Young Entrepreneurs

  • Customer Loyalty
    One of the most inexcusable things you can do in business is treat your customers like dollar signs. Not only will this lead to poor service and a bad reputation, it will also mean you will miss out on all the great opportunities having a good customer relationship can provide.

    Perhaps it is because we are part of the subscription economy, in which retention is king, but we’ve always seen the value of our customers. Happy and loyal customers are good for business today and, even more valuable, tomorrow. Even more, if you treat them well enough and provide a killer service, they can become excellent brand ambassadors.

    Create ambassadors

    If I tell my son to do something, he look at my like I’m speaking a foreign language. But if a friend asks him to do the exact same thing, it is done instantly. This phenomenon happens with your brand as well. You can tell people how great you are until you’re blue in the face and they’ll act deaf. But get a single kind word from a third party and suddenly

    Read More »from Customers Are Not Dollar Signs: 3 Ways to Cultivate Loyalty
  • Decisions, DecisionsI dived into the world of entrepreneurship a few years back, and it's certainly been an interesting ride. Don't let anyone fool you -- business ownership requires a lot of hard work. No matter what you do, you're going to make mistakes in the beginning. However, once you get all the wrinkles ironed out, the benefits of self-employment are numerous.

    In order to help you along your way, here are five typical mistakes entrepreneurs make, as well as some suggestions on how to avoid them:

    1. Not Doing Enough Research
      One of the worst mistakes you can make as a first-time entrepreneur is not researching the industry or niche you want to penetrate. With the Internet, you have a world of resources at your fingertips, so take advantage of it. Several pieces of information you should keep an eye out for include current demand, competition, average startup costs, and when you can expect to become profitable. I conducted thorough research, and therefore went into business with my eyes wide open.
    2. Not
    Read More »from 5 Mistakes First-Time Entrepreneurs Make — And How to Avoid Them
  • Leadership

    When people think of leadership, they often think of charismatic speakers preaching to a captivated audience. We see this type of leader aggrandized in the media every day, and we're led to think we must emulate that to be effective. Over the past two years building my startup, though, I've learned that leadership is a lot more nuanced. There are actually three different leadership abilities that in together — not seperately — determine your effectiveness.

    The ability to "inspire"

    This is the classic idea of leadership, but it's not just about yelling to an army on a horse. People are driven by many things — recognition, wealth, power, affiliation, impact, self-improvement, validation and more. Inspiration is telling people a story that allows them to see themselves as who they aspire to be.

    Some leaders construct a narrative and count on their delivery to inspire in aggregate. This is Coach Brooks telling Team USA that "great moments are born from great opportunity." It's Steve Jobs

    Read More »from 3 Abilities Every Business Leader Needs
  • Q: What is one tip you have for telling a great story on your company "About Us" page?

    The following answers are provided by The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, 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.

    A: Include the "Aha!" Moment

    Not every company was started by two friends in a dorm room. Those are the easy stories to write about. But if there isn't a touching story behind the brand, talk about that "aha!" moment when you discovered a problem that many others faced and how you went about solving it.

    Michael Portman ( ), Birds Barbershop ( )

    A: Share the "Why"

    The "why" part of your business's story -- what motivates your team to live and breath what

    Read More »from 12 Tips to Make Your “About Us” Page Pop
  • customersYou’re not selling a product. Or a service. You’re selling a means to an end. Does that sound harsh? Deflating, perhaps? Let me explain.

    The German philosopher Heidegger famously distinguished between objects that are “ready at hand” and objects with properties. In other words, when we use a product (an object), we’re not usually focused on the product itself -- its fancy label, its color, and so on -- but on what it does for us. Heidegger used the hammer as an example: We don’t look at a hammer as, well, a hammer, but as something that can drive in a nail to help us do something like build a house. Only later, maybe, will we ponder the hammer as a hammer.

    How does this apply to a business? Quite simply, customers don’t care as much about that your product is as what it does -- and what it does for them in particular. Sure, they care about the product and will think about it as a product, but first they need to see how the product can add value to their lives. Only then will they “look

    Read More »from Why Your Customers Aren’t Interested in Your Product (Yet)
  • Announcing the new Young Entrepreneur Blog

    launchIn partnership with the Young Entrepreneur Council we are launching a new blog here on Yahoo! Small Business Advisor aimed at young entrepreneurs from teens to twenties - and the older entrepreneur who is young-at-heart will also find a home here.

    We will feature advice, case studies, news, announcements, features and practical how-to information for those already running a startup, in the process of setting one up and those who are just thinking about taking the leap.

    We are kicking things off with a live twitter chat with Scott Gerber, Founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council and Phyllis Weber, Director for Local Retail at the Bay Area News Group and Owen Linderholm, Editor of Yahoo! Small Business Advisor on how to drive business in a world where shopping starts online. The chat will happen on Thursday June 20th at Noon PST (3PM EST) and you can join in by following @ysmallbusiness and the hashtag #GoSMB

    Read More »from Announcing the new Young Entrepreneur Blog


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Founded in 1999, has become one of the largest online forum communities for entrepreneurs worldwide.

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