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Seth Berger Leads Sixers Innovation Lab In Camden

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Seth Berger

Entrepreneurs are flooding into Camden, including Seth Berger, University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School of Business alumni, best known as the Founder and former CEO of AND1. Seth Berger is managing the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball, which is housed in the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex Business Operations Facility. Seth Berger has years of experience as an entrepreneur includes acting as a consultant and CEO in the gaming, technology and sports industry over the past decade. With a life long career in sports, Seth Berger provides opportunities for companies to grow using resources that are invaluable to business.

The Sixers Innovation Lab supports startups by providing individualized, industry-leading consulting and investment opportunities. Companies that are selected by Seth Berger and the Innovation Lab team will receive office space at the Innovation Lab, access to industry leaders, third-party branding, marketing and legal services, as well as free meals and housing in the Philadelphia area. There will also be unique opportunities to pitch to industry-leading investors and venture capitalists. Seth Berger is overseeing each startup that enters the facility along with advisors from StubHub, DraftKings, Rothman Institute, First Round Capital, Maven Creative and more.

With a unique set of skills and lifelong achievements in the sports industry, Seth Berger is passing on his knowledge on growing your company into something incredible. Seth Berger tells us about what it takes to be an entrepreneur today, making a lasting impression in business, and how you can be a part of the Sixers Innovation Lab.

Seth Berger

Describe your career.

I started a business in grad school at 25, which is now known as AND 1. It started as a T-shirt company in NYC, where I am from. Then, in seven years it grew to a basketball apparel, sports illustrated company. I ran two companies at that time. In the middle of AND1, I also ran hoopstv.com and made all of the mistakes I could. Made a couple of deals with retailers, but ultimately sold AND 1 in 2005 to American Sporting Goods. My kids at that time were six, three, and one years old. The goal then was to just be super dad, take them to school, and to see them everyday. I had part time jobs, I didn’t want a full position. I managed a few companies along the way but, my career basically had three parts: running AND 1, coaching basketball at Westtown School, an independent international school, and consulting and advising at Innovation Lab. Working at Innovation Lab combined all of my skills as a coach, consultant, and CEO. As a coach, it helped me become a better consultant and CEO to help identify and recruit really talented CEOs.

As an entrepreneur, what are some surprises that come your way?

Whether I was running AND1 or the Innovation Lab, there were always surprises. I’ve never run anything before, so doing AND 1 and the Lab were the biggest surprises. I was never really good in school, I was only a good test taker. Memorization is the only skill I had and my biggest strength is admitting that I don’t know and I need help. That’s how I got so far. If you’re always curious, you’ll always grow.

From ‘93-’05, old businesses had to make a lot of guesses when it came to prices and consumers. Nowadays, with technology, you can test everything. You can have consumers telling you a price, likings, and etc.

I’m also really surprised with how fast things move now. Businesses would take three-five years to grow, now it can be successful in three-six months.

What are some of the risks you took to get to where you are?

When I decided to start AND 1, I was maxed out of student loans and lived off of five Visas. If AND 1 didn’t work out, the alternative was to take on a job that I didn’t like and find incredibly boring, nothing I looked forward to. I took a risk as in if it didn’t work, I was going to be really broke, but the thing was, I was broke anyway so I didn’t really care. The actual risk or the biggest risk for anyone is time. Time is your most valuable resource. My risk here at the innovation lab is can I help manage five to six companies at the same. I have the mentality of, ‘I think it’ll work.’ But if I spend three to five years here and it doesn’t work, it’ll be a really big waste of time. As an entrepreneur though, you’re comfortable with mistakes.

How do you make a lasting impression when you get into a new business?

By offering significant day to day support to our companies. If all of what you want is a check and a network, then there are lots of places to get that. In the Bay Area especially, there are tons of them but that’s not us. If you want help to figure out your business, what you do on a day to day basis or annual basis, then that’s what we provide.

What recommendations do you have to aspiring business owners?

Know your consumer really well and focus on them, one of the biggest mistakes in entrepreneurship is people who say, ‘I don’t want to focus on consumers in our market because then my business won’t be really big.’ I say to them, ‘Build a small business before you have a big business, it shows you already have a business, then continue to build and expand.’  With all of our companies, we end the day with these questions: Who’s going to watch our videos? Who’s going to use our service, buy our products and be as specific as possible with those answers? 

Entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting versus entrepreneurs who have already started. Those who haven’t started aren’t afraid of failing because everyone fails eventually. It’s actually because they don’t know how to take charge. When you are your own CEO, it’s like getting a blank piece of paper for an essay but with no question. Everything is already set, what time you go into the office, the dress code, etc. with your business, no one is there to tell you. Don’t be afraid to get help.

What are some benefits the 76ers Innovation lab offer that can’t be found anywhere else?

I think Rhyan Truett, Innovation Lab Director of Operations, and I make a great team, along with Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil, and other people on our team can be really insightful for your business. We also offer free housing, free food, and free office space for about three months. In which there’s also access to free snacks and the gym. Also, we have a marketing agreement with strategy branding for companies, possible free legal services, and lastly, you can play basketball here.

How does startup apply for the opportunity to pitch?

Interested applicants can submit an application form through www.sixersinnovationlab.com.

What industries have you seen so far?

Everything, from cyber security, foot apparel, you name it. Our owner has a really broad network. If we can add value to your company then be let’s be a part, but if we can’t help you then it doesn’t make sense to apply.

Tips for entrepreneurs who are interested in being at Lab?

Always be willing to learn, companies who are in here are different from when they first came in. Be interested in improving. Companies who just need a check are not for us. There are three things we look for: first is what you take in, how smart, how focused, and how intense you are. Your team is a major aspect. For me, a team is the most important. I have members who studied in Wharton and are way smarter. Second, is the idea. Something you can protect and is unique. Lastly, how can we help you? If the company already had parts one and two, then how can we support you.

What is the piece of advice that helped you throughout your career?

In the fall of ‘93, when we were selling team shorts. I met Michael who owned a record company. He started his business by doing 45s. Back in the day, they used to do single records of songs of TV show songs like The Flinstones, The Munsters and all of the sudden his business blew up. He asked me, ‘Why do you want to be in business? Why do you wanna make a difference in kids’ lives?’ I said, ‘I think this business can reach kids and I can make a little money on the way, I also get to spend time with friends.’ He assured me then that you’re in business to make money, you’re not in it for your ego, you’re not in business to make friends, and you’re not in business to change who you are. And he was right. For awhile we thought we served kids as opposed to our consumers. When I got with our accounts, I asked, am I going to make enough and do I need more? If I bring in people who are around me and they get a piece of what I have or more, it’s okay. If you’re giving them pieces of yours, then they’ll eventually give more back to you. If you’re not giving your team a piece and think you have to be more in control, then it won’t work out. Like I said before, teamwork is the most important aspect of a business. Be willing to give.

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

170 Questions to Ask A Client Before You Begin Your Campaign

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Confused about what type of questions to a prospect in the crazy world of tech?

Well, worry no more! We decided to give you our 170 questions that we ask our clients, before we begin working with them. Now, we don’t ask every question, because let’s be honest, we would be here for several hours before we get all of the answers. Choose your questions wisely and add your company’s culture into how you ask your questions!

If you’d like to add more onto this list, feel free to comment below or email us your additions.

 

Current Website Questions

– What is the purpose of your current website?

– Are there any aspects of your current website that you love?

– Are there any aspects of your current website that you hate?

– Is there anything on the current website that needs to be removed entirely?

– Is there anything on the current website that must absolutely stay?

– Do you have multiple locations?

– Where are they located?

– Do you offer different products or services per location?

– What is your business’s unique value proposition (UVP)?

– What are the services you want to highlight on your website?

– Why do visitors currently come to my website?

– Is your website easy to navigate and is it easy to find information?

– Are your current website visitors being converted into sales?

– Are competitors’ websites more functional and have they recently been redesigned?

– Does the content on my website deliver the right message?

– Is your website a good representation of your business?

– Does your current website instill trust and confidence?

– Is it easy to update your website?

– Are visitors who come to your website being tracked and analyzed?

– Does your current website make it easy for website visitors to contact you?

– What tools and apps do you use to run your business?

 

Website Redesign Questions

– Why do you want a new website?

– Do you have a proposed sitemap prepared?

– In an ideal world, what do you want your website to become?

– What are your specific goals for your new website that will help indicate if your investment is profitable?

– How quickly do you want to achieve these goals?

– Is there anything that you would like to have included in the new website that you lack currently?

– Will your copy need to be reviewed and approved by legal and compliance?

– Will your legal team need to create the privacy policy for the site?

– At the end of this project, how do you qualify it as a success?

 

Competitive Analysis Questions

– Who are your top seven competitors?

– What about these companies makes then stand apart from others?

– What elements of these companies and/or their online activity would you like to model after

in your redesign?

– What do you currently like about your competitors websites?

– What do you hate about your competitors websites?

– What are some sites that you like the style of, features, and functionality of?

 

Branding Questions

– Do you have brand guidelines?

– If not, do you need help putting this together?

– What are the brand guidelines?

– Are there any color preferences for the new website?

– Do you have the hex codes for your current brand colors?

– Have you created buyer personas?

– If you did; how many do you have and will we need to set up conversion funnels for each persona?

  • Do you have a site architecture completed?

– Do certain products and/or services speak to different type of clients?

– What differentiates your product or service from your competition

– Is there any legacy on your current website?

– Do you currently have duplicate content on your site?

– What types of content will you publish on the site?

– How do plan to market the website once it is launched?

– What are some images that relate to your business?

– Will you be updating and reusing content and/or images from your current website?

– Do you need help creating new visual components for your website?

– What are some visual components that you’d like to add to your website?

– Do you have a tag line?

– What is your elevator pitch?

– Do you have a mission statement?

– What differentiates your company from your competitors?

 

Sales, Marketing, and Advertising Questions

– Do you have a documented content strategy?

– What types of marketing are you currently involved in or practice on a regular basis?

– Why kind of ads will you be running? (Google, Facebook, native, display, search)

– Do you have a current advertising budget?

When it comes to marketing (in general), what are your biggest challenges?

– When it comes to obtaining qualified leads, what are your biggest challenges?

– When it comes to closing leads, what are your biggest challenges?

– Are there any short-term or long-term goals that need to be considered in the website redesign?

– What social media elements would you like integrated?

– Do you need a subscription option or other offer?

– Will you be blogging on your website?

– Who will be blogging on your website?

– When do you see the most customers go to your website?

– Do you currently use marketing automation software?

– Do you use email marketing, landing page, or other tools on your site?

– Do you use a CRM to store sales and customer information?

– What is the target demographic of your website visitors?  Are there specific sectors, industry segments, company sizes, geography that needs to be focused on more than others?

– Would you like to personalize content so that the content shown is targeted and relevant for different types of visitors?

– Do you create ebooks, white papers, and other resources are placed behind a form?

– Do you send email marketing communications?

– What types of emails do you send to subscribers, prospects, leads, and customers?

– Do you want automated emails to be triggered by actions customers take on your website?

– Do you want the ability to create, edit, and publish landing pages and site pages?

– Would you like to run predictive lead scoring every few months to automatically determine the properties and weight of each factor to create a lead score?

– Have you performed A/B tests of your landing pages and calls-to-action to increase clickthrough rates?

 

Lead Generation and Contact Page Questions

– How do you currently track leads on your website?

– How do you want to collect customer information?

– Are you comfortable with having your phone number on your website?

– What is the email address you want on your website?

– Can you speak to your customer experience?

– How does a user become a customer of yours on your current website?

– Do you currently include relevant call-to-actions on content posts?

– Do you collect information from visitors and store this in a CRM or use it to inform marketing efforts?

– What fields do you currently or want to include on forms?

– Do you use call tracking to track online campaigns?

 

SEO Questions

– Do you need assistance with search engine optimization?

– When was the last time you reviewed your website was optimized?

– Do you have someone who can review content for SEO best practices, internally?

– Do you have someone who can create unique meta titles and descriptions per page or blog post, internally?

– Do you have a Google Analytics account?

– Do you have a Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools account?

– Based on what you know right now, what keywords or phrases would “you” use to search for your products and/or service offering?

– What search terms are your competitors targeting?

– Of the words you just listed, which ones would you like to target with the new website?

– Do you have existing content that can support these keywords or phrases?

– Does your existing website and content rank for these phrases?

– What are your top performing keywords?

– What are your most trafficked pages on your website?

– Which site pages rank high in SERPs?

– What percentage of visits are from organic sources?

– What percentage of traffic are referrals from other sites?

– Which referral channel gives your website the most traffic?

– What percentage of traffic is from social media sites?

– What percentage of traffic is from email marketing?

– What percentage of traffic is from direct or people who type your URL into the search bar?

– What percentage of traffic is from mobile devices?

– What percentage of traffic is from tablet devices?

– What sources — social, referral, organic, etc. — generate traffic from mobile and tablet users?

– How many landing pages do you have?

– What are your top performing landing pages?

– What are your top performing blog posts?

– How many visits does your site get each month?

– How many page views does your site get each month?

– How many leads do you generate each month?

–  How long do people typically spend on your website?

– What is the bounce rate for your site?

– What is the average amount of sales generated by your site each month?

– What is the page load time of your site?

– How many inbound links are pointing to your current site?

– Is your current site optimized for mobile users?

 

Reporting Questions

– Do you like data?

– What types of reports and data would you like to receive from our team?

– Do you prefer phone call reporting?

– Would you like to receive reports via PDF’s?

– Would you like the reports to be converted into videos?

 

Website Functionality Questions (UX and UI)

– Will you require a responsive design (adapts automatically to mobile devices)?

– How often will you be updating the content on your site?

– What functional requirements are needed within the new website?

– Is there any specific feature that is needed for your website?

– Do you want users to be able to comment on blog posts and other types of content?

– Do you need to integrate chat features?

– Will you need an internal search engine for your site?

– Do you plan to post audio/video files to the site?

– Do you have a video hosting service or will you be uploading videos to Vimeo or YouTube to embed videos on your site?

– Will you need people to log in on the site either with a username and password or by using social logins?

– Will users need the ability to post product reviews?

– Do you want people to be able to share content from your website?

– Will visitors have to enter credit card information and other personal details on any section of the website?

– Do you plan to sell anything through your website?

 

Development and Hosting Questions

– Who is your current website host?

– If switching hosting companies, do you know where your DNS is controlled?

– Do you have any and all logins?

– Hosting

– Domain name

– Website

– Where is your site currently hosted?

– Do you know the current level of hosting you have?

– Do you have or need an SSL certificate?

– Do you have specific accessibility requirements? (Possibilities include, larger text, language conversion, blind accessible)

– Will your site need to announce that they use cookies?

– Do you have an existing content management system you prefer or would you like our suggestions on the proper CMS?

 

Project and Budget Questions

– What is your budget for this project?

– What is your yearly budget for website improvements?

– What is you desired kick off date?

– Who all is responsible for reviewing and providing feedback on the site?

– Who will give final approval for the site prior to launch?

– Who will be managing the site once it’s completed?

– Will you require training on how to properly maintain the site?

At Owners Magazine, we care deeply about creating an incredible experience for our customers. What better way to get to know our clients than to ask them fun questions? The world of business can be so serious and with the way our society is becoming, we decided to throw a wrench into your average questions.

DISCLAIMER: These questions don’t work for every company. It all depends on your company culture and how your customers view you.

 

Get To Know Your Clients Better

– At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?

– If you could have one super power, what would it be?

– If you could be one character in any movie, Tv show, cartoon, who would you be?

– What movie title describes your life?

– What is your favorite TV show?

– What is your favorite video game?

– If you could choose one Pokemon that relates to your personality, who would it be?

– Do you have any nerdy addictions?

– Have you ever refitted an item, and if so, what did you regift?

– What’s the strangest talent you have?

– Do you have any nicknames?

– Which way does your toilet paper hang on the wall – over or under?

– What is that one song on you’re afraid to admit that you like?

– What are three things still left on your bucket list?

– If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

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Business

What To Do When Your Brain Is Fried

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We’ve all been there before. A great creative week where ideas are flowing endlessly, inspiration and great feelings abound. You feel like you’re breezing through and galloping towards the finish line. Then you come in one day and spend hours and hours staring blankly at your computer screen. For writers, it’s writer’s block, while others simply refer to it as a fried brain.

If you’re struggling to think coherently or if you feel like there are no ideas or clear thoughts coming from your brain you may be suffering from mental fatigue. This can occur anytime to anyone and can hamper your productivity. For most people their first step is to get a caffeine fix. But this might not be the only way to beat a fried brain. Here are some great examples on how you can get your brain to work again.

Take A Walk

According to a study conducted in Edinburgh Scotland, taking a quick walk can help combat mental fatigue. The study hooked 12 people to a portable ECG machine that measured their brainwave patterns that can be used to gauge excitement, frustration, arousal and more. The participants were asked to walk through a predetermined route around Edinburgh through busy shopping districts and green spaces. ECG readings of the participants showed that walking through green spaces reduced feelings of frustration indicating a reduction in stress levels. Richard Coyne, PhD and one of the authors of the study states that taking a walk through a park reduces cognitive overload and can help you overcome your fried brain.

Think Positively

When the brain is stressed, it has problems sending signals from the amygdala – the brain’s center for emotions, emotional behavior and motivation – to the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for higher level thinking. However, focusing on positive thoughts like your plans for the upcoming weekend or even quitting time can help lower stress levels thereby increasing the flow of information to your prefrontal cortex. This means happy thoughts can help you think clearly again.

Go On Youtube

Did you know that YouTube has the same calming effect as taking a walk around the park? Studies show that humor has a very positive and relaxing effect on the brain so when you’re feeling as if your brain is fried, hit Youtube and look for humorous clips from Jimmy Kimmel, Carpool Karaoke from James Corden, or Jimmy Fallon. Or if you’re looking for something more inspiration look for FunForLouis, Casey Neistat, or Gary Vaynerchuck. The videos won’t only help your brain “laugh,” but also increase your motivation and perseverance so that stress is decreased and you regain mental clarity and health.

Sleep

The brain gets tired too. Although it never really goes to sleep, sleeping helps the brain slow down so that it essentially takes a break from thinking and just focus on bodily functions and repairing your body after taking a beating from stress. Switching off can help you forget about what’s keeping you stressed at least for the night and give you energy to tackle problems tomorrow. When the brain is rested you might see your problem in a new light and give you new angles on how to best tackle it.

Fatigue, slow mental response, irritability and finding it harder to perform are some of the signs of a fried brain. Giving your brain a break from time to time will not only keep you from burning out physically but mentally as well. Finding ways to relax your poor exhausted brain will help you in the long run too.

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Business

Business Insurance And Why You Need It

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business insurance

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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