From Our Founder: New Legislation Makes Equity Crowdfunding the Go-To Source for Startup Funding

Venture capital funding, while essential to the startup growth ecosystem, is a funding source that makes its way into only a small percentage of companies seeking critical startup and growth funding. The companies that get venture capital fill a narrow band that meet certain strict criteria, leaving many other highly …

What Startup Founders Should Know About NFTs and Intellectual Property Protection

As a startup founder, you might be wondering how you can take advantage of the recent craze surrounding non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Perhaps NFTs can be used to protect your startup’s intellectual property without spending the time and money to secure more formal IP protection. After all, NFTs can be an …

Time is running out to register for the Expand 2021 free virtual event 

If you were planning to register for Expand 2021 but never got around to it, the time is now. This free virtual event for web designers, developers and other digital pros runs April 27 and 28, with a schedule packed with knowledgeable experts — including pros from Google, WooCommerce and …

Get Startup Funding Fast! Applications Open for Pepperdine Most Fundable Companies

The Graziadio Business School of Pepperdine University has opened entries to its fourth annual competition, Pepperdine Most Fundable Companies, to identify America’s Most Fundable Companies. All U.S.-based startups with less than $10 million in revenue are invited to participate. Participants in the Pepperdine Most Fundable Companies competition receive a comprehensive …

Former NFL Player Rick Elmore on What Aspiring Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Professional Sports

Success is not something that is delivered on your doorstep; it’s something you have to constantly chase after. In an oversaturated market, crowded with bright ideas and aspiring entrepreneurs, it can be difficult for a new business to break through and reach a dedicated customer base. Today, it takes more …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Study Shows That Small Businesses Are Making Bold Moves to Stay Relevant (Episode 209)

On this morning’s Business Beat, Jeff shares findings from a recent Borrell Associates study, indicating that small businesses are making bold moves to stay relevant and capture market share. One third of local advertisers said they plan to spend more on local advertising in 2021, and 70% will add more …

3 Fintech Founders Share How They Are Closing the Racial and Gender Wealth Gaps

The racial and gender wealth gaps remain a major source of inequity in the United States. Three entrepreneurs in the finance technology space are choosing different paths to solve these issues by using digital tools and data to improve financial inclusivity. Learn how each are creatively fighting to close gaps …

Impostor Syndrome: How to Recognize the Voice of the Impostor (and What to Do About It)

Have you ever felt like you didn’t really measure up to the assumptions that others have made about you? Do you wonder if your success may be the result of luck and timing, rather than your intelligence or hard work? Have you ever worried that at some point, everyone is …

7 Common E-Commerce Pain Points (and How to Fix Them)

Customer pain points refer to problems that shoppers experience that prevent them from making a purchase. For example, a customer may be interested in your product, but limited payment options may deter him or her from following through and making a purchase. Meanwhile, others may be discouraged from making a …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Put the Power of Social Media Marketing to Work for Your Small Business (Episode 207)

One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face is how to market their products or services. On today’s Business Beat, Jeff welcomes Ignite Social Media president, Deidre Lambert-Bounds, who shares her expertise about making social media marketing work for your small business. Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to hear …

Here’s Why a Solid Business Plan is Your Best Safety Net as an Entrepreneur

The pandemic’s effect on business has been staggering: In 2020, 163,000 businesses closed on Yelp during the first six months of the pandemic alone. On the flip side, many more businesses made it through, and a lot of those actually thrived. To be successful last year (and to continue that …

6 Things to Do After Receiving Your PPP Loan

You’ve gotten your PPP loan, spent it properly and hopefully qualify for full forgiveness. Congratulations! What’s next? StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here Here are six steps you can take now, after receiving and spending your PPP loan, to help ensure your business continues …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Click and Collect Has Become a Mainstay in the Way Consumers Make Their Purchases (Episode 205)

As we move further and further away from the epicenter of the pandemic of 2020, it’s becoming clearer which changes the pandemic caused that will be here to stay long into the future. On this morning’s Business Beat, Jeff discusses click and collect, a distinct consumer behavior in which customers …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Impact on Brands Taking Positions on Social Issues (Episode 206)

On this morning’s Business Beat, Jeff discusses results from a recent Piplsay study on the impact of brand activism and social issues. Of those consumers surveyed, 22 percent report that brand actions have impacted both their buying behavior and brand impression. Tune in to the Business Beat to learn more …

Top 4 WooCommerce tips & tricks for better product visibility

As a web designer or developer, your goal is to deliver results. If your clients want to sell products online or increase sales, these tips and tricks are designed to help increase product visibility using WooCommerce. The combination of WooCommerce and WordPress is a powerhouse of eCommerce goodness. Get started …

15 Grant Programs for Minority and Women Business Owners

Grant programs offering free money are hard to come by, which is why many entrepreneurs frequently end up applying for small business loans or try crowdfunding to start or expand their companies. However, many organizations have recently created grants in an effort to assist companies that have been negatively impacted …

PetPlate Founder Discusses Navigating the Messy Middle in Business

Building and scaling a business isn’t easy, and reality quickly settles in after the initial excitement of launching your product or new business venture. Navigating this next phase of the entrepreneurial journey is difficult and creates more questions than answers. I believe author Scott Belsky summarized it best by calling …

Dell’s Small Business Advisors Can Help You Prepare for What’s Next

Partner with Dell Technologies for a custom recommendation on your next IT project. From laptops and desktops to servers and storage, our Small Business Advisors can fit you with the best tech solution for your business. Visit www.Dell.com/StartupNation to save up to 48% off, or call to speak with an …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: TalkDesk Study Shows Business Owners Must Have an Omnichannel Presence (Episode 203)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff discusses the importance of having an omnichannel approach in business. What does that mean? It means that in order to succeed, business owners must meet their customers where they are, and that requires both in-person and online interactions. According to a new study …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Coffee Consumption is Booming During the Pandemic (Episode 204)

The pandemic has changed consumer habits in a number of ways, including what we drink and even how much. According to the Spring 2021 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) survey conducted by Dig Research, COVID-19 drove record coffee consumption at home. Grab a hot cup of coffee and listen to …

Stack up, back up: Practice safe web dev on World Backup Day 

If there were a formal education for budding web designers and developers, it would need to include something like that cringey class we all had to endure as teenagers. You remember… diving into the facts of life? In the web professional curriculum, World Backup Day would be a particularly important …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: New Study by Accertify Indicates That Businesses Online Face a Growing Threat (Episode 202)

More businesses are being started up online than ever before, and with that, a new study conducted by the American Express Company, Accertify, indicates that these businesses face an ever-growing threat of payment fraud. A certified survey to 105 respondents from merchant companies in December 2020 found that 38% of …

The true cost of a “quick change” for web designers and developers

If you’re like most web freelancers who’ve been around the block, you’ve done plenty of small freebie jobs for clients, friends and family, and maybe even for former clients. In fact, you may even have built entire websites for free. I’ve been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt. We …

What is Product-Market Fit? How to Leverage Customer Development to Move Your Business Forward

So, you’ve got a startup idea. The first major challenge you’ll need to overcome is achieving product-market fit. So why do so many entrepreneurs leave this up to chance? Creating a product that solves a real problem starts even before you launch your business. This is the process of customer …

4 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Business Structure

Structuring your business is one of the first—and most important—decisions you make in your entrepreneurial journey. Your business entity impacts everything from taxes to daily operations. But if you’re just starting out, you might not know what to look for in a business structure, and that’s OK. We have your cheat …

Why Startups Fail: A Harvard Business School Professor’s Letter to a First-Time Founder

The following is excerpted from the book “Why Startups Fail” by Tom Eisenmann. Copyright © 2021 by Tom Eisenmann. Used by permission of Currency, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more …

Is Thought Leadership Worth It? Your Questions Answered

Content Marketing Is Thought Leadership Worth It? Your Questions Answered David Tile, Founder & Director @ Article-Writing.co Posted On: March 29, 2021 Have you heard the term thought leadership tossed around and don’t feel it applies to you?  Often, exceptional industry experts don’t recognize their potential to inform and inspire …

How President Biden’s Tax Reform Could Impact Your Small Business

Information about tax changes the Biden administration is considering have recently leaked, creating some big headlines in media. “First major tax hike since 1993,” according to Bloomberg. As a fractional CFO, my first reaction to any tax reform is: what does this mean for small business? Although we do not have an official …

Restaurant Revitalization Fund to Provide $28.6 Billion in Grant Funding to Restaurants Hit Hard by COVID-19

No question, the pandemic has taken its toll on a lot of small restaurants over the last 12 months. For a lot of them, because of the way the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was structured, they didn’t get the help they needed. The American Rescue Plan includes the Restaurant Revitalization …

3 Dangers of an Unincorporated Business (and How Incorporation Can Resolve These Problems)

Often, one of the first pieces of advice an entrepreneur receives when they start a business is to incorporate or form a limited liability company (LLC). When you incorporate a business, you are able to select an entity formation that provides structure to the business. This ultimately impacts everything about …

Dell Technologies Delivers Premium Product for a Premium Experience

Take advantage of your exclusive StartupNation savings with an extra 5% to 10% off during Dell’s Premium event on solutions from Dell Technologies, where exceptional tech meets maximum productivity. Visit Dell.com/StartupNation to access these savings, or call 855-900-5548 to chat with a Small Business Advisor today. StartupNation exclusive discounts and …

Websites + Marketing: Schedule & publish posts directly to Instagram

When it comes to succeeding online, small business owners know it takes more than a website to grow. They need to be where their customers are – whether that be on social media or in their inboxes. But being everywhere takes time, especially when trying to manage and maintain multiple …

Tune in to the Business of Music on StartupNation Radio

On today’s episode of StartupNation Radio, Jeff chats with three entrepreneurs working to make a huge difference in the business of music. First up, Jeff chats with Jonathan Hayman and Cassie Alexe, co-founders of the Michigan Music Business Club. Hayman and Alexe are both are juniors in college at the University …

Why Entrepreneurs Should Create Core Company Values from the Start

Company values are more than just meaningless words on your company website or in your handbook. Company values are your organization’s ingrained beliefs and principles. They are one of the basic building blocks of your startup’s DNA, intertwined with your company mission and vision, that not only provides a blueprint …

How to create beautiful WooCommerce pages using only the free storefront and Gutenberg editor

Let’s talk about how to create great-looking pages that highlight products and sales on a WooCommerce website — barebones, no artificial flavor, color or preservatives. We’ll only be using WordPress, WooCommerce, the WooCommerce Storefront theme and its default widgets. And yes, it can certainly be made to be beautiful. Let’s …

Tips for Keeping Your Company Grounded During a Crisis

Being a business owner is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had the opportunity to embark on. The endless cycle of personal and professional growth and learning makes for a truly life-changing experience. But surviving a global pandemic can quickly become one of the most stressful …

The Midwest’s Top Female Founders to Watch in 2021

“We always say unapologetically: we’re here to win, we’re here to win big, and our opportunity is big.” That was Lori Coulter, CEO and co-founder of Summersalt, speaking at the State of the Midwest Startup Community 2020. There’s no denying that women have made many strides in closing the gender gap …

How to Effectively Develop a Personal Brand to Build Credibility and Trust

When you’re searching for a product or service online, do you often make a purchase from a company you’re unfamiliar with? Like most shoppers, you probably don’t do so very often. Trust is a crucial element of every successful business, as a reported 81% of consumers buy based on trust. …

Shattering Myths: Tips to Successfully Launch and Run a Family Business

Starting a family-run business is a great way to build a legacy and earn money based on your own terms. The impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on American job loss has more individuals ditching the standard corporate 9 to 5 and seeking out entrepreneurship opportunities where they have more …

Starting a movement: Q&A with FFFL.co founder Dr. Sophia Yen

Inspired by the book “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, FFFL (pronounced “full”) is an awareness campaign and movement that encourages women and their allies to choose companies that are Female Founded & Female Led (FFFL).  Their mission is to bring visibility to, increase the numbers of, …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: RingCentral Study on the State of Hybrid Work (Episode 195)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff shares results of Ring Central’s 2021 State of Hybrid Work report, which predicts that the future of work is likely to be a combination of remote and in-office work. Tune in to the Business Beat to learn more about the future of hybrid …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Women Leadership Roles Show Progress When it Comes to Venture Capital (Episode 194)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff shares progress as it relates to women in venture capital and discusses the importance of diversity in the venture capital field. Tune in to this morning’s Business Beat to learn more about women in venture capital: “We all benefit when there is diversity …

7 Tips for Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Website

If you’re looking for Pinterest tips that will explode your traffic, you have landed in the right place. If your new website is struggling for traffic, it’s time to leverage this powerful marketing tool. Most people don’t realize that Pinterest is a place where shoppers go to find things to …

Why Taking a Customer-Centric Approach Significantly Reduces Risks and Increases Your Chance of Success

To build successful businesses, entrepreneurs must fall in love with solving customer problems more than their own ideas. Entrepreneurs often rush to build and test their ideas using the lean startup methodology. They are taught and believe that they should “fail fast.” Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs do a great job failing. …

COVID-19 Exposed the Digital Divide: Here’s How We Can Close it with 5G

The pandemic has recast our view of internet connectivity for all as a critical component to an equitable society. Yet many rural and low-income communities around the world, including those in large urban areas, lack reliable, affordable internet access. Learn what needs to be done now to close this digital …

How to claim social media handles — and why you should do it now

This article was originally published on Feb. 14, 2018, and updated on March 17, 2021. Whether you want to start a business, are planning on becoming a social media influencer, or just hope to have a really nifty social media handle, you should grab your coveted name now — even …

After a Year of the Pandemic, Here’s What Consumers Will Prioritize in 2021

As we enter the second year of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, the global landscape looks much different than it did in early 2020. Startups and small businesses continue to pivot and adapt their operations to meet both the changing demands of shoppers and the near constant evolution of local regulations. …

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Taking the Leap into Entrepreneurship

The growth of social media, the internet and the freelance economy has created a wave of excitement around entrepreneurship. More people are becoming entrepreneurs due to the unpredictable job market and the fact that technology has made it easier and more accessible to a larger group of people. There are …

The complete guide to WooCommerce standard shipping setup

When selling products in WooCommerce your clients will need to deliver products to their customers. There are a few settings that will need to be tweaked even if products are digital or if the store offers local delivery and/or pickup. It takes some experience to get WooCommerce standard shipping setup …

General Liability Insurance: Protect Your Small Business

Like most homeowners who rely on their homeowner’s insurance to cover their liability in the event of an accident or some other unforeseen liability, many businesses rely on general liability insurance for the same type of protection. StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Forbes List of the World’s Best Employers to Work For (Episode 192)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff shares Forbes’ list of “The Worlds Best Employers,” which compiled survey data from more than 160,000 full-time and part-time workers from 58 countries. Which three companies topped the list? Tune in to the WJR Business Beat, below, to find out! Tune in to …

The Case for Testing Your Company’s Potential New Hires

The following is adapted from “Fireproof” by Mike Morse Not many people enjoy taking tests when applying for a new job. They aren’t used to it, and assessments, whether for IQ, behavioral tendencies, cognitive skills, or more, are time consuming and stressful. On the other side, many firms avoid giving tests …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Study Shows Americans Overall are Feeling More Hopeful During Pandemic (Episode 191)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff discusses Mindshare’s COVID-19 tracking study, which indicates the sentiment of American consumers, providing interesting and valuable insights. Tune in to the WJR Business Beat segment, below, to learn more about the study’s findings: “So much of consumer sentiment is driven by perspective, and …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Best Ways to Engage Your Customers and Drive More Sales (Episode 190)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff shares results from a recent Digital Consumer Trends Index 2021 conducted by Cheetah Digital in conjunction with Econsultancy study on the incentives that work best to engage customers and drive more sales. Among the study’s findings: Discounts are still the biggest incentive, as well …

The Entrepreneur’s Paradox: The One Letter That Changes Fear into Power

The following is excerpted from “The Entrepreneur’s Paradox“ by Curtis Morley (Mango Publishing, March 16, 2021). Language is one of the most powerful tools in our personal arsenal to change our future. A single letter S can help you transform fear into power. Evaluate these two phrases: What if… What is… …

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: The Power of a Socially Responsible Brand (Episode 189)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff highlights several new studies that indicate the importance of building a purpose-driven brand. He then provides three expert tips for ways entrepreneurs and business owners can share their company values with customers. Tune in to the WJR Business Beat, below, to hear Jeff’s …

Why a Website is Vital to Your Startup’s Success in the COVID-19 Era

Over the course of the past year, COVID-19 shutdowns and the rapid transition to online business has brought about many challenges for entrepreneurs. Despite the hardship, entrepreneurs with an online presence persevered—in fact, a recent survey found that websites were vital to business success, particularly during the first couple months of …

How Startup Leaders Can Choose to Challenge the Status Quo, Build an Equitable Future

Today is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge. The official website for International Women’s Day explains the campaign, stating: “A challenged world is …

‘Everything Borrowed’ Podcast Ep. 19: A Conversation with Major General Darren L. Werner

Major General Darren L. Werner has not only achieved the rank of General in the U.S Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), been awarded Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Army Commendation Metal, to name a few, but he has also succeeded at managing thousands of people worldwide and a …

Research shows that women have what it takes to make great CEOs

This article was originally published on March 1, 2017 and updated on March 8, 2021. In 2020, Fortune reported that the number of women running America’s largest corporations had hit a record high. There are now 37 women CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies, increasing from 33 women CEOs in 2019. …

How to come up with a business name — 10 naming a business stories

There’s an interesting story behind every business name. Ask any company founder how they came up with their business name, and you are bound to learn more about the company and the founder within their answer. And their stories can help you learn how to come up with a business …

Branding Yourself: A Guide for Extraordinary Entrepreneurship

The following is excerpted from “From Suck to Success: A Guide for Extraordinary Entrepreneurship” (Tulip Media, February 26, 2021). StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here Branding yourself When I work with entrepreneurs about building stronger, more successful businesses, one of the first concepts …

How to network remotely with other business owners during the pandemic

Business owners who have mastered networking already know the value of it. We attend networking meetings, Chambers of Commerce events and business after-hours events. We’ll even talk to complete strangers in coffee shops. That’s because good networking done properly can lead to new opportunities and new friendships. I’ve been a …