Entrepreneur Magazine Editor-in-Chief Shares What Owners Can Do Now to Survive

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a seismic shift in consumer behavior that has induced stress on business owners.
Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, told Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso that business owners must incorporate technology infrastructure for long-term sustainability and listen to their customers to try to anticipate future needs.
“You need to be in touch with them regularly – surveying them – so that you can start getting data back on what it is that they’re looking for, what’s resonating with them and what’s holding them back on being your best advocate,” he said.

Feifer advises business owners to create an email newsletter to communicate with their customers rather than relying on social media.
“If you think that being in touch with your customer by Facebook is good, it’s not,” he said, explaining, “You’re losing people to the Facebook algorithm and you don’t own that audience.”

The Entrepreneur Magazine chief said customers will point owners in the right direction, and oftentimes, it can be a little change that can make all the difference in surviving the pandemic.
Feifer told Connolly and Carousso it is important that business owners look within themselves.
“Ask the simple question of ‘Is this company doing what it needs to do to survive for the next five years?’ Ask yourself that every single quarter and at some point you’re going to start to say, ‘Oh you know what, actually, I’ve noticed that our consumer is wanting this and this and I don’t know if the thing that we’re doing right now is going to last five years,'” he said, noting that type of honest assessment help owners make the appropriate adjustments.

Feifer is an impassioned entrepreneur, himself, running a production company in which he also hosts three podcasts, serves as a keynote speaker, and has co-authored a novel.
“I stopped watching basketball,” he quipped about how he finds the time for his professional endeavors.
But, it’s that entrepreneurial spirit that has been reignited as millions of Americans work remotely and others are starting businesses as a way to reenter a battered labor market.

Feifer told WCBS 880 many Entrepreneur Magazine subscribers are starting a “side hustle.” Starting any business, especially now, he said, requires a keen focus on one’s business plan and market.
“The number one way that people get stuck is that they have 10 ideas and they can’t decide which one and they start to kind of noodle on them all and they get nowhere,” Feifer said. “You got to just start somewhere.”
Creating a valuable service or product right now can be a win-win for the entrepreneur and their current employer.
See examples, actionable advice and new business ideas on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.

How to Launch an Online Clothing Brand in 2021

January 20, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It goes without saying that the 2020 quarantine made for a seismic shift in consumer behavior. The market has quickly morphed to an online-first mentality. This has created a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs across the globe to create digitally native product brands.
Related: Macy’s to Close 45 Stores in 2021
“The number one question I get asked when helping my clients start their own apparel brand is ‘what kind of clothes should I make?'” said John Brown, head of the ecommerce operations company Be Fulfilled. “This is a complex question that has many potential answers.”
John has helped clients create multi-million dollar apparel brands and actually responded via four additional questions that only YOU can answer…
What problem are you trying to solve and why?
Are you creating sustainable clothing? The most flattering denim? High quality children’s clothing? These queries encompass author and inspirational speaker, Simon Sinek’s maxim, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it”. As the online apparel market gets more crowded you need to easily articulate your why and place.
Related: How the Beauty Industry Has Pivoted Since the Pandemic
What are your brand value points?
Starting your online apparel brand will present many options when it comes to where and how to manufacture your clothing. It is important that the value you create for the consumer is in alignment with the values you hold.
In manufacturing there are four main decision points that will determine the experience of your consumer, your profitability and your growth potential of your brand: quality, speed, price and quality.You can’t have it all in the start-up stages. You will need to make the hard decisions on what you are willing to compromise during this process. Do you want the best fabric and you are willing to pay for it? If so, then you have just chosen quality as your number one priority. Do you then want to order 1,200 units and invest up front in inventory or are you gun-shy and want to order the minimum to test the market? John usually recommends the latter. Think big, test small. Road map the market first, pay a little more, then refine and go deeper on your next run. The lowest price doesn’t do you any good if you have 80% of it sitting in your basement. 
Determine what you value and make your inventory decisions from there. 
Where to manufacture?
John claims this question has become more complicated in this new era. Duties, tariffs, ethical manufacturing, renewable, air freight costs, ocean freight reliability, shifting consumer preferences, price points, reliability and quality control have all experienced major upheavals in the last few months. They create extra layers of complexity that can be hard to navigate alone and, if done incorrectly, can cost you all your hard earned profit. 
“If you have clearly answered the first two questions?” adds Brown. “You should have a framework by which to better answer the following key questions.”
A) Should I manufacture my clothes in the US or overseas?
B) Do I have the expertise to oversee the production of the clothing to achieve the vision I have for my brand?
This is the point at which a third party manufacturing partner can best help you. You now have a discerning set of values and can answer broadly what you want. A clothing or manufacturing expert can help assist you in the production of the product.
With John’s 20 years of experience in product development he has seen that those most successful in e-commerce have a clearly defined why and values. This leads them to spend their time working on high value sales and marketing tasks that cannot be easily outsourced, while simultaneously creating operational partnerships that outsource the tedious operations and sourcing tasks to manufacturing experts.
Related: This Woman Is Creating an Economy Around Plant-Based Leather
How do I offer first class customer service when I’m a startup?
The more important thing is to recognize where you aren’t an expert and be willing to hire those that are. One of John’s many mentors maintains that entrepreneurship is a practice in letting go. This doesn’t mean you give up the key parts of your business, it does mean, however, that you are self aware enough to know what you are good at and where you, as the founder, can add the most value.
In his experience, most start-ups underestimate their internal costs of their operations and overestimate their ability to do it well. In the age of instant feedback and reviews it is critical that you either hire a team that is experienced or partner with someone that is a professional in this space.
Often you will save in shipping costs and personal time by going with a professional 3PL (third party logistics provider). It will also open up international options for you that can be complicated to do yourself.
Customer service is also critical. In e-commerce, things will always go wrong. Packages get lost, people order the wrong size, put in their old addresses, etc. Handling these issues efficiently is key to keeping your operations costs low and your customers happy.
Always remember that creating a product-based brand is a journey, not a destination. You will evolve and get better over time. Don’t wait until your idea is perfect to launch. John lives by a  90/10 product rule: Get the product to 90% of your vision and launch. Your consumer base, experience and feedback will provide more value to you at this point to improve the product in ways you never considered.

 

Remember the Endless Taco Bell Chihuahua Lawsuit? Kamala Harris' Husband Won It.

Soon-to-be second gentleman Doug Emhoff put the final kibosh on a decade-long legal battle over the famous commercial mascot.
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November 9, 2020 2 min read
In Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the country is getting many firsts. She will be the first woman — and the first woman of color, born to a Jamaican father and Indian-American mother — to hold the office. And with her we’ll get our first “second gentleman,” in the form of her husband, entertainment lawyer Doug Emhoff. 
Harris was set up on a blind date with Emhoff in 2013, four years after he won a high-profile case that centered around the tiny dog best known for barking, “Yo quiero Taco Bell!” 
The case centered around whether Taco Bell broadcast the chihuahua campaign without compensating Joseph Shields and Thomas Rinks, who claimed to have created the now-famous “Psycho Chihuahua” character. In 1996, Shields and Rinks — on behalf of their small Michigan-based agency Wrench co. — were purportedly in talks with Taco Bell about developing a series of ads around the cartoon canine, but Taco Bell ultimately took the idea and ran it over to ad agency TBWAChiatDay, who carried it over the finish line. Shields and Rinks sued, and won $42 million from the fast-food chain in 2003. 
Taco Bell, in turn, sued TBWA, which is where Emhoff came in. He represented TBWA, who successfully argued that the plaintiff should be solely responsible for footing the bill. 
Despite how pervasively the pup imprinted on our pop culture zeitgeist, the campaign actually didn’t help Taco Bell sell tacos, so they retired it in 2000. Still, the high-profile case gave Emhoff’s career quite the boost, and couldn’t have hurt as conversation fodder on his eventual first date with a certain California attorney general.
Related: Kamala Harris Makes History as First Female American Vice President

Must-Know Tips for Building a Great Remote Team

Take these steps to build and manage a virtual workplace.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 20, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Companies have experienced unparalleled challenges this year. As a result, small businesses are learning to differently optimize their operations in the form of hiring, managing and training new employees. While many organizations have floundered, e-commerce companies continue to thrive. Thanks, in part, to their already heavy reliance on outside-the-office workers.
When every game is an away game
A huge benefit of hiring remote employees is that the scope of people you recruit increases substantially. You’re not just accepting applications from a limited pool of individuals in your area, but across the worldwide web. This means the chances of finding the right person for the job increases, while cases of running into the wrong guy or girl increase as well. Conversely, many employers will tell you that finding the perfect remote worker is incredibly difficult because there is a loss of connection when vetting potential hires.When interviewing people in person, you can form a more specific impression than merely reading a resume. However, there are certain things you can do to make better decisions when building up a remote team that can save you from wasting time and money. Running a business is difficult, so don’t make it any harder than need be.
It starts with the coach
Before putting expectations on anyone else, set a standard for yourself. Building a brand where others want to produce high-quality work is the best way to find qualified employees. Your employees ought to be a direct reflection of your company.
Related: Still Adjusting to Remote Working? I’ve Been Doing It for 20 Years.You do yourself a disservice if you’re not equipping potential hires with the knowledge they need before setting up an interview. If they do not know anything about the company, then the chances of getting great employees will drop significantly. Highly qualified candidates do not apply for positions that do not clearly state the expectations. They know their worth in the market, so they’ll most likely pass on places that do not have a vested interest in them. Make prospects want to apply.
Team culture
This additional factor is one of the hardest for the rational manager to mind. Making sure the prospective hire has a personality that will mesh with others in the company is critical. Excellent skills and experience are necessary, but not sufficient. A potential player will only benefit your organization if they can be added without adding friction to existing team dynamics.  
Skyler Stein, President of Gladskin, has said: “We have come to realize that the personality and work-style we want in team members is the same as our stated brand personality: intelligent, optimistic, down-to-earth and on your side. This knowledge has helped us successfully evaluate candidates that are right for our growth.” 
Related: Make Sure to Ask Yourself These 3 Business Questions for 2021 
Managing a distanced lineup
There’s a plethora of free software options that enables businesses to share documents in real-time. Google is known for its variety of choices between Google Docs, Sheets, and other software. Platforms like this let employers see the work employees are required to perform.  This allows them to hold the workers accountable if substantial progress is not made.There are also many different project management programs that can help streamline a business’ productivity. These online aides allow employers to assign various projects to their employees to fulfill. When workers finish tasks, they move their projects to a different folder that indicates successful completion of the goals.Some programs that are commonly used include: ●      Basecamp●      Teamwork●      Proofhub●      Zoho●      Nifty●      Trello Said programs may also offer features like scheduling options, hour tracking, calendars and live chatting.
Related: How to Ease Work-From-Home Guilt
Get every player involved
Make sure your team knows you’re there for them. Nothing is worse than being stuck on a project and feeling alone. Personally check on team members every day.To that end, good leadership always goes back to “praise in public, discipline in private”. If one of your employees makes a mistake, do not take it out on them publicly, but correct them privately.  A final simple fact: nobody wants to work for a micromanager. If you happen to notice a sudden decline in an employee’s workload, reach out if it starts affecting the company’s output. Ask them if there’s a way you can render assistance. They might be willing to acknowledge your help while appreciating your efforts. This has nothing but positive effects on productivity.  

For this reason, Starbucks of Dublin was fined more than $ 14,000 for a drawing on a glass.

A Starbucks branch located in Ireland was ordered to pay compensation of 12 thousand euros, because one of the workers drew an “insulting” face to a consumer of Thai origin.
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January 20, 2021 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

After an employee of a Dublin Starbucks drew a smiley face with “slanted eyes” on the paper cup of a customer of Thai origin , a court in Ireland fined the company considering this as a racial offense.
According to the site The Irish Examiner, the Irish Labor Relations Court decided that Suchavadee Foley had suffered a ‘racial assault’ because the employee at the scene ‘made a clear reference’ to her ethnic origin, by identifying the glass with said illustration, instead of writing down the name, as is usually done in this cafeteria.
On February 12, 2020, the woman identified as Mrs. Foley was the one who asked for a cup of matcha milk tea that day, noticing the drawing. The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), Kevin Baneham , asked Atercin Liffey Unlimited, which is listed as Starbucks Tallaght, to pay the offended woman a compensation of 12 thousand euros (about $ 14,500) , as she was racially harassed. under the Equality of State Law when he attended said establishment.
It is worth mentioning that Mr. Baneham affirms that the fact that an employee marked the mug with an image of a smile and slanted eyes is not up for discussion as evidence that it was referring to Mrs. Foley’s drink, since it is mentioned that she is of Thai-Irish descent and that it is clear that the visual representation refers to her.
Despite the worker alleging that his intention was not to offend anyone, the impact was negative on Ms. Foley , described as a “degrading and humiliating” event.
Mr. Baneham argues that the company failed to take appropriate steps to prevent the act of harassment and that it is indirectly liable.
Foley claimed during a previous hearing that she “panicked” and got nervous when she wanted to give her her order, so her boyfriend picked it up for her.
As for the lawyers of Starbucks , they had requested that the name of the company not be identified in this lawsuit, since it can affect the image of the brand, this request was denied.
A Starbucks spokesperson said the company “deeply regrets this incident and does not tolerate any form of discrimination.”
“We accept that the court’s findings indicate that our worker did not want to offend the customer and we have re-staffed this cafeteria to ensure that this will not happen again,” added the company spokesperson.
In case you are interested: They develop in Spain a mask that claims to deactivate coronavirus in two hours

Google Maps helps you find the cheapest gas station

The maps application added this feature for its Spanish users.
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January 20, 2021 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

The feature provides a quick look at the prices of unleaded 95 (SP95) and 98 (SP98) octane gasoline and diesel diesel.
Google Maps recently added a new feature that will help its Spanish users find the gas stations with the lowest price. The map application now shows the cost of fuel.
This function was available only for the United States and Canada, but thanks to a new one, its new update is now available for people who use Google Maps in Spain.
The feature provides a quick look at the prices of unleaded 95 (SP95) and 98 (SP98) octane gasoline and diesel diesel.
The function will show the cost of SP95 fuel by default, but when entering the tab, the option will show the other costs and will help you find the establishment with the cheapest price.
The search can be done from the search engine with the word “gas stations” or from the corresponding icon within the application. The information available is from some of the most important establishments in each city. So far, the platform has not revealed where it gets this information from.
Also, it is not yet known when the feature will be available in other countries. One way to check the price of gas stations in Mexico is through the Waze application.

What Is Modern Monetary Theory?

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January 20, 2021 3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has gained mainstream popularity in recent years with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York sharing their support of the theory. In simple terms, MMT believes that countries that print their own currency can never run out of money (technically, a true statement). Instead of being concerned over deficits and balancing the budget, it focuses on investing in programs like free college or universal healthcare without increasing taxes, so long as inflation is held in check. While this theoretically makes sense, could magically making more money work practically?
What’s in it for each party?
Why is MMT gaining interest? For Democrats, this seems like the perfect solution to finally funding public investments that haven’t received financial support rather than trying to tax the rich or increase taxes for the middle class. While many Republicans don’t support MMT, it could be an easy way to create tax cuts that will add to the deficit without too much objection. With opportunities for both sides to get their way, why is it likely that MMT wouldn’t be adopted by the Fed and the U.S. government in the near future?
Related: 7 Ways Entrepreneurs Drive Economic Development
Could MMT be passed in Congress?
For the past six months, Congress was deadlocked on how to move forward with coronavirus aid. While providing the American people aid during a global pandemic may seem like an easy agreement to reach, it’s been much more complicated to move forward due to the Senate and House disagreeing on what other initiatives should be included in relief. So, what makes people think that we could move forward with MMT? Many believe that if Democrats win the Senate runoff elections in Georgia that all Democratic initiatives proposed will pass easily through Congress, but that won’t be the case. With what could be a 50/50 split between Democrats and Republicans, it only takes one senator to deny a proposal.  MMT is controversial, so there are likely multiple moderate Democrats who would not want it to become the standard for the U.S. government.
Related: 10 Businesses to Start That Can Weather Any Economy
How would this affect me?
If MMT were to ever be implemented, it’s not as easy as the government printing more money when they need it. If the money created exceeds the resources, it can lead to hyperinflation, which is then controlled with an increase in taxes. So, while it seems like printing the money we need as we need it is a simple solution, there are consequences we would have to face. The first question is how fast would Congress act to raise taxes? Congress does not easily raise taxes, and not raising taxes when needed could lead to hyperinflation. And, once we begin raising taxes to slow inflation, there’s no telling where it will end. The truth is that while MMT may seem like a wonderful tool, spending money with the idea that taxes can be raised later to stem the tide of inflation is a dangerous game to be playing.  
Related: How Covid-19 Has Brought Global Financial Inflation
The reality is that Congress already functions to a degree as if MMT is the standard. Money is spent before it is borrowed. The danger is runaway inflation, and few people really believe Congress can act rationally to control this. While there is much to like theoretically, practical matters make MMT a dangerous proposition.

If you're a fan of Elon Musk and Twitter, Tesla offers the job of your dreams

The chosen one will be in charge of reviewing the mentions of the CEO of Tesla on Twitter, to collect the requests that Internet users make to Elon Musk.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 20, 2021 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

There are those who spend a good part of the day monitoring the activity of their idols on Twitter . If you’re one of those people, you might be interested in Tesla’s new vacancy. The work consists of monitoring the mentions of Elon Musk in said social network and directing the requests of his followers to the corresponding departments.
Despite his busy schedule, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX tries to maintain contact with his customers and fans through Twitter . In fact, a few days ago he replied to a tweeter who sent him the same message 154 times .
Being the first or second richest person in the world (depending on the day and time you check the ranking), Musk receives millions of messages daily. Therefore, it is impossible for you to follow up on all complaints and suggestions regarding Tesla products.
In order to better track these mentions, the company is recruiting new remote customer service personnel . Its function will be to detect the requests addressed to its CEO on Twitter, and channel the most relevant to the respective area.

Btw, critical feedback is always super appreciated, as well as ways to donate money that really make a difference (way harder than it seems)
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 8, 2021
“By the way, critical comments are always highly appreciated, as well as ways of donating money that really make a difference (much harder than it sounds),” Elon Musk wrote on Twitter on January 7.
In the vacancy, posted on the electric car company’s website, it says that “Tesla’s support specialists handle various customer issues while providing world-class customer service .”
The job description says that candidates must “meet Tesla’s measures of excellence, perform other tasks and assignments, including administrative and special projects .” They also emphasize that they “are the vanguard and the face of the brand” , so “they must maintain a level of professionalism that exceeds the expectations of our customers .”
Applicants only need to cover basic requirements such as having “a reliable internet connection and a quiet work space free from interruptions .” They also ask for a year of experience in telephone customer service, adaptability, criteria for solving problems and a taste for teamwork, which is essential.
For its part, Tesla offers benefits such as major medical insurance, dental and vision plan, paid vacations, childcare, employee discounts and “other financial benefits .”
And you, did it make you want to apply for the position?