Startup Series: The Business Plan

A roadmap to your startup's success will save you from a world of headaches down the road A business plan is the roadmap to your startup's success. It informs the decisions you'll make regarding its management, financing, marketing and operations. It'll also completely change the second you start doing business. That said ‒ do you really need one? Well, just diving in, pulling a prototype together and hoping for the best has its bootstrapping charm. Still, a plan ‒ no matter how rudimentary ‒

Inside Look: 3 Ways to Become a Better Barista

Inside Look: 3 Ways To Become a Better Barista "He understood the nuance of providing both a quality product and the service that needs to go with it" Although I used to be the owner of a coffee shop, ironically, I initially wasn’t much of a barista. However, my business partner was one of the best espresso shot pullers I’ve ever encountered. He understood the nuance of providing both a quality product and the service that needs to go with it. Through him, I learned not only the craft of latte

My Failure, Your Opportunity: Hindsight Advice From a Young Entrepreneur

My Failure, Your Opportunity: Hindsight Advice From a Young Entrepreneur Starting a business? Here are five factors to consider when embarking on that quest become your own boss In 2010, while still completing my senior year of college, I opened my first business. It was a three-floor coffee shop in upstate New York. While I lacked any experience in the service industry, I did have the arrogance to think my sheer tenacity alone would pull all the loose ends together. Needless to say, two years

Startup Series: Assembling and Cultivating The Mastermind Alliance

Cultivate and capitalize off each member of your own mastermind alliance to strengthen your startup You can hire the most talented people in the world and tell them to go do something ‒ but that doesn’t mean it’ll get done. It isn’t about hiring the “best” people as it is about hiring the right ones. The notion of a “team” can take many forms. Your employees, your vendors, your customers, your friends and even other businesses comprise of something Napoleon Hill described as a “mastermind alli

Startup Series: How to Become the 'Right Kind of Boss'

Startup Series: How to Become the 'Right Kind of Boss' Leaders need to be versatile and knowledgeable about how every aspect of their business operates Being “The Boss” is tough, especially when you hear that 70 percent of employees hate their job. You have to be a diplomat and an authority figure at the same time. Still, if you open yourself to criticism and prove to your employees you know what you’re talking about, you’ll quickly be on your way to assembling a team of people that’ll accompl

Startup Series: The Financial Plan

Tips learned on the road to bankruptcy that can help your business’s finances soar instead of plummet There are plenty of well-informed resources that will tell you how to write a clean, visually pleasing, convincing financial plan. Unfortunately, when you’re a month late on rent with the electric company downstairs about to shut off your power and employees wondering where their paychecks are ‒ that pretty financial plan won’t be of much use. This is where I found myself two years into runnin

Startup Series: Be a Brand, Not a Product

Successful, long-lasting companies have powerful brands that evoke an emotional response from customers When I was running my first café, there were at least 10 other places to get coffee in our town. Though the quality varied, generally speaking, our competitors offered a pretty similar product ‒ caffeine. So how did we get people to come to our shop? We made ourselves more than just a café. We positioned our business as a place where you could connect with the heart of what was going on in

Startup Series: Launching a Startup With Your Best Friends

Startup Series: Launching a Startup With Your Best Friends How to run a business with your friends — without ending up like a rock band that doesn’t speak anymore Running a business with two of your best friends is one of the most exciting and dangerous things you can do. In theory, it seems like it should be the foundation of creating a Guardians of the Galaxy-esque team of capitalist superheroes who can solve any business problem. And it is. Until everyone vehemently disagrees on what sort of

Startup Series: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going After Investors

Startup Series: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going After Investors A few questions you should ask yourself before running your startup with investors' money Because it’s awkward explaining where $3 million dollars went. Getting venture capitalists to invest in your startup is an exciting prospect. For one, it validates the precious idea you’ve spent hours trying to put into words over countless pots of coffee. It also means you can focus solely on growing your business without the stress
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