tv Your Business MSNBC February 26, 2017 4:30am-5:01am PST
good morning. coming up on msnbc's "your business," ceo yancey strickler on how kickstarter became the platform. what you need to do to get the coveted millennials and the story of a nigerian immigrant who works for gm by day and a fashion designer and entrepreneur at night. those stories and much more kochling up next on "your business." will your business will ready when growth presents itself. american express open cards help you take on a new job. or fill a big order.
or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. for those who always find new ways to grow their business, american express open proudly presents "your business" on msnbc. hi, everyone. i'm j.j. ramberg. welcome to "your business," the show dedicated to help your growing business. it started with one guy who wanted to find funding for a concert. years later, crowd funding platform, kickstarter helped raise money for everything from a souped up cooler to a movie. we caught up with the co-founder and ceo, yancey strickler to get
tips on how to grow a successful business. >> harry chan, the creator of starter and i wanted to throw a concert. he had this idea, what if instead of funding the money, i put the idea online and people can buy tickets, but no one is charged unless it sells out. ebay, amazon and pets.com was it. four years later, here in new york, we met charles addler our third founder. the site launched in 2009. it continues to be a.com gnat space. it's closing in on $3 billion having moved through the system, having pledged the project on kickstarter, it's more than all of our competitors combined. >> we are calling you a disrupter. do you think you are? >> disrupter, to me, feels
aggressive. the art world, product design, technology, these are all industries that are very different in the kickstarter world. for the most part, we are collaborators. we don't want a world where all funding comes through our platform. we have a diversity of sources. we have no desire to disrupt anyone. we feel the constant dissatisfaction of this can be better. as a leader and founder tharks is your responsibility to see what it can be and push for that, advocate for that. you know, feeling the frustration. it's not quite right. it's not quite right. >> when you tell people that you have this incredibly fast growing company, since you started and you talk to other venture backed companies, got investors in silicon valley, do they think you are crazy when you say we have no desire to be acquired or go public. >> i think people think it's cute. you get a patronizing pat on the
head or something like that. we feel, for our purpose and being found to a community and serving creators and serving artistic people, you hear about those things. that would be hard to do when you are expected to make as much money as possible or if you are owned by a larger company whose values are different. our feeling is this is not a granola hippy thing. we think it's the future of business. we think it's the future of society. if you look at people in their 20s and younger, these are the values they think are important. places they want to shop and work. organizations that do this. in the current climate, we are outliers, which we are comfortable with, too. >> transparency is part of it from the beginning. how does that manifest? >> i have worked in other companies before and been an employee longer than i have been a boss. i know what it's like to be on
the other side of that. we are all in this journey together. there's one way to move forward. always being open and direct with people serves you in the long run. i think that's how you get the most out of people and you are all aligned and on the same page. >> what is the future? what direction is this company going? >> we think of artists and greater people and the greater community are the customers we come here every day to make their lives better. we are very early on in that journey. there's way more work to do than is already done. as long as we have the privilege to exist, that's what we focus on. >> yancey disrupted the world of project funding with kickstarter, now another entrepreneur is doing the same with big box retailers and warehouse shopping outlets. morgan radford tells us, box.com is succeeding thanks to millennials who don't have the time or the means to go to the store.
>> they call it costco for millennials and it's changing the way we shop. >> 36 months ago, you were in your garage. >> that's right. yeah, a regular two-car garage. >> look at this. >> yeah. >> started 3 years ago by a 35-year-old, boxed is a warehouse in your pocket designed for millennials who don't have the time or transportation to shop for good deals. >> you mention this company is perfect for people like me, a millennial, a new yorker, don't have a car or time to go shopping. what about people in rural areas? >> that's been the biggest thing that's caught us by surprise. what we found was there's literally tens of millions of americans out there without a warehouse club within an hour drive. >> you can order bulk goods from your cell phone to your door. why boxed, why not walmart.com or costco? >> we don't sell little things. we can share the shipping price
of nine items. >> is the pricing fair? >> we don't charge a membership fee. generally, things ship for free and the fact you don't have to spend three hours in a store. it becomes even over time. >> he's opened four warehouses across the country where each order is boxed and shipped to customers like this father of three in boston, massachusetts. >> trying to get all the kids into the car, going to the store and going around with a shopping cart, literally, find the item you want, click buy and five minutes later, you have an order. >> it's not just who they serve that sets the company apart. >> we want to tell you, we would love to pay for you wedding so you have it. >> boxed pays up to $20,000 for their employees weddings. >> i was surprise zed. they explained they want to pay for my wedding. >> marcel sent almost a year in the company's warehouse picking, prepping and shipping orders.
what does that mean in terms of your feeling of financial freedom? >> helping uls, you know, breathe a little bit, in terms of looking toward the future. >> boxed pays the full college tuition for the children of any employee, no matter where they go. you have twin daughters? >> they are freshmen in college. >> their education is being paid for. >> such a weight off your shoulders when it's taken care of. >> was it a relief? >> we felt more confident in what the future was going to bring. >> i have been talking to your employees and they are telling me of a program of perks, you are paying for your employee's kids to go to college. why? why are you doing that? >> when i was young, we were poor. seeing that and know whag folks are going through and having the chance to fix that, i had to do something about it. >> what about competitors who say that cuts into your bottom line? >> i personally fund it.
now that i'm in a place to help them, i'm going to do that. >> a boss who cares as much about what goes into the box as the people who pack them. morgan ratford, union, new jersey. if you are looking to reach millennials with your marketing, you may have to change a few things. in many ways, this generation is transforming the way business is done and won. chelsea krost is a millennial strategist to share tips with us. good to see you. >> thank you for having me. >> i read through your tips. what i like is they definitely hit millennials. really, everything is changing. the tips are good to reach a lot of people, not just millennials. >> absolutely. i have been in the millennial space for the past ten years. just because i target millennials, just as many baby boomers and genxors like the content. the reality is, millennials have
the largest combined spending power. learn how to appeal and target this market. >> often, older people want what the millennials want, too. i want to know what's new and cool. you talk about debunking stereo types, is this about millennials? >> the reality is they have been titled, lazy, entitled, narcissistic. it is not fair to bracket 80 million of us in three negative stereo types. instead, you know, of course you are going to have your sector of couch potatoes, but there are so many millennial huslers that are entrepreneurs, passionate and only want to succeed. >> i think the way you focus is you focus on how information is delivered. right? >> yes. >> whether you are a stereo typical millennial or a husler you are talking about, how the
information gets to them is the same? >> absolutely. you know, social media could be our best friend and worst enemy today. millennials happen to be spending the most time on social media. when it comes to marketing tactics to appealing to the millennial consumer, so much remains in the social media space. >> embrace social media and think digital first. think mobile. >> yes. absolutely. this is the biggest disappointment because you might have the most beautiful website with great services or great product, but if your website is not mobile, you will lose out on consumer spending. the reality is, we have the attention span of a goldfish today. if we log on to your website on our mobile device and it doesn't load or not mobile optimized or too many, i can't figure it out on my mobile phone, we are going to bounce out within a matter of seconds. about 72% of people demand mobile optimized website,
according to google. that's a high statistic. >> absolutely. >> get mobile optimized now. >> talk about build relationships with inflew enser. inflew ensing marketing is more and more important. there are networks around it to pay influencers. do you suggest that or going and doing the hard work one by one to try to get influencers to like your product or both? >> you know, the beautiful thing is, you can tap agencies with built-in influencer network. even my company does that for clients. the reality is 2017 is the year of influencer boom. influencers can be your best friend. i call them your modern digital publicist. we, as influencers are helping you spread the word, amplify your messaging and educate consumers on what product and services are available.
it's important to build that data base. you can do that use zing social media and twitter and facebook. have them become your brand ambassadors. feel like they are part of your brand. reward them or incentivize them in some way and they will create content and share it on their behalf which is going to bring more eyeballs and roi on your investment. >> you know, we can't talk much art it, but i want to do a whole segment on influencers and how to utilize them and make it work for you. there's so many that some things work and some don't. unfortunately, i don't have time. let's get to the next one. user generated content. that fits with the influencer idea. >> yes. ugc, also known as user generated content. let's talk about what it is. it is any content created by the consumer. this could be a yelp review, a
comment, a post, article, picture on behalf of a business, brand, service or product. it is your best friend. millennials are 80% more influnlsed by what their peers are sharing than branded content alone. statistics show us that because now we have the ability to utilize facebook and instagram ads, which is effective. if you insert ugc into ads instead of branded content, as an ad, you will see a higher return on investment. that is the power of user generated content. that also comes hand in hand with your influencer strategy. the influencers who spread awareness on behalf of your business are creating user generated content for your business. the smart thing is repurpose that content through your own business channels or on your website so that you are further aggregating more eyeballs,
building your community and again, it's about the community and that brand awareness. that's what social media does for you. that's the roi there, building your brand awareness, building that community. that influencer strategy. it's going to return back to you in result of sale. >> got it. unfortunately, we have to stop there. this is great information. chelsea, so good to see you. >> thank you so much. move over millennials, here comes gen z. by 2020 they will be the largest consumer group in the world. five ways to get them clicking around your website and into your store. one, gen z discovers what they want online and social media. use snap chat, instagram and facebook to get their attention. two, cyber security ranks high. have strong data security
policies in place to protect their financial and personal information or risk losing their business. three, don't take diversity for granted. they are more diverse than any other generation. your advertising should reflect a range of customers. four, throw music into the shopping experience. this age group wants to shop in a store where music is part of the brand. a silent store just won't draw their attention. and five, strategize your online and in-store lay out and product placement. they focus on products more than signage. focus on visually pleasing, eye-level displays and make sure prices are ease se to see another a glance. it's black history month, our partners at nbcblk.com chose 28 trend setters and pioneers under 28 years old. one of those highlighted is
muktar onifade, an engineer by day and designer by night. the day job isn't just a revenue source, though. it is the biggest inspiration for his clothing line. >> we are in a new generation of individual that is really don't focus on one thing and being great at a lot of things, not settling. my name is muktar onifade, i'm 26 originally from nigeria, calibration specialist for general motors and also a fashion designer. i knew probably since 6 years old, i was going to be an engineer and i love cars. i think the day i decided i wanted to go into fashion is i actually went to this fashion show. it was african inspired pieces. some type of emotion is attached to african designs.
there's a lot of memories. there's a lot of culture. i kind of felt like, what if we can create pieces more universal and appealing. outside of me wearing this african piece to a special occasion, i want to wear this african piece in my studio while going to the grocery store. i'm stepping out with friends. my first ever paycheck from gm went into a sewing machine. even though it was foreign to me. i didn't know what was going on. being an engineer, what would i be able to accomplish the fashion brand i have. a lot of the lines you see come from different experiences from concepts like fluid mechanics to abstract lines to equations.
visual guides are a balance between my engineering background and my african cultural heritage. i want it to be a lifestyle, an idea of what we stand for, what i stand for. the idea of being biling yule in different skill sets. i want to be a fashion designer and engineer. i want to be a painter and architect. i want to be an astronaut. to be black now, tough be fearless, a certain level of belief of what you can accomplish. you don't have to necessarily be a preacher. you can have a body of work that inspires others for the path they are on. it is time to answer one of your business questions. let's get the panel in here to help us out. venture capitalist patrick mcginnis is the founder of dirigo advise zers. he's author of "the 10%
entrepreneur." colleen debaise is founder of the hampton bee. good to see both of you. >> great to see you. >> let's get to the question. investing in could you get past the hat? it was so great a good question, because a company, many companies need real estate in order to operate their business. how do you decide? >> i think the first question is, how fundmental is this.
then i's strategic and i'd consider doing it. what is my roi and the money i' investing. >> i agree with everything you're saying, and most small businesses, i would say the majority will lease their commercial property. you know, it's risky enough to have a small business. if you're sinking your cash into real estate, you're really doubling your risk. so, yeah -- >> but the question, how important is it to your company, right? i just spoke to some people who have for-profit schools, actually in south africa, but it would hold for here as well.
and for them, growing their schools and being in those places was incredibly important. >> yeah. >> and so, for them, they need to raise a whole bunch of money to buy those properties. >> right, right. well, then i think if it's that important for your business, then you have to look at if you're in good enough financial standing to own property, and that can be tough for a lot of businesses. you have to have a long-term plan for that property, too. you have to know that you're going to be there 10, 20 years, maybe. >> exactly. >> yeah. and you also have to be in a market where you can get a good deal on real estate, and that's also important. >> yeah, that means finding somebody who can help you, either internally or externally, who you know, if i was running a business, i'd be afraid to buy real estate because i'm just not a real estate person. >> right. >> unfortunately. but i would call up somebody who is and get them to help me. >> and i would say one last thing. let's all take a lesson from the longer burger basket company. i don't know if you know this. it's a basket company that some years ago built their own office property in the shape of a basket. >> right. >> and of course, now sales aren't as good as it used to be.
they want to try selling the property. of course, no one wants to buy a property that's shaped like a basket. so, this guy should not build -- >> build one like a hat. >> exactly. exactly. >> shouldn't do that. >> no hat with a big flower on it. >> definitely don't do that. >> great. thanks, both of you. still to come, the steps you need to take to have your business go global. and why you should never, ever, ever let your customers down. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next.
find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com. as a software as a service company, what would be the right globalization strategy? >> the right globalization strategy is to actually have a strategy. don't worry about tasks, but make sure you have a strategy as to where you want to globalize, meaning this. you want to choose the countries that you think has the biggest markets for you, where you think the culture is the best, and choose those countries where you feel that there is a good market niche for your product and that you can beat the competition. once you figure out which countries -- and my advice would be to start off slow, maybe with one place outside of your country, and build on that by getting to know the culture better, hiring an agent in that area, partnering with some of
the local firms and businesses that are resident in that country as well. go slow, but make your part of it a overall strategy for growing around the world. we now have the top tips you need to know to help your growing business. let's introduce our panel and get their advice. melinda emerson is founder and president of quintessence group, a marketing consultant firm and hosts the small biz chat, and serial entrepreneur jay goltz owns and operates four businesses in chicago, maybe soon in new york, and he is also a blogger starting next week for forbes.com. so good to see both of you. >> great to be here. >> good to be here. >> jay, i hope you open your next business or store in new york so you can be on the set with us next time. >> sure. >> we'll see how that goes. let's start with you, melinda. your top tip. >> never let a customer down. it really comes down to it, particularly for these guys in professional service businesses.
sometimes it's hard. sometimes clients are demanding. sometimes you have to work on teams with people who don't know what they're doing. it doesn't matter. you have to do what you need to do for the client, even if it's not necessarily in your scope of work. if you go the extra mile, your customer will go the extra mile to keep you. >> but let's talk about this idea of you don't -- if you spend so much time going the extra mile for clients who need so much and take so much of your time and don't contribute that much of your revenue, how do you deal with that? >> well, here's the thing. if you signed the contract that you would do that scope of work, you own it. now, you can renegotiate the next time, but if you're working on an active piece of business, you've got to do what you've got to do. >> okay, jay, moving on to you. >> i would say lower your expectations and raise your standards. every company has probably 50 or 100 things that will define whether they're a great company, whether it's the way your store looks, whether your website, answering the phone. and for instance, if you owned a store, you could just put a
manager in there and not really give them the standards of your company, and it's 6:00, and if some customer shows up, they can lock the door and scream through it with the close, pointing at their watch. or you can say the standard of the company is we don't lock the door until 6:05. there's 100 things like that whether your delivery vans get washed once a week, you know, you make a standard. wash the delivery vans once a week. don't just leave it up to the employee to figure out what the standards for your company should be. >> oh, i got a little bit confused of the lower the expectations. basically, you're saying don't expect people to meet your high standards unless you codify it. >> righ if you don't tell them what your standards are, your company standards are going to be set by whoever you last hired, whoever's dealing with the customer. they'll be in charge of what the standards of your company are. don't be surprised if they come dressed inappropriately for whatever job. you shouldn't have had that option. you should have said, here's how we dress when we come to work. here's what time we get here. set the standards, because
that's what the customer's going to see. >> right, right, right, and maybe that's semantics. >> right. >> but if the idea of -- >> it's the same idea, for sure. >> -- putting it down in writing. everybody knows what's supposed to happen. you can't read my mind. you can't know that when i say the shop closes at 6:00, i actually mean for you to close at 6:05. you have to really spell it out for everyone so you're all on the same page. i think that is fantastic advice. thank you both so much. this week's #yourbizselfie comes from leon norton of maplewood, new jersey, the creator of the black history arcade sticker app, vabavailablt u tunes and app stores. you can put these in messages to celebrate black history this month particularly but all year. send us your business selfie at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet it @msnbcyourbiz. include your name, the name of your business, your location, and use #yourbizselfie.
thank you so much for joining us today. we would love to hear from you. so if you have any questions or want to get in touch, just send us an e-mail at email@example.com. we read every e-mail that comes to us. you can also go to our website. it's openforum.com/yourbusiness. we posted all of the segments from today's show, plus a whole lot more for you there. and don't forget to connect with us on all of our digital and social media platforms as well. we look forward to seeing you next time. until then, i'm jj ramberg. and remember, we make "your business" our business. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order
or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com. ♪ today and every day of my presidency, i pledge to do everything i can to continue that promise of freedom for african-americans and for every american. this tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance, and hatred in all of its very ugly forms. >> good morning, and welcome to "politics nation." it was a busy week for president trump.
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