WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: The Importance of Farmers Markets (Episode 93)

On today’s WJR Business Beat segment, Jeff discusses the importance of farmers markets. While they’re essential at all times, farmers markets are especially vital during COVID-19, as they are serving a more important role than ever in supplying fresh food to local communities and supporting our local small businesses, communities and local economies.

Farmers markets contribute about $ 9 billion to the U.S. economy every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Farmers Market Coalition says that the number of farmers markets in the U.S. has grown from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 today.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to hear the full report: 

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“When you purchase from a local seller, most importantly, you keep your dollars at work in your local community by supporting the local businesses and the families that operate them.”

– Jeff Sloan

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

One of my favorite things is a local farmers market. The varieties of fresh produce from farm to market gets many of us as close to the source and as close to nature as we get in our otherwise urban or suburban ways of life and more than just a great experience, farmers markets contribute about $ 9 billion to the U.S. economy every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And the Farmers Market Coalition says that the number of farmers markets in the U.S. has grown from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 today. And while today’s experience at a farmers market is different, along with most things in life, in order to comply with new safety requirements, they are serving a more important role than ever in supplying fresh food to local communities and supporting our local small businesses, communities and local economies.

According to the SBA, farmers get a bigger slice of the revenue pie by being able to sell direct to customers rather than having to pay for big distribution and retail costs in between them and the customers, as is the case when their produce is sold at traditional retail markets. And in fact, when selling through retailers, farmers only get an average of about 15.6 cents for every dollar that consumer spend on food they buy a traditional retail markets.

In addition to farmers benefiting by selling at local farmers markets, there are also local artisans who benefit, as well, by selling items like soap, candles, jewelry and more.

Plus, when you purchase from a local seller, most importantly, you keep your dollars at work in your local community by supporting the local businesses and the families that operate them.

So, as we head into the heart of the late summer, early fall farmers market bounty of fresh and unique offerings, you’ve got so many good reasons to shop at a local farmers market the next time you want to bite into something fresh just hours from farm to your table.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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The Growing Importance Of Data Privacy & Its Value To Businesses

Data privacy is a bigger issue now than ever before for both companies and consumers, as a hacker attack occurs once every 39 seconds. A lot of private information is stored online and in the company’s databases, so a data breach can lead to serious issues for consumers and businesses alike.

Data is a vital asset for any business, so the privacy of data needs to be taken seriously. If you want to learn about it in a broader sense, Prolifics explains it in great detail.

But for now, let’s focus on the value and the growing importance that data has for your business.

Why Is Data Privacy So Important For Your Business?

Without proper protocols in place, your business probably wouldn’t be able to survive for long. There are many reasons why data privacy should be a concern for all businesses and why its importance is so great. However, the four reasons listed below stand above the rest.

1. Preventing Data Breaches

With the threat of data breaches rising every day, organizations need to have strong security safeguards in place. The main goal is to protect customers’ personal data. As soon as you have those safeguards, the chances of security incidents that lead to data breaches will decrease significantly.

2. Complying With Regulations

Organizations that don’t have a way to ensure privacy protections aren’t just irresponsible, they also break the law. There are requirements that state organizations that fail to comply with laws and regulations regarding data privacy may face monetary fines as high as tens of millions of dollars. Furthermore, non-compliance with these laws can result in up to 20-year penalties.

3. Supporting Ethics

Most organizations follow an established code of ethics, and even if they don’t, they have to follow certain ethical practices if they want their business to succeed. One of these ethical policies usually states that all confidential information a customer has shared with the company needs to be handled responsibly. This means that this information can only be used for business purposes and must never be used in a way that might harm the customer.

4. Maintaining Customer Loyalty

Customers want to know their personal information is safe and that companies do everything to keep their data private. A large number of customers will stop doing business with a company in the case of a significant personal data leak and they will simply switch to a competitor.

How To Solve Challenges Created By Data Privacy Regulations

Data privacy regulations come with some challenges. While they can sometimes be hard to deal with, all you need to do is learn how to approach this issue.

Implementing Data Privacy

Data privacy touches on multiple parts of every business. Unfortunately, most companies tack data privacy to their IT security plan and think that’s enough, but it certainly isn’t. This shows that you only see data privacy as an afterthought and don’t take it seriously enough.

To implement data privacy the right way, it needs to be at the center of your data strategy and all staff members need to be trained in it.

Find A Way To Manage Access Control

A large number of data privacy breaches are caused by access control that wasn’t properly managed within a company. Keep in mind that technology isn’t the only thing you need to worry about, people and processes also matter.

Unfortunately, human employees can pose a threat to data privacy, especially within an organization that has a lot of employees, as this makes it harder to manage user access. To solve this issue, you need to have strong data governance processes as well as good data architecture.

Don’t Store More Data Than Necessary

When big data first appeared, there was a lot of hype surrounding it and many organizations believed that because they can store a lot of data, they should collect as much data as possible. However, when you think about the implications this could have, you’ll realize why this is a bad idea.

Don’t keep data just for the sake of keeping it because this broadens the surfaces hackers can target and steal data from. Instead, make a good balance between the value of collecting and storing large quantities of data on one hand and meeting compliance and security regulations on the other.

Learn To Differentiate Between Types Of Data

Not all data is created equal and some types of it need to have better security than others. You need to discover and classify all data so you can be sure where it’s located and how sensitive it is. This will allow you to treat all data uniquely.

Manage Data On All Devices

There are a lot of factors you need to consider that can make data privacy harder to control. One of those things is multiple types of devices, especially in organizations where employees are allowed to bring their own devices to work.

If you have this kind of policy, either re-think it or make sure that all devices employees use comply with data privacy regulations.


Data privacy has been an ongoing issue for years, and it will continue to cause problems for organizations that don’t take it seriously enough. However, if you carefully consider everything you just read, you can ensure that your organization is safe, trustworthy, and follows all regulations.




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The Importance of Giving Up – to Soar

Way back in the day, I came home from little league. My mom asked me how it was. Without hesitation, I told her that I wanted to quit. She asked me why? I told her I was sick of the coach letting his son pitch because the son was so awful. Then, when the game was nearly lost — Coach would put me in as pitcher — and he’d expect me to win the game — no matter what had to be done.

If I couldn’t pull out the win — Coach would rant and scream at me and the whole team. I wanted to quit. If I complained, Coach would stick me in the outfield swatting away at flies. I didn’t mind if I was playing first base like Frank Thomas or Jeff Bagwell. My mom told me that I’d never get as much training as I would receive pitching under that kind of pressure.

It was then that my mom threw a Vince Lombardi quote in my direction. “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” And, in case I forgot, there were also some pretty amazing outfielders I could emulate like Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Gwenn, and Mickey Mantle.

I gave up on my dream of being the starting pitcher for every game — I stopped resenting the coaches’ son. Instead, I focused on what I was good at — hitting and running, and I tried to make sure I helped pull out a win under stressful circumstances. And, in hindsight, that was a win-win.

I gave up on my dream of being a major league baseball pitcher.

That’s not to say it was easy to switch my mindset. No one likes giving up on their dreams. But, this taught me a valuable lesson. There are times in life when throwing in the towel is important.

The Scientific Case for Giving Up

“Realizing that an attempt to achieve something is not accomplishing its goal, and then stopping that behavior, can actually be beneficial,” writes Claudia Lopez-Lloreda for Inverse. “When confronted with a difficult challenge or obstacle, animals often ‘give up’ to conserve energy between attempts or to identify other strategies to succeed — or reassess if the effort is even worth it.”

A research group led by Misha Ahrens at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute was responsible for this finding. But, Ahrens is far from the only researcher to scientifically prove the benefits of giving up.

“A laser-like focus on one goal (like a promotion) often prevents us from seeking out new opportunities for learning and growth,” writes Jennifer Gueringer on the NetCredit blog. “In fact, a survey of Stanford Business school alumni found that those who held five or more positions in 15 years were nine times more likely to reach senior management than those with fewer roles.”

“The effects are physical, too,” adds Gueringer. “A Concordia University found that teenage girls who were unable to disengage from difficult goals exhibited increased levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory molecule linked to diabetes, heart disease and early aging in adults.”

You’ll Accomplish More

I know that sounds counterproductive. But, bear with me for a second.

Recall a time when you were procrastinating. Maybe you were dreading the task, just not feeling it, or didn’t have the skills or knowledge to complete it. Regardless of the exact reason — you stubbornly kept trying to tackle this task.

What happened next? You may have originally blocked out two hours of time to get this thing done. Now you’re approaching three or four hours. And, before you know it, you’ve screwed up your entire schedule for not just the day, but the entire week. The reason? What you have planned to do today gets moved to tomorrow and so forth.

Also, even if you were able to cross this item off your list, you’ve spent way more energy on it then you should have. As a result, you’re too drained to focus on anything else that’s of importance.

The better option here would be to move on to something else that you can actually do well. You may even want to delegate or outsource to someone else.

You’ll Be Happier and More Creative

As Raj Raghunathan Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today, there is something called ego depletion which suggests that “willpower is a limited resource.” If you’re obsessed with achieving a goal, that means you’re sacrificing other goals “whose achievement also depends on the same pool of willpower.”

There’s also hyperopia. It’s similar to the above where you “sacrifice your present-day enjoyment for the sake of a future that may never really arrive.” What does that mean? Well, “it may be more important to give up on goals that take too much out of us than to pursue them at all cost.”

Speaking of goals, if a goal is tied to a reward — it may sometimes hinder creativity and problem-solving.

“Rewards can perform a weird sort of behavioral alchemy: they can transform an interesting task into a drudge,” Daniel Pink wrote in his book Drive. “They can turn the play into work,” Pink adds. “And by diminishing intrinsic motivation, they can send performance, creativity, and even upstanding behavior toppling like dominoes.”

Besides goals, here are some other things that you should give up if you want to be happy and successful:

  • Perfection. You already know that perfectionism is unrealistic, stressful, and prevents you from finding new opportunities.
  • FOMO. The so-called, Fear Of Missing Out can cause you to spread yourself too thin and it diverts your attention away from your priorities.
  • Negative self-talk. If you engage in negative self-talk, it holds you back from achieving your dreams — and it can do other weird things to you too. Just watch someone who loves this awful habit — you hate to be around them, huh?
  • Comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to anyone but yourself is unproductive and self-destructive.
  • Toxic relationships. Spend time with people you love and who love you back. Toxic people are a waste of time, energy, and will only drag you down.
  • The fear of failure. Everyone fails. Accept that fact, and learn from each experience — or don’t learn from it — just get past it.

The End is the Beginning is The End

Do you need one final reason for quitting? How about it gives a clean slate to live the life you want?

Yes — quitting at anything is usually easier said than done. But, take that leap of faith and ditch the things that are holding you back and causing you distress. For example, if you’re miserable because you feel like you’re in a dead-end job, quit and launch your own business.

Quitting a job may not be in your future and it’s going to be hard and scary. But, this type of quitting is a better option than being stuck in a situation that is depriving you of living the life that you want. Remember, life is short. So, use your life, and spend this valuable resource however you want.

How to Know When It’s Time to Give Up

There isn’t an exact answer to whether it’s time to give up. But, Cloris Kylie Stock from Tiny Buddha has put together five signs that may help you decide if now is the time to quit — or if it’s time to buckle down and win.

  • You aren’t enjoying life to the fullest because your quest to solve a problem as taken over your life.
  • No matter how hard you try, you can’t visualize a positive outcome.
  • You start to feel poorly about yourself.
  • Even though a goal involved others, you’re the only person who has an interest.
  • When you wake-up in the morning, you think about giving up.

Remember to analyze the pros and cons of what and when to give up. The “give-up” should come rarely in your life, and it should only be deployed when it will be for your greater good. Plan carefully — make your give-up a win-win.

The Importance of Giving Up – to Soar was originally published on Calendar by .

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Deming Cycle: Definition & Importance Of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle

Deming Cycle

Have you ever bought a product that was well-made and felt good to use?

That was mostly achieved by following certain steps and rules to hone in on the quality of the products and service. These rules are a part of an approach called Total Quality Management (TQM).

Take the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota for example – it was among the first to start using principles of TQM to boost their productivity back in the 1950s. Soon enough, Toyota was beating other car manufacturers in sales by offering well-made, reliable cars at the same or less cost than the competition.

This was all possible thanks to the TQM principles that are an amalgamation of rules and principles from quality and management gurus such as W. Edwards Deming, Philip B Crosby, Kaonru Ishikawa and Joshep M. Juran.

Mr Deming, in particular, had laid out a particular set of rules and checklist called the Deming Cycle, to be followed to continually improve quality standards of the company.

Deming Cycle Definition

Deming Cycle can be defined as a set of four, logically connected, repetitive steps – Plan, Do Check (Study), Act – that help in continuous quality improvement and learning.

PDCA Cycle

The Deming Cycle is also known as the PDCA Cycle or PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) Cycle and is an altered version of the Shewart Cycle – Plan, Do See – that had been around since it was introduced by statistics expert Mr Walter A. Shewart in the 1920s.

What is PDCA Cycle?

The four steps of the PDCA Cycle (or Deming Cycle) are –

  1. Plan: Find and note down opportunities; Analyze problems that are present; Plan changes and steps to be made to your findings and problems
  2. Do: Implement the solution (ideally, on a smaller scale or a controlled testbed) & note down observations and findings
  3. Check (Study): Study your findings and observations from your “testing” phase & make changes to the steps as necessary
  4. Act: Implement or improve the process


This stage involves planning the end goal and the process to be followed to reach it. In case you are looking to improve or solve a problem in an existing process, this is where you gather all the necessary information and steps that might help resolve the issue.

This stage involves a lot of analysis to find out the causes and fixes for the issues you are currently facing.

Example: You are a car manufacturer and find out that customers complaining about the constant failure of just one plastic button on the dashboard. Your goal is to fix the problem and the planning stage involves in you gathering necessary information such as the source of plastic. You plan on trying out plastic sourced from a different provider.


This stage involves implementing the fixes and solutions that materialized during the planning stage. As a precautionary measure, it is recommended to implement the changes on a smaller scale, as a test, to find out whether the solution proves to be useful or not.

This is where you can benefit from setting up and implementing your changes in a small, controlled test environment. This not only helps give provide insight into the effectiveness of changes but also better understand “why” the outcome improved.

Note: However small your business or operation may be, it is advisable to test-run your plans on a small scale and in a way such that it does not affect your existing operations and processes. Also, do not stop with this step.

Example: You run a set of trial runs of manufacturing the plastic button with plastic sourced from different vendors. You do this on a small scale and do not include it in the main assembly line to not disturb the existing process and manufacturing.

Check (Study)

This stage involves checking the results obtained from your trial runs for changes and improvements. If there are still issues or problems arising, then find out the causes and come up with a better solution.

It is advisable to ask the following questions –

“Will the proposed changes work on a larger scale?”

“Did the changes work?”

“Why did the changes work?”

“Is there more opportunities?”

“Can the plan be further refined?”

This might seem trivial at first but checking helps avoid further mistakes down the line and when the changes are implemented on a larger scale.

Example: You find out buttons manufactured from the current supplier of plastic to have high chances of deformations and failures from the test run. You find out the buttons produced from a different vendor to fit your requirements and so you decide to use a different plastic vendor for all assembly lines.


This is the final phase were the recommended changes and tested processes are finally implemented in their entirety.

But, though this is the final process the cycle does not end here. In case there are further changes to be made, observations from this step are to be taken and the cycle is to be restarted once again.

This PDCA Cycle is to be followed until all the necessary expectations are met and there is no necessity of further changes down the line.

Example: You start using plastic sourced from a different vendor for manufacturing your buttons on the main assembly lines and find the number of complaints on faulty buttons to decrease drastically.

Benefits of PDCA Cycle

  • The PDCA Cycle (or Deming Cycle) helps reduce problems into smaller chunks, making it easier to tackle
  • It helps in the development of new products, services, process and solutions
  • It can be applied for most businesses and industries – however small or big it might be
  • It is a flexible model – you are free to use the methods and process for coming up with results in all of the four steps
  • It helps promote the continuous development of the established systems and processes

Drawbacks of PDCA Cycle

  • The PDCA Cycle is a slow process – it takes time for the results to show up since you would have to complete many cycles for things to be as refined as you want it to be
  • Not viable for urgent problems or emergencies

Key Takeaway

PDCA Cycle is a simple yet straightforward group of steps that can drastically help in improving your quality standards by either providing newer solutions or solving existing problems in your business or company.

Not only that, but the PDCA Cycle (or Deming Cycle) can also be applied to life as well – it can be used by one to improve on a personal basis too.

Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on Deming Cycle in the comments section.


What Is Leadership? – Importance and Styles

leadership leader

Are leaders born or made?

A study by the University of Illinois suggests that 30% of leadership ability is genetic and 70% of the leadership skills are to be developed or made.

To be able to give a better answer to the above question, let us try to understand what leadership is and what it takes to be a good leader.

What Is Leadership?

Leadership is the process of social influence to motivate people to achieve a shared set of objectives.

The two key phrases to note here are-

  1. Social influence: Leaders tend to cause a change in the behaviour of people by establishing an influencer-follower relationship with them.
  2. Shared set of objectives: The main aim of a leader is to achieve a set of goals with the help of focused efforts put in by people who believe in these goals.

There is a need for leadership in almost all walks of like; not only in political or business scenarios but also at homes. This being said, it becomes important to know who is a leader and what characteristics a good leader possesses.

Who Is A Leader?

A leader is a person who takes the responsibility of leading a group of people or an organisation towards the accomplishment of a vision.

They do so by –

  • Motivating and inspiring their followers
  • Building a sense of trust and accountability
  • Engaging followers in activities that channelise their efforts in one direction

Characteristics Of A Good Leader

Practically, there is no perfect structure that explains how to be a good leader, but there are some basic characteristics that a good leader may project:

  1. Vision: It is the leader’s vision that the followers try to achieve by making it their own.
  2. Communication: Possessing good communication skills is the key to get people to work towards a vision. Communication skills not only include speaking skills but it also includes listening skills. As a leader, it is as important to listen to the followers as it is to communicate the vision.
  3. Confidence: Only when the leader is confident can the followers trust them. It is the leader’s confidence in themselves and their followers that motivates the followers to accomplish goals.
  4. Persuasion: A leader’s speech should be persuasive to influence people to work for them.
  5. Decision Making: Decision making is the most critical quality a leader should possess. Because it is the decisions of the leader that the followers look up to and it is their decisions that will affect the entire team or organisation for that matter.
  6. Empathy: Listening to the followers and understanding their problems will enable the leader to know why his or her team is not performing well and come up with solutions for the same.

Importance Of Leadership In Organisations

Leadership plays a vital role in organisations. Be it leadership at the senior most level or at the team level. Some reasons why leadership is important are:

  1. Keeps employees motivated: Effective leadership inspires and motivates employees to supersede their personal interests and work towards the accomplishment of goals set for the progress of a team or the organisation as a whole.
  2. Keeps everyone focused: Since a leader puts forth a clear vision for the organisation, it becomes easy for the team to focus their efforts to keep themselves aligned with the leader’s vision. It leads to channelizing the energy of the entire team in a single direction which increases the impact of the team’s efforts.
  3. Helps in conflict management: A leader helps to keep the team in coordination and harmony. Any conflicts that exist within the team can be resolved with the help of the team leader. Effective conflict management by leaders results in a team working with high productivity and with mutual respect for each other. It also leads to a positive and motivating work environment.

Types Of Leadership Styles

There are different leadership styles to suit different situations. Leadership can be categorised into the following styles:

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is giving employees the freedom to be creative and take responsibility for their own decisions. A transformational leader communicates his or her vision to the employees and then let them work towards achieving that vision by letting them work in autonomy. This enables the employees to come up with new innovative solutions to achieve objectives and stay motivated.

Some characteristics of a transformational leader are:

  • Promoting creativity
  • Providing autonomy to the team
  • Clear vision for future

Transformational leadership is best suited for organisations that are looking to transform their brand image or bring about new innovative solutions into untapped markets.

Steve Jobs is one example of a transformational leader. He had a vision for Apple which was worked upon by the employees of Apple. He promoted innovation which lead to delivery of creative solutions by the employees.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional Leadership is the antithesis of transformational leadership. Unlike transformational leadership, transactional leadership works on the principle of punish and reward. It is about getting the employees to complete their jobs by a stick and carrot approach. The leaders constantly supervise and monitor employee performance. Transactional leader’s main aim is to get the routine tasks done in the most efficient manner possible.

Listed below are some characteristics of a transactional leader are:

  • Consistent supervision and direction
  • Extrinsic motivator
  • Rigidity in instructions

When an organisation is looking at increasing everyday efficiency of its team with consistent reporting, transactional leadership seems to be the best fit.

Bill Gates is one example of a transactional leader. It is said that he used to visit the product teams to make sure that the teams were on track with their activities and used to ask them questions until he was satisfied that the team is working correctly.

Charismatic Leadership

Leaders with a charismatic leadership style are the ones who use their personality and persuasive skills to get followers to do what they believe in. Their communication skill is the most admired by their followers. They are the ones who connect with their followers at an emotional level because they are profound communicators.

Charismatic leaders may have the following characteristics:

  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Persuasive and assertive
  • High Emotional Quotient (EQ)

Charismatic leadership is most effective in situations where the leader needs to bridge the emotional gap with their followers. Situations which require the leaders to empathise with their followers can be best tackled by adopting charismatic leadership.

Political leaders like Barack Obama and Narendra Modi are examples of people with charismatic leadership style. They connect with their followers on an emotional level and communicate their message in a very persuasive way.

Democratic Leadership

As the name suggests, democratic leadership style practices democracy. All the decisions are made after taking into consideration all team members inputs. Though the power of decision making lies with the leader, but he or she takes into account what their team members have to say. Such a style of leadership promotes freedom of expression in the team and encourages the team members to be vocal about their opinions.

Here is a list of characteristics that a democratic leader may possess:

  • Empowering the group
  • Fair decision making
  • Task delegation

A team that is made up of members who are opinionated and believe in team work can be best supported by adapting to democratic leadership style.

A jazz band portrays the democratic leadership style perfectly. Even though the band often lead by a conductor or bandleader who is responsible to ensemble various sounds and harmonies into one cohesive production, there are certain sections where each musician gets the freedom to improvise and show off their creative side.

Bureaucratic Leadership

Bureaucratic style of leadership is the one in which leaders generally tend to not accept ideas that are non-traditional. Bureaucratic leaders, just like democratic leaders, listen to their team member’s opinions and views but tend to reject anything that does not seem to be in alignment with a set guideline. Such a leadership style may lead to a lack of creativity in the team.

A leader with a bureaucratic leadership style may demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Lack of creative freedom
  • Controlled and structured leadership
  • Abider of status quo

An organisation that wants to work as per the set rules, is resilient to change and follows a strict hierarchy can be effectively led by bureaucratic leaders.

An example of a bureaucratic leader could be Winston Churchill. During World War when Winston Churchill was prime minister of the UK, he led the country with control, structure and power. Though his bureaucratic leadership style resulted in a victory in the Second World War for them, it also led to his downfall after the war.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

Laissez-Faire is a French word which means ‘allow to do’. So Laissez-Faire leadership style means letting things happen the way they are and not interfering in between. Laissez-Faire leaders tend to leave the team to be on their own and do not exercise their control powers.

Characteristics of a Laissez-Faire leader may be:

  • Very little or no guidance to the team
  • Complete freedom of decision making
  • Facilitator of resources

This style of leadership when followed with employees that are self-motivated and self-starters would work best. But if adopted for employees that are complacent and need a push to do tasks, it could lead to the downfall of the team.

Warren Buffet is a famous example of a Laissez-Faire leader. He is believed to leave his team to work on its own and achieve results. He gets the resources managed by making investments and leaves it to his managers to achieve goals.

Final Thoughts

Some people are born leaders. But, it does not mean leaders cannot be made. Behavioural theories believe that leaders can be made by learning and observing various leaders and their leadership styles. One can always learn and practice the skills to be a leader. A notable point here is that it is important to match the right leadership style with the right situation for effective and quantifiable results.

Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

Did we miss something?  Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on what is leadership in the comments section.


Jason Calacanis talks about the importance of great domains

Great domains inspire people.

A still of Jason Calacanis on This Week in Startups

Jason Calacanis on This Week in Startups.

Investor and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis has given lots of great soundbites about domain names over the year. Earlier this month, he elaborated on the power of a great domain during his This Week in Startups episode 1053.

A listener asked about trademarks and domain names. He responded:

When people see a great domain name like robinhood.com or calm.com, this inspires people because it’s hard to get those domain names. It’s hard to have the one-word domain name and it makes you look like you have a serious brand. Inside.com…and a great brand should evoke something in people.

Calm.com, Inside, these, one of them makes you feel calm because it’s calm.com and one of them means, “Hey we’re going to go into this topic.”

Inside.com/transportation. Inside.com/AI, Inside.com/SanFrancisco. You inherently know what this research is going to be about and inside.com is like a research company. So if you want to get inside of AI, just go to inside.com/AI.

So I think it’s great when you have the domain name you kind of have the trademark. So whoever owns calm.com, they basically own calm even if somebody else had it…or there’s inside the NBA and Inside Baseball …these two things existed before I owned the Inside.com trademark so I can’t use Inside the NBA, right, I think TNT would be quite upset. Or I think Inside Baseball is actually a long-running show if I’m not correct…so I can do Inside.com/baseball or Inside.com/NBA and then make it clear this is Inside’s newsletter about the NBA but I would not use the branding Inside the NBA and I would not refer to it as such because I don’t want to infringe on anybody else’s the trademark.

That shows you the power of a great domain name is that whoever gets the .com, they kind of get the best branding in the entire space. So it’s really worth trying to get that .com eventually.

You could start without it, you could start with inside .net or insidenewsletter .com, but if somebody were to create right now insideartificialintelligencethepodcast, I’m going to beat them with Inside AI when we do the Inside AI podcast. Eventually we’re just going to outrank them. So that’s one of the things that gets baked into owning the domain name.

If somebody wanted to try to create, you know, a meditation app and say BeCalmer .com, all that’s going to do is half the people who hear becalmer.com are going to Calm.com. And they’re going to assume Calm.com is it. So you start newslettersthattakeyouinsideatopic .com, all that’s going to do is drive more traffic to me. So that’s why you don’t want to create a derivative name that’s already known in the world.

Calacanis said he believes it’s OK to start with a prefix or suffix to the brand if you can get the brand in .com, e.g., Get- or Try. One of his investments is Lately, which uses the domain TryLately.com.

He noted that one of the reasons he invested in Calm.com was because of the domain name.

“It showed me he had some amazing ability to negotiate with the owner of the domain name and to get something as an asset was super important,” he said.

You can watch the episode below, which will start at this question.

Post link: Jason Calacanis talks about the importance of great domains

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Expel lands $50M Series D as security operations increase in importance

Even in these trying economic times, there are some services that companies can’t do without. Having good security tools is one of them. Expel, a four-year-old startup that offers security operations as a service, announced a $ 50 million Series D financing today.

CapitalG led the round with participation from existing investors Battery Ventures, Greycroft, Index Ventures, Paladin Capital Group and Scale Venture Partners. The company has now raised almost $ 117 million, according to PitchBook data.

It’s never easy finding quality security talent to help protect a large organization. The idea behind Expel is to give customers a set of tools to help use automation to reduce the number of people required to keep an organization safe.

Most companies struggle to find experienced security employees, so it’s using automation to solve a real pain point for them. While co-founder and CEO Dave Merkel says you still need to staff the security operations center, you can do it with fewer people with his platform.

“You may have a 24×7 Security Operations Center, but you don’t need the number of people everybody else does to protect your customers because Workbench does all of the heavy lifting for you. So instead of a SOC with 100 people, maybe you’ve got one with 15 people, and that gives tremendous leverage through this platform, and the platform ensures that you can provide high quality security without having to continually grow headcount,” Merkel explained.

Merkel sees the same economy everyone else does, but he believes that companies will continue to invest in security because they have to.

“Security tends to be a need as opposed to a want in many organizations, and so we still do see business happening. We will be using some of the money to continue to invest smartly in sales and marketing, but we’ll just need to be deliberate to make sure that we’re picking the right things that are still effective right now,” he said.

One thing that’s remarkable about this round is that Expel didn’t go looking for this new money. In fact, CapitalG came knocking, according to CapitalG general partner Gene Frantz.

“We sought out Expel, first and foremost. It wasn’t that Expel sought out to raise money and they called a bunch of people. We called them, and that was in response to a bunch of thematic work that we continually do in the security space,” Frantz told TechCrunch.

That work involved three main areas, where Expel happened to check all the boxes. The first was the threat landscape becoming ever more treacherous. The second was information overload from a variety of security products, and finally the dearth of experienced security personnel to deal with the first two problems.

“And so our bet is that this is the company in the space that actually will take on and address these challenges,” Frantz said.

Merkel describes having a company like CapitalG come to him as a humbling experience for him and his co-founders, especially under the current circumstances.

“It’s tremendous validation, but it is also humbling. We’re pretty thankful to be in that position, and we want to make sure that we do the right things to continue to honor the opportunity that we see in front of us.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Importance of custom domain for testing a product

Hi Friends,

I have a few product ideas I would like to test. How important do you think getting a custom domain is? Can I just use a page on my main website? How important do you think this is? Is there a way to buy a domain for 2 months or so? Or a cheap way to get a custom domain? I would like to test out several ideas, if I can avoid buying several domains, that would be ideal.

What do you think?

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

Importance of app descriptions for App Store pages

How important is an app's description on its page in the App Store? Do people read it before deciding to buy/download the app? Can it make or break somebody's decision on whether to buy/download? While I'm pretty sure that app previews and screenshots are much more important, I'd like to know if the description can sway potential users who are otherwise on the fence.

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

Brand Recognition: Definition, Importance, Levels, & Strategies

A brand is the company’s most valuable asset. It is what the customer recognises, remembers, and often buys when he thinks of the product category.

One of the key aspects of measuring a brand’s success is its recognition by the target audience. Companies spend millions to achieve it and yet it can often take years to build.

This article takes a closer look at brand recognition, its importance and how companies work to build it.

What Is Brand Recognition?

Brand recognition is when the customer can recognise the brand and differentiate it from other brands when he comes into contact with it.

In simple terms, brand recognition is the ability of a customer to recognise a brand from its distinctive logo, tagline or an audio cue.  It is a type of brand awareness which doesn’t require the customer to recall the name. It just focuses on whether the customer can recognise it when it is presented at the point-of-sale or when he witnesses the visual packaging.

It is often called aided recognition through visual recognition when viewing an ad, seeing its logo or auditory recognition when listening to a jingle associated with that company.

Importance Of Brand Recognition

Once the audience understands what the company offers and the company has gained enough traction and popularity, people begin to recognise it. People can recognise the company regardless of being customers or not. For example, most of the people can recognise an Audi on the road just by the car’s design or the company’s logo. Even if they don’t recognise the brand name, they recognise that it’s a premium automobile brand.

Gives Competitive Edge To The Company

Customers today are relatively more knowledgeable than before and therefore, any brand needs to truly stand out in order to gain their trust. This is where brand recognition comes into play. For instance, when posed with two identical products offered by different companies the consumer will choose the company he/she already recognises.

Thus, it ensures that customers lean towards that brand while making a decision, giving the company a competitive edge over others.

Improves Marketability Of The Product

An increase in marketability means a known and recognised brand is more appealing to buyers. Customers are often willing to pay a premium price for a product sold by a recognised company and choose it over its generic equivalents.

Enhances Brand Equity

The more people recognise a brand, the more valuable it becomes. Brand equity is the value of the brand as a separate asset.

High brand recognition helps in building the perceived value of the brand.

How To Build Brand Recognition?

Building brand recognition is an ongoing process. The goal of this process is to make the brand memorable and more appealing to the audience. And this is done by understanding the buyer’s journey and the stages of recognition of a brand.

The Five Levels Of Brand Recognition

stages of brand recognition

  1. Brand Rejection: If a customer associates the brand to something negative, they tend to avoid that brand.
  2. Brand Non-Recognition: This occurs when the consumer is unable to distinguish the company’s product from its competitors due to an unrecognised logo or name and poor marketing strategies.
  3. Brand Recognition: Consumer recognises the brand upon viewing its logo, tagline or with an audio cue.
  4. Brand Loyalty: Customer chooses the same brand repeatedly owing to the trust developed over time.
  5. Brand Preference: Preference means the customer will lean towards the recognised brand when offered other choices.

Strategies To Build Brand Recognition

Understand Target Audience Better

It is important to understand the target audience’s demographics and psychographics profile to gain insight into what is most relevant for them. There are various online tools that can be used for this purpose like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. They provide a variety of information ranging from age and location to their behaviours and interests.

Build Memorable Brand Associations

The visual aspects of any brand such as the logo and tagline form the image of the brand. It should be designed in a way that is strong, distinctive yet balanced. It should be easy to grasp and communicate the business. Logos should be on the face of everything. Companies should keep reinforcing its name and its logo everywhere possible so it’s easier to grasp and persists in the customer’s mind.

Following are some examples of the most famous brand logos, most of which can be recognised without the brand’s name.

Some of the most recognizable taglines –

  • “Just Do It” – Nike
  • “Open Happiness” – Coca Cola
  • “I’m lovin’ it” – McDonald’s
  • “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands” – M&M
  • “Think Different” – Apple
  • “Inspire the Next” – Hitachi
  • “Das Auto” – Volkswagen

Make Use Of Influencer Marketing

Social media is undoubtedly one of the best platforms to reach out to customers. Social media influencers are instrumental in further increasing this reach. It becomes easier to target the right audience using short videos and relevant hashtags shared by the influencers. It is one of the subtle methods of online marketing which is almost certain to generate a decent amount of clicks and conversions. Influencers tend to have a well-established audience that trusts them. Thus, if the influencer shares the products with the audience, they would naturally gravitate towards it.

influencer marketing brand recognition

For example, ‘mostlysane’, an Indian YouTuber with more than 1.9 million Instagram followers, is now the face of H&M India’s store. She also tied up with Yatra.com and appears in commercials for Whatsapp.

Develop A Unique Product Packaging

Unboxing is a part of the product journey. Allowing consumers to customise their packaging can make the purchase a lot more exciting. Moreover, including the logo, name, and tagline of the brand in the packaging improves retention. Even the smallest of initiatives like including a bookmark when a customer purchases a book can have a huge positive impact. Personalised packaging seems like a gift for the customers.

A unique product packaging increases brand recognition.

Ask For Customer Feedback

Any customer’s opinion about a product they’ve used is important to better serve their needs and helps in identifying areas of improvement. Customers always appreciate when asked for product reviews as it makes them feel like their opinions are valued.

Brands that recognise the value of human interactions succeed in enhancing their recognition in the market.

Make Commercials Worth Remembering

A company’s commercial should be a reflection of the company’s values and identity. An ad should make people go, “This is what I was looking for”, or “This ad is for me”. This is achieved when the right audience is targeted such that they relate with the product or services offered. Even advertisements that can inspire a dialogue leaves an impact on the minds of the customers.

Marketing experts estimate that an American sees 4,000 to 10,000 ads every day. Any advertisers’ job is to cut through that noise and make the ad stand out.

For example, Apple’s 1984 commercial for Macintosh computers revolved around the concept of a futuristic society, drawing inspiration from George Orwell’s book, 1984. This ad was a huge success and purchases worth $ 155 million were made after its debut.

Brand Recognition and Brand Recall

Brand recognition and brand recall both fall under the umbrella of brand awareness.

Brand recall is sometimes referred to as unaided or spontaneous recall while brand recognition is referred to as aided recall. Moreover, brand recognition is not about the customer remembering the brand name rather about the customer recognising the brand when presented at the point of sale. Whereas, brand recall refers to how well a customer can recall the brand from their memory when prompted by a product category.

Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think of our article on brand recognition in the comments section.