Posts by Jeanine Ibrahim

  • Saving the world (and their business) one cup at a time

    Jeanine Ibrahim at The Biz Fix 11 mths ago

    “Every year, half a billion disposable cups enter the landfill that will never biodegrade,” said Chelsea Briganti. She and co-founder Leigh Ann Tucker want to revolutionize the use of plastics with their creation—a fully biodegradable and edible material they’re selling as a cup—called Loliware. Their goal is to create a full set of tableware. “The longer you dry it out, the harder it becomes.” Briganti said “We really look at Loliware as a material that can become anything.  Even packaging.”

    (Related: De Niro family adds coffee making to already impressive resume)

    (Related: A $100 million idea that no one knows about)

    Follow The Profit's Marcus Lemonis on Twitter: @marcuslemonis

  • No food around the office? Eat this.

    Jeanine Ibrahim at The Biz Fix 1 yr ago

    Ever eat Japanese-inspired Mexican food? It’s an uncommon mix that food truck owners Debbie and Derek Kaye have combined to create Takumi Taco. But rather than hawking their spicy tuna tacos and miso tortilla soup off a truck, they’re peddling it in another mobile way. “As far as I know [Takumi Taco] is really the first permanent cart inside an office building in New York City,” Derek Kaye said.  The young entrepreneurs got their start in business four years ago with their Eddie’s Pizza Truck. They quickly learned how difficult it was to turn a profit on New York City’s streets. Strict rules and regulations have them paying fines up to $1,000 a month.  So rather than putting another truck on the streets, they parked a semi-permanent Takumi Taco food cart on the 17th floor of a large office building. It spans one full city block on Manhattan’s west side, houses 5,000 workers and doesn’t have many lunch options nearby.   

  • Lemonis: When selling Crumbs isn’t enough, diversify!

    Jeanine Ibrahim at The Biz Fix 1 yr ago

    (Related: Is it the end of food trucks? Not quite, says Lemonis ) Lemonis also likes businesses that have diversified product offerings.  At Crumbs, he wants to sell more than cupcakes. He and an investor group plan to turn the bake shops into snack food destinations. He’ll sell products from his other brands, like Mr. Green Tea, Matt’s Cookies and Sweet Pete’s candies. “You can’t run a business on just cupcakes,” he said. “When we reopen, we’re going to have a diversified offering.” How important is listening to your gut in business?  Lemonis frequently makes handshake deals based on gut decisions. But he doesn’t invest his own money purely on a whim. (Related: Downward dog your way to thousands of new clients ) “Your gut is good to give you some sort of reaction, but it doesn’t trump listening to the numbers,” he said. “If the numbers say one thing, and your gut says another, always defer to the numbers.” How can small businesses stay alive against big boxes?  Small businesses can win by offering a unique product and a unique service.  Customers sometimes feel like they’re nothing but a number when they shop at big box retail chains. This means mom-and-pop...

  • Is it the end of food trucks? Not quite, says Lemonis

    Jeanine Ibrahim at The Biz Fix 1 yr ago

    Derek and Debbie Kaye tell eager foodies who seek advice on starting a food truck one thing—don’t do it.

    The married couple cut an exclusive licensing deal with Eddie’s Pizza, a restaurant on New York’s Long Island, to sell a version of its bar pies out of a truck. Four years later, they say it’s become increasingly difficult to make money on New York City’s streets. 

    “On a monthly basis, we’re spending over $1,000 in parking tickets and fines alone just to maintain our business on the streets,” Derek Kaye said. 

    Tough rules and regulations, along with required permits and licenses, create obstacles that eat up their profits, the couple said. Truck drivers often wake up at 3 a.m. to fight for prime lunch spots, even though they can’t legally park and operate at a paid meter. 

    “We even go to a spot knowing that we’re going to get a $60 ticket, and we just take it because we like that spot,” Debbie Kaye said. 

    Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” advises them on how to make more money, and how to hire help without spending a lot.  

  • The $100 million idea that barely anyone knows about

    Jeanine Ibrahim at The Biz Fix 1 yr ago

    Five years ago, Russ D'Souza and Jack Groetzinger were frustrated.

    They wanted a single, convenient website where a user could find the best deals on concert and sports tickets, and it just wasn’t there. So like other entrepreneurs before them who built businesses from nothing, they created SeatGeek.

    With $100 million worth of tickets flowing through the ticketing platform in 2013 alone, conventional wisdom says it’s been successful so far. Still, SeatGeek faces the challenge of getting its name out there, so Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” spoke with the founders about their marketing plan.

    How does it work?

    First, SeatGeek doesn’t sell tickets.

    It culls and lists inventory from all major primary and reseller websites like TicketsNow, eBay and Ticketfly. It then allows buyers to create custom searches based on factors such as seating, price and venue. Its proprietary software, Deal Score, ranks these seats from “amazing to awful,” based on a scale of zero to 100.

    (RELATED: Shoe maker considers the ultimate offer)

    Biz Fix Tip 1: Affinity marketing

    Biz Fix Tip 2: Spread your name with logo and tagline