• Many businesses use benchmarks to assess their own performance or their position relative to competitors, but benchmarks that shed light on the performance of industries outside of your own can also help you decide where to make new investments. Those investments could be in the form of new staff, new equipment or simply additional effort focused on a specific market. For some companies, the target market is narrowly defined or limited – by geography or by a specific industry served by the product or service. Other businesses, especially many of the service-based industries, can have customers across multiple industries.

    Knowing which industries to target can shape marketing efforts, new hires and other operational aspects of your business. But how do you know which industries to target?

    Before targeting an industry for new business, it’s imperative to know whether you can make money in that industry. That may seem obvious, but unfortunately, some people confuse sales growth with

    Read More »from Want new business? Target profitable industries
  • Perfume Bottles

    There's an old adage about the perfume industry that the scent costs less than the bottle it comes in. But you don't need to be hawking Chanel No.5 to know that packaging is a vital part of any consumer product. Whether it's protecting fragile contents in transit, making goods stand out on store shelves or working to enhance brand image, proper packaging can improve the bottom line.Alizila tapped some seasoned e-commerce entrepreneurs to find out how they handle packaging issues for the products they sell. Here are their tips:


    1. KNOW WHAT TO ASK FOR

    When it comes to packaging, most products come ready to be displayed on the shelves of the big retail outlets. That's fine if your products are destined to be sold in store, but it's unlikely to meet the needs of online businesses that run on a click-and-ship, rather than bricks-and-mortar, model. "An online retailer needs packaging robust enough to get to the consumer without damage," says Paul Greenberg, CEO of Australia's National Online

    Read More »from Global Trading Tips: 6 Steps to Perfect Packaging
  • Announcing a live chat with Out Cold Marketing Founder and President Fritz Heffinger

    Fritz Heffinger, Founder and President of Out Cold Marketing, LLC, will answer questions from readers at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) Thursday, September 19th. As part of the Young Entrepreneur Council’s #StartupLab initiative, a virtual mentorship program, Fritz will appear live via video chat broadcast on this site.

    Fritz Heffinger, Founder and President of Out Cold Marketing, LLC, has more than 10 years of experience in event and experiential marketing. Client and project highlights include the development and execution of non-traditional marketing campaigns and events for Toyota, Chrysler, Nordstrom, Topshop and Liquid Force. Fritz is a proud graduate of the University of Kansas and Jayhawk for life, as well as a self-proclaimed amateur stuntman, DOT-certified truck driver, at-home beer brewer and enthusiast, official “#1 Dad,” and Ordained Minister.

    #StartupLab is a free virtual mentorship program created by The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of Read More »from Announcing a live chat with Out Cold Marketing Founder and President Fritz Heffinger
  • Video Highlights From Live chat with Henry Balanon, Co-Founder of Protean

    Henry Balanon is the Co-Founder and CTO of Protean. The startup is creating the Glass Card, the next-generation payment card. The Glass Card is a skeleton key for your wallet. It consolidates all of your plastic cards into a single card that communicates via Bluetooth with a mobile app. Select a card on the app and Glass Card swipes as though it were that card. Henry has passion for startups, technology, culture, and above all: people. Previously, he co-founded Detroit Labs, a mobile app company that helped build the Domino's Pizza app. He's also worked at Bickbot as well as Cynergy Systems and Lockheed Martin in Washington DC.









    Read More »from Video Highlights From Live chat with Henry Balanon, Co-Founder of Protean
  • The YEC Launches Health Insurance Site For Startups and The Self-Employed

    Healthcare

    The Young Entrepreneur Council, an organization supporting entrepreneurship and startups (and a Yahoo Small Business Partner) has launched a website offering a healthcare solution for entrepreneurs, the self-employed and any individual or very small business.

    "As our nation becomes more entrepreneurial, and more Americans launch startups, start small businesses, and join the booming gig economy, YEC wants to be there to support business owners and newly job-unlocked individuals by providing them with access to quality, affordable health care insurance options throughout the United States," said Scott Gerber, founder of Young Entrepreneur Council.

    Yahoo Small Business spoke to Scott Gerber briefly about the new program.

    Gerber said that they actually started the project to create this new program over 15 months ago.  They began by talking to entrepreneurs about what is important to them in a health plan and rapidly realized that the biggest problem for entrepreneurs was the time to find

    Read More »from The YEC Launches Health Insurance Site For Startups and The Self-Employed
  • Announcing Yahoo Commerce Central

    Running a business just got easier. Today, we’re proud to introduce Yahoo Commerce Central, a one-stop shop for simple, affordable, and effective tools for an online store.

    All of the marketing tools needed to help increase sales, efficiency and profitability are in our App Gallery. We offer a host of apps to help list and advertise on leading shopping and search engines, sell products on Facebook, and much more. For real-time customer engagement and analytics, check out our free app Live Web Insights. Live Web Insights can:

    •    Show exactly what's happening on a store in real-time
    •    Initiate chats with customers to address questions and close sales
    •    Get personalized, data-driven recommendations to help improve traffic and sales
    •    Measure return on investment for Yahoo Commerce Central apps
    •    View a store's historical trends

    Live Web Insights

    Not a Yahoo merchant? Not a problem. Our apps are supported on more than 30 platforms, including Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce.

    Yahoo Commerce Central

    Read More »from Announcing Yahoo Commerce Central
  • When making early-stage hires, is it better they beskilled at one thing or be a jack-of-all-trades and why?

    The following answers are provided by the YoungEntrepreneur Council (YEC) (http://theyec.org),an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising youngentrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab(http://mystartuplab.com/),a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs startand grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and emaillessons.

    1. Specialized, but Adaptable People

    When we hire people for our agency, we look for people whoare really strong in one particular area, but who are adaptable and can fill inthe blanks where needed. As the organization grows, we'll have amazinglytalented people in specific areas who can focus on their crafts while also leadingteams, driving projects and advising on what is happening in theirindustries/niches.

    - Erin BlaskieErin Blaskie, DigitalStrategist

     

    Read More »from How do Determine the Right Type of Employee to Hire
  • Prerna Gupta, Smule’s Chief Product Officer answers questions via live chat








    Prerna Gupta is Chief Product Officer at Smule, the leading developer of social music creation apps, like the #1 hit app Songify, an app that turns speech into music. Smule’s apps have over 100 million downloads and over 1 Billion songs created to date. Previously, Prerna co-founded Khush, the leading developer of intelligent music apps, and led the company to profitability and acquisition by Smule in 2011. She was also responsible for producing viral videos for her products that have reached over 200 million views. Prior to her foray into entrepreneurship, Prerna worked in consulting at Monitor Group and early-stage venture capital at Summit Partners. She studied Economics at Stanford University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2004. Prerna was voted one of FastCompany’s Most Influential Women in Technology 2011, and her writing has been featured in the New York Times and TechCrunch. She is also a budding angel investor and Resident Mentor at 500 Startups..

    #StartupLab is a free Read More »from Prerna Gupta, Smule’s Chief Product Officer answers questions via live chat
  • Live Chat planned with Henry Balanon, Co-Founder of Protean

    We will feature a live chat with Henry Balanon here on Thursday September 12th at Noon PST. Henry is the Co-Founder and CTO of Protean. The startup is creating the Glass Card, the next-generation payment card. The Glass Card is a skeleton key for your wallet. It consolidates all of your plastic cards into a single card that communicates via Bluetooth with a mobile app. Select a card on the app and Glass Card swipes as though it were that card. Henry has passion for startups, technology, culture, and above all: people. Previously, he co-founded Detroit Labs, a mobile app company that helped build the Domino's Pizza app. He's also worked at Bickbot as well as Cynergy Systems and Lockheed Martin in Washington DC.




    #StartupLab is a free virtual mentorship program created by The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of hundreds of America’s most successful young entrepreneurs. #StartupLab takes YEC's mission to help more people start successful businesses Read More »from Live Chat planned with Henry Balanon, Co-Founder of Protean
  • What’s one thing first-time entrepreneurs should look for in an accelerator or incubator program?

    The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council(YEC) (http://theyec.org),an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab (http://mystartuplab.com/),a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

    1. Excellent Startups

    The quality of your accelerator class will have a larger impact on your startup than the investors and mentors in the program. Your fellow founders will help you work through early startup challenges. Your fellow startups will recruit the best investors to your demo day.Your fellow CEOs will become your strongest business network in the coming years.

    -Neil ThanedarLabDoor

     

    2. The Program's Alumni

    When I participated in an incubator program,

    Read More »from 10 Things to Look for in an Accelerator/Incubator Program

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