5 Lean and Agile Methods for Your E-Commerce Venture

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Every e-commerce venture starts with a great idea. But once you have the concept, how do you get it out to the public?

We’ve been programmed to think that perfection equals success, but that’s just not true anymore. Successful ventures give the public what it wants when it wants it.

Today, people are using lean and agile methodologies to build businesses, robots, software, and even marketing campaigns. Dropbox is a prime example. The company used lean methods to increase its user base from 100,000 to more than 4,000,000 in just 15 months.

So what are agile development and the “lean” methodology, and how can you apply these concepts to your e-commerce startup?

The New Tools: Gadgets And Tech To Energize Entrepreneurs

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It's a hard road to the top for entrepreneurs, but it's not as hard as it used to be. Some 500,000 businesses operate annually with less than one year's worth of history, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The American economy is powered by entrepreneurs seeking the next best thing. Here are some tools for new business owners or capital providers to maximize revenue while minimizing expenses:

Health and Wellness Advice for Busy Entrepreneurs

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For entrepreneurs and other business professionals, hard work can quickly spawn unhealthy habits. Working long hours, getting by on fast food and taking on heavy loads of stress can all combine to create a bleak health outlook.

While some business owners may be inclined to put their work before all else, they are likely doing serious damage to their bodies in the process. If you're allowing your physical wellness to suffer, it's time to take action.

Do You Need a Co-Founder?

co-founder-article

Many entrepreneurs are independent by nature. They don’t think like everybody else, and they take great joy in building something from scratch, relying on their own efforts, and making their own decisions. 

One of the more difficult and important decisions you will make as an entrepreneur is deciding whether or not to bring on a partner. I personally love partnerships because they allow me to focus on things that interest me and help compensate for my weaknesses. 

11 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Understand About Failure

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

We asked 11 members of the YEC what they felt every entrepreneur should know about failure. Here are their responses.

4 Reasons Why Your Landing Page Is Your Startup’s Biggest Asset

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As an entrepreneur, your time is precious. When launching a startup, it’s tempting to chase perfection by investing in a full-scale website with all the bells and whistles. But if you don’t have a way to validate your idea, you could be wasting time and resources on a product nobody wants. 

Instead, you should create a simple landing page to test your idea before you begin building a product. You can test out multiple ideas, collect early sign-ups, and build legitimacy for your company — all before ever writing a single line of code.

Cyber Monday Results: What It Means for Your 2014 Marketing Plan

e-commerce-article

From 2012 to 2013, online sales during Cyber Monday increased by 18.2 percent, according to Custora Pulse. Following in the footsteps of Black Friday, the term Cyber Monday began in 2005 when it was put out in a press release by The National Retail Foundation on their Shop.org website.

According to the Washington Post, since its inception, online sales have more than tripled on the Monday following Thanksgiving.

4 Tools for Startup Taxes

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The spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well in the United States, with 27.9 million small businesses in total, according to the Small Business Administration.

One of the biggest challenges that a small business faces, especially in the first few years of its existence, is handling taxes.

Payroll Taxes

You might be able to make your way around your self-employed taxes, while still struggling with payroll taxes. The IRS has heavy penalties for businesses who aren't paying proper payroll taxes, so it's essential to get the right figure every time. Some services get payroll taxes done for you, such as Intuit Payroll. This online service has several tier levels, with services that range from figuring out your payroll taxes to handling the entire filing process.

You've Picked a Mentor...Now What?

mentoring-myths-article

Countless bits of advice have lead you to the point of picking a mentor.  From career blogs to your older friends and family members, everyone seems to agree that a mentorship is a path you should take.

The question is, once you pick a mentor, what are you supposed to do with them?  Most people are disappointed to learn that the person who says that he/she is willing to mentor you doesn’t have a plotted out path as to how to do so.  

9 Ways to Brainstorm a Great Business Idea in a Pinch

startup ideas article

 1. Pay Attention and Develop Solutions

Everyone has problems; we're surrounded by them. We don't often recognize that as these problems arise, we should be developing solutions to solve them. It's these solutions that are potential businesses. Pay attention, and make a mental note to stop yourself when thinking about how poorly something is done or made. Anyone can identify problems, but entrepreneurs develop solutions.

Adam CallinanBottleCamo

It’s Not Them, It’s You: 3 Signs Your Networking Is Chasing Away Leads

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There’s nothing like the word “networking” to elicit a groan from entrepreneurs. While networking isn’t everyone’s favorite part of business, it is essential. When it comes to winning new business, hiring, or gaining access, it’s all about who you know.

Most people will pay more to work with someone they like over someone new. Your personal brand can make or break your success, and you build and advertise your brand through networking. And unless you’re a super connector, you probably aren’t networking as effectively as you should.

Tax Write-Offs That Can Help Entrepreneurs Save Big When Starting a Business

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In 2010, there were 27.9 million small businesses in the U.S., with 6 million of those employing between one and 499 people in addition to the owner, notes the Tax Policy Center. If you have aspirations of owning your own small business, or perhaps one day even a large corporation, you probably realize it can be a rather daunting and frequently expensive endeavor.

The good news is Uncle Sam can help ease the financial pain, which could make it more feasible for you to get started sooner rather than later. Entrepreneurs can write off startup costs, which can make the difference between moving forward and putting off your dream.

4 Tactics for Crowdfunding Your Way to Success

crowdfunding article

Crowdfunding has only been around for less than 10 years, and it has quickly grown into serving as a major source of startup capital for entrepreneurs. Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and Rockethub were three of the original crowdfunding platforms. Kickstarter has swept ahead of other sites raising more than $283 million for 68,878 projects in 2012, acknowledges Alley Watch.

Use the following three tips from successful Kickstarter projects as a guide on how to use crowdfunding to raise capital for your business.

Business Plan Basics for Startups

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Developing a formal business plan used to be standard practice when starting a new business. This was particularly true for entrepreneurs and small-business owners hoping to attract venture capital or angel investments, or get a loan from a bank. In recent years, this approach has been up for debate with many entrepreneurs rejecting the traditional business plan as an antiquated and useless document. 

Top 10 Growing Industries Every Aspiring Entrepreneur Should Consider

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Many aspiring young entrepreneurs want to start their own companies so that they can take control of their own futures. Entrepreneurship has one of the highest levels of job satisfaction, even though it typically has long hours and stressful conditions. Owning your own company and having more control over it's direction adds more meaning and motivation, especially for many young people, who are often underappreciated in entry level corporate jobs. However, many have a tough time finding an industry to startup within that is growing, and has a lot of potential for success. Here are 10 growing industries to consider starting up within:

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