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Are You Looking to Make a Career Switch?

Here’s some advice for those getting started in marketing.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


There was once a time when you expected to stay in the same career path (and usually the same company) for your entire career. That time is gone. Increasingly, people switch careers at least once before they retire. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that about 6.2 million workers, four percent of the total workforce, transferred from one occupational group to another. This so-called “second act” can be an exciting time to try something new.

I’ve worked in the marketing industry for many years and have had the opportunity to grow professional through different companies along the way. If you’re considering marketing as a new career, here are a few pieces of advice:

1. Reflect on your goals

Sometimes, it pays to look back. Reflecting on how you began can help you rediscover goals that got lost when you started your career. Think about the bigger picture and ask yourself these questions:

  • Where do you want to end up and what road will get you there?
  • Are you looking for the consistency of an in-house position, or do you want to experience the variety of an agency?
  • Do you want to work with consumers or with other businesses?
  • Looking to go big, or searching for something small?

When you research potential employers, it’s important to do a little research on yourself as well. Assess what you’re good at and find an organization that can help you optimize your skills and realize your dreams. Another piece of advice I hold strongly to is this: Never be afraid to be an intern again. Internships can be eye-opening experiences. My internship taught me what agency culture looks and feels like, how companies operate and where my own personal skills fit in. 

2. Chase dreams, not jobs

Self-examination doesn’t mean putting yourself in a box, in fact, it means just the opposite. A recent study from The UPS Store found that nearly two in five Americans regret not starting the small business of their dreams, and nearly 54 percent of Americans would rather start a business than retire. That goes to show that careers really aren’t about chasing money, but about chasing dreams. So, take some time and reflect on what you really want out of your career and how the decisions you make now can help your dreams come true.

3. Be open to change

During times of transition, be a friend to change. Keep as many doors open as possible, even if it means relocating. Throughout my career, I’ve moved nine times. Each time I learned something new, and I can’t imagine my career without those transitions. This kind of flexibility will add value to your resume and create rare opportunities to add diversity to your experience.

4. Find a mentor

Oprah Winfrey once said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

When looking for a new career, it can be tough to believe in yourself and capitalize on your own strengths. A mentor can be an honest voice who identifies ways to improve and areas of great strength. Pick a mentor who has walked the road before you and can provide you with industry-specific advice. Mentors can also be great networking resources. Most of all, a mentor is a trusted voice to listen to rather than just listening to that sometimes overly critical one in your head.

A career change is a perfect opportunity to revisit the dreams you initially had for your career. Although sometimes uncomfortable, change can bring great things to both your professional and personal lives.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Michelle Van Slyke

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This Man Retired From His Career at 29 to Pursue His Dreams

Charlie “Rocket” Jabaley, former music mogul and current Nike athlete, discusses the importance of identity and holding yourself accountable as you pursue your potential.


1 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Charlie “Rocket” Jabaley, the founder and CEO of Street Execs, talks about retiring from the music business at 29 years old to chase his dream of becoming a Nike Athlete. Charlie shares his some of his difficult experiences as a young hustler in the music business, how he was able to find success by learning to follow his heart and how focusing on his identity has shaped him along the journey.

Charlie “Rocket” Jabaley and The Playbook host David Meltzer converse about topics such as how salesmanship has impacted their careers, how to handle life advice from those who love you and how to combine the Law of Attraction with action in order to achieve your goals.

Related: How a Super Bowl Champion and Entrepreneur Got Back Up After Adversity Hit

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: David Meltzer

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Centrally Manage Your Company’s Apple Devices With Jamf Now

Jamf Now helps you wirelessly set up, manage and secure the info on your employees’ Apple devices in minutes.


2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.


As a small- or mid-size business, you have different needs than your enterprise counterparts. You still need IT management solutions, but you might not have a big budget to hire pricey managers. Setting up and managing each employee’s company mobile devices can turn into a huge headache — that’s where Jamf Now comes to the rescue.

Jamf Now is a one-of-a-kind, cloud-based solution for mobile device management. It’s an Apple-focused platform that helps set up and secure your employees’ company phones, tablets and laptops without blowing through your quarterly budget.

With Jamf Now, you can wirelessly configure all of your company’s devices. Settings, email, WiFi and more are ready to go in minutes. Once your workforce is running on Jamf Now, you can manage their devices by centrally deploying apps, track inventory with a few clicks and reassign licenses if your workforce changes.

Security is the name of the game when your employees are on the move, but Jamf Now simplifies data protection. It protects sensitive info about your business with rock-solid encryption and passcode enforcement. You can even wipe a lost device’s memory for extra security.

Try Jamf Now for free on up to three devices. You won’t settle for anything less once you’ve experienced Jamf Now on your company’s Apple gadgets.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: StackCommerce

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How a Super Bowl Champion and Entrepreneur Got Back Up After Adversity Hit

Setema Gali, high-performance coach and Super Bowl champion, shares how the end of his football career and the mortgage crisis helped him strengthen his mindset.


1 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


NFL champion, entrepreneur and performance coach Setema Gali talks about the successes and difficulties he had when transitioning from professional athlete to the business world. Gali breaks down how his football career prepared him mentally to get back up each time he was knocked down. Then, he explains his path to redemption after being forced to declare bankruptcy, as well as how he was able to rebuild after honing his door-to-door sales skills.

Gali and The Playbook host David Meltzer discuss topics such as how professional sports can provide an individual tools to succeed in business, stopping your pride and ego from getting in your way and what it was like for Setema to sell his beloved Super Bowl ring.

Related: How Lyft Is Challenging Our Assumptions About Transportation

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: David Meltzer

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Stock Up on Device Accessories From Nomad During This Sale

Nomad’s stylish-yet-sturdy accessories will help you charge your battery, find your phone and more.


3 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.


If you’re hunting for electronics accessories that won’t let you down, look no further than Nomad. They have a roster of rugged cables, chargers and tile trackers that pack resourceful tools into a can’t-miss minimalist design.

Nomad’s designs look like a million bucks, but they won’t charge you that much for their thoughtful accessories. Check out their latest deals and get yourself something nice.

Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack

This PowerPack can survive the toughest outdoor treks, or just a long day commuting and working. Its military-grade resistance can survive a four-foot drop, and it can charge an iPhone 7 (or any device with a USB C or USB A port) up to three times. Its standout feature is its Tile Bluetooth Tracking: it wirelessly connects to your phone or laptop, so you’ll never lose it.

Nomad 3-Port Charging Hub

Your phone’s ready to die, but you’ve got a tablet and a smartwatch that need juice, too. Charge all three at once with this three-port hub. The low-profile design is barely noticeable with your home’s decor, and high-powered ports take your gadgets from 0 to 100% in minutes.

Nomad 1.5M Battery Lightning Cable

Toss your frayed charging cords in the trash. The Nomad Lightning Cable’s durable, nylon-wrapped design is the last cable you’ll ever need. It also doubles as a portable charger thanks to the slim, inline battery.

Nomad 0.3M Lightning Cable

If you just need a standard cable but you’re tired of buying a new one every few months, this ballistics-grade Lightning cable is the answer to your prayers. The braided nylon prevents tears, abrasion, and tangling. Toss it in any bag and head out the door — your cable will be ready to rock when you need it.

Nomad Ultra Rugged Lightning Cable

This cable combines the best of portable battery packs and the toughest elements of Nomad’s other cables. Their ballistic-grade nylon and kevlar core will outlast your other cables by leaps and bounds. A built-in, fast-charging battery makes this a practical on-the-go solution for your digital needs.

Nomad Stand for Apple Watch

Show off your Apple Watch in style with Nomad’s military-grade aluminum stand. The minimalist looks belie this stand’s functionality. A hidden channel keeps your charging cable out of sight, while high-friction rubber footing keeps your watch safely in place.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Entrepreneur Store

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Why You Should Do Everything You Can to Self-Fund Your Business

Self-funding allows you to keep control of your business and improve your entrepreneurial skills.


7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Starting a business is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. It takes time, energy, and a whole lot of money. More money than you have in your bank account. That means you’ve got to get funded, right?

Wrong. 

Tempting as it may be to court investors before opening for business, there are some great reasons to skip funders and do it alone. Here are the top reasons to self-fund your money-making venture and stay debt-free. 

Self-funding forces you to develop your core entrepreneurial skills. 

There are a lot of skills you need as an entrepreneur. Yes, you should have the skill to hire and fire people, but before that, you’ve got to know your business and your customers inside and out. You’ve got to learn to create a winning offer, sell it and market it. 

While you’ll eventually hire sales and marketing teams, you have to be that team for now. If you can’t craft a clear message to sell your business, the best sales and marketing force in the world won’t be able to fill that gap. Slack on your marketing and sales skills, and you and your company are dead in the water.

Marketing and sales aren’t the only skills to master. At first, you’ll also need to be your own accountant. Practice the financial discipline to ensure every dollar you spend has a positive ROI. Study and master the principles of direct-response marketing so you can keep every dollar accountable.

None of that happens easily if you’re getting cash from investors — especially since not all investors understand direct response marketing. They may even ask you to do things that are ROI negative, based on their own opinions or bias. And, as crazy as that sounds, you have no power to fight back as long as they control the purse strings.

Having an influx of cash that you don’t personally sweat for makes you soft. You don’t feel the pressure to make every dollar work overtime for you. There’s no need to tweak what you’ve got. You think you’ve got such a lead on the competition, there’s no chance they’ll catch you.

All that thinking is wrong. Dead wrong. But if your money grows on trees you didn’t plant, you can fall for all those self-defeating ideas. 

Being self-funded, like being an entrepreneur, isn’t easy. It’s also not a burden. It’s a blessing, your training ground, how you’ll become a tough-as-nails entrepreneur who makes money hand over fist because you have no option, no fallback plan.

Taking out loans or partnering with a “money guy” means giving up control of your business. 

Whether you head to the bank or a rich family friend, you give up control as soon as you hold out your hand for money. I know this personally and painfully. 

Early on, I thought I needed partners to fund my new business. The first place I turned was a personal training client. He was my mentor, and he owned a successful software company. The money he had at his disposal made it very clear that he knew business.

Unfortunately, he knew it a lot better than I did. As a result, I signed loan agreements on every dollar he loaned me, which forced me to pay back all of his money with 8 percent interest. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I took on another partner. This left me with a 35 percent stake in the business I bled and sweat to create.

I did all the work, but I didn’t control the cash. That meant I didn’t call the shots. That was one of my first big failures in business. Could it have survived without my partners’ money and input? I don’t know. But I do know that it was painful to part with it because I didn’t have the power to keep fighting for it.

The bank isn’t any better. In fact, by the time the bank is through putting you through the wringer, you’ll be dreaming of having your own investor. Remember: the bank takes nothing personal. This sounds nice until you realize the bank has little to gain by giving you that loan and a lot to lose. 

Miss a payment or two on that loan, and you’ll experience stress beyond your comprehension. Skip enough payments to have your account turned over to collections, and you’ll never sleep again.

The reality is, whoever controls the cash will always control the business. Retain complete control of your business’s money and you’ll retain complete control of the business. 

When it’s time to expand, leverage what you have.

Your business is growing by leaps and bounds. Customers are begging for more. You’re making a lot of cash, you’ve got plenty of extra coming in, but you don’t want to use the company’s excess cash all at once.

So what do you do? 

You bet on yourself. You take the leap. You pull that money from your personal bank account and your kids’ college funds and put it into your business. 

You don’t do this because you have something to prove to that jerk from high school who said you’ll never amount to anything. You do it because you’re an entrepreneur, and your one goal is to make more money and more impact. I call this going through “phases of broke.” It’s the moment where every entrepreneur has to set aside their personal comfort and ego so they can reach their next level of achievement.

How much return on investment can you expect if your money is sitting in the bank? What if you put it in the stock market or go with some other investment? If things go well, you’ll get a 10 percent return. If they go really well, you’ll get a little more. 

What if you could take that same money and make it turn a 300 percent profit — would you do it? That’s big-picture thinking. That’s what a rapidly growing business can do and no “traditional” investment vehicle can. 

Fit Body Boot Camp was at a critical point. I knew if I expanded into our current headquarters, the company would take off. After nonstop planning, I knew I had the entrepreneurial skills and plan to grow my money by 300 percent. Even better, I knew my own commitment to personal growth and development, so I could become the CEO ready to helm the version of the franchise I saw in the next five years.

If you’re in a similar position, leveraging your personal bank account could be the game changer your business needs. But before draining your savings, you need some high-performing income earners. Also, you’ve got to know how much cash you have coming in, exactly where it’s coming from, and what it costs in marketing and man power for you to make a dollar. 

If the margins aren’t sufficient and you don’t have a gameplan to 10X your growth, keep your nose to the grindstone and stay away from the bank. Too many businesses take out loans on a dream. The brightest business people know that loans don’t make dreams. They kill them.

Once you have a strong business foundation and you can confidently predict the return on investment, consider expanding with your personal assets. That leap of informed faith is what can turn your business into an empire.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Bedros Keuilian

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11 Signs You’re Not Managing Your Calendar Effectively

Time to admit there’s a better way to stay on top of your appointments.


8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


If you’re like most entrepreneurs, your calendar is jam-packed. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s been managed effectively. In fact, it may merely be a cluttered mess that’s setting you up for failure. But how can you tell? As the founder of Calendar, an app that helps business owners manage their time better, I’ve studied over 200 million calendar meetings and formulated these 11 signs you’re not managing yours effectively.

1. You’re known for saying, “There just isn’t enough time.”

Has it been brought to your attention that you frequently complain there isn’t enough time to get everything done? Let’s not sugarcoat this — that’s a lie. As author H. Jackson Brown Jr. correctly said, “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.”

Instead of whining, do something about it by making time. How you go about this is different for everyone. The first place to start is by conducting a time audit. For example, you may notice that you over- or underestimate how long it takes you to complete a task, or that you’re spending too much time on unproductive activities like checking social media.

Related: 12 Time Management Mistakes That Set You Up for Failure

2. Punctuality isn’t your strong suit.

I have a friend who is always late. It’s almost his mantra. And while it’s something that we joke about, the fact of the matter is that being tardy is one of the worst habits you can possess both personally and professionally. Lateness is rude and disrespectful and will eventually harm your reputation and fracture relationships. Not to mention that scrambling and rushing from one thing to the next has to be stressful,

As with feeling short on available hours, a quick time audit can help you root out this unfortunate tendency and offer better insight into daily rituals like the commute to and from work. Also, get into the habit of leaving buffers between appointments and meetings and start taking into account travel time so that you can leave punctually.

3. You don’t know the last time you reviewed your calendar.

At minimum, you should at least glance through your calendar every evening and first thing in the morning. That may sound exacting, but preparation will always breed confidence. You’ll begin to be where you have to be on time. The reason I look over my calendar in the a.m. is to make sure everything is still in order. For instance, a conference call with a client could have been rescheduled while I was asleep.

Checking beforehand will save you time and keep you organized. You’ll use extra time slots for preparation for something else. Scheduling and rescheduling are only possible if you use the right tools. Consider scheduling software, such as intelligent calendars, that will keep you on top of your game. Carve out the time to review your calendar every week and month will keep you organized and on top of your intentions.

4. It’s homogenous.

What do I mean by this? If your calendar isn’t color-coded, then every one of your entries is the same color. That may not sound like a big deal, but you want to know exactly where to look when you open it. Confusion is not going to catapult you toward higher productivity.

How you color code is totally up to you. However, you should be aware of some psychology, e.g. grey represents balance, which makes it an excellent choice for meetings, while blue triggers a relaxation response that’s ideal for less-taxing tasks.

Another option would be to use chakra color-coding. Thinking chakra is a method in which each color is associated with the  body’s energy points. Though I don’t personally use this approach often, specific colors do mean things to me, and carrying that over to my calendar keeps me motivated.

5. You accept all time requests.

You have to be selective when it comes to requests for your time, and the most natural solution is to say “no” more often. I know this can be awkward for some people, and you don’t want to let others down, but your time is your most valuable resource. Accepting every invite or stopping what you’re doing every time to help someone else out will lessen time spent on your own priorities. Only say “yes” when you have the availability or it’s something that you’re genuinely excited for. If not, politely turn down the request.

Related: Why Saying ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’ for Entrepreneurs

6. Scheduling conflicts are the norm.

You just got invited to a friend’s birthday dinner. Without consulting your calendar, you accepted the invite. Then, the day before the party, you received a reminder about a client meeting that night and have to make a last-minute decision that’s going to tick someone off.

Scheduling conflicts are unacceptable. They do nothing except add more stress and anxiety to your life and jeopardize your relationships. Before accepting an invite, make sure that you have nothing else in your calendar. If you have a blank space, then schedule it and block it, and remember those aforementioned buffers between appointments so that you leave plenty of time to get from Point A to B.

7. You’re full of excuses.

Florence Nightingale once said, “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.” I love that quote. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. If you aren’t getting work done or running late, you aren’t managing your calendar effectively. In short, stop with the excuses. No one wants to hear them. Instead, get your calendar in order and make the most of the time that you do have.

8. Indecisiveness, procrastination and perfectionism is the rule.

These three terms might seem unrelated at first glance, but each can reveal the roadblocks to your success. For example, do you spend an excessive amount of time choosing between options A and B? Maybe you put off working on a task until the last minute and you obsess over your work being perfect.

Ask yourself if you’re indecisive. Are you putting off what you have to do via procrastination or suffering from perfectionism? Each of these symptoms can throw you’re entire calendar out of whack. You may have set aside two hours to get something done, but it takes you four. As a result, those two extra hours carry over to your next item.

It takes some practice and self-discipline to break these bad habits. Sticking to the allotted time you’ve given to a specific task in your calendar is a start. And once you get started, your brain doesn’t want to leave the work unfinished thanks to the Zeigarnik Effect. Plus, you can always go back and revise your work when you have the availability.

9. Your relationships are in peril.

Do you feel that your personal and professional relationships are strained because of your tardiness or unreliability? That may be an indication that you’re not correctly managing your calendar. For example, you may overcommit, leading to scheduling conflicts, or be known for running late because you scheduled back-to-back meetings. When your calendar is in order, you will immediately see a reduction in these inconveniences and begin to demonstrate that you are reliable and respectful of other people’s time.

Related: Calendar Apps Your Business Should be Using

10. Email is your primary scheduling tool.

If you’re still using email as your primary tool to schedule appointments, then it’s time to find a better alternative. As opposed to responding to lengthy email threads, use automated scheduling software that only shows others when you’re available. If a specific time is already booked, then the software won’t allow anyone to schedule an appointment with you.

11. You’re burnt to a crisp.

Finally, a finely tuned calendar will save you from burning out. If you are not organized, it puts your health in jeopardy, making it more likely that you’ll forget your goals, diminishing your work performance. While managing your calendar won’t solve all of these problems, it’s an effective way to alleviate burn out. The main reason you’ll want to work on the goal of a balanced calendar is that by using this tool, all other goals can be realized. You’ll maintain a healthy work-life balance and take breaks when you need them.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: John Rampton

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How to Boost Sales With Seasonal Products

Just because the leaves turn doesn’t mean profits have to fall.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Fall is just around the corner. While some people will mourn the end of summer, others will rejoice, celebrating the cooler weather and everything that comes with it, including back-to-school week, Thanksgiving and Halloween. And your business should be piggybacking off that excitement to boost sales. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school shopping represents the second-biggest spending event of the year, with the average household planning to shell out nearly $700 on related clothes and supplies this year. 

Ultimately, all seasonal changes can and should be exicting for growing businesses, and here’s how to boost sales at those junctures accordingly.

Create Scarcity

Since the fall retail season is only about three months long, shoppers have a limited time to get their fix of autumnal items. You can use this scenario to your advantage by leveraging the principle of scarcity, or the idea that people put more value on things that are not readily available or easy to obtain. In other words, when people think they can’t have a product, it makes it even more desirable.

A famous example of this is Starbucks’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, which is already available for this coming fall as we speak. People line up out the door for this limited-run annual beverage, which has reportedly reaped $1.4 billion in sales since 2003. Of course, you don’t have to create an entirely new innovation, so long as you offer up something special to your customers this season that they’ll rush to buy before it’s too late. 

Related: 7 Tips for Managing a Seasonal Business

Build Off-Season Hype

Seasonal-product marketing can be used to build hype around your company year-round. Again, going back to the principle of scarcity, people want what they can’t have. So, by promoting your seasonal products off-season, it will get shoppers excited about what’s to come. And in turn, while they wait for your exciting seasonal products to arrive in stock, they can check out what you currently have to offer. 

Stage a Sale

No matter the season, there’s nothing more exciting to shoppers than a good deal, and you can drive drive them to your store by promoting seasonal product sales. For example, a recent blast from gifts-and-accessories vendor Mark and Graham offered email subscribers 15 percent off Halloween- and fall-themed products. Customers might not have planned on purchasing a multitude of seasonal decor items, but because they’re at a discount, they’ll be likelier to take advantage. 

Related: 4 Tips for Managing Cash Flow in a Seasonal Business

Run a Giveaway

Now, what do you do if your business doesn’t sell seasonal products? Don’t worry, you can still get your customers excited with a seasonal-themed giveaway. Most people would love to win an awesome prize during this or any other busy shopping period. For instance, Chipotle ran this back-to-school giveaway for college students with the dual grand prize of a catering party and a $1,000 Target gift card. 

Choose a prize for your giveaway that will not only excite your audience, but prove practically useful. A great giveaway will, at minimum, drive tons of traffic to your website, ensuring that while visitors are entering your contest, they’ll check out what else you have to offer. 

 

Over to You

A new season means change, but not only in the weather. With these tips on how to boost sales, both you and your customers can celebrate this and every season.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Syed Balkhi

Posted on

How the Founder of Flow’s Vision for a Mindful Bottled Water Company Attracted Supporters Like Gwyneth Paltrow

Nicholas Reichenbach discusses finding the right product and building the right team to achieve your goals.


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Nicholas Reichenbach is the founder and CEO of Flow, a sustainably packaged spring water company.

In the hands of an inauthentic entrepreneur, you can imagine the Shark Tank pitch: “Sure, the bottled water market is saturated, but everyone needs water. If you can just capture .0001% of the market you’ll be a billionaire!” That kind of thinking will get you booed off before the first commercial break. Fortunately, Nicholas and his team have an entirely different approach. 

Related: 5 Social Ventures Solving India’s Water Problem with Technology

Sourced from Nicholas’ family’s artesian spring, Flow is naturally alkaline water with a high pH level that is both sustainably sourced and packaged. Described as “a mindful water company that considers sustainable kindness and healthy hydration first,” their commitment to the environment is evident in their packaging. The caps are made from sugarcane as opposed to petroleum and the carton is made out of responsibly harvested trees. Dedicated to transparency, they even post their Annual Water Quality Report on their website. 

Nicholas also put a great deal of consideration into building out his team and determining strategic partnerships. In our interview, he discusses the incredible advantage of aligning the right team with the right product.

An entrepreneur from the start

“I’ve always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. We lived in a small Ontario town called Mildmay, and between the ages of 6 and 8, I would go around to our neighbors with a wheelbarrow trying to sell things that I found around my house – like my father’s tools. At 17, I decided to start my first serious business: a clothing store on the beach in Southampton, Ontario, where we used to spend summers. I got a $1,500 small business loan and a credit card with an $800 limit, ran it for a couple of seasons and made some good money. I also started organizing bus tours to Toronto to see concerts, and that’s how I started getting into promotion and the music industry. In those early days, I learned to make mistakes, learn and keep going — it always pays off in the end!” 

Related: Mindful Entrepreneurship: The New Age of Business

Gaining inspiration…at Burning Man

“At Burning Man, I had an inspirational, life-changing experience. There’s a zero-trace policy there — you have to recycle and take home everything you came with. People brought in tons of plastic water bottles and at the end, threw them all into recycling. And that’s where I had an epiphany about Flow. I thought there’s a huge white space here. There’s an opportunity to completely disrupt the bottled-water industry by offering consumers the highest quality spring water in more innovative, sustainable packaging. Flow’s source is my family’s artesian spring, it releases over a million liters of mineral-rich, alkaline water into the environment naturally every day. It was very serendipitous.”

Flow’s ancient and unique differentiator

“Flow is sourced in South Bruce County, Ontario and now, I’m proud to say we have a second, unique source in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. What makes Flow so unique is that the water is filtered through limestone-encased aquifers at both our springs, where it collects essential minerals magnesium, calcium, bicarbonate and potassium that give it that smooth delicious taste and an alkaline pH of 8.1. It’s all-natural, not a scientific process to filter tap water and alter it at a molecular level to achieve alkalinity. This is water like our ancestors drank and our bodies recognize it.”

The benefits of a mission-driven team

“We invest in the best people and partner with the highest caliber of brand partners. You only need two things to be successful: a product that people want and believe in and an amazing team to bring it to market. That’s when the magic happens! We have an incredible product development team that developed our six delicious certified organic flavored waters at a time when consumers are looking for more ways to achieve their hydration goals. We’re lucky in that our product has naturally brought some amazing people our way that wanted to work with Flow.”

Partnering with Gwyneth Paltrow and Shawn Mendes

“To be quite honest, it was a pinch-me moment working with Gwyneth Paltrow! I have always been a huge fan of hers and I’m so impressed by the movement she’s built with goop. At Flow, our biggest customer segment is the wellness enthusiast and Gwyneth Paltrow is at the forefront of this movement. She made wanting to take better care of yourself cool and fun. First, we worked with goop by partnering on branded digital content and experiential at In goop health summits. Gwyneth loves Flow and we love her so we asked her team if she would like to attend one of our biggest trade shows, and she did. The interest and awareness she generated were meaningful. The natural next step was the summer campaign. Working with her and her amazing team was such a pleasure because we share the same values about the importance of the choices we make as individuals, families and companies.”

Related: 5 Keys to Being a More Mindful Entrepreneur

“We also recently announced that Shawn Mendes is an investor. He started drinking Flow and ordering it to his home as an early subscriber to our home delivery service. I knew there was something there since he was already a Flow fan and come on, he’s one of the biggest musical artists in the world! I reached out and met with his manager, Andrew Gertler. Shawn and Andrew are both very smart businessmen, I’m lucky to have them as investors and advisors to the brand.”

Nicholas’ advice to other entrepreneurs

“Never underestimate the power of positivity! The most important thing about leadership is complete, mindful positivity. There are two ways to think in the world — negative or positive — and I fall on the positive side. That’s the greatest gift I can give – an injection of positive energy that makes people feel motivated, to feel like they want to be the most passionate and successful person that they can be.”

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Terry Rice

Posted on

4 Reasons Why Property Management Businesses Are Thriving

The rental market is hot, so now’s the time to wade in.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


As of this article’s writing, there are more than 23 million landlords in the U.S., according to Rental Protection Agency’s real-time Rental Clock. But that number means very little on its own. How much opportunity is there for those landlords? Well, according to the same Rental Clock, there are currently a whopping 113 million-plus renters in this country as well. Equally surprising is that — per the same source — 2,654 new renters enter the market every single day, while only 544 new landlords do the same. That’s a big, exploitable gap for real estate-investing entrepreneurs.

But not everyone has hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy real estate and rent it out. The good news is, you don’t have to. There’s another way to take advantage of that massive supply-and-demand chasm: property management. Most real estate investors who own more than a few properties will hire a management company to help them with the dirty work. And as more landlords and vacation rental owners (like Airbnb and VRBO) crowd themselves into the market, opportunity for real estate-management companies will only increase. 

Here are four good reasons why property management businesses are thriving in today’s market, will continue to do so in the future and why you might want to jump on the bandwagon before it’s too late. 

Related: 15 Property Management Tips for Entrepreneurs

1. Rent-asking prices keep going up, up, up.

According to data collected by the United States Census Bureau, rent prices have been steadily increasing since the 1990s without any significant fluctuations. Even during the recession at the end of 2007, rental asking prices continued to increase steadily.

 

For-sale prices, on the other hand, fluctuate dramatically depending upon the health of local- and nation-wide housing markets. During the recession, for-sale asking prices saw a drop of almost $50,000. 

For real estate investors, rentals are far less risky than fixed-and-flipped properties, and they provide the passive income that many real estate investors crave. As new and old real estate investors scramble to leverage the statistical safety of a buy-and-hold strategy, property management companies will benefit. 

2. Nearly a third of occupied houses are rentals.

The Census Bureau also reports that 31.5 percent of occupied houses are rentals. And while owner-occupied houses account for 56 percent, that gap is getting smaller and smaller. In fact, rental vacancy rates have been decreasing steadily since 2009, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis. Conversely, homeownership rates were at a 50-year low in 2017 and have made a relatively insignificant recovery from 2004’s peak, as Advisor Perspectives reports

What does this mean for real estate investors and property management companies? Well, as people continue to opt for rentals over homeownership, the demand for rental properties will increase and, as investors fill that gap, so too will the demand for property management companies. 

3. Technology makes property management easier than ever before.

As property management businesses flood the market with lucrative success, savvy tech entrepreneurs have followed suit. Because the truth is, there’s a glaring problem with building a property management company. Namely, that it’s a highly demanding, boots-on-the-ground, 24-7 sort of business model. If the A/C stops running in the middle of summer, if there’s a sudden water leak in the kitchen, if the pipes freeze and burst, if anything sudden and unexpected happens, it almost always falls to the property management company to do something about it (that’s why the real estate investor hired you in the first place, isn’t it?). This means the property management company needs to have dependable people near each managed location, a quick way to communicate with tenants, employees and local handy-men, and a system for organizing everything behind the scenes. 

Tools like Guesty (a property management platform for short-term rentals) and Buildium (for long-term rentals) are attempting to solve this conundrum by enabling property managers to automate tasks, streamline communications with guests and homeowners, schedule cleanings and organize portfolios, all from the comfort of their living-room couch. 

Related: There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a DIY Landlord

4. Vacation rentals are outpacing the hotel industry.

Three years ago, VRMB predicted that vacation rentals would topple the hotel industry by 2020. Now, it’s 2019 and there are plenty of hotels in every city around the nation. Though while VRMB was probably overly zealous with their estimation, they weren’t entirely misguided. In fact, Airbnb is now the second-largest lodging company in the world, only 100,000 units behind Marriott International, according to Str. It’s also acquired 150 million users, with two million people staying in an Airbnb every single night. And more and more people who stay in an Airbnb don’t ever want to go back to hotels. Needless to say, business is booming. 

It’s hard to say whether vacation rentals will completely obliterate the hotel industry (even most taxi companies have survived ride-sharing apps), but one thing’s for sure: Vacation rentals are a force to be reckoned with. And while hotels don’t need property managers to do their dirty work, vacation rental investors often do, opening up another page of opportunity for entrepreneurs brave enough to build a property management business of their own. 

 

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: AJ Agrawal