Weekly Buzz: Sit back, relax, and enjoy our curated reads. Here’s our weekly link roundup of small business buzz, musings and muchness. A curation of the best small business talk around the web.
Having launched over 35 startups in our decade of operation, we’ve been fortunate to be involved with our share of ‘unicorns’ (Palo Alto Networks, Nimble Storage) and really nice white stallions (Sumo Logic, Trifacta and Snowflake Computing). Given the wide range of companies we’ve worked with — and their equally wide range of success/failure — we’re often asked to sum up the characteristics of a successful startup. (TechCrunch)
Hedge funds and mutual funds, which usually invest in publicly traded companies, have lately poured billions of dollars into hot startups. Uber, Airbnb and Dropbox have been funded by non-venture-capital funds such as Wellington and T. Rowe Price. Other businesses with billion-dollar-plus valuations (so-called unicorns) have taken money from Fidelity and BlackRock, as well as hedge funds such as Tiger Global and Coatue. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
To quote the late Steve Jobs, they long to make a dent in the universe. They want their life to matter. I love getting to spend time with young people who aren’t content to settle for the status quo and who long to make a difference. That said, there are some things I’ve noticed that are common to aspiring young leaders that often get in the way of them actually seeing those dreams realized. (RELEVANT)
Quitting your full-time job and starting a business is an exciting time. Yet, why is it that the colleagues you respect and appreciate the most are the same ones that doubt you? After telling my peers that I was quitting my job to start a digital advertising agency, the immediate response was, “having a startup is hard”, “you may fail”, and “you will most likely experience a poor quality of life.” Ouch. (YFS Magazine)
Facebook now boasts 40 million active small business pages, the company announced this week. Almost all of the 2 million who advertise on the platform are small business owners, up from 1.5 million last year. Facebook defines an active small business page as a profile that has posted information in the last 28 days. Facebook said it had 30 million active small business pages last June. (Fortune)
Who’s persuasive, engaging, digitally savvy, and has the ability to further your business goals and help you reach new audiences? That’d be someone with a large following on a blog or social media site(s), sometimes referred to as an “influencer.” But let’s dig deeper. It’s not just any influencer. It’s the right influencer. (PRDaily)
You have 30 seconds to describe yourself. Can you do it? With a LinkedIn summary, that’s all the time you have. No one wants to read your entire work history (a main reason why short personal stories are a game-changer on a cover letter). The summary section requires brevity and critical thinking. You must boil down your essence to a tight few lines that people will remember. So, let’s begin.
I came across an inquiry about taxes from a reader of mine, and I knew it would be helpful information for other small business owners. Do all small business owners need to pay sales taxes? Yes, the majority of businesses that are sales oriented are required to pay taxes to the home state or other locations where they do business.
Established businesses have one obvious advantage over their younger counterparts: Deep pockets. Fortunately, what today’s small business lacks in budget can be made up for with strategy and a few carefully chosen tools. Here are six smart marketing ideas gleaned from my experience running a company that teaches small firms how to compete with big ones. (Forbes)
If there is one statement entrepreneurs hear heard time and time again it is that they are going to fail. That may sound extremely pessimistic, but there is quite a bit of truth in that statement. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately half of all small businesses fail within the first five years. In addition, the National Federation of Independent Business’ Education Foundation estimated “that over the lifetime of a business, 39% are profitable, 30% break even, and 30% lose money.” (Search Engine Journal)
With apologies to The Graduate, I have one word for you: Marketing. Let me explain: Like you I am sure, I get a lot of e-newsletters (some of which I actually signed up for!) And, also like you I bet, I mostly don’t read them. That said, one newsletter that I always look forward to receiving and reading is from an attorney named David Ward. But Ward doesn’t write about law, rather he shares really great marketing tips and strategies that any professional (not just lawyers) can use to grow their business. (USA Today)
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