5 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know

By Rieva Lesonsky

1. 6 Secrets for Successful Startups

What makes a startup successful? Obviously there are numerous factors. Bill Rinehart, the chairman, CEO and found of DUFL, a travel app that enables you to fly luggage free, is a serial tech entrepreneur and shares his insights below.

  1. Know your market. It’s incredibly important to know your market space. Do your due diligence and research. You may think you’ve got a great idea on your hands, but is there a market for it? Is there a need that needs to be filled for your consumers? You can easily find out by sending out surveys, researching, and Googling keywords that would be associated with your company. Find out what your competitors (if any) are doing—what works for them? What doesn’t? What makes your company stand out from the rest?
  2. Know your budget. Do what it takes to get your company off the ground, but do your research and maximize your spend. This is the time to focus on what you will need to succeed. 
  3. Know your first customers. Knowing your first customers is critical to the early success of your business. Research your audience as well as how to reach them, conduct surveys, open a private Beta or test markets in order to learn what resonates and what doesn’t and make adjustments as needed.
  4. Know your first employees. Hire people who you’ve worked with in the past or who’s work you are familiar with; people you trust and who want you (and the company) to succeed.
  5. Choose your first investors carefully. Choose investors who have the future of the company’s best interest at heart and—best case scenario, they have connections in the industry that will be key to your success. The right investors see the value in the company and are in sync with your vision.
  6. Only hire employees that have a passion for your business. Passion is a key to success. Passionate people drive results, and results come to those who work their asses off.

2.  Top 3 Ways to Harness the Power of Your Data

Richard Hollis, the CEO of Holonis, a company that helps businesses get “found” online, has spent the better part of a decade developing a platform to help other companies (particularly SMB’s) take control of their online presence and incorporate big data into their businesses. Below, he shares his top 3 tips for businesses looking to harness the full power of their data.

1. Know your Customer. Smaller businesses often know their consumers better than a larger corporation and can make better use of their data. Personalization in everything from email coupon details to login greeting messages can enhance the overall customer experience, an essential component in driving digital sales. Research how your customers are using your site then optimize the site to match the consumer’s needs.

2. Play in the Sandbox with your Consumers. All the data you collect can be put to work for your consumers as unique individuals. As a small business, studying and interacting with just one consumer at a time can not only help you build individual loyalty, but also lets you experiment with a slew of creative marketing tactics. Experiment with a variety of different tactics across your various customer touch points. Monitor your data trends and decide which of these methods is working best and proceed accordingly.

3. Social Data That Improves Your Overall Marketing Plan. Social media applications within Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ allow you to see social interactions conducted with your business in a space where most consumers go for leisure. By comparing that to the traffic on your highly informative pages like the ‘About Us’ section or your ‘Contact Us’ page, you can see what your consumers enjoy reading or watching for fun. Using this information helps you start to identify your most popular content.

3. Luxury Brands Lag in ecommerce

Given how much commerce takes place online, you’d think luxury brands would have staked their claim there. But, according to a new study from Trustev, these brands are, “missing out on a ton of e-commerce.”

Some key findings of the study show:

  • The average brand sells online to only 45% of the leading markets. On average, each brand sells to 62 percent of developed markets, and 28 percent of developing countries.
  • Among developing nations, China has greatest access to luxury brand e-commerce, with 44 percent of brands selling there.
  • 80 percent of brands sell in the U.S.
  • Western European markets were addressed by between 64 percent (Germany) and 70 percent (the UK and Spain) of brands.
  • Australians can buy from only 50 percent of the brands surveyed.
  • Canada is only addressed by 54 percent of brands.
  • The countries with least access to luxury e-commerce are Brazil and Saudi Arabia, with only 16 percent available.
  • The average luxury brand is not able to sell online to 2.6 billion consumers, including massive markets like China, India, Brazil and Russia, where less than half of brand have online stores.

Want a copy of the full report? Email lux50@Trustev.com and they’ll send you a PDF.

Cool Tools

4. Insights for Retailers

Retail transactions generate a lot of data about consumer preferences and the customer journey that too often go unleveraged due to lack of analysis tools. To address that, Zooz, a company that offers payment platforms, recently launched a new Insights offering, providing retailers with in-depth analysis of data from customer transactions. The Insights come from transactions routed through Zooz’s intelligent payments platform.

The company says Insights empowers retailers to uncover everything from favored payment methods to the most popular products among customers of different nationalities. It also analyzes the checkout process, revealing crucial data, such as the card type and payment currencies most likely to be declined by processors.

5. Online Meetings Made Easier

LogMeIn just gave its online meeting app, join.me a mobile makeover.

Key highlights include:

A new app for Apple Watch and ‘One Touch Meetings’: Scheduled join.me meetings send a push notification to a user’s iPhone or Apple Watch when it is time to meet. With a single touch on the iPhone or Apple Watch, join.me automatically calls the host, dialing them into the meeting, and starts the desktop app immediately.

New Mobile Whiteboard: The new mobile whiteboard for iPad lets people create and collaborate on and offline, giving them the ability to create, present, save, and share ideas in real time right from their iPads.

As part of the iOS refresh, join.me’s iPad presenting capabilities, including the new Mobile Whiteboard, will be available for free, with additional, optional upgrades available via in-app and online purchases.

All of the iPhone and iPad capabilities are available for existing join.me iOS app users via an update, or for new users via a download from the App Store 

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com, follow her on Google+   and Twitter.com/Rieva