Monthly Archives: May 2017

Tidak Perlu berada di Silicon Valley untuk Menumbuhkan Bisnis

While Silicon Valley might be a great place to grow a business — it’s not the only place.

Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, partner at VC firm Greylock and host of Masters of Scale, a podcast series examining counterintuitive theories to growing a company, believes that the talent and growth opportunities in Silicon Valley are unlike any other place in the world. And while he may not be wrong, Silicon Valley doesn’t have to be the only place for aspiring entrepreneurs.

In fact, Orlando-based Emmy Award winning producer and founder of Greg Rollett has found much success outside Silicon Valley. And to the contrary of Hoffman’s theory, working in a smaller city has been very beneficial to Rollett and his career.

“There’s opportunity out there that I think people overlook,” Rollett tells Entrepreneur’s editor-in-chief Jason Feifer in a video. “In Orlando, the local colleges ensure that there’s a diverse and enthusiastic talent pool, there’s a number of retired executives and successful entrepreneurs looking for new ideas to invest in and it’s easier to network locally and get your name out there.

Beyond hiring, funding and networking, Rollett and Feifer agree that smaller communities also act as good testing grounds for new ideas.

“You can learn how to tell your story better so that by the time you’re ready for that larger audience, you’ve refined yourself,” says Feifer.

However, when it truly comes down to it — both believe that it doesn’t matter where you are, but what you build.

Check out the video to learn more about successfully launching and growing a company whatever your location might be.

How Top Freelance Marketplaces Grow Your Side Hustle Profit

Entrepreneur has an affiliate partnership with Hurdlr so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

It’s no secret that the freelance economy is growing like crazy.

According to a study published in 2016 by Upwork called Freelancing in America, 55 million Americans participated in freelancing last year, meaning it already represents 35 percent of the U.S. workforce.

Here’s a more surprising statistic: Moonlighters made up 25 percent of the freelance workforce in 2016. These are professionals with a primary, traditional job who also moonlight doing freelance work. For example, a corporate-employed web developer who does freelance projects in the evening.

More and more people are choosing to supplement their day job income with on-demand work, ranging from remote business consulting to website design projects to even voice over acting!

And technology is making it increasingly easy to sell your skills or find the perfect talent for a business project. The same study found 73 percent of freelancers said that technology has made it easier to find freelance work—up from 69 percent just two years ago.

We spoke to executives at two of the top freelance marketplaces in the world, Fiverr and Upwork, that combine for billions of dollars in services sold each year. We got their insight on where this market is going and how freelancers can earn more profit with these platforms.

Fiverr’s CRO on solving freelancers’ biggest problem.

“Fiverr’s marketplace aims to solve the biggest pain point freelancers have,” says David Manela, CRO at the Tel Aviv-based freelance marketplace, “Finding work. We do this by taking the simplicity of an ecommerce marketplace and applying it to freelance services.”

Ask any potential entrepreneur about their fears of starting their own business and their answer will almost certainly be some variation of “getting customers.” The beauty of using Fiverr as a freelancer is that they’re focused on optimizing their platform to connect businesses with customers so you don’t have to.

“That way,” Manela puts it, “freelancers spend less time doing the business of marketing and seeking out work (i.e. writing proposals, bids, etc.) and more time doing what they actually love—creating, coding, designing, etc.”

Just looking to make extra profit on the side, in addition to your day job? A platform like Fiverr is also ideal, because you can control how much you work. “For those looking to do supplemental work as a side hustle, it’s easy to control the number of gigs they’re working on, meaning they can take on as much work as they feel comfortable handling.”

Leveraging an optimized platform like Fiverr can help entrepreneurs increase their freelance profit because they’re free to spend 100 percent of their time filling client orders and growing revenue, notracking up expenses trying to advertise their services.

Upwork VP says skip admin to maximize earnings.

Shoshana Deutschkron, vice president of communications at Upwork, has similar thoughts on what keeps freelancers from growing their profits. “The biggest barrier to growing profits from freelancing is finding enough work. Traditionally, side gigs have been limited to personal referrals and local projects. Upwork makes it much easier and faster to find more work,” she says.

The advantages of leveraging an online marketplace to manage inbound sales/lead generation should be a given. But what about managing those clients along the way—making sure they know what they owe you, sending invoices, and getting paid on-time and securely? This can add up to quite the time commitment for most freelancers, and be a huge drain on your profit.

Upwork spent a lot of time and resources building tools to streamline these dreaded tasks for freelancers. “Beyond better access to a much larger pool of work opportunities, Upwork helps entrepreneurs maximize their earnings by reducing the administrative load required of freelancers, such as time tracking and invoicing, and empowering them to spend that time actually working and earning,” says Deutschkron.

Upwork accomplishes this via proprietary features for Upwork freelancers include tools like the Work Diary, which automatically screenshots your computer to document work-in-progress. This helps ensure your client pays you for every hour actually spent working.

For fixed-rate projects, Upwork has a built-in milestones interface that allows freelancers to submit pieces of the project at agreed-upon due dates, at which point the client releases funds from a secure escrow account that go right to you, the entrepreneur. Not only does Upwork help entrepreneurs get work, it helps them get paid in timeand in full.

Simply put, more time cranking out sales and less time doing administrative dirty work like documentation, billing, and collection means much more profit for you.

Disclosure: This is brought to you by the Entrepreneur Partner Studio. Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Being a Nimble is More Important than Being True and 4 Other Lessons I Learned to Build a Successful Company

The journey to success is different for many companies. There are opportunities, pitfalls and shifts which need to be made to turn your ideas into a successful business. However, one thing that many business books don’t tell you is that the early stages of a business are a careful mix of vision and flexibility.

And that how you implement this mix will have a lasting impact on your business.

That’s because much of your long-term success is instilled in the beginning stages of your company. Culture, differentiation and customer commitment are all formulated from the very early days of your business. And while needs change as you transform from a startup to a larger organization, ensuring you put in the time — and allow yourself the flexibility — to hone your product and approach early establishes important norms which run through the life of your business.

While there are many things entrepreneurs need to think about during the early stages of founding and growing a company, I have found that the following critical areas of focus were the most pivotal during Capriza’s first few years.

What makes you unique?

As a new company, you have to deliver something different, not simply something that’s good. While it’s vital you take a quality product to market, at the outset of building your company you need to ask yourself the question, What makes me stand out?

The fact is, as a startup, your customers are taking a risk buying your services. To be motivated enough to choose you over a more established competitor, you need to deliver something different, and different in a way that delivers clear value to your customer. It’s important to focus on the unique value of your product from the outset, and build out functionality that magnifies and extends that differentiation. With our company, we started with one core product, later expanding to a full product line and suite. But, honing in on that initial offering and what made it compelling against other market competitors is what drove our initial sales, and gave our company a platform and early customer base on which to grow.

So, don’t just focus on being good. Focus on being different, in a waythat really matters to your target customers.

Related: 5 Startup Lessons That Could Have Saved Me 5 Years

Being nimble is more important than being right.

When you hear about the world’s most successful companies, you often hear about how the founders stuck to their vision and never wavered. They looked into the “crystal ball,” saw the future of the company and just did the right things day-by-day to realize that vision.

Unfortunately, however, that’s also the story of a lot of businesses that no longer exist. If we hadn’t listened to our market and our customers and adjusted as we matured, we likely wouldn’t have been successful.

For example, when we were starting out we made assumptions about our potential customer’s technology usage and needs that weren’t completely accurate. Many of our customers were still struggling with legacy back-end systems, and weren’t as cloud progressive as we initially assumed. Making sure we were listening to the market and integrating these lessons into our solution was vital to our success. If we hadn’t responded and adjusted, our offering would not have addressed the real hole in the market.

In business — especially the early stages — having a vision is great. However, being nimble and open to new ideas is the key to longevity.

Related: 5 Proven Strategies to Break Out With Your New Business

Put extra thought into your people.

We all know the adage that people make your business. However, at the early stages, they can also break it very quickly.

When we were starting out, as CEO I put extra effort and thought into each hiring decision to ensure we were hiring the right people who could learn from the market and rapidly evolve to help us achieve the next stage of growth and maturity. We needed to hire people who not only had an entrepreneurial mindset, but also were committed to the team and “open door” policies we wanted as a cultural cornerstone for our company. I believe that “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” and the best business strategies can fail if you don’t get the culture right.

When you’re moving quickly, it’s natural to have “tunnel vision” focused on the end goal. But, culture has a lasting legacy, and the wrong hiring decisions early can have a corrosive impact for years. Having all leadership involved in hires at the early stages of your company ensures you’re hiring people who reflect the culture you want to instill. This is essential in the early days of your company because the next wave employees will take their cues from your early staff.

Related: Building a Hard-Working Team Starts With You

Implement customer health procedures.

At the heart of every company is the relationship you have with your customers. Your differentiators and product quality are cornerstones, but if you lose the trust of your customer base business will dry up quickly. This is even more true now in the days of subscription business models and declining switching costs.

What’s happening with your customers is everyone’s business in a startup. Companies who think customer successes and setbacks belong to department X (usually customer success or some other service organization) will slow or stop their own success. At Capriza, we initiated the customer “Needle Mover” program where if we ever had a customer issue or a major breakthrough, the whole company would be alerted and jump on it, no matter what department they were in. By doing everything to make our customers happy, we were able to establish trust and gain their loyalty, and use what we learned to help our efforts across marketing, product, sales, services and more.

Related: How Being Transparent Helps Scale Your Company

Grow as your company grows.

It’s also important to remember that as your company changes, as a CEO you need to change as well. How active you are in all facets during the early growth phase needs to adapt as your company grows in size, personnel and customer base.

As your business needs change, so should your approach as a leader. In the early days, you might have to be a salesperson in the morning, a product manager in the afternoon and a marketer in the evening. But, as you grow, you need strong leaders across all functions who can implement your vision and reinforce the culture without constant supervision. Maintaining the same approach as your company grows from 15 to 150 people is not only a step to overworking yourself, but is also a sure way to stop implementing practices that will strengthen your company as it grows. Instead of setting the vision and enabling and supporting the team, you’ll be the dreaded “single point of failure” that any experienced technologist knows to avoid.

The people and structures needed to succeed change as your company evolves. Being flexible to embrace these changes — and not solely sticking to what you know or has worked previously — is key to fostering a company that can continue to grow.

There’s no golden strategy for building a successful business. However it’s rare for a business that isn’t clearly differentiated — or is too stubborn to adjust to the needs of the market — to find true success. Put time early on into building the right team, and an offering that is unique and meets a customer need, and you’re positioning yourself best for continued success.

How This Entrepreneur Saves and Make Money to Finance Startupnya

After pressure from immigrant parents to follow a traditional career path to make the family proud, Louie Balasny decided to go to law school. After realizing that law was not a career that was right for him, he got a job at a bank. When he was let go of his job at the bank, he was faced with the question “what’s next?” Balasny met his co-founder and together they got to work, bootstrapped and paid their dues. Find out how Balasny juggled growing and financing a company.

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