Don’t Be Fooled By Social Media: Why Every Entrepreneur Still Needs A Website

Every entrepreneur should want to know how to grow their business. How can I make money even while I am sleeping? If I wanted customers in other countries, how can I reach them? Before you invest thousands of dollars in a website, finish reading this article. You would be surprised how many small to medium-sized businesses are relying on social media only for an online presence. Likes and followers can be collected, but you will not have your customers’ full attention.

Part of great marketing for your business is having a website. In the past web development and design was in high demand because there was a high level skill needed to build storefronts or minimally functional websites. While complex web applications still need this level of skill, there are several options on the market that even novice users can take advantage of and have a website up and running within hours. Some of the advantages include:

-Consumers will have 27/7 access to your services/products

-The ability to transact both domestic and foreign business

-Consumers can get their questions answered and stay informed

-Businesses can manage their consumer relationships with email addresses, forms, and other web hosting add-ons

In addition to having a website, it is also important for businesses to have email addresses that match their domain names and not the third party mail names (ex. joesplumbing@gmail.com vs joe@joesplumbing.com). Customers will appreciate the professional look of your email address. Where should you start your search? Web Hosting companies are one-stop shops where you can ensure that your business is accessible 24/7, manage emails, and maintain the design/content of the website.

To help you in your search, we have created a small list of web hosting companies that can help you get started.

HostGator offers a full range of hosting packages as well as Award Winning 24/7/365 support via phone, email, and LiveChat. They now offer a variety of packages and products including Shared, Optimized WordPress, Cloud Hosting and more. Along with this, packages come with Site Building Tools, Templates, and Shopping Cart Software for E-Commerce. They can also assist with migrating existing websites from other hosts for new customers at no charge.

TMD Hosting has been one of the more dependable web hosting companies for years. Their starter package includes unlimited bandwidth and SSD space (storage). Customers will also get a free domain name, premium support, cpanel, and optimum cache. With two datacenters in the US and several others across the globe, reliability will not be a problem with this company.

BlueHost boasts that it is powering over 2 Million websites worldwide. One of their highlighted features is the 1-click WordPress install. Customer will also get a free domain, access to Site Builder for easy web design and development, and 24/7 support. BlueHost’s new cloud service gives customers the opportunity to scale their business while using reliable technology for an affordable price.

Regardless of which web hosting provider you decide to go with, having an online presence is a must. Some may be tempted to have only a social media presence, but businesses need a web space that allows their customers to focus on their products and services without distractions. Start scaling your business and increasing accessibility today by creating a website for your business.

Selling Dirt to Pot Farmers: How Cannabis Is Enabling Innovation

John-Paul Maxfield is the founder of startup, Waste Farmers, which sells dirt to pot farmers. The company began collecting food waste from schools and restaurants and turning it into compost. Waste Farmers started producing organic potting soil made from coconut husks and bio char, derived from dead trees killed by pine beetles. The company has 20 employees and is certified as a B Corp. “B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency” (B Corp).

Waste Farmers’ goal is to rapidly speed up the adoption of a new food system to feed humanity wherever they live, decrease agriculture’s environmental impact and combat climate change. According to a 2017 Forbes article, Maxfield describes Colorado as the Silicon Valley of cannabis. When Colorado legalized marijuana in 2013, Waste Farmers developed Batch 64, named after Amendment 64, for the ballot initiative. The company saw it as an incredible opportunity to grow controlled agriculture.

Chicago-Based Startup Looks To Rebuild The Gig Economy One Chore At A Time

“Uber meets Priceline meets Salesforce for household projects”. Founded by Tarik Khribech, Adam Cisek, Karrie Sullivan, and Florence Hardy; ChoreRelief is a Chicago-based startup that aims to eliminate challenges related to sourcing and transacting household business. According to ChoreRelief, consumers and small businesses share common frustrations when they attempt to source and complete household projects. Imagine setting a price for a service and being able to track progress. You use your smart phone app to request a small plumbing job and see who is going to do the work. Customers can even track when the provider is going to arrive. ChoreRelief has elevated the small jobs and annoying chores market by connecting consumers and providers using an interactive web platform and mobile app.

ChoreRelief has tapped into the frustrations of both consumers and providers. No one can deny the difficulty in finding the right person or company to perform a small job. Some contractors place small jobs low on the priority list, often not showing up at all. Estimates for small jobs are delivered slowly or priced on-the-fly, often blindsiding the customer. The providers for small jobs can often become frustrated with dealing with a marketplace flooded by companies that are mainly seeking large jobs. This type of marketplace can make it seem somewhat impossible for providers to keep a steady stream of customers. Too often providers for small jobs are unorganized and lack the tools necessary to support sales tracking, scheduling, and customer communication.

Entrepreneurs are provided with several tools and education to run their business. Providers have the ability to handle hundreds of chores. ChoreRelief’s software also provides tools for entrepreneurs that have employees. Some of the highlighted provider tools include schedules for employees; monitoring the progress of jobs; access to sales reports; access to customer database; and marketing/payment tools. What tools are being used to get everyone connected? The company uses SaaS (Software as a Service) and mobile apps to connect consumers with those who do yard work, clean houses, wash cars, and etc. The website is user friendly and easy to navigate making it attractive to any provider that may not be that tech savvy, but wants to leverage the tools available to take their business to the next level.

ChoreRelief’s formula for building a network of providers revolves around a core principle; providers should be treated like human beings not products. “The sharing economy has lost sight of the humanity of work. People want to be treated with dignity and respect and control of their own destiny.  The sharing economy needs to share the economy”. Chicago and New York City users continue to grow. This supports idea that the on-demand employment model works.

ChoreRelief is a title III crowdfunding campaign and is actively accepting investments. Successful apps has been launched in iTunes and downloaded by consumers and providers in Chicago and New York. The company plans to launch Android apps in the Google Play Store as well as invest in marketing to expand their customer base.

Inclusive Innovation Incubator: How Howard University And DC Plan To Attract A Confident and Innovative Community

Howard Univerity Business Incubator

Howard University will have a soft opening for its new business incubator in a few weeks. The building is located at 2301 Georgia Ave. N.W. across from Howard University’s Campus. The building is highlighted by 22 foot ceilings, LED lighting, and bright colors throughout. Gaven Daniels designed the incubator with the idea of have a comfortable environment for a diverse community to feel confident and capable of innovating.

The nearly 8,000-square-foot incubator has nearly 60 workstations, 11 offices and five classrooms. DC provided $1 Million dollars in grants to help fund the building. Operating the building annually could cost as much as 1.2 Million dollars, which makes finding corporate sponsors a high priority. Last February, the city and Howard picked Aaron Saunders‘ Clearly Innovative’s education arm, Luma Lab, to run the space. Saunders is paying rent to Howard.

“Drop-in visitors can pay $40 to access the lounge and the workstations, while a $300 monthly membership gets you unlimited access to any available seat in the lounge or a workstation. Everyone who uses the incubator gets access to printing and to private booths for phone calls, as well as office hours with In3 mentors.

For a $400 monthly fee, members get their own dedicated personal desk space, mail handling services, a personal locker and the ability to host private events at the space. For $600 a month you can get a private office space for one person or up to four people, along with all of the other items mentioned” (Washington Business Journal).

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Detroit’s Resurgence: The Social Club Is One Of Many Reasons The City Is Making A Comeback

The Social Club, a barbershop that impacts the community and the natural environment is one of many black-owned businesses being credited with being a part of Detroit’s resurgence. The company aims to rebuild the American community by expanding into all realms of modern gentlemen: Fashion, Music, Lifestyle, and others. Bonding, socializing, and exchanging ideas is what the social club brings back to the barbershop.

Founded by Sebastian Jackson in 2012, the Social Club is committed to offering a hassle-free, yet high quality experience, without the pretensions of a salon. Jackson had his first three business plans rejected by Wayne State University, his desired location for The Social Club. Eventually Sebastian and his wife Gabrielle opened The Social Club Grooming on WSU’s main campus, built with reclaimed lumber from blighted Detroit homes.

The Social Club is giving back by partnering with a local park to build a greener city by providing hair clippings to be used as fertilizer for 200 trees. The Social Club has drawn in some big names including NFL running back Reggie Bush and Detroit Born neo-soul singer Dwele. Described as “Our Superman in Detroit” by a 2013 article, Sebastian Jackson represents what America needs more of; passionate entrepreneurs with fresh ideas that look to inspire change while making the world a little better every day.

One of the Hottest Companies To Watch In 2017: Parachute

Parachute will be one the hottest startups to watch in 2017. The bedding, bath, and décor retailer is committed to manufacturing products that surpass the most stringent safety and environmental protection standards. Their home essentials are Oeko-Tex certified, meaning they’re free of synthetics and chemicals, and our manufacturer’s Responsible Down Standard certification ensures our down comes from humanely treated ducks.

High Quality Bedding is produced from a company in Italy and then sold through Parachute’s website and one store at its headquarters in Venice Beach, California. It is also worth noting that co-living startups are now including advertising that says they have Parachutes Sheets.

Founded in 2014 by Ariel Kaye, Parachute partners with Nothing But Nets, an organization providing safe sleep to those in need. Social responsibility has been implicit to Parachute’s business model from the start. For every Venice Set sold, Parachute sends one life-saving malaria prevention bed net to people in need through Nothing But Nets.