Posts tagged with "entrepreneurs"

Computer illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

VC Pitch Deck Advice

­­14 words to take out of your VC pitch deck

By: May Habib

170 seconds. Weeks or even months of working on your pitch deck could come down to the 170 seconds (on average) that investors spend looking at your deck. “Investors see a lot of pitches. In a single year, the classic general partner in a venture firm is exposed to around 5,000 pitches…and ends up doing between zero and two deals,” writes VC and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.

With all that pressure to make an impact quickly, founders spend an incredible amount of time on the design of their slides. Less consideration, however, is usually spent on the words on the slide. That’s a mistake, especially when you only have 170 seconds. When not used intentionally, the words in your deck can be distracting or downright off-putting. We used what we know about language and healthy communication from the millions of documents we’ve processed at Writer to come up with 14 words and phrases to remove from your VC pitch deck:

Negative Association

Runway”

  • Pitching VCs is a balancing act: you want to position your idea in the best light, but also show that you’ve thought things through. However, volunteering for certain types of information can have the opposite effect. Don’t write: I’m seeking $X in funding to provide Y months of runway. You certainly need to show how you’re going to use the funding you’re asking for, but you don’t want to frame things in terms of runway in a pitch deck. The word is associated with a looming cash-out date, which can put an investor in a negative state of mind.

Exit strategy”

  • Don’t write: Our exit strategy is…Yes, thinking through your business means knowing how you’ll handle worst-case and best-case scenarios. But putting exit strategy in your deck can only get investors thinking about the inherent risks. You want them focused on the opportunity. You need to know what to say when the topic comes up — just don’t volunteer the information on a slide.

Cliches

Just one percent”

  • A pitch deck is a tool to show VCs why your idea merits an investment. Using cliches can work against that goal. Don’t write: If we could capture X% of the market… It’s not only a cliche but also wishful thinking rather than a plan. Keep the text on your slides grounded in relevant facts and figures. Other cliches to cut include: the Amazon of X, imagine a future, and moving Y to the blockchain.

 Absolutes

Everyone”, “always”, “never”, “no one”

  • A great pitch requires nuance. Using absolutes to talk about your idea fails on that count. And, if you look closer, chances are there will be exceptions to the absolute that’s being set up. When discussing your TAM, target customer, or product value, your words need to reflect a thoughtful and measured approach. Using absolutes, such as everyone likes X falls short of that goal and casts doubts about the validity of your plan.

 Imprecise Language

Unique”

  • Precise communication makes it easier to bet that a business has the potential to succeed. But imprecise language is one of the top no-no’s we see in pitch decks. Take the word It may seem like an ideal word to show differentiation, but it’s imprecise as to the nature of the uniqueness. Just describe the uniqueness directly, or better yet, the plan to execute on the uniqueness. Ideas are important — but the plan is what gets companies funded.

“Intend”

  • Good intentions aren’t the same as a plan. Using the word intend in your pitch deck makes the discussion conceptual and somewhat nebulous. An intention is easier to reject than a plan backed up by compelling storytelling.

No competition”

  • Don’t write no competition anywhere in your deck. Like, anywhere. At best, it will be seen as an exaggeration: if there isn’t direct competition, there may be indirect competition to consider. And, at worst, it could make investors think that you haven’t fully explored the market, meaning your entire premise could be flawed.

“Good”

  • Investors don’t want good ideas; they want the best Using the word good to describe any part of your plan (for example, good growth) lacks specificity and lowers your pitch’s believability.

Qualifiers a.k.a Intensifiers

“Very”, “so”, “quite”

  • Brevity is key when you’re working with a visual format, like a pitch deck. Qualifiers not only clutter your slides with unnecessary text, but they’re also less precise. Don’t write: very, so, and quite. Ask yourself one question: What does very fast growth look like? Your answer would likely be different than someone else’s. Instead, you might say the growth of X% a year so there isn’t confusion. Again, you want to be as precise and fact-based as possible.

Other things to keep in mind:

Readability

  • In an analysis of successful decks, we found an average readability level of Grade 10 or 11. For unsuccessful decks, that number was higher — Grade 12 or college. Never use jargon, keep your sentences simple, and include a maximum of 1-2 sentences per paragraph. To analyze your own deck’s language, try out Writer’s readability

Humor: Just don’t

  • Cracking a joke on a slide can easily backfire. The last thing you want is to have a failed joke make your pitch awkward or throw you off. That could derail the entire process. So, it’s best to skip the deck humor and get to what really matters: your plan.
Empowered Women Illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

CÎROC × COMBS ENTERPRISES EMPOWERED WOMEN

The first cohort of the 2021 Empowered Women honorees, including Iman, Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, and Fadia Kader, are announced in celebration of International Women’s Day.

 

Ciroc and Combs Enterprises are proud to announce the continuation of its Empowered Women platform. Empowered Women, first launched in 2016 by Combs Enterprises women-led executive team, uplifts, spotlights, and honors an eclectic and dynamic group of entrepreneurs, creatives, and businesswomen.

This year, Ciroc and Combs Enterprises partnered with Culture Creators, a cultural connectivity organization that aims to spotlight the contributions of individuals who have shaped the global view of Black culture. To further amplify the initiative, fittingly launched during Women’s History Month, Empowered Women will honor 50 successful women and share the narratives that formed them. Championing discussions around the value of mentorship, allyship, and leadership, Empowered Women highlights the importance of celebrating the current and uplifting the next generation of fearless leaders. Honorees represent five categories including social impact, technology, entertainment, art and style, and business.

Ciroc, Combs Enterprises, and Culture Creators will spotlight the honorees beginning in March and culminating this spring. The series will include custom digital content and exclusive honoree interviews shared via Culture Creators’ platforms, curated vodka cocktails, and an exclusive media partnership with women’s lifestyle publication, Elle Magazine.

It is an honor to continue to build and strengthen the Empowered Women platform alongside Culture Creators and Elle Magazine”, says Ingrid Best, Vice President of Global Marketing, Spirits, Combs Enterprises. “As a Black woman, it is my personal and professional mission to honor those who are breaking boundaries, while also providing a platform for us to continue to do the important work of mentoring and showing up for the next generation. We hope this program encourages young, budding professionals to push boundaries and redefine the status quo in their respective industries.”.

The first round of March 2021 honorees is below, representing the industry leaders paving the way for future generations.

 

Empowered Women Honorees – March:

  • Adrienne Lofton
  • Alencia Johnson
  • Brianna Agyemang
  • Caroline Yim
  • Dawn Dickson
  • Donna Stewart
  • Fadia Kadar
  • Heather Lowery
  • IMAN
  • Jamila Thomas
  • Morgan DeBaun
  • Sarah Jakes Roberts
  • Stephanie L. Young
  • Morgan Dixon
  • Valeshia Butterfield-Jones
  • Vanessa Garrison
  • Yvette Noel Schure

Joi Brown, Founder, and CEO of Culture Creators commented, “I started Culture Creators because I envisioned a platform that gives individuals who push the culture forward and strive for inclusion that flowers while they are still here while continuing to develop the next generation of leaders. Partnering with like-minded visionaries at Ciroc to bring Empowered Women to life marries the spirit of celebration and mentorship.”.

As part of its mission to propel Black culture, Culture Creators has consistently celebrated the accomplishments of key luminaries across a broad spectrum of industries, including entertainment, fashion, finance, technology, business, and more. The Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch, Culture Creators’ annual signature event, exemplifies this mission and has previously honored Sylvia Rhone, Byron Allen, Marsai Martin, Jemele Hill, Kenya Barris, Charles D. King, and the late Andre Harrell, to name a few. In 2019, Culture Creators launched the first-ever C2 Summit, a platform that targets students of color across all universities and provides interactive educational experiences, employment opportunities, and creates access to leaders across various career paths. Today, Culture Creators further advances its mission with the launch of the Empowered Women platform.

Mini Tocalini illustration for hair salon and Barbershop marketing for 360 MAGAZINE

SNAP AND SHARE

Black Salon and Barbershop Owners as Social Influencers

Wil Shelton, CEO and Founder of Wil Power Integrated Marketing 

All marketers understand the importance of sharing images and messages with their online communities. But what if your online community doesn’t reflect enough diversity for African Americans to engage? African American salon and barbershop marketing can breathe life into a campaign and enable brands to piggyback on the connection Black barbers and hairstylists already have within their communities—including those that are online. 

These cultural catalysts are considered to be taste-makers within the African American community because they are always the first to know about new trends, products, and sports or news information that matters to their customers. When they share an in-store promotion, their customers take it as a recommendation from a trusted source. And that’s when the word-of-mouth marketing really starts to take effect.

African American customers who happen to be in the shops are thrilled to be a part of this seemingly spontaneous, infused in-store experience, which turns another day at the salon into a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the next big craze that’s about to blow up. In-store marketing means that not only do these customers get to be in the know before everyone else, they score some dope merch to prove it. 

You can be sure they leave that salon or barbershop ready to get everyone they know excited, too. But in-store marketing activations don’t end there. Because African-American-owned salons and barbershops tend to have huge online followings on social media sites such as Instagram.

In fact, almost all Black salon and barbershop owners are savvy social media influencers and often have hundreds of thousands of social media followers. You can see why smart brands are competing for their recommendation. Even better, most African American barbers and salon owners are more sophisticated in non-traditional marketing than a lot of senior media planners and buyers. But this hasn’t happened by chance! They are entrepreneurs who have had to teach themselves how to promote their stores and being seen as on-trend is part of the allure.

Shop owners have a history of doing more with less. In short, out of a lack of resources, urban barbershop owners have had to be nimble and develop the skills to become their own Black marketing creatives, media planners, and strategists.  

Barbers and stylists are engagement experts, and what they have accomplished can’t be devalued, because they have the power to monetize the culture and narratives in their shops and elevate the marketing strategies of the brands with which they choose to work. Even after COVID-19 hit, they have found ways to pivot and thrive. 

African American men and women gather weekly to spend money on self-improvement and discuss what’s new. This culture predisposes them to the idea of receiving brand messaging from the chair. Even as social media has expanded the realm of influencers, barbers and hairstylists have maintained and, in most cases, built on their role as taste-makers to become the micro-influencer stars. 

They’ve done it by leveraging their strong social-media engagement skills to develop an ever-widening circle of influence. This phenomenon is nothing new, but, interestingly, COVID-19 has put salon and barbershop owners in the spotlight, as people realize the critical role they play in their lives. This makes it more relevant than ever to leverage their influence to reach African American consumers.

About the Author 

Wil Shelton is the CEO & Founder of Wil Power Integrated Marketing, a full-service agency offering traditional and digital marketing services to reach multicultural audiences in the beauty and grooming industries.  

Herbalife article illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 magazine

The Entrepreneurs Top Tech Tools

Rhonda VetereChief Information Officer, Herbalife Nutrition

When the world shut down due to the pandemic, everything changed, especially for small businesses. Suddenly, the ability to connect to customers became even more critical, and the safe way to do so is through technology. While companies have long relied on email or text messaging to communicate, many entrepreneurs found they needed to expand their technology toolkit, becoming more creative and resourceful with how they conduct business and compete effectively. As a technology expert who advises more than 3.4 million entrepreneurs around the world on technology solutions that can help them serve their customers and manage their business, I recommend the following tech tips to help you power your business. 

Customer service 

We are living during a time of tremendous technology transformation. Gone are the days when people waited for what seemed an eternity to send or receive a message. Time has sped up, and with it is the demand from customers for immediate attention. According to recent research, 82% of consumers expect a quick response from brands. Keeping up or ahead of customers requires staying on top of technology trends and ensuring that you have the tools to compete in the digital age.  

For website support, many entrepreneurs use a live chat tool that can help customers with basic questions. Many of these tools can be used on social media as well. If paid chat options are price prohibitive, there are also useful and free tools, including Zoho Desk.

Communication and collaboration 

Video conferencing and video chat applications grew exponentially during the pandemic. In March, video conferencing apps saw 62 million downloads. Entrepreneurs are using video apps for connecting with customers, partners and vendors. While these tools are excellent for meetings, they are also useful for maintaining connections with industry organizations and networking groups. Many of the tools allow break-out rooms for a small meeting within a session, creating an intimate and collaborative space. 

As you continue to build your reputation as an expert in your industry, video conferencing can also be used to host a webinar for existing and potential customers. Many entrepreneurs are hosting panel discussions, bringing in other partners and collaborators. These sessions can be taped and repurposed as content for your social media channels, website and email marketing. There are many video conferencing options, including, Joinme, which has a free plan that lets you invite up to 10 video participants 

Social media 

Social media is not just for sharing videos and memes – it is a top business tool. Your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and Instagram. Once you identify which channels you want to use, you need to post engaging content. These can range from news about products, sales and impactful information. Posting across several channels every week can be daunting. Thankfully, many social media tools help you schedule and publish your content that can be calendared and posted automatically. These tools range from Hootsuite (which has a free option) to Zoho Social to Buffer

Slack  

More and more brands, companies and entrepreneurs use Slack to communicate with their customers. It’s a great place to provide relevant updates, tips and advisement, and new product announcements. It also gives your customers a place away from social media to share stories and entrepreneurs a place to connect with their team more visibly easily. 

Storage  

There is a lot of discussion about the term “the cloud.” Think of the cloud as an off-site storage locker, where all your critical information is safe and secure – and easily sharable. Google DriveDropbox, or Microsoft Sharepoint safeguard your backups and allow users access from any location. Moving your work to the cloud not only benefits you to work from anywhere and any device, but it also makes it easy to share content with your customers.  

Email Marketing 

Your marketing toolkit may contain a variety of options – one of which is email marketing. Sending professionally designed, informative newsletters to your customers is a great way to keep in touch. One of the most popular companies in the business is Mailchimp. Even better, If your company sends fewer than 12,000 email messages per month to fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you can take advantage of Mailchimp’s Forever Free plan. 

E-commerce 

The pandemic has changed how we shop. Overnight, people began to purchase everything from groceries to furniture online and in record numbers. Customers now expect to buy their products online. They expect the experience to be easy and fast. There are many great e-commerce platforms out there, such as Shopify, a one-stop-shop for setting up your e-commerce store, to Amazon’s beyond popular platform. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, and you can use it to chat with customers online, track orders and send invoices.  

One final note. As a technologist, I remind everyone that interaction with your customers is up to you. Nothing supplants human interaction and connection. With limits on our in-person meetings, it is even more essential to find ways to build businesses. Mix up how you connect with others – pick up the phone, or schedule a Zoom, to call a handful of customers every day. Don’t forego a personal email that is not meant to sell a customer or colleague – but to check-in with them and see how they are doing. Technology is a fantastic tool that helps small businesses act big. The challenge is to make the technology connections feel more three-dimensional vs two-dimensional. Technology can help us be more efficient and productive, and while it can enhance our communication, it will never replace the incredible power of the human relationship. That part is up to you.  

Justice illustration

Lucid Celebrates Women

In honor of International Women’s Day, meet the successful founders behind Lucid Communications’ incredible roster of women-led brands

This International Women’s Day (March 8th, 2021), Toronto/LA-based PR firm Lucid Communications is celebrating the victories and contributions of our incredible clients. We are proud to have women from all walks of life on our roster who continue to shape their respective industries, showing us time and time again how powerful women are.

Each one of our thought leaders is highly skilled and trained in their field. These women boast extensive knowledge and wisdom in areas such as mindfulness, movement, natural beauty, home decor & organization, and sustainable lifestyle. Today, we share their extraordinary journeys to success.

Check out the strong, inspirational, and intelligent women behind Mindful Collective Co (B Yoga & Halfmoon), Province Apothecary, Okoko Cosmetiques, Flax Sleep, Lorette Lingerie, NEAT Method Toronto, The Bare Home, and Pretty in the City.

Andrea Morris of Mindful Collective Co (parent company of B Yoga and Halfmoon)

As the Founder & CEO of Mindful Collective Co— the parent company of sister brands B Yoga and Halfmoon— Andrea Morris’ mission is simple: to support people everywhere in living their best and most balanced lives.

Morris’ passion for yoga began in Sydney, Australia, while she was completing a Masters Degree in International Business. She knew she would someday make yoga her career, but she wasn’t sure what that would look like. Fast-forward 9 years and Morris found herself employed at The Stewart Group, her family’s fifth-generation manufacturing and technology company. She was working with an innovative type of rubber and quickly realized that the material’s distinctive qualities—durability, sustainability, and a grippy surface— could make the perfect yoga mat.

After endlessly prototyping and fine-tuning The B MAT, B Yoga was born in 2014. Sparked by The B MAT’s success, B Yoga continued to grow beyond just mats, creating elevated, performance-driven essentials for all kinds of movement and meditation.

In spring 2018, Morris and B Yoga acquired Halfmoon, another female-founded, Canadian yoga and meditation brand. Where B Yoga speaks to the contemporary yogi, Halfmoon is rooted in tradition, making each brand a perfect complement for the other.

Morris currently resides in her hometown of Toronto, ON, with her husband, Fraser, and two daughters, Madison and Everly. As she helps B Yoga and Halfmoon grow across North America and internationally, she knows she’s fulfilling her vision of inspiring all people to live their yoga.

B Yoga’s products can be shopped online or purchased through their various retailers.

Halfmoon’s products can be shopped online or purchased through their various retailers.

Julie Clark of Province Apothecary

After struggling with allergies and eczema all her life, Julie Clark began crafting natural, organic beauty products out of her kitchen. Despite her busy schedule as a costume designer and stylist, Julie found herself drawn to holistic skincare, using her time off to experiment with oils, waxes, and herbs— all in pursuit of the perfect skincare regime. In 2010, Julie began studying Aromatherapy, Holistic Health, and Esthetics in Toronto. Here she formed the foundation of her skincare expertise, experimenting with raw materials and natural ingredients.

For Julie, natural beauty goes beyond simply organic ingredients; natural beauty means a pledge to helping clients feel good in their own skin. “I gather so much inspiration from my clients, the weather, and the seasons,” says Julie, of her individually-tailored approach to skincare. Her facial treatments often include hand-blended masks using local produce and seasonally appropriate, farmer-friendly ingredients. While PA has long outgrown the kitchen, Julie’s devotion to fresh, seasonal, and organic beauty continues. Now a certified holistic esthetician and aromatherapist, Julie remains committed to innovation, sustainability, and small-batch skincare of the highest quality.

Province Apothecary is available at 175+ retailers in Canada and the US, as well as online. They have been featured internationally in print and online by POOSH, Vogue, goop, Refinery 29, CBC, and more. They have also expanded their Holistic Skincare Clinic in Toronto, offering Custom Organic Facials and Full Brow + Lash Treatments. With a highly skilled team of experts and a stunning new space, PA’s clinic is a vestige of calm in the ever-hectic city.

Oyéta Kokoroko of Okoko Cosmétiques

Oyéta Kokoroko is an experienced cosmetic formulator, product designer, and creator of eco-luxury cosmetics from Montréal, Canada. She moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 2016, where she founded her company Okoko Cosmétiques. Okoko is built on Oyéta’s passion for combining high-level formulations, luxurious textures, and delicate scents to beautify and rejuvenate any complexion.

Oyéta is inspired by the spectacular mountains, exquisite fauna, and extraordinary power of the Pacific Ocean, which together define the lush nature of the West Coast rainforest. Her product formulations also benefit from her multicultural heritage and sophisticated French-Canadian style. The result is Okoko Cosmétiques, a luxury skincare brand that creates sustainably-sourced, high-performance, and science-backed products.

Transparent labeling, ingredient purity, and environmental consciousness are at the core of Okoko’s mission. From sourcing to production, they invest in research and development to bring you products that are both sustainable and effective. Using only the purest botanical extracts and oils, many of which are sustainably wildcrafted, the Okoko range is rich in high-quality and precious ingredients that will work to transform your skin. No exaggerated claims or cheap fillers here!

While paving the way in green beauty, Oyéta has taken her years of knowledge and skills to launch OKOKO House Of Brands. This platform is dedicated to mentoring like-minded indie brands who are ready to take their business to the next level. To learn more about OKOKO house of brands, visit okokohouseofbrands.com.

Okoko Cosmétiques can be shopped online and shipped internationally, or purchased in person at any of their various stockists.

Anna Heyd, Oana Papuac, and Vivian McCormick of Flax Sleep

Originally in the fields of law and hospitality, these three passionate businesswomen made the switch to entrepreneurship in the fall of 2017 with the founding of Flax Sleep. Anna, Oana, and Vivian came together to share their appreciation of beautiful things, ethical business practice, and fantastic sleep. They saw a gap in the Canadian marketplace when it came to buying simple bedding online at accessible prices, and felt inspired to fill that void.

Quality materials, high production standards, and ethical manufacturing practices were their top priorities when they set out to find a factory with which to partner. Once they identified the perfect manufacturing partner, they traveled to Shenzhen to learn about the process of turning beautiful linen into the most amazing sheets, to see the quality of the working conditions for the craftsmen and women that are responsible for production, and to establish a long term partnership with their factory. From here, Flax Sleep was Born.

In addition to offering you luxurious linen bedding, the women behind Flax Sleep believe in providing #ASafePlacetoSleep to women and children in need. That’s why they are committed to donating part of their proceeds (and all returned goods) to Atira Women’s Resource Society. In doing so, they are reducing waste and providing essential products to members of their community that need it most. As ethical manufacturing is also a top priority, Flax Sleep actively partners with modern manufacturers to ensure clean and safe working conditions for all.

Laure Stromboni of Lorette Lingerie

Laure Stromboni is a Parisian designer and the creator of Lorette Lingerie. Founded in 2017, her Toronto-based intimates brand was created to empower women with the freedom to express themselves unapologetically. Their luxurious and small-batch intimates are inspired by Laure’s french heritage, blending contemporary cuts with unique embroidery techniques that weave a story into every garment. Offering a diverse range of bralettes, panties, bodysuits, camisoles, and more, Lorette invites women everywhere to revel in their unique feminine expression and self-confidence.

Lorette’s collections are designed in collaboration with female illustrators and graphic designers and are handmade locally by an all-female staff in Toronto. Each embroidery is thoughtfully chosen to represent symbols, concepts, and archetypes that resonate with women everywhere.

In addition to exceptional design, superior craftsmanship and environmental consciousness are central to Lorette’s ethos. Their hand-made garments are created using deluxe overstock material from Canadian and Parisian couture houses, ensuring superior quality without waste. By making the conscious decision not to outsource production or transport new materials, Lorette is able to offer a fair living wage to everyone involved in their garments’ development, all while reducing their carbon footprint.

Lorette Lingerie can be shopped online and shipped internationally, and local pick-ups are available for Toronto-based customers.

Jen Rowe of NEAT Method Toronto

NEAT Method Toronto is the organizing company that will transform your home or office from chaos to composed. Specializing in organizing, unpacking, and downsizing homes & offices across Toronto, they make the spaces you have functional for the life you live by focusing on creating uniquely personalized systems.

Jen Rowe, Owner of NEAT Method Toronto, offers an honest approach, a sharp eye for detail, and a personal sense of refined style. While Jen has spent the better part of her nearly 20-year career in corporate communications, she has always been a passionate organizer at heart. After becoming a parent to her now 5 and 7-year-old children, Jen began to dive deeper into the best ways to maintain a neat home— even during the most chaotic phases of life. She started to expertly maximize the space in her family’s East end home, making it highly efficient for their lifestyle. In 2019, she parlayed this skill set into a career with NEAT Method and now uses her extraordinary talents to help others live clutter-free.

Ashley James of the Bare Home

The Bare Home started as a passion project. Ashley remembers becoming very conscious of sustainable living during her time in Germany. She loved the simple things people were doing in their daily lives to be more environmentally conscious and quickly began to adopt this “new” way of life.

After 7 years, Ashley and her husband decided to move back to Canada with their young family. She knew Canada was going to be much different than what she had become accustomed to in Europe and was feeling inspired and excited to bring some of that lifestyle home with her. She had caught the entrepreneurial bug around that time and was actively looking to start her own business— but it had to be something that she could truly feel passionate and good about.

At first, the Bare Home was more than cleaning products. Ashley was offering a variety of fair trade foods and other zero-waste products. However, she quickly noticed that customers were most interested in the refilling options for her laundry and cleaning products. From here, the Bare Home was born.

The Bare Home is now Canada’s premier destination for sustainable, environmentally friendly, and beautifully-scented cleaning products. They are proud producers of eco-cleaners and natural soaps that are safe for you, your home, and the earth. The Bare Home’s products are made with only the highest quality organic essential oils, and feature unique at-home refill stations. Boasting a wide range of basic yet beautiful dish soaps, hand soaps, all-purpose cleaners, laundry essentials and more, The Bare Home provides clean convenience that you and your family can feel good about.

The Bare Home’s full range of eco-friendly cleaners can be shopped online here, and shipped to both the US and Canada. Be sure to use their store locator to check out their various North American stockists for in-person shopping!

Nathaly Nairn of Windfall Cider

Windfall Cider is Canada’s newest urban cidery based in Vancouver, BC. Created by Nathaly Nairn and her husband Jeff Nairn, Windfall is here to turn the world of cider on its head. They find the best BC apples, the purest juice, and experiment with old-world techniques to create a one-of-a-kind cider like you’ve never tasted before. Windfall stays true to their local roots, using only fruits and botanicals native to the Pacific Northwest. The result is a diverse roster of crisp, distinct, and playful ciders that you’ll want to drink year-round. Like a little sip of good fortune in every can.

Windfall was founded after a trip to Mexico City, where Nathaly and her husband fell in love with Spanish cider. After exploring cider-making as a hobby for several years, Nathaly and Jeff took the plunge and established their very own cidery, Windfall Cider. In an industry overrun with sweet and general ciders, Nathaly set out to create crisp, refreshing, and unique blends. After learning what she could from old-world methods passed down by generations of cider makers, Windfall experimented until their cider was just right— and entirely different than anything else in Canada.

Windfall’s bright and playful ciders can be shopped online and shipped to BC residents, or delivered across Vancouver,  or purchased at select restaurants and private liquor stores. 

Veronica Tran

Pretty in the City Founder, Veronica Tran, is one of the first estheticians in Toronto to train in the art of eyelash extensions in both Toronto and New York. She holds several certifications in various techniques, a diploma as a Skin Care Technician and Permanent Make-Up Technician, as well as several certificates for infection control. Attending workshops, seminars, and conferences on an annual basis, Veronica is always up to date with the newest innovations and industry standards. Her latest accomplishments include several master classes for Volume Eyelash Extensions and Microblading with well-regarded industry professionals such as Irina Levchuk, Daria Chuprys, and Branko Babic. Veronica is also one of the first in Canada to be certified with PhiBrows.

Veronica established Pretty in the City, Toronto’s most trusted lash and brow bar, in 2005. She believes that quality work takes time, and therefore, every appointment at PIC allows for individual customization, proper implementation of skilled techniques, and sanitation protocols. At Pretty in the City, Veronica ensures that customers experience unparalleled expertise and professionalism in a friendly and relaxed environment. It comes as no surprise that PIC has been named as one of the best places in Canada for microblading by Fashion Magazine online, one of the best places for microblading in Toronto by BlogTo, and one of the top salons for lash extensions in Toronto by Narcity Toronto.

Veronica’s work has been featured in many high profile publications including Flare, FASHION, Elle Canada, Elevate, and Best Health.

Make a passionate pitch—if you want investors

The brains of investors are wired to pay closer attention to entrepreneurs who pitch with passion, according to new research.

One would expect that entrepreneurs who pitch their startup ideas with passion are more apt to entice investors. Now there’s scientific proof the two are connected: enthusiasm and financial backing. According to new research from Case Western Reserve University, the brains of potential investors are wired to pay closer attention to entrepreneurs who pitch with passion.

Researchers examined investors’ neural responses to entrepreneurs’ pitches, conducting a randomized experiment that explored the response of investors’ brains using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

(fMRI)—finding a causal relationship between passion of the pitcher and interest from investors.

“No one has ever invested in a startup they ignored,” said Scott Shane, the A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve.

“Founder passion is essential to establishing investor attention, and our study demonstrates measurable neural effects that offer a biological explanation for their tendency to react positively to enthusiasm and emotion of entrepreneurs,” said Shane, lead author of the paper, published in the Journal of Business Venturing. By showing such energy in pitching their business ideas, entrepreneurs can considerably increase neural engagement in potential investors—increasing the odds these financiers will support a new, untested venture by having strong, measurable effects on their decision-making.

“Most of time investors just say ‘no,’” said Shane. “In fact, the vast majority of entrepreneurs never receive a dime from external investors.

“Entrepreneurs should know: More engaged brains are more likely to meaningfully evaluate pitches,” he said. “We believe our data makes a strong argument that displays of passion trigger heightened engagement that, in turn, makes investors more likely to write a check.”

The experiment

Videos of pitches—identical in content but different in delivery—were randomly assigned to investors inside an fMRI machine. Depending on the passion-level of the pitch, investors’ brains reacted differently: Heightened displays of passion increased investor fixation on the stimulus (the pitch) to override distractions—and demonstrate a causal effect of displayed passion on investor interest.

· Investors randomly assigned a pitch with high founder passion resulted in informal investor interest increasing by 26%, relative to the same pitch delivered with low passion;

· Data from fMRIs showed investor neural responses to entrepreneurs’ high-passion pitches increased investor neural engagement by 39% over lower founder passion.

“More engaged brains are more likely to meaningfully evaluate pitches—and not play on their phones or think about lunch which should result in more favorable investor assessments,” said Shane.

While it’s possible that other mechanisms may be present in the brains of investors—such as inferring from passion that entrepreneurs may be more capable or competent—the experiment showed that passion is a key mechanism because it causes investors to pay attention, said Shane.

The practice of passion

The findings offer strong implications for the practice of entrepreneurship. “Pitching with enthusiasm and passion—these are skills that can be taught,” said Shane. “Flat, unenthusiastic pitches are the enemy of attracting investor attention and to succeeding in a competitive, cutthroat environment.”

Each year, hundreds of thousands of early-stage entrepreneurs, who often lack established track records, offer pitches—widely recognized as the gateway to investor funding—to financiers across the globe. The study focused on Informal investors—referred to as “family, friends and foolhardy strangers” by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor who account for most startup investments, investing $1 trillion globally between 2012-2015, according to the organization.

The study was co-authored by David Clingingsmith, an associate professor of economics at the Weatherhead School. Will Drover of the University of Oklahoma, and Moran Cerf of Northwestern University also co-authored the paper.

Print-on-demand, printful, 360 MAGAZINE, morse Asturias , Vaughn Lowery

Printful

When Printful launched its print-on-demand/drop-shipping business in 2013, most competitors were traditional bulk-printing companies that weren’t built for one-off fulfillment of t-shirts and other products. Today, thanks to the e-commerce explosion and a savvy technology-focused business strategy, Printful is the largest company of its kind with three fulfillment centers in the U.S. and headquarters in Riga, Latvia and Charlotte, NC, a fourth that recently opened in Mexico, 500 employees, dozens of product options, and 800,000+ customers around the globe from artists and cause marketers to Twitter-preneurs like WeRateDogs that use merchandise to monetize their ventures.  

 

  • The company was founded by two young Latvians who couldn’t find an acceptable print-on-demand drop-shipping partner for a business they ran selling posters, clothing and other items with motivational quotes for entrepreneurs. 
  • It has doubled revenues every year since inception, fulfilled more than 10 million orders generating over $540 million for customers, and is still self-funded.
  • Features like 14 integrated e-commerce platforms (more than any competitor), API connectivity, and a mockup generator that creates store-ready product images help fuel business.
  • One-third of customers surveyed say their e-commerce storefront is a full-time gig, and three-quarters of the rest say they’re aiming to get there. 

 

Print-on-demand, printful, 360 MAGAZINE Print-on-demand, printful, 360 MAGAZINE, Anthony Sovinsky

Print-on-demand, printful, 360 MAGAZINEPrint-on-demand, printful, 360 MAGAZINE, lexus, f sport

360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery, bar, spirits

How to Get Financing to Start a New Bar

So you’ve decided to become a bar owner, congratulations! Now, you find yourself in the same dilemma many creative, business-minded entrepreneurs know all too well: You need additional funds to make your dream come true. What to do?

Lucky for you, there are several options you can look into. Let’s examine each one to see which one is the right move for you.

Take out a personal loan

This is a popular option among budding entrepreneurs because it has a higher success rate and offers a greater degree of flexibility. This is your best bet if you are starting a bar from scratch or if you don’t have an established business history yet.

Unlike a business loan, a personal loan will not require you to put down collateral or provide proof of cash flow. After all, it’s difficult to show income if you don’t have it yet. Business loans also have major restrictions on how the loan is used, but a personal loan gives you more freedom.

Your personal financial history and credit score will determine your eligibility and the rates and terms of your loan. A credit score of 600 puts you in an excellent position to qualify. Documents you need to submit include but are not limited to personal identification, bank statements, W-2 or pay stubs, and tax return.

Keep in mind that personal loans are generally smaller compared to a business loan so you may need to look into more options to acquire the rest of the funding you need. We discuss more below.

Look for investors

This is an excellent solution to share the financial burden with someone else. Investors provide startup money and can bring their business management expertise to the table. For this to work, you’ll have to get comfortable with splitting profits and giving up a share of your business.

If you wish to retain control of your bar, silent investors are great because they get out of your hair after providing the funding. They might be involved in big-picture dealings and will offer help if needed, but other than that, they stay in the background and leave the daily management to you.

The catch? They might pressure you to turn a profit sooner rather than later though. They may get restless and force a sale.

Active investors will generally be more involved in the day-to-day operations of your bar in an effort to enhance the return of their investment. They can also be helpful to first-time entrepreneurs looking to make industry connections and learn the tricks of the trade.

While active investors bring their business to the enterprise, you will definitely have to give up a degree of control. Some investors might agree to simply advance capital in exchange for collateral and payback with interest or a percentage of your profits.

Turn to your friends, family, and peers

Use your connections! Do you know someone who has the resources to spare? You can start reaching out to your peers in the industry or even to friends and family. This fast-tracks your funding process by skipping the legal entanglements typically involved in a traditional loan.

If you go the family and friends route, the pitch probably isn’t going to be all that complicated. But keep in mind that money and family sometimes don’t mix. If your bar fails to take off, things might get ugly. Especially with equity involved, put everything in writing and bring in a business lawyer as a safety net.

Reach out to the world through crowdfunding

If you’ve exhausted all your connections to no avail, the internet might be your savior. Yes, you can raise money for your new bar from strangers online through websites like GoFundMe, Patreon, and Kickstarter. How great is that?

Needless to say, you will have to convince these people why they should fund your bar. Tell your story and make sure to let your passion shine through.

Transparency will get you far down this route. Be specific on how you intend to spend the money they give you and provide updates. You would be surprised at how many people would be willing to donate their own money to help you with your venture.

Depending on your campaign, you can give these backers perks or rewards in return. However, if you choose to do it via equity crowdfunding, which will easily attract investors, you are selling off a degree of ownership control over your company.

Know that you will also need to actively market your campaign, so it can be seen and gain traction fast. This will take a lot of patience and hard work.

Use your 401(k)

If you are looking to ditch the 9-to-5 life in favor of being your own boss as a bar owner, this might be something to consider if you have saved up enough from your previous jobs.

You’re staking your retirement savings here, so make sure you are 100% certain of your bar idea. Most people can get overconfident for their own good. Consult a tax attorney, if needed, and look at all angles before you take the leap.

Consider the other options presented in this article first before cracking your 401(k) nest egg.

Get funding for expensive equipment

Equipment is an essential investment for any bar operation that comes that a premium price. A lender or bank can help you purchase the required furnishings to get your business up and running through equipment financing.

Here, you receive the entire amount based on a price quote you provide to the lender. You can’t use the funding for anything other than the equipment you intend to buy.

The collateral here is the equipment itself, which is great because you won’t have to worry about paying off more in the unfortunate event that your bar goes under.

When securing your bar equipment, it is important to anticipate your needs and choose the right configuration for your establishment. For a bar, you’ll need equipment such as keg coolers, undercounter refrigerators, and commercial ice makers.

While it can be tempting to go for second-hand items, buying brand new equipment can benefit your business in the long run. Used equipment can lead to unpleasant surprises that might cost you way more than the savings you initially had. Replacement parts for last-generation models will likely be very hard to find, thus halting your operation longer than it should.

Plus, it can be difficult to find out how well it has been maintained and the service life it has left. With any luck, you might be able to track down the original invoice and check the warranty it comes with.

With brand new equipment, you enjoy more savings and peace of mind that your business runs as it should. Benefits include:

• For the higher price tag, you get equipment that is less likely to break down to avoid disruptions that can cost you precious business, especially during peak hours.

• New units are generally more energy-efficient and environment-friendly than older models

• They go for much higher resale value, especially for well-known brands

• You can count on a more responsive service department for servicing and readily available replacement parts

We are committed to protecting your investment. We have an excellent selection of brand new and highly durable products from Manitowoc ice makers to Beverage Air refrigerators that come with excellent warranties and unrivaled customer support. We make sure your purchases work their best beyond the initial quality control.

Explore the benefits of a business credit card

This is the perfect option for buying ingredients and supplies. You’ll only need your credit score as qualification, and it doesn’t have to be all that impressive either. If you are at 600, you have a good chance of getting approved. Plus, the application process is easy.

You know how you get some perks and rewards every time you swipe your personal credit card? You can enjoy the same for your bar here. You can get excellent cash back and credit for business expenses.

Consider credit card receipt financing

There are some lenders that partially base their loan on receiving part of the credit card receipts from your customers. The process basically involves selling your future credit card sales in exchange for a cash advance. A portion of each credit card sale is taken out as payment. This can be an interesting approach but can also interfere with your finances.

Financing your new bar the right way

As a rule of thumb, you should have at least six months of expenses available in the bank when you start. Most businesses fail because of a lack of financing. So either do it right from the beginning or hold off until you can.

T-Pain’s School Of Business

Beloved hip-hop artist, comedic personality and business mogul T-Pain is taking his musical talent and entrepreneurial passion to television with his all-new series, T-Pain’s School of Business premiering Tuesday, October 16th at 11:00p.m. ET/PT on Fuse. Follow T-Pain as he explores some of the most innovative and unique startups created by millennial entrepreneurs who are defining the future. As he gets a feel for each quirky and groundbreaking company (including everything from weed-friendly startups, autonomous delivery robots and digital instruments, etc.), each entrepreneur reveals how they got started and what it took to turn their ideas into reality. Viewers can tune in to watch T-Pain learn the ins and outs of each business while at the same time trying out new products and asking all of the startup questions we want answers to. Class is in session!

New episodes of T-Pain’s School of Business will air every Tuesday night at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT on Fuse. Original digital content will be available at Fuse.tv and the Fuse social channels.

BRAG Announces 48th Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala

BRAG, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, has announced the 2018 honorees for the 48th Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala will include Bloomingdale’s Vice President of Integrated Marketing Kevin Harter, LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse, and Balmain Managing Director Shawn Pean This year’s award ceremony will be held on Friday, October 19, 2018at The Edison Ballroom located at 240 West 47th Street, New York, NY at 6pm.

“We are so excited to celebrate these fashion industry leaders whose work history and efforts demonstrate visions that are aligned with our brand mission; to prepare and educate professionals, entrepreneurs and students of color for executive leadership roles in retail, fashion and related industries,” said BRAG co-presidents Nicole Cokley Dunlap and Shawn Outler.

Committed to attracting and cultivating a diverse bench of talent needed to drive innovation in the fashion industry, the 2018 48th Annual BRAG Scholarship & Awards Gala recognizes the achievements of exceptional individuals who are redefining the future of retail and fashion. Scholarships will also be awarded to college students who demonstrate an interest in fashion and have the aptitude to become future leaders.

Past BRAG Gala honorees have included fashion mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, supermodel Naomi Campbell, NFL superstar Victor Cruz, entrepreneur Magic Johnson, designer Zac Posen and Macy’s CEO Terry J. Lundgren.

Since 1970, BRAG has provided professional development, mentorship, and job opportunities for thousands of alumni through internships, workshops, panel discussions, and networking events.  The annual gala is the organization’s marquee event that includes a three-course dinner, cocktails, music and entertainment, attracting the who’s who in fashion, art, entertainment, business and philanthropy, which, to date, has helped BRAG award over $1 million in scholarships to students who have achieved academic success and demonstrated a need for financial aid.

For more information on BRAG and/or the 2018 BRAG honorees please visit www.bragusa.org.  On social media, please follow on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.