This Entrepreneur’s Goal: Helping 1,000 Urban Business Owners Break $1 Million

This article is so good I wanted to share it. Please read it and you'll gain some knowledge that will help your business grow.

Lyneir Richardson is a man with a mission. He is executive director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J., which has set a goal of helping 1,000 urban entrepreneurs grow their businesses through a nine-month program it runs. The program, which raised $110,000 in funding at an event in October, has enrolled about 400 entrepreneurs so far.

“Our goal is to take the folks who are generating less than $1 million and get them above $1 million,” says Richardson, who was previously the former chief executive officer of Brick City Development Corporation, an economic development organization, under now-Senator Cory Booker, when Booker was Newark’s mayor. He has also been a real estate developer, after starting his career as an attorney.

Located in the same building as Audible, the Amazon-owned audiobook company, the Center has been promoting entrepreneurship in the city since its founding in 2008. It currently runs programs such as the Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative program, which provides intensive classroom instruction for first-generation urban business owners and runs capacity-building programs to serve urban entrepreneurs in the arts, technology, and retail/restaurant industries, so they can go after bigger projects and clients.

Lyneir Richardson, executive director of the Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

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The center also has space within the Rutgers Department of Arts, Culture and Media in a building that was once home to Hahne & Co., a historic department store, at 609 Broad Street, and now includes a Whole Foods. Within Rutgers’ expansive space is an incubator that includes office space for eight microbusinesses.

The center has targeted underserved communities in the entrepreneurial sector. Within the Center, about 70% of the entrepreneurs are African American and Latino, 62% are women and 40% are Newark residents, Richardson estimates. Most have no connection to Rutgers. About 60% of the businesses employ fewer than five people, and some are one-person operations. Richardson believes many have the potential to grow.

Newark, which is a 15-minute train ride from Manhattan, is now home to a growing entrepreneurial scene, thanks to its high-speed internet and abundance of university students. Newark Venture Partners, a fund with corporate partners such as Audible, Dun & Bradstreet and Panasonic—has been investing in early-stage, B2B tech companies in the area.

Recently, Richardson shared some of the advice he is giving to businesses that want to get to $1 million. Here are his strategies for entrepreneurs.

Embrace the profit motive. A business needs to make a profit and become sustainable before it can contribute significantly to its community, as Richardson sees it.

“Many of the folks we see want to do something good in the neighborhood and start a business for social impact reasons,” says Richardson. “We spend a lot of time helping entrepreneurs feel comfortable thinking about and talking about being profitable. They are often reluctant to talk about being profitable in a way that is unapologetic. We always say ‘Be profitable first. Have your business be profitable without apology.’ If it’s not profitable, it’s not sustainable.”

One way to become more profitable is through pricing that reflects the value of what you provide, he says.

If you offer top-tier service, don’t be afraid to ask for what it’s worth on the open market, he advises. “I love situations where we have an entrepreneur who is expressly not trying to be the cheapest,” he says. “Because of the value of their goods or services, they can take on fewer customers.” That helps them to maintain a high level of service that keeps customers coming back.

Give customer acquisition top priority. Even if you have a great product or service, it will be hard to grow your sales to seven figures without spreading the word to potential buyers.

“Always focus on how you can get more customers,” he advises.

For some businesses, the best route to customer acquisition maybe by making more pitches or advertising more. For others, it may be raising their visibility by speaking on more panel discussions. The method doesn’t matter. What is important is whether it is effective.

Learn how to find funding. People of color and women have historically had trouble accessing capital. Some have found that turning to friends and family or alternative funding sources, such as community-based programs, can help them pick up momentum on this front.

Learning how to pitch friends, family and other potential investors is an important part of this, says Richardson. “Entrepreneurs tend to raise capital almost with an apology,” says Richardson. “With some planning, you can figure out how to have a conversation about the capital you need and put together a list of organizations that provide supportive capital.”

In addition to community organizations, universities sometimes provide funding to new entrepreneurs. The center makes capital available through its Banking and Financial Services Affinity Group and Angel Investment Fund for Black and Latino technology entrepreneurs, for instance.

Keep a close eye on receivables. It’ll be easier to run a sustainable business if customers pay you on time. “Have a focused and consistent strategy to get your payment as soon as possible,” Richardson advises.

Some businesses incentivize clients to pay them early by offering them discounts.

“Having customers who not only pay but pay between 15 to 30 days is the difference between a struggling entrepreneur and one who has good cash flow,” says Richardson. “Cash flow is like oxygen. Without cash flow, you can’t breathe.”

But good receivables management isn’t just about keeping an eye on your QuickBooks and sending reminders when a client pays you late. “Take the accounts receivable person to lunch,” he suggests. You might come away with some tips on how to better prepare your invoices or internal programs that can help you get paid faster.

Never stop learning. “Always do something that is advancing your education, whether it is reading books, going to industry conferences or taking a capacity-building program at a university,” advises Richardson. “What I have found is that when I read or am going to industry conferences, it helps fuel the drive that is needed to be successful.”

He hopes to bring that fuel to the 1,000 entrepreneurs in Rutgers’ program. “As much as people get value from the intellectual pursuit, there is a camaraderie that goes along with being part of an entrepreneurial community,” he says. “We all need each other to grow.”

Main article

Cord-cutting could claim another 6.2M video subs in 2020

“We now expect industry losses to remain in the 6-7% per year range for the medium term, suggesting worsening trends in domestic core affiliate into next year,”

I have been trying to tell people that STILL have cable and satellite connections about the need to cut the cord. Some people are getting the message and some are not. I think the resistance is based on comfortability. They simply want to have a sense of normal in their life and they were thinking that kind of stability comes with sticking with the old systems.

They don't care much about being left behind as they care more about stability and being comfortable. But paying more money then you need to pay is really catching on a little bit at a time.

But across the US things are happening at break-neck speed. Check this article out from FierceVideo.

Cord-cutting and pay-TV subscriber losses greatly accelerated in 2019 – thanks largely to rapid erosion of AT&T’s base – and that trend is expected to continue in 2020.

UBS predicted that the U.S. pay-TV industry will lose another 6.2 million video subscribers in 2020, down slightly from the 6.4 million the analyst firm predicts will be lost in total this year. If that loss comes to bear it will represent a 6.7% rate of decline, ahead of 6.2% in 2019 and well ahead of 1.2% in 2018 when video subscriber losses totaled 1.2 million.

“We now expect industry losses to remain in the 6-7% per year range for the medium term, suggesting worsening trends in domestic core affiliate into next year,” wrote UBS analyst John Hodulik in a research report. He said that improvement at AT&T will likely be offset by worsening trends for cable providers and other MVPDs.

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That doesn’t mean that AT&T is out of the woods just yet with video subscriber declines. UBS predicts that the company will lose another 2.6 million subscribers in 2020, down 13% from 2019 when the company is expected to account for approximately two-thirds of all U.S. video subscriber losses.

In the meantime, cable providers’ continued focus on the internet and not video as their key product could lead to accelerated video subscriber losses in 2020.

“Charter's recent price increase and the likely adoption of the Flex/Peacock bundle by the industry are signs that video sub losses have fallen down the list of concerns with cable mgmt,” wrote Hodulik. “We now expect the cable industry to lose 2.8M subs in 2020, up from 2.1M in 2019, offsetting much of the benefit of fewer losses at AT&T.”

UBS also expects virtual MVPD growth to slow down in 2020, particularly as PlayStation Vue prepares to shut down in January and AT&T TV Now appears to be winding down. The firm said it has seen fewer promotions at the large vMVPDs and that Disney guidance for improving Hulu losses make them unlikely. UBS believes Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV have been adding around 100,000 to 200,000 subscribers per quarter and expects that trend to continue while smaller providers struggle with financing.

Cord-cutting even worse than ‘freaking ugly’ in Q3

Another #StreamingKing report!?

As "streaming TV" gets better you are going to see more and more people getting rid of their dish, cable and well all of the slower and less robust platforms. It's just the way business works!

The question I have is when will you cut your cord and join the rest of us in the digital age? Check out this report that showed up on FierceVideo blog post.

With many of the biggest U.S. pay-TV providers already having reported third-quarter results, analyst firm MoffettNathanson outlined a cord-cutting picture even more dreadful than the previous quarter.

In July, after AT&T, Charter, and Comcast reported an aggregate of more than 1.2 million video subscriber losses, MoffettNathanson called it “freaking ugly.” Now, the firm is struggling for a phrase to describe the escalating situation.

“Since AT&T provided initial guidance of massive subscriber losses in early September, media investors have been bracing for an even uglier quarter than 2Q, which we labeled ‘freaking ugly,’” wrote Michael Nathanson in a research note. “Well, with earnings now in the books for Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Charter, we can definitively say that the early read on tradition cord-cutting is uglier than before.”

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According to the firm, those four video distributors have reported 1.74 million in aggregate video subscriber losses, 1.23 million worse than the 506,000 aggregate subscribers lost in the year-ago quarter. AT&T accounted for the biggest share of those losses. The company lost approximately 1.16 million premium video subscribers (DirecTV and U-verse) and lost another 195,000 AT&T TV subscribers for a total of about 1.358 million during the quarter.

RELATED: Cord-cutting is getting ‘freaking ugly,’ analyst says

As a result of the losses posted so far, MoffettNathanson estimates the rate of traditional cord-cutting will hit 6.2% in the third quarter (the worst it’s ever been). After factoring in virtual MVPD additions, the rate comes down to 3.8% but that’s still a new low for the rate of all-in cord-cutting.

“Even if Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV crush expectations this quarter, we still expect to see a dramatic continued acceleration in the rate of pay-TV subscriber declines,” Nathanson wrote. The firm also noted that its vMVPD estimates don’t account for the fact that PlayStation Vue is shutting down in January.

Comcast lost 238,000 video subscribers (222,000 residential and 16,000 business video customers) during the quarter. The total losses were substantially higher than the 106,000 Comcast lost in the same quarter of 2018.

Charter posted a net loss of 75,000 video subscribers, as 77,000 lost residential subscribers were offset only somewhat by 2,000 new small and medium business video subscribers. The loss outpaced the 54,000 video subscribers Charter gave back in the year-ago quarter but was an improvement over the 141,000 lost in the second quarter of 2019.

Verizon reported a net loss of 67,000 Fios video subscribers.

For a deeper dive into the topic of cutting the cord.

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WHAT IS “OTT” AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO EVERY ENTREPRENEUR?

OTT stands for “Over-The-Top”

Described by Wikipedia: Over the top (OTT) media service is a streaming media service offered directly to viewers over the Internet. OTT bypasses cablebroadcast, and satellite television platforms that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content.[1]

The term is most synonymous with subscription-based video-on-demand services that offer access to film and television content (including existing series acquired from other producers, as well as original content produced specifically for the service), including Prime VideofuboTVHuluNetflixHotstarZee5Now TVSling TV, MercTV, PlutoTVShudder and Sky Go as well as a wave of "skinny" television services that offer access to live streams of linear specialty channels similar to a traditional satellite or wireline television provider, but streamed over the public Internet, rather than a closed, private network with proprietary equipment such as set-top boxes.

Over the top services are typically accessed via websites on personal computers, as well as via apps on mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets), digital media players(including video game consoles), or televisions with integrated smart TV platforms.

 

Content being used by OTT providers

OTT television, usually called online television or internet television or streaming television, remains the most popular OTT content. This signal is received over the internet or through a cell phone network, as opposed to receiving the television signal from a terrestrial broadcast or satellite. Access is controlled by the video distributor, through either an app or a separate OTT dongle or box, connected to a phone, PC or television set. By mid-2017, 58 percent of US households would access one in a given month and advertising revenues from OTT channels exceeded those from web browser plug-ins.[13]

The record of simultaneous users watching an OTT event was set at 18.6 million by Disney's Indian video streaming platform Hotstar.[14]

OTT messaging is defined as instant messaging services or online chat provided by third parties, as an alternative to text messaging services provided by a mobile network operator.[15][16] An example is the Facebook-owned mobile application WhatsApp, that serves to replace text messaging on Internet-connected smartphones.[17][18] Other providers of OTT messaging include ViberWeChatSkypeTelegram and Google Allo[19]

OTT voice calling, usually called VOIP, capabilities, for instance, as provided by SkypeWeChatViber, and WhatsApp use open internet communication protocols to replace and sometimes enhance existing operator-controlled services offered by mobile phone operators

 

Why is it important to entrepreneurs?

Now for the first time ever entrepreneurs can be present on TV, mobile and web streaming platforms, so that your audience can find you no matter what device they use; your content being promoted on a whole bunch of social media platforms; your website interfacing with your audience on your TV channels; your viewers signing up for your products; you being able to live-cast at a click of a button to all devices, to every platform and TV channel and so much more.

With TTVN’s powerful streaming platform, you will not have to worry about whether or not your ideal customer is on this platform or that one? Which platform should I market to? In fact, those days of asking those questions are GONE. Because, now, with TTVN’s cloud-based, SaaS-based streaming platform you can broadcast on every single top tier platform available and you can do it with a click of a button.

TTVN will truly set you apart and save you time and money. By marketing yourself, your products, and your services to TV, Radio, Internet, Webinars and so much more all at the same time. This is the power that TTVN is bringing to your doorstep in December.

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Commercial break sponsorship: Opportunity 2, duration -60 seconds each, $10,000 each (you can provide your own commercial or we can make one for you). All rights go to Toliver TV Network (TTVN)

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TTVN Mission Statement

New streaming TV service AT&T TV will be available nationwide by early 2020

T&T has been slowly building a new streaming TV service, AT&T TV, and the product is still in the testing phase. But AT&T expects it will ramp up quickly after launch.

AT&T said AT&T TV will launch in select markets by the end of the third quarter before expanding to nationwide availability in early 2020.

For AT&T, the service is not so much about replacing DirecTV satellite service but creating new addressable markets while reducing customer acquisition costs related to satellite dish installations and service setup. Last month, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the lower customer acquisition costs will allow AT&T to offset rising programming costs so it can decrease price points for AT&T TV. For example, he pointed toward AT&T’s current carriage dispute with Nexstar Media, which he said asked for a 100% increase in broadcast television retransmission fees in its initial renewal offer.

“We’ve got to find a way to get the cost curve down on this product so we can keep people into the product for a longer-term basis,” Stephenson said.

AT&T is pitching AT&T TV as improved user experience with a modern user interface, better search capabilities, and in-app support. The company is also testing a proprietary Android TV set-top box that will accompany the service.

For continuity sake, AT&T is changing the name of DirecTV Now, one of its other multichannel streaming services, to AT&T TV Now. But the name change could also be aimed toward delineating (and maybe disassociating) AT&T’s streaming TV operations from its struggling satellite TV business.

DirecTV contributed to AT&T losing 778,000 traditional TV subscribers in the second quarter. The company attributed those elevated losses to increased churn resulting from DirecTV customers coming off two-year promotional price locks. The company said that the amount of traditional pay-TV subscribers on promo pricing declined by 600,000 during the second quarter, leaving another 1 million still on promo pricing. AT&T said that means video subscriber churn will remain high throughout the rest of 2019.

 

Original Article 

Scammers Are Targeting Roku Owners, Especially New Roku Owners

For years now we have been warning Roku owners that scammers have been trying to target them. One of these scams has been targeting new Roku owners and, for some reason, in the last week scammers have once again been focusing on new Roku owners.

We have been getting a growing number of complaints from readers that Roku is charging a fee sometimes as high as $100+ to activate the Roku they just purchased. This is a scam! We have also heard people say they have had to sign up to a yearly subscription to use their Roku. This, too, is a scam.

Cord Cutters News has confirmed with Roku that setting up your Roku is 100% free after you buy your Roku.

The issue seems to come when new Roku owners are told to go to Roku’s site and enter a code on their screen. A growing number of buyers are not just entering the address shown on the screen but Googling Roku Activation and looking for a phone number to set up their Roku.

Roku does not offer help to set up your Roku via phone. You have to use the link shown on your TV when you first turn on your Roku and set it up. Don’t go to any other sites or use any phone number to set up your account.

How To Set Up Your Roku Without Getting Scammed

If you need help setting up your Roku, just follow the on-screen instructions. At some point, it will give you a 5-letter/number code that looks like “XD12G.” (That is just an example, every Roku has a different code.)

Go to https://my.roku.com/link and enter the code you see on your Roku. Do not Google Roku Activation. Just enter the link as shown above or click that link to open a new window.

From there, Roku will ask you to log in if you already have a Roku account or to create a free account by entering a username and password. That account will allow you to easily set up new Roku players just by logging in.

Now you are ready to use your Roku. (Your Roku will automatically complete the set up after you finish setting up your Roku account.)

Remember: There is no cost to set up a Roku after you buy it. Also, remember to be careful that the website you are on is the real website—not a fake one. Any website that is not Roku.com is not a Roku-owned website.

Hopefully, this helps you avoid spending money on something that is free.

Original Article

Dish loses 79K video subscribers, adds 48K Sling TV subscribers

Dish Network’s second-quarter results were marked by a significant decrease in satellite subscriber losses and continued (albeit slow) growth at Sling TV.

Dish lost 79,000 satellite subscribers and added 48,000 Sling TV subscribers, equaling a net pay TV subscriber loss of approximately 31,000 subscribers in the second quarter. That’s compared to 151,000 net losses in the second quarter of 2018 and 334,000 net losses in the previous quarter.

The company closed the second quarter with 12.03 million total pay TV subscribers, including 9.56 million Dish TV subscribers and 2.47 million Sling TV subscribers.

Despite the slower rate of subscriber attrition, Dish’s revenues still declined significantly. The company reported revenue totaling $3.21 billion for its second quarter, down from $3.46 billion one year ago. In a filing with the SEC, Dish blamed the decrease on its dwindling satellite subscriber base.

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“Our subscriber-related revenue has been declining due to, among other things, the continuing decline in our Dish TV subscriber base. We expect this trend to continue,” Dish wrote.

Net income attributable to Dish Network totaled $317 million for the quarter, down from $439 million in the year-ago quarter.

While Dish didn’t post blockbuster subscriber growth figures, it did considerably better than DirecTV and DirecTV Now. AT&T’s satellite operator contributed a net loss of 778,000 traditional video subscribers, and DirecTV Now posted a net loss of 168,000 subscribers.

Dish likely continues to suffer from not being able to sell HBO and Cinemax directly to its subscribers. The company and AT&T have been at an impasse since October 2018, and Dish said it has been unable to negotiate the terms and conditions of a new programming carriage contract.

Original Article

Still using FTP to move large files? You’ll want to check this out

ftp oLD SCHOOL

This was an email sent to me that I thought would help everyone out so I am passing it on to the group.

Back in 1971, FTP was a groundbreaking invention. TODAY? Well, things have moved on. A lot.

Next-generation file transfer solutions exist, yet, surprisingly, media companies all over the world still use FTP to move today’s large video files. Slowly. Unreliably. And often, insecurely.

Read our eGuideNine Pitfalls of Relying on FTP to Move Large Media Files, to learn:

  • Why FTP simply can’t keep up in an age of ever larger and more urgent file transfers
  • How the headaches from relying on FTP for delivering and sharing your files are only getting worse
  • Why deploying a better solution doesn’t have to mean jettisoning your familiar FTP folders and directory structures

And that’s just the start. Download your guide for the full picture.

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