Category "Business"

If you feel like you’ve already seen everything, here are some under-the-radar TV options to tide you over as we weather coronavirus together.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Being informed about the spread of COVID-19 and its devastating effects on the global community is critical. But we can all acknowledge that staying attuned to the news every waking hour has only heightened our collective anxiety and sense of foreboding. One of the few salves for those fortunate enough to have reliable WiFi and access to cable and streaming services has been the chance to catch up with TV shows that had previously passed us by and might offer momentary respite from the coronavirus and its attendant confinement. 

But before one more website or well-meaning friend reads you the riot act for having never seen Breaking Bad or The Wire, or parrots the popular thinking that Fleabag is comedy manna (not that it isn’t), we thought we’d recommend a handful of superlative, binge-able series that have been relatively neglected by the culture at large. And while living through fictional characters’ everyday circumstances might seem like a counterintuitive way to cope with a very real period of isolation, the five shows below might actually offer some useful perspective. (Click through each show title for access to it via Netflix, Amazon or Hulu.)

This little-seen, under-marked Sundance TV gem from creator/writer Ray McKinnon has earned its share of critical praise and some cult appreciation thanks to Netflix but remains inexplicably sidelined from most popular conversation about great modern dramas. The premise — small-town Georgia man Daniel Holden (Aden Young) gets exonerated after years on death row for the murder of his high school girlfriend and attempts to reassimilate into normal life — might sound moribund. But Rectify abounds with soulful insights on guilt, innocence, love and loss. The cast (also including Abigail Spencer, Clayne Crawford and J. Smith-Cameron, etc.) are terrific in service of characters charting a hyper-realistic course toward solace and redemption against extraordinary odds. 

Related: 18 Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

Kudos to Starz for giving creator/writer Mike O’Malley’s groundbreaking dramedy four seasons to spread its wings. Survivor’s Remorse is nominally about pro-basketball star Cam Calloway (Jesse Usher) and his adaptation to life as an A-list celebrity, but it’s ultimately a dysfunctional-family sitcom with the outlaw spirit of Curb Your Enthusiasm and heart of Schitt’s Creek. That it never benefited from the latter’s groundswell of support is a shame, but it’s not too late to make good and — if nothing else — bear witness to Tichina Arnold’s (MartinEverybody Hates Chris) career-best turn as the take-no-prisoners, wildly profane Calloway matriarch Cassie.

Nothing can prepare you for how weird this comedy/drama/mystery-thriller buddy series gets in a hurry. The broad strokes of Hap and Leonard are that it’s based on a series of novels by Joe R. Lansdale, set in the 1980s, features first-flight actors including Michael Kenneth Williams (speaking of The Wire), James Purefoy and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks. Purefoy is Hap, a conscientious Vietnam objector and smart aleck who literally pulls no punches. Leonard is his best friend, still scarred from having fought in the war and dealing with day-to-day life as an openly gay black man in East Texas. Over the course of three seasons, they find themselves in the crosshairs of lovestruck sadists, child killers and politically embedded Klansmen. They’re kind of like the Dukes of Hazzard, just far more tender with one another and up against much graver life-or-death odds. It’s not hard to see how this one was a hard sell, but trust us that it’s worth buying in.

You’d be forgiven for being out of the loop about creepypastas, which are basically internet-user-generated campfire stories that seeped into mainstream consciousness via forums like Reddit. (The infamous Slender Man tale is a frequently cited pillar.) But they also served as a bedrock for the SyFy network’s Channe Zero anthology series. Each of the four installments — from 2016’s initial Candle Cove to ’18’s concluding Dream Door — creates a Twilight Zone of its own somewhere between lucid dreams and waking strange, searching for closure to open wounds. It’s eerie, artful and the closest thing to what Nightmare on Elm Street auteur Wes Craven might have concocted for the 21st-century disaffected set.

Related: Netflix Finally Adds Top 10 Lists for Its Most Popular Content

We know there’s a lot on TV at any one time. Still, how exactly has this Dave Holstein-created weekly half-hour (currently airing on Showtime) that’s executive produced (and often directed) by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind visionary Michel Gondry and stars his muse, Jim Carrey, not caught fire? Carrey plays Jeff, who also happens to play a Mr. Rogers-like character named Mr. Pickles on public television. He’s good and he’s decent, but he’s also burdened by a personal tragedy, pining for his ex-wife Jill (the terrific Judy Greer) and dealing with his tyrannical father/boss Seb (a never-better Frank Langella), the sum total of which culminates in what could be described as personal awakening by way of total breakdown. Kidding is, as the title teases, very funny, but without the cringy-ness and ironic distance typical of modern cable comedies. Carrey is excellent, but the show is an ensemble feat and has only grown more confident in its, and Mr. Pickles’s, mission of bringing joy and jarring candor to the masses. 

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Here’s how to avoid sabotaging yourself and your business.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

“If you want to be successful, why are you wasting time thinking about how much you don’t want to fail?” It was a simple question that changed how I approached business and life. Fear of failure is very powerful, but what’s more powerful is fear of success. 

When I support my clients in their ability to achieve more in life, I ask them what’s going through their mind that’s preventing them from going after it, whether it’s talking to that attractive person, sending that email to a potential investor or even going to the gym. Among their responses is often, “Well, I don’t know what to say” or “What if she doesn’t like what I have to say?” People bombard themselves with “what ifs.”

I get it, all these scenarios could possibly happen, but the truth is they haven’t yet. Nevertheless, the uncertainty around these “what ifs” takes away your courage and confidence to go and make that move, even knowing it could level up your business and life.

Let me explain why this happens and what you can do about it.

Related: 8 Mindset Shifts Entrepreneurs Must Make

Failure is designed to protect us from an emotional death

You don’t want to fail. You also don’t want to die. This may sound extreme, but your brain and feelings can’t tell the difference between the two. You don’t want to make mistakes, be embarrassed and ashamed. So you do everything you possibly can to seek the most information possible and create scenarios that ensure what you’re attempting to do is virtually fail-proof. 

Here’s what’s also happening: While you do your due diligence, you also look for reasons you shouldn’t take this chance. You may not realize this, but the moment you enter a room, open your email or even wake up, your mind will look for any excuse to justify why you shouldn’t approach and talk to someone you’re attracted to, talk to that investor about your company or go to the gym to work out. 

Your mind says: “The gym is too far.” “I have to wake up early.” “I can’t wake up that early.” “I’m already too tired.”
“She’s talking with her friends, and I don’t want to interrupt her.” “That investor doesn’t want to give me money.” 

While you are preparing yourself to avoid failure, making up things and going through all the scenarios you can possibly conceive, you’re spending zero energy preparing for what would happen if you succeed.

Simulated failure feels like real failure

You put your mind through every scenario where failure is possible to the point where it feels real. You’re simulating these experiences so frequently, it feels real, even though nothing has actually happened. After a while, your mind tricks you into believing you have all this “experience” around failure, when you’ve never actually experienced it — just thousands of simulations of it. Consequently, it feels like you’re building experience around planning, avoiding and navigating around failure.

This results in your mind having no concept of what success feels like, how to handle it and how you can grow it. In other words, success is so unknown, it’s scary — maybe scarier than failure. Your mind can’t comprehend what success could be like because you never put your mind through those scenarios.

How to avoid sabotaging your success

Now imagine you’ve been spending all that time and energy focusing on failure without having considered the other “what ifs….” What if you sent that email asking for an investor meeting, and not only got it, but secured the investment too? What if you went over and talked to that attractive person, and they were so receptive and excited, it felt like they were waiting for you to do it? What if you went to the gym, got on that treadmill, and it felt pretty easy?

If you don’t prepare your mind for what would happen if you were successful, it’s no surprise that when it happens, you have no idea what to do. When my clients achieve a certain level of success they didn’t expect or prepare for, oftentimes, they lose it. 

When you’re so afraid of failure, you put all your energy around avoiding it. I especially see it when clients are researching more information instead of applying what they already know. That “final” bit of information isn’t out there, but yet you search for it, praying it makes your path to achievement painless, which we know isn’t possible.

Think about success the same way you thought about failure

What if you planned and prepared for success? That’s what you want, anyway. Your energy and focus tends to become reality, so if you’re putting all your energy towards avoiding failure, chances are you’re subconsciously manifesting it. If that’s true, putting all your energy toward success may create a different scenario. 

For most of our lives, we have have spent so much time and energy trying to avoid failure. Reversing it by planning for success, the very thing that you want, focuses your energy on it. When it does come, you’re not surprised or overwhelmed. Instead, it becomes a part of your plan.

Related: Cultivating the Mindset of a Successful Entrepreneur

The only difference is fear of failure is something your mind believes you’ve experienced enough to become familiar with it. With this, you now have a chance to create a similar, more powerful relationship with your fear of success, something new and unknown to you — for now.

This shift can be life changing by limiting your focus about failure and the “what ifs” and instead turning your focus toward what to do when you are successful. Even using that language makes success become more inevitable. My clients have learned to prepare, plan, respond, leverage and build more of it. Now you can too.

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Master the world’s top spreadsheet software with help from an expert.

2 min read

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As cities, states, and countries look to stop the spreading of COVID-19, many of us find ourselves with more time at home. Why spend that time brushing up on Excel rather than turning to Netflix for entertainment? Well, for one thing, you might be undervaluing what it can do for your career.

Microsoft Excel is used by an estimated 750 million people worldwide. To put that in context, if everyone at a mid-sized company of 75 people uses Excel, it would take 10 million of those companies to hit that number. Excel is arguably the most important software on the planet, used by people in all industries and positions. There’s a good chance it’s already on your résumé.

But while most people have a functional understanding of Excel, very few know how to use it to its fullest potential. If you want to save time, draw better business insights, and climb the career ladder, The Complete Excel Pro Tips Certification Bundle is a productive way to spend your time in isolation.

This six-course bundle is led by Chris Dutton, a certified Microsoft Excel Expert and founder of the online Excel school Excel Maven. Across these courses, Dutton covers the foundational tools and capabilities of Excel. You’ll get an introduction to popular formulas and functions to simplify calculations and discover formatting techniques to organize data better. From there, you’ll learn productivity hacks like keyboard shortcuts, autofill and flash fill, multi-level sorting, advanced filters, and more. Then, you’ll delve into Excel’s data analysis capabilities, including how to use its most advanced and flexible tool: PivotTables. Finally, Dutton shows you how to use Excel’s considerable data visualization tools to create charts and graphs that will help get your points across.

The Complete Excel Pro Tips Certification Bundle could be your ticket to a promotion or scaling your business faster. If you’ve got the time, it’s worth diving into — plus, right now, it’s only $19.

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Join us as we answer the myriad of questions and concerns complicating everyday business during this historic pandemic.

1 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

During this historical pandemic facing small business owners, there are a myriad of questions and concerns complicating everyday business. Whether you operate with your customers face-to-face or online, how do you lessen the impact and even thrive if possible? We’ll cover the following and more during this powerful Webinar centered around YOU…the Small Business Owner!!

Hosted by Entrepreneur Press author Mark J. Kohler, CPA, attorney, co-host of the Podcast “Refresh Your Wealth”, and a senior partner at both the law firm KKOS Lawyers and the accounting firm K&E CPAs. Kohler is also the author of “The Tax and Legal Playbook, 2nd Edition”, and “The Business Owner’s Guide to Financial Freedom.”

Attendees of this webinar will learn:
– IRS Update on any deadline extensions
– Status for SBA Loans for affected businesses
– Handling cash flow demands with decreased sales
– Disease Prevention Policies in the office without getting sued and keeping the doors opened
– Asset preservation
– Tax deductions unique to this situation
– Moving employees to home based stations

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

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Remote work has become significantly more relevant in today’s scenario where we are trying to combat the threat of COVID-19.

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Remote work is hard but once companies learn it, it’s going to add a ton of value. It gives you access to talent globally, reduces your expenses by 40-60 per cent, makes work efficient and helps you move faster. Remote work obviously has become significantly more relevant in today’s scenario where we are trying to combat the threat of COVID-19.

Taking a cue from our own journey and experience of working remotely, we have decided to help the community work remotely. Here are some of the best learnings to make it work.

Home Office: It’s easy for people to think they can work from couch/bed. They try to justify by being productive for a few days but it doesn’t last. Having a workplace is extremely important when you try to work from home. It didn’t work for me until I got a home office.

Discipline: There’s often a sharp increase in productivity which dies with time. This happens because you either work anytime or all the time. Having a fixed schedule helps you stay focused and gives predictability to the team. Keep away from distractions.

Asynchronous Communication: Productivity spikes when you’re communicating asynchronously because everyone can be productive at their own pace. I’m a night owl but half of my team is not. Always a better idea to stick to their schedule and work at their own pace.

Documentation: Remote teams don’t have the ability to poke someone sitting next to clear doubts but they can always hit the search button. Documenting all processes, assumptions, workflow et el and having the right naming convention helps keep everyone on the same page.

Scheduled no-agenda time: We often do coffee chats over zoom with no agenda to talk about someone’s vacation, the marriage they attended or memes they created. The culture of the company is the people in it, this helps those people get together.

Celebrating small-wins: In our slack, we have a channel called #smallwins where we celebrate every new design we liked or a new student we accepted. We often give shout outs to people who worked hard and did amazing work. Enjoying each other’s success is always our priority

Being approachable: We used a hack to update our surnames on slack with our work timings because generally, people care about the later much more than surnames. This especially helps when you’ve people across timezone. So my slack name would look like: Ayush [11 am-3 am IST]

Metrics: People often feel their employees are not working unless you’re on their head, this doesn’t fly in remote teams. You should only do it if you care more about metrics hit by an individual than time spent by an employee on it, in office.

Hiring: Remote teams can’t work with employees without ownership or managers with insecurity. As a manager, understand that if someone can slack off working remotely, then a person can spend all day surfing in office as well. Instead, hire the right people and build the right culture.

Celebrate together: Remote teams must do offsite more often. We haven’t done it as much as we’d like but I have a gut feeling that we should do it every quarter if we can. Getting together every weekend to discuss hits and misses followed by dinner is great.

Physical activity: Something I learned the hard way is to take care of your health. Unless you care about your body and mind, you should not even worry about working remotely to save travel time. Productivity loss is massive in both cases. So when remote, don’t forget to play!

Sleep Cycle: When you’re working with people across different parts of the world, it’s easy to be ambitious and completely change your routine. Work from home soon becomes work all the time. Being disciplined about your schedule helps you sustain. Run a marathon, not a sprint.

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Giving up is the most common form of failure.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Resilience is an amazing skill that helps us recover quickly from difficulties. If you are resilient, you have an innate ability to keep getting up when life knocks you down. You have learned how to bounce back and keep going.

We build our resilience by learning to cope with challenges — it’s a process of adapting well in the face of trauma, tragedy or significant stress. Basically, you have to get knocked down in order to learn how to pick yourself back up. Over time, successful people learn not only how to overcome, but to embrace these challenges. They understand that each crisis they face is a chance to learn and grow.

Resilience is an important skill to master in order to be successful for the long haul. Here are eight strategies successful people use to build their resilience and continue to grow beyond the crises that would otherwise hold them back.

1. Build a circle of trust.

We all need people in our lives who we can lean on. Building a tight-knit circle of people you can trust is a key part of strengthening your resilience and weathering difficult times. Close friends, family and loved ones are our social support — they encourage and motivate us, and let us know that we aren’t alone. When we surround ourselves with supportive people, we’re able to share our feelings and concerns without fear of being judged.

Studies show that the primary factor in resilience is having caring and supportive relationships both inside and outside the family. People with a high level of social support have less depression and are better able to cope during stressful times. Just remember to reach out and ask for help when you need it!

Related: Social Currency and Your Circle of Influence

2. Reframe how you view stressful situations.

The way we view a potentially stressful situation can either make the crisis worse in our mind or minimize it. This is called cognitive reframing, and it involves looking at things in a way that creates less stress and promotes a greater sense of control and peace. Reframing things in a more positive way can alter our perceptions and relieve our stressful feelings.

This mind trick can actually change your physical responses to stress because your body’s stress response is triggered by perceived stress. In other words, if you’re constantly feeling like a crisis is looming, your body will react as if that’s true and your fight-or-flight response will kick in.

Be aware of how you think about things — do you tend to be optimistic or pessimistic when considering upcoming situations? Stop yourself from slipping into overly negative patterns of thinking. Instead of seeing a difficult situation as an insurmountable problem, try framing it as a challenge you are capable of overcoming.

3. Take action.

Don’t allow yourself to become paralyzed, numb or detached during a trauma or crisis. Remind yourself that you’re not at the mercy of events beyond your control — you can always do something. By initiating action and taking the first small steps, you can gain confidence to take bigger steps.

You can build resilience by learning to take decisive action during critical situations. Don’t wait for someone else to swoop in and save the day. Immediately consider what steps you can take and put yourself in command of a situation. How can you pull yourself out of a disaster or dilemma? You can’t wish away your problems, and doing so will leave you feeling helpless. Empower yourself and harness the force of your determination to take control and rectify a negative situation.

Related: Are You a Procrastinator? Here Are 5 Ways to Be More Decisive.

4. Have a positive attitude.

The mindset and the attitude you approach a problem with can make a huge difference in how resilient you are when dealing with an impasse or troublesome circumstance. Maintaining a hopeful and optimistic outlook will help you see beyond the current predicament you find yourself in.

Pay attention to negative thought loops you may get stuck in. Catch yourself when you’re slipping into stress-inducing patterns of thinking. When you think about the future, do you focus on how things could be better and look for possibilities and opportunities ahead? Or do you dwell on what feel like hopeless problems? Replace these negative thoughts with positive ones.

5. Accept that change is part of life.

Many people spend their lives trying to avoid change. The prospect of facing change leaves them fearful of the unknown. But change will inevitably catch up to you. One important way successful people build resilience is by accepting that change will come. They focus on being prepared for change and they learn to adapt and adjust when change is imminent. Successful people see change as a necessary component of revising the old way and embracing innovation.

We will constantly be experiencing change in our lives, through our relationships and in our physical bodies. Our work environment and our homes will change, and indeed the entire world around us will go through upheavals and transformations.

We must all learn to deal with change and continue to advance and grow through it all. Pay attention to how you respond to feelings of stress brought on by change. Work to reframe how you think about change — see the possibilities and opportunities that come with any new development.

6. Keep things in perspective.

As the saying goes, don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Your computer may crash, the customer service representative may be rude or unhelpful and you may have lost files or documents that cause you to miss deadlines. In the moment, this may feel like a really big deal. You may find yourself ready to explode, wanting to take your anger and aggression out on others. Before you do, check yourself.

Is your reaction really in keeping with the situation? Yes, it’s stressful, annoying and frustrating. But was anyone hurt? Did anyone die because of what happened? Can you recover from this situation? If the answer to the last question is yes, then make sure you aren’t blowing things out of proportion.

Remind yourself of what is going well in your life. Consider the best and worst that could happen. What’s the worst-case scenario here? Is this situation really as bad as it could get? Probably not. Take action to fix the problem and move on.

7. Build self-confidence.

Sometimes we have to dig down deep and find the strength within ourselves to deal with difficulties. We have to find ways to cultivate the confidence and assurance that we can handle a situation.

Finding your way out of a tough spot is never easy, but you can do it! Find some small thing that represents strength to you — an heirloom from a parent or grandparent, a pair of shoes you feel amazing in — whatever it is, use it to bolster your self-confidence. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you believe in yourself, that you can do this. Stand tall, take a deep breath and move forward.

When faced with a critical situation or a looming disaster, remember what you have been through in your life. You have made it through difficulties before, and you can and will do it again. Believing in yourself and knowing that you can weather any storm will allow you to master resilience and overcome any crisis.

Related: 10 Ways Successful People Push Through Adversity

8. Find everyday joys.

On even the darkest of days, it’s possible to find some small thing to be happy about. Even when things are at their worst and you’re feeling at your lowest point, you have things to be grateful for. Building resilience isn’t just about weathering the storm; it’s also about looking for the everyday joys that make life worth living. It’s OK to see the humor when life rears up and knocks you down. Being able to laugh in the face of adversity is an excellent way to relieve stress and build resilience.

Also, remember that your overall sense of well-being is supported by taking time every day to take care of yourself, both your body and your mind. Eating healthy foods, exercising and getting enough sleep will give you the resilience to handle daily pressures as well as unexpected crises.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

There is cause for economic concern amid the coronavirus outbreak, but young business owners are ready.

3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The current coronavirus outbreak is a crisis on a scale most of us have never seen in our lifetime. Cities and countries are on lockdown, major events have been canceled, and people are panic-buying basic supplies while cutting back on travel. But separate from the tragic health implications of COVID-19, experts say there’s likely going to be a global recession. You simply can’t shut down cities, countries and supply chains without a big flow-on effect. Think of when a car breaks down on the highway and every car behind it has to stop — it takes time to get traffic flowing again. 

In the long term, however, the stage is set for unprecedented growth, because on the other side of this crisis, fundamentals are strong. The millennial generation is hitting its stride financially this decade (and there’s a lot of them). The boomers are into semi- and total-retirement and have more wealth than any other generation in history (and they intend to spend it while they are healthy). Technology is laying the foundations for every business to have global opportunities, and governments of the world are pumping money into the economy by the billions.

Imagine a big spinning flywheel that spins down at first, then catapults things up on the other side. First it dios, and then it flies off. This decade is going to be the Roaring Twenties anew on many fronts for entrepreneurs. Many big businesses are being disrupted and some will even fall over, creating opportunities everywhere for small businesses. 

Related: Big Tech to Meet With White House to Discuss Coronavirus

After the 2008 financial crisis, we saw the birth of dozens and dozens of brand new multi-billion dollar businesses (Instagram, WhatsApp, Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, Slack, etc.). All of them were started by young people who probably would have gotten jobs at PwC or some established bank if not for the the previous recession. We will see this sort of activity again in the 2020s, because recessions can also lead to reinventions. Companies that try to stay the same get chewed up and spat out (Blockbuster, Toys “R” Us, Phones4U), whereas companies that reinvent themselves do well (Netflix, Disney, Apple, Microsoft). In many cases, small, nimble business become the bright sparks that fly high after a recession.

Will you cling to how you did business in the 2010s or will you use this time to transform into an even better version of your vision mission and values? Whatever business you have today will look different on the other side of this event. 

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Act now to ease upstream and downstream impacts.

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many have speculated about whether the current coronavirus outbreak will spark an economic recession. Renowned venture capital firm Sequoia Capital recently shared their experience of best practice, advising that, “Having weathered every business downturn for nearly 50 years, we’ve learned an important lesson: Nobody ever regrets making fast and decisive adjustments to changing circumstances.”

Whether or not the novel coronoavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, end up inciting an all-out recession, the prudent entrepreneur ought to make sure they are prepared and properly positioned for any impact the contagion might have on your business. This includes taking care of and preparing for impacts upstream and downstream, as well as for potential impacts within the organization. Here are three steps to keep top of mind.

1. Safeguarding the upstream

It is already widely recognized that the outbreak has affected global supply chains, especially since such a large part of manufacturing takes place in China. With products being transported on cargo ships, this means it might take months before the real impact is known, but your suppliers (and their suppliers in turn) should have an idea how, if at all, this might affect you. Your best bet is to pick up the phone and talk directly to your suppliers about how you can work together to mitigate the disruptions.

They are probably already busy trying to find solutions, but they do not automatically know what’s most important for you. Is it better for you to delay all deliveries then pick up full pace, or would you rather have a trickle of inputs delivered for months? Or do you depend on specific parts of your order but can wait for the rest of it? Let them know your priorities and suggest solutions. Be frank and forthright. Most businesses will welcome your call and appreciate your offer to work with them to find the best solutions.

Related: How to Boost Your Immune System During the Coronavirus Outbreak

2. Assisting the downstream

Sadly, your customers might be affected as well, and this could place you in the position of your suppliers. Depending on your supply situation, you may not be able to fulfill orders, or your customers may not be able to buy the quantities contracted or expected. It is your job to inform them and figure out how best to solve the problems at hand, both existing and expected.

To the degree you are able to produce and deliver, it might be wise to offer temporary discounts or more generous terms to make sure your customers do not pump the brakes. But make sure you have your cashflow situation under control. Offer discounts as a means to manage the situation and perhaps improve cash inflow, but not the other way around. Cashflow problems are a major startup killer.

3. Protecting your organization

Finally, when you know what to expect in terms of both supply and demand, it’s easier to figure out what to do in your organization. If you expect production to slow significantly, it might be a good idea to let employees stay home or work part-time, or you might temporarily close your office. This lessens the risk that those exposed to the virus bring it to your offices and make other employees sick.

But make sure you don’t send people home without pay and without a choice. Many do not have a buffer they can fall back on, so you want to make them an offer and let them choose. You should also consider the option of letting them work from home more than you did previously, at least temporarily. Think of it as an experiment. If it works out well, why not make remote work an optional benefit? With modern technology, it is rather easy to work from hom  and set up video conferencing when needed. This might even save you rent if you can downscale the office.

Related: Berkshire Hathaway Loses $3 Billion in Airline Stocks

Whether or not a recession happens, it is likely that the virus will affect your business or that it has already, whether directly or indirectly. The best way to handle the potential impact is to prepare for it, both within your business and beyond. If you haven’t already, you should pick up the phone and talk with your suppliers and customers, and then discuss the impact on your business with your employees. This is not a time to panic, but rather to prepare for the possibility that others do. 

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

How to win over customers online.

7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As an entrepreneur trying to stay relevant and thrive in the competitive digital age, there’s one marketing strategy you’ve likely heard holds the secret to growing your business online: sales funnels. You’ve seen the ads, read the blogs, watched the tutorials and tried your hand at implementing sales funnels in your own business.

But for some reason, you haven’t hit the jackpot. Scaling your business through sales funnels still feels like rocket science —and something is definitely broken.

Related: 3 Signs Your Sales Funnel Is Broken (and How to Fix It)

You know funnels have the ability to bring in customers for your business on autopilot and turn your customers into loyal repeat buyers, but how do you make your sales funnels stand out and actually grow your bottom line? Here are four proven strategies and pieces of actionable advice you can implement immediately to help turn your sales funnels into predictable, profitable client acquisition systems.

Offer something valuable in the first step of your funnel

Years ago, we had category kings — industry leaders who dominated their markets and had little to no competition. Thus, business owners didn’t have to necessarily try so hard to win new customers. 

Now, it’s not that easy. Due to ever-growing competition, online brands and entrepreneurs have to put a lot more effort into winning customers online and demonstrating why someone should choose them over a competitor. One of the most effective ways to do this is to offer new customers something at the very beginning of your funnel that is no-cost, yet highly valuable. It should be something that helps your ideal customer build trust with your brand before ever pulling out their wallet. Some options: a free case study, a mini training series, a checklist, a guide, an e-book or a demo of your product. If you can solve a small part of your ideal customer’s problem through it, that’s even better.

In a phone conversation with Gusten Sun, founder and CEO of Funnels And Experts, he explained how his agency builds clients’ funnels using this exact strategy of providing value first. “To give you a practical example… let’s say you’re a movie buff, but you want to stop spending so much money at the theaters,” he says. “You do a quick Google search and find an online movie streaming service that offers a free 30-day trial. You sign up, watch movies for free for a month and afterward they ask you if you want to continue watching unlimited movies from the comfort of your home. You say yes and pay. That’s an example of a successful funnel, and that’s the concept of providing value first in order to build relationships and turn browsers into customers…Oh, and you may have guessed: That’s the sales funnel of Netflix.”

Related: 5 Key Tips to Improve Conversion Rates

Make sure your funnel leads with value and gives something free before you make an offer. Creating a sales funnel in this order will make it much easier to turn a cold lead into a happy customer.

Swap outdated sales copy tactics for authentic emotional response marketing

As a business owner, you know your target customer needs to feel like your brand is speaking directly to them. Copywriting is how you do that, but effective copywriting has made a massive shift in the last decade. 

The modern customer is tired of pushy headlines and in-your-face copy that screams BUY. If you look at old sales funnels, you will see this type of copy heavily used. It worked back then, but not anymore. The only way to make your sales funnel copy work in 2020 is to be authentic, honest and real. You want your copy to sound more conversational and less “car salesman”. This is the type of copy that speaks to the modern day consumer. 

Cody Griffin, CEO of Griffin Copywriting and Marketing Solutions, expanded on this shift to me. “This is why an increasing number of successful brands are moving away from direct response copy tactics to what industry experts are calling emotional response marketing,” he says. “Your funnel doesn’t have to be complicated, but what most marketers fail to do in their copy is meet their market at their current level. It’s vital to relate to where your client or customer is now versus where they want to be and how your product or service will help get them there. Doing so will result in more conversions, more sales and success with your funnel.”  

Related: 5 Ways to Get to the Heart of Emotional Marketing

Stories build deeper emotional connection and responses with your audience. Think less about clicks and more about feelings. Your funnel’s overall performance will skyrocket.

Set up retargeting campaigns

In an ideal world, every person that visits your funnel’s landing page opts in and makes their way to the very end of your funnel where they make a purchase. Unfortunately, it rarely works that way.

If you want your sales funnels to convert, put strategic retargeting campaigns in place. These can be a series of either ads or emails (or both) that get sent to people who land on the first page of your funnel but don’t take the action you want them to (download your lead magnet, watch your video, opt in to your webinar, etc.). 

Related: How Clever Retargeting Persuades Customers Who Looked But Didn’t Buy

The secret to making retargeting campaigns works is making sure they are full of valuable content such as educational videos, inspiring stories, objection handling topics, bonus training, product reviews, customer case studies and testimonials. Every piece of content a prospect sees after they’ve left your sales funnel should show them why they should reconsider your offer and why they can trust you and your brand.

Don’t limit your traffic to one source

It’s no secret that using social media as sources of traffic can be one of the most profitable ways to drive customers to your sales funnels. However, most businesses make the mistake of focusing their traffic efforts on just one platform.

This leads to chaos and panic within your company when the social platform of your choosing crashes for one day. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Social media platforms have the power to control your ability to use their sites for running ads and driving traffic, so invest your resources into getting multiple streams of traffic set up.

Though using social media platforms to drive traffic is arguably one of the best strategies, don’t overlook the power of content marketing in 2020. Utilizing emails, blog content, SEO, case studies, etc. is and will be more effective at driving traffic to your funnel than social media alone. 

Related: 4 Simple Steps to Creating an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

In an email conversation with Cindy Pate, CEO of Manifestation Rebel, she explained this well. “Old stars still shine,” she says. “To drive quality traffic to your funnels, don’t make the mistake of underestimating good old-fashioned email marketing. Emails are still as profitable as ever and will always be a secret sales weapon when used correctly in addition to your social media platforms. Sending traffic to your funnel via organic blog posts, SEO and podcasts are also among the highest-converting forms of content marketing you should be implementing in your funnel strategy today.”

Bottom line: There are traffic sources beyond social media. The value is in the real assets that are gained from a sales funnel including the telephone numbers and email addresses that you store in our own systems outside of social networks. Don’t limit your funnel traffic to one source unless you want your sales to be completely reliant on one platform.

Take these four sales funnel strategies and implement them into your own funnels in 2020 to stand out, increase your conversions and create a hyper profitable client acquisition system. 

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

The start-up has a bouquet of camel milk-based products including camel milk powder, chocolates and skincare range

2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Camel ride is passé, camel milk is the new craze in town. Founded by Hitesh Rathi in 2016 as a bootstrapped company with a capital of less than Rs 10 lakh, Aadvik Foods now has a bouquet of camel milk-based products including camel milk powder, chocolates and skincare range. With distribution channels in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bathinda and Chandigarh, Aadvik Foods also exports its camel milk powder to distributors from the US, Malaysia and the Philippines. Sip in to know more about this new kind of dairy!

2015: Going by history, dates and camel milk were often the diet of people living in desert areas like the Middle East and Sub Saharan Africa. Hailing from Rajasthan, Rathi conceived the idea to explore milk with higher nutritive and health values. He soon launched frozen camel milk for the Indian market as well as the webstore and fulfilled first order.

2016: Launched camel milk powder and established itself as the first Indian company to produce camel milk powder. Introduced a fresh catalogue with over dozen of camel milk products and collaborated with leading e-commerce channels to increase awareness about the health benefits of camel milk.

2017: Shipped its first order outside India.

2018: Launched first flavoured camel milk powder on the planet. Also launched A2 Cow Ghee.

2019: Launched goat milk and goat milk powder, cow colostrum and had grown to a team size of 25 compeers.

2020: Since its inception, Aadvik Foods has already sold 200,000 litres of camel milk. It also strengthened its product portfolio with handmade goat milk soaps and sugar-free camel milk chocolates.

(This article was first published in the February 2020 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

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