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Just in case you need a reminder, not every instructional video on the internet is a TED talk or a Udemy course. Many conferences also record their sessions and keynotes and then put them online for their attendees. As a result, you’ll find a wealth of instructional videos available online from some of the top authors, instructors, and speakers worldwide.

Here are some of my favorite conference sessions on entrepreneurship:

1. “The Surprising Power of Small Habits,” by James Clear

Each of us has things that we always do. From drinking our morning coffee to turning on our favorite music channel, to avoiding answering emails, these are our habits. The problem is, some of them may not be as healthy as others.

In this talk, Clear gives us a framework to create good habits, stick to them, and get rid of the bad ones. This is a must-watch for anyone trying to get themselves on track.

2. “The 4 Disciplines of Execution,” by Chris McChesney

Do you have a massive goal you’re trying to achieve? How about multiple goals? Have you struggled with figuring out where to begin, or how to juggle them?

In this talk, McChesney explains a method to prioritize and execute so you can finally finish your tasks.

3. “Starting Over,” by Jeffrey Strauss

One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is that we get to try out new things all the time. One of the worst is that whether it’s a new product, a new team, or a new career, we all encounter the fear of the unknown.

In this talk, Strauss explains what skills we already have–and what ones we should build–to help us deal when we inevitably have to start over.

4. “Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship,” by Steve Blank

For years, entrepreneurs have been told they just need an idea and passion to go after their dreams and create their startup. Entrepreneurs have also found for years that venture capital funding is lacking for unproven companies.

In this powerful talk, Blank argues for the value of the scientific method in creating companies–and shows us the remarkable companies you can create as a result.

5. “Making the Shift: Employee to Entrepreneur,” by Heather Wilde

While many people already are entrepreneurs and small-business owners, many more dream of the day they can break free and start their own business. What they don’t know is if they need a business plan or even how to tell their idea is worth working on.

In this talk, I explain a simple process for identifying your business model and determining if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

6. “Let’s Teach Entrepreneurship, Not Small Business,” by Rob Newman

While some may think it merely semantics, there is a real difference between the small business and entrepreneurial mindset. For small businesses, the focus is often on established and existing products and services, whereas entrepreneurs are focused on innovation.

In this talk, Newman advocates for a mindset shift, to remove that distinction entirely.

Mar 31, 2020
Consumers Are Nervous. Here's the Safety Checklist They Want to See

As companies begin to reopen, customers want to know what measures your business is taking for health and safety. Having the standards they expect–and communicating them effectively–could be the deciding factor in whether people come and spend.

Here’s a list of measures that San Francisco-based Yelp is now displaying for businesses on its app:

  • Social distancing enforcement
  • Sanitizing between customers
  • Staff wearing masks and/or gloves
  • Hand sanitizer availability
  • Limited capacity
  • Contactless payment availability
  • Temperature checks enforced
  • Masks required for customers

Language matters in sharing information, says Yelp’s Akhil Ramesh, the company’s head of consumer product. For example, he says, saying that you’re sanitizing between each customer visit, rather than just saying you’re sanitizing, is important.

Businesses can log into Yelp and update their procedures, as well as create a banner that displays a custom message to users. Business listings will also now include a timestamp for when the information was updated, so users know if they can trust the page to be up-to-date.

The new website ShopSafely also has a handy list of standards, compiled by tracking the efforts made by the top retailers in the U.S.

The ShopSafely database is from San Francisco-based retailer b8ta, which sells internet-of-things products. The website grew out of b8ta’s internal efforts in March to collect information to figure out the best practices for its 22 stores around the world, says CEO Vibhu Norby. Seeing how useful it would be to the public, the company put it out on a website. ShopSafely lists 14 possible factors–from limited traffic and curbside pickup. Some others include:

  • Offers contactless payment
  • Offers virtual appointments
  • Checks temperature of customers and/or employees
  • Has a dedicated sanitizing staff
  • Sanitizes carts/baskets
  • Has Plexiglass shields at checkout
  • Bans resusable bags
  • Offers dedicated shopping hours
  • Has closed fitting rooms
  • Offers single-use samples
  • Sanitizes products after try-ons or demos

At b8ta stores, some of the precautions taken include mask wearing, and multiple groups of customers aren’t allowed at the same time, according to Norby. Customers must be assisted by an employee, and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected after the customer has left. The company is also considering temperature checks for customers.

Norby’s advice on reopening? Make sure your information is centralized, clear and all found in one place, he says. Start with your own website, and don’t bury updates in your corporate blog, he adds. Also, don’t roll out changes over time in announcements that customers are then left piecing together.

Norby says he’s been surprised by the pent-up demand from the customers who are venturing into his stores.

Jun 16, 2020

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