Member Since 2015
Los Angeles Area
Blair Thomas has been around the world and back. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Blair studied Political Science at Oregon State University. He's passionate about the outdoors and loves spending as much time with his dog Cooper as possible. His drive for entrepreneurship has given him keys to the world and he's at full force driving his company eMerchantBroker which made the Inc 500 list as one of the fastest growing companies in 2016.
Being an entrepreneur and owning your own business is an end goal for most people. It's a thrilling end result -- the fact that you're your own boss, you set your own hours, and remain accountable only to yourself can be a heady mix. Yet, the benefits of the position usually overshadow the more pertinent considerations that would-be entrepreneurs overlook. Although there are significant benefits to being a business owner, there's also a considerable amount of background work that rarely gets highlighted but needs to be done.
The modern world has made it really easy for anyone to get started on a side hustle. In fact, most entrepreneurs get started with some sort of side gig. Transitioning those side hustles into standalone businesses that can financially support them usually begins with understanding how to make a significant amount of profit, but not all side hustle ideas are lucrative enough to evolve into something financially stable.
Communication is one of the most essential skills that a business leader needs to master to be successful. Great leaders may develop their communication skills early on in their careers, but they also have created and maintained habits that help them communicate more effectively.
Hiring for a senior position at a company usually requires a lot more time and effort than hiring for other positions. In many cases, business owners may have a hard time finding the most effective way to source senior talent for their organization. You don't want to lose out on great talent, but you also need to spot the best talent out of the field of applicants, because making a wrong hire at this level can spell disaster for the organization.
Small businesses, like any business, have finances that need to be kept in order. Owners can deal with these duties to a point; however, small businesses tend to grow, and hiring an employee dedicated to keeping the company's finances in check is often a necessary next step. Luckily, many small business owners can hire someone on a part-time basis. This route carries a lot less overhead in terms of time and money compared to hiring a full-time employee, but it also comes with its own challenges. That’s why we asked 11 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:
Programming is highly in demand in today's digital-first world. Try these tools, courses and platforms recommended by business leaders.
Businesses are in an unenviable position of having to find the most talented individuals in their field and entice them to work at their organization. In many cases, finding qualified candidates has come down to creating the right ads and vetting candidates properly.
16 entrepreneurs from YEC share their favorite sales automation tools and strategies and explain why they work.
Public speaking is a great way to gain exposure for your brand and a reputation for expertise in your field. Events with an audience allow for transparency and vulnerability—two key pieces to success when you're working to build a brand that consumers are eager to engage with. Speaking events also help you show off the core solutions your business has to offer.
There's no question that retail is a challenging industry to master. However, for investors or manufacturers, the challenges it presents are more than worth the rewards. Retail distribution allows a business to serve its offerings up to a much broader population than direct distribution, thus increasing an enterprise’s visibility and revenue.
The holiday season is usually a goldmine of opportunities for product-based businesses that deploy specific marketing strategies to make their offering stand out and be relevant for that time of the year. While service-based businesses typically find it more difficult to capitalize on this season’s business opportunities, there are still several creative strategies they can deploy to make holiday marketing work in their favor. To help, we asked 12 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:
Innovation is the key to a successful and progressive business, and your staff should constantly be looking for ways to grow your brand. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to keep your workers engaged and motivated.
These 20 entrepreneurs discuss the best features for remote management of a displaced workforce.
Every successful business leader needs to know how to communicate effectively. Both written and verbal communication skills are crucial if you want to build and maintain strong relationships with your employees, customers and partners.
Growing a business seems like a simple prospect, and it can be deceptively simple on paper. However, once you start to delve into the heart of the matter, you realize that a service-based business requires some deep thought before you can scale it.
An effective internal communications strategy is essential when trying to build a cohesive team working together toward the same goal. Especially when it comes to announcing important news to your team, using the right internal communications approach is of utmost importance. The right communications strategy ensures the communicated message is clear and easily understood, leaving no room for error. That’s why we asked 15 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:
With each passing year, demographics change. Where a company's core demographic might have been millennials a few years ago, today it's shifted to Generation Z. Unfortunately, there's a marked difference in values between generations, and businesses need to revamp their marketing strategy to reach out to their newest client base without alienating their other followers.
After a user likes or shares one of your posts on social media, you've got them interested in your brand or product. But how do you leverage this engagement and keep it going?
For online businesses, a high-performing website that encourages engagement and conversions is the key to successful growth. It often takes time to build up a steady stream of website visitors and consistent buyers. However, there are some things you can do to help accelerate the process.
Having the right clients can make all the difference in your business’s success. Of course, finding those ideal clients isn’t always easy. You don’t want to be too selective and turn down a good business opportunity, but you also don’t want to overextend yourself for a client who won’t stick around in the long run.
Despite the numerous digital communications channels available today, email is still one of the best ways to get and stay in touch with your customers. Email marketing is notorious for its high return on investment, and with nearly 4 billion active email users, there’s a huge potential audience waiting to receive your messages.
Once seemingly confined to the spheres of gaming and technology, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are becoming increasingly common in both personal and professional ventures. In fact, VR and AR can be used to great effect in one’s personal branding strategy, especially if it's giving your audience a deeper connection or more intimate look at your business.
Businesses thrive on interaction with large clients. They form the most significant inflow of money to the enterprise and help you meet your obligations from month to month. With so many companies closing down, it's not far-fetched to think that one of your massive clients might face bankruptcy. When that happens, you will need to have a clear plan in place to recover any overdue payments and soften the blow until you find new customers. That’s why we asked 12 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:
Brand loyalty forms a core concept of marketing in the 21st century. In a paradigm shift, thanks to better interactivity with consumers, brand loyalty is now easier to achieve than ever before. With a medium where the brand can interact directly with clients in the form of social media, all a company has to do is use their social media presence cleverly. Once they leverage their following and provide value to the audience, brand loyalty is sure to follow. To help, we asked 14 successful entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
Entrepreneurs have some bad habits, one of which is not knowing when they need a break. With many young entrepreneurs, it's almost impossible to take a step back and relax. Yet studies have shown that entrepreneurs that don't take time out to smell the roses risk serious health problems later on in life.
When you're negotiating a deal, misinterpreted tone or poorly-chosen words could ruin an otherwise-successful conversation. Sometimes you may not know even which phrases might turn a deal sour. That's why we asked 16 members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:
These tools and strategies can make email marketing more efficient and less time-consuming.
Within an organization, some skills are far more valuable than others. If your business is looking at hiring new employees, then these skills should be a primary focus for your interviews. Knowing what skills are crucial for an enterprise to grow and thrive helps you figure out if an employee may be worth hiring, even if they don't fit the ideal. Sometimes the company needs more than just the right qualifications for their employees.
As a budding young entrepreneur, you're likely to meet a lot of people telling you, "no." While some of these people are well-meaning, the constant negativity will eventually impact your self-confidence.
Having a side hustle is a great way to develop a creative outlet outside of your regular career. However, these projects can consume a lot of your time, energy and money. That's why it's important to consider the required commitment and effort – and the potential return – before going all-in on your idea.
Getting any business off the ground requires sufficient capital. However, all the financial stress doesn't have to fall on you as the entrepreneur – there are other ways to secure funding for your startup without assuming 100% of the risk yourself. That's why we asked the members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:
The internet of things (IoT) is growing at a rapid pace, but sadly, security protocols for those devices are still in their infancy. Customer data security should be a significant concern for IoT companies. At present, there are several glaring holes in security that can be addressed with some dedicated effort. A few IoT companies have even patched out security vulnerabilities.
As a leader, you know your workplace dynamic directly impacts employee morale and, in turn, your bottom line. No matter how great your company culture might be, there is always room for improvement. But to make impactful changes, you’ll have to first understand which areas warrant the most attention.
Internal meetings can be a fantastic strategic tool to help a business get all stakeholders of a project on the same page, but they can easily turn into massive time sinks if they are not properly scheduled and managed. Unfortunately, many companies don't strategize their meetings. The result is a once-weekly report that doesn't have any noticeable impact on the business.
In the age of remote work and social distancing, try these video conferencing tools for your company's online meetings.
Winning a business or industry award can be a great honor for your business, as well as a highly effective PR opportunity. However, to be considered, you'll first need to submit an application to be reviewed by the award committee. To help you with this process, we asked the members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:
Working remotely has become the new standard in the COVID-19 era. Companies that followed a traditional in-office model have had to adjust to how they presently work, and soon have to learn how to hire remotely.
18 leaders from YEC discuss what elements business leaders should keep in mind before selling their company.
As a busy professional or entrepreneur, you’ve probably wished there were more than 24 hours in a day. While you might not be able to find huge chunks of free time, you can always find a few extra minutes a day, which adds up to a few extra hours in a week.
As an entrepreneur, it’s useful to have strong business acumen -- an almost intuitive skill that can and must be honed. However, good business sense alone isn’t enough; there are several other traits an entrepreneur needs in order to succeed.
As some of the top leaders in their respective industries, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council know what skills are required to succeed in the business world. Below, they share 10 underrated skills that all entrepreneurs should possess, but often don't.
Making a major spending decision in your business, whether that be a new hire or a new marketing campaign, is often intimidating. You want to make sure you’re investing your money wisely, in a way that will yield a worthwhile return. To help you, we asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members how to make financial decisions with confidence.
Accessing capital is one of the biggest challenges many new entrepreneurs face. From loans to investments, securing the proper financing is a long and taxing process, but it can be overcome. Members of Young Entrepreneur Council explained how they worked through their funding challenges.
Office culture doesn't stagnate, and there will always be a constant change around how a business operates. Instituting new office procedures and policies as the company culture changes may mean taking some chances. Not all new plans are guaranteed to succeed, and some of them require considerable risk on behalf of the company.
Entrepreneurs usually don't have enough hours in a day to get everything done. That's the primary reason why prioritizing tasks is a common trait of the most successful business owners. However, many entrepreneurs overlook the importance of hiring great talent to their team and place the priority of hiring new employees way down their list.
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EMB is the Nations #1 High Risk Merchant Account Provider. Located in Los Angeles, CA we provide quick and easy payment solutions for merchants of all sizes. We work with traditional business types as well as high risk merchants that have more difficulty getting approved.