WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Angel Funding Booming in Michigan Despite Pandemic (Episode 117)

Despite the chaos of the pandemic, deal flow has remained fairly steady for existing angel groups in the area, with several new funds emerging, too. Angel funding is funding provided by wealthy individuals into a company directly, as opposed to funding coming from institutional investors.

In 2019, there were 1,322 individuals who invested a combined $ 73.6 million in 106 early stage tech startups here in the region, as Crain’s Detroit Business reported in May. Combined the funds are roughly on pace to do the same level of deals and investment in 2020 as they did last year.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to hear more on the state of angel funding in Michigan:


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For more on the funds Jeff mentioned in this segment, please visit:

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.

Having a vibrant startup ecosystem in a region requires several key ingredients. You have to have exciting innovations and creative thinking. You have to have great people to lead these startups and you have to have funding to catalyze the nascent company and ignite its growth.

And speaking of funding, angel funding in particular is critical because it’s the type of funding commonly used in the earliest funding rounds, without which you never get to the later growth stages and to venture capital investing into the company.

For those who may not know, angel funding is funding provided by wealthy individuals into a company directly, as opposed to funding coming from institutional investors.

As many of you may know, I lead a startup studio in Birmingham, which depends on funding from angels. And I have to admit, when we saw angel funding activity pause during the first few months of the pandemic, I was really concerned. But amazingly, we are now seeing angel funding re-emerging and doing so with a strong appetite to do deals.

To put the importance of angel funding in context, in 2019, there were 1,322 individuals who invested a combined $ 73.6 million in 106 early stage tech startups here in the region, as Crain’s Detroit Business reported in May. Recently the emergence of two new funds in the region comes as deal flow has remained fairly steady for existing angel groups, such as the Birmingham Angels, the Michigan Angel Fund and the Michigan Capital Network, which operates a variety of venture funds and angel groups around the state.

As reported in this week’s Crain’s, first, we’re seeing new angel groups forming in the state with recent announcements of the launch of the Arch Angel Fund, consisting of members from the Farmington Hills-based Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce. And that fund will be led by Martin Manna and the launch of the Detroit-based Commune Angels, a group funded by five Black professionals who seek to be the largest angel group in the state within the coming year or so said, Terrence Reeves, one of the Commune Angels co-founders.

Skip Simms, senior vice president and Ann Arbor Spark and managing partner of the Michigan Angel Funds, says having a wide variety of groups to pitch allows founders to have “more shots on goal” as Skip put it to their quest in finding funding.

He continued by saying, “I think angel groups are working more closely than ever in terms of sharing deal flow because one thing that hasn’t changed and probably won’t is the need to syndicate,” Simm said.

An entrepreneur isn’t going to get a hundred percent of their funding from just one of these groups, rather, they’ll get it from a variety of groups.

Crain’s further reports that Birmingham Angels has grown to a membership of between 15 and 20 members, as David Weaver, one of the co-managers of the group reports, and Tim Parker, president of the Grand Rapids-based Michigan Capital Network reports good activity from his group, as well.

Combined the funds are roughly on pace to do the same level of deals and investment as they did in 2019. Last year, Parker’s Venture Funds invested $ 1.1 million, while Angel Funds did $ 2.8 million, he said. This year, so far, VC investment has reached $ 1.8 million while angel investments stand at $ 1.3 million, Parker told Crain’s.

So, new groups being formed, investments being made at a pace that is relatively on par with last year’s investment pace. This is all really good news. So, if you’re a startup company looking to get angel funding to get your company off the ground, chin up! Money is flowing again. Now get out there and get your startup a piece of the action.

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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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Restaurants Struggling Amid COVID-19 Crisis (Episode 118)

Earlier this week, the National Restaurant Association issued a startling report: six months into the pandemic, nearly one in six restaurants, which represents nearly 100,000 eateries across the country, have closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

That translates to nearly 3 million employees out of work and $ 165 billion in lost revenue from March through July. And while we haven’t seen the full impact yet, according to the survey, consumer spending in restaurants was down 34 percent on average during the month of August. By the end of 2020, the food service industry is predicting to lose $ 240 billion in sales.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat, to hear Jeff share more of the study’s findings:

“For an industry built on service and hospitality, the last six months have challenged the core understanding of our business. Our survival for this comes down to the creativity and entrepreneurship of owners, operators and employees from independent owners to multi-unit franchise operators.”

– Tom Benet, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, in a press release

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!

Today’s WJR Business Beat is brought to you by Dell Technologies

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

Earlier this week, the National Restaurant Association issued a startling report: six months into the pandemic, nearly one in six restaurants, which represents nearly a hundred thousand eateries across the country, have closed permanently now due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

That translates to nearly 3 million employees out of work and $ 165 billion in lost revenue from March through July. And while we haven’t seen the full impact yet, according to the survey, consumer spending in restaurants was down 34 percent on average during the month of August. And by the end of 2020, the food service industry is predicting to lose 240 billion in sales.

While many restaurants are relying heavily on carryout sales and outdoor dining, it’s simply not enough to sustain these businesses. And with winter coming on soon, outdoor dining will no longer contribute to any sustainability for them whatsoever.

Of those surveyed, 40 percent of restaurant owners do not think their businesses will still be operational six months from now, unless additional relief packages are issued from the federal government.

In a press release issued along with the survey, Tom Benet, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, had this to say:

“For an industry built on service and hospitality, the last six months have challenged the core understanding of our business. Our survival for this comes down to the creativity and entrepreneurship of owners, operators and employees from independent owners to multi-unit franchise operators.”

As entrepreneurs, we empathize with the struggle these business owners are facing; and as friends, neighbors, and customers, let’s all make sure to enjoy a little takeout or even dining outside this weekend while we can still enjoy our favorite locally owned restaurants.

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

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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: The Power of Cause Marketing (Episode 115)

Does doing right have a positive impact on a company’s performance? New research shows indeed it can. Adding what’s known as cause marketing into your marketing messaging can be a powerful way for businesses to attract and retain customers.

Marketers today must focus on cause marketing campaigns and messages that represent what the business truly stands for, rather than just jumping on the latest hot-button issue.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to learn more on cause marketing from Jeff: 


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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.

Does doing right have a positive impact on a business’s performance?

Well, new research shows indeed it can. Adding what’s known as cause marketing into your marketing messaging can be a powerful way for businesses to attract and retain customers. Cause marketing generally refers to a business standing for something in order to strengthen a brand’s value and its attractiveness to customers who also care about the same cause.

Could be fighting for equal rights, could be supporting an environmental cause, or it could be underscoring the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing in the COVID-19 era.

Sounds good, right? It is. But it’s a tough balance to cut sometimes between the hard selling that typically goes with advertising and promotions and the softer side of cause marketing. And if you go there, you must come across as authentic, or there could be worse consequences than not going there at all.

After all, advertising and marketing messages are intended to sell, sell, sell, and keeping a focus on doing good can confuse or cloud the focus of selling hard. And worse yet, you never want your business to come across as disingenuous, thereby hurting your brand equity.

For example, if a company’s messaging includes the importance of wearing masks and then customers see that the brand isn’t taking steps to protect its staff by not enforcing its staff to wear masks, this can have a negative impact on how a customer views the business. And any negative reaction in today’s most competitive environment can have a deleterious impact on sales.

Marketers today must focus on cause marketing campaigns and messages that represent what the business truly stands for, and not just jumping on the latest hot button issue. If you’re going to have any positive social messaging in your advertising campaigns included at all.

So, if you’re a business looking to attract new customers and secure current customers, cause marketing can be a powerful way to help you achieve just that, as long as you come across as genuine and authentic in whatever the cause messaging may be.

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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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Ranks No. 1 (Episode 116)

Airline passengers rank Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport as the best mega airport in North America, according to a new study from J.D. Power.

The 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study conducted by J.D. Power surveyed just over 32,000 U.S. and Canadian travelers focusing on six metrics, from airport accessibility to the baggage claim service.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to hear more on the significance of these findings from Jeff: 


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“DTW is an American airport success story. A decade ago, it was a very poorly rated airport. Today, they’re at the top of the mega category.”

– Michael Taylor, the travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power, on DTW’s top ranking

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.

Well, this is certainly some good news for our region, both for lifestyle reasons, as well as for businesses in Southeast Michigan. Airline passengers rank Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County airport as the best mega airport in North America, according to a new study from J.D. Power.

The Motor City’s airport emerged as the winner among mega airports followed by Minneapolis-Saint Paul; and then in third, Las Vegas International Airport.

The 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study conducted by J.D. Power surveyed just over 32,000 U.S. and Canadian travelers focusing on six metrics, from airport accessibility to the baggage claim service.

Michael Taylor, the travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power had this to say:

“The rise of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to the top isn’t much of a surprise. They’ve been near the top of the mega rankings the last few years. DTW is an American success story,” Taylor said. “A decade ago, it was a very poorly rated airport. Today, they take the top spot in the mega category.”

Now, why is this important? Well, first Detroit is a hub through which many travelers pass through and from which some get their only impression of Detroit and the surrounding region.

Airports are a gateway into a region and create that all-important first impression. The better the experience, the more likely people’s willingness to come here will be. And that translates to revenues for our region, as well as fostering local businesses here.

And certainly, while business travel is down currently due to the COVID crisis, future business travel will return and the DTW gateway into our region is another reason to be proud that you are from Detroit.

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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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: University of Michigan Launches Record Number of Startups and Inventions (Episode 114)

To get this week off to a roaring start, Jeff shares exciting news: the University of Michigan has announced a record launch of 31 startups in fiscal year 2020, a 40 percent increase during a period that included the pandemic and temporarily shuttered labs.

In addition to the record number of startups launched, U of M researchers reported a rise in new inventions: a record 522 for the 2020 fiscal year, up from last year’s 502.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat for more details:


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“The launch of 31 new startup companies is a testament to the strength and resiliency of the university’s growing innovation ecosystem. The record-breaking growth and startup formation is important in 2020 because these new companies will be meaningful contributors to the growth and diversification of our state’s economy as we work to rebound from the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

– Kelly Sexton, U of M Associate Vice President for Research Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships, in a press release

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.

To get this week off to a roaring start, the University of Michigan has announced a record launch of 31 startups in fiscal 2020, a 40 percent increase during a period that included the pandemic and temporary shuttered labs.

U of M inventors went to market with a wide range of discoveries, including those from a company using machine learning predictive modeling to help cities like Flint replace their lead-tainted water pipes to another that pivoted from prostate cancer screening to rapid COVID-19 testing during a global health crisis.

In addition to the record number of startups launched, U of M researchers reported a rise in new inventions: a record 522 for the 2020 fiscal year, up from last year’s 502.

U of M Tech Transfer also reported it signed a record 268 licensed deals and option agreements with companies seeking to commercialize the discoveries of university researchers in the past fiscal year, up 232 in fiscal year 2019.

Kelly Sexton, U of M Associate Vice President for Research Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships, had this to say:

“The launch of 31 new startup companies is a testament to the strength and resiliency of the university’s growing innovation ecosystem. The record-breaking growth and startup formation is important in 2020 because these new companies will be meaningful contributors to the growth and diversification of our state’s economy as we work to rebound from the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Rebecca Cunningham, U of M Vice President for Research and Professor of Emergency Medicine had this to say:

“As the nation’s leading public research university, we have an obligation to ensure that our research discoveries are translated from the lab to the marketplace in ways that positively benefit society.”

So, what does all this mean to this great university?

It means a return on their investment, both financially, as well as culturally. The 2020 roster of startups raised $ 237 million during the year. Generated revenues from licensing totaling 14.5 million, and there were four exit events, as well, all of which supports and fuels further research and innovation at this great university. And that, in turn, can result in additional startups being born from research activity happening at the university.

Now, this is the way you get it done! Congratulations to the University of Michigan, and go blue.

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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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Must Go Digital (Episode 111)

On this morning’s Business Beat, Jeff discusses how the pandemic has caused more businesses to embrace digital payments, making the process of managing a company’s cash much more efficient.

According to a recent Mastercard study, more than three quarters of small business owners surveyed say the pandemic has forced them to become more digital, with over half of those business owners surveyed indicating that part of their move to digital includes increasing their use of digital payments to both send and receive money.

Tune in to the WJR Business Beat to learn more about taking your payments digital:


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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, Kevin.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape business in America in many ways. One of those changes? Businesses are finally embracing digital payments and that makes managing a company’s cash a much more efficient process. Money moves in real time, collections are easier and financial oversight and management becomes more efficient, as well.

According to a recent Mastercard study, more than three quarters of small business owners surveyed say the pandemic has forced them to become more digital with over half of those business owners surveyed indicating that part of their move to digital includes increasing their use of digital payments to both send and receive money, citing the speed, security and transparency as key reasons for the change in behavior.

Beyond simply sending and receiving money digitally, 77 percent surveyed say they’re moving invoicing and other manual processes to digital as well. As further confirmation of the migration to digital, online payments have grown 60 percent during the pandemic, while the use of cash and checks has decreased more than any other type of payment.

So, what does all this tell us?

Well, as we can tell to drive home here on the Business Beat, entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to stay current, stay relevant and stay in business must go digital.

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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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Huntington Commits $5 Billion to Michigan Small Businesses (Episode 112)

Yesterday, Huntington Bank and Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a $ 5 billion investment commitment to help Michigan businesses, consumers and communities. The funding plan will be focusing broadly on providing capital to small business owners with an emphasis on those owned by minorities, women and veterans.

You may recall that as we highlighted previously on the Business Beat, TCF Bank announced a similar program with a $ 1 billion-dollar commitment in July.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to learn more about this great initiative: 


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“Michigan’s rural small businesses and urban micro-businesses have been especially hard hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on Michigan’s economy, and minority- and women-owned businesses throughout the state are seeking opportunities to stabilize and thrive. Our commitment to Michigan’s small businesses reflects the role they play in driving the state’s economy and the foundation they provide for our economic health.”

– Sandy Pierce, Huntington’s director of private banking, in a press release

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, Kevin.

Yesterday, Huntington Bank announced a $ 5 billion investment commitment to help Michigan businesses, consumers and communities get through the pandemic crisis and beyond. You may recall that as we highlighted previously on the Business Beat, TCF Bank announced this past July a similar program with a $ 1 billion-dollar commitment.

The funding plan will be focusing broadly on providing capital to small business owners with an emphasis on those owned by minorities, women and veterans. Over the next several months, Huntington will announce specific initiatives under the plan that it is putting in place to support these business owners.

In a press release issued yesterday, Sandy Pierce, Huntington’s director of private banking, had this to say about the investment commitment:

“Michigan’s rural small businesses and urban micro-businesses have been especially hard hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on Michigan economy and minority- and women-owned businesses throughout the state are seeking opportunities to stabilize and thrive. Our commitment to Michigan small businesses reflects the role they play in driving the state’s economy and the foundation they provide for our economic health.”

Just as we were thankful when we heard the announcement made by Gary Torgow and TCF Bank, we’re equally thrilled now to receive Huntington Bank’s commitment to invest in our small business community and the citizens of the great state of Michigan.

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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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Pet Care Industry is Booming (Episode 113)

Today, Jeff shares some feel-good news, highlighting a bright spot in business and in life: business in the pet care industry, particularly within the dog sector, is booming! As more people have purchased or adopted dogs in record numbers during the pandemic, that has led to record sales in services and products to take care of those dogs

Online pet product store, Chewy, said it had its busiest quarter ever ending May 3rd, with a 46 percent rise in net sales to $ 1.62 billion.

Tune in to today’s Business Beat for the full story!


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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!

Today’s WJR Business Beat is brought to you by Dell Technologies

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Kevin.

At a time when there has been so much challenge associated with running our businesses and simply living our lives, there are some positive stories during this time of the pandemic, and one of those just warms my heart.

A recent article in USA Today highlights the story of what is described as perhaps the best year ever for our beloved four-legged canine friends, our best friend: our dogs.

And while it’s been a good year for our dogs, it’s been a great year for the businesses whose business it is to help us take care of our dogs. Put simply, business is booming.

Reasons for the surge and the business of caring for our dogs?

First, we’re home. Many of us are isolated and alone and the cure? A dog to keep us company and love us unconditionally during quarantine.

Second, more people have purchased or adopted dogs in record numbers, and that has led to record sales in services and products to take care of all of those dogs we now share our households with.
Twenty percent of respondents to a Nielsen survey in July said they’ve adopted one more dogs between March and June, up from less than 5 percent over the same time last year.

And the sale of dog related products? Well, dog leash sales increased to 44.6 million up 13 percent for the 24 week period ending August 15th, according to Nielsen, which also reports pet toy sales increased 18 percent to 243 million for the same period.

Online pet product store Chewy said it had its busiest quarter ever ending May 3rd, with a 46 percent rise in net sales to $ 1.62 billion.

And how about this one? Sales of dog diapers, that’s right, have increased to 24 million for the 24 weeks ending August 15th, up 202 percent from the same period last year, according to that same Nielsen research.

On the services side, visits to vets are surging. Average daily revenue of vet practices increased more than 14 percent from July 1st through the last week of August, compared with the same period last year. Revenue from visits to vets for vaccines rose more than 21 percent during that same period. And a byproduct of all of this business success, shelter euthanasia is down 43 percent because of decreased intake, expanded fostering and an increase in the percentage of pets finding homes with us from January to June of this year,
That’s a feel-good story, highlighting a bright spot in business and in life.

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

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

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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Online Purchasing is Here to Stay (Episode 107)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff discusses a continuing trend in online purchasing. A recent study from GoDaddy shows that in states that have begun reopening their brick-and-mortar stores, the majority of consumers are still choosing to make their purchases online rather than in-store.

Tune in to the WJR Business Beat, below, to hear Jeff discuss the study further:


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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.

As a sign of the long-lasting impact the COVID-19 crisis will have on business well into the future, here’s a study from GoDaddy that shows that even with the reopening of more brick-and-mortar locations to shop and dine, the action is still online. If anyone thought the acceleration of conducting business online was temporary, better think again.

The recent GoDaddy study examined the performance of GoDaddy customers across 15 states and found that overall, online orders in the month of June were up 66 percent higher than in March and 97 percent higher than in February, doubling the amount of sales online versus brick-and-mortar.

Amazing, suggesting that in states that have begun reopening their brick-and-mortar stores, the majority of consumers are still choosing to make their purchases online rather than in-store. And of course, this shouldn’t come as any surprise to any of us: with the increased quality in the online purchasing journey, the efficiencies and convenience involved, and of course not to mention that many of us don’t want to take any unnecessary risk of exposure by going to a brick-and-mortar location, all combine to make online purchasing a choice that is here to stay.

So, if you’re thinking about starting a business or growing your existing one, get yourself set up online as a primary way of doing business well into the future and hone your online marketing the skills so you can beat the competition to the business.

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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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Use Google Trends to Help Guide Your Business Decisions (Episode 108)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff discusses how entrepreneurs can use Google Trends to find relevant search trending data that helps with decision making related to your products and services.

The best part? It’s all free and readily available at your fingertips.

Tune in to the WJR Business Beat to hear more from Jeff: 

“So, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to find key insights to help guide your business decisions, check out Google Trends.”

– 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.

Well, here’s a really cool resource that entrepreneurs or marketers can use to help figure out trending consumer sentiments, and if you understand that, you can understand where opportunity is both in the form of what products or services might be really desired in the marketplace at any given time, what’s trending for the future as likely to be hot, as well as to understand what channels consumers are using to access the information you want to make sure you get out in front of them with.

And the best part? It’s all free and readily available at your fingertips. That’s right, just go to Google and check out the data they make available based on Google search, the keywords that people are using in order to find information they’re most interested in.

Big research firms even use the tool. Colin Sebastian is an analyst with Robert W. Baird, a wealth management company. He tracks data so that his firm can offer their clients the most leading edge thinking about the best money management moves to make.

Here’s some examples:

Did you know Google search volume for outdoor dining, for example, fell 2.5 percent in volume over last week.

How about restaurants? Falling 6 percent over last week. Yelp fell 3 percent, searches for Uber fell 5 percent, for Lyft 8 percent.

And how about this? We’re even seeing a slight decline in social media interest, for example, interest in Instagram fell 1 percent over the prior week, Snapchat fell 4 percent, Twitter fell 5 percent.

Having insights and trending searches helps you plan what to sell and what the best channels are for creating the awareness you need to get your product or service known in the marketplace. And having this information helps you hone your focus and your resource spend.

The tool is called Google Trends. You simply enter a search query just as you would as if you were searching using Google, and Google will provide you with the relevant search trending data that helps you with this decision making.

So, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to find key insights to help guide your business decisions, check out Google Trends. That’s a hot tip for the day.

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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