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Starting A Business

6 Mistakes Dropshippers Make When Starting Out

May 26, 2019


AmeriCommerce estimates that retail e-commerce businesses account for as much as $220 million in revenue annually. Dropshipping has the potential to be a major edge for online sellers for several reasons, from reducing overhead to shorter shipping and fulfillment times for orders. These benefits can only be realized with proper implementation of the factors that contribute to successful dropshipping.

The sad reality is that many new e-commerce entrepreneurs are either ignoring these basic steps or completely unaware of them because they seem trivial. To increase your chances of success in an e-commerce venture, don’t make these mistakes.

Mistake #1: Betting all your chips on one supplier

Having a unified supplier is a benefit in several cases: There’s only one point of contact, and all products are shipped directly from that one location to your customers. However, the situation of a supplier running out of stock or being unable to meet demand does arise on occasion. Researching and keeping in contact with a secondary or backup vendor is a necessity.

This assumes that the primary vendor you’re engaged with doesn’t require you to only deal with them. Pay attention to the contract you sign with your supplier for any predatory clauses like this before signing it. They could be the reason your e-commerce business sinks or floats.

Mistake #2: Getting the wrong supplier for the job

The choices for suppliers are myriad in the world of dropshipping. You need to make several decisions before you choose one. Do you prefer products made locally or shipped from overseas? What are the overhead costs and the inherent benefits and drawbacks of each? There’s a long checklist you ought to go through before settling on a supplier. Shopify notes that the steps in selecting a supplier vary by industry and the type of …

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How to Identify Third-Party Vendors to Help You Scale

May 24, 2019


After five years, only 56% remain in business.

As they put together the pieces necessary for growth, startups quickly discover that the first step is also one of the hardest – finding the right people. Without a capable and committed team, even the best ideas struggle to get off the ground.

Founders cannot simply find and onboard talent, though. They must also find people who can help build a sustainable, empowering culture and then learn how to keep as many of those people around as possible. As if that weren’t enough, founders also have to be able to recognize when someone isn’t a good fit. Those hard decisions can make or break startups with limited time and resources.

Product decisions, too, affect the odds of survival. What problem does the product solve? How much is that solution worth, and what are people willing to pay for it? Founders can’t rush into implementing their ideas before they truly understand the needs of the audience and the likelihood that the product will fulfill those needs.

Not every organization fits into the same mold. Startups pride themselves on their disruptive and agile natures, yet many founders are afraid to step out and try something truly different – especially when board members and other influential figures advise caution. However, standing out from the crowd might be the most important factor in startup success.

Where partners come into play

With so many challenges to overcome, few startups make it to the fifth year and beyond without a little help. Third-party vendors in a variety of functions can act as valuable extensions of the company’s core team. Startup executives should not see these outside parties as a threat, nor should they try to adopt every outside partner that proves useful. By letting the experts do …

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What Blockchain Investors Look for in a Startup

May 21, 2019


Despite the rising prevalence of blockchain in today’s world, it still isn’t enough to push blockchain at the forefront of investment. More startup companies are turning to outside funding in order to gain the money they need to run their digital business.

Unfortunately for them, it’s not that easy to ask investors to fund a blockchain startup. This is what blockchain investors look for in a startup before they decide to take the plunge.

Real innovation

Blockchain may be an innovation all in itself, but that isn’t enough for investors who want real innovation from an individual company.

Real innovation, in this case, can be defined as something new and unique that a company has managed to come up with using current or upcoming technology. Blockchain is a technology that can potentially contribute to the modernization of our businesses and our economy. And it’s involving very fast.

Based on this statement, it would seem like investors are the ones not having enough projects to invest in. If entrepreneurs can focus more on developing their blockchain-capable businesses more, they will be able to attract investors who are specifically looking for something new created out of blockchain technology.

Tech connectivity

Investors are not interested in using blockchain in isolation. They are interested in seeing how blockchain can be used in relation to other technology, such as artificial intelligence, for instance.

Although both have remained as standalone technologies in the last decade, more and more academics have been trying to combine the two. The convergence of blockchain and artificial intelligence could lead to several benefits in various sectors, including healthcare and finance, the two sectors that see the most identity fraud cases in recent years.

With blockchain and AI integrated together, companies in these sectors can create an encrypted method of storing sensitive …

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3 Tips for Picking the Right Office Space

May 18, 2019


Whether you’re growing, moving to a better location or nearing the end of your lease, new office spaces are a natural part of the small business life cycle. While choosing a new location may not be difficult, finding the right one for your business and team can be. There are several important things to think about before choosing a space for your business, and your employees should be at the top of that list.

“When looking for a new office, the priority is how your team will feel in the new space,” said Joe Lawlor, co-founder of Digital Dynasty.

How can you consider your team’s attitude toward a new potential space? It’s good to start with some common questions and blend your business’s needs with the needs of your team. For instance, budget should dictate what office you move into, but location and proximity to mass transit or parking should be decisions made with your employees in mind.

Sandi Webster, managing director of C2G Partners, proposed some good questions to keep in mind when looking for new spaces:

  • Do your employees come in every day, or are they working from home?
  • What’s the public transit or parking situation like?
  • Does this office have space for your company to grow, or is it just enough space for right now?
  • Is there a realtor involved? What is their fee?

These are some questions that may not be immediately on your mind when looking but are very important – especially in the age of remote work, when many companies have liberal policies on when employees need to be in the office.

Looking for the right office space for your company boils down to three important needs: location, size and office feel.

Location

The driving force behind your office search is the …

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Why Every Startup Needs Workers’ Comp Insurance

May 16, 2019


And while every U.S. state mandates that startups carry workers’ compensation insurance in some form, it may seem tempting to skirt the limits on what is legal.

But that is just as much of a mistake as thinking that you can just start a business without the expense of ever consulting a lawyer or an accountant. Worker’s compensation insurance is mandatory, with strict penalties for noncompliance. And even if there was no such law, a smart startup needs a solid policy. Here are some reminders about why workers’ comp insurance is so important, as well as some tips for getting the best policy with the lowest premiums.

Explaining Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Every business, even ones mostly behind a desk, will have workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses. Workers’ compensation insurance kicks in during those instances, and provides benefits and compensation such as reimbursing medical expenses or lost wages. If a worker is killed on the job, insurance will provide death benefits to the employee’s family.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to estimate how much your startup may have to pay for insurance. Insureon reports that a 2012 study of workers’ comp found that it could range from $.75 in Texas to $2.74 in Alaska. But those numbers are an average across all industries. For example, construction and mining businesses can pay a great deal more for worker’s comp compared to professional practices.

Pie Insurance points out that before workers’ insurance became commonplace in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, employers and especially employees would be stuck in lengthy and costly legal battles to determine whether the company had to pay. As a result, workers’ compensation insurance is no-fault, which means that it will kick in even if the employee is partially responsible for the injury as long as it …

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