your own boss, you’re on the right side of economic history...

Why Managing Remotely Is So Tough—and Eight Ways to Make It Easier

Managing remotely has quickly become the norm in today's work world. And yet, it's not easy. With more employees working remotely or on flex schedules, it can be tough to create the kind of connection you need to help people do their best work. You can't pick up on non-verbal cues. You can't tell if they're having a good or bad day. You can't have those quick, informal interactions needed to form comfortable, cooperative relationships...

How the 2017 Tax Reform Bill Impacts Small Business

As a small business owner, you've likely always struggled to minimize your taxes and stay profitable. Now at last, there's some good news! When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act federal income tax bill took effect in 2018, it produced many changes that reduced and positively impacted small business taxes. With tax season right around the corner, it pays (literally) to know how this reform impacts your small business's bottom line...

How New Technology Can Help Construction Finance Professionals

Historically, the construction industry has been one of the slowest to adopt new technology, lagging only behind agriculture in digitalization. But that’s changing as software entrepreneurs turn their attention to the needs of the deskless workforce. The ubiquity of mobile devices, cheap and powerful cloud computing, 5G, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are all making it possible to put robust technology into the hands of deskless staff, including construction workers. The venture capital industry has taken notice—funding for construction technology has seen a steady uptick since 2013...

The Subscription Model Is Set to Disrupt Manufacturing. Here Are Three Mindset Shifts Leaders Will Need to Make.

The subscription model has already transformed consumer buying patterns. Companies like Dollar Shave Club and Birchbox let consumers enjoy cost savings, convenience, and the fun of discovery. And Peloton offers video subscriptions so purchasers of their indoor cycling bikes can get more out of their fitness regimen. Now, B2B manufacturing and the companies that supply the manufacturers are starting to get in on the act. The implications are huge. Think of the potential if manufacturers were 'members' who could subscribe to a factory line instead of owning it outright. I'm talking about the makers of heavy equipment like jet engines, cranes, combines, and, of course, automobiles, but also entrepreneurs designing new electronics products...

Eight Unwritten Rules Self-Determined Managers Live By

At the heart of the job of managing people is the imperative—and opportunity—to create the environment within which the team does their work. The best managers know that the informal rules around how people should work make a substantial difference to what people do and what they pay attention to, and they seek to shape that in a way that maximizes success...

Why You Should Consider Hiring Someone Without a Degree—and How to Find the Right Candidate

A college degree has long been a hiring prerequisite for certain jobs. If a candidate didn't have one, he or she just wouldn't get past the gatekeepers. That's because the degree is a "signal": a psychological shortcut we rely on to help us make smart decisions without having to investigate every option. But this particular signal has lost its meaning—and when employers doggedly cling to the "degree" requirement, we miss out on some great candidates...

Narrative vs PowerPoint: Which is the Right Tool for Your Business?

Over the past few years, a veritable who’s who of business leaders (from Virgin’s Richard Branson, to Tesla’s Elon Musk, to Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg) have outwardly questioned the effectiveness of traditional PowerPoint presentations while gushing over the benefits of good-old-fashioned narrative. Jeff Bezos has taken it a step further: in his 2018 annual shareholder letter, he wrote that “we don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon”. Instead, Bezos requires his executives to compose structured, six-page narrative memos to be read and discussed at every meeting...

Why Companies Should Consider Third-Party POS Financing

Offering free access to credit at the point of sale (POS) is a powerful business-generating tool for companies of all sizes. However, not all companies have the working capital available to offer in-house financing programs. Partnering with a third-party POS financing platform is an attractive solution but finding a partner with competitive rates and reasonable implementation costs can be a challenge...

5 Steps for Choosing the Proper Analytical Tools for your Organization

Data is quickly becoming a company’s most important assets. To monetize this asset, organizations leverage analytical tools that generate insights in order to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. One issue that has plagued corporations for years is the lack of standards and methods around their analytical capabilities, one example of which is deciding which analytical tools to build deep competencies around. How can an organization gain efficiencies, reusability, and build deep common skillsets, if each group is using a different analytical tool?

The Four Types of Objections That Derail Salespeople (and How to Deal With Them)

No may be a tiny word, but for salespeople it's the most dreaded word in the English language. Nothing causes your heart to sink quite like an objection from a prospective customer. This is true not just because it presages a negative impact on your income, but also because it's incredibly painful to hear. It's no coincidence that "objection" rhymes with "rejection"—and the latter is one of the deepest, darkest, most primal human fears. There's no way to avoid objections. They're going to happen. What you can do is learn how to rise above the emotional disruption they cause and, hopefully, salvage the sale...

How The Tailors of Saville Row Inspired this Men’s Fashion Entrepreneur

Paul Trible is revolutionizing the centuries old menswear world, taking inspiration from the classic tailors of Savile Row and the shirtmakers of Jermyn Street and bringing that luxury and tradition to the States, where the lack of offerings in menswear has been a notorious frustration for the fashionable gentleman. We sat down for a chat with Paul on everything from how a ruined Lehman Brothers career gave him the freedom to pursue his clothing dreams, the key to keeping your entrepreneurial passion, and the importance of learning from a master - no matter the industry...

11 Ways to Make Smart Use of Technology—Without Losing the Personal Touch Clients Crave

Technology does a lot…but it can't do everything. Sometimes we forget that. We can get so dependent on email and social media that we lose sight of what people really need from us—especially in business. Yes, clients expect to connect with us in various high-tech ways, but they also crave the deep and meaningful connections that can only come from face-to-face (or at least voice-to-voice) connections. It can be tricky to walk the line...

BANT Alone Is Dead: Four Ways to Go Beyond Info Gathering and Build Real Rapport with Your Prospects

If you've been a salesperson for a while, there's a good chance you swear by the "BANT" approach.It may be a tried-and-true approach to qualifying prospects—but in a world where prospects usually qualify themselves, it just isn't enough anymore. Asking questions around Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline has long been the framework for qualifying prospects. These days, BANT alone isn't enough to make the sale anymore...

Cash Flow Surprises? Here are Four Ways to Recover

Even the most prepared small business owner can get blindsided by a sudden financial emergency. Luckily, there are financing options that can help when you’re in need of immediate capital. By understanding what emergency cash loans are available, you can apply for the one that best fits your needs and quickly recover from any unpleasant cash flow surprises. Here are a few of the best small business loans for an emergency, and valuable financial management strategies that can come through for you when you need them most...

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...