8 Last Minute Gifts for Entrepreneurs

Faking gratitude when receiving a no-good gift is never very pleasant. But things get awkward (and even a bit heartbreaking) when you realize that your gifts to someone will end up rotting in a corner right after the wrapper is off.
No more suffering from bad gifts and fake smiles! We have a great list of helpful and irresistible gifts for those entrepreneurs you call family or friends.

Subscriptions to an Online Learning Platform

In comparison with a shopping gift card, a gift code that gives access to a learning platform is a much more enticing and practical gift for learners. There are several platforms you could look into: Coursera is the place to go for certified courses delivered by top universities and educational institutions that can lead you to obtain an actual degree. For more specific courses, Udemy and Lynda are good options. With modules ranging from business to science, your gift can’t be left unused. The only drawback is that only Udemy has an option for gift giving…

Tickets to a World-Class Business Event

Vivatechnology-Paris-Startup-Connect-2

You’ll surely notice the rising excitement when your special someone will open his present and find  a ticket to the upcoming CES, SXSW, WebSummit or Viva Technology (of which Beeleev is a partner). More than an event, you are giving an entrepreneur the opportunity to increase his visibility amongst inspiring and like-minded people. However, make sure he’s available when the event happens or you will both end up crying over spilled milk.

A Book (or Books!)

Books are common but golden. Take a look at our Summer Reads list for inspiration (those books work for winter, spring and autumn too)! However, for this holiday season, we’d like to add some more titles:
First, the book Sapiens and its sequel Homodeus summarize in a relatable way the history of humankind and where we are heading to in the future. Not interested? There’s The Social Animal, a book that looks into sociology, psychology, and biology just to give you a comprehensive explanation on human behavior. And last but not least, classic non-fiction books like The 4th Industrial Revolution or The Design of Everyday Things should also be alternatives.

A Productivity Gadget

SWS-productivity

If you want the gift to fall more on the comforting side, a productivity gadget is the key. Depend on your budget, the choices range from a simple mug warmer to a fancy smart note/smart pen or noise-cancelling headphone. While a mug warmer is the perfect gift for someone who wants their drinks hot all the time, a smart notebook or smart pen is an interesting and practical upgrade for the old style note takers who have too much notes to reorganize manually. And don’t forget noise-cancelling headphones! It’s just a great boost that helps you stay focused during both work and travel.

A cool stationary product

downloadYes, we have mentioned smart notebooks and smart pens, yet, traditional paper and ink still have their charm. Fountain pens or leather journals remain appreciated.
Beside the classic plain journal, look for an artsy update with a pre-printed Bullet Journal. A Bullet Journal is the mix of a diary, a planner and a to-do list. It’s trendy to get a blank notebook and do all the drawing and design by yourself, however, if the lucky recipient isn’t that good at drawing or just simply too busy for that, get him a professionally drawn bullet journal.

A leather bag

olu-eletu-134760.jpg

It’s elegant, classy and most of all, practical. An ideal leather bag should be big enough to fit a notebook, a book, a laptop, a phone, a headphone and possibly make-up. The thing is, a leather bag will always complement one’s look, regardless of his conservative suit and tie or smart casual office attire. A great gift (not only for yourself)!

We hope to have sparked a few good ideas for your last minute shopping! In anycase, we at Beeleev wish you Happy holiday and a lot of success for the year to come!

Looking Forward to your International Success!

 

Advertisements

Back to Work: How to Put Ideas on Track?

Did you go on holidays? In a previous article, we discussed the benefits of taking some time off, especially to stimulate new ideas. The thing is: How will you manage to convert a great idea into an actual project? Especially when sandy beaches and cocktail are replaced by concrete walls and coffee… Well, we thought about it and decided to give you a helping hand. Hope you enjoy the read!

Take Notes

Take note

The first step to realize an idea is to give it a tangible form. Either it’s a written note, a voice record or even a scribble drawing, the idea is engraved and reviewed by your brain during the process. Regarding the importance of note taking, Richard Branson – Founder of Virgin Group wrote “I can’t tell you where I’d be if I hadn’t had a pen on hand to write down my ideas (or more importantly, other people’s) as soon as they came to me”.

Try to keep this habit of recording whatever comes to your mind even during vacation. It’s fun and it might help free up your brain for new ideas!

Keep Up With Industry News

Young lady reading a book

The major problem of holidays (especially when you’re gonna take a long one) is the disruption of your information feed. It’s a waste of time to spend days or even weeks after vacation reviewing news!

However, since you’re on vacation, give yourself a break by reading relevant blogs and/or listening to business podcast instead of brain-wrecking industry analysis. For more details, how about taking a look at our Useful Reads for when Summer turns to Storm, featuring essential blogs and books we believe will help any digital entrepreneur broaden his vision and critical thinking.

Stay in Touch with your Team

686

A quick phone call and/or message with your deputy can help you sleep better at night. By this, we don’t mean hours of conference calls but small talks on your unexpected inspiration and how the team is doing. It’s a good way to secure your team that you’re on board for any possible problems as well as to prepare them for the development of your next great idea.

Plan a Buffer Day

it-s-okay_1020-673

Don’t expect to get off the plane at 7 am and work at 9 am at full productivity. Come home one day earlier and be prepared that half of your first day at work is spent on updating the team and filtering emails. However, you can also take advantage of this period to cool down, review your note, rearrange all ideas and think about a way to organize your team around new projects.

What do think about our suggestions? What is your “back to work” routine? Tell us in the comment section!

Can Vacation do your business good?

Here comes the season when “Any vacation planned?” replaces “Hello”.  As you have the whole company to run (and sadly, not all clients are leaving for vacation), can the pleasure of holidays make up for “lost” sales? Just last Wednesday, we have an open discussion with Charlotte Cadé @ SelencyThibaut Lamarque @ Castalie and Julia Salfati @ Salfatix Media on why and how to take a break. Arguments are diverse. Don’t you want to know who has the best solution for you?

At the evening of the laureates of the Réseau Entreprendre in Paris (which Beeleev participated), a question was asked to all entrepreneurs:  Should we take a vacation?

If the answer is “Yes”, the group is then divided into sub-group based on their type of vacation: Full time vacation? Abroad? With or without connected devices?

Vacations, by all means, are taken seriously by the CEOs. It’s an opportunity to recharge, step back and return with new business ideas.

How to manage your employees when you are on holiday?

Employees must be able to continue working normally during your absence.

The important thing is to set achievable, clear and precise objectives. Once these objectives are set, they can organize themselves to reach them.

Want to know how?

Our Beeleevers recommended  How to Hire A Player by Eric Herrenkohl, which is an easy-to-understand handbook on effective recruitment and collaborator management.

What pace to adopt to make the most of vacation?

Entrepreneurs hold different views on this matter.

Some root for full-time vacations to get a change of air and come back with new business ideas. The difficulty lies in resisting the temptation of checking work mails or the anguish of what can happen in our absence.

This is why some entrepreneurs prefer alternative forms of vacation.

Some recommend spending half the day working, and the other half relaxing. For the most anxious entrepreneurs, this avoids the stress of the re-entry and the 2000 unread mails.

A Beeleever, Thibault opted to another rhythm: spend the first 3 days of each week at work, and the rest for vacation. However, this might equal to 3 overloaded working days and unfulfilled week-end vacation.

Our advice: Go boating.

500px Photo ID: 173817371 -

Yes you read it correctly. We are asking you to buy (or rent!) a boat. Let the salty wind blow throw your hair, getting rid of negative thoughts and the sun warms you up with new inspiration.

Not a fan of boating? Fancy private boat is not your thing?

Alternatives are plentiful. The gist, indeed, is to isolate yourself from habitual environment and stay disconnected. Put down your phone and talk to your inner self instead. Ideas will find its way to you.

Have you found the answer you are looking for? Become a Beeleever to join our upcoming events and get inspired by the Community!

 

 

Useful Reads for when Summer turns to Storm

Summer is here! Time to release the pressure and allow your busy mind to wander, putting aside colleagues or business-related matters. Or will you? Some entrepreneurs actually take the opportunity of the holiday season to read books and resources they can’t commit to during the year. So, if you belong to this category and have to pack some good reads on your way to your hopefully sunny destination, which will they be?

We, at Beeleev, decided to compile a comprehensive selection of a few essential blogs and books we believe will help any digital entrepreneur broaden his vision and critical thinking. Hope you enjoy the read!

Great Digital Marketing Blogs: 

rubyonthebeach-1940x1940

Steady Demand | Social Media Management

Steady Demand is a Social Media Management agency with a great blog dedicated to the same activities. In it, you will not only find articles on each social network and how to optimize your sales funnel in each of them, but also, industry–focused topics like “Which social media platform is best for Real Estate Agents?”. They publish articles every 2 weeks and it’s definitely a great resource to follow if you want to keep track of your social media activities and boost your creativity.

Eskimoz | Search Engine Management

Eskimoz is an Organic Search Agency who also runs an extensive blog on SEO for French-speaking entrepreneurs. Whether you are a SEO amateur or an experienced practitioner, the blog has insightful information to offer: from basic article like “What is growth hacking?” to advanced ones like “SEO audit”. If you speak French, this blog is an amazing resource to enhance your ranking on Search Engines.

MailChimp | Outbound Marketing

MailChimp is the leading marketing automation platform that most businesses use for their mailing campaigns. What you might have overlooked though, is their great blog dedicated to outbound mailing and automation and how to optimize conversion and sales using this channel. It provides short articles on best practices, optimization as well as many case studies. When it comes to outbound mailing and automation, this website is among the best open resources available.

HubSpot | Inbound Marketing

HubSpot is the famous Inbound Marketing and Sales platform which also maintains a well – executed and comprehensive blog. They publish new content every day, including in–depth case studies, guidelines and funny yet exemplary compilations of current sales and marketing practices. It is both relaxing and informative to browse, as you can find almost every topic imaginable broken down into simplified and humorous language. We strongly recommend HubSpot for your daily dose of amusing yet practical information.

Vision-building Books: 

Our deliberate choice here was to provide references that will help you anticipate the strategic changes the global economy is currently experiencing: the advent of the “New Economy”, of the environmental transition, the rise of global insecurity and their impacts on long-term business opportunities.

Global trends: Paradox of Progress – USA National Intelligence Council (NIC)

The NIC is the strategic thinking committee of the US Intelligence Community and, every four years, it hands over a report to the President of the USA describing three scenarios for the world in the next 25 years and the different challenges they bear. This report is then made available to the public and is a must-have for strategic thinkers. It also includes very informative infographics dedicated to each economic zones that will allow you to understand the global paradigm shift and how it might impact your business. The coolest thing? They make it available for free download on their website!

Global trends.jpg

 

The Zero Marginal Cost Society – Jeremy Rifkin

Rifkin

If you never heard of Jeremy Rifkin, serial best-selling author and advisor to many governments around the world, quickly go buy yourself what will soon become the compass guiding you through the great changes induced by the digital transformation, the rise of peer-to-peer collaboration and the “Makers” movement, amongst others.

Reading this book will inspire you new business and make you think on much needed strategic developments for your company. One thing is certain: you will have a better understanding of the new economic order and how to make a safe trip from the “old world” to the “new”.

What do you think of our selection? If there’s a reference close to your heart or which you believe is of great use, drop it in the comments below!

Enjoy your holidays!

Interviews – 10 Tips to Rock the Media from a Communication Expert

Meet Eve Chegaray, a media communication expert and a communication coach for entrepreneurs who founded Eve Chegaray Communications Eve herself is also a columnist for BFM Academy, a 12-season competition for entrepreneurs hosted by BFM Business. Do you need to get ready for a pitch? Are you preparing for an interview with the media? Read her 10 tips (deducted from years of trial and error) that rock every time!

Spend time preparing yourself

Find your answer to the most important question: How do you want to present  yourself through the interview? “I want myself to appear nice, clean and professional. So what I do is to write things down, to practice, both alone and with people, and even to film myself so that I can detect the mistakes. All these have a sole purpose of being as natural as I can on the D-day!”

Review your intentions: What message do you want to deliver?

What are the goals of the interview? What do you want your audience to know? You need to have a clear message and be aware of what you are expecting from this interview. This message must act as your main thread throughout the process.

Trust your message and take the lead

During an interview, an interviewee is supposed to be the reactive party. Nevertheless, reacting doesn’t mean putting up with it. You should hold on to your message in order to adapt and therefore being agile, furtive and active!

Repeat my message over and over again

Let’s think about ads: they are short and redundant but at least, the message they deliver stays imprinted in your mind. This is exactly what needs to be done. You can rephrase, add examples to illustrate your point, yet my message has to be clear, concise and sensible. And to get this result, it must be said and said again. If necessary, you can use an evasive reply like “Before getting to this point, I would like to tell a few words about…”

Build a logical layout for your speech

With a logical speech, you get clearer and, no matter what happens, you can always fall on your feet. You know what you are about to say, what your next points are and you become more reactive. For instance, the structure of your speech could be: need/market/opportunities/offers etc.

Be brief

Even for long questions, stick to a maximum-40-second answer. And it should be a simple one with only subject, verb and complement. For the record, former French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, speaks with sentences of 40 seconds, which enables him to be easily quoted by the media.

BFM Academy

Bear in mind that the interview is not an oral exam

Stay calm so that the interview remains a discussion between willing grown-ups. 

Don’t open the discussion on new topics

Don’t talk about your competitors, stay focused on my message and I avoid digressions. If you accidentally felt into that trap, just smile, stay calm and peacefully come back to my point.

Stay relax (or at least look relax)

“No one knows I am sweating. By the way, I’m not. I am cool. There is nothing to be worried about. I sit up with my hands opened and my head held high.”

Pay attention to the journalist’s background, work and interests

It is important to improve your relationship with the journalist BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the interview. The goal is to build a close and durable relationship with them.

Eve

Connect with Eve on Beeleev! Join the Community to connect with other innovative CEOs and grow your business: www.beeleev.com

How to achieve a successful fundraising?

On July, 21st, Beeleev was in WAI Paribas for an exciting conference about fundraising! 

We want to thank our partners BNP Paribas and CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre for this great event! A big thank you for all the speakers: Francine Bertrand, Arnaud Manceron, Xavier Chopard, Christophe Blondeau, Philippe Gosset and our Beeleever, the CEO of Guest to GuestEmmanuel Arnaud. 

Here is a little feedback of this Beeleev lunch!

 

Emmanuel Arnaud's testimonial for a successful fundraising

 

Legal and fiscal aspects of fundraising

Christophe Blondeau and Philippe Gosset from CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre (which supports companies in their fundraisings), were the firsts who took part in the discussion.

As they told us fundraising is a long process for which you need to be well prepared:

Some anticipation and a lot of energy are required to reach your goal.
The eco–system is also an important feature that you think of.
Don’t under estimate the psychologic dimension: you have to learn how to sell yourself to potential investors, look for information and create a dialog with them in order to find the right partner, someone who is going to be active and willing to participate.
It is also important to be aware of what is going to happen at the end of the fundraising and all the related issues.

It is important to highlight the attractiveness of your project in order for your interlocutors to be sure this is a profitable investment and thus reinforce their decision to invest! On the fiscal side, companies can also benefit from several levers.

Financial helps from the banks

BNP Paribas's tips for a successful fundraising

After, Xavier Chopard told us about the financial helps the BNP Paribas bank can provide to start-ups. Banks are a useful lever in order to raise funds. 

Funny fact: Did you know that, in Europe, France is the first country in number of start-ups that got funded?

Let’s get to the heart of the matter! What are the key points to follow in order to increase your chances of raising funds?

Fundraising is a long-term process: You cannot receive everything the first time. The most important rule to bear in mind when it comes to fundraising, is to understand that for every entrepreneur, banks seek to know if they will be able to raise funds. According to Xavier, 2 points are essential to respect to increase your chances:

1. You cannot raise funds if you are alone (or just 2 with your love partner). You must be a skilled and compatible team.

2. Just an idea on a paper doesn’t work at all. Your cash flows will be under examination but even if they are negative, you can still be funded.

Testimony of Emmanuel Arnaud on his own experience

a pitch about a successful fundraising Then, our Beeleever, the CEO of Guest to GuestEmmanuel Arnaud, explained his long experience of fundraising. He succeeded in achieving 3 fundraisings. Therefore, his testimony is gold.

According to Emmanuel, A successful fundraising is mainly about stimulating the investors. They want you and you have the choice. It is not the other way roundYou should seem confident by telling a story that is believable. You have to make yourself be desired and as long as you show that they are lucky to invest in you, then, most of the task is done. 

Feeling a bit nervous for your fundraising? Remember this funny quotation:

Just picture yourself as a security guard of a night club. You let specific people in and these people will attract other people and so on” Emmanuel Arnaud.

Thanks to all of you for this event!

growth

How to Master the Pitch and Survive the Shark Tank


 

Shark Tank, aside from being one of the most popular business-related shows of all time, also has a lot to teach us about the pitch. On screen, companies often find their success or their failure in the form of a successful or botched pitch session in front of the Sharks. 

 

Giving a pitch can be one of the most daunting challenges an entrepreneur can face. One doesn’t need to be particularly stage-shy to be nervous about presenting their business plan to potential investors for them to mercilessly hack away at it in order to decide whether you and your company are worth their money and risk. There can be a lot hinging on making a good sell of yourself, and it can be what makes or breaks your fledgling venture.

shark-tank-boca-raton-santa-business-bags-shark-tank-deal-compli-3

Shark Tank is one of the most popular reality TV shows on air, and revolves around this concept of the pitch. Entrepreneurs must pitch their company and idea to a panel of hardened self-made businessmen and women, the “Sharks”, in the hopes of securing an investment. Though some elements of the show may be romanticized for the TV screen, the patterns of the pitch themselves remain similar to what you might encounter during your own, and so there is worth in learning the lessons the Sharks hand out in their merciless interrogations.

The first lesson is to Know Thyself

Have realistic expectations about what your company is worth, and play to your strengths. The millennia-old adage of “something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it” still applies in front of potential investors.

One of the main points of contention between the Sharks and the entrepreneurs facing them is often the “valuation” of the company, as calculated by the equity given away to the money received. Sometimes, the Sharks will immediately pull out of negotiations over a company whose owner valuates far too highly, but on the other hand, setting it too low can mean you’d get the wrong end of the deal when they pounce on your weakness.

Another issue that often comes up is differentiation. “Why couldn’t I go open up a business doing the same thing as yours and swipe your customer base?” This is a question that often comes up on the show, and one that isn’t always easy to answer. But even if it doesn’t come up in your own pitch, it is a good idea to have an answer for it. If your company is the only one that can do what you do, it makes much more sense for your potential investors to take a risk with you.

If the first lesson to be drawn from Shark Tank is to “know thyself”, then the second is “know thy enemy”

Much like the Sharks won’t take a deal out of compassion, so too will your potential investors only “bite” if they see their own profit in you, and your pitch, so you must show them what they want to see. One thing all contestants on the show do is know exactly who the sharks who will see them are, who will be most interested in what they’re selling, and who they would prefer to get an investment from.

You too should always try to be aware of who is going to be in the room and listen to your pitch when you make it, and adjust your message consequentially. The key to a successful pitch is to make potential investors want to be a part of your venture, and in this endeavor a canned and generic message will not do.

So next time you must prepare to make your pitch, make sure you know yourself and know your public before you head in, and you might go home holding a big catch, rather than becoming shark bait. Good luck.