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13 Important Questions to Ask Before You Sign Up With a SaaS Provider

Every business owner should go into a vendor partnership with a clear understanding of the details. When considering a potential software as a service (SaaS) vendor, what’s one security question that should always be asked? Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co. 1. Where Is Our Credit Card Data Stored? Get a guarantee that your provider won’t store your credit card details on its own server. In a best-case scenario, a provider will use a payment gateway or vendor’s server for processing and maintaining all of your information. Though no measure is cyberattack proof, most of these third-party vendors have the appropriate security and infrastructure in place to handle your sensitive data. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker 2. Do You Use Two-Factor Authentication? By now, most mission-critical systems offer two-step verification. In addition to logging in with a password, a code will be sent to your mobile phone, which you‘ll also need to enter to confirm that you are really you. This additional layer prevents someone who may have access to your password from also logging into vital technical systems and causing damage. – David Ciccarelli, Voices.com 3. What’s Your Action Plan for a Worst-Case Scenario? When evaluating a SaaS partner, ask them what the worst-case scenario is that they can foresee. It might be a data breach, a service outage or something else, depending on the software. Then, ask how they would deal with that worst case. Ask detailed questions, and make sure you‘re comfortable with the action plan laid out. – Brittany Hodak, The Superfan Company 4. Is Data Encrypted at Rest? Data should be encrypted in transit and at rest. Secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption for data in transit is nearly ubiquitous, but many vendors don’t encrypt data at rest on storage devices. If their network is breached, that data is vulnerable. Ask potential vendors if the data is encrypted, how it is encrypted and who has access to the keys. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting 5. Are You GDPR Compliant? The recent EU General Data Protection Regulation sowed much confusion among online businesses worldwide, but one positive side effect is that it forced reputable SaaS vendors…

How to Start Your Business Career When You’re in College

College is the time to learn and grow, and to try to expand your horizons as well. This is something that can play a big role in you developing your… Read more » The post How to Start Your Business Career When You’re in College appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

Audio Of The Week: Nadia Boujarwah on Positively Gotham Gal

Nadia Boujarwah is the co-founder and CEO of our portfolio company Dia & Co.  She dropped by the Gotham Gal’s offices last week and they recorded a conversation about starting an apparel business in the competitive online commerce sector. Here it is: USV TEAM POSTS: Bethany Crystal — October 14, 2018Losing your words Bethany Crystal — October 13, 2018Game day morning

Online Business Ideas for Creating a Plan B for $0

I’m constantly on the hunt for a plan B that I can implement to create future wealth. In fact, in my case “future wealth” translates to the ability to afford… Read more » The post Online Business Ideas for Creating a Plan B for $0 appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

8 Ways to Streamline Your Monthly Billing Process

As a business grows and it becomes imperative to streamline monthly billing, what’s your best tip for doing so efficiently and effectively? Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co. 1. Delegate the Process to a Financial Professional The most important thing you can do with your day-to-day finances as your business grows is to delegate them to someone else. Whether you delegate them to a CPA, a fractional CFO or a trusted bookkeeper, the best way to help finances run smoothly is to remove them from the founder’s plate altogether. An hour-long check-in meeting once a month is much more manageable than dealing with individual invoices. – Brittany Hodak, The Superfan Company 2. Set a Companywide Day for Invoicing It’s good to build a company policy for how billing and payments are handled. It’s even better to create a policy for when invoicing takes place. Set a day in your company for when this will occur, and make sure everyone is aware. The better you systematize it, the better it will go. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now 3. Find a Software Solution That Works for Your Business There are tools out there, such as Quickbooks Online, Stripe and Chargify, that handle monthly billing. These solutions enable you to set up monthly billing options and monitor activity. They also integrate with a bunch of other third-party tools, enterprise resource planning systems and e-commerce systems. – Michael Hsu, DeepSky 4. Build a Tech-Centered Process for Invoicing Entrepreneurs now have access to a long list of software, particularly in the cloud, that supports small- to medium-sized businesses. These tools can help with invoicing, collections and even processing payments. Invest time in building a process that leverages the best software for the business while documenting all the relevant steps so anyone on the team, including new members, can step in to take over the work. – Jonathan Gass, Nomad Financial 5. Negotiate the Proper Payment Terms Up Front As your business reputation and the desire for others to do business with you grows, you should start dictating better payment terms from your vendors. For product companies, a net 90 payment term can be brutal…

3 Essential Traits of a Successful Business Person

Whether you’re a marketing expert, or expert in any industry, you’re bound to have felt the exhaustion that comes along with it. Having an inspiration and tangible goals are essential… Read more » The post 3 Essential Traits of a Successful Business Person appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

Marathon Man

The New York Times has a piece up on Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s best marathon runner. I read it with interest yesterday as I like to think of startups as marathons and I am always on the lookout for ideas and insights that can help entrepreneurs and investors. Eliud is an impressive person and, as you might expect, he is extremely disciplined. He says in the piece: Only the disciplined ones in life are free. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions. That rings so true to me. It is true in investing, where I like to have a framework and stick to it and not let my emotions get in the way. But it is also true in building companies. Being focused on the long game and what you want to achieve is the best way to get there. I see many teams looking around at what others are doing and it makes them crazy. And I see a few teams heads down, executing their plan, and it makes them calm. In the short run, it can often seem like nothing is getting done, and your competitors are passing you by. But, like the marathon runner, it is never the sprinter that wins the race, it is the dogged and determined that is there at the end with the trophy in hand. Eliud just broke the world record in Berlin today. He finished in 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds. He’s an inspiration to all of us. USV TEAM POSTS: Nick Grossman — September 22, 2018The Utility Infielder

VCs say Silicon Valley isn’t the gold mine it used to be

In the days leading up to TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018, The Economist published the cover story, ‘Why Startups Are Leaving Silicon Valley.’ The author outlined reasons why the Valley has “peaked.” Venture capital investors are deploying capital outside the Bay Area more than ever before. High-profile entrepreneurs and investors, Peter Thiel, for example, have left. Rising rents are making it impossible for new blood to make a living, let alone build businesses. And according to a recent survey, 46 percent of Bay Area residents want to get the hell out, an increase from 34 percent two years ago. Needless to say, the future of Silicon Valley was top of mind on stage at Disrupt. “It’s hard to make a difference in San Francisco as a single entrepreneur,” said J.D. Vance, the author of ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ and a managing partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Fund, which backs seed-stage companies based outside Silicon Valley. “It’s not as a hard to make a difference as a successful entrepreneur in Columbus, Ohio.” In conversation with Vance, Revolution CEO Steve Case said he’s noticed a “mega-trend” emerging. Founders from cities like Pittsburgh, Detroit or Portland are opting to stay in their hometowns instead of moving to U.S. innovation hubs like San Francisco. “The sense that you have to be here or you can’t play is going to start diminishing.” “We are seeing the beginnings of a slowing of what has been a brain drain the last 20 years,” Case said. “It’s not just watching where the capital flows, it’s watching where the talent flows. And the sense that you have to be here or you can’t play is going to start diminishing.” J.D. Vance says that most entrepreneurs don’t need to move to Silicon Valley. Here’s why. #TCDisrupt pic.twitter.com/0mFPeTuHLe — TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) September 6, 2018 Farewell, San Francisco “It’s too expensive to live here,” said Aileen Lee, the founder of seed-stage VC firm Cowboy Ventures, amid a conversation with leading venture capitalists Spark Capital general partner Megan Quinn and Benchmark general partner Sarah Tavel . “I know that there are a lot of people in the Bay…

Eventbrite’s IPO should encourage tech companies to get out while they still can

Eventbrite is having one hell of a debut on the New York Stock Exchange this morning. Shares of the ticketing startup, founded back in 2006, have shot up over 50 percent in trading on the NYSE. After pricing its shares at $23 in its initial offering, investors have bid up the stock to a whopping $37, putting the company’s valuation at nearly $3 billion. $EB prices $23, opens $36 pic.twitter.com/cYgCuqbmh8 — (@hunterwalk) September 20, 2018 That’s well above where the ticketing company had hoped to be when it initially set terms for the public offering earlier this month. Eventbrite sets IPO range of $19 to $21, valuing it at $1.8B The company started trading priced above its share price and nearly doubled its valuation. And if Eventbrite can do it, really almost any later-stage startup should be thinking about the public markets right now. Performance for the San Francisco ticketing company has been… somewhat lackluster. As we noted when wrote about the company’s offering: Eventbrite is not profitable and has been losing money since 2016. According to the documents, it posted losses of $40.4 million in 2016 and $38.5 million in 2017. In the first six months of 2018, the company has posted a net loss of $15.6 million. The company is making changes to make up for some of those losses — at the end of August, it announced a new pricing scheme for its customers using the “Essentials” package. Its revenue is rising though, increasing from $133 million in 2016 to $201 million last year. Since the beginning of the year tech public offerings have been on a tear. As The Wall Street Journal noted in July, 120 companies had raised $35.2 billion on U.S. exchanges at that point — the best showing for public markets since 2014 and the fourth busiest year since 1995, according to the financial data and analysis service Dealogic. The state of the IPO market We’ve noted before that it’s a bit mind-boggling that investors and their portfolio companies wouldn’t be taking more advantage of these heady times. Nothing lasts forever (not even cold November rain) and certainly…

6 Ways How You Can Offer Global Customer Support

The marketplace has gone global. Everyone is scrambling to get a piece of the international pie. If you want your company to succeed, you’re going to have to do better… Read more » The post 6 Ways How You Can Offer Global Customer Support appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

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