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Interview With Bear Mattress Founder Scott Paladini

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For those with an active lifestyle, sleep is a time for recovery and recharging your batteries. Scott Paladini is the founder of Bear Mattress, a bed-in-a-box targeting athletes that you can purchase online. The mattress is made with Quick Response foam, Graphite gel-infused foam, and Celliant™ technologies and is designed to improve sleep and increase energy levels. With Bear Mattress, you will sleep cool because the foam technology helps regulate heat transfer from your body to the mattress. Their return policy is simple. Put the mattress to the test for 100 days, and if you don’t like it, you can return it hassle free.

Bear Mattress recently launched several accessories including the Bear Pillow. The best differentiating factor of Bear Pillow to traditional pillows is that Bear Pillow remains cool and provides optimal support for your neck and head as you sleep. It is made with Loft-X foam on the inside and Double Ice Fabric Technology on the outside, which offers the contouring support of memory foam along with some resistance and bounce that you would not get from a conventional pillow. Choosing a pillow is a personal process, so they allow you to try it out to see if it is the right fit.

Along with having professional athletes like Cole Beasley of the Dallas Cowboys promoting their product, Bear Mattress has partnered with Good Sports, a nonprofit that gives opportunities to kids to participate in sports. With each Bear Product sold, 1% of the proceeds will be donated to Good Sports, allowing children to partake in athletic and fitness opportunities. The donations support schools, community programs, after school programs, and equipment for over 3200 organizations across the country.

Scott Paladini opens up about Bear Mattress.

What keeps you motivated?

I draw motivation from a number of places both personally and professionally, but the biggest overall influence in my life is my family — my wife and my newborn son. Branching out and starting your own business is one of the biggest risks you can take and my wife has been there in support every step of the way. Having a newborn is exhilarating, exhausting and comes with its own set of added pressures, but at the end of the day I want to make this business work for them as much for them as for myself. They help me stay motivated and keep things in perspective.

Why mattresses?

A good mattress is essential to getting a better, healthier sleep. It was while training for a marathon that I noticed the important role that rest played in muscle recovery. I saw a need for an affordable mattress specifically created for athletes, and set out to create a mattress designed to help promote muscle recovery. After over a year of product development and testing, we launched Bear Mattress in September 2015.

Utilizing eco-friendly materials and the latest advancements in sleep technology, Bear Mattress improves muscle recovery, promotes cooling and elevates overall sleep quality. Bear Mattress has quickly become the brand of choice for professional athletes, weekend warriors and casual fitness lovers alike.

That said, Bear is more than just a great mattress. We have grown tremendously over the past year and recently launched a line of sleep accessories that help people get a cooler, healthier and more restorative sleep.  

What makes your customers different from traditional mattress customers?

Our customers are a new generation of mattress customers. They are conscious of their time, money, and understand the value that a great night’s sleep provides. They don’t have the time to go to the mattress store, and they don’t want to pay the middleman.

That said, I don’t think there is such a thing as a ‘traditional’ mattress customer. In fact, we’re actually seeing an influx in Baby Boomers purchasing the mattress online. These customers are looking to increase muscle recovery time (and often times reduce back pain), and are convinced by our nearly 500 genuine 5-star reviews.

What helped you the most when starting Bear Mattress?

I think my experience in the mattress industry, coupled with my interest in health and athletics, has been instrumental to Bear’s success.

What is your team like?

For the first year in business there was no Bear “team”- I ran all operations myself. I was very conscious to grow the business at a manageable and realistic rate. When we surpassed seven figures in revenue I knew to get to the next level we needed more hands on deck, and we began the hiring process.

Today the Bear team is comprised of industry experts who aren’t afraid to think outside the box and roll-up their sleeves to get things done. We have a team mentality in the office, and genuinely enjoy working together. Everyone has a voice and brings different ideas to the table.

Who inspires you?

I’m most inspired each day by the real-life feedback we receive from customers. From the beginning, our goal with Bear has been to help people sleep better, but at the outset I didn’t fully realize just how tangible the positive impact of our product could be. Literally everyday we receive calls and messages from satisfied customers, many of whom have struggled with chronic back pain for years. They tell us all about their story and the different ways in which Bear has helped to improve their quality of life across the board. These are special interactions that make us feel good and inspire us to continually evaluate how our products can be optimized to meet customer needs.

What are some things we can look forward to in 2017 from Bear Mattress?

In 2017 you can expect to see new, innovative products from Bear. We recently launched Bear Pillow, Bear Protect and Bear Foundation, and are looking forward to introducing new products that will improve muscle recovery, promote cooling and elevate overall sleep quality. We’re also eager to expand our customer base into Canada this year.

What is some advice you can give to entrepreneurs?

I guess my advice to other entrepreneurs would be to not rush into things, particularly when it comes to investments from VC’s and others who may take an interest in your business. It’s important to remember that business is more a marathon than a sprint. If you believe in the product then take your time. Don’t jump at every opportunity that presents itself. Work towards creating a company with a solid foundation that’s built to last — not just to be sold.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

Business

Business Insurance And Why You Need It

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Business insurance is a requirement that you should not ignore even if you are in a low-risk workplace. For certain business sectors such as healthcare industries, mechanical workshops or amusement parks, getting a liability insurance is essential. Finding the best insurance can be a challenging and complicated process, but it is better to get an insurance coverage. Disasters happen, and you need an authorized protection to save you from severe economic loss.

Why is business insurance necessary?

If you start a business and employ some people, you need to have business insurance. It is a legal requirement. The insurance coverage varies from one country to another. Almost all countries have made it compulsory for the companies to get a liability insurance. You may think that your business is small and has less risk. You can also think that you can afford the losses your companies might face. The business experts always advise getting a proper insurance for every kind of business. There can be natural disasters like floods or earthquakes. Fire accidents and thefts are not the only risks. Your business can incur massive losses due to disruption of work. There can be cash crunch, skilled labor crisis, road work, police barricades and criminal acts too. You should consider all the aspects before buying an insurance coverage for your company.

General Liability Insurance

Almost all trades have some liabilities. So, a general liability insurance is essential. Before you hire some employees for your business, get a liability insurance first. Your company becomes the ‘employer.’ It becomes a legal need if you wish to make your business a limited company. If any of your staff falls ill or faces any fatal accident during working hours, your company becomes liable. You need to discuss with your insurance broker about the amount of liability insurance cover your business needs. If there is any death because of their work in your company, you need to arrange appropriate compensation. So, you should avoid any expense trimming while buying insurance for the company.

Professional Liability Insurance

It is also known as errors & omissions (E&O) insurance. This is not a one-size-fits-all insurance. Each industry has different concerns while running the business. So, you need customized coverage for your business. The professional liability insurance protects the business from the claims that the company was negligent in performing their services accurately. When you buy the E&O insurance, make sure you appoint an attorney for your company who can defend the lawsuits filed against the company.

Property Insurance

Property Insurance is a must when you run a business. Be it your own building or leased property, you need coverage. This insurance covers your business inventory, equipment, signage, and furniture from any losses due to fire, storm or burglary. Home based businesses still do not get much coverage from property insurance. You need to ask your insurer for extra coverage.

Product insurance

Apart from the above-mentioned insurance policies, you should get an additional product insurance to cover your manufacturing business. It covers any loss due to manufacturing, distributing and retailing hitches.

Buying insurance for your business is complex. You need a trustworthy insurer. Every business needs a unique package based on the requirements of the company. You should always review your insurance policies and keep them in active status.

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Business

How To Get Rid Of Office Gossip

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Office gossip is a negativity that affects almost every office. No company encourages rumor or gossip, but it is present everywhere. A little gossip is not that harmful. However, rumors and gossip can cast a spell of mistrust among employees. Handling harmful gossip can be difficult for managers. It is not very comfortable for them to bring the issue into the daylight. As a leader, you should control the gossip and let your employees know the actual situation. Here are some ways to get rid of the continuous flow of gossip.

Do not take work gossip to heart

In most of the cases, office gossip is deliberately created to spread malicious nonsense. Some people want to create a sense of fear and insecurity in the minds of the employees. So, you should not take the rumors personally or defensively. The management of the company should take strong actions against spreading false stories. Focus on the present and try to find the reason behind the rapid growth of gossip inside the company. You should try to deal with issue objectively avoiding all kinds of personal attacks.

Do not participate in any kinds of gossip

As a management head or a team lead, you should not participate in any kind of gossip inside the office premises. It would be a wrong signal for your subordinates. Do not belittle yourself in front of the employees of the company. Try to keep a distance from the groups who believe in big talks. Be aware of all the happenings in the company. Keep the facts ready to assure your team when they are in doubt. Motivate your team to stay away from the gossip mills.  

Get your facts right

You know you need to stop the flow of gossip and rumors to keep the office environment professional. Before you can act, you should know the true facts. Try to know where the office gossip started. Ask the team leads and departmental managers what they have heard. You should maintain an easy relationship with them. They can come and speak freely to you. It would be easier for you to fathom how much the gossip have spread and who are behind the wall.

Address the problem frankly

The first step to stopping the gossip is directly talking to the person who is spreading it. You should always remember that there are other people too who are indirectly related to it. There are some people who always believe the story and are responsible for spreading it in no time. So, as a leader of your company you need to address the entire team and if it is a very serious issue you need to address the entire company. If your employees are concerned about certain issues, answer them frankly. You can keep a suggestion box where your employees can post anything anonymously. If their identity is protected, they will cooperate with you to get rid of the harmful rumors spreading inside the company.

Make it a company policy to prevent gossip

It is important to draft a strong policy against spreading of rumors. All the employees should know how creating negative stories about the company will be treated. Provide them with examples how to keep the office environment free from rumors. Tell them how to curb negative interaction and discourage gossip-lovers.

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How To Be More Productive During A Slow Week

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There’s always something that needs to be done when you’re very busy with work. But what happens when a project is finished and you get a few days before it all starts again? A slowdown in work is normal but it can be boring especially if you’re used to being in the thick of the action at work. During this time you’re probably looking for some things to do just to remain productive. Here are some great ideas to consider if you want to remain productive during a slow week.

Lend A Hand

Other departments or co-workers could be struggling to meet deadlines. Lend a hand to show that you are a team player. Ask if there is anything you can do to help (with your boss’ approval). Aside from staying productive, you could learn something new or get a glimpse of how co-workers or other departments work or function and how it affects your side of the job.

Succession Planning

Have you thought about what happens to your work or teammates should you go up in smoke tomorrow? You should consider this seriously and think about succession planning. You basically take your job description and break it down so that each task is outlined per month. If this document does not exist, create it. It will make your job easier should you leave your job and your boss will thank you for it.

If you have one, update it. It is important to keep your succession plan alive.

Call To Follow-up

When you’re busy, you don’t have a lot of time to spend talking to people on the phone. Now that you have a slow week, it’s time to pick up the phone to catch up with clients, suppliers and stakeholders. Start with small talk because this will gradually become a lengthy discussion when you ask for their thoughts on how things are going. You can also bounce ideas around in order to gain their trust and foster the spirit of teamwork.

Give Yourself An Annual Review

Reflect on your performance this past year and think of ways you can do your job better. Aside from this, you can ask yourself if you’re happy with your career or which direction you want to take it. Thinking about these things can help yourself grow as a person and employee. Bring up these insights during your next evaluation. Supervisors like employees who see the big picture.

Check In With Your Boss

Now that you have time to catch your breath, check in with your boss verbally or through email to update achievements and discuss the next steps. Employees sometimes forget to pass on good news to their superiors or to update on the future direction of projects. Catching your breath during a slow week is a good way to get managers up to speed. Aside from this, checking in with your boss reinforces your capabilities for bigger things in the future.

Slow days at work are rare, which is why doing these kinds of things are important. Focusing on your interests and staying proactive can help advance your career, improve professional knowledge and keep you on top of things.

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