Month: January 2023

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The California FAST act – which would raise minimum wages up to $22 an hour for fast food workers – is on the back burner for now.

McDonald’s President Joe Erlinger said the FAST Act, legislation known as AB257, would make it “impossible to run small business local restaurants.”

California’s AB257 actually passed in fall 2022, but more than 1 million opponents signed a petition requiring the matter to be put to vote. California voters will let their opinions known in November 2024.

Opponents were represented by a group called Save Local Restaurants.

mcdonalds presidents Says california fast act will hurt small business

Similar Legislation Introduced in Virginia

Virginia’s House Bill 2478 was introduced January 20, 2023. Parts are identical to California’s AB257 – it would create a governmental fast food industry workers standard board, which would oversee wages and working conditions.

Virginia HB2478 is currently in the House Committee on Rules.

What is AB257?

Proponents of the legislation are calling AB257 the Workers Rights Bill. What are the key parts?

  1. Would create a 10-person, state-run council to negotiate wages, hours and working conditions for 500,000 fast food workers in California
  2. Hourly wages could be up to $22 per hour, with capped annual increases.
  3. AB257 would apply to restaurants with more than 100 locations nationwide.

Would Higher Wages Mean Higher Prices?

According to McDonald’s president Joe Erlinger, the increase in the employees’ hourly wages would raise the cost of quick-serve restaurant meals by 20% or more.

The increased prices would cause consumers to cut down their visits to the establishments, which could then lead to a reduction in employees, Erlinger feels.

Erlinger also questioned what he terms “final hour exemptions” which were tacked on to the existing legislation:

It would exempt restaurants with fewer than 100 locations nationwide.

It wouldn’t apply to restaurants that bake bread on site.

Erlinger said that he would supports “responsible increases to minimum wage.” But, he added, such increases should be applied to all industries and workers.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “McDonalds Presidents Says California FAST Act Will Kill Restaurants” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Over the past five years, I’ve asked more than 250 founders, investors, and advisors from around the world to share their fundraising stories so emerging founders can learn from their experiences. Whether you’re looking for tips on targeting investors, advice for nailing your pitch, or hacks for running a solid round, I’ve likely talked to a founder who has been in your shoes.

Here are a few of the most valuable pieces of fundraising advice I came across in the past 12 months.

Steer clear of the one-size-fits-all fundraising process

Consider crowdfunding

Mike Bell faced a down round (a lower valuation than the previous round) for Miso Robotics’ Series C, he turned to crowdfunding. Miso raised $60 million across its Series C, D, and E rounds from crowdfunding alone, which Bell says is the ideal path for the right startup. “You need to be able to tell the story really simply and really clearly,” he says. “And it needs to resonate with people.”

Find the “super founders”

When seeking early investors for his startup
Captain, Demetrius Gray went after founders who had raised at least $50 million or exited at over $100 million. These experienced entrepreneurs offered Demetrius valuable feedback, and they advocated for him among peers and investors. “With that endorsement, it’s going to continue to open doors,” he says. “If you need an introduction to a VC, it just becomes easier by virtue of having previous founders on your cap table.”

Ask for an introduction

“Enlisting investors to help us think about how to build a company that is fundable and potentially viable—I couldn’t recommend it more,” says
Astrid Atkinson of cleantech startup Camus Energy.

Knowing she was building tech for a notoriously difficult customer segment, Astrid leaned on her network for warm introductions to knowledgeable investors. Then she started conversations about what a viable company would look like, digging into details of the business model and go-to-market strategy. Some of those conversations turned into checks for Camus Energy’s friends and family and Series A rounds.

The more the merrier—invite everyone to your party round

After raising traditional rounds with previous startups, seasoned entrepreneur
Richard White chose to optimize his fundraising by welcoming as many investors as possible. His Zoom app, Fathom, boasts more than 90 investors, including top VC funds like Maven Ventures and, as well as the founders and CEOs of Reddit, Twitch, and Cruise.

“I would love to have thousands of small investors,” he says. “It’s the person who writes three checks a year—doesn’t matter the amount—out of their own piggy bank who is going to care much more about your outcome than some big VC where [your funding] is one of 10 checks they’re going to write this quarter.”

Send cold emails

Plenty of fundraising advice focuses on networking—and for good reason. But founder
Michael Bamberger instead found success almost entirely through cold outreach, raising $7 million for software startup Tetra Insights. When warm intros weren’t working, he doubled down on research to target the best-fit investors, then cold-emailed his first batch of five funds, one of which became his lead investor. “When I changed my criteria to finding people who were a fit,” he says, “the process was really quick.”

Provide value and build relationships

Scott Kitun, host of the
Technori podcast and co-founder of bespoke song platform Songfinch, is an expert at playing the long game. He leveraged the relationships he forged running a valuable podcast to raise the first $1 million for Technori in 2018 and to fill a full slate of pitch meetings for Songfinch’s Series A. As he considered an exit for Technori, he built a lucrative newsletter and readership—an ideal fit for acquiring company KingsCrowd.

He advises founders to work toward creating value, even before launching a startup: “I would start focusing my attention on building one single asset, [one] you know your [potential] acquirers desperately need.”

Bottom line: Not every startup is destined for the traditional fundraising process. Know what your company needs and don’t hesitate to go after it.

Level up your pitch meetings

Let investors know what to expect

Frame your meeting as you go, says serial entrepreneur
Iddo Tal, whose live online course Raise the Round teaches investors his step-by-step method for fundraising success. Telling investors what they can expect from the meeting upfront—one of the steps in his seven-step method for meetings that close deals—demonstrates your organization and preparation, and the effect on investors is immediate.

“I see their shoulders relax,” he says. “They know they have five minutes that they need to be quiet, and after … [it’s] their show to ask questions.”

Give investors a chance to breathe

Demetrius Gray of Captain also found success in acknowledging the taxing schedule of back-to-back pitches that investors often face. He uses this quick script to provide everyone a moment to pause before returning focus to the pitch: “Hey, I understand that you’ve had a busy day. I can’t imagine how many meetings you’ve had so far. I’ll give you 30 seconds to just take a breath. And then I’ll start.”

Stay on task

Investors’ packed schedules often mean founders have very narrow windows of opportunity in which to communicate their messages.
Eitan Reisel, founder of gaming fund vgames, advises keeping your pitch deck short and sweet. “In two seconds, I need to understand what you’re about,” he says. “Tell the story with no more than eight slides: who you are as founders, what you’re building and what the vision is.”

Eva Dobrzanska of startup consulting firm True Altitude echoes this advice, pointing out that a pitch deck is not a sales deck. She advises against going into great detail about products or tech in your pitch deck. “I want to know what the product is, but then show me the results,” she says. “Show me the traction. Show me your go-to-market. Show me where the people interested in that product are.”

Bottom line: Run a kickass meeting by setting up expectations and maintaining a laser focus on what’s most important to investors.

Identify your champions


Your startup’s success is a function of how good your team is, says
Biju Ashokan, founder of the Radius Agent platform for real estate agents. When it comes to hiring, he looks for people who have previously worked on a successful project—and it doesn’t necessarily need to be at a startup. “If they’ve seen growth and witnessed growth, they know what works and what doesn’t work,” he says. “Ask them really challenging questions. Make it look like your company is going to be a lot of hard work and see how they react to those questions.”


Kindred cofounders Justine Palefsky and Tas Amina, a significant part of laying the groundwork for their home-swapping membership platform was engaging in serious “founder dating” by diving into difficult conversations upfront and understanding what each founder brings to the table. “Over time, that’s resulted in us seeing around a lot of corners,” Tas says. “The amount of trust that we have in each other allows us to split problems and run with them.”

Don’t try to go it alone. The startup journey is not an easy one, so finding the right partners to walk alongside you can make all the difference. “You have to play whatever cards you get dealt. But whenever possible, find people to join up with,” says Fathom’s Richard White. “That’s sometimes the hardest thing to do. I struggled for a long time with being the lone wolf in the woods, and you can’t really get as much done that way.”


Find the “true believers” in your network. Strong connections with investors can give you a huge head start, whether you’re raising capital for your startup or raising your own VC fund. But, as
John Zeratsky discovered when looking for limited partners for his fund, even the best connections must understand the value of the business model before they’ll write a check. “We had to understand the landscape of limited partners who invest in venture and figure out who was looking for this kind of exposure, versus the ones just taking a meeting because we know them,” John says.

Bottom line: Surround yourself with people who believe in your vision and will help elevate your company to success.

A strong foundation makes for successful fundraising

From key hires to finances to detailed documentation,
Mountside Ventures founder Jonathan Hollis recommends a long checklist for founders preparing to fundraise. Near the top of that list? A robust financial model that includes thoughtful growth projections for multiple future scenarios, which is a critical element in addressing investors’ potential concerns.

“As an investor, I can [look at the assumptions and see] what happens if my growth doesn’t double year-on-year,” he says. Prospective investors can also forecast “what happens if it takes six months instead of three months for my new sales hires to [become] productive and bring in new customers, what happens if my customer numbers fall.”

If a strategy is good for fundraising, it’s good for building a great company, says
Jason Yeh of Adamant Ventures. The experienced entrepreneur and investor creates content to support and educate founders about their most difficult challenges, including fundraising.

He says founders should stop thinking of fundraising preparation as separate from growing their companies: “I believe the best fundraising is demonstrating that you are a great company and that you’re worth betting on, and then doing everything you can to have investors discover that.”

Make sure your hard work is reflected in your outreach. For fund manager
Paige Finn Doherty of Behind Genius Ventures, a well-positioned cold email can help a startup stand out. That’s especially important when only 0.5 to 1% of those that contact her fund get a check. “Get really clear [about]that problem,” she says. “Why are you uniquely positioned to solve it? What steps have you taken to validate that the problem is a really large one, and that people are willing to pay?”

Bottom line: Invest time and effort in building a strong startup—the return will be worthwhile.

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If you’re looking for ideas for promotional items, client gifts, or company event souvenirs, consider personalized golf balls. It’s easier than you might think to get your company name or logo printed on quality golf balls; in fact, Amazon has lots of options for personalized golf balls. From huge brands like Titleist and Calloway to small businesses like yours, there are lots of choices for getting golf balls personalized with your brand.

Personalized golf balls make unique and memorable gifts, promotional items, or keepsakes from company events. Golf-loving recipients of the personalized balls will take your brand with them to the course. That gets lots more eyes on your business! Additionally, golf balls are sort of a luxury item – something people don’t often buy for themselves. Show your clients, co-workers, boss, or whomever the recipient is that you went the extra mile.

Personalized Golf Balls on Amazon

We sorted through the Amazon shops that offer personalized golf ball gifts and found the 10 best ones. Find your next exciting gift or promotion on our list of the best-personalized golf ball options on Amazon:


Titleist Pro V1X Personalized Golf Balls

Titleist Pro V1X Personalized Golf Balls

Top Pick: Titleist is probably the most well-known name in golf balls, so it’s no surprise the personalized Titleist golf balls are our #1 pick. You get a 7/8″ diameter to place your business name or logo on one of Titleist’s most high-performing golf balls.  This is a pack of 3.

Titleist Pro V1X Personalized Golf Balls

Buy on Amazon


Spotted Dog Company Personalized Printed Golf Balls

Spotted Dog Company Personalized Printed Golf Balls

Runner Up: Our second-place pick is this pack of 3 customizable golf balls from Spotted Dog company. Choose from several different font colors and styles for your business name. The golf balls feature 2 piece titanium core construction, a cut-proof cover, and an aerodynamic and symmetrical dimple design.

Spotted Dog Company Personalized Printed Golf Balls

Buy on Amazon


Taylor Made Distance Plus Personalized Golf Balls

TAYLOR MADE Distance+ Personalized Golf Balls

Best Value: Our best value pick is this pack of 12 personalized Taylor Made golf balls. You can customize up to 3 lines of text on these high-speed, low-driver spin performance golf balls.

Taylor Made Distance Plus Personalized Golf Balls

Buy on Amazon


Infusion Personalized Golf Balls

Personalized Golf Balls - Logo Golf Balls - Custom Golf Balls - Monogrammed Golf Balls

Infusion offers a set of 12 golf balls with your business name or logo in full color. The balls, by NexTee, are USDA-approved and constructed with aerodynamic dimples. They come in an optional black gift box.

Infusion Personalized Golf Balls

Buy on Amazon


Callaway Warbird Personalized Golf Balls

Callaway Warbird 15 Ball Pack - Personalized Golf Balls

This Amazon seller offers a pack of 15 personalized golf balls with the option of double-sided printing. The Warbird golf ball features a high-energy core and 2-piece construction.

Callaway Warbird Personalized Golf Balls

Buy on Amazon


Nitro Maximum Distance Personalized Golf Balls

Nitro Maximum Distance Personalized Golf Balls

You get a 7/8″ diameter of customization with this pack of 3 Nitro Maximum Distance golf balls. The balls have a solid 2-piece titanium core and an aerodynamic and symmetrical dimple design.

Nitro Maximum Distance Personalized Golf Balls

Buy on Amazon


Bridgestone Tour B RX Personalized Golf Balls

Bridgestone Tour B RX Personalized Golf Balls

Bridgestone is another leader in golf equipment, and their Tour B RX is an impressive example of their craftsmanship. They feature Dual Dimple technology for efficient trajectory and reduced drag through enhanced aerodynamics. This is a set of 3.

Bridgestone Tour B RX Personalized Golf Balls

Buy on Amazon


GBM Customizable Color Golf Balls

1 Dozen Color Golf Balls Upload Your Logo or Text

For an economical option, GBM offers a 12-pack of custom golf balls in a variety of colors. This is an ideal option if you plan on buying in bulk. They can imprint up to 4 colors, too, so it’s a great option for multicolored business logos.

GBM Customizable Color Golf Balls

Buy on Amazon


Srixon Soft Feel Personalized Golf Balls

Srixon Soft Feel 12 Personalized Golf Balls, White

This pack of 12 white golf balls can be customized with up to 3 lines of text. The company promises better performance in the wind, more greenside spin, and a softer feel on all pitches, chips, and putts with their soft-feel golf balls.

Srixon Soft Feel Personalized Golf Balls

Buy on Amazon


Titleist TruFeel Custom Golf Balls

Titleist TruFeel Custom Golf Balls

Choose from single or double-sided printing on this 12-pack of Titleist TruFeel golf balls. TruFeel is the softest Titleist golf ball and offers a new TruTouch core and new TruFit aerodynamics. The maximum imprint size for customization is 7/8″ in diameter.

Titleist TruFeel Custom Golf Balls

Buy on Amazon


Tips for Buying Personalized Golf Balls

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re looking into getting customized golf balls:

  • Set a Budget – As you can see from our list, the cost of getting personalized golf balls varies greatly and can be quite expensive. Determine how much you want to spend on them, and go from there.
  • Purpose – Why are you getting personalized golf balls? Are they special gifts for a particular recipient, or promotional favors to give out to clients? This will determine how many you’ll want to buy.
  • Quality of Balls – Like most things, not all golf balls are created equally. Of course, getting Titleist golf balls personalized will be more expensive than a lesser-known brand, but if your recipient is an avid golfer, they’ll appreciate the high-quality gift.
  • Communicate with the Seller – Most importantly, make sure you have an open line of communication with the seller. They should provide you with a mock-up of the final product before printing so you can be 100% sure of what you’re getting.

We hope our list of products and tips helps you in your search for the best-personalized golf balls for your small business. Whether they are for a promotion, a gift, or an employee giveaway, personalized golf balls are a fun and distinctive way to promote your brand.


Qualify for discounts, special offers and more with a Business Prime account from Amazon. You can create a FREE account to get started today.

Image: amazon

This article, “Personalized Golf Balls” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Building a personal brand is all about capturing attention. If you work in a “boring” industry, it can be tough to communicate the key benefits that differentiate you from competitors. Especially when you work in an industry that’s not usually the topic of conversation or trending on social media.

Take the VoIP industry, a very boring industry. It’s hard to make VOIP stand out or make it “sexy”. People don’t usually turn to VoIP companies for engaging content, actionable educational or entertainment. But with the right attitude and the ability to produce quality content, leaders even in the boring Cloud VoIP industry can gain recognition and build an audience. (I’ll show you a real life example in bullet #1 below).

In this article I’ll show you real examples of how to capture your target market’s attention, convert them into stark raving fans, and build your personal brand even when you’re in a boring industry.

Ready? Let’s roll!

1. Be Bold. Be Authentic. 

Wallflowers and shrinking violets don’t build brands. People who are bold and enthusiastic do. For executives looking to make their mark and build a brand, being a hands-on, in the trenches type of person translates into authentic experience.

You don’t want to be the kind of exec that takes all the credit and not know how anything works. If your team does the heavy lifting while you get the kudos but you can’t explain how your widget works, then people are not going to respect your opinion.

Someone who shows they know what they are doing and can express their “Why” is going to be more authentic.

Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and share it, even if it happens to touch on the politics of the day. If it is earnest, authentic and well-thought-out—not some emotionally charged overreaction—then boldly proclaim it and let the discourse begin. That is what builds engagement, followers, and brands. 

Those who take a position and confidently support their way of thinking are more likely to stand out 

People value leaders who are confident and don’t flip-flop on their beliefs just to appease the masses. Sure, some feathers may get ruffled, but how many low-key, wishy-washy executives can you name? Exactly. You can’t name many because they don’t stand out and nobody knows who they are.

2. Share Actionable Expertise

Just because your industry isn’t interesting doesn’t mean no one is interested. You can still share your knowledge and expertise to build your brand. Take Ryan Stewman, the sales and marketing expert who runs a sales training called The Hardcore Closer.

Ryan gained a loyal following talking about lead generation. He has built a multi-million dollar business by taking what has worked for him, sharing it, and monetizing it.

Ryan was on the cutting edge of using social media and videos to promote himself and connect with people when he started in sales. Because of his success, he started to teach other salespeople how to use social media to connect with people and use tools for lead generation. 

He built a lead generation software company called Phonesites that helps salespeople create their own sales funnels. He offered free training on Facebook live and produced free content in the form of articles and training videos.

Sharing his expertise helped grow his personal brand which has allowed him to scale into other successful business ventures. He’s doing it right.

Chris the founder of SalesMessage is another great example. He has been using SMS texting to communicate with anyone who contacts their business or even subscribes to their webinars, events, or blog. 

He shares actionable tips, tricks and information while trying to covert some of the leads who contact him and gets a whopping 70% response rate on SMS texts. He recently shared the complete set of sample text messages to send to customers on his blog. He engages his potential customers and build his following.

But, one of the biggest mistakes you can make in personal branding is to be and act like someone you are not. You will eventually be outed, caught, or exposed. 

When building a personal brand, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not or have expertise when you don’t.

Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the once highly-touted blood-testing startup Theranos, was once the darling of Silicon Valley. She was seen as an influencer and visionary in the same vein as Steve Jobs.

Theranos WAS Elizabeth Holmes and her personal brand of being a healthcare wunderkind carried the firm. Unfortunately for many people, the whole company and the whole story was a massive fraud. She faked her expertise and knowledge, the company was exposed and now it is no more.

A personal brand built on lies and half-truths will come back to bite you.

3. Be the MVP of Value

If you want to really stand out, you must be useful and add maximum value at all times. Do this by offering free info, training, and content about your industry and share that info while speaking at events and on podcasts.

We’re talking about sharing real expertise, not just thoughts or opinions, but practical knowledge that comes from actually having done the work.

Jack Kosakowski kills it here. Jack has been providing actionable social selling advice and content for over 5 years. With his SkillsLab social selling site, he has been helping salespeople to increase their presence through social media and how to correctly connect with—and sell to—their target clients. 

Value comes from experience. Jack has churned out content on social media, his blog, publications like The Harvard Business Review, and on podcasts—continually sharing what has worked for him, and how it took him from a newbie salesperson to the CEO of the US division of a Global Digital Agency.

4. Stop Selling and Build Trust Instead

Look, you don’t need to be Billy Mays or the ShamWow guy, pitching and promoting all day while operators are standing by. Constantly pushing product is exhausting. But talking and engaging with people in your own voice—your true self—and showing them how to succeed with examples and actionable ideas will build trust.

When you let people see the real you, trust is built and your brand strengthens and attracts new prospects.

Trust isn’t built by speaking AT people. It’s built by engaging and speaking WITH with your audience.

People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. And that’s usually not the guy with the bullhorn shouting “Look at me! Look at me!” Differentiate yourself by sharing knowledge from real-world experience in an authentic, engaging way that creates value and trustworthiness. This will build your personal brand.

When someone needs to seek out info in your industry, you will be top-of-mind because you will be the rockstar of your “boring” industry. They will come to you for the value you provide because you’ve built trust due to engagement, value, and expertise. 


The post Personal Branding Tips For Executives In “Boring” Industries appeared first on Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career.

Important Post about working from home! Click now to See more! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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In reply to Paul.

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comment!

I respectfully disagree. I know many people who have started writing without experience or training; myself included. A positive mindset is one of the biggest factors in your success. 😊 If you enjoy writing, jump in and start doing it. The more you write, the better you get.

Another writer who started without experience is Danny Margulies; he chronicles his success in this interview:

Here is a huge list of paid writing gigs, and they pay more than $5 per hour:

Wishing you all the best on your journey!