What would you do?

Hey guys, hope you're all staying safe during these trialing times!

I had a couple questions I was hoping some of you with more experience building and shipping startups could help me get answers to.

So I'm in the process of building a p2p ecomm marketplace for a very specific niche space. The space does roughly ~10k transactions per month at an average $ 130.00/item. The current avenue for sales are forums & reddit which I think the platform can be a great upgrade from in terms of features and visibility. The barrier of entry is also absurd – so we will help lower that tremendously.

With that said I do not have any experience in marketing. I am a firm believer in the "I rather have a piece of something, than the entirety of nothing" mindset. I have no problem partnering with people who can bring value – I simply want to put my company in the best place to succeed – and in turn give myself the best chance to develop another stream of income.

Thus, I am at a crossroads. We are about 40-50% way through the development of the MVP (team of 3) working on this as a side project. So I have naturally been thinking alot about the business side since I feel it'll come up quicker than expected.

I had this idea the other day, hear me out:

There is a small company (2 people) in the space that is highly respected, delivers great products, has great branding, and has already established a very large social media presence. They're behind the hottest products in the space. I'm considering pitching them a merger, if you will. We bring an advanced technology platform that can bring in a massive revenue stream (much larger than their existing), while they bring the brand, business acumen, and connections. I believe together we can get this thing rolling and in a direction that can really take over the space.

What would you guys do in my situation? Take on the challenge yourself with your team of tech-savvy people? Or pitch the merge with a company that is established and can give us very large head-start in the roll out?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Replace non-stop Zoom with remote office avatars app Pragli

Could avatars that show what co-workers are up to save work-from-home teams from constant distraction and loneliness? That’s the idea behind Pragli, the Bitmoji for the enterprise. It’s a virtual office app that makes you actually feel like you’re in the same building.

Pragli uses avatars to signal whether co-workers are at their desk, away, in a meeting, in the zone while listening to Spotify, taking a break at a digital virtual water coooler or done for the day. From there, you’ll know whether to do a quick ad hoc audio call, cooperate via screenshare, schedule a deeper video meeting or a send a chat message they can respond to later. Essentially, it translates the real-word presence cues we use to coordinate collaboration into an online workplace for distributed teams.

“What Slack did for email, we want to do for video conferencing,” Pragli co-founder Doug Safreno tells me. “Traditional video conferencing is exclusive by design, whereas Pragli is inclusive. Just like in an office, you can see who is talking to who.” That means less time wasted planning meetings, interrupting colleagues who are in flow or waiting for critical responses. Pragli offers the focus that makes remote work productive with the togetherness that keeps everyone sane and in sync.

The idea is to solve the top three problems that Pragli’s extensive interviews and a Buffer/AngelList study discovered workers hate:

  1. Communication friction
  2. Loneliness
  3. Lack of boundaries

You never have to worry about whether you’re intruding on someone’s meeting, or if it’d be quicker to hash something out on a call instead of vague text. Avatars give remote workers a sense of identity, while the Pragli water cooler provides a temporary place to socialize rather than an endless Slack flood of GIFs. And because you clock in and out of the Pragli office just like a real one, co-workers understand when you’ll reply quickly versus when you’ll respond tomorrow unless there’s an emergency.

“In Pragli, you log into the office in the morning and there’s a clear sense of when I’m working and when I’m not working. Slack doesn’t give you a strong sense if they’re online or offline,” Safreno explains. “Everyone stays online and feels pressured to respond at any time of day.”

Pragli co-founder Doug Safreno

Safreno and his co-founder Vivek Nair know the feeling first-hand. After both graduating in computer science from Stanford, they built StacksWare to help enterprise software customers avoid overpaying by accurately measuring their usage. But when they sold StacksWare to Avi Networks, they spent two years working remotely for the acquirer. The friction and loneliness quickly crept in.

They’d message someone, not hear back for a while, then go back and forth trying to discuss the problem before eventually scheduling a call. Jumping into synchronous communicating would have been much more efficient. “The loneliness was more subtle, but it built up after the first few weeks,” Safreno recalls. “We simply didn’t socially bond while working remotely as well as in the office. Being lonely was de-motivating, and it negatively affected our productivity.”

The founders interviewed 100 remote engineers, and discovered that outside of scheduled meetings, they only had one audio or video call with co-workers per week. That convinced them to start Pragli a year ago to give work-from-home teams a visual, virtual facsimile of a real office. With no other full-time employees, the founders built and released a beta of Pragli last year. Usage grew 6X in March and is up 20X since January 1.

Today Pragli officially launches, and it’s free until June 1. Then it plans to become freemium, with the full experience reserved for companies that pay per user per month. Pragli is also announcing a small pre-seed round today led by K9 Ventures, inspired by the firm’s delight using the product itself.

To get started with Pragi, teammates download the Pragli desktop app and sign in with Google, Microsoft or GitHub. Users then customize their avatar with a wide range of face, hair, skin and clothing options. It can use your mouse and keyboard interaction to show if you’re at your desk or not, or use your webcam to translate occasional snapshots of your facial expressions to your avatar. You can also connect your Spotify and calendar to show you’re listening to music (and might be concentrating), reveal or hide details of your meeting and decide whether people can ask to interrupt you or that you’re totally unavailable.

From there, you can by audio, video or text communicate with any of your available co-workers. Guests can join conversations via the web and mobile too, though the team is working on a full-fledged app for phones and tablets. Tap on someone and you can instantly talk to them, though their mic stays muted until they respond. Alternatively, you can jump into Slack-esque channels for discussing specific topics or holding recurring meetings. And if you need some down time, you can hang out in the water cooler or trivia game channel, or set a manual “away” message.

Pragli has put a remarkable amount of consideration into how the little office social cues about when to interrupt someone translate online, like if someone’s wearing headphones, in a deep convo already or if they’re chilling in the microkitchen. It’s leagues better than having no idea what someone’s doing on the other side of Slack or what’s going on in a Zoom call. It’s a true virtual office without the clunky VR headset.

“Nothing we’ve tried has delivered the natural, water-cooler-style conversations that we get from Pragli,” says Storj Labs VP of engineering JT Olio. “The ability to switch between ‘rooms’ with screen sharing, video and voice in one app is great. It has really helped us improve transparency across teams. Plus, the avatars are quite charming as well.”

With Microsoft’s lack of social experience, Zoom consumed with its scaling challenges and Slack doubling down on text as it prioritizes Zoom integration over its own visual communication features, there’s plenty of room for Pragli to flourish. Meanwhile, COVID-19 quarantines are turning the whole world toward remote work, and it’s likely to stick afterwards as companies de-emphasize office space and hire more abroad.

The biggest challenge will be making comprehensible enough to onboard whole teams such a broad product encompassing every communication medium and tons of new behaviors. How do you build a product that doesn’t feel distracting like Slack but where people can still have the spontaneous conversations that are so important to companies innovating?,” Safreno asks. The Pragli founders are also debating how to encompass mobile without making people feel like the office stalks them after hours.

“Long-term, [Pragli] should be better than being in the office because you don’t actually have to walk around looking for [co-workers], and you get to decide how you’re presented,” Safreno concludes. “We won’t quit, because we want to work remotely for the rest of our lives.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Luggage & Suitcases – One of the fastest declining market – Would you buy Suitcases.com?

 RobbiesBlog.com: Suitcases.com – Would you buy the domain? As the world remains in lockdown people aren’t travelling and companies related to the travel industry have seen a huge decline with Luggage & Suitcases becoming one of the fastest declining product categories online right now, I normally travel on average 3 family holidays (V…
Domaining.com

7 ways to liquidate your domain names

Here are seven ways to turn your domain names into cash quickly.

Image of U.S. cash with the words "How to liquidate domain names"

A lot of people need cash (or might need it soon) due to the economic shutdown. Here are seven ways you can sell your domain names quickly—at a significant discount to what you would demand from an end user.

DNWE – Domain Name Wholesale Exchange is a curated marketplace of domain names offered at wholesale prices. You can learn the ins and outs of it in this podcast. Sellers submit domains for approval and pay a 9% fee if they sell. The minimum price is $ 299. Listings last for 30 days. They are sticklers about what they approve. They’ve accepted one of my submissions so far but only if I lowered the price to $ 305. (I bought it in an auction for $ 670.) Another domain I bought in an auction for $ 5,250 was rejected outright.

NamePros – Domain forum NamePros has a “for sale” category. As a forum, it’s a bit unwieldy. If anyone has had recent sales success on NamePros, please comment on your experience and best practices.

DomainCapital – DomainCapital lends against domain names and also buys domains. They are a good avenue to try if you have premium domains. Everyone has a different definition for this, so I don’t know what to tell you except that unless you have received multiple five or six-figure offers on your domain, it probably isn’t premium enough.

NameLiquidate – This is a service of domain name registrar Epik. It runs reverse auctions that start at $ 998 and decrease to $ 9 over 168 hours. Given that your name might sell for just $ 9, this is a service if you are truly looking to liquidate of a domain. In fact, the service lets you list domains that have already expired so long as they can still be transferred if someone buys it.

Sedo Auctions – Unless you have an active offer on a domain, you’ll need to pay to start an auction in Sedo’s primary auction system. It’s $ 59 plus the commission if you sell. So only list domains you are confident will sell. There used to be a site to “push to auction” at Sedo. People would list domains they’d sell at the minimum offer amount. People would place the minimum offer and then the owner would start an auction at Sedo. It was a good concept.

NameJet – NameJet still accepts private party submissions. Don’t put reserves on your domains if you really want to liquidate. I know many domainers ignore reserve auctions on NameJet.

GoDaddy – If you have tens of thousands of domains, it’s worth contacting GoDaddy. They are the only buyer I know of (publicly) that has purchased large portfolios.

And, of course, just letting some domain names expire is like getting paid the registration fee. If you realize some of your domains are real stinkers, let them go.

 

Post link: 7 ways to liquidate your domain names

© DomainNameWire.com 2020. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact editor (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Involving a “technical advisor” at early-stage startup?

When would it be advisable to involve "technical advisors" with deep industry experience (say, in regulated industries such as fintech or healthttech) at early-stage (seed) startups? How would you structure the compensation and responsibilities of the advisors?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Fitness app Aaptiv raises from Insight Partners, launches Enterprise channel

With a lot of towns instituting shelter-in-place orders to restrict how people physically interact in order to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus, fitness has come into its own.

In places where people are still allowed outdoors to exercise, we’ve seen an explosion of independent exercising like walking, running and cycling — often in conflict with each other, if my Facebook community board is anything to go by — to get the most out of being allowed outdoors. And in cases where people are remaining indoors, figuring out exercise regimes within our four walls has become a way to stave off boredom, to offset the cessation of our normal gym or sports routines, or just to stay in shape in our newly extra-sedentary lives.

In that context, a startup called Aaptiv — a Netflix-style app-based business that connects people to a range of trainer-led indoor and outdoor fitness and wellness sessions that they can do on their own, usually without any special equipment — is today announcing that it has raised some funding from one of its big investors, Insight Partners, on the back of a recent surge in business.

Founder and CEO Ethan Agarwal says the the number of people using the service during the novel coronavirus outbreak has spiked, with organic traffic in the last month up 100% and engagement with content up 200%. Aaptiv has now passed 30 million classes consumed on its platform (up from 22 million in May last year). The company, like many startups, is not yet profitable but is coming close to breaking even.

The new infusion of funding will be used to continue expanding a new Enterprise channel that Aaptiv recently launched to provide classes via API, on other platforms. Aaptiv’s partners include FitReserve, Weight Watchers and Audible (Amazon, owner of Audible, is one of Aaptiv’s investors), and the list is growing.

We asked, but Agarwal said that Aaptiv is not disclosing the amount of the investment, nor its valuation.

“I don’t want my company’s performance or success measured by those numbers,” he noted earlier today in an interview. “It’s not how we are thinking about the company.”

That could mean the round or valuation are not huge; or it could mean that they are so large that they would distract from the company’s product news, so not much to read into that. Insight Partners’ Thilo Semmelbauer, who sits on the board of the company, was equally quiet on the numbers.

“Crossing 30 million classes is a big milestone, and we’ve been excited to see the interest from corporates increase substantially in recent months,” he told TechCrunch. “The round is specifically for launching Aaptiv’s corporate offering to capitalize on such strong global interest. As the company is nearing break-even we aren’t disclosing the figure at this time.”

Insight earlier this month disclosed that it had raised a whopping $ 9.5 billion for a new fund, with a mission to support existing portfolio companies through these complicated COVID-19 times.

For some more context, Aaptiv has raised over $ 60 million to date, and in its last round — the $ 22 million Series C in 2018 that included Amazon — Aaptiv was valued at $ 200 million. Last year, we noted that the startup was talking to potential acquirers to be sold for what we understand from a close source to be a “nine-figure” (hundreds of millions of dollars) price.

It was, in fact, those M&A conversations that led the company to deciding to build the enterprise tier and walking away from a possible exit for now.

“What was the point of selling if we could build a bigger business by making Aaptiv available to multiple companies,” said Agarwal.

Agarwal said that now Aaptiv is getting inbound interest from “multiple verticals” for its B2B2C offering, including businesses that want to integrate Aaptiv into their employee wellness programs, companies whose core business model — for example, FitReserve providing carnets of passes for in-person fitness or related classes — has been completely stalled by the coronavirus, and others that might benefit from providing more fitness and wellness services to their users.

The company started out life by connecting a network of trainers to users through a series of on-demand classes. Last year, however, it made a small pivot of sorts when it launched an AI-based service called Coach that aimed to provide workouts and other suggestions more tailored to your specific abilities and interests and goals: not replacing the human trainers, but augmenting them.

Along with that shift, Aaptiv laid off an unspecified number of trainers. Today, it has 20 on staff, Agarwal said, and has no plans to change that model with a move into, for example, an all-AI platform, or building a fitness marketplace where any trainer could sign up to offer classes.

“Part of the reason we are so successful is because it’s not that easy to create these classes,” he said. “We, and the trainers, put a lot of time, effort and energy into building them.”

Startups – TechCrunch

#Domainer careers : Wesley Martin heads over to #GoDaddy from #Uniregistry

 DomainGang.com: Domain industry professional, Wesley Martin, has moved to GoDaddy after three years as a domain broker with Uniregistry. The career change is due to the acquisition of parts of Uniregistry by GoDaddy, which includes the expert domain brokerage team. Wesley describes his focus as follows: “As a domain broker, I work with both bu…
Domaining.com

The best websites to sell crafts

Do you have a knack for creativity? Are you constantly making amazing crafts for birthday gifts and holidays? Or perhaps you just make them for yourself and folks frequently tell you that you should sell your handmade awesomeness. Maybe you’re starting to wonder about the best websites to possibly sell your crafts.

If this sounds familiar — or you’re a knitter, jeweler, potter or some other craft maker who’s considering selling your goods — this post is for you.

It’s easier than you might think to start your own handmade crafts business. Below, you’ll find some of the best websites to sell crafts, as well as some advice for creating an ecommerce store of your own.

Related: 10 hot crafts to make and sell on the side

Why sell crafts online?

Sewing Tools

Like all things in business, there are advantages and disadvantages to selling crafts online. Still, there is something to be said about the freedom that comes with selling anything online.

Depending on when you read this, craft shows may or may not be an option at the moment. In the wake of COVID-19, many live shows and large group gatherings ceased to exist. At the time of this writing, there’s still no indication as to when life as we used to know it will get back to “normal.”

Regardless of whether craft shows return sooner or later, learning how to sell your crafts online is a good skill to have so that come what may, you have the ability to continue making money on your handmade items.

Related: Sell crafts online with our start-to-finish guide

Advantages of selling crafts online

  • Since you can order your supplies online, you never really have to leave your house (unless you deliver the goods to customers yourself).
  • You can make orders (including custom ones) as they come in, which can help save on storage space.
  • How hard you work and the hours you put in will be up to you.
  • Social media makes it easier to share your work and find new customers.
  • Using SEO techniques can also help you grow a new fanbase.

Disadvantages of selling crafts online

  • If you make lots of items in bulk, you’ll need to create storage space for them. Keeping track of inventory can pose a challenge for some people as well.
  • Though some places are free to post your crafts for sale, there might be a cost associated with some websites.
  • You might need to learn new skills like photography and copywriting to stand out.
  • Order fulfillment can be time-consuming and overwhelming if you suddenly get a surge in sales.
  • Unlike live craft shows, impulse buys won’t be as likely — which can make it more difficult to secure sales.

There may be additional advantages and disadvantages to selling online that are unique to you. Before diving in, I encourage you to make a list of pros and cons to determine whether or not selling your crafts online seems feasible to you.

To help guide you in your decisions, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve rounded up six of the best websites to sell crafts. Look through them, and read the pros and cons to each to make the best choice for yourself.

The best websites to sell crafts

  1. Etsy.
  2. Handmade at Amazon.
  3. Artfire.
  4. eBay.
  5. Zibbet.
  6. Bonanza.

Editor’s note: All prices noted below were current at the time of writing, but please check each site for the most up-to-date pricing.

1. Etsy

Etsy offers low listing costs, and they have a reputation as the go-to source of handmade items. Our list of best websites to sell crafts starts with Etsy because it is hands down the most well-known place to sell handmade goods. But just how good is it for sellers?

Pros:

The site itself claims it has more than 47 million active virtual shoppers, who in the last year alone spent $ 5 billion on the goods their sellers have listed.

The barrier to entry is literally pennies for each item listed (plus a commission of the final price the craft is sold for). There are no monthly fees as of the time of this writing for standard sellers. The company has created an “Etsy Plus” plan for $ 10/month, however.

Cons:

With 2.7 million crafty sellers, you’re looking at a lot of competition.

Many sellers have complained in online forums that big name and mass-production manufacturers can list on Etsy, too. This can certainly make it harder for the smaller, mom-and-pop type sellers to ever get noticed.

Related: Sell your products on Amazon, Etsy, eBay and Google using Websites + Marketing Marketplaces

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2. Handmade at Amazon

Amazon Handmade is selective about who they allow to sell on their site, but the ecommerce giant does have a handmade goods area for artisans to sell their crafts online. Who knew?

Pros:

Handmade at Amazon is open to a wide variety of handmade goods, including jewelry, home products, beauty and personal care, accessories and much, much more.

People know, like, and trust Amazon already. Who do you know who hasn’t bought something on Amazon?

Unlike Amazon Seller accounts, the monthly fee is waived for Handmade artisans.

Cons:

You have to apply to be a seller, and not all applications are accepted.

It could prove difficult to get your items noticed. As Amazon put it, “Handmade at Amazon is a separate category on Amazon so your products will appear alongside other handmade items for customers to browse, discover, and shop.” It’s critical your descriptions are well-written for anyone to ever find what you’re selling.

The fee for making a sale is higher than some of the other craft websites listed in this post. At the time of this writing, it is 15%.

Related: How to sell stuff on Amazon

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3. Artfire

Sell up to 250 items for pennies per listing on Artfire. Artfire is third on our list of best websites to sell crafts. Headquartered in the Tucson Arts District, this marketplace specializes in handmade and vintage goods, as well as digital arts and craft supplies.

Pros:

No ads on shop or item pages.

You can have 250 active listings at pennies per listing.

Cons:

There is a minimum monthly fee to keep your shop open.

To list more items, and to get better features, you’ll need to upgrade to a Popular or Featured shop for a monthly fee.

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4. eBay

List up to 50 items on eBay for free, and only pay a commission when something sells.

Yes, you can sell handmade crafts on eBay. Is it one of the best websites to sell crafts? Perhaps, but you’ll have to be the judge.

Pros:

This is another site that people know, like, and trust — they’ve got “more than 183 million active buyers across its various properties“!

It won’t cost you anything to list up to 50 items. You just pay commissions when items sell.

Cons:

You’re competing for sales amid an audience looking for cheap deals. Your crafts might not sell for as much as you’d like.

Millions of people are trying to sell their goods, too. You’ll have a lot of competition for eyeballs on your listings. How much competition, you ask? In 2019 alone there were a total of 1.3 billion listings on the platform.

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5. Zibbet

While the competition is lower at Zibbet, the monthly fee is higher.

Our fifth entry for the best websites to sell crafts might be new to you. Zibbet calls itself “one of the top marketplaces for buying and selling handmade goods.”

Perhaps the most notable difference between it and the four previous platforms listed in this post is that it gives you access to multiple selling avenues within one dashboard. Using Zibbet, you can sell your goods on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, eBay, a stand-alone website, your Instagram feed and more. But, you will pay additional fees for every channel you add to your account.

Pros:

With just over 50,000 sellers, there’s not nearly as much direct competition as Etsy, Amazon or eBay in the Zibbet Marketplace.

You can access multiple craft selling platforms in one dashboard, and there are no long-term contracts if you choose their month-to-month plan.

Cons:

You have to pay a monthly fee to use the platform, and the monthly fee is per channel. Therefore, if you opt to sell on multiple channels, your subscription could add up quickly.

Any fees that apply with using other platforms will still be charged in addition to your monthly subscription fee. For example, if you pay the fee to add the Etsy channel, you will be charged not only a monthly fee to have access to Etsy within Zibbet, but you will also be charged Etsy’s listing fees for each item you list as well.

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6. Bonanza

There are no listing or store fees on Bonanza. Plus it allows you to import your listings from eBay, Amazon Etsy and more.

This 10-year-old service claims to charge 50 percent lower fees than the other craft marketplaces.

Pros:

If you’re already selling your handmade crafts on eBay, Amazon or Etsy, you can import your product listings.

There are no listing fees or monthly store fees for showcasing your handmade goods.

Cons:

You’ll pay a higher commission on sold goods if you want to have your crafts found via Google Shopping pages.

Of course, there are many other sites where you can sell your handmade goods, such as iCraft, Facebook Marketplace, aftcra, Cratejoy and IndieMade. You might want to do some research on all of your options before committing to one, however.

Then again, you might want to focus on setting up your own online store.

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Should you create your own website to sell your work?

Best Websites to Sell Crafts GoDaddy TemplateThe best websites to sell crafts might just be the ones that are owned and operated by the artisans themselves. Sure, you can still maintain listings on the platforms I mentioned above, but having a website you own means you keep all the proceeds.

No middleman? Yes, please!

Here are the steps to take to launch your own crafts store online.

Start with a plan

There’s a saying, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” You need a plan before you jump in with both feet.

You’ll want to think about things like:

  • How much time does it take you to create each item? How much money does it cost?
  • What’s your break-even price?
  • How much would you need to add to the wholesale price to have a healthy profit?

Related: How to plan a website in 7 steps

Purchase a domain name

Once you’ve created your plan, it’s time to name your virtual store. Not sure which domain name to buy? Check out 10 tips for choosing the perfect domain name here.

By the way, you don’t have to limit yourself to .com, either. There are customized domains available, such as .art, .gifts and .shop. Consider using one of these domain names to put a creative spin on your web address.

See if your domain is available by typing it into this box:

Choose an online store builder

GoDaddy’s Online Store offers pre-built templates that are perfect for crafters.

What does a website with ecommerce functionality typically include? At its most basic level, an ecommerce site:

  • Is mobile-friendly, meaning it’s just as easy to view on a smartphone as on a laptop.
  • Gives your customers payment options.
  • Includes a full-featured shopping cart with which customers can select and buy items.
  • Has an SSL certificate to encrypt sensitive information like credit card info.
  • Comes with shipping options built-in.

For WordPress users, there are plugins that will quickly turn your existing site into an eCommerce site (the most popular is WooCommerce).

But if you’ve never built a site before, the easier option is GoDaddy’s Online Store. With swipe-to-style editing, intuitive layouts, integrated ecommerce functionality and more, you can have your site up and running quickly — no technical expertise required.

Related: 20 features to look for in an ecommerce website builder

Add awesome photos and product descriptions

Now you’re cooking, my crafty friend. At this point, you’re building your online storefront. Be sure to include killer listing pages with the best pictures to showcase those stunning crafts.

Let your creativity shine here with the details about the product, and don’t forget to include pricing and shipping info.

The goal is to get those digital shoppers to click that Buy button, so make sure your listings entice your visitors to pony up the dough!

Related: Best practices for using images on product pages and How to write product descriptions to increase sales

Bring visitors in with social media, SEO and possibly even some paid ads

Once your store is built, you’ll need to bring people to it and then turn them from browsers to buyers. One good way to do this is to work keywords into your page text and product descriptions. This will help search engines understand what your website’s all about and point the right people in your direction.

Related: Ecommerce SEO — How to boost ecommerce search rankings in 8 steps

Social networks like Facebook and Instagram also are great for starting a buzz with crafters and makers.

Even if you just start with one network, stay active and respond to anyone who mentions you. Many store owners also start blogs as a way to reel future customers in.

Earn, create, earn more — it’s like you’re crafting money, y’all!

That’s the plan, anyway. Creating the crafts, and even launching the virtual store, is all child’s play compared with actually making a sustainable income with your craft website.

Still, with GoDaddy on your team, making money with your ecommerce store can be significantly easier. So get inspired and make the move from hobby enthusiast to pro craft seller!

The post The best websites to sell crafts appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

GoDaddy Blog

How much do you spend before asking for funding ?

Dear entrepreneurs, I was wondering how much do you usually spend on your start up before calling on for help from other potential investors.

I can see that prototype of the product do cost something out of your own pocket. What is the budget I have to set for month before calling in for help?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

College isn’t free yet, but Savi raises a $6M Series A to assist student loan borrowers find loan forgiveness

The student loan crisis has crescendoed to even worse heights. As universities shut down across the country due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and employment opportunities dim with the rapidly decelerating economy, today’s students and postgrads need better tools than ever to navigate their finances.

Unfortunately, student loans in the United States are extraordinarily complicated, with literally hundreds of variations on loan terms, repayment methods, and public interest forgiveness options. For borrowers, what are the best ways to minimize their total burden while staying within the rules?

Washington DC-based Savi wants to make student loan borrowers “savvy” to the best options available to them, and now it has even more capital to take on this pressing challenge. The company announced today that it has raised a $ 6 million Series A led by Nyca Partners, one of the most influential investing firms in the fintech space.

Finance startups often have misaligned incentives between users and their own revenue models — a financial health app may make quiet referral revenue by peddling new credit cards and loans, exactly what a user doesn’t need.

What makes Savi interesting is that the company was designed from the beginning to make sure that it always placed the interests of its users first. It’s organized as a public benefit corporation and founded by two idealistic founders who came together over improving the outcomes of the nation’s youth.

After graduating from Georgetown Law, Aaron Smith founded and spent four years running Young Invincibles, a youth-focused think tank and advocacy organization that was originally created to bring attention to youth issues during the health care reform discussions in the early years of the Obama administration. Meanwhile, Savi’s other co-founder Tobin Van Ostern worked on youth voter engagement for Obama’s first presidential campaign as the head of Students for Barack Obama before heading to the liberal Center for American Progress.

Savi co-founders Tobin Van Ostern and Aaron Smith. Photos courtesy of Savi.

Together, they decided to found Savi to bring their progressive mission orientation to helping young people around student debt. The student loan world, “it’s fairly complicated, and while obviously I think there needs to be continued improvement on the policy side, we needed solutions for student loan borrowers right now,” Smith explained. “And so that was sort of the impetus behind Savi — to use technology to create those kind of solutions.”

Savi ingests student loan data from users and then begins crunching the numbers to calculate the best options for repayment or forgiveness while taking into account the goals of its users.

While student lending is a trillion dollar plus market, Savi — owing to its progressive roots — has been particularly focused on offering its platform to users like social workers, teachers, and service workers. One of their largest partners is NEA, the largest teachers union in the United States with around 3 million members, and Savi is offered as a benefit to its members.

Organizations offer Savi’s student loan assessment tool to their employees and members to help them understand their financial picture. That tool is free for users, but from there, Savi charges a subscription to actively manage a user’s student loans, such as automating the process for filling out paperwork. Users can calculate their savings using Savi before committing to paying a subscription, ensuring that no user pays if Savi can’t help them save money. The company says that the average borrower sees $ 140 in savings per month and pays a $ 5-a-month subscription fee.

Given the typical employment of its users, Savi has a particular specialty on loan forgiveness, an option that many student loans offer for people in public-interest careers. Such options often have byzantine rules for eligibility though, and so Savi works to ensure that borrowers seeking forgiveness stay within the rules of their loan programs. Currently, the company handles more than 150 forgiveness and repayment options.

Similar to its assessment tools for organizations, Savi launched a new tool around COVID-19 to help people in health professions or who have been laid off as a result of the pandemic to figure out their student loan situations and find new programs for help. “We actually happen to have a pretty disproportionately high number of users that actually work on the COVID crisis,” Van Ostern explained.

Startups around managing student loans have been a popular area of investment for VCs. Yesterday, my colleague Alex Wilhelm noted that student loan platform Frank received a $ 5 million interim strategic round of funding, with edtech giant Chegg taking a board seat. I also covered Summer’s $ 10 million raise late last year, which, like Savi, is a public benefit corporation focused on minimizing the burden of student loan payments.

In addition to Nyca, Savi received funding from AlleyCorp, Temerity Capital, and 9Yards Capital along with Michelle Kang, Catherine Reynolds, and Sheila Lirio Marcelo.

Startups – TechCrunch