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Article

My Startup Stalled — Now What?


  

“When we first launched things were going gangbusters. But since then, things have kind of flat-lined. The business seems stalled. What do we do from here?"

Is it a blip or a trend?

Part of the challenge with running a startup is that we simply don't have any history of whether past performance was the future of our business or "just a really good quarter.”

For this reason, it's hard to tell whether we're really stalled until enough time has gone by that we can see the writing on the wall.

We imagine a "successful startup" always has a stout growth trend that runs "up and to the right" on every chart. But that's actually not really true.

Yes, there are some standout companies that smash records, but most companies grow slowly over a long ...



Article

Getting Hacked: What to Know and How to Recover


  

Unfortunately, my site (SujanPatel.com) was hacked again, but I’m happy to report that everything is back up and running – no data lost and no personal information compromised.

I wish I could say that this was the first time somebody messed with my site, but what I’ve come to learn is that getting hacked is part of the price of admission for running on WordPress.

Don’t get me wrong – I love WordPress. The fact that it’s open source and widely adopted means tons of great templates, plugins and add-ons, many of which I use to power this blog. But those same pros turn into cons when you take into consideration the fact that hackers have the same amount of access as you do.

Dealing with the potential for WordPress hacks requires two things – be...



Article

Sales Funnel Optimization with Hiten Shah


  

Hiten Shah, Co-Founder of Quick Sprout, KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg, is a proven sales and growth expert. His years of experience founding, advising, investing in or working with startups have crystallized into a wealth of knowledge about how to grow a successful company.

If you have the time, watch the video below to hear Hiten reflect on how he thinks about sales funnels. To help you out, we’ve outlined the major points below for your easy perusal, as well as provided some foundational information about sales funnels to further illuminate Hiten’s point of view.

Hiten explains that essentially, a sales funnel is the “step-by-step process of things your user or customer does to accomplish a goal.” You may not think that your customers go th...



Article

Ready for Anything: Kapture and the Importance of Evolving with the Market — Interview with Mike Sarow, CEO and Co-Founder of Kapture


  

“Sometimes your spidey sense is like, ‘I don’t know if either one of these are right,’ but you have to go somewhere. Spinning your wheels, being in neutral? That’s bad.”

When you hear Founders out in the media talking about their product, most of what you hear them talk about is all the things that went right: the hypotheses that were confirmed, the “ahah” moments where all the pieces fell into place.

Founders Don’t Discuss The things they didn’t know

What you don’t hear most Founders talking about: all the things they didn’t know – the times a big bet didn’t pay off, the times when what you thought was true turned out not to be the case, the times when the market turned on a dime and suddenly everything you...



Article

16 Surprisingly Educational Hobbies


  

Question: What unrelated hobby has taught you the most about business?

Marathon Running

“Running involves discipline and a lot of hard work. You can’t fake it when it comes to finishing 26.2 miles. You definitely get out of it what you put in. Not only does it involve physical toughness, but a considerable amount of mental strength and focus as well. Comparisons can be drawn to business when it comes to knowing your capabilities, working hard, using your wits and not giving up.”

Michael Quinn
Yellow Bridge Interactive
@ybinteractive

Poker

“Poker is a game of incomplete information. You know what cards you have but are making educated guesses and playing odds based on your opponent’s cards. Business is similar...



Article

Is Networking a Waste of Time?


  

"I'm seeing these events and groups popping up everyone asking me to network with other Founders, other marketers, devs, growth hackers, or anyone else in the startup community.

Between all the events, conferences, groups and whatnot — should I be spending my valuable time network or just focusing on my startup?"

If you have to ask, the answer is "No"

Most networking is a waste of time.

That's not because having a useful professional network isn't helpful, it's because how we often go about it is really unfocused.

Avoid random networking events

Sure, it's possible that if we go to SXSW we might happen to run into someone that can somehow be useful... someday...maybe.

But wouldn't it make more sense to put that time and expense toward set...



Article

The Challenges and Rewards of the Blended Workforce


  

The blended workforce is made up of people who work full-time and part-time, as well as temporary workers, freelancers, and contract workers.

The so-called “gig economy,” or the rise of popularity in freelance work, that took root with the recovery from the 2008 recession and expanded with the advent of the Affordable Care Act is making the blended workforce the workforce of the future and the workforce of today. Around 40 percent of today’s labor force is made up of non-traditionally working people, including freelancers (sometimes referred to as agile talent, 1099s, consultants, contractors, etc.), temporary workers, and self-employed workers.

As with any labor force, the blended workforce offers advantages and disadvant...



Article

When to Raise Funds


  

One of the most common questions we get asked is, "Should I raise capital for my business?" _What they’re really asking is, “Can you tell me how to raise money and where to find it?”_

And our stock answer is simply "No".

That tends to mess with people — because they typically aren’t expecting pushback. But the reality is that there are actually very few reasons that a startup absolutely has to raise capital. Every startup could use it. But does every startup absolutely have to raise?

Nope.

Having answered this question about a billion times, it seemed like the right time to list what the decision tree for startup Founders should be when determining they must raise capital so we can distinguish the difference between "I need it" and "I have...



Article

The Day After: 11 Things to Do After You Publish a Post


  

Clicking the “Publish” button is one of the highlights of my day.

Working hard on a post and then putting it out there to help others is extremely rewarding. It’s one of the main reasons why I continue to write so much.

But it’s not the only reason….

Content marketing remains one of the most effective strategies to grow a blog – any blog.

Eighty-six percent of marketers in North America use content marketing, and 71% of marketers (overall) are planning to increase spending on content marketing.

Creating great content is an extremely important part of any successful content marketing strategy. But it’s just one part.

If all you do is hit “Publish” and then move on to the next article, your blog won’t grow as quickly as it should.

And if you...



Article

How Offering Financing Will Give You a Competitive Edge


  

More often than not, financing gets a bad rap. Sure, Apple can mark up a product as high as it wants, and McDonald’s can increase the price of hamburgers, but when the product is money, customers and merchants start to question the ethics behind the markup.

Yet financing these markups has the power to make a positive impact on both the economy and your business. Companies that can overlook the negative stigma and provide financing options will create a viable business model and attract long-term customers from a variety of backgrounds. Here’s why:

Financing Makes Economic Sense

To understand how financing impacts the economy, let’s take a look at the United States’ savings rate over the past five decades. Trading Economics reports that pers...



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