Posts by Farnoosh Torabi
Farnoosh Torabi at CNBC 8 mths ago
When you're an accomplished expert in your field, how do you scale your business to the masses without diluting your brand or making costly mistakes?
Fitness entrepreneur Tracy Anderson is quickly expanding her business and hoping to grab an even bigger slice of the $75-billion-a-year health and fitness market.
CNBC's "Follow the Leader" shadowed Anderson to see her in action as she reviewed plans for opening additional workout studios across the country and introducing meal replacement products at Target (TGT) stores.
Anderson expects 2016 to be a year of massive growth for her company.
Here are four top lessons learned about how Anderson plans to move forward strategically, while maintaining her brand's integrity.
Anderson excels at creating highly sought-after fitness and diet programs and products. She's spent nearly two decades fine-tuning her methods. But without formal business training, she'll be the first to admit that she needs help running the day-to-day business operations of the company.
"Maria knows what it means to help people lead a healthier life," said Anderson.
You're only as good as the company you keep.
Farnoosh Torabi at CNBC 8 mths ago
Fashion eyewear business Warby Parker seeks to nearly double its retail presence across the country in 2016.
Co-CEOs Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa recently walked through their aggressive expansion plans on CNBC's "Follow the Leader."
Their next destination is Brooklyn, New York, which is expected to be Warby Parker's 34th store when it opens. The company hopes its presence in the borough will help reduce congestion at its two downtown Manhattan locations.
It's a move that suggests that even when a business begins as a digital brand as Warby Parker did in 2010, in order to stay competitive, it pays to get physical.
Warby Parker is a relative newcomer to the global eyewear industry that's largely dominated by the established Luxottica Group — the makers of Oakley, Ray-Ban and designer-labeled eyewear. The Italian conglomerate generated net sales of over $10 billion last year.
To mitigate risk, the company is taking advantage of its massive online customer database to better understand the geography of its demand. Based on the number of customers with addresses in say, Brooklyn, Warby Parker can more properly assess if a move there actually makes sense.
Old habits die hard, so when an entrepreneur sets out to disrupt the status quo, can the fight against inertia be won?
Persuading customers to adopt a new service or product, even if it's a better one, is an unspoken challenge start-up founders like Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox know all too well.
I recently spent 48 hours with the co-founder and CEO of the fast-growing beauty company on CNBC's "Follow the Leader," watching as she and her team focused on ways to reroute the way we normally discover, learn and shop for cosmetics — from over the counter at a department store or in a drugstore to online at Birchbox.com.
You can't blame us for sticking to our habits. We want to try, test and take our time before making a purchase. Skin care, cosmetics and perfume can be quite pricey, after all.
Birchbox partly addressed this first consumer habit — the desire to try — five years ago when it launched a $10 monthly subscription service that provides members with a box of beauty samples they can experiment with on their own time at home.
No matter how much you want to close a deal, it sometimes pays to be extra patient. The key to selling, says Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, is to be a giver — not a taker.
I had the opportunity to spend 48 hours with the serial entrepreneur to learn how he builds success and fortune for his top-tier clients by leveraging the digital landscape and social media.
As co-founder of VaynerMedia, a fast-growing digital marketing agency in New York, he leads 600 employees who work closely with giant brands like General Electric (GE), Budweiser (Euronext Brussels: ABI-BE) and 20th Century Fox (NWSA).
Vaynerchuk was in his 20s when he realized his potential to leverage the internet to make money, as he helped catapult his family's wine shop into a $60 million per year business mainly through online marketing. He also has an eye for the next great social media platforms, as an early investor in companies like Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB). Today, in addition to running VaynerMedia, the 40-year-old serial entrepreneur is a best-selling author, speaker and internet celebrity with a popular YouTube (GOOGL) channel.
Longtime music label executive Lyor Cohen has co-founded an independent record label called 300 Entertainment that's competing with the wealthier and more established big shots of the music industry — some of the same companies he used to lead.
While skepticism surrounds him, he believes he's crafted an untapped formula to be the best at finding, grooming and monetizing artists in the 21st century.
Cohen made a name for himself running Def Jam Records in the 1990's and later heading the Warner Music Group (: ). He's worked with artists ranging from Run-DMC to LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys.
For three days, CNBC's "Follow the Leader" had the chance to accompany Cohen around New York City as he went from his office to a recording studio to meetings with Spotify and YouTube. What allows him to have a leg up in an incredibly competitive industry? Here's what I discovered.
Moving fast is essential, he says, otherwise 300 could find itself in bidding wars with bigger labels to sign artists — and in those events, 300 would likely lose.
Billionaire John Paul DeJoria believes it is his duty to give back — big time.
As a member of "The Giving Pledge," a charitable campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, he plans to offer more than half of his wealth to philanthropy during his lifetime or later.
"The more I make, the more I get to give back," he tells me in his corner office in Los Angeles. "Success unshared is failure."
I recently had the unique opportunity to spend several days with the co-founder of Paul Mitchell Systems and Patron Tequila to understand the secrets to his success and how he's managed to build not one, but two billion-dollar businesses. DeJoria allowed me to shadow him, as the first of many entrepreneurs in my new CNBC show, "Follow the Leader."
I learned that sharing his success — or wealth — is just one top habit this 71-year-old billionaire practices.
Farnoosh Torabi at CNBC 10 mths ago
Throughout my career as a business and financial journalist, the most time I've ever been granted to spend with a successful (read: rich and powerful) person for a story has been one hour — tops! Usually I can snag 20 minutes over the phone, but rarely without an eavesdropping publicist sharing the line.
In "Follow the Leader," my CNBC show debuting April 6, I have the rare chance to spend an incredible amount of time with some of the world's greatest entrepreneurs, usually between 48 and 72 hours.
In that time you can learn a lot about a person's beliefs, habits and tastes. You begin to see how they dissect problems and arrive at solutions. You witness how they treat people and learn what others think about them. For example...
Finding it hard to feel festive when all you can think about is that fat credit card bill or those student loans you’re (still) paying off? Unfortunately, you’re not alone: three in four American households are currently saddled with some kind of debt.
So, as we enter a new holiday season — with shoppers planning to spend even more than last year — here’s how to affordably take part in the giving season and keep a lid on debt.
[Editor's note: This was originally published November 17th 2014.]
Aiming to cap your holiday spend at $500? Map out your spending according to that exact figure, not on money you “think” is going to come rolling in. Avoid temptation by sticking to cash and prioritizing your budget.
If your manager does pull through with a substantial bonus, consider it an extra payment toward an existing card balance.
A note to procrastinators: If you’re going to adopt this trick, start brainstorming and collecting ideas well ahead of Hanukkah or Christmas Eve.
Marriage used to be merely an economic exchange. A bride was “given away” by her family along with some sort of dowry. Or a groom’s family would “buy” a bride from her folks with the hopes that she’d produce children and take on common housewifery tasks. If a deep and loving connection ensued, well, that was just a bonus.
Thankfully, marriage has evolved to be a consensual union of two individuals who are firstly in love. But to pretend that marriage no longer has economic implications is a falsehood. There are several financial pros and cons compared to living the single life or as romantic roommates. Consider the following.
“The biggest advantage after saying ‘I do’ is that your earnings typically go up and your expenses go down,” says Stacy Francis, founder and CEO of Francis Financial, a wealth management boutique in New York. “This leads to married couples accumulating more assets than their non-married counterparts.”
Financial expert David Bach coined the now-famous phrase “latte factor” more than a decade ago to illustrate the thousands of dollars you could save over time by giving up your daily latte. The phrase is akin to the common notion that little things add up.
But we’re tired of the same old coffee-hating advice. If giving up your gourmet cold brew is non-negotiable (or not applicable), there's still hope. Here are eight strategies that, combined, can help you save up to $5,000 in one year.
Banks raked in billions of dollars in account fees last year. A serious chunk of that came from our own lazy tendency to use out-of-network ATMs. (I’m totally guilty of doing this.) The average ATM withdrawal fee surged by 5 percent in 2014, to $4.35, according to Bankrate.com. This includes the fee your bank charges you for using an out-of-network ATM and the ATM’s own fee.
Potential savings: $225 (weekly ATM trips)
Potential savings: $400
Potential savings: $380