The Coca Cola Company Is Proof That Small Businesses Can Go Global


©iStock/ClaudineVM 

For a business that was started as a concoction experiment and has survived different strategic transitions, one can say that The Coca Cola Company is a testament that small businesses can go global.

In 2018, The Coca Cola Company raked about 31.9b dollars in revenue. Recognized as a top ten private employer, providing a means of livelihood to more than 700,000 people. 

In your quest to expand, founders should not neglect virtues like persistence and patience because the journey is an adventure. Even The Coca Cola Company realized this.

Read more about how small businesses still go global.

Canna-Tourism Company Curates Trips for Influencers

Hi Curious organizes trips for media members and social stars to generate buzz about cannabis.

9 min read

Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To understand weed, you need to experience it first hand. That’s the motto of Lauren Mundell, who runs Hi Curious, a company that hosts Colorado-based small groups cannabis tours. The entrepreneur has made it her mission to help cannabis newbies satisfy their curiosity about legal cannabis for both wellness and recreational usage.

“People call me ‘The Fairy Weed Mother.’ I help people figure out how to get started with cannabis and pair the right products/dosage for the way they want to feel while participating in an experience,” she says.

As more states hop on the legalization train, cannabis-based tourist excursions have been popping up. With companies like Seattle’s Kush Tourism and Northern California’s Emerald Farm Tours offering experiences overnight experiences and cannabis-themed city tours that pair traditional tourism experiences with cannabis. Danny Schaefer, CEO of My 420 Tours, which brands themselves as “America’s First ‘Legal’ Marijuana Tourism Company, has definitely seen a surge. “We’re at a 30-plus percent year over year growth even though tourism in Colorado is down,” he said. And the Colorado Department of Revenue reported that the state attracted 6.5 million cannatourists in 2016 alone and expected growth beyond that of at least 6 percent the following year.

Related: High Hopes for the Cannabis Tourism Industry

Stepping out on her own

Prior to founding Hi Curious, Mundell spent 20 years in corporate PR, leaving where she ran the food and wellness practice at Ketchum Communications New York for eight years. After transitioning into the business development role within the company, the public relations guru had an unexpected career change of heart and felt a calling to leave behind clients like Avocados from Mexico, Weightwatchers, and Frito Lay to shift her focus to legal cannabis.

In March of 2018, Mundell visited a friend in Colorado and experienced her first edible. “She offered me a 1906 bliss cup — which is basically the most amazing peanut butter cup with 5mg THC and CBD inside,” she recalls. And, instead of that out- of- control college high she had experienced years ago as a freshman at Cornell, Mundell was surprised to feel inspired and relaxed.  

After further experimenting with cannabis, she took a two-week vacation with her husband to Florida and brought along some cannabis pens for the ride. “I was feeling so good and I was like, I should start sharing about how great cannabis is making me feel on Instagram,” she says.

Mundell was shocked to see how many of her friends and acquaintances were curious about her posts. She approached her bosses and asked if they were interested in starting a cannabis practice at the firm but was told that it “wasn’t something they were ready for.” So, in September 2018, she set off on her own to launch Hi Curious.

The original plan was for Hi Curious to serves as an education entertainment platform. “We saw it as a media property —  a website,” Mundell says, but she quickly learned that in order to accept trust the product, her consumers needed to try it. “And the challenge right now is unless you live in a legal state, you can’t.”

So Mundell wrangled a group of her canna-curious friends, took them to Colorado to introduce them to cannabis products, and her Hi Curious tours began.

Related: What I Learned From Visiting 50 California Dispensaries

“Our mission is to show the world that cannabis is a wellness supplement that really shouldn’t be feared and should be respected,” says Mundell. To execute this, Hi Curious curates luxury cannabis experiences in Colorado for mainstream wellness influencers and media personnel as a means of “broadening the audience/awareness of the cannabis industry outside legal states.”

Educating the canna skeptics

Hi Curious began offering tours in October 2018 and the response thus far has been positive, says Mundell, who jokes that guests “always leave on a high note” and are quick to share their experiences on social media accounts and in articles across various publications.

The company recently hosted writer Jane Mulkerrins, a “relatively inexperienced cannabis user” who documented her experience of sampling marijuana-infused chocolate at the Denver factory of 1906, finding an extra dose of Zen during cannabis yoga, and snacking on edibles while strolling through Red Rocks Park, for the Financial Times. For Mundell, having her skeptic guest write about experiencing an “Aha moment” during the weekend was a Hi Curious success.

Jessamyn Stanley, a body positivity influencer who has shown interest in advocating for cannabis legalization, also recently joined Hi Curious for a tour. with Hi Curious. “She really wanted to come out to Colorado and learn about pioneers in the industry,” Mundell explains. Stanley’s trip included dinners with pro-cannabis Colorado politicians and legislators. “Jessamyn had a chance to ask a lot of really important questions, as she’s thinking about how to be a good advocate for cannabis legalization in North Carolina,” Mundell says.

Six months in, Mundell is working off a “small friends and family investment fund” and bankrolling everything else herself, along with her co-founding husband, Barry Krauss, a retired Navy commander. “We’re selling our house in New York and funding our dreams with the equity that luckily we’ve been able to build over the course of the past few years,” she explains.

Hi Curious partners with brands like Pax (loose-leaf vaporizers), The Lab (cannabis concentrates), Ajoya (dispensary), SUM (sublinguals), and Coda (infused chocolates) who in turn garner awareness. “They can’t advertise on social media or digital media at all. So the only way to do it is really creatively,” says Mundell. “Our business model is that brands pay us, we put their brands in front of influencers, media and Hi Curious consumers,” she says.

Mundell says that people have been flocking to Colorado because “weed is legal and they can get high” but notes that this demographic don’t know what to during a visit, beyond renting an Airbnb and popping into a local dispensary. “Really what we do is help people figure out what they should be using or what they might want to try to enhance their vacation in Colorado,” she says.

She’d eventually love to have a Hi Curious compound in Colorado where people can come to have a controlled wellness experience. “But for now, public consumption isn’t legal anyway. So this is the way we are doing it through trips,” says Mundell, who adds that while endeavors do fall into the cannabis tourism world, she doesn’t consider her colleagues in that space competition “because we’re more of a marketing company than a tourism brand.”

While her curated influencer and media trips are sponsored, Hi Curious also offers custom paid experiences for small groups, which start at $3,000 per person for three nights and include everything but airfare: “chef-made meals, housekeeping, transportation, a full-time cannabis concierge, and cannabis-induced Colorado experiences such as hikes, concerts, and sightseeing.” Each trip is custom designed “to the group’s curiosity – some people who come on our trips are using legal cannabis for the first time, which is a very different way to consume than people may be familiar with,” says Mundell — and typically features an intimate group of 6-8 people, preferably with everyone knowing each other so as to create a safe space for cannabis exploration. 

Once guests land in Colorado, everything is seamless “and the only decisions they have to make are fun ones over their 4 days with us,” Mundell says. A typical itinerary includes a stop at 1906 New Highs chocolate factory then it’s off to a beautiful home where a chef has stocked all of the guests’ favorite foods. “We typically spend the first afternoon and evening learning about cannabis and trying new products and delivery methods,” she says, noting that she has partnered with The Clinic and Ajoya “to bring the dispensary to us and we let the experts guide us through the options in Colorado cannabis.”

Then it’s time for several dispensary stops. “But, the best part of our trips is experiencing the best of Colorado with a cannabis coach to make sure each hike, ski, concert, sunrise yoga class, shopping trip and meal is perfectly enhanced by products that are right for you,” says Mundell, who adds that this summer, Hi Curious is hosting music VIPs near Red Rocks and creating the ultimate live music experience. “Our chef will prepare the tailgate while guests immerse in the lot culture.”

Through utilizing her public relations background to break into the cannabis industry, Mundell has one key piece of advice for those looking to enter the space. “Build a national presence now,” she says. “A small fish in the cannabis industry now has the chance to become a big fish as the market grows,” she says, noting that “one to one to many marketing” is the key to building a loyal community that shares your message naturally. “Brands that invest in building nationally recognizability now will protect themselves from being lost as legalization continues to grow,” she explains. And finding the right audience is key.

To pair herself with the ideal influencers, Mundell has been using word of mouth referrals and networking on social media forums. “If someone is willing to use their influence to tell an authentic story about their Hi-Curious experience and cannabis for well-being, then we want to help make a custom trip possible,” she says.

Related: Band of Sisters: These Organizations Help Women in Weed Unite

How Microsoft PowerApps Can Help You Build Apps and Improve Your Company’s Productivity

This software-as-a-service might be able to help your business get more done.

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Technology is constantly evolving and improving how we communicate and operate, and in recent years, mobility has become the main focus. With the Internet of Things (IoT) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices becoming increasingly more commonplace throughout more and more businesses, time and connectivity have never been more valuable.

In 2017, Microsoft PowerApps was released to simplify the process for businesses to produce mobile and desktop apps. It is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) comprised of connectors, services, apps and data platforms designed to quickly and seamlessly build business applications according to specific business needs.

What exactly does Microsoft PowerApps do? 

Essentially, Microsoft PowerApps allows businesses to create apps that convert their manual processes into automated and digital processes, which is easy to learn without the need for any prior coding experience. It also allows businesses to securely create, share and connect their apps and external data sources such as Salesforce, SharePoint and Dropbox, with anyone on any device within a matter of minutes.

Which Microsoft Office subscription is best for PowerApps? 

In order to get Microsoft PowerApps, you need a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E1 or higher. However, this doesn’t allow access to every feature, as PowerApps operates on two subscription plans: 

  • Plan 1 subscriptions are ideal for users needing to access data stored in custom apps, cloud services, on-premises data and run canvas apps using premium connectors.
  • Plan 2 subscriptions are ideal for both administrators and users that require more advanced capabilities such as real-time workflows, custom code plug-ins and running model-driven apps.

How does it work? 

Microsoft PowerApps can be accessed via desktop devices or from its mobile app on handheld devices. Creating a mobile or desktop app is made easy with its drag-and-drop user interface. Here is a four-step process you can use:

  1. Select a pre-built template and ensure it runs with your desired tablet or phone layout.
  2. Import your elected data into the app by connecting to a data source such as OneDrive, Dropbox or Salesforce.
  3. You can then quickly drag-and-drop various forms, screens and controls including camera controls, images, text fields, videos, choice fields and much more to create their desired app.
  4. Finally, click the publish and share buttons to have the app shared across the entirety of the business.

What are the features and their benefits? 

Why should your business be using Microsoft PowerApps? It all depends on what your business’s needs are. Are you wanting to automate workflow? Are you wanting to integrate all external and internal business data into one program?

There are many features and benefits to using Microsoft PowerApps, here are the main benefits to start taking advantage of.

  1. Superior data integration. By utilizing Microsoft’s common data service (CDS), PowerApps enables your employees to access business data from over 200 various data sources such as Outlook, Salesforce, SharePoint, Dropbox, Dynamics 365, OneDrive, PowerPoint, Excel, Twitter and many more. This allows staff to easily access and share business data on the go no matter their location.
  2. Boosted staff productivity. PowerApps lets businesses create desktop and mobile apps designed for their specific functions and needs. This can include self-service apps such as onboarding employees and managing payroll information, recording client information and processing approvals and requests. That way, staff can do smaller, mundane tasks quickly from their phone rather than setting aside time to catch up throughout their week.
  3. Control, security and compliance. Microsoft PowerApps gives businesses complete control via its admin center. This is where businesses can see all their listed apps and administer data policies, permissions and user control options. Businesses benefit from full security, as every app created in PowerApps automatically links to Microsoft’s active directory domain service (ADDS), which authenticates, authorizes and enforces security policies for all devices and users. Because all apps are built on Microsoft’s CDS, every app is also automatically General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant.
  4. Automated processes and functions. Businesses can automate their functions and processes without the need for manual input. For example, they can send important information, news and updates to staff and clients on their phones with push notifications, as seen on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. PowerApps also allows for increased functionality such as reporting and resolving issues, even when management is not in the office.

The Importance of a Healthy Employee-Employer Relationship in a Company

By Kath Ramirez

The success of a particular company doesn’t merely depend on the profit it gets from the market. Well, in fact, a good relationship between the employer and his employees can be considered as one of the major keys to open the door of success.

Whether you’re the employee or the boss, you might want to give this article some ample time and find out the reasons why a good employee-employer relationship is a must. Put down everything you’re doing right now and be enlightened with each key points this article prepared for you.

1. Allows Leaders to Take the Lead

First thing’s first, if you’re the boss, break out from the norms – don’t be too intimidating and cruel when it comes to handling your workforces. Instead, be a boss who’s more like a “leader.” Be the one to take the lead and as well as the one who clears the way from company issues.

As the head of the management or one who belongs to the management, you must handle your employees effectively without using violence or dominance. Stand up as the epitome of a good leader to your followers that they’ll have the hunger to be like you in the future.

2. Gives Teamwork a Chance

One reason that a healthy employee-employer relationship is a must is that it creates more effective teamwork between you (the boss) and your employees. You must also keep in mind that teamwork isn’t only between two or more employees. As the old saying goes, “No man is an island” – the more hands to get the work done, success would be more feasible at the same time.

3. Promotes a Healthier and Happier Environment

One of the most common mistakes of some employers nowadays is that they think that dominance is the key to keep the employees working. You might get them to work but if dominance runs in the workplace’s atmosphere, the employees will more likely get to work only because of wages and on.

Whereas, if you break down the barrier between you and your employees, you’ll see the difference in the way they work. The ambience in the workplace will be lighter, livelier and healthier to get everybody to work – you wouldn’t want to work in a boring and fearful workplace, do you?  

4. Enhances Productivity

In a company run by a dominant and a too serious boss, you’ll notice that the workforces are less productive. Why? It’s because fear and unwillingness reign in them instead. You might know the feeling like you wake up on a “Monday morning” every day and it really sucks, right? Just know that’s how they might feel.

But if you’re a good boss who keeps a good relationship with the whole company, you’ll see smiles and willingness each and every day in your beloved workplace. The employees are willingly getting their tasks done on or before the given due. The atmosphere in the workplace isn’t stressful and heavy.

5. Reaches Goals More Effectively

A healthy employee-employer relationship leads to achieving more goals. And you’ll see that if you would choose to be the “nice boss” over “dominant and too serious boss”.

It’s because a healthy employee-employer relationship will more likely result in sharing and exchanging knowledge and ideas that can be used to attain success in every company projects and so on. As a boss, it’s important to open your doors to your employees when it comes to learning more about the business industry. This isn’t only for their sake but for the sake of the company’s success as well.

6. Allows Everyone to Improve

It may not be executed in every company, but it’s necessary that a boss gives attention to his workforces’ personal development. Asking or getting HR support can be something much more appreciated and will lead to better employees’ development.

That means you don’t just put them into tasks for your company’s benefits but might as well for them to find and enter the room for progress. Be the leader who promotes and provides development to employees and faster company progress will be highly visible.

7. Boosts Loyalty and Honesty

If you want to retain or to enhance your employees’ loyalty and honesty not only to you but primarily to your company, then you better work for a healthier and better employee-employer relationship. The more your employees know that you care for them and appreciate them, the more they will be willing to show loyalty and honesty to you and your company.

These are only seven of many reasons why a healthy and good employer-employee relationship must reign in every company. And I hope that this could create a change to you as a boss or as an employee. If you have stories to share, please let us know because we love hearing stories from you.

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Kath Ramirez
Kath Ramirez is a writer who once dreamed of being a professional travel blogger/vlogger. She thinks that writing is the epitome of stress reliever and she does write best when she wants to express her current mood. Kath is also engaged in exploring different places to stay for vacation or Holidays and a food addict. She is now a writer in HR Dept HR Services UK, a company in the United Kingdom who provides human-resource assistance.

Amazon Employees Call for a Company-Wide Climate Change Plan

This doesn’t guarantee that Bezos and crew will listen.

3 min read

This story originally appeared on Engadget

Amazon is the next tech giant to face mounting calls to action from its employees. A total of 3,541 employees have published an open letter asking Jeff Bezos and other leaders to adopt a shareholder resolution and release a “company-wide” climate change plan meeting their terms. Some are clarifications of existing initiatives, while others would require a significant shake-up in its existing strategy.

The workers called for a “complete” end to the use of fossil fuels, not just carbon offsets. Those still leave lasting effects, such as the diesel pollution from delivery vans. The employees also demanded a halt to all solutions designed for the fossil fuel industry, such as the AWS for Oil & Gas initiative that drew criticism earlier in the week. Further, the staffers wanted any goals to be consistent with the IPCC’s climate change report, with emissions cut in half by 2030 and reduced to zero by 2050. Amazon would also be asked to press for environmentally friendly political policies, and would have to treat staff fairly if climate change led to disruptions.

The letter argued that Amazon fell well short of those goals. It hadn’t set a timetable for reaching its goal of shifting completely to renewable energy. The Shipment Zero plan, meanwhile, only committed to net carbon reductions and didn’t include plans to reduce overall emissions. Workers also balked at Amazon donating to 68 members of Congress who’ve consistently voted against climate change legislation.

Amazon didn’t directly address the letter in a statement to the New York Times. Instead, it reiterated its existing promises, including Shipment Zero as well as plans to reveal its company-level carbon footprint and “related goals and programs” later in 2019. It announced plans just this week for wind farms in Ireland, Sweden and the U.S.

Will Bezos and crew implement changes? It’s difficult to say. It only took roughly 2,500 employees to convince Google to ditch its controversial AI advisory council, but Google has been more responsive to campaigns as a whole. Activists and other critics have blasted Amazon’s environmental practices for years with only partial acknowledgment, and it took years for the firm to answer calls for improved pay. Still, it’s hard to ignore the employees themselves — Amazon might not want to be seen as tone deaf, even if the letter participants represent less than 5.5 percent of its American workforce.

7 Reasons To Start Your Own Company in Your 20s


04/19/2019
What is the best retirement plan for a self-employed person? Which is the best retirement plan for a small business owner? More importantly, which is the right retirement plan for you – as a business owner and / or a self-employed individual? Choosing the best retirement plan for you and your personal financial goals will depend on a few factors. Those include how much you can save into a retirement plan, whether or not you have employees and when you are setting up the retirement plan. Is it during the tax year or when filing taxes? To name a few.

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04/17/2019
Here are 15 examples of great integrated marketing campaigns that work by combining content, digital and website marketing, with traditional marketing methods like PR.

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04/15/2019
Here are three popular things that are actually not mandatory for all small businesses:

1. Aggressive Marketing

It is easy to go overboard with marketing. With so many tools available, your gut instinct is to try anything with the slightest potential. Even if you stand to lose money, you want the assurance of knowing you are doing everything you can to gain the interest of your target audience. And it is difficult to ignore a marketing tool that has worked marvelously for other small businesses. If they had to do it all over again, these businesses would likely spend 10% of their time developing their products or services and 90% marketing them.

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04/12/2019
So what sets those who actually take the plunge from those who only dream? What pushes a keen hobbyist or excellent amateur into actually becoming a business owner? A recent study of more than 400,000 people out of MIT came to decisive answer, and it is not the one you are probably expecting.

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04/10/2019
Many successful entrepreneurs were inspired to start their businesses after noticing a hole in the marketplace that needed to be filled, whether it was Bill Gates creating an operating system for home computers, Pierre Omidyar starting an online auction site, or Elon Musk building a reliable electric car.

But what happens when you want to jump feet first into a marketplace thats already crowded? We spoke to the entrepreneurs behind a wide-ranging group of successful companies in some of the most competitive digital spaces — from butchers to home brands to eco-friendly cleaning products — to get their insights into what makes a business that lasts.

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04/08/2019
Today, tens of thousands of people are considering starting their own business, and for good reasons. On average, people can expect to have two and three careers during their work life. Those leaving one career often think about their second or third career move being one they can run out of their own home. The good news: Starting a home-based business is within the reach of almost anyone who wants to take a risk and work hard, as are a plethora of other low-cost ideas.

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04/06/2019
Now, I do not want to burst any happy bubbles for those of you who are already treading the traditional pathway, but that traditional narrative no longer makes much sense, because over the past two decades, big corporations, big academia, and big corporatist government have rigged the business world so that the longer you wait to start your own company, the less likely you are to be successful.

Because of this, young entrepreneurs (Mil

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04/04/2019
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) included a bevy of changes that will affect the 2018 federal income tax returns of many small and medium-sized businesses and their owners. As tax return time approaches, here are the 10 changes that are most likely to affect your business or you as an owner.

1. New flat 21% tax rate for corporations
Before the TCJA, C corporations paid graduated federal income tax rates of 15%, 25%, 34%, and 35%. Personal service corporations (PSCs) paid a flat 35% rate. For tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond, the TCJA establishes a flat 21% corporate rate, and that beneficial rate applies to PSCs too. So the tax cost of doing business as a profitable C corporation is greatly reduced, and this favorable development will show up on 2018 corporate returns. Enjoy.

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04/02/2018
When done correctly, a tagline can become synonymous with a brand. A good tagline should communicate your companys message quickly and effectively, helping your target customers understand how you can help them in a way that’s easy to remember.

Since it is something that will likely appear in all of your companys marketing materials and may stick with you for years, your team should put a lot of care and consideration into crafting your tagline.

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03/29/2019
A business plan is a written description of your business future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you have written a plan, or at least the germ of one.

Business plans are inherently strategic. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities.

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03/27/2019
Very few entrepreneurs have an accounting or finance background. Here are four tips to ensure your small business is achieving profitable growth.

Most small business owners start their own business because they have a passion for something, a new idea, want to be their own boss or are seeking more financial stability and/or earning potential. However, very few entrepreneurs have an accounting or finance background.

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03/25/2019
The standards for small business success have unquestionably gone up. Todays small businesses must do a lot more to stay competitive than their predecessors. Myriad businesses, however, take this notion a bit too far. Once they discover yet another resource or strategy with the potential to elevate their success, they jump all over it. This is partially due to the many online articles urging business leaders to devote more effort to virtually every element of their businesses.

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03/22/2019
Many small businesses start out with a single location or product offering and grow over time. Expanding your business is a good way to increase your long-term profitability and reach a wider audience.

But while growing your venture might be something you’d like to do eventually, now might not be the ideal time to dive in. Here are four reasons you might choose not to grow your business, and instead stick with the status quo.

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03/20/2019
Get out your pink paint. Or your coral, or yellow or teal. By the time you finish reading this column, you’re going to be painting one wall of your small business a color that will pop on Instagram.

Why? Because Instagram is today’s powerhouse social media site for consumer businesses. And if you give customers an inviting way to post to Instagram, they’ll advertise your business for free.

A few years ago, if you wanted to reach retail consumers, the social media site of choice was Facebook. While it may still work for reaching certain demographics, many consumers – especially female Millennials – love Instagram.

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03/18/2019
A new report is saying that almost half of people recently hired (41%) used an online job board to find work and 61% flagged automatic job alerts as helpful. What is more, a full 14% found their present job using social media. The findings from How Do People Find Jobs? published by the B2B research firm, Clutch, highlights how today’s candidates are connecting with small businesses and vice versa.

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03/15/2019
How did life lead you to entrepreneurship?

I have been in the technology industry for 25 years. I am a business-facing technologist, which basically means I have a background in finance and business. However, I stumbled into being a software engineer early on in my career. This resulted in a passion for data and solution creativity.After hitting the 20-year mark of working for enterprise-size organizations, I decided I needed a change. I experienced some life-threatening health challenges–all while taking care of my two sons with their own unique needs. A culmination of it all really made me stop and reflect on what I really wanted to do on a daily basis and the people I do it with.

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03/13/2019
Step 1: Set meaningful goals.
People do nott achieve goals unless the goals are meaningful to them. Sure, every seller has a quota for this year, but so what? If you want to maximize your motivation to achieve the goals, you must know why achieving it is important to you. To do that, go beyond your one-year quota-focused goal.

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03/11/2019
Are you making big changes to your small business?

Whether you’re entering a new market, eliminating services that your clients love but no longer work for you, or changing the structure of your business entirely, follow these three tips to shake up your small business without losing revenue or hurting your reputation.

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03/08/2019
Most working class Americans are employed by companies that either require or offer retirement savings options in the form of a 401(k), 403b), or pension plan. Because these contributions are automatically deducted from the employee’s paycheck, saving for retirement tends to be a rather painless process. Over time, the cumulative effect of regular monthly contributions leads to a nice sized nest egg that can be used in the retirement years.

But for entrepreneurs, the story is a little different. With no steady paycheck or employer-sponsored plans, many of these hardworking individuals forgo retirement contributions.  And though it may not seem like a big deal in the early years, this misstep can prove to be dangerous and irresponsible as entrepreneurs age.

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03/06/2019
Crowdfunding has become a viable form for funding a venture, project, cause, event and much more. For small businesses looking to bypass traditional sources of financing such as bank loans, angel investing or venture capital, it is now a great option.

If you have been thinking about starting a campaign, it is important to note there are different types of crowdfunding. And this does not mean the platform or portal such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and others.

The confusion stems from clumping crowdfunding under one umbrella, when in reality there are different types or models. Depending on your project, choosing the right model for your small business is critically important to ensure the success of your campaign.

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03/04/2019
Being a leader can be a difficult, and sometimes thankless, job. You work long hours, make tough decisions, and try your best to make your employees and your customers happy. But things don’t always work out the way you hope.

Every leader can use a bit of inspiration and humor every once in a while. Adding some fun to your day can make it all come together and, at the same time, perhaps even put a smile on your face.

The next time you feel down, here are 17 funny leadership quotes to perk you up.

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03/01/2019
Procrastination is an odd compulsion. Everyone has experienced it, but the underlying reasons can be tough to pin down.

After all, procrastination delays the very activities that bring people closer to their goals — whether that is building a thriving business or stronger triceps. So why do not humans just sprint toward that brighter, fitter future?

The science.
Scientific studies of procrastination have spiked over the past 20 years. Researchers once considered the issue a basic time-management problem, but they now view it as a complex and highly individual phenomena.  

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02/27/2019
Not every step you take to move your business forward will be a big one. But sometimes, even small steps can make a large impact on your future. Here are some recent tips and insights from members of the online small business community about big and small steps you can take to really make an impact on your business.

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02/25/2019
Like departments and agencies throughout government, the Air Force is tuning its acquisition methods to get closer the speed of technology, and will be holding its first live pitch day in March, with an available funding pool of $40 million.

The Air Forces Small Business Innovation Research program has issued a call to start-ups and small businesses—those with fewer than 500 employees—to offer pitches on innovative technologies for secure communications, down-range battlefield operations and digital technologies.

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02/22/2019
I am pleased to bring you my top five tricks for disconnecting – and at least temporarily escaping the job stress.

1. Make the business case.

Taking time to recharge is not just good for your mental and physical health — it is the smart thing to do for your business. Studies have shown that increased stress leads to reduced productivity, while decreased stress levels lead to increased productivity.

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02/20/2019
The benefit of working for a large company is gaining access to an employer-sponsored 401(k) – a critical tool that helps millions of workers save for retirement.

But if you are a small-business owner, you should know that you have several tax-advantaged savings plans at your disposal that allow you to sock away substantial funds for your golden years.

Better yet, the annual contribution limits for all of these plans increased in 2019, so now’s a better time than ever to start funding one.

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02/18/2019

The beginning of the year is a great time to make resolutions for your small business. Whether you’re launching a new product or implementing a new technology, you are setting goals and working hard to achieve them. The New Year could also be the perfect time to fix internal issues that are holding you back from success. Below is a list of common business hurdles that arise in small business and how you can overcome them.

Hurdle #1: Trying to do everything yourself

There are a lot of tedious tasks involved in keeping a small business running smoothly – like running payroll, approving time off requests, and so on.

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02/15/2019
Rising interest rates and high levels of corporate debt have lots of investors concerned. Should small businesses be worried?

The majority of small businesses (in most industries) are able to pay their bills on time. According to Experian/Moodys Analytics Main Street Report, overall delinquencies for businesses with fewer than 100 employees were slightly down in the third quarter of 2018. Credit utilization rates were also down slightly.

At the same time, that same research has found that rates for delinquencies of 31 to 90 days rose slightly. While it is not yet a cause for concern, the report points out that the period of consistent declines in delinquency rates for small businesses may be near its end.

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02/13/2019
Owning or running a small business comes with a special set of challenges that larger companies do not face. Major national brands have a lot of advantages, with the biggest one being that a single misstep probably won’t derail a business.

That is not always true for owners of small businesses, where the distance between success and failure can be precarious. Sometimes seemingly small decisions can send a smaller company on a course that can’t be corrected.

In some cases, however, it is possible to plan ahead to avoid certain pitfalls.

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02/11/2019
As we welcome 2019, attention is shifting to what’s on the horizon for small businesses in the year ahead. The reality is that the nature of work is evolving. During my more than 25-year career, I have held a number of leadership positions. Early in my time in the health insurance industry, compensation reigned supreme among my employees, while health and wellness were perceived as a nice-to-have benefit.

Now, workplace norms are beginning to align more with employee wants and needs and new rules about conducting business are being established — particularly when it comes to employee health and wellness. I believe this shift, which I have witnessed within my own team, will continue to dominate work environments across the nation in the new year.

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02/08/2019
Establishing a strong social media presence can mean big business for your small business. But if you don’t have dedicated resources to devote to it, or you don’t have much time to spare, you might find it tough to gain traction. Use these nine social media tips to boost business and grow your brand.

Set Clear Goals

No matter how eager you are to start using social media for your business, take the time to set clear goals before you begin. Try setting SMART goals — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely — to guide your social media strategy.

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02/06/2019
On one hand, year-on-year improvements are what makes companies great; on the other, firms can’t control many of the factors that dictate whether, say, revenue rises or not.

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02/04/2019
When Mandy Bass speaks to business leaders and professionals who want to improve sales, productivity, teamwork, customer satisfaction and profitability she consistently finds that they are working way too hard to achieve the results they seek. With that in mind, for the New Year she has compiled a list of seven small or low-cost things that could get small business owners, solopreneurs and sales professionals big results in 2019.

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02/01/2019
The 2018 holiday season is in the books, and small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) sold big on Amazon. In fact, SMBs had their best holiday shopping season ever.

The e-tail giant itself had a record-setting holiday season as well: More items were ordered worldwide on Amazon than ever before.

But it was not just corporations like LEGO that benefitted from all this shopping. More than 50 percent of all items sold came from small and medium-sized businesses.

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01/30/2019
A healthy economy means many small businesses are thriving — but they’re also having a hard time hanging onto employees. A good 24% of small businesses lost at least one employee in 2018, while 11% of small businesses lost 10% of their workforce, according to Bank of America. Not only that, but 58% of businesses had trouble finding qualified candidates for open roles, and 25% said it took more time to fill open positions in 2018 than it did in 2017.

And there lies the problem with a strong job market: When employment is plentiful, workers have more options to choose from, so getting them to join or stay with your team becomes more challenging for companies across the board, but particularly for small businesses with limited resources.

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This Week in Weed: Seth Rogen Starts a Weed Company!

A big celebrity gets into the weed game, the FDA sets a date, and someone else got my dream job!

2 min read

Welcome to Green Entrepreneur’s video recap of the cannabis news you might have missed this week, hosted by our cannabis correspondent, Conrad Martin.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg start a cannabis brand

Seth Rogen and his filmmaking partner Evan Goldberg have launched their first joint cannabis venture. The two have teamed up with Canopy Labs to launch their cannabis brand, Houseplant. The brand will offer flower, softgels, and prerolls in Canada exclusively. 

Related: Seth Rogen Teams Up With Evan Goldberg to Launch New Cannabis Brand

Ahlot hires people to smoke weed

Do you love your job? Not as much as Amanda Bladon does. Bladon is one of 8 applicants hired by Canadian company AHLOT to consume and evaluate different weed strains. How much does one get paid to smoke weed you may ask. $50 an hour and up to $1000 per month. 

Related: These Cannabis Jobs Are Most In-Demand Right Now

The FDA sets a first date with CBD

The FDA has set a date for its first hearing on the legal use of CBD in food and drinks. The agency wants to collect on the compounds safety feedback regarding regulation. 

Related: How to Finesse FDA Regulations and Successfully Market Your CBD Business

Be sure to keep up with all things cannabiz by checking out GreenEntrepreneur.com

If you missed the last episode, check it out here: Not in New Jersey!

Lyft becomes the first ride-hailing company to go public

Lyft and Uber have for many years raced against each other on the first to go public. And at some point, it was believed that Uber would hit the public market square first due to its fat share of the ride-hailing market. But not after its internal crisis that saw the removal of Uber’s former CEO, Travis Kalanick.

Lyft ended the IPO race on Friday after beating Uber to become the first ride-hailing company to go public. The company closed its first day of trading with an increase of 8.7 percent, having opened at over 20 percent more than its IPO price. Lyft share began trading on Friday morning at $87.24 on the Nasdaq, but later shaved off some of the gains to close at $78.29.

The company’s Wall Street debut marks the first on the long list of billion-dollar tech startups warming up to go public this year. They include Uber, Postmates, Slack, Pinterest, etc.

Lyft priced its IPO at $72 per share on Thursday, which valued the ride-hailing company at about $24 billion. However, the company’s Thursday bidding was even higher than its original proposed price range: $62 to $68 per Lyft share.

In a bizarre celebration of Lyft Wall Street debut, founders Logan Green and John Zimmer with other executives were hosting the public at a former car dealership in Los Angeles, which is thousands of miles away from Nasdaq. The team announced during the event that the company plans to invest 1 percent of its profit or $50 million, every year to fund transportation initiatives in the cities, starting with Los Angeles.

With the aim of revamping transportation and car ownership, Green and Zimmer launched Lyft in 2012 after being inspired by a similar model in Zimbabwe. The service, called Zimride as at then, developed quickly as a friendlier version of Uber. Lyft drivers would mark their vehicles with furry pink mustaches in those days and passengers were encouraged to sit in front.

Despite Zimmer ride’s different inspiration and history, the carpooling firm was largely recognized as an alternative to Uber. The latter raised billions in funding and pushed into new markets globally. But in 2017, Uber had major setbacks in connection with its workplace culture which led to the exit of some executives, including Travis.

While Lyft was busy raising funds, Uber was still entangled with its past and controlling the damage. This allowed the former to gain tangible market share against Uber.

Both companies equally paid prices to the competition, which forced them to try every new opportunity. In 2018, Lyft recorded a whopping net loss of $911 million, which is the highest any other US company has lost a year before its IPO. However, it would soon become the second highest losers before an IPO. Uber, whose Wall Street debut is expected later this year, disclosed last month that it lost $1.8 billion in 2018.

Tips for Finding a New Executive for Your Company

There is a significant difference between recruiting executives and the typical hiring process. You need to employ advanced recruiting strategies when searching for the best top-level talent. Here we will provide tips for hiring executives.

Competent business executive

1. Understand the Position and Sector

Conducting your due diligence concerning the job position and industry is the first step of recruiting executive talent. Proper preparation is paramount when seeking the best executive for your team.

Begin by drafting the perfect job description. You can find plenty of job description samples for the position online. You can customize any of the appropriate templates to suit your position.

2. Reach Out to Your Network

Seeking out your network is one of the ideal ways to find qualified executives. The networks and contacts of your company leaders could yield skilled executives for your company. Look for someone who understands a prospective candidate or can suggest potential executives qualified for the position. Take the necessary step required to leverage social media, personal, and referrals from employees.

3. Maintain confidentiality and Discretion

The highest level of confidence and discretion must be shown when dealing with prospective executives. Many executive candidates prefer being contacted via their private email address or through online networks.

When using social media profiles or by way of their private email, let them know that their privacy is of the utmost importance. The prospect should understand that your company will maintain confidentiality throughout the process. Executive recruiters specialize in maintaining confidentiality while locating the appropriate candidates;

4. Cultivate Relationships

Cultivating relationships is a crucial part of recruiting new executives. For this to take place successfully, a highly personalized approach must be considered. The candidate must remain the centralized focus of the recruitment process.

Keep in mind that the prime candidates for executive positions are difficult to locate and even harder to convince that they should join your team. It is for this reason that you should not attempt to fill the position too quickly.

5. Gauge Their Drive

Once contact has been established with the prospect, make efforts to get to know them better. Probe to find out what motivates them. On the other hand, if you attempt to ask them what their motivation is directly, you will get a contrived answer.

6. Patience is a Must

As far as executive recruiting is concerned, you should be prepared to spend the adequate time and effort needed in today’s ultra-competitive environment to secure the candidate you want. Executive recruitment is often a delicate and lengthy process. The best candidates will likely require plenty of reassurance even to begin considering taking you up on your offer.

Conclusion

When recruiting any prospective executive, you need to put maximum effort in creating the best possible experience for your candidate. Always remember that the best top-level executive talent is constantly being approached with opportunities from different firms. It is for this reason that you must make sure that your prospects are receiving the best recruitment experience possible to set your company apart from the rest.

How These 2 Brothers Started a Company Together While Living in Different Cities

This is the story of how theChive.com got started.

1 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Brothers John Resig and Leo Resig founded Chive Media Group and its flagship site, theChive.com, in November 2008, with no capital and a lot of hustle. Leo was living in Chicago (the “CHI” in “CHIVE”), and John was living in Venice (the “VE”).

With backgrounds in digital publishing and the financial backing from partner Doug Schaaf, the Resigs were able to turn a three-man project into the nationwide, 170-employee entertainment digital media company that Chive Media Group is today.