Archive for September, 2019

What is a Wantrepreneur and How Can You Avoid Being One?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

What is a Wantrepreneur?

As the name suggests, a wantrepreneur aspires to own their own business and become an entrepreneur.

A wantrepreneur doesn’t hold back in talking about their great business idea. Though the bragging often doesn’t turn into action. And the wantrepreneur can tend keep on talking about their business idea forever!

Traits of a Wantrepreneur

Some of the key traits of a wantrepreneur include:

Talks the Talk but Doesn’t Walk and Walk

Someone might posses the next billion-dollar business idea. But they also must get active pursuing their business idea. And avoid becoming one of those people who do nothing but talk. Otherwise they’ll fall head first into the wantrepreneur category.

Makes Excuses for Not Getting their Business Idea Up and Running

Excuses include not having the time, lacking the funds or waiting until ‘next month’ to start. Wantrepreneurs are full of them. They use them to explain their lack to entrepreneurial action.

Refuses to Perceive Themselves as a ‘Salesman’

Wantrepreneurs also blame their lack of sales skills for holding them back.

True and successful entrepreneurs work hard to overcome all obstacles, including a lack of sales skills.

Has an Eternal Goals List

Wantrepreneurs might have unique and creative ideas, but they are typically hopeless at getting things done. From money goals, to vacation ones, career goals to New Year’s Resolutions, a wantrepreneur’s goals list rarely has anything ticked.

How to Determine if You’re a Wantrepreneur or an Entrepreneur?

If you’re unsure whether you’re an entrepreneur or are stuck in wantrepreneur doldrums, take a look at the following means of determining your businessperson status.

You’re Forever Waiting for those ‘Perfect Conditions’

It might be a recession, personal problems, or an unexpected promotion at work that’s holding you back from taking the plunge and starting your own business. Waiting for those ‘perfect conditions’ that rarely surface, is a tell-take sign that you’re a wantrepreneur.

You’re Opposed to Taking Risks

Not all risks pay off, but entrepreneurs recognise that even failure provides an opportunity to learn. If you’re opposed to taking risks and don’t regard risks in any optimistic light, you could well be a wantrepreneur who aspires to be an entrepreneur rather than an actual entrepreneur.

You Focus Solely on the Money

There’s much more to running a business other than paying cheques into the bank and watching the dollar signs tot up. Running your own business comes with a myriad of rewards other than financial ones.

While it is nice to reap financial rewards, if you’re solely focused on making a ‘quick buck’ and are reluctant to put the blood, sweat and tears to get there, could be a sign that you’re a wantrepreneur not an entrepreneur.

You’re Slow to Adapt

Whatever industry you’re involved in, the business landscape is constantly evolving. Wantrepreneurs tend to be more ‘stuck in the mud’ than entrepreneurs, who are able to adapt to changing environments and demands, always act quickly and strive to innovate within evolving landscapes.

If you’re reluctant to embrace change and are slow to adapt to changing environments, you might be fall into the wantrepreneur path rather than entrepreneur.

You Worry Too Much About Funding

Whereas a successful entrepreneur doesn’t worry about what he or she doesn’t have and goes all guns blaring to get the capital required to get their business venture off the ground, a wantrepreneur worries excessively about funding and not having sufficient funds to pump into their business venture, which can often be used as another excuse for failing to get the business started.

How to Progress from a Wantrepreneur to an Entrepreneur

Prepare yourself to shake off your wantrepreneur shackles. And transform yourself into a thriving and unstoppable entrepreneur.  You should consider doing the following:

  1. Keep your business idea a secret and refrain from shouting about your idea to prevent others from stealing your business plans before you have time to get your venture up and running.
  2. Get a solid business plan written up ASAP.
  3. Throw away those negative excuses today and, if you’ve not got time, simply make time!
  4. Put the work into your business idea by striving to get the funding, sufficiently branding and marketing your business and overcoming obstacles that almost inevitably fall in every business’s way.
  5. Finish what you started by persevering with your business through a willingness to take sensible risks and putting in some blood, sweat and tears.


This article, “What is a Wantrepreneur and How Can You Avoid Being One?” was first published on Small Business Trends


34% of Your Employees Might Take a Pay Cut to Work Remotely

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Remote Work Statistics

Because of the available technology today, working remotely is as effective as working at the office. And this is giving businesses more flexibility when it comes to where their employees choose to work. But some people prefer working remotely so much, they are willing to take a pay cut.

According to a new report from Owl Labs, 34% of employees say they are willing to take a 5% pay cut. Another 24% say they will double this amount and take a 10% cut. And there is yet another group (20%) who say they will take a pay cut of more than 10%.

Considering 73% of all teams will have a percentage of remote workers by 2028, making this option available is a must. As a matter of fact, remote work is no longer a perk, but a business imperative. If you don’t offer remote work as an option, you will limit the talent pool of applicants at your company. Not to mention your current employees might look elsewhere because they want to work remotely.

The State of Remote Work 2019 report looks at how employees in the U.S. feel about the remote work ecosystem. In the emailed report Owl Labs says, “Remote work can improve employee productivity, increase employee retention, and make employees feel more trusted and better able to balance work and life responsibilities — making for happier employees and more productive teams.”

The Survey

Owl Labs has a good perspective on remote workers because the company makes a video conferencing device called Meeting Owl. The remote work statistics in this report further expand the company’s understanding of this segment. Owl Labs carried out a survey of 1,202 full-time workers in the U.S. between the ages of 22 and 65 to understand how remote workers feel.

The participants were made up of 745 (62%) people who work remotely at different frequencies and 457 (38%) who work on site.

Remote Work Statistics

Of the 62% of the respondents who work remotely, the frequency at which they do so varies greatly. More than half or 54% work remotely at least once a month and 48% work at least once per week. However, almost a third or 30% are full-time remote workers.

But who is working remotely? The survey breaks down the answers from the respondents into job levels for both remote and onsite workers.

The biggest percentage of onsite workers are individual contributors (52%) and consultants (32%). In the remote workers’ department, VP level (46%) and founder/C-level (55%) workers make up the majority.

The data in the report proves remote work is not just for rank and file members of a company. It also says there are 18% more executives working remotely than there are working on-site. Senior executives and above also say they work remotely at least once per week at 34%, which is higher than those in lower positions.

A Closer Look at Who is Working Remotely

The report shows, companies are making remote work available to almost everyone in their organization. The departments which use remote workers are represented almost equally across a company. They are customer support/service/success (17%), facilities/operations/IT (16%), administrative (14%), sales (12%), other (8%), and other departments at lower percentages.

For onsite workers, the top three departments are customer support/service/success (21%), administrative (17%), and facilities/operations/IT at 12%.

The Reasons for Working Remotely

The biggest reason people want to work remotely is for better work-life balance, which is at 91%. Beyond this, the other reasons come in with almost the same level of importance for the respondents in this survey. But together they combine to contribute to the number one reason, work-life balance, even stronger.

Increased productivity/focus is next at 79% followed by avoiding commuting (78%), less stress (78%), saving money/financial reasons (76%), and less office drama at 73%.  So, with all these benefits, are remote workers happier?

The report says remote work or the ability to work remotely makes employees happier, and they also feel more trusted.


As these remote work statistics show, working remotely is now part of the overall ecosystem. And employees expect to have it as an option if they choose to work remotely. This applies to small and large businesses alike.

As a small business owner, the cost-benefit of having remote workers has a bigger impact. It means less office space, supplies, and other expenditures. The key is finding the right balance between how many people stay on site and how many will work remotely.


This article, “34% of Your Employees Might Take a Pay Cut to Work Remotely” was first published on Small Business Trends


The European Parliament Supported a New Postponement of Brexit

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

EP: The UK is responsible for leaving the EU without an agreement.


The UK would have overall responsibility for leaving the EU without an agreement. This is stated in a resolution adopted today by the European Parliament.

The EP finds it possible to give an additional delay to the withdrawal. The withdrawal agreement is fair, balanced and provides legal certainty, MEPs noted in the resolution adopted with 544 votes in favor, 126 against and 38 abstentions.

The existing withdrawal agreement respects London’s “red lines” and EU principles, the resolution states. The EP stresses that the agreement protects the rights and life choices of EU citizens and British citizens, provides an opportunity for a financial settlement of London’s EU obligations, and responds to the request for a transitional period.

“The agreement further provides the necessary precautionary measure for Ireland by safeguarding the Belfast Agreement and ensuring North-South cooperation,” the text said.

The EP is ready to return to the original EU proposal for a Northern Ireland-only precautionary measure. MEPs welcome the consideration of “alternative options”, if legally applicable and credible, and in line with the EU’s core views. They stress that they will not approve a withdrawal agreement without a safeguard for Ireland.

The EP notes that even if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, its financial obligations, protection of citizens’ rights and compliance with the Belfast agreement will not be abolished. These are prerequisites for the support of MEPs for any future EU-UK relations, the resolution quoted by the EP press service said.


Interpol drops Red Notice for Zhelyaz Andreev

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Officially, the red bulletin on the search for Zhelyaz Andreev from Interpol has been dropped. He announced this at a briefing at the Council of Ministers.

Andreev was an employee at an American call center in Bulgaria. He was investigated by the United States and detained briefly on suspicion of violating the arms embargo on Syria. In his words, this is the best news for him in a long time.

Zhelyaz Andreev: Once again, I would like to thank my girlfriend, who has been with me since the beginning of this problem, my family and friends, the state institutions, Mr. Tsatsarov, for the efforts he has made, Mr. Borissov, to all the ministers who stood behind me, and showed that this is another case in which the state can protect its citizens.

After meeting with Zhelez Andreev in his Facebook profile, Prime Minister Borissov thanked all Bulgarian institutions for helping Zhelyaz and other young people not be detained and extradited to the United States.


Saudi Arabia Will Resume Its Oil Production by the End of September

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Oil production in Saudi Arabia will be fully restored by the end of September, authorities said. At the same time, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is leaving for the kingdom to discuss the next steps after the airstrike against Saudi oil facilities.

Saudi Arabia will be able to quickly recover oil. Attacking drones against the facilities of the giant Aramco caused a temporary shutdown and halved oil production, equivalent to 6 percent of world production.

Saudi Minister of Energy: “Full production capacity will be restored to 11 million barrels per day by the end of September and up to 12 million barrels per day by the end of November.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Jeddah on the Red Sea for talks with Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The goal is to coordinate efforts against Iranian aggression in the region, according to an official statement from the State Department. Pompeo blamed Iran for the attack, and Tehran denies.

At the same time, senior US officials quoted by the BBC claim that the location of the attack was identified, and that is southern Iran – in the northern Gulf.

In the wake of the coup against Saudi oil infrastructure, gold prices plunged, and Donald Trump even allowed the release of certain volumes from US strategic reserves. The markets gradually calmed down and the US president made it clear that he no longer needed to use the reserve.


The Council of Ministers Signed the Contract For the Construction of the Bulgarian part of Turkish Stream

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Bulgartransgaz EAD and Consortium Arcad Association are currently signing in the Council of Ministers the contract for the construction of the Bulgarian part of the Turkish Stream, which envisages the construction of a pipeline from the Turkish-Bulgarian to the Bulgarian-Serbian border.

The ceremony at the Granite Hall is attended by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova, Russian Federation Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Saudi Arabian Ambassador Mesfer bin Abdullah.

This is an important step in the relations between Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia.

The value of the contract is EUR 1.102 billion. The pipeline has to be constructed and put into operation for 615 days, with a linear infrastructure of about 300 metres ready within the first 250 days.


In the Spotlight: International Van Lines Moves Towards Better Customer Service

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

In the Spotlight: How One Founder Changed His Industry with International Van Lines

Working in an industry is the perfect way to learn what you need to know before starting a business. That’s exactly what the founder of International Van Lines did before jumping into entrepreneurship. He realized that there were plenty of issues with the moving and logistics industry. So he decided to solve them.

Read about the journey he went through and the business he created in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides long-distance and international moving services.

President Josh Morales told Small Business Trends, “My business is known for its reputation, quality of service, and customer care. Although that may seem like a small thing, it’s huge in an industry that lacks quality. There are also many scams and thousands of complaints in the moving industry. We’ve set ourselves apart by simply caring about the customer.”

Business Niche

Ensuring quality service from the team.

“We go above and beyond with the hiring process of our movers, drivers, and staff. It’s essential to the company that everyone is like-minded and has the customers best interests at hand. We hold a weekly meeting, quarterly training, and have a dedicated compliance department to ensure we’re all on the same page.”

How the Business Got Started

Due to flaws with existing providers.

“I was working for an international freight forwarder from 19-23 years old. I saw many flaws with the way they were conducting business and decided to venture off on my own. It was risky, but I was convinced I could do it better. I left on good terms and started my company out of my bedroom at my parent’s house. I will never forget my very first sale.”

Biggest Win

Receiving a license from the Federal Maritime Commission.

“I was 24 at the time and the youngest person in history to receive it. It was the biggest win because it opened up doors for everything we’re doing today. It also gave them the confidence to pursue growing my business.”

Biggest Risk

Adding domestic moves to their list of services.

“I’ve never worked for a domestic moving company, so there was a lack of knowledge. However, I took the risk, made the investment, and it worked out.”

Lesson Learned

Find work-life balance.

“If I could do it all over again, honestly I wouldn’t worry as much as I did. Work kept me up at night, and I would bring it wherever I go. As I grew as a business owner, I started working on balance. Balance for me is essential as I am a father of three children today and a foster parent.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Save for the future.

“If I had an extra $100,000 in my business account, I would leave it there for a rainy day. You never know what’s going to happen, so it’s essential always to have a healthy reserve.”

Team Tradition

Giving back.

“We spend a lot of time helping foster parents, kids, and the less fortunate. We hold drives to collect food, clothes, school supplies and offer free moving service for foster parents in the area.”

Favorite Quote

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” – Socrates

* * * * *

Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: International Van Lines, Josh Morales

This article, “In the Spotlight: International Van Lines Moves Towards Better Customer Service” was first published on Small Business Trends


SoftBank-backed Nemaska Lithium hits setback as bondholders walk away

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

How to Choose the Best Workspace for Your Startup?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Startup Workspace

It may not be quite as important as what you’re working on, but where you work matters, too. For a startup, having the right workspace can mean the difference between trudging along in mediocrity and unleashing your team’s full potential.

So how do you decide where your office will be?

The Importance of Your Physical Work Environment

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking it’s just an office. After all, you have bigger fish to fry. There are accounting problems to solve, marketing issues to work through, and sales calls to make. But don’t discount the significance of the physical environment where you work. There’s ample research to suggest that it plays a monumental role in productivity, efficiency, performance, and optimism.

“We spend almost a third of our lives in the office, and in order to find and retain top talent, it’s essential for companies to foster an environment that empowers people with the right space to work, think and collaborate naturally,” leadership strategist Alan Kohll writes.

First and foremost, the type of office matters. In other words, are you working out of an open layout floor plan at the top of a downtown high-rise? Or does your office consist of a bunch of cubicles in the basement of an old building? Neither is right or wrong – they’re just different.

Then there are all of the secondary elements that impact the overall feel of the space. This includes things like clutter, lighting, sound, and temperature. Even the color on the walls, the artwork, and the furniture can impact individual and collective performance.

This isn’t meant to stress you out. It should, however, make you think. Are you giving enough time and attention to the physical workspace your startup team is using? If not, it may be a good time to readjust and view this issue through a new lens.

Basic Types of Offices and Workspaces

There are dozens of types of offices and workspaces, but most can be broken down into one of the following basic categories:

  • Leased office spaces. This is by far the most common type of office space. Businesses that lease office space do so for a number of reasons. For one, it’s cost-effective. It also provides a sense of stability with definitive time parameters. The upfront cost is minimal and there’s less responsibility than there is with owning the office.
  • Owned office spaces. Sometimes businesses purchase office space. This is common for established companies who have a pretty good idea of what they need (and what their future needs will be). Depending on the size, it can also provide an additional stream of income (through leasing unused office space to corporate tenants).
  • Coworking spaces. Over the past 10 years, coworking spaces have gone from virtually non-existent to one of the more attractive options for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups. They’re flexible, scalable, cost-effective, and ideal for networking.
  • Residential space. Some of the best businesses in the world have their origins in residential spaces like basements, garages, and spare bedrooms. While residential office space isn’t usually a long-term solution, it can work for a few months. (Cost is obviously the biggest benefit.)

As you search for the right office space for your startup, you’ll find options in each of these four categories. Selecting the right one requires some discipline and diligence.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Startup Workspace

Now that you have the lay of the land, let’s dig a bit deeper. Here are some tips, considerations, and strategies for selecting the perfect workspace for your young team:

1. Determine Your Needs

The first step is to figure out what you need out of an office – not what you want. Successful business owners and entrepreneurs understand the difference between these two ideas.

A need is something that’s integral to your business. Without it, you’ll struggle to survive. Needs include things like shelter, air conditioning/heat, a fast internet connection, parking, and adequate space for each team member. A want, on the other hand, is something you’d like to have. (But if you don’t have it, it’s not going to break you.) Examples of wants may include: close proximity to downtown, an exercise room, covered parking, private offices for everyone, open floor plan, etc.

Sit down and make a list of your needs. Then list out your wants. As you search for office space, only consider the needs. If you happen to find multiple options that meet all of your needs, you’re then free to pull out your list of wants and use them as determining factors.

2. Clarify Your Budget

How much do you have to spend on office space? One of the worst mistakes you can make is overspending on office space at the expense of your product/service. If you aren’t offering compelling value to your customers, it doesn’t matter where you work – you’ll be out of business before the end of the year.

If you’re a true startup with zero revenue and very little cash in the bank, you probably do need to work out of someone’s basement or garage. If you have a little bit of money but can’t lock into something long-term, a coworking space could be an affordable option. If you have a large infusion of capital from investors, you can probably afford a more permanent solution. The key is to let your budget make these decisions for you – not your emotions.

3. Think in Terms of 6 to 12 Months

Established businesses can sign long-term leases of two, three, or even five-plus years without much risk. Startups shouldn’t even consider looking this far out. It’s better to think in the short-term – i.e. the next 6 to 12 months.

This is why coworking spaces are so practical for startups. Companies like Novel Coworking allow businesses to lease affordable office suites by the month. Not only does this free up cash flow on a month-to-month basis, but it also eliminates the risk that comes from locking into a long-term contract when your size and needs could fluctuate so dramatically.

4. Gather Opinions

Don’t make decisions in isolation. Any employee who will be working full-time in the office should have an opportunity to express their opinions. This is especially important when it comes to details like open floor plan vs. traditional layout. You want your team to be productive and efficient. Anything that limits their ability to perform will detract from your startup’s ability to connect with customers and grow.

At the same time, it’s ultimately your decision. Don’t get so caught up in what your team wants that you compromise on the needs you’ve outlined. There’s a delicate balance here, so take your time and make a wise choice.

5. Lay the Ground Work for the Future

You might only be in this workspace for a few months, but don’t use this as an excuse to compromise on your organization’s values. Company culture is built from day one. Think about what you want your identity to be in 10 or 20 years and lay the groundwork now.

The office environment is a tangible expression of the underlying culture. It’s what people talk about when friends and peers ask them what it’s like to work for your company. A positive and inviting culture will compel people to speak highly of your organization.

Set Your Business Up for Success

The office space may not make or break your startup’s success, but it will most definitely have an impact on it. Set your business up for greater success by choosing the right type of office – one that fits your style, maximizes talents, and enhances creativity. For some startups, this means signing up for a coworking space in your area. For others, it may mean purchasing office space that you can grow into. Ultimately, it’s your call.


This article, “How to Choose the Best Workspace for Your Startup?” was first published on Small Business Trends


Orsted to offload Danish utility unit in $3.2bn deal

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Energy group was forced to stall sale in January amid government security concerns

Business news