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Josh Hoffman CEO of Game Plan

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Special thanks to Josh Hoffman for coming onto our 0-100 Series show. Josh Hoffman is the CEO of an up and coming startup in Philly call Game Plan. Game Plan aims to solve the issue of booking at a restaurant for a large group. Game Plan lets you and your entire group plan out an entire evening or event together and making sure you don’t forget that one poor vegan friend (everyone forgets that one vegan friend…).  The App is currently only available in Philadelphia and will be expanding soon. You can download the App for iOS here.

Below is a text transcript of the video interview in case you’re at work watching this and can’t afford your boss finding out.

What made you took the leap into entrepreneurship?

Josh Hoffman: I always say it was the start of sophomore year of college when I think you just kind of become your own person. I kind of identified the quickest way to be successful was being an entrepreneur and starting your own company and not doing the whole step-up-to-that-point. I would say the other thing is also just…learning to completely trust yourself as opposed to trusting others. Whether personal stories or not personal stories. You learn about people losing their jobs or whatever the reason is. Or just not liking your boss or whatever.  And there’s one way around that and that’s being your own boss.

What were the biggest initial hurdles when building your business and how did you overcome them?

Josh Hoffman: The first thing I thought of is definitely finding a co-founder or finding a team that is internally motivated. I would say it’s finding the right team. In hindsight I wish I had started coding and I spent so many years looking for a coder and if I actually spent time learning how to code that would’ve moved the product forward. I’d say that was the biggest difficulty. It’s getting people to join on your dream.

What do you look for in a business partner?

Josh Hoffman: The number one thing I definitely look for in a co-founder is just diversity in thought so they don’t think like me. Which causes argument…usually.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made as an entrepreneur?

Josh Hoffman: The biggest mistake I think we’ve gone through is not pushing the product out fast enough, at any capacity, or at any rate. The second we pushed the product out and we did this launch thing…it took us 2 weeks to realize we didn’t have enough tangible value in the product.

What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained?

Josh Hoffman: When I’m drained? (Josh laughs hysterically) Well it’s not illegal anymore in most states.  (Continues laughing) Music. Honestly just closing your eyes and appreciating where you are. Inside you can be hurting a lot and I understand that’s like…that’s very hard. My grandparents were in the holocaust and they were at my age living under floorboards. And they didn’t have a Bar Mitzvah because they were literally hiding from Nazis. Putting perspectives in your situation and realizing although it can be very bad…and it probably is. There are a lot of situations that are worse.

What advice would you give fellow entrepreneurs just starting out?

Josh Hoffman: Surround yourself with positive people. Network like no other. When you’re younger almost everyone will say yes to giving you advice, getting coffee, or whatever. So take it every time, every single time. It’s crazy for you to get this really important person right in front of you and you have the ability and correct time to get their number or email. And do something with them and follow up. But maybe that’s just my sales training that got me to do that but not enough people do that.

Special thanks to Josh Hoffman from Game Plan for being featured on 0-100 series. To see what he’s up to visit http://getgameplan.com.

 

 

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Business

15 Ugly Truths About Entrepreneurship Everyone Should Know Before Starting a Business

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Entrepreneurship

Becoming an entrepreneur is like taking the road less travelled. There is no map and you will always feel uncertain about your decision. If you decide to take an entrepreneurial journey, it’s going to be a bumpy one. However, nothing worth having comes without a degree of risk. Therefore you need to arm yourself by avoiding common “beginner” mistakes. You have to understand that entrepreneurship is not all sunshine and roses. There are some ugly truths that you need to know about before setting off.

1. You Can Lose Everything

A business is a financial risk. You can start a business with a small capital but eventually you need lines of credit for inventory and operations. In some cases, you might also need to take on loans to help the business grow. This means you will be taking on debt.

2. Extreme Stress

With everything riding on the line, prepare yourself to experience extreme stress. If you think exam stress is hard enough, it is nothing compared to taking the entrepreneurial path. When you start a business, everything is on your shoulders and there is nobody to pass the buck to.

3. Forget About Hanging Out

Expect to lose touch with family and friends. Becoming an entrepreneur is very demanding on your personal time especially in the beginning. There will be people in your life you will lose touch with because you will not be able to give them enough time.

4. It’s Going To Take Long

Don’t expect your business to take off overnight. Prepare yourself for sleepless nights and to work double time to achieve the results you want. In this event, you need to plan accordingly no matter how small or big the venture.

5. Regrets

Over time you will regret taking this path. This is normal especially if you see friends connecting on weekends while you work later into the night. This will make you regret leaving the comfort of your 9-5 job. But don’t worry because some of your friends will also regret taking risks.

6. Anxiety Competition

It is normal to think and worry that somebody out there is executing the same idea in a better way. Having anxiety over the competition is part and parcel of becoming an entrepreneur. Don’t let this drag you down but inspire you to work harder and become better than your competitor.

7. Other People Depend On You

You are now the employer. People now depend on you so that they can provide for their families. You will need to endure this even though you are sick, have personal things going on in your life because the business and your people are depending on you.

8. Success and Failure Will Impact Your Relationships

When you’re successful, everybody will want to work with you and be your friend. When you’re failing, it’s going to be the opposite. There will be many moments of celebration and frustration. For every friend you make, somebody will turn their back to you.

9. You’re It

Everybody is going to be dependent on you. Essentially, you are it; every responsibility will fall back on you. Being a leader means that you take this entrepreneurship responsibility and when there are problems you take the helm of the ship.

10. No Guarantee

Going to business is not a guarantee of anything. No matter how great the idea, product or team behind it; it’s still going to be the market that decides. In other words, your hard work is not a guarantee of success.

11. No Appreciation

Hard work is not only a guarantee of success it does not also guarantee appreciation. You have to remember not to expect it.

12. Success is Not Measured In Weeks

As you go along your journey, you will learn that success is not measured in weeks, months, quarters or years. While business is small, success can be measured easily. However as you go along you will realize that measuring success will take longer periods of time.

13. Your Stomach Will Twist

Entrepreneurship will make your stomach twist during unexpected situations like when you’re operating at a loss or when a supplier bails on you in the middle of a project.

14. You Will Have To Learn To Move On

Over time you will become attached to the business and cutting ties with people will be difficult. However, entrepreneurship is about adjusting and you will need to learn when you need to move on.

15. When You Fail, It Will Have Your Name On It

If you fail, people will know about it. Family and friends will know that you drove a ship and crashed. Many don’t follow the entrepreneurial road because of this thought.

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Business

Tips On How To Manage An Online Business

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Business Online

Having the right e-commerce site can make shipping and tracking your inventory easier. IT is constantly changing and it is important to have a secured site to make sure your customer’s data is safe. Following these steps will seem daunting at first, but remember that success will come if you keep pushing towards your goals. America was built by small business owners and with faith, you can have a profitable online business.

Determining your target audience.

The first step in opening an online business is determining who will be your target audience.  It is important to research your competition online and find out who will be buying your products. There is a lot of competition online, so you have to find a way to stand out. I suggest coming up with a unique business name or signature product. Separating yourself from the rest of other online businesses is important to succeed long term.

You also have to decide if you want to sell a product or provide a service. Once you have identified your business model, you will need to come up with the terms of your business. I suggest seeking legal advice, so you can protect your company. It will need to be clear to your customers who you are as a business and what service you provide. It is also important to outline how you will provide customer service and solve any problems that arise.

Selecting the products you want to sell or determining which services you want to offer.

Before you start selling products or offering services, it is important to get registered with the state you are in. There are many advantages of becoming an LLC or incorporating your company. I recommend researching the options that are available in your state. It is important to protect your brand and make your customers trust you as a business owner.

In order to succeed as an online business, you need to have a strong vendor list. Being a licensed company makes more vendors’ want to work with you. Once you have added companies to your vendor list, you need to decide how you want to market your business. You can either hire a SEO company, marketing firm, or you can learn how to do it yourself. There are hundreds of free online tutorials on how to market your company for free on social media sites and YouTube. You can also use Google AdWords and Adsense to help promote your business. There are also several apps that can help you manage your social media sites as well.

Making sure your e-commerce site is effective.

I suggest hiring a website developer or technology company to build your site. There are several user friendly e-commerce sites that are very easy to set-up yourself. Having the right IT support to very important, because they can quickly resolve any issues that may arise.

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Influencers

The Dirt on Filthy Casual

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Darshelle Stevens Filthy Casual
Darshelle Stevens wearing Filthy Casual

These are the guys that created a community behind a brand. Jason Soprovich and Mike Gaboury are the creators of Filthy Apparel, a premium lifestyle brand based in Canada focused on the gaming industry. The beauty behind the Filthy Casual brand is the positive influence that it has on the people wearing the clothes. What makes their apparel different is that it is for gamers of every level, whether you are a professional or play casually every so often. This is about growing as an extended family, with people you meet virtually, at conventions, or through social media.

Jason Mike Filthy Casual

Photo by Darshelle Stevens

Jason and Mike began their adventure 7 years ago as nothing more than just a hobby. They were never the cool kids, but not quite the nerds either. Their similar interest in World of Warcraft brought them together as friends and decided to form a company together. Unsure of which industry to reach, they pursued music. They quickly learned that it was not something they had passion for, and discarded the idea soon after. Clothing sounded reasonable, they thought, and that was where they poured their creativity to this day.

What started as 50 shirts for friends became something much more, for a community with a large demographic. According to The ESA, in 2015, 155 million Americans play video games with an average of two gamers in every gaming household. With a large audience in the United States alone, Filthy Casual is quickly becoming the ultimate lifestyle brand for gamers. Their online store features a wide range of products, from graphic t-shirts and snapbacks to artwork in the form posters and prints. Their apparel is focused on comfort, made with premium fabrics and materials. Growing quickly, their product line will be expanding within a few months time.

The culture that Jason and Mike built for Filthy Casual is unique in the fact that they have remained humble throughout their success. Their appreciation for everyone involved thus far, from their photographer Darshelle Stevens to all the family and friends they have met along the way, is expressed through their language and stories shared. Filthy Casual Spotlights feature individuals that are equally as passionate about the gaming community as they are. Social media has been an outlet for Filthy Casual to reach and engage with fans. Their Twitter is flooded with people around the world wearing their apparel, while their Instagram gives you a behind the scenes look into the people behind the brand.

Filthy Casual Mike Jason

Photo by Darshelle Stevens

Keeping up with the gaming market is one of their priorities that has contributed to their success. Jason and Mike are constantly watching gaming trends and many times, designing on the fly based on what is forecasted. The Filthy Casual team has traveled around the world, with Vancouver, Austin, and San Diego being some of their favorites. Their growth is no secret, with companies actively reaching out to them. They have collaborated with some of the most respected people in the industry like Rooster Teeth, where Filthy Casual designed a shirt based on their aesthetic. Others include Kinda Funny Games, Deep Silver, and are currently in talks on secret projects in the gaming industry.

Filthy Casual is a brand filled with passion and their mission is to spread the positivity that they have seen in the community. They are the family that you wish you had growing up, and are pioneering the way for people to come together based on similar interests, just as Jason and Mike has. They made a clothing brand that they believe in and wear themselves. The best advice they can give is, “Be willing to be dynamic, find where you fit in, and don’t give up.” Filthy Casual is as respectable as the team behind it. What was once days filled with World of Warcraft is now an apparel company sought out by fans around the world. Because their foundation is built on connecting with people and building relationships, they do not offer sponsorships of any kind. Everyone that wears their clothing is a true fan, and they pride themselves on being authentic without having to spend any marketing dollars.

Jason Mike Filthy Casual

Photo by Darshelle Stevens

As Filthy Casual continues to grow, they hope to see their apparel on the average gamer. They have turned down opportunities for entering retail stores, but are considering opening a flagship store of their own within 5 years time. Jason and Mike want to give their customers a personal experience that only they are able to give. Fans from around the world are purchasing their product in their online store and at conventions. Some are collecting the apparel, such as one of their customers in the UK, who has 46 of their pieces. What they want their fans to know is that Filthy Casual is all inclusive and to not be afraid to say hello. Think of them as an extended family, the guys that have your back when there is no where to turn. That is the Filthy Casual lifestyle.

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