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All posts by Anna Johansson

Anna Johansson
Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant from Olympia, WA. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com, and more, Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.
  • Is market research a lost art for entrepreneurs?

    In decades past, entrepreneurs didn't have nearly as much access to data and information. Yet, that didn't seem to stop them from doing market research. They would pore over whatever information they had and tirelessly seek out more. The roles seem to be reversed today. There's more information circulating around the internet than ever before, yet it seems like fewer entrepreneurs are taking the time to determine market viability prior to launching startups. Market research matters Launching and growing a successful business can ultimately be simplified down to two key components. First, you need a valuable product or service that satisfies a...

  • Do you have what it takes to raise your own venture capital?

    You've got an idea for a startup. You think it's brilliant, but you don't have any money to get it off the ground. What do you do? If you're like most entrepreneurs, you seek early-stage funding from a capitalist. These capitalists have a lot of money and they aren't afraid of risk – within reason. Though they may be willing to put money into your startup idea, they'll also seek ownership or management of your business in order to offset their financial risk. You can give up control in exchange for money, or you can find another way to reach...

  • 4 startups that make ‘giving’ part of their culture

    When people discuss the startup sector, the emphasis is often on money – how much capital the founders have raised, profit margins, and even IPO prices – but what if we reversed this formula? Instead of focusing on profit, what if we shifted our attention to how startups give back to their communities? Though often overlooked, many of these same companies have made giving a central component of their overall mission. Startup-based giving takes many forms, ranging from charity-centered brands whose services are a direct path to giving to companies that use their corporate platform as a launching point for...

  • From garages to high rises: what to consider when moving into your first office

    While a startup can survive in a basement or garage for a few months, there eventually comes a time when you'll need to move into your first real office. When this time comes, will you know what you're doing? Moving into your first office isn't as simple as finding a building you like and leasing it out. There's a lot that goes into a real estate transaction – whether you're purchasing or renting – and you need to be prepared to deal with all of the issues. Specifically, you'll want to think about the following: 1. Location From a very practical perspective,...

  • 5 reasons to build your personal brand before your business

    Most entrepreneurs understand the power of personal branding, but some see it as a peripheral or secondary development in relation to the actual business they’re building. On the surface, this makes sense, because personal branding supports a company, and the business is what generates the revenue. So it’s natural to want to prioritise the company over everything else. If you’re building a firm from scratch, however, it’s worth considering the option of investing in a personal brand before you start to creating the actual business operation. Thousands of entrepreneurs have already done this, resulting in multi-million dollar enterprises. Why would it...

  • 7 things to consider before hiring your first employee

    Your employees are the ones who will take your ideas and turn them into reality. To start, you may be running things by yourself or you may have a small team of partners, but as your business moves to formally launch, you’ll need to hire your first employee (which isn’t easy). This is a critical time for your business, and your choices could have a massive impact on how the first few years of your enterprise play out, so it’s not a decision you should take lightly. So what exactly should you be considering when you make the move to...

  • 6 ways you are neglecting revenue as your bottom line

    Starting a business will pull you in dozens of directions at once. Exterior forces will demand your attention' from the employees you have working under you to the partners, investors, and mentors who pressure you to make certain decisions. To make matters worse, most entrepreneurs have “shiny object syndrome,” jumping from new idea to new idea while occasionally neglecting work on some of the most important fundamentals. There's a serious chance you're jeopardising the future of your company if you're neglecting revenue as your bottom line. Fortunately, this is your chance to correct your habits. Why revenue is so important It should...

  • 7 startup myths perpetuated by Hollywood

    Whether it's HBO's Silicon Valley or ABC's Shark Tank, we have always had a love affair with the startups and entrepreneurs behind them. Launching a business and going from rags to riches is a huge part of the quintessential "American Dream." Unfortunately, as Hollywood tends to do, they've glorified certain aspects of the startup culture and created a number of myths that simply aren't true. 1. Good ideas mean success Ideation is not necessarily indicative of success. This is a principle that most people don't realise. They assume that development and monetization of a good idea is easy. Unfortunately, this is...