Taglit’s Startup Innovation Center

In its short history, Israel has managed to become one of the world’s few startup capitals. It has become the startup nation with the third most companies listed on NASDAQ. Given Israel’s population of 9 million, various internal and external conflicts, and lack of natural resources, it has accomplished what most would consider to be impossible. Tel Aviv has built a reputation that reflects more than its beautiful beaches. Just go visit Taglit’s Innovation Center to see exactly what we are talking about.

The Innovation Center at the heart of Tel Aviv aims to display new advancements of Israeli Start-Ups in different fields. In collaboration with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Taglit-Birthright built the “State of Mind” Innovation Center. It provides an opportunity to talk about the fact that this sliver of land has over 4,000 operating startups. Visitors can learn about Israel as an international leader in technology, engineering, and philanthropy. More specifically, ground-breaking inventions for agriculture, medicine, transportation, security, and outer space are displayed. What is unique about the Innovation Center is that it emboldens user interaction. The center puts up touch screens, tutorials and prototypes, allowing for visitors to explore and understand various innovations. This way people can understand exactly why the country is deserving of its “Startup Nation” title.

Each Taglit-Birthright group that visits the Innovation Center begins by exploring the interactive exhibition, and continues with a meet-up with a Ieading Israeli entrepreneur. Here are the names of just a few start-ups displayed at the Innovation Center that is destined to make revolutionary impact.

  • Electroad: This technology uses energy from the road to power electric vehicles using that road. Copper chains are inserted into grooves in the asphalt, then connected to a power converter on the side of the road that links to the city’s electric grid. This will revolutionize transport.

  • Pillcam: A tiny camera in a capsule. After the patient swallows the capsule, the camera can reveal any abnormalities and supplies essential medical diagnosis. A tiny wireless camera contained in an easy-to-swallow and disposable capsule about the size of a vitamin pill transmits images as it travels through the human body. This inventions makes excruciating exams, such as colonoscopies, much more endurable.

  • Skyfi: It is the world’s most advanced nanosatellite with larger cover area and bandwidth. This allows for better connection between more people, allowing us to become part of a global village. Basically, this is a much cheaper way of spreading internet globally.

Each startup begins with a need. Taglit Birthright had an unmet need to show groups the innovation side of Israel; and thus the center was born. The center was originally intended for Taglit participants, but curiosity and interest arose quickly. Now the center also hosts governmental and business delegations from all over the world, a variety of private and group tourist organizations, and all kinds of people who want a glimpse into the Israeli innovation scene.

Former Prime Minister Golda Meir famously said the God had made a mistake in sending the Jews to the only country in the Middle East with no oil. While it is true that oil may have made things easier, lack thereof has, without a doubt, forced Israel to find new and innovative ways to survive and transcend all expectations.

Instagram for Small Businesses

instagram, businessWe all know the power of Instagram. It’s filled with big corporations competing for the attention of millions of Millennials, and members of Generation Z. Small businesses will be intimidated by big corporations with unlimited marketing budget, large following and quality content. But this is the beauty of social media. Though all of these things can seem like deterrents at first, they are also the reason why you must give Instagram a try. But how can you use Instagram for small business? Instagram can be a great way to promote your brand, connect the physical world with the online world and launch a new product or service. What you use and how you use it will depend on your goals and your organization.

Instagram has about 800 million active daily users, Instagram is the fourth-most downloaded app in the US. So, if you are a business owner intimidated by entering such a crowded platform, keep in mind that capturing even the smallest percentage of your audience is still a significant amount of people. As a social media platform Instagram is unique because it’s all about visuals and aesthetics. All you need is your smartphone camera, and an idea of how you would like your brand to be represented. Instagram is also reported to have higher levels of interactivity between customers than other social media platforms. In other words, a smaller number of Instagram followers are more likely to share your content than a large group of Facebook follows. If you are running a business that targets customers based on lifestyle or income, as opposed to age, this works in your favor. With Instagram the chances of all members of your audience seeing your content increases as well. Because Instagram allows you to share your Instagram posts on Facebook automatically, your Facebook followers will be exposed to your Instagram content as well.

Instagram has its share of benefits. However, it is important not to have a same objective for all social media platform. Instagram is not Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Snapchat, or any other platform you are using. Its goal is to drive interaction with customers, website traffic, and sales through appealing visual content. So if you are a small business owner, unsure about how to use Instagram effectively, here are a few things to look out for.

  1. Visuals

    Visuals are the main currency of Instagram. Be relevant! Post compelling content your followers won’t be able to find anywhere. such as, business and industry-related material. Feel free to post staff pictures, behind-the-scene pictures of how your product is created, relevant quotes, community events etc. Whatever your brand image may be, create visual consistency. There should be a clear idea of brand and messaging. This is important. Having this nailed down with what your brand represents is key before undertaking any social media outlet. An example can be to Use the same filter for every post. this allows you to establish a style that becomes recognizable to your followers. One of your goals on Instagram is to get users to stop scrolling when they get to your image. You want followers to like or leave a comment, which means your visuals have to be compelling and recognizable. If you have a strong driven mission you can post visuals that embody this as well. You also don’t have to be a graphic designer to have visually appealing content. Affordable platforms such as Canva are easy to use and offer great quality work.

 

  1. Hashtags

    Creating a hashtag for your business is a must. Encourage your customers to post pictures of your products with this hashtag. To increase customer interaction, have hashtag sharing contests and ask your business partners to use it through cross-promotion. Don’t be afraid to include other hashtags relevant to national holidays or mainstream news. This can drive new customers to your page. You will be intimidated at first but don’t be! You can Check out what similar businesses are posting and the hashtags they are using. Having this information will make your page noticeable to the right people who need your product or service.

  2. Followers: Of course, having many followers is beneficial. However, at your early stages focus on having the right followers, as opposed to the number of followers. Some businesses have opted to buy Instagram followers. While this may be appealing at first, there are no long-term added benefits. This means no added interaction, exchange, or purchases just money that could have been spent elsewhere. The goal is to increase the conversation rate, not just the amount of followers. So make sure you follow and interact with your targeted followers, business partners and industry leaders.
  3. Consistency: Consistency works hand-in-hand with timing. This does not mean you have to post every day. Posting often and at the right time is key. Posting when your audience is likely to be online is best. Of course, this depends on your industry and customers. Posting quality content a few times a week is better than posting every day for the sake of meeting a quota.
  4. Effectiveness: There are several free platforms and metrics used in order to measure the effectiveness of the way you are using your platform. Other than the number of likes and shares, Iconosquare and Sumall are a few sites that can measure your effectiveness for free!

We hope this helped you shed some light into Instagram. Think of it as an affordable way to continue interacting with your audience. There is little to lose and much to gain. Worst case, you realize the platform isn’t for you. Even so, you learned a valuable lesson about your business along the way.

Understanding Your KPIs

KPI, start-upKey performance indicators, also known as KPIs, are measurable values that showcase how effectively a company is achieving business objectives. Businesses set benchmarks early on and use KPIs in order to determine if they are achieving the goals they set out. KPIs can either be high-level or low-level. In other words, they can encompass the company as a whole, or focus on departmental goals. Monitoring KPIs is crucial for measuring progress and making necessary modifications to your business strategy. However, the focus should not be on the KPIs themselves. It should be on their significance and knowing their impacts. Let’s review some of the KPIs that are important for founders to thoroughly understand for strategic purposes. Please note that not all KPIs are relevant to all types of businesses.

  1. Customer acquisition cost (CAC):

CAC is the amount of money you need to spend on sales, marketing and related expenses, on average, to acquire a new customer. This tells you about the efficiency of your marketing efforts, although it’s much more meaningful when combined with some of the other metrics below, and when compared to competitors’ CAC.

 

  1. Customer Retention Rate

Acquiring new customers is one thing, but retaining them is even more important. Your customer retention rate indicates the percentage of paying customers who remain paying customers during a given period of time. The converse to retention rate is churn (or attrition), which is the percentage of customers you lose in a given period of time. When we see high retention rates over an indicative time period, you know the company has a sticky product and that is keeping its customers happy. This is also an indicator of capital efficiency.

 

  1. Lifetime value (LTV)

LTV is the measurement of the net value of an average customer to your business over the estimated life of their relationship with your company. Understanding this number, especially in its relation to CAC, is critical to building a sustainable company. Consider the ratio of CAC to LTV to be the golden metric. This is a true indicator of the sustainability of a company.

  1. Cash Flow

Cash flow will give founders indication on the state of their sales and margins. In order to determine your cash flow forecast you have to add the total cash your business has in its savings to the projected cash value for the next four weeks. Then, subtract the projected cash-out for the next four weeks. Cash flow forecasts allow entrepreneurs to notice issues with cash flow at early stages and make the appropriate modifications.  Understanding your revenue and monthly expenses (fixed and variable) enables you to calculate the company’s monthly burn. If the company starts the month with $100,000 in cash and ends the month with $90,000 in cash, its burn rate is $10,000. If a company’s monthly net cash flow is positive, it is not burning cash. A keen focus on runway is critical to the survival of any startup. Runway is the measure of the amount of time until the company runs out of cash, expressed in terms of months. Runway is computed by dividing remaining cash by monthly burn.

 

  1. Inventory Turnover-
Inventory turnover is a ratio that shows the amount of times a company’s inventory is sold and replaced over a given period. This is especially important in the retail industry. Basically, it is how fast a company is selling their products. This is then compared to the industry average. Inventory turnover is important because it indicates the quality of your inventory planning methods and controlling techniques. Additionally, by improving inventory turnover a retailer can easily increase its profitability by carrying fewer inventories.

 

  1. Accounts Payable Turnover-
Accounts payable turnover is the ratio that measure how quick a company can pay its suppliers. When the turnover rate declines, it means that the company is taking longer to pay its suppliers. This may imply deteriorating financial situation. It can also mean a change in payment terms with suppliers. If a company seems to be paying fairly quickly this can be due to suppliers’ demand for fast payment, or that a business is taking advantage of early payment discounts.

 

  1. Revenue Growth Rate-
Having an understanding of how fast your company is growing is critical for analysis. There are many accounting rules that apply as to when and how you should declare revenue. As an entrepreneur understand that your actions as a businessperson can have direct effect on how your business is portrayed. You can control when contracts are signed, how the contracts are structured, in order to affect how much revenue is declared in a given quarter.

 

  1. Market share-
Market share is main tool used in order to determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns compared to the competition. More specifically it can be calculated with shares of unit sales, share of customers served, share of total industry revenue, share of dollar volume, etc. Market share is important because it ranks you with your competitors. It gives you the most tangible indication of market growth, the quality of your CRM programs and branding initiatives. Make sure to also determine the value of your market share as well. For instance, having 60% market share in an industry that is slowly deteriorating is a red flag.

KPIs, like metrics, are crucial for business owners to monitor. Different companies monitor different KPIs, depending on their business goals. However, these KPIs should be understood by all business owners. Though you may not be dealing with technical accounting, understanding how these affect the way your business is perceived is of priority.

 

The Importance of Brand Building

brand startup

As Jeff Bezos so eloquently said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The statement seems straightforward. But the process of building your brand is the difficult part. As an entrepreneur, you should commit to building a brand identity that resonates with your target market. So many people forget that businesses, especially those that are B2C, must have and portray a brand identity that will be the foundation of all future marketing initiatives. There are essentially 3 ways to build a brand: creating brand elements, secondary associations and marketing programs. However, before you start pouring your heart into your marketing strategy, take a moment and devise a market research plan. Investing in thorough market research is the only way to brand successfully.

How does an entrepreneur build a brand that will resonate with my customers? Though large corporations have more resources to create and develop a brand identity and conduct appropriate research, the process is practically the same. There are 6 steps to the marketing research process (click on the hyperlink for more details). (1) Defining the objective and problem (2) Determining research design (3) Designing and preparing the research instruments (4) Sampling and collecting data (5) Analyzing data and (6) Visualizing and communicating results. Though this seems complex, the hassle is definitely worth the effort. Following these steps, by conducting quantitative and qualitative research, will let you get to know your customers and their expectations of you. This implies conducting surveys, looking into credible secondary data, running focus groups, conducting interviews, testing for brand recognition, testing for recall, and associations. The goal is to know your customer enough to develop a brand identity that will appeal to them, compared to that of the competition.

If you don’t present your brand identity to the right people in the right manner,  you missed the opportunity to acquire them. This will be time consuming and costly to reverse the associations people have already made with your brand. This is not to say that you can’t change your brand identity in the future. To the contrary, many successful companies have had to make brand-related changes in order to remain relevant over time. For instance, Victoria’s Secret was rebranded countless times before their angel wings took over retail, Apple nearly went bankrupt before becoming a staple in tech, and UPS used to be big and boring before it became personal and innovative. But, changing your brand image is costly and takes time. Keep in mind that you are a start-up, and will likely have a  limited budget. Doing it right early on, will save you money, time and stress.

Whether you are an established business or start-up, there really only is one way to start off the branding process, and that is through market research and knowing exactly who you are targeting. We can’t stress this enough. Get to really know your customer early on. Drafting a brand narrative is strongly recommended. The objective of marketing is to create a lasting relationship, called customer retention, with the customer after the actual transaction has been made . You will only be able to do this once you’ve identified your customer’s problem, their expectations, and built a brand identity that they value.

 

Comment Etsy peut aider votre petite entreprise

EtsyPour ceux d’entre vous qui ne sont pas familiarisés avec Etsy, il s’agit d’une communauté d’acheteurs et de vendeurs en ligne qui se concentrent surtout sur des produits faits à la main et des articles millésimés. Etsy permet aux vendeurs de personnaliser des boutiques en ligne avec des solutions complètes de commerce électronique. Cette plateforme a permis à plusieurs personnes de transformer un passe-temps en une entreprise à plein régime. Si vous êtes une petite entreprise ou une personne qui veut tout simplement métamorphoser un passe-temps en une source de revenus, voici quelques raisons pour lesquelles vous devriez avoir une boutique Etsy.

  1. C’est facile à utiliser

Il n’est pas nécessaire de posséder de grandes connaissances technologiques pour exploiter une boutique Etsy. Créer un site Internet avec une mise en page aussi claire et professionnelle que celle que vous offre Etsy nécessiterait beaucoup de travail de conception et de codage. Pour démarrer votre boutique, il vous suffit de suivre quelques étapes simples en quelques minutes. Le plus difficile est d’établir une gamme de prix, de décider quand offrir des promotions, à quelle fréquence ajouter de nouveaux produits, etc. Mais ce sont là des décisions difficiles que vous aurez à prendre, peu importe la plateforme que vous choisissez. Etsy offre également une application iPhone, Sell on Etsy, qui vous aide à gérer votre boutique et à rester organisé. Les caractéristiques de l’application vous permettent de gérer vos commandes, d’accéder à des données statistiques concernant votre boutique, de communiquer avec d’autres acheteurs, de gérer des listes, de recevoir des alertes lorsqu’il y a une vente, et bien plus encore.

  1. C’est abordable

Démarrer une boutique sur Etsy est gratuit. Cependant, il y a trois frais minimaux reliés aux ventes. Vous avez des frais d’inscription d’un produit, des frais de transaction et des frais de traitement des paiements. Mettre un produit en vente vous coûtera 0,26 $. Pour chaque article mis en vente, la publication est valide pour 4 mois. Lorsque l’article est vendu, une commission de 3,5 %, des frais de traitement de paiements de 3,4 %, ainsi que 0,25 $ CA sont facturés.

  1. Accès à une vaste clientèle ciblée

Etsy compte environ 54 millions de membres, tous spécifiquement à la recherche de produits faits à la main, et plus de 2 milliards de visites chaque mois. La consommatrice moyenne d’Etsy est une femme adulte âgée entre 18 et 34 ans. Elle est membre de la classe ouvrière ou classe moyenne. Annuellement, la plupart de ses achats sur Etsy comprennent des bijoux qui coûtent entre 21 $ et 40 $, et qui sont souvent achetés comme cadeaux. Elle aime la variété de produits faits à la main et respectueux de l’environnement. Si votre produit répond le moindrement à ces tendances démographiques, il n’y a pas de meilleure plateforme qui atteindra votre clientèle d’une manière mieux ciblée.

  1. Testez vos nouvelles idées

Une présence sur Etsy est un bon moyen de voir comment les gens réagissent à vos nouvelles idées. Vous vous sentirez moins obligé de garder des produits qui ne se vendent pas puisque vous n’avez pas à contacter des concepteurs ou développeurs Web pour apporter les modifications nécessaires à votre plateforme. Par ailleurs, si vous avez une entreprise et un site Web existant et que vous êtes incertain au sujet d’une ligne de produits ou d’un produit particulier, effectuer des tests sur Etsy et lire les avis publiés dans les forums de discussion peut vous aider à prendre des décisions.

  1. Etsy peut être utilisé comme un outil de commercialisation économique
Contrairement à la croyance populaire, vous n’êtes pas obligé d’utiliser Etsy exclusivement. Votre site Web et votre boutique Etsy peuvent fonctionner conjointement. Une fois que vous avez gagné du terrain avec votre boutique Etsy, vous pouvez réorienter vos visiteurs vers votre site. Si vous obtenez une quantité intéressante de vente sur Etsy, vous pouvez décider que cela vous convient parfaitement tout en choisissant de travailler aussi sur votre site Web en coulisses. Offrez un incitatif à vos clients pour les amener vers votre site Web – il peut s’agir d’articles à prix plus bas sur votre site, de cartes promotionnelles expédiées avec les commandes des clients provenant du site d’Etsy, ou d’inclure des URL de votre site dans les descriptions des produits que vous présentez sur Etsy.

Si votre marché cible est constitué de personnes qui visitent Etsy régulièrement, faites-en l’essai. Que vous soyez artiste, une personne avec un passe-temps, ou que vous exploitiez déjà une entreprise, vous pouvez profiter des nombreux avantages et beaucoup apprendre en administrant une boutique Etsy. Le pire qui puisse arriver serait que vous n’aimiez pas l’expérience. Mais même dans ce cas, vous aurez essayé une plateforme et vous aurez appris ce qui fonctionne et ce qui ne fonctionne pas pour vous.

How to Find Investors for Your Business

investors, business, start-upsFinding the right investor for your business, let alone any investor, is a difficult task. You have to know where to look, who to network with, and the kind of resources your business needs. The last thing you want is an investor who can only provide financial support. You will likely speak to over a dozen of investors before finding the right one for you. It will be a tiring process, but meticulousness is necessary if compatibility is what you’re looking for. Here are 4 tips on how to find investors for your business when the time is right.

  1. Get an introduction from a mutual acquaintance

Asking members of your professional and social networks if they know any investors should be your first step. Entrepreneurs will have an easier time to get a meeting with an investor when introduced by a mutual acquaintance that the investor trusts. It is important you network constantly and consistently. Networking, whether in a social or professional setting brings about many advantages. The more good relationships you build, the better your chances of being introduced to an investor that is willing to give you his time. Remember that when networking you are not just gaining exposure, you are building connections with the networks of others as well. If someone they know has a need that matches your business, or vice versa, and you’ve made a good impression, chances are you will get a referral.

 

  1. Research where they’re going to be

If you have particular investors in mind, research where they are going to be. Many investors spend time at speaker series and conferences open to the public. In order to get the attention of your prospects make sure to attend these events, and have your elevator pitch ready. You might just have a small window of opportunity to speak to them, so make sure you provide them with just enough information to spark their interest, and provide them with your business card. Make sure to get permission to contact your prospect in order to continue the discussion further.

 

  1. Understand your KPIs and market

Your KPIs and market will help you determine exactly what kind of investment your business needs. This is what will lead you to the finding the right investor for your business. Understanding your KPIs will showcase precisely where your business is lagging and where it is prospering. You will therefore be able to identify your selling points to your investor. Additionally, understanding your market will indicate the kind of experience you need your investor to have. Which companies have they invested in? What industries are they most interested in? how does their investment track record look? What do they provide the companies they invest in?

 

  1. Research credible online communities

LinkedIn is a great online platform to find investors. It is, however, not the only one. There are many social networks that connect you directly with investors from other countries. These investors are usually interested in contributing to the global business environment. Such platforms include Crunchbase, AngelListXing, Plaxo, Startup Nation, and Meetup. While it will take much more work and precautions to assess compatibility with an investor you met this way, it should not prevent you from expanding your search to online resources.

 

Finding investors for your business will be a difficult task. Especially at the beginning stages of business development when your business hasn’t gained much traction yet. Just keep in mind that your relationship with your investor is worth more than a business transaction. Therefore, make sure you know exactly where you are looking and what you are looking for.

 

Comment a-t-elle tracé son propre chemin? Sylvie Tendler

Succès,SylvieLa relation entre Sylvie Tendler et PME remonte à 2002. Maintenant membre du conseil d’administration de PME, elle est la première entrepreneure du programme à obtenir un siège à la table des investisseurs. À l’origine, le Groupe Tendler fournissait des études de marché pour les entreprises pharmaceutiques. En 2007, l’entreprise a été achetée par IntrinsiQ, LLC, de Waltham MA. Nous avons eu l’occasion de rencontrer cette entrepreneure accomplie pour lui parler de son entreprise et de ses expériences. Elle offre des conseils précieux au sujet d’être une femme entrepreneure, et nous parle des facteurs qui ont mené à la décision de vendre son entreprise.

Q: Qu’est-ce qui vous a poussé à démarrer le Groupe Tendler?

R: Le moment était bien choisi. J’ai vu que quelque chose manquait dans le marché. J’ai vu une occasion d’affaires, et il m’a semblé que je n’avais rien à perdre, parce que je me disais que si je perdais de l’argent, je pourrais tout simplement en gagner d’autre. Si ça ne fonctionnait pas, je pouvais toujours revenir au point de départ et me trouver un emploi. Pour moi, c’était une occasion de contrôler mon propre destin, une occasion de travailler avec mes clients comme je le voulais. Et en plus, de créer un environnement agréable pour moi et mes employés.

Q: On entend souvent dire que les femmes entrepreneures ont tendance à démontrer une aversion au risque plus élevée que les hommes. Que pensez-vous de cela?

R: Je pense que c’était peut-être le cas dans le passé, mais maintenant quand vous regardez à travers le monde, dans plusieurs grandes villes, il est beaucoup plus facile de démarrer une entreprise; vous n’avez pas besoin de briques et de mortier, ou d’une usine, et vous pouvez travailler à distance, à partir de n’importe où, tant que vous avez un courriel et un téléphone. Pour cette génération, c’est beaucoup plus facile que ce ne l’était auparavant, dans le sens qu’il y a une tonne d’occasions, et je trouve que beaucoup de femmes n’hésitent pas à se lancer. Je pense que la situation devient de plus en plus égale. Les femmes trouvent leur voix, elles se rendent compte qu’elles peuvent contrôler leur destin et leur avenir. Surtout une femme avec une famille. Lorsque vous êtes votre propre patron, vous pouvez être présente aux événements auxquels vos enfants participent, puis retourner au travail sans vous inquiéter de ce que votre patron va dire. Vous contrôlez votre propre horaire. Ça vous permet de trouver un équilibre entre la famille et le travail.

 

Je ne pense pas que l’aversion au risque aujourd’hui est spécifique au sexe. C’est quelque chose qui se résume au caractère et à la personne. C’est aussi une question de timing. Vous êtes plus averse aux risques lorsque vous soutenez une famille de 5 que si vous êtes une fille célibataire, et que vous vivez dans votre propre appartement et que vous n’avez qu’à prendre soin de vous-même, car si vous échouez, vous êtes seule à tomber. Lorsque vous avez des enfants et un mari, vous hésiterez plus à prendre des risques parce que vous ne voulez pas risquer le bien-être de toute votre famille. Je pense que c’est surtout relié au caractère d’une personne et à ce qui se passe dans sa vie qu’au sexe de la personne.

 

Q: En 2007, votre société a été achetée. De nombreux avantages et inconvénients se présentent lorsqu’il est question de vendre son entreprise. Quel a été le processus de décision qui vous a conduit à la vente?

 

R: Je sentais que je pourrais mener mon entreprise au prochain niveau beaucoup plus rapidement si je m’associais avec une autre société ou si l’entreprise était achetée, puisque je serais alors en mesure de tirer parti de leurs services et de leurs talents. C’était logique. Nous sommes devenus beaucoup plus forts ensemble que nous l’étions lorsque nous étions séparés. Initialement, j’ai conclu un partenariat avec une société où les acheteurs étaient très bons pour moi, ils m’ont intégrée dans leur entreprise, et la gestion se faisait avec beaucoup de latitude. Il y avait énormément de confiance et de respect, et leur entreprise des États-Unis profitait aussi de mon expertise. Ils n’ont pas interféré avec mes affaires au jour le jour, et ne se sont pas immiscés dans mes relations quotidiennes. Ça se résumait à un appel téléphonique mensuel pour discuter des chiffres et des ventes. C’était une très belle relation. Je n’ai pas simplement vendu l’entreprise à n’importe qui. Pour moi, il s’agissait aussi d’une très grande occasion d’apprentissage. Avant de vendre l’entreprise, il y avait peu de collègues vers qui je pouvais me tourner pour obtenir des conseils. Je ne pouvais pas passer ma tête dans la porte d’un bureau pour demander des suggestions. En fusionnant avec cette société, tout d’un coup, j’avais quelqu’un vers qui me tourner quand j’avais besoin d’aide. Ça s’est avéré être une très bonne décision.

 

 

Q: Comment avez-vous trouvé le bon acheteur pour le Groupe Tendler?

 

R: Eh bien, tout a commencé par un contrat de licence. J’essayais d’obtenir le contrat de licence d’un logiciel médical auprès de la compagnie qui a fini par acheter mon entreprise. Au cours des négociations pour le logiciel, nous avons développé une bonne relation. Ils m’aimaient tellement et je les aimais tellement qu’un jour ils m’ont appelée, et m’ont demandé si je considèrerais vendre mon entreprise. Voilà pourquoi je dis toujours à d’autres entrepreneurs que vous ne savez jamais ce qui peut sortir d’une transaction commerciale ou d’une relation. Vous pourriez être en train de négocier un contrat avec votre futur acheteur. Vous devez vous assurer d’être toujours professionnel. Nous avons surmonté toutes les questions qui posaient des problèmes et ils ont réalisé qu’ils devraient peut-être acheter cette entreprise au Canada; de cette façon, nous sommes devenus parmi les mieux placés dans notre secteur en Amérique du Nord.

 

 

Il ne fait aucun doute que Sylvie est une femme d’affaires qui peut offrir des conseils solides. Ce qui a commencé comme un contrat de licence l’a amenée à prendre une des décisions les plus importantes pour l’avenir de son entreprise. Vous assurer d’avoir de bonnes relations avec tous vos partenaires d’affaires est essentiel. Sylvie travaille également comme mentor à PME. Elle conseille nos entrepreneurs à travers les différentes phases de développement de leurs entreprises.

 

Le programme ProMontréal Entrepreneurs espère aider les dirigeants d’entreprise à passer au niveau suivant en leur donnant accès à un bassin de mentors expérimentés. Nos mentors partagent une passion féroce pour aider les jeunes entreprises à réussir en leur offrant orientation et conseils. Incluant des conseils dans les procédures comptables, les options de sous-traitance, l’expansion des entreprises, s’investir dans une croissance durable, l’acquisition et la rétention des clients, ainsi que bricoler la croissance (growth hacking: ensemble de techniques de marketing permettant d’accélérer rapidement et significativement la croissance d’une entreprise en démarrage.)

How She Paved Her Own Way: Sylvie Tendler

entrepreneur,successSylvie Tendler’s relationship with PME dates back to 2002. Now a PME board member, she is the first PME Entrepreneur to get a seat at the investor’s table. The Tendler Group originally provided market research for Pharmaceutical companies. In 2007 her company was bought by IntrinsiQ, LLC of Waltham MA. We had a chance to catch up with this accomplished entrepreneur and talk about her company and her experiences. She offers valuable advice about being a woman entrepreneur, as well as the factors that led to the decision of selling her business.

Q:  What made you want to start The Tendler Group?

A: The timing was right. I saw a void in the market. I saw there was an opportunity and I felt like I had nothing to lose because any money lost can always be earned back. If it didn’t work out I could always go back and get a job. For me it was an opportunity to control my own destiny, an opportunity to work with clients the way I wanted to. Also, to create a nice environment for myself and for my employees.

Q: Many say that women entrepreneurs tend to be more risk averse than men. What do you think about this?

A:  I think that might have been the case in the past but now I think that when you look around the world at some of the major cities, it’s much easier to start a business, you don’t need brick-and- mortar, you don’t need a factory, and you can work remotely from anywhere as long as you have e-mail and a phone, things are much easier. This generation has it much easier in the sense that there is a ton of opportunity and I find a lot of women are getting into it. I think it’s started to equalize. They’re finding their voice, they’re realizing that they can control their destiny and future. Especially a woman with a family. When you’re your own boss you can attend children functions and then go back to work and not worry that your boss is going to say something. You control your own schedule. It allows you to keep that balance between family and work.

I don’t think risk aversion today is gender specific. It comes down to character and to the person. It comes down to timing. You’re more risk averse when you’re supporting a family of 5 than if you’re a single girl, living in your own apartment and taking care of yourself because if you fail you’re the only one that’s going to fall. You might not want to take a risk when you have children and a husband because you don’t want to take your whole family down with you. I think it has a lot to do with character and timing in a person’s life not gender.

Q: In 2007 your company was bought. There are many pros and cons to selling your company. What was the decision process that led you to selling?

A: I felt that I could bring my company to the next level much faster if I partnered or if I was bought by another company. Because I would be able to leverage their services and talent.

It made sense. We were much stronger together than separate. I initially partnered up with a company where the buyers were very good to me, they integrated me into their company, and managed me with a very long leash. There was a lot of trust, respect and they leveraged my expertise for their US business. They did not interfere with my day-to-day stuff, they did not interfere with my everyday relationships. It came down to a monthly phone call to talk about numbers and sales. It was a very nice relationship. I didn’t just sell the company to anyone. For me it was also a very big learning opportunity. Prior to selling the business, there were few colleagues I could turn to for advice. I couldn’t just pop my head into an office and ask for advice. By merging with this company all of a sudden I was able to reach out when I needed help. It turned out to be a very good move.

Q: How did you first find the right buyer for The Tendler Group?

A: Well it all stated off as a licensing agreement. I was going to in-license medical software from the company that ended up buying mine. During the negotiations for the software, a good rapport and relationship was established between them and myself. They liked me so much and I liked them so much that one day they called me and asked me if I’d be interested in selling my company.

That’s why I always tell other entrepreneurs you never know what can come from a business transaction or relationship. You might be negotiating a contract with your future buyer. You always want to keep things professional. We worked through all our issues and they realized maybe they should buy this company in Canada, this way we’d be the top in our market and North America.

Sylvie is definitely a business woman to take advice from. What started off as a licensing agreement led her to making one of the biggest decisions for the future of her business. Making sure you have a good relationship with all your business affiliates is key. Sylvie also works as a PME mentor, advising our entrepreneurs through the different phases of their business development.

PME can give entrepreneurs access to a pool of experienced mentors in the hopes of helping them get to the next level. Our mentors are united by the fierce passion to help start-ups succeed by offering guidance and advice. This includes advice in bookkeeping procedures, outsourcing options, business development, pursuing sustainable growth, customer retention and acquisition, as well as growth hacking.

How to Use Social Media Platforms

Marketing on social media can be a daunting task for a startup. With so much conflicting advice and competition, it can seem impossible to even get started, let alone know how to effectively use the different platforms.

Here are some tips on how to use them. Doing this effectively can help you make sure you are using social media to give your brand the right dose of exposure and get the message across to your targeted audience.

Facebook

It’s important to start by building your fanbase on Facebook. Publicize your page and post a link to it anywhere you can, including adding a social icon onto your website. Once you’ve created a strong following it’s important to use status updates or photos to share your products, offers, services.

Twitter

When marketing on Twitter, you need to have content that is enticing enough for people to stop and click through. Use questions, quotes or statistics related to the link you’re tweeting as a way to entice people to read more. Do not forget to incorporate photos, short videos, gifs or polls. Hashtags (#) play a crucial key role on Twitter. These tags allow you to reach a wider audience than just your followers by getting involved in existing conversations

Google+

Almost every business automatically has a Google+ page created and listed, but optimization must be done by you. Make sure everything is up to date and that you have completed all the necessary information.  It’s also important to use strong images, make your profile open to search, and share updates directly to your page.

Check out this infographic and get some tips on how to use the different social media platforms.

facebook, social media, twitter, marketing

ProMontreal Entrepreneurs (PME) is a social business model created to help young entrepreneurs build and strengthen their business roots in Montreal. PME offers business plan feedback, a network of mentors, and access to sources of funding. Entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-40 can also get access to capital of up to $50,000. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any questions that you may have.

Common Mistakes to Avoid on Social Media

social,mistake,mediaWith so many social media platforms available for businesses to use, you may often get confused about what your social media strategy should look like. Often times business owners might think that they are properly managing their platforms while being completely unaware of their faults. Many early stage entrepreneurs are not marketing specialists and do not have the resources to hire marketers. In order to be of assistance, here are a few of the most common mistakes people make when operating on social media platforms.

  1. Posting During Work Hours only

If you like to work from 9 to 5 and prefer to have everything done during your work hours, this is for you. While this may help you with organizing your time and having a good work-life balance, it may be affecting the amount of attention your posts are getting. What you have to do is check the high traffic hours for each social network. For instance, the best time to get your most shares on Facebook is at 1pm, 3pm is the best time to get the most clicks, and the best days to post are on Thursdays and Fridays. On the other hand, posting on Twitter is quite different. You must operate it differently depending on whether you are a B2B or B2C business. If you’re a B2C business on Twitter you are most likely to get the highest click-through rate from 5pm to 6pm. It may seem complex at first, but all this information is just a few clicks away. Do the research, and organize your time accordingly.

  1. You Don’t Understand the Tone of the Tool

All social networks appeal to different audiences and have different objectives. As easy and as tempting as it may be to copy and paste the same information onto your different platforms, don’t do it. This is a marketing nightmare. It will decrease your credibility and will have no positive impact on your business. You must learn what kind of information to post on each platform based on three things:

  • The demographic that uses the social network
  • The nature of the information you want to spread (Are you having a promotion sale? Do you want to share an interesting article? Are you promoting your new product line?)
  • Your objective for posting. These are all matters that will determine where and in what format the information will be posted.
  1. Inconsistent Branding on Different Social Media Sites

Don’t be confused. Even if you are expected to manage each social network differently, all platforms must stay true to your brand. Even though the content you are posting varies for each platform, there are certain things you must not compromise when going from one social network to the other.

  • You should remain active in responding to customer questions, concerns and comments no matter the platform

  • Everything shared on social media should be of relevance to your industry and product offering (though depending on the content, it may be okay to post about particular world events or trending topics)

  • No matter the demographic a particular platform attracts, you should always be networking with the online community in a way that will benefit your business in the future. For instance, if you’re on LinkedIn reach out to professionals in your industry, on Twitter connect with credible publications and thought leaders in your area, on Facebook interact with customers, etc.

  1. Talking about Yourself Too Much
While it is good to let people know about what you have to offer don’t be afraid to take a step back and talk about something other than yourself. For example, sharing industry information, news items, opinion pieces, employee bios, etc. will increase the quality of your content. Consumers today are often bombarded with commercials and promotions. Attracting their attention in a more subtle way can prove to be beneficial.
  1. Spreading Yourself Too Thin
This is key. Do not feel the need to be on every social media platform that is out there. For some businesses being on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn is enough. Depending on what you’re selling and who you’re selling to you may find that only a handful of social networks work best for you. It’s not about how many platforms you’re on, it’s about the quality of the content you share on each platform you operate in that matters.

Now that you know the common mistakes to avoid on social media, take some time to look at your own online activity and judge whether or not some changes are needed. Whether it is merely some minor tweaks or a full-out revamp know that this will be one of the most important moves you will make. How you operate your business on social media has heavy effect on customers’ perception of your business. Your relationship with your customers is not something you want to put on the line. You can connect with PME on our different social media platforms for more.

Twitter:@katherinePME

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PMEMontreal/