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If you would have told me five years ago that I was going to build a successful porn company, chances are I’d say you’re crazy (or probably call you something worse). But here I am, CEO and co-founder of ManyVids, and I could not be prouder or more professionally challenged. This is my dream job, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

So how does a girl like me wind up in a place like this? It’s been a wild ride. Starting my own business was always in the cards, from setting up a lemonade stand as a child, to studying business in University. Everything seemed to be going according to plan as I was busy running my own clothing store, but when a flood destroyed my inventory and wiped me out financially, that’s when things went from bad to weird. Desperate for cash, a friend of mine suggested I could make some quick money as a cam girl. I had never heard the term before, so as soon as he explained that “camming” involved stripping or performing simulated sexual acts in front of a camera, I let him know exactly what I thought of his not-so modest proposal. There is no way I would EVER do something like that! But two weeks later, amid growing debt and no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, there I was, adjusting the lighting, fixing my hair and setting up for my first cam show.

 

I soon put everything I had into being the best cam girl there was. I researched it day and night, worked on my wardrobe, my technique and building a loyal audience. Spending this time inside an industry that is pretty much in the unknown to most people, I was shocked to discover a world I had never given much thought to. The people who work in the adult entertainment business, from the men and women creating amateur cam videos to porn stars in adult films, they were all lovely, gentle, and clever human beings who deserved to be treated with respect and have greater control over what they do. Porn is a multi-billion-dollar industry and from what I can tell, these “porn stars” weren’t making their fair share of the profits.

So, I put on my entrepreneurial hat once again and decided to step away from in front of the camera to build a website that was an e-commerce platform for these sex workers that would make each one of them entrepreneurs as well. They would have their own marketplace, where they set up what they’d like to sell, setting the price, producing and promoting their content on their terms, and they would have full copyright ownership of their work, a huge deal in an industry full of pirated content. Plus, we would promote sex-positivity and raise awareness about the issue of abuse among sex workers. And so ManyVids was born. In the beginning it was just the three of us, Sed, my friend and now boyfriend who had originally introduced the idea of camming, along with our friend Gino. Together we worked in a basement apartment, the guys worked on the coding and the back end for the website and I came up with the marketing plans to launch our product and managed all the financial aspects of running the business.

After 3 months of intense work, things started to take off and it kept growing faster and faster.  As the company grew, success came with a whole slew of different problems: basically, how do we keep up? There were cash flow problems, lack of resources, lack of experience, lack of time and lack of space. We converted our apartment into our official ManyVids Office. We kept one room to sleep in and transformed the rest of space for working. At that time, every decision we took was a huge risk. Because of the lack of funds, one wrong move and everything, the business, our dreams would be over. We hired our first team members without having the proper funds. We believe it was the right decision and it was. We moved the MV Offices from the basement apartment into a much bigger, much nicer office space, moving a few times as the team grew, to our current 16 000 square feet office in Montreal, Quebec.

Today, almost 4 years after the initial launch of ManyVids.com, the MV Team is composed of over 100 dedicated team members that believe in our vision and mission and wish to help adult content creators from all over the world become successful independent entrepreneurs.

 

At ManyVids, we have the utmost respect for all our strong and courageous MV Stars. There are over 17,200 performers on our site and the most important thing that we want to get across to them is this:

“You are not alone! You are important and you can and will accomplish amazing things in this world”.

I am incredibly proud of everything we’ve accomplished and it’s just the beginning. There is an incredible amount of work ahead of us that to help change perceptions and conditions for these people who give so much of themselves. I truly believe that it’s possible to have a profitable business that considers caring and helping a top priority that influences everything we do. What could be better than that?

Bella French is CEO and co-founder of ManyVids, the world’s fastest growing adult clip site. She launched the platform in 2014 and brought with it her vision to revolutionize the adult industry by offering a safe haven that promotes sex positivity and the fair treatment of adult entertainers. A self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, ManyVids is her third business venture. She has focused her energy, passion and expertise into establishing the ManyVids marketplace platform, empowering content creators to become successful independent entrepreneurs in their own right. Bella studied Marketing and Logistics at business school HEC Montreal and lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Bella French also served as ManyVids CFO from 2014 until 2017.

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IG Intro

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If you’re interested in starting a small business in Florida, one of the first things you need to consider is the current climate in your chosen industry. You don’t want to launch into a field that’s oversaturated while also offering a minimal demand from the public. Differentiation is key, but you should also look for indicators that there’s a strong customer base for your goods and services in a particular area. A souvenir shop will do well in parts of Florida where tourism is high, while a business focused on home repair services is best situated among residential neighborhoods.

Florida is a welcoming state for small businesses. In fact, over 99 percent of businesses in the state are classified as small businesses. This means that you’ll be in good company here, but you’ll also have a lot of competition. At the end of 2016, 18,474 small businesses shut down. Make sure your company isn’t among those to close their doors by taking care of your due diligence before you make that first sale. Planning is critical for new business owners who want to achieve long-term financial success.

From labor costs to tax laws, there’s a lot that you need to know about the area that you choose for your new business venture. Florida offers a wealth of benefits for prospective entrepreneurs. Learn more about the small business climate in the Sunshine State with this infographic. You’ll get valuable details to help you pick the perfect spot for your next venture.

 

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How to Create a Viable Business Plan from Scratch

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An idea is a fragile thing. Millions of people think up brilliant business ideas all the time, yet, few see the light of day. In fact, many would argue that the most difficult aspect of starting a business is transitioning an initial idea into a tangible business model. Fortunately, we’ll help you do just that in this post. Here’s how to create a professional business plan from scratch:

Step #1 Write Everything Down

Even individuals with eidetic memories can forget crucial details after a few hours or days. Starting a business requires a high level of organization, and would-be entrepreneurs need to stay on top of their tasks and responsibilities. As such, make it a point to put your ideas and plans in writing. Doing so will give you a strong point of reference and prevent you from overlooking critical deadlines.

Step #2 Research the Competition

The odds of coming up with a completely unique business idea in a world of over 7 billion people is fairly low. Still, many professionals have crafted successful businesses that tackle old problems in new ways. Before you start drafting any paperwork, though, make it a point to perform market research. Determine who your potential competitors will be, and identify if a profitable opportunity exists within a specific niche. If it doesn’t, then your great idea may not prove all that lucrative in practice.

Step #3 Secure Funding

Whether your company will manufacture polypropylene tubes or develop hair-care products, every business needs funding to get off the ground. Retail space, domain names, employee salaries –– these expenses will add up if you don’t budget for them beforehand. Note that there are plenty of alternative lending options available to ambitious business owners.

Step #4 Set Goals

Business owners will have a difficult time setting up a startup for success if they can’t answer two basic questions: what do they want their business to achieve, and how do they plan on making that happen? This is the crux of any sound business model, and it can take weeks or months to address these two issues. Don’t rush the process; instead, take your time to develop reasonable goals and practical means to reach them. 

Step #5 Sweat the “Small” Stuff 

New business owners have to power through a ton of paperwork before they can open their doors for the first time. It’s easy to dismiss these requirements to focus on “more pressing” concerns, but filing the correct documents can help you avoid massive legal trouble down the line. Get your ducks in a row now or pay for your negligence later –– the choice is yours.

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The Who, What And Why Of Meeting Madness (And How To Avoid It)

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The office meeting can be the newest place to hang out, or alternatively, it can be the place where much work is accomplished. Australia’s cities definitely have enough hangout spots, so your office meeting should be the one place to take care of business. The problem relates to retaining the attention of meeting members without skimping on valuable information they might need to take care of business. Most of the problems that cause a meeting to fail relate to setting the stage so that when attendees do arrive they are primed to listen to presenters.

Common problems associated with making a meeting dreary include meetings that last too long or meetings that are very tangential. Other issues that can make a meeting an unpleasant experience relate to the meeting unravelling and facilitators having little control over the room and command over the discussion. Regardless of the size of the room, by following a few simple rules your business can avoid the common woes of the modern business meeting.

Continue reading to find out how you can make your meetings go off without a hitch and avoid major meeting mishaps.

Where

Meeting room space is prime real estate in some office buildings, and to make sure you have an appropriate place that comfortably seats attendees is another way to guarantee a successful meeting. State-of-the-art meeting rooms similar to Servcorp meeting rooms have the latest technologies that can make the meeting experience great for both presenter and attendees. Alternatively, meeting rooms that are cramped and do not have the requisite equipment can have the opposite effect.

Who

When organising a meeting, one of the best ways to guarantee the meeting goes on without any major snags is to announce the meeting well in advance to attendees. Send reminders the week before the meeting, which clearly state the location, time, presenters, and purpose. A million things happen in the course of the business day, and for those with a packed schedule, one reminder can mean the difference between someone who makes the meeting and someone who does not.

What

Many meetings that are routinely held have a number of topics to be covered with little focus. As the speaker moves through the topics, attendees might or might not listen to the topics. The worst thing that can happen is that staff members begin to feel like the meetings are a waste a time, and while attending meetings is a part of the job, the goal is to create an atmosphere where attendees pay attention to the message being conveyed.

Clearly understanding the goal of the meeting can be one way to effectively guarantee that meeting attendees not only are active listeners but participate in the discussion. This is primarily because your goal, or the task you want to accomplish, will help you build the agenda. While it might seem obvious, clearly understanding what the goal is in the meeting can prevent going into a meeting with a number of topics to cover but no focus.

And Why

The purpose of the meeting, which, if well-organised, will be addressed on the agenda. Your agenda should list all of the topics covered in the discussion, and if done well, they will be centred on one theme. Leave a few minutes at the beginning so that late arrivals won’t interrupt valuable information and at the end to address questions tabled during the meeting.

Avoiding Meeting Madness

Well-coordinated meetings always have the most positive effect on attendees, and simply because they clearly address the goal and purpose of the meeting. Furthermore, this clarity reduces that amount of time simply because conversations are structured. Finally, clear directives given in a short amount of time create opportunities for active engagement.

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