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How To Make Your Business Sustainable: The Essential Checklist



Sustainable Business

The most important thing to remember is that you want to build a sustainable business. A sustainable business is one that can continue to grow and thrive without you being there. The most important thing you can do for your business is to have a plan in place to help it keep running when you’re not there.

What is a sustainable business?

A sustainable business will always be able to take care of itself without the need for you. The idea behind sustainability is to make your business sustainable for other businesses as well as the environment. It is important to always be thinking about the environment and how it effects the business you are building because every business needs to make a contribution to this planet in a sustainable way.

There are a number of ways to do this, but the most important is creating your own personal vision statement that is specific to your business. A vision statement is important because it outlines how your company sees itself in the future. The impact that your business can have on the world and how it can make the world a better place is what you should be focusing on when creating your vision statement. However, a vision statement isn’t just about words on paper. It’s an opportunity to establish an expectation for the company’s behavior and contribute to a sense of stability.

The best thing you can do to help your business down the line is to have a plan in place.

Assessing your options

It’s important to think about your priorities. This is the first step to getting a business off the ground. Are you starting a business just because you want to get out of your current one, or do you have a plan that will see the business go on long after you’re gone? Is there enough work to make you happy? If not, you’re not likely to stay put. How much work can you handle? Where can you work from? Does your current job have suitable hours for an entrepreneur to be able to work from home? Can you get clients that work within your current office hours? Do you want a lot of work? Do you want to work with all sorts of clients, or only a few? What are your financial goals? What do you need to be able to do if you’re to make a business work?

What should your plan include?

It’s important that you are realistic with your business and how sustainable it is. However, it’s also important that you don’t just tell yourself that you will be running it indefinitely. It’s time to develop a plan to make sure your business is sustainable. If you are not currently sustainable, you’re probably trying to build a business that will outlast you. There’s no point trying to build a business that will survive just you. If your business is meant to survive you, then it’s doomed to fail. It’s best if your business will be run in the long-term if you don’t want it to fail after you’ve left. Sustainability is all about longevity. If you build your business that is meant to last longer than you, you’re more likely to make it.

How will you know if your business is sustainable?

At a high level, sustainable businesses can be broken down into two categories:

The green business: In the green business business, the primary concern is protecting the environment. These are companies that are always trying to keep their energy consumption and waste down. This means using green products and energy-efficient systems. Examples of companies in this category include: Airbnb, At Home Group, Amazon, Lux, Pure Cycle.

Corporate responsibility: It’s a term that refers to what a business does to create a positive impact in the world. It’s a way to show that the company wants to take care of society and the environment.

What should you be doing now to make your business sustainable?

I know a lot of owners who don’t think they have the right skills to run their business but that’s not true. And you don’t have to be all do it yourself either. Here are some steps to help your business become sustainable. Recognise that your business needs to be sustainable. Think about the financial health of your business. You should have a clear view of what your costs are. Are they recurring costs? How are your suppliers doing? You should be able to look at your cash flow and be able to predict what your future cash flow will be. A lot of businesses assume that their employees know what is going on. Sometimes this isn’t the case. So find out what they need from you. You may need to put in more training and help.


Sustainability is not for the faint of heart. The rules are as follows: Start small and develop a plan for growth. It is far better to start small and have a small base than try to work your way up to something huge and then fail. Make sure that your business has a real reason for existing. If there is no reason for your business to exist then it will be very easy to fail.

Elena Hudgens is an entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience. She started her journey by building her own e-commerce website on Shopify and turned her $1000 savings to millions in just 2 years. Soon she started different ventures in which she failed and succeeded. And now, she's on a mission to help other entrepreneurs with her life and business lessons.

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How Do Crowdfunding Platforms Make Money?



how crowdfunding platforms make money

It’s a question I get a lot: How do crowdfunding platforms make money? The answer is that crowdfunding platforms make money in a variety of ways, but the main source of their revenue is fees. In this post, we’re going to go over how crowdfunding platforms make money.

What are crowdfunding platforms?

Crowdfunding platforms are websites that allow people to donate money to entrepreneurs and startups in exchange for future products or services. If you’ve ever backed a project on Indiegogo or Kickstarter, then you’ve participated in crowdfunding.

How can you make money on crowdfunding platforms?

Before we talk about crowdfunding platforms make money, we need to talk about how you can make money from them in the first place. When you run a crowdfunding campaign, you set up a special website that lets people (i.e. investors) use your fundraising site to give you money. So why would you do that? Because you want investors to help you raise money to build your company. When you set up a campaign for a startup, you’ll usually have two options: Go for a Kickstarter-style approach where you set a goal and try to get as many people as possible to give you money. Or go for an Indiegogo-style approach where you set a goal and let people contribute what they want, not necessarily what you need. Before you choose which approach you’re going to go for, you’ll need to set up your campaign.

How Fundraising Crowdfunding Platforms Make Money

In this section, we’re going to cover the business model of the most popular crowdfunding platforms, as well as the campaigns they support and their fees. What do these platforms do? Crowdfunding platforms offer opportunities to raise funds for a wide variety of creative projects, from film projects to business ventures to personal endeavors. You can set up a campaign through any of these platforms, starting with Kickstarter and Indiegogo. You’ll need to choose which platform you want to run your campaign through. Many sites offer advice and assistance if you run into difficulties with setting up your campaign, so you can use that to make your decision. These platforms can help a campaign succeed by lowering costs or cutting fees if they run over budget.

How Equity Crowdfunding Platforms Make Money

Funding Circle is the leading equity crowdfunding platform in the UK, having been active since 2012. They have recently launched an equity crowdfunding platform in the US and in Ireland. In 2015, they secured £155 million for 916 loans. The platform is divided into five market segments. They offer different types of loans, among which the following are quite useful for startups:

  • Small Business Loans – This segment deals with small loans up to £250,000. Unlike Peer to Peer lending, small business lending is a transaction between a lender and borrower, rather than an investor coming to the market for exposure to peer-to-peer lending. 
  • Personal Loans – You will find personal loans in the personal loans category. Unlike Small Business Loans, there is no exchange of money with a lender.

How Donation Crowdfunding Platforms Make Money

While some donation platforms do make money, most don’t. In order to support themselves, most crowdfunding platforms use revenue from transaction fees to keep operations going. So in a nutshell, donation platforms make money by taking a fee on donations they receive. Fundraisers do not receive a transaction fee from the platform, but they can receive a percentage of each transaction they facilitate. When a donor wants to give money to a cause, the fundraiser may have to send a code that is scanned in by a reader on the platform. The donor then pays the platform a fee for this service. 

The best crowdfunding platform and how much they charge

There are a number of crowdfunding platforms to choose from, but I’m going to focus on the three main players: Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe. 

1. GoFundMe is perhaps the best known and most popular of the three platforms, and the one we’ll be discussing most in this post. GoFundMe charges a 1.9% fee for all donations over $20. 

2. Kickstarter charges a 5% fee on all payments and merchandise sales. This 5% fee is a flat fee per transaction and not dependent on the amount of money raised. Kickstarter charges a 5% fee on all payments and merchandise sales. This 5% fee is a flat fee per transaction and not dependent on the amount of money raised. 

3.  Indiegogo charges a fee of 5% of the money you raise, and a payment processing fee of 3% + $0.20 per pledge. This means that if you raise $10,000, you will receive $9,500. If you raise $20,000, you will receive $19,000.


Have you been looking for a crowdfunding platform to help your business and you’re not sure where to start? Don’t fret! Crowdfunding platforms are relatively easy to set up and use, so there shouldn’t be any barriers for you to create your own platform. The main thing is to find a platform that fits your business, the resources you have available, and the way you want to use it.

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How to Create an MVP for Your Startup: A Comprehensive Guide




The Minimum Viable Product is the version of a new product that allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. It is important to note that an MVP is not a stripped-down version of a product. It is just a product with the essential features to test the most important assumptions.

Why Do You Need It?

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is one of the fundamental building blocks of any product. It allows the team to validate its assumptions before making its next step and iterate to further improve the product. It also serves as a hub for collaboration and feedback of potential users. In order for a company to progress, it must understand its audience and respond accordingly. 

How to build an MVP as quickly as possible?

Start with the assumption that you will have two types of users (vendors or customers): Users that know your product, who you know well and can provide feedback, and generally have a high level of trust. Vendors that want to build a product, but might not know you well, and might not be in a position to provide deep feedback. For the purpose of this post, it will be assumed that both of these groups exist for your product. The term “minimum viable product” refers to this first group, which will allow you to learn the most, faster. This first version might not be polished, but that will come later. We call this the sales phase. For this example, our sales phase will look like this: An initial list of vendors that would like to buy our product.

How to Find Your First 10 Customers?

Getting your first customer can be a frustrating process. It could be the lack of sales leads, lack of a full-time marketing team or a marketing budget, or simply a customer need that was not yet fully met. Once you’ve reached a milestone with at least one customer, you’ll likely need to find a customer acquisition cost to test the product with new customers. One method for determining how much a customer should cost is to keep track of how much they spend to acquire you. Start by determining how many potential customers your product could reach, using the following question: “How many more customers could we reach if we sold X amount of product?

How to build a Minimum Viable Product?

To generate and validate learning about your customers, you can do something like this: Include different usage scenarios for your product. For example, if you are creating a financial service app, include login scenarios, report generation scenarios, and even mock transactions. Use your testing scenario to come up with test inputs and outcomes that will elicit the most learning from your users. Take the time to dig into your customers and understand how they interact with your app. You can test the delivery of different scenarios by tracking user behavior in real time. A key feature of an MVP is the ability to collect data on customer behavior in order to evolve the product along with the customers.

The MVP process

As previously mentioned, the idea behind the MVP is to be as lightweight as possible. You want to build your MVP without making significant changes to your technology, only focusing on the elements that your product needs to have to get some results. In terms of user experience, you want the app to be very straightforward and simple. 

You can follow these simple steps to build your MVP:

  1. Define your MVP
  2. What will you offer? 
  3. What are you going to test? 
  4. Determine your desired results and how are you going to measure? 
  5. Find out what you need to do to get there
  6. Create a plan of action
  7. Implement your plan of action
  8. Build your MVP 
  9. Test your MVP 
  10. Find a way to measure your progress


Every startup needs an MVP, even a never-ending journey of moonshot ideas. You need to test your assumptions and come up with prototypes. Your startup needs the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to know what needs to be polished and refined before going for the Production version. You cannot proceed to the next stage of your startup unless you have confidence in your product and its main points.

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How to avoid top mistakes when starting a business in 2021?



top mistakes when starting a business

Starting a business is like jumping out of an aeroplane without a parachute. But if you do it right, you can reach the stars. You’re the skydiver, and your business is the parachute. If you’re going to jump, at least know what you’re doing wrong so you can avoid them all! Here’s how to avoid top mistakes when starting a business in 2021.

Be flexible and willing to change.

In general, if you’re going to build a business, you’ll have to constantly change and adapt to changes in your market. That requires a lot of flexibility and adaptability. 

Avoid burnout by keeping a flexible schedule. If you’re burned out, it’s hard to deliver a high-quality product or service. 

You’re unlikely to work as long or hard as you need to to achieve your goals. Thus, don’t try to get too far ahead of yourself. If you look too far ahead, you risk getting lost in the fog. 

Too much focus and work on the future can prevent you from getting things done now. 

Don’t be afraid to find new talent if you need to. I’ve always had to be willing to let go of employees when we needed to make changes to our business.

Don’t be a jack of all trades, master of none.

Being too mobile is a nightmare, especially in the early days. No one can give you an extra edge or even give you a hand at the start of your business. In fact, most experienced entrepreneurs advise you to think seriously about getting a support team in place before starting your company, or even in the middle of it.

Build a team around your skills, not the other way round. 

Don’t choose to launch without having a vision for your business. Don’t launch your company without having a vision for it and your positioning. There’s no point in launching if you don’t know what you’re trying to do.

Don’t underestimate the need for planning and take only calculated risk.

Know what you want, and make sure you’ve done your homework. Study your target market to find their unmet needs, and invest the time, money and emotional energy to create a product or service that satisfies those needs. 

Success is no accident, so make sure you set yourself up for success by doing your research. Now, how will we do that in 2021? The simple answer is identify target markets and grow your brand presence. Do you know your local coffee shop audience? Do you know your telecom sector or automotive industry? Think about what your customers are interested in and start producing unique products or services for them. 

Don’t just create a product, test it and learn from your customer. Listen to what they tell you, test it and learn.

Make sure you know the caliber of the people you hire.

For many businesses, it’s not just about how much money they make, it’s about who they make it with. Finding like-minded entrepreneurs in your area is an important step to taking your business to the next level. And finding people who share your passion is an even more important step. It’s about finding people who will make your vision come true. It is still the biggest business decision, and it’s important to do it right. Before hiring a graphic designer or business owner, make sure you know the caliber of the person. 

Learn from other people’s mistakes.

I find it incredibly valuable to observe other people’s mistakes. Find those that haven’t worked out, and figure out what went wrong. Usually the ones that didn’t work out can be attributed to one of a few things: 

No clear end-point (i.e. is it growing or dying?) (i.e. is the business a hobby or a business?

Lacking financial clarity (is the company profitable or not? And if not, when do you expect to be?) 

No actual product or service (is it just a logo on a website?)

Miscommunication (did you communicate the value of the business well enough with your potential customers?

Always have a backup plan.

Your business is your baby and you’re the parent. You can make it better than anyone else. You don’t always have to come up with the perfect idea, just a decent one that can bring in money and be profitable. When you’re starting your business, there is no hurry. In 2021, you’ll have time to grow and make mistakes. But if you want to get really good, and start growing into a well-known company, you have to take action now. You have to push forward. Only invest in businesses that are real. We spend so much time looking at data about how other businesses are performing and how other companies around the world are performing. In the future, you won’t need to compare your business to anyone else. You’ll only need to do it against your own goals and capabilities.

Don’t be afraid to trust people with your money.

More often than not, if you’re trusting people with money you don’t have yourself, it’s because you haven’t taken the time to train or hone your skills enough to lead a successful business. This is a big mistake. Sure, you may need help from an expert, but your business will be stronger if you learn to make these major life decisions on your own first. When you’re trying to launch, you’ll be spending a lot of money and there are always plenty of folks ready to ‘save’ you, but there’s no one person who will get you to where you need to be faster. So focus on honing your skill set and making sure you’re covered if things don’t work out. Have the right business structure in place.

Don’t be afraid to try new things.

You never know where the next idea will come from or what new niche your business could fill. The bigger the risk the greater the reward. Don’t be afraid to try new things. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll learn something and find a different angle. Balance the money and profits. Running your own business is a full-time job. So it’s essential you find the balance between money and profit. You’ll want your business to grow and reach its potential, but you don’t want to spend all your time worrying about your bills or where your next meal is coming from. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong. You’ll face your share of challenges, but at the end of the day, you can always rely on your own gut instinct.

Not investing in your company’s future before you start. 

One mistake I see a lot of people make is that they jump out of the plane without preparing properly. That’s like cutting the cord with your parachute too soon and losing it. When you’re first starting your business, it can be easy to get caught up in things like building an infrastructure for your business (i.e. sales and marketing strategy, ecommerce site, etc.) but without a long-term strategy, you might not be able to do that without getting yourself into more trouble. So, invest in your future by setting yourself up to reach the heights you want to.

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