Posts Tagged "Startup Motivation"


8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Much has been written about creative agencies needing a toe tag. For years, article after article and expert after expert have predicted a dim future for the model that inspired the three martini lunch. Most notably was when Procter & Gamble CBO Marc Pritchard called for the end of the “archaic Mad Men model.”

But let’s face it — creative agencies aren’t going to change. Whether traditional or digital, their core structure and legacy approach to solving marketing and advertising problems is simply too ingrained to switch direction.

That said, I’m going to disagree with Pritchard and say that, in my opinion, the current agency model shouldn’t go away. It could use some further adjustments and a refocusing of its priorities, but I don’t think we should flush it down the drain for good. The structure, the process, the red tape and even the complexity has relevance today. Less relevance than a decade ago, for sure, but it is far from irrelevant.

Today’s marketers need alternatives to the traditional agency

The problem today isn’t the traditional model; it’s the lack of credible alternative models. Today’s marketers don’t have one-size-fits-all needs, so they shouldn’t be forced to deal with a one-model-fits-all solution.

Let’s be honest, marketers — usually big, complex ones — often need the weighty infrastructure necessary to handle the daily, even hourly, grind of their needs. These needs require a traditional agency and its multi-disciplined resources — project and account management, strategy, research, creative, etc. This legacy structure and process might not be the only way to handle such a grind, but I’d argue that it’s the best because it’s been built for it.

Take, for example, AXE and all of its branded products — I can speak to this because I spent many years working with AXE inside the four walls of a traditional agency and helped launch some of their products. To state the obvious, AXE is a behemoth. It has many elements on the burner simultaneously — creative, strategic, research, production and more. In addition, each Unilever brand has marketing managers, brand managers, assistant brand managers and the eyes and ears of a chain of upper management. And all of that needs constant attention.

Related: The 7 Steps to Managing Your Ad Agency

As such, until Unilever is prepared, internally, to help solve this burden of high-maintenance, AXE needs the resources and structure of its traditional agency. I believe a beast like AXE would crush a smaller, streamlined and nimbler model.

However, there are smaller brands and startups, as well as contained projects within these big brands, that work differently and don’t always require this kind of all-hands-on-deck firepower. These are projects with a well-defined beginning and end. They don’t need the same kind of hourly hand holding. More and more, established businesses and start-ups have projects, large and small, where they already know what they need and simply want to work directly with the creative people who will develop and execute their solution — no need to build a strategy that’s already built, and no need for middlemen running interference, blocking or interpreting feedback.

Not that long ago, I was the head agency creative person sitting in a conference room with eight other people from different disciplines within the agency. Our client walked in, sat down next to me, leaned over and whispered, “Why are all these people here? Am I paying for this? I know what I want and all I need is you to help me get it.” And in that particular instance, he was right.

But therein lies the problem: A lot of that creative talent is locked up inside of these full-service agencies. To access it, marketers need to put up with, and pay for, the rest of the slow, bloated, soup-to-nuts system. Agencies will argue that their creative people can’t possibly begin working until several time-consuming and costly steps are completed. Not because it’s true, but because it’s legacy.

Another problem is the speed that many creative ideas need to move ar today. The traditional agency model has a built-in delay that comes from things like the up-front, strategic-preparation and briefing process. The “everybody gets to review and be heard” process, as well as outsourcing the production of ideas. These things, and others, add time, cost, inefficiency and, frankly, overkill to some creative projects that require speed. This is simply another aspect of the current model agencies aren’t willing to change. Believe me, when I was inside of those agencies I tried.

What marketers truly need are options. Not options of which shade of blue they want, but a blue option, a yellow option and a green polka-dot one. Businesses need alternatives that give them the ability to pick from entirely different models depending on the needs of the project.

New alternatives to the traditional model are out there

There’s the opportunity: A creative-only model — creative development and production in a single, fast-paced, efficient model.

That’s the premise here. Put the kind of creative problem solving talent you find in traditional agencies with world-class executional talent. Get everyone else out of the way and set them free on projects, beginning to end, that don’t need the full-agency treatment. Not as a replacement to the current full-service structure, but as another, stand-alone option for marketers to tap into.

The good news for brands of all sizes, including startups, is that this model has already emerged — you just may not know about it. Not surprisingly, it hasn’t emerged from the agency side (with some exceptions) but rather from resilient, resourceful and intrepid creative people who see beyond the complacency.

Related: Gain Financial Freedom With Your Own Ad Agency

Many of these creative front-runners are developing deep relationships with production companies to give brands, large and small, access to the kinds of ideas and execution that can change their brand fortunes without draining their bank account fortunes. Clients get direct access to the talent that generates the creative solutions they need.

Notable new models, like Mischief, are an excellent example of streamlining creativity and putting it front and center. It takes great creative talent out from behind their corporate desk and puts their creativity to paper again. Shops like Mischief are less structure-forward and more idea-forward. They value big, platform-agnostic ideas and don’t have the same massive infrastructure that needs to be fed a steady diet of dollars.

This idea-forward model is being housed inside of production companies as well. Where production companies used to only execute pre-determined ideas (usually developed inside of creative agencies), now they have built the internal capabilities to develop the ideas themselves. They aren’t building the same full-service capabilities as traditional agencies, so they’re limited in the kinds of projects they can accommodate. But they are building fast, efficient and highly-experienced creative capabilities that deliver excellent creative products.

Tool of North America is a good example of this way of working. They have internal creative talent that is not only capable of executing ideas, but also the talent and experience to develop them from scratch. In addition, many of these production houses are creating relationships with some of the world’s best independent creative talent on the outside that they can bring in when needed.

And this is awesome for today’s marketing needs because it provides brands with an alternative. Product marketing teams, brand teams, content teams and even sales teams can now, in some instances, bypass the legacy approach to problem solving that can act like an anchor tied to the bumper of a Ferrari and simply go straight to creative solutions.

A variety of options creates new opportunities for all brands

Bottom line, I believe creative agencies have been looking at maintaining their relevance all wrong. They try to accommodate the changes taking place in marketing today by looking inward and tweaking their core structure. In reality, they should be looking at what marketers need today and making decisions that create new options.

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7 min read


This story originally appeared on Calendar

At this point, I’m sure that you’ve become accustomed to working from home. You’ve probably even had to come up with creative ways to stay connected with your team remotely. Of course, we are all on our way with the COVID-19 vaccine — but for some of us — work from home has become the new norm.

I’m sure that you’ve already been surrounded by numerous productivity and collaboration tools — but here are a few more options that may have flown under the radar. I would download them now and experiment with them so that you can continue with this summer in a more fruitful and productive yet less stressful manner.

Available on the web, Android, and iOS, Calendar is a free app that uses machine-learning algorithms to deliver smart scheduling functionality. That’s just a technical way of saying that it learns your schedule and interactions to automate meetings and events.

Calendar will also send out automatic invites and even updates if there’s a schedule change. Moreover, it integrates with any connected calendars, including Google Calendar, Outlook, or Apple Calendar.

But that’s not all. Calendar also syncs with leading project management, sales and marketing, and video conferencing tools. There are also analytics and multiple calendar views so that you can easily see how you’re spending your time or what’s around the corner.

While there is a free option, you might want to select the Pro plan at just $8/month. It comes with additional features such as unlimited scheduling slots and phone support.

When it comes to the best to-do-app, Todoist is the king of the hill. The reason? It’s packed with intuitive features, namely natural language input and productivity reports.

Additionally, since it pretty much across every device, you can sync and view your lists from anywhere. That means if you added a task, like emailing a meeting agenda from your laptop, you can update or receive reminders on your iPhone or Apple Watch.

For a free app, you can’t complain about the interface. It’s clean and easy to read. Todoist also plays nice with the Google and Outlook suite of tools, as well as Slack. And, with the free version, you can collaborate with up to five people — paid versions start at just $3/month.

If you’re working with others, then you definitely need a collaboration tool. Right now, that platform is monday.com — which won the 2020 Webby Award for Productivity in the category Apps, Mobile & Voice.

What makes monday.com stand out is its bright and straightforward interface. In fact, the company claims that you can set everything up in just five minutes. After you do, you’ll have a one-stop virtual platform where you and your team can collaborate, communicate, and engage with one another — just as if you were in the same workspace together.

It also integrates with a wide range of tools like Gmail, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, and LinkedIn. Need more? Monday.com automates recurring tasks and allows you to visualize your work with calendar, timeline, and kanban views.

If there’s a downside, it’s that monday.com can get pricey. For instance, the Basic Plan starts at $8/per seat.

Looking for a way to replicate those in-person high-fives you used to have with your team? You can now give your peeps a virtual high-five thanks to Kudos.

Kudos is an employee recognition program that comes equipped with features like real-team feedback and a built-in social feature to have team celebrations. You can also reward high-performing team members with a points system with local gift cards or global eGift cards.

In turn, this will improve your culture and help retain your top talent. And, to sweeten the pot, Kudos has earned 19 badges and a number 72 ranking from the Best Software Awards by G2.

Do you miss those clutch brainstorming sessions with your team? You know, the ones where people were frantically scribbling on a whiteboard. Or, the office was full of sticky notes?

Mural can’t precisely replace those in-person sessions. But it can get pretty close. That’s because it allows you to generate various virtual brainstorm and meeting types.

There’s also a timer so that you can stay on schedule and comment and quick-talk features. Following a free trial, plans start at $12 per user per month.

Here’s another tool designed specifically for collaboration and project management — regardless of your business’s size. However, ClickUp also promises to be the “one app to replace them all as it also comes with:

  • Docs and spreadsheets
  • Goal tracking
  • Time tracking
  • Reminders
  • Wikis
  • Screenshots and recording
  • Email and chat
  • Resource management

What’s more, it can be integrated with other tools that you’re using like Google Drive, Outlook, Slack, Zoom, Dropbox. Pretty much, this tool does replace all of the other productivity tools that you’ve been using. As such, you’ll save time since you aren’t switching back and forth between platforms.

While there is a free plan — a more robust option starts at just $5 per member per month.

Since you’re most likely already using Zoom, you might want to give OnZoom a closer look. It describes itself as an online events platform and marketplace. The public beta version was released in October 2020 and can be used to attend or create events, including concerts, virtual trips, and classes ranging from yoga to overcoming burnout.

For savvy entrepreneurs, this may be a way to grow or launch a business. Or, it could be an excellent tool to help you learn new skills or make the most of your downtime.

For Slack users, this is a handy app that allows you to run ongoing status updates. In turn, you won’t have to schedule as many meetings. Instead, log in and fill in the check-in field to let others know what your daily plans are.

Range can also be used to provide updates so that everyone is in sync. You can also share your mood and ask questions to check in on your team’s morale. Overall, Range is a great tool, not only stay-on-track with projects but also fosters a connected culture.

One of the main drawbacks of working from home is that you are “always on.” Think about it. From the moment you wake up to falling asleep, you’re connected to your devices.

Eventually, this makes it more difficult to separate your home life from your professional one. Even worse, being glued to your electronics all day can damage your productivity and health. Thankfully, YourHour is an app that can make this a problem of the past.

It’s essentially a productivity tracking tool that tracks how long you spend on your phone. It even lets you know how many times you check your phone. Knowing this, you can change this habit so that you can become less dependent on your phone.

Finally, there’s Noisli. Again, the app is pretty straightforward. It just provides background sounds to mask annoying background noises at home to improve your focus.

For one user, Nosli is free. However, if you want to gift the app to your team, plans begin at $10/month. You can download the app on the App Store, Google Play, or the Chrome Web Store.

Image Credit: anna alexes; pexels; thank you!

The post A Few More Work From Home Solutions to Try appeared first on Calendar.

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11 min read


This story originally appeared on Due

It wasn’t long ago that business purchases with a QR scan that transfers cryptocurrency from wallet to wallet sounded like science fiction. Today, it’s becoming a reality.

Consequently, more established businesses are now accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum as forms of payment. Dogecoin — a cryptocurrency that started out as a joke — is also starting to be considered as a form of payment.

More people began purchasing Dogecoin as all major cryptocurrency payment providers included it in their services. With a rise in demand from consumers comes an increase in interest from financiers and businesses. However, are online businesses ready to start accepting Dogecoin as a means of payment?

Small Business Owners Should Consider the Merits of Dogecoin

There are currently over 1,300 merchants accepting Dogecoin payments as of the end of May 2021, and that number keeps going up. 

There are three primary factors motivating the move:

  • High Liquidity. Unlike many other deflationary cryptocurrencies, there’s no limit to the number of Dogecoins that can be created. This makes the asset inflationary, leaving room for an infinite supply. That’s likely to affect its value over time, but a solution is already in the works.
  • Fixed Number of Issued Tokens. A fixed number of coins are issued each year to keep Dogecoin’s value rising. The number of new coins introduced every year is smaller than the number of coins already on the market.
  • Faster Transaction Speed. Dogecoin transactions are ten times faster than Bitcoin due to one-minute block intervals.

With over 1,000 companies across a wide range of niches accepting Dogecoin as a form of payment, there’s no doubt that businesses are finding ways to adapt to the new payment model. Ever since BitPay — the leading crypto payment processing service for merchants — welcomed Dogecoin on March 4, 2021, more companies have started following their lead.

Why Dogecoin?

In fact, due to a recent increase in demand on behalf of businesses, CoinFlip announced that Dogecoin owners can now buy the asset in cash at more than 1,800 locations. CoinFlip currently operates the most prominent Bitcoin ATM network in the U.S.

No less responsible for the rise in demand of Dogecoin is the attention given to the asset by some of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk and Mark Cuban. Thanks to these two billionaires, Dogecoin’s popularity skyrocketed this year. Musk tweeted about taking “Doge to the moon” and revealed that he’s pairing with Dogecoin developers to make the crypto more efficient. This announcement resulted in a 20% jump in a single day.

Today, many third-party vendors offer wallet exchange services to businesses that wouldn’t normally have the resources to get involved with crypto wallets. These services make it easier for those lacking their own wallet to become more accommodating to a broader audience.

15 Well-Known Companies Going All-In on Dogecoin

Hardly any sector of online business remains unaffected when it comes to the practice of accepting Dogecoin (DOGE) as a method of payment. Listed below are 15 high-profile companies that accept DOGE now or will begin doing so in the near future.

1. Dallas Mavericks

As an early adopter of cryptocurrency, the Dallas Mavericks are the first NBA team to incorporate Dogecoin into their payment system. Mavs fans can now purchase game tickets and merchandise using the crypto asset online. Owned by Mark Cuban, the company had previously been using BitPay to process purchases in various cryptocurrencies — including BTC, ETH, BCH, GUSD, and others — with DOGE now joining the list. Cuban tweeted that as long as companies accept DOGE, it can become a usable currency with the potential of having a higher purchasing value than one dollar.

2. Kronos

In mid-April 2021, Kronos Advanced Technologies Inc. started trading higher after announcing that the company had exchanged its First Bitcoin (not related to Bitcoin) holdings for Dogecoin Cash. The air-purification tech company now has approximately 600 million in Dogecoin Cash and will begin using it as a method of payment.

3. Kessler Collection

The luxury hotel group Kessler Collection recently adopted DOGE as a payment option by pairing up with BitPay. The company thus became the first U.S. luxury hotel chain to accept crypto payments. CEO Richard Kessler stated that the acceptance of cryptocurrencies represent “one of the most innovative concepts in the hospitality industry right now.” Kessler believes that “cryptocurrency is only going to gain acceptance, and partnering with BitPay allows us to offer more choices in the payment process.” He further demonstrated that DOGE is worthwhile by including it among Bitcoin, Ethereum, and several others.

4. BOTS, Inc.

BOTS, Inc. offers services in the digital robotics manufacturing industry and is among the first publicly traded businesses to add DOGE as a payment method. Users can now purchase all of their products and services with DOGE, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

5. AirBaltic

AirBaltic was the first airline to make the DOGE-friendly companies list. However, this was not a huge surprise as the company has been open to accepting cryptocurrency payments since 2014 when it began accepting BTC. Latvia’s airline carrier doesn’t store Dogecoins but instead converts them to euros during the payment process.

6. EasyDNS

EasyDNS is a Canadian internet service provider known for its superior services and innovation. As of April 16, 2021, the company climbed the innovation ladder even higher by accepting DOGE payments. EasyDNS was the first ICANN registrar to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, and now DOGE. Canadians starting their online business can now get a domain name, DNS, web hosting, and email server, paying for all of it in DOGE.

7. Post Oak Motor Cars

Post Oak Motor Cars is a luxury car dealership and repair service company operating on the Gulf Coast. Thanks to a recent update in their payment method system, customers can now purchase Bentleys, Bugattis, and Rolls-Royce vehicles using DOGE. Post Oak Motor Cars is the lone authorized Bentley dealership in Houston.

8. Newegg

Newegg is one of the latest e-retailers to announce its acceptance of DOGE as a method of payment. The company did so to celebrate Dogeday on April 20. Newegg was also the first major online business to accept Bitcoin back in 2014. This online business sells tech products, including computers, laptops, TVs, small kitchen appliances, cell phones, car electronics, gaming equipment, toys, and more. Similar to the other businesses that made this list, Newegg partnered up with BitPay. Their customers can now pay with DOGE by simply clicking “Edit” in the payment section and selecting BitPay.

9. SpaceX

SpaceX plans on launching “DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon” in 2022 and has already begun accepting payments in DOGE for mission funding. The SpaceX flight will be the first satellite to go on a space mission funded solely with digital currency. The company says this first-of-its-kind mission will show the cryptocurrency application beyond the Earth’s orbit and pave the road for interplanetary commerce.

10. Estate Diamond Jewelry

Estate Diamond Jewelry is a fairly recent addition to the list of companies accepting DOGE as a payment method. This jewelry house is also one of the first of its kind to accept high-ticket payments using DOGE. Estate has some of the highest-quality Art Deco, Victorian, and Edwardian jewelry. Jewelry lovers can also shop for high-end vintage rings, earrings, wedding bands, and cocktail rings, paying for all of their purchases with DOGE.

11. Energy Electronics

Energy Electronics is one of the most authoritative mobile solution distributors in the U.S. and one of the first in its niche to announce DOGE as an accepted method of payment. “We believe that cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin and Dogecoin, are here to stay. We like to stay ahead of the curve and accepting crypto is an obvious move,” said Yisroel Teitelbaum, president of Energy Electronics. The company is among the leading sources for corporate logistic solutions across the country, helping businesses streamline operations and improve efficiency since 2014.

12. NOWPayments

NOWPayments is among the first companies dealing with cryptocurrency payments to accept DOGE. The company offers easy cryptocurrency platform integrations for online businesses, allowing instant withdrawals and an auto coin conversion service.

13. CoinPayments

CoinPayments has become one of the industry’s leading cryptocurrency processing companies. This platform helps businesses integrate crypto payments into their Shopify, WooCommerce, and other major e-commerce platforms. There is currently a 0.05% fee, one of the lowest in the marketplace. Adding DOGE to its list of cryptocurrencies means all businesses using their services can now also start accepting payments in DOGE.

14. Snel.com

Web hosting provider Snel is flexible with its methods of payment and uses CoinPayments and BitPay as payment gateways, both of which now operate with DOGE. The company has announced cryptocurrency plans for businesses of all sizes.

15. HostMeNow

UK-based web hosting company HostMeNow has started accepting DOGE as a payment method in addition to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other popular cryptocurrencies.

How Can the Average Small Business Start Accepting Dogecoin?

There are several ways for small businesses to begin accepting DOGE as a cryptocurrency. However, the process may be slow and not as straightforward as implementing more traditional payment options. But it may well be worth the hassle, judging by the whopping increase in value this year. Not only that, businesses that adapt to cryptocurrency increase the pool of customers with whom they can make quick sales.

DOGE has a few obvious benefits for small businesses as compared to Bitcoin:

  • Bitcoin is more of a store value. Dogecoin is better geared for day-to-day transactions due to its unlimited supply and inflationary nature.
  • Bitcoin’s transaction times are up to ten times slower compared to that of DOGE.
  • DOGE carries lower transaction fees.

For small businesses looking to accept DOGE, the two main options are 1) creating a wallet or 2) using third-party services to process transactions.

Create an Official Doge Wallet

The most secure and straightforward method for businesses to start accepting DOGE is by having customers pay them in Dogecoins directly. Business owners can get started at the official Dogecoin website. The process involves the following steps:

  1. Choosing a wallet for holding Dogecoins.
  2. Configuring the wallet.
  3. Getting Dogecoin.

There are two types of digital wallets to choose from — MultiDoge, a light wallet, and Dogecoin Core, more suitable for miners. First, business owners set up the app on their computers. Then, they will be asked to name the wallet. Additionally, they will also have the option of giving the wallet address to customers and asking them to send Dogecoins directly to the wallet. Brick-and-mortar store owners can set up a QR code containing all important product information that customers who use the Dogecoin app can scan and transfer the data to the app.

Use BitPay

BitPay is the leading cryptocurrency payment service provider. Using BitPay, merchants worldwide can sell their products and services online using various cryptocurrencies. Recently, the company started accepting Dogecoins next to Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Wrapped Bitcoin.

The main advantage of BitPay is that business owners are not obliged to create crypto wallets. Nevertheless, they can accept the assets without buying or owning them. When a customer pays for a service in DOGE, BitPay converts it to USD or the local business currency. The business then receives the balance in its bank account through ACH.

The BitPay wallet app is available in the App Store and Google Play for merchants who want to accept DOGE and other cryptocurrencies. Then, business owners can also sign up for service through the app.

Alternative Solutions

Companies such as NOWPayments and CoinPayments offer services similar to those of BitPay, allowing small businesses to incorporate cryptocurrencies into their payment systems.

Prodoge is another platform that allows businesses to send and receive Bitcoin, Dogecoin, DigiByte, and Ethereum cryptocurrencies by maintaining a USD coin wallet. Small business owners can use this software to sell items, send invoices and payment links, and more.

WordPress website owners can use open-source plugins such as Nomiddleman Crypto that accepts all major cryptocurrencies, including DOGE. The plugin is free to use. It has automatic payment processing, a real-time crypto valuation, and a fully automated customer QR code feature.

Keep One Eye on the Steady Rise of Dogecoin

The more Dogecoin people acquire, the more they’ll want to spend it on various purchases. For Dogecoin to be accepted as a means of payment, innovative businesses will need to lead the way making cryptocurrency a regular feature of online commerce.

As always, opinions are still divided on the scalability of DOGE. And, more and more companies seem to be willing to place their bets on it becoming a leading method of payment. The questionable scalability and overall instability of the crypto market make the whole process a bit slower. However, the wheels are turning steadily. It’s now apparent that online businesses are ready to accept DOGE but only time will reveal the success of this “joke” currency.

The post Are Online Businesses Ready to Start Accepting Dogecoin? appeared first on Due.

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6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


“To engage with customers and satisfy their need for speed, businesses must re-engineer their approach. Today, it’s about giving the customer what they want, when they want it and how they want it, or they’ll go someplace else.” — Judith E. Glaser, best-selling business author and creator of Conversational Intelligence® (1946-2018)

We are all shoppers. We all participate in what is known by consumer marketers as “The Buyer’s Journey.” We become aware of products. Consider and compare them. Decide and then purchase them.

Many of us need to see a product live, hold it, perceive it. We don’t necessarily trust what we can’t see in person. This journey does not end at the purchase. We consume the product and form impressions based on the entire experience to advise future decisions.

Enter Covid-19. The novel virus influenced people to stay safe at home, driving unprecedented online-shopping growth. As it stands today, about a quarter of the planet shops online. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that ecommerce sales totaled $791.7 billion in 2020, an increase of 32.4% from 2019.

Additionally, a recent report by the Mastercard Economics Institute predicts that 20-30% of pandemic related shifts to digital buying will be permanent. What does this mean for online retailers?

Related: Covid-19 Aftermath: Online Retail Shopping Becoming the New Normal

New opportunities

We are still living in what Qualtrics described as the “era of immediacy” over seven years ago. Shoppers operate in real time, round the clock. Yet, distanced from the immediacy of any human touch during the sales process, online interactions become more automated and impersonal. Customers accept a great deal of uncertainty, risk and ambiguity when taking their business online.

Concerns around perceived trust, privacy and security become deal-makers and deal-breakers in the digital marketplace. If trust is established, shoppers are more willing to take financial risks. But an initial misstep in the game of trust leaves an unfavorable first impression that becomes difficult to reverse.

A customer’s POV

When prospective shoppers decide on who to trust, and who not to, how they see uncertainty, risk and ambiguity can determine the payoff. By limiting the levels of mitigating factors that affect buying, online retailers can foster trust with shoppers, raise their willingness to buy, create loyalty and thus stand the best chance of success.

There are three key pain points that can lead to customer migration. Problems with product uncertainty, potential loss and credibility can be solved with trust-based solutions. Here’s how online retailers can positively influence shoppers and establish their brand as a trusted one.

1. Online shoppers begin their journey in a state of uncertainty

One immediate concern in ecommerce is product fulfillment. The delayed gratification between purchase and arrival of the product triggers uncertainty. This leaves the customer wondering if the product will arrive damaged, on time or even meet the quality promised by the seller.

Retailers can ease this form of fulfillment uncertainty with policies on return and quality assurance, alongside customer-service support. Satisfaction is a core factor in retention. It is maintained through a dialogue between shoppers and vendors. Quality service sets a benchmark for trust and gives deeper insight into the user’s experience. Shopify, a multinational ecommerce company, identifies this “conversational commerce” as an increasingly important step in driving
genuine connection between customers and sales.

Related: 14 Tips for Safe Online Shopping

2. Unnecessary risks are often the greatest enemy of sellers

Shoppers are already uncertain and weary about the state of the product. Further risks can jeopardize long-term customer commitment. One such risk is called “dark nudging,” where the site’s interface acts in a way that misleads users or acts against their best interests. For example, a hidden cost strategy that hikes up the initial price of a product during purchase can lower future purchase intention and recommendations. Not only does this strategy violate the shopper’s trust, it is also a leading cause (49%) of cart abandonment.

Transparency is the first step towards building trust online. Price guarantees and one-click purchasing can reduce these unnecessary risks. If the seller decides to introduce costs to the purchase process, they must be upfront and clear about them. To design a site that nudges in the right direction, the seller should follow economist Richard Thaler’s three principles: Be transparent and never mislead, provide easy opt outs and always act in the best interest of those being nudged.

3. Privacy and security concerns can erode customer trust

When it comes to known concerns versus the unknown, sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. Shoppers fear misuse of personal information, security breaches and a lack of visible security features at checkout. The unknown potential for loss of privacy and security, coupled with a lack of influence on the outcome, can lead to untrustworthy interfaces.

Shoppers want to conduct business on a site that is reliable and credible. A 2021 survey on cart abandonment found that 17% of online shoppers exit during checkout because they “didn’t trust the site with their credit card information.” SSL seals, such as Norton’s, indicate technical security and encryption. Trust seals, like BBB Accredited, indicate legitimacy because a trusted third party has independently evaluated and tested a retailer’s website. Additionally, internal assurance statements of the vendor’s policy can act as another indicator of transparency. Jargon and industry-specific language lead to ambiguity that can be hard to interpret. When in doubt, opt on the users’ side and protect their personal information.

Related: Instagram and Google Launch Interactive Online Shopping

The extraordinary growth and evolution of ecommerce is turning prospective shoppers into buyers worldwide. Web surfers are rapidly turning into web spenders. For retailers, establishing a well-built, reputable online presence is a benchmark for long-term success and a key differentiator in the marketplace. With an abundance of competition, it’s all about giving customers what they
want, and trust is at the top of that list.

If you would like to learn more about the critical areas where your business can build trust with
online customers, check out The CreatingWE Institute, an executive consulting company that
operates at the junction of leadership, culture and brand.

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Key lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic that transformed effective leadership, including emphasizing the importance of providing your team with new modes of support.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Being an effective leader means supporting both employees and customers. During the upheaval of 2020, this was especially essential, and certainly challenging, as we navigated the changes from how we work to politics and the very structure of society. Interestingly, McKinsey & Company found that executives reported that their companies responded to a range of changes much more quickly than they thought possible before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In July of 2020, I became general manager of the application performance management and IT operations analytics company, AppDynamics, taking over that leadership position in the heart of this period of uncertainty. Since then, I have learned a great deal. Below are three key lessons that helped me get through nearly a full year at the helm — ones that any leader can leverage. 

People First

The most important foundational investment you can ever make is in people. How you bring an organization together, especially during times like the recent pandemic, demonstrates such commitment. To that end, perhaps start by innovating on how to accommodate the challenges your teams face while working from home (an increasingly likely prospect of continuing indefinitely), such as managing a child’s learning while a parent works full-time. Our Employee Experience team, for example, revamped its offerings to include programs that focus on how to stay mentally and physically healthy during COVID, including a virtual Silly Circus to entertain kids at home. Looking to reduce meetings (to help battle “meeting fatigue”) as well as get employees in the flow, we also launched a no-meeting day, which was so well received that we expanded it to twice a month.

How we demonstrate our values needs to show up not just in our personal lives, but at work. So, we hosted guest speakers on issues that were both tethered to our company values and on the minds of employees, such as the fight for racial justice in the U.S. Additionally, our entire executive team jumped to participate in a reverse-mentorship program with African American/Black colleagues to boost both those intuitions and awareness generally. We also sponsored donation-matching blitzes so employees could amplify their impact on causes they care about, and the response has been overwhelming.

Resulting company check-ins, town halls and ongoing conversations played a key role in providing a safe space as well as in educating one another. To be sure leadership was listening as much as talking; we set aside more time for Q&As at our town halls and used the real-time polling platform, Slido, to prioritize questions that mattered most to employees.

Related: The 5 Crucial Phases of Building a Team

Drive Focus, and Be Decisive

The pandemic forced entire industries to embrace the need to adapt, and quickly. Some processes were smooth transitions, while others were more difficult. As you move higher up in an organization, problems become more complex and your decisions become more impactful. It gets scary, and it can be tempting to lean on additional discovery and analysis in response. Many times, however, this results in “analysis paralysis”, which can lead to torpor — exactly what’s not needed. The key is to understand the big picture and focus a team on your top priorities. As you face decisions, weigh the largest trade-offs based on those priorities and agree (or disagree) and commit. Almost always, the inability to pick a path is more damaging and tumultuous for an organization than making the wrong decision and having to go back to iterate. As you build this muscle, you’ll find teams gaining velocity in execution and that will allow you to fail faster and iterate quickly. 

Related: Why Failure is Necessary in Order to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

Embrace Curiosity

Once people find themselves in a leadership position, it’s easy to forget a growth mindset. I strongly believe that every person I meet has something to teach me; whether I choose to learn from them or not is up to me. Leaders are exposed to so many individuals, and finding the energy to stay curious is tough, but critical. So, ask questions, double-click into their perspectives, and let them teach you. From learning about the nuances of each part of the business to the art of making the best matcha, people around me teach me something new every day. I’ve also learned the value in knowing where to find answers; instead of trying to be the expert, I’ve focused on knowing who the experts are. Connecting them with interesting problems is one of the best ways I see companies move fast and innovate. 

We don’t know exactly what the future will look like, and there will inevitably be more challenges ahead, but we can apply what we learned this last year and be more prepared for uncertainty in the future. There are always ways we can grow as individuals and help our teams and companies develop with us. 

Related: How Your Business Can Be Ahead of the Curve by Looking Backward and Thinking Forward

 

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Covid-19 slowed M&A activity, but there were still many large deals and IPOs last year.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


At the start of 2020, some experts predicted that M&A activity would be weaker than in 2019. Then, Covid-19 slowed M&A expectations even more. However, we saw plenty of massive deals and IPOs last year, and I expect that to continue as businesses and the economy alike enter the post-Covid recovery phase. 

The cybersecurity market saw more than $6.3 billion invested throughout 2020 in the U.S alone with laser focus on growth and the consolidation of functionality. This May will mark one year since my company acquired Octarine to expand our expertise in container security and Kubernetes environments, and to say we’ve learned a lot is an understatement. I’ve previously highlighted challenges, learnings, and humbling moments that came with completing an M&A amid the pandemic, and now I’m taking a look back at the past year and offering some advice for other entrepreneurs in similar situations. 

Trust your new team to make important decisions 

While it was remarkable to complete an M&A remotely between my company in the U.S. and Octarine in Tel Aviv, it was even more of an accomplishment to onboard, align and work remotely so closely over the past year. Add in the pressure of an unfortunate industry standard that most M&As perform under expectations, and we had a tall order in front of us. 

Building trust among the new and existing team members was absolutely critical to our success from the minute the deal was signed. As a business leader and someone who has been on the other side of an acquisition many times, I knew early on that I didn’t want to suffocate the new team. As Steve Jobs once said, “Don’t hire smart people and then tell them what to do.” This couldn’t have been more true when it came to combining our teams. I made sure that our new teammates had a voice and felt comfortable sharing their points of view. 

Related: 7 Virtual Team-Building Ideas to Keep Your Staff Connected

Ensure alignment toward the joint vision and goal 

The two Octarine co-founders that joined our team fundamentally understood that they were transitioning their company to be a part of something bigger. They were on board with a vision that was different than their initial one when founding Octarine. They knew that this acquisition allowed for accelerating the adoption of Octarine technology — putting Octarine tech in more customers’ hands, faster.

As a joint team, we agreed early on to fully transition the Octarine product into our existing security platform. This was painful at first. After all, the Octarine team had to go back and re-tool work they’d already poured their energy into. But by making that decision — and getting genuine and heartfelt alignment — we were able to complete the transition and get to market in six months, which is a remarkably short period and much faster than typical. 

I’m the first to admit that, as a senior technical person, I’m opinionated and hate to lose. However, we agreed from the onset that we shared the same common goal of delivering great products to our customers and would agree on our path to achieving it. In the case of this M&A, we had a larger security strategy to strive toward, and Octarine filled one piece of that. In order to deliver on our aggressive product roadmap promises six months after the deal closed, we made sure that we kept the larger strategy at the forefront of our efforts the whole time.

Related: Six Ways to Manage Global Teams Remotely and Create a Culture of Trust, Productivity

Don’t be afraid to be decisive 

In video meetings full of experienced and opinionated technical leaders, it’s no surprise that we unearthed conflicts. There were hard calls to make along the path to delivery. When there was an issue, we escalated it quickly and then we were decisive and made a call. Both teams had to agree because, in the end, we were one team. 

I had a similar experience when my company, Carbon Black, was acquired for the first of two times in 2014. We were a small, very technical startup. We were acquired by a bigger player, which of course was exciting — we finally had paying customers! It’s because of this experience earlier in my career that I empathize with wanting to see something through. It’s critical as a leader of both the acquired and the acquiring company that you let strong teammates continue to have a voice, a clear path for growth, and to be challenged. But, at the end of the day as a leader, it’s your job to be decisive and make hard decisions.

As human beings, we don’t crave conflict. It’s not easy. To prepare for some of these expected growing pains after an acquisition, it’s critical that a leader is defined, and that the roles and responsibilities of the team are crystal clear. The only way to solve conflict is with a leader who isn’t afraid to make the final call and keep the team aligned. Another critical element here is to take any emotion or ego out of the situation. You can’t let someone needing recognition be the cause for a slow path to success. Lead by example and leave the ego at the door (or off of video meetings). In the end, winning solves everything, and in this case, it’s winning as one united team that matters most. 

Related: Don’t Even Think ‘Merger’ Without Taking These 5 Steps First

 

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Go off the grid without really going off the grid.


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.


Summer is just about here and you’ve earned yourself a vacation. The business will be fine if you head away for a few days so go find the rest and relaxation you need. However, if you are going off the grid, it’s still important to stay safe. That means having a way to stay in contact with the civilized world, especially if you’re going off on your own. Whether you’re traveling to a distant beach or heading to the mountains for a few days, make sure you have a Radacat C2 Messenger: Off-Grid GPS Tracker with you.

The Radacat C2 Messenger is an off-grid messenger that might just save your life one day. It’s a mini GPS tracking device that doubles as a messenger and a tracker by connecting to your mobile phone. Even if you’re way off-grid with no cell service, Radacat allows you to use offline GPS, send text and voice messages, and provides real-time locations to other Radacat C2 users. (They come in a two-pack so you’ll always have someone you know on the other end.)

The Radacat C2 requires no cell signal, monthly fees, or WiFi. It’s compact and easy to carry with you anywhere and offers more than 36 hours of continuous working time on a single charge. (More if you only turn it on when you’re fully off the grid.) It has up to a six-mile range, depending on obstructions and interference. Perfect for hiking, skiing, cycling, international travel, and more, the Radacat C2 is a smart way to stay safe this summer.

Don’t go fully off the grid. Normally $289, you can get a Radacat C2 Messenger: Off-Grid GPS Tracker two-pack for 20 percent off at just $230 today.

Prices subject to change.

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SBA loans might seem confusing, but the application process is relatively simple.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


When you don’t have the personal or investment capital necessary to start a business that requires a good chunk of it, the logical answer is to look into a business loan. And although just about any loan involves receiving a lump sum of cash and paying it back over a period of time, not every loan program is created equal. Out of all the business loan programs out there, many entrepreneurs tend to enjoy the accessibility and simplicity of SBA loans.

But how do you qualify for an SBA loan? The current economy is volatile, and following the financial losses caused by many coronavirus-related closures, more and more businesses are competing for precious capital. Here’s how to get in on what’s available. 

Related: I Went to Prison for SBA Loan Fraud: 7 Things to Know When Taking COVID-19 Relief Money

Ensure your business meets the basic requirements

The SBA doesn’t actually give out loans; instead, it works with individual lenders to distribute loans to small businesses by setting guidelines set by its partnering lenders and community development organizations. As such, it’s crucial that your small business meets these “hard guidelines” in order to even be in the running for an SBA loan. The SBA requires that businesses are for-profit, based in the United States, and “small” (per its size standards) to start. Founders need to have invested time and money into the business, exhausted other lending options, and established the ability to repay the loan over a reasonable period of time. The SBA’s lending partners do not consider businesses that don’t meet these criteria, so if your business is technically an enterprise or you’re legally a nonprofit, you may be out of luck. (Other less common characteristics can disqualify a business as well, such as being faith-based, gambling- or marijuana-focused, or discriminatory, like any business that focuses its resources on clients of a certain gender or race.) 

Iron out your credit

Like with any other loan, the SBA will examine a founder’s credit score and history to determine their likelihood and ability to pay back the loan amount. As such, SBA loans aren’t available to business owners whose credit scores are under 670, or whose credit histories recently show delinquent payments. Try retrieving a copy of your credit report prior to applying for an SBA loan, and if your credit score is on the lower end, take steps to improve the score over time.

Prepare everything on the loan submission checklist

Applying for a loan is a lot more complicated than just asking for it. The SBA requires that any business looking for a loan completes an extensive loan application, a credit memo, a cash projection document and more. Some of these items are dependent on the amount of the desired loan, the age of the business or the number of borrowers on the loan application. Although less common, 504 loans (which are used for major fixed assets that frequently involve construction or long-term machinery) require different application items, so make sure to look out for the appropriate checklist for your desired loan. 

Related: 5 Best and Fast Small-Business Loans (Some of Which You’ve Never Heard of)

Offer collateral

The SBA generally requires that business owners offer up some type of collateral to secure a loan. This is required of anyone who owns 20 percent or more of the business. Collateral can include assets such as real estate or office equipment, and can also cover things like accounts receivable, inventory and an owner’s second mortgage on their home. In the SBA’s own words, this is a founder’s way of proving that they have “skin in the game.”

Similar to any financial decision, taking on an SBA loan also comes with its risks. Offering up collateral can result in personal consequences if you can’t make your payments. SBA loans often have relatively high interest rates as well, which means more money paid back over the long-term (even though those interest rates do have a cap). And just like mortgages, SBA loans often come with origination and appraisal fees that tack onto the down payment before you can receive the actual cash you’ve applied for. All of these factors are important to consider before biting the bullet. 

If you do ever take out an SBA loan, remember that they can be put to use in a variety of different ways, including recovering from the impact of Covid-19, hiring new staff, investing in new technologies and even purchasing another business. As your business continues to grow, it is worth considering how this type of loan might best benefit your business. 

Related: His Criminal Record Disqualified Him From Receiving PPP. So He Pushed Back, and Got the Rules Changed.

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5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


In the age of the celebrity founder, investors and commentators alike are consumed with the business giants that have seemingly conquered the world. Our appetites are relentless when it comes to even the most routine action or soundbite from Musk, Bezos and Zuckerberg. And, in today’s meme-ified markets, investment dollars and airtime flow to these leaders and their companies in far greater volume than to anything else. 

As any Twitter jockey will eagerly explain, the best investors are contrarian. They jump on trends before anyone else, find gold in others’ trash and are greedy when others are fearful. But the biggest, most obvious contrarian play is one that has existed forever and takes no effort to unearth.

Female founders and women-led companies, despite systemic barriers, have amazing upside potential. For investors trying to back the next Bill Gates, start with women. 

Related: Who’s The Top Female Founder in Your State? (Infographic)

Perspective needed, stat

As anyone who has ever walked down a street can observe, the population hovers nearly equal between men and women. But that’s where the parity ends. Venture-capital funding to female founders represented 2.3 percent of the 2020 total, according to Crunchbase. That’s down from 2019’s 2.8 percent, which was an all-time high. 

In 2019, Harvard Business Review reported that 7 percent of elite startups’ board members were women. 

Advocacy group All Raise determined that women made up 13 percent of “decision makers” at venture-capital funds; 65 percent of the funds had zero female partners. 

The social implications here are obvious and widely discussed. From an investment perspective, it’s just really stupid. 

Related: The Founder of Bumble Reveals How the ‘Question of Nine’ Can Help You Stay Focused 

Female alpha

Even with a tiny fraction of funding and inadequate support from the financial community, women-led startups outperform. In 2018, Boston Consulting Group sponsored a study that compared men- and women-led startups. Out of the 350 startups it observed, BCG found a two-to-one funding advantage for the male founders. It also found that, cumulatively, the women-led startups generated 10 percent more revenue over a five-year period. That equated to $0.78 in revenue per dollar raised for the women and $0.31 for the men. 

This isn’t to say that women are inherently better business people than men. But it’s interesting that an industry that prides itself on objective quantitative analysis has such a glaring blindspot. 

Numbers aside, there are some easy observations to make: 

1. Given that most startups are founded, managed and funded by men, they typically cater to male audiences even if the product or service is not focused on a specific gender. That could be easily changed if the companies made a point to have equal representation in decision-making positions, but most don’t. A Kaufmann Fellows study found that women-led companies hired 2.5 times more women. The resulting diversity in thought is undeniably good for innovation and business strategy. 

2. Many startups fail because the teams never quite found product-market fit or grossly overestimated the addressable market. It’s hard to find a pitch deck these days that doesn’t show zero to $100 million in annual recurring revenue between years one and three. There is truth to the adapted social-media meme, “Lord give me the confidence of a male 25-year-old startup founder.”

The lopsided fundraising environment forces female founders to show greater subject-matter expertise along with more conservative, attainable goals. They’re put under greater scrutiny at nearly every step of the startup journey compared to their male counterparts. 

Simply put, female founders outperform because they have to. 

3. Both investors and consumers are voting with their dollars more and more, especially the younger crowds. The Denver Post’s Bruce Deboskey recently wrote that of the 68-million-strong Gen Z members, 90 percent believe that companies must act to help social and environmental issues. With data like that, any new startup worth its weight in Clubhouse rooms has to be purpose-led. Women, along with minority founders, have a major advantage here as they’re more likely to have witnessed (or been victim of) the societal issues that urgently need fixing. 

Again, not a knock on male founders (I am one), but it’s simply harder to sympathize with and champion causes that one hasn’t experienced. 

Related: A Female Founder’s Tips for Fundraising

Timing the trade

The best time to have invested in female founders was the same day we started investing in male founders. The second best time is today. None of the studies or data presented above is brand new or surprising to anyone who has been paying attention. There are more advocacy groups, accelerators, incubators and thought leaders focused on this than ever before. 

There are headline-busting stories that prove how wrong the institutions have been to ignore half the population. Whitney Wolfe Herd, the 31-year-old Bumble founder, is one of the youngest self-made billionaires in the world. She was a co-founder at Tinder, had a bad experience with one of the other founders and left to start a dating app that approached things from the woman’s perspective. When she rang the opening bell at Nasdaq earlier this year, she did so with her 18-month-old son on her hip. 

We’re going to hear many, many more stories like that in the coming years. Of the endless investment criteria and pontificating that investors do to find the next smash hit, female founders may show the most asymmetrical returns of them all.

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5 min read


This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

U.S. mid-cap stocks are off to a strong start in 2021. The S&P 400 mid cap index is up 17% year-to-date compared to 11% for its large cap counterpart the S&P 500.

Many investors like to buy mid-cap companies because they reside in the sweet spot of the capitalization spectrum. Not too big, and not too small. This is where we find mature companies that are well-established in their respective markets but still have a lot of room to grow.

Here we highlight three undervalued mid cap companies that have a good chance of graduating to large cap status.

Is the Badger Meter Pullback a Buy Opportunity?

Not long ago Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) was considered a small cap stock. Today, the $2.7 billion stock is hanging out with the mid cap crowd and may be on its way to the big leagues.

The Wisconsin-based company makes a range of products that measure water flow and related technology solutions. Its offerings are used by customers around the world to optimize water flow and be a part of the world’s push towards sustainable water usage.

Badger Meter is considered the global leader in the so-called ‘smart water’ market. Its smart water metering and flow measurement technologies are seeing record demand from utilities and industrial customers. In the first quarter of this year, the company posted 9% top line growth and exited the period with a record backlog of smart water product orders. The gross margin is also moving in the right direction and led to 15% EPS growth last quarter.

Just as the pandemic has accelerated many pre-existing trends like e-commerce and telemedicine, it has also sped up the adoption of digital smart water solutions. Water safety and security is an increasingly important issue for utilities and municipalities—and sales of Badger Meter’s electronic solutions should continue to benefit from these trends.

Badger Meter has a leading position in a smart water market that is viewed as an oligopoly. Over the next few years, software and electronics will increasingly be used to monitor water quality and for automated water reading in many parts of the world. This translates to international expansion opportunities for Badger Meter. The recent $20 pullback to the low $90’s screams buy opportunity for this mid cap growth winner.

Is Herbalife Nutrition Stock Undervalued?

On February 18th Herbalife Nutrition (NYSE:HLF) stock gapped lower after the company reported fourth quarter results that fell short of the Street’s expectations. Quarterly sales grew 16% but adjusted EPS fell 7% year-over year.

The market punished the stock in a classic case of nearsightedness. The bigger picture here is that Herbalife had its best year yet in 2020. Despite COVID-19 making in-person meetings a challenge for the company’s army of independent entrepreneurs, annual sales were the highest they’ve ever been.

Herbalife is benefitting from increased consumer interest in health and nutrition in the wake of the pandemic. It’s a trend that is only likely to get stronger as people stay vigilant about healthy eating and exercise habits to build immunity in the post-COVID world.

And as global employment trends improve people will have more money to spend on Herbalife’s weight management, specialty nutrition, fitness, skin, and hair care products. The fourth quarter overreaction also glazed over management’s raised guidance for 2021 and a new $1.5 billion stock buyback program.

This week Herbalife reported strong first-quarter 2021 results that got value investors rethinking the stock. Sales jumped 19% to $1.5 billion, and EPS jumped 71% to $1.42 (albeit with easy comparison to the prior-year quarter). Still, both figures beat the consensus expectations, and management once again upgraded its full-year outlook.

Herbalife stock gapped higher in heavy volume on the Q1 news which accompanied by a timely press release about 28 NFL draft picks having been trained with Herbalife products. At just 13x forward earnings, investors will want to make this undervalued mid cap a high draft priority.

Is Integra LifeSciences Stock a Buy?

Integra LifeSciences (NASDAQ:IART) is a $6.3 billion health care company that makes medical devices for neurosurgery, orthopedic joint reconstruction, and wound repair. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know that this stock is undervalued.

The 25x forward P/E is well below that of the medical device industry average as is the 4.5x price-to-sales ratio. Integra LifeSciences is trading near an all-time high but has pulled back this week after touching $77.40. The down volume has dwindled in each of the last four days since May 3rd suggesting the selloff is losing steam.

Buying the mid-cap here would give investors inexpensive exposure to a growing medical device company with an expanding product lineup and international growth prospects. Mainly through acquisition, Integra has broadened its product line in sync with trends in hospital demand. It bought regenerative medicine company ACell to strengthen its regenerative tissue and wound care product portfolio. Regenerative medicine is an area that is expected to be a strong source of growth for the company as spine and orthopedic elective procedures resume post-COVID.

Integra’s largest overseas market is the Asia-Pacific region which is seeing strong demand for surgical equipment and products as hospital operating conditions begin to normalize. Last quarter Integra posted double digit revenue growth in both China and Japan. These two markets along with other parts of Asia will be key growth avenues.

Look for Integra to capitalize on its international growth opportunities and derive growth from more value-added acquisitions that complement its product portfolio. Given the momentum in the business, it won’t be long before this mid cap stock trades in the $80’s.

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