10 Things To Consider Before Starting A Small Business

10 Things To Consider Before Starting A Small Business

Provided by: Jabai Industries

Given that there are many mistakes that can be made when starting a business or already having one in operation, 10 considerations will be discussed that will help flesh out some possible mistakes business owners could make.

These are shared in order to help others be able to save time and money by not making the same mistakes, and thus be able to set a stronger foundation from which their business endeavors can take off from and maintain themselves on.

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#1 – Initial Registration & Considerations For Your Business

What type of business do you have? Will you have employees? Are you going to register as a sole proprietor or as an L.L.C.? Do you have a local or online business?

Your answer to those questions will undoubtedly tailor the best approach that you should take. Moreover, each answer has a distinct approach that is probably best for it, and/or best for you, so thoroughly researching the advantages to each question and consideration (such as to register as a sole proprietor or as an L.L.C.) will save you a lot of time or money.

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#2 – Conceptualizing Your Business Name

A common mistake that can be done by many new business owners is registering too many business names, websites, and so on. This is problematic not only because (1) you are spreading yourself too thin, but because (2) you could end up misallocating considerable time on multiple endeavors instead of sticking to one initially and securing that business model, (3) and you could end up spending considerable resources by registering too many business names, or websites, that could go to other portions of your business or even to self-growth as well.

Whatever business name you choose, make sure that you contemplate that at length so you don’t end up regretting it later by having made decisions that could have easily been avoided with some rumination and research.

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#3 – Consider The Overarching Implications Of Your Business Name
To simplify: does your business model only entail one area such as fitness, or is it something more broad? Is your business model simply arts and crafts, or does it include singing, acting, performance art and so forth? There is a distinct difference because whatever business name you choose to use will set the tone for what kind of customers and clients you get.

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#4 – Merchandising Your Business

Make sure you allocate your resources correctly.

For instance, a great mistake that is made by initial business owners is that many times merchandise is ordered in numbers much larger than it should have been ordered, or maybe that merchandise was ordered too early given that there’s no audience for that merchandise to reach.

It will always be easier for individuals to move merchandise with an audience already having been created or available, then it is to create an audience with your merchandise when your business is starting.

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#5 – Pondering The Range Of The Services For Your Business

While staring a small business is incredibly commendable and laudable, it could be easy for an individual to pigeonhole themselves into just one area business.

As an example, if you only offer a unique service or luxury items, those items and services can at any moment be no longer sought after by clients and customers depending on circumstances. This doesn’t mean one shouldn’t consider following suit with a business or an idea just because it’s a luxury item or because your business caters just to one demographic, not at all. It simply means deeper consideration of the fact that your business model might be dependent on not only a little bit of luck, but personal financially circumstances of clients and customers, and more importantly, regional, national, or global economic circumstances which affect everyone.

Not expanding onto other areas could be a mistake depending on what your future plans are, where you live, and what your business model is.

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#6 – Making Sure That You Have An Audience

Know your audience: is the consumer base that your business model needs already there, or do you need to work from the ground up in creating it? This is a crucial distinction.

If the prior is the case, then you don’t have that much of a problem. If the latter circumstance is the issue, then you might want to consider building an audience with social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. This way, whenever you do advertise your services and merchandise, it already has a baseline of potential consumers for it to reach.

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#7 – Referrals & Affiliations

A great way to expand your business relationships and customer base is by creating or joining a network of like-minded business owners.

For instance, while you might only have a business in the realm of health, someone might require vehicle repair services. If you happen to already know someone that is a mechanic or owns a business, then you can refer that friend or client to that individual or business, thus strengthening that relationship given that you’ve not only promoted their business, but you’re showing yourself to be loyal to that person as you would others, which often can reap rewards of varying scales.

By remaining open minded, extending your network, and seeking to create referrals for others as well as strengthening the affiliations with other business owners, you stand to benefit by:
* Referring friends or clients to other business colleagues, and vice versa.
* Strengthening the individual relationships
* Strengthening the overarching network depending on how far reaching that referral extends to.
* Creating more contacts for yourself and/or others.
* Your business profiting and growing from the growth of the referrals and affiliations.

Simply stated, don’t ever underestimate the power of referrals. It has a lot more range than it is given credit for, it is simple, and it cost nothing but time and effort.

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#8 – Waste Of Capital

There are a lot of ways that capital can be misspent in business venture. This can be as simple as purchasing too many business cards and business supplies that aren’t needed yet, to something like purchasing merchandise (i.e. apparel) without having an audience available that will sustain that sort of investment.

Another great example is moving to a brick and mortar store way too soon without having the capital to withhold the business expenses in hopes of having that capital to be built later.

Capital that is misspent once is a hard lesson earned, and something that we all go through whether in life or business, but it’s something that can often be avoided with some research and extended considerations.

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#9 – Changing Project Names Too Often

It is easy to fall into the idea that you have a business name that you love, and thus, go into creating a name, website, social media platforms and so on, when you get started. But many times, though the idea may be ironclad, the name might not be, and you might end up switching names to often.

If you chose name A for your business and created a website with name A for it, then if you change the name for that business, you will have to change the name of the website, so on and so forth. You can see how this one mistake can trickle down like a snowball creating an avalanche of complications later on depending on how far and wide the name was extended towards.

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#10 – Spreading Yourself To Thin

The issue of spreading yourself too thin in business can take place in:
* Multiple project simultaneously
* Changing business names often
* Having too many meetings
* Spending too much time on the phone
* Spending too much time on social media
* Expanding into too many services and products
* Running and expanding a blog (or blogs)

There are many more ways in which a business owner can spread themselves thin, so it is crucial to keep awareness of where time leaks might take place, because every hour that’s misspent in business is an hour that cannot be gained back, and is an hour that could have gone to growth in some other areas.

Final Thoughts

In life, like in business, it’s easy to make mistakes. The great thing is that both life and business almost always offer a second chance. That doesn’t mean business owners should be afraid of making mistakes, not at all. This simply means that careful consideration should be had given that many times the mistakes that are being made could have been avoided because hundreds if not thousands of business owners have made that mistake before, and some have probably talked about it.

This isn’t always the case, but you would be surprised how many success and failure stories there are out here with gems of wisdom on do’s and don’ts for businesses of all types.

Don’t be afraid to try something out simply because you might fail, but don’t be gun-ho about storming towards the horizon with a new idea simply because it seems fantastic without giving it much thought either. Make sure to be mindful, proactive, and do research, if not considerable research into whatever field you are in to make sure that you not only start out the correct way, but you also limit the mistakes you make, as well as saving time and money that will be better allocated elsewhere.

Do any of you have any other mistakes you made in business that you wish to share, ideas that you wish to impart or wish you might have taken part of, or thoughts you want others to consider? It would be great to hear your input below on these topics below.
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Content Provided By Jabai Industries

Article Written Zy Marquiez
Writer, Researcher, & Book Reviewer
Owner of Blocked Up

5 Lessons From Owning and Operating Businesses In The First Year (Part Two)

“Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
– Conrad Hilton

“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.”
– Tim Fargo

The previous write up discussed 5 lessons from the first year of business of my close friend and business owner Hussien Jabai and me. The lessons bellow will continue along the same lines with 5 additional thoughts that could prove valuable for those starting their own business.

agreement-3546008_960_720#6: Know Your Customer Base
Are your primary customers middle-class consumers? Are they individuals concerned with health? Are they parents searching for entertainment options for their kids? Are they females? Males? Moreover, what’s the age range of your customers? Those two examples (of many) dovetail incredibly closely, for they allow you to know how to tailor your business model for your customers.

Social media analytics and other tools help with this. Figure out how to ascertain the demographics of your customer base, and you’re one significant step closer to success towards knowing whether your products will appeal simply to parents, techies, gamers, intellectuals, or any other type of individuals.
filmmaker-2838945_960_720#7: Don’t Be Afraid To Go Against The Grain
Though Jabai’s business model and myself each go against the grain in their own ways, we will focus on what he is undertaking because the scope is much larger and intriguing.

Jabai is an individual who is in the discipline of health and wellness. For business, he could have simply stuck within the run-of-the-mill health and wellness strata of society, and found incredible success. But he’s in the process of expanding way beyond that. His passions are filtering not only into helping individuals with personal training, which he thoroughly enjoys, but into his Fighter Training Systems (FTTS Project), which aids in Injury Prevention for First Responders. But there’s more, he is also undertaking a personal initiative to create a program that strives for a much larger scale regional (and
perhaps global reach) that could help individuals not just locally, but in various global regions.

The above example is the type of mindset that doesn’t settle simply for success, but reaches into making a difference, which is what ultimately changes lives.

books-4305459_960_720#8: Always Strive To Continue Learning
Whether in life, business, personal relationships, or anything else, learning can take place reactively, or proactively. Though lessons in each can provide incredible depth, reactive lessons (and insights) are simply lessons that come when the tide brings them, whenever time provides them, rather than you venturing into the ocean to seek your own veritable treasure. In other words, you can wait for treasure to arrive on the shore of a beach brought about by waves, with that treasure brought to you, or you can venture into uncharted waters like a treasure hunter, and seek treasure of endless types. Self-directed education is one of the ways that individuals can find treasure within the field of business.

A wiseman once said, learning from your mistakes leads to knowledge, while learning from those of others, leads to wisdom. Always seek to learn from the footsteps provided from those before you, and even if you can’t because you happen to be doing something that’s brand new, you can still learn laterally from other individuals and their businesses in this respect.

In conjunction with that, one of the books that provided great insights into learning proactively is the book Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies. This is an excellent crash course into possible avenues for individuals seeking how to expand their awareness of marketing, all the while offering pragmatic
examples of what can be undertaken.

action-3435773_960_720#9: Find (and Construct) Mutual Support Mindset Networks
It’s my estimation that the vanguard reason that Jabai and myself bonded so quickly wasn’t simply because we were business owners, but more importantly, our talks, whether business or personal, were based around the same type of mindset. Each of us employs a mindset that doesn’t simply seeks success, but seeks to go beyond that into creating something unique and far reaching.

Where I myself seek to help individuals express their creative desires through the medium of LEGO in multifarious way which helps bring people of all ages joy in countless ways, Jabai is seeking to help people well beyond the scope of individually tailored health.

Jabai doesn’t simply strive to stay in a comfort zone and be only a personal trainer, he seeks to expand his health and wellness business well beyond the scope that most people within the health and wellness area do.

While individuals can truly do most (or possibly all) things in life alone, one need not go at it alone when there are people of the same type of mindset out there, you simply need to find them and grow those relationships, whether it is in life or business.

Mutual mindset support networks aid in significant ways, from learning how to streamline your approach, having open-minded brainstorming sessions, to proactive seeking to not only to learn lessons from one another, but from others as well.

Each of us is seeking incredible distinct dreams, but with the mindset of empowering others, whether it is creatively or through health, and to buttress that with relentless passion to grow not only as a business, but as individuals as well.
hourglass-2910951_960_720#10 – Do Not Throw Away Time By The Wayside
Mincing no words, the average person spends time inefficiently by the truckload, it is a problem we all have, and its unfortunately a growing trend.

According to an article from New York Daily News penned a while ago, the average person spends 5 hours watching TV daily with some watching even more than that. At 5 hours per day, that amounts to 1,825 hours per year. That is 18250 hours per decade, and 91,250 hours per 50 years. That’s a lot of time! Over the course of 50 years, the total amount of time spent watching TV daily amounts to 3802 consecutive 24-hour days over that span. Or “just” 5 hours a day, for 50 years.

For the sake of simplicity, let us assume most of us happen to get 8 hours a day sleeping. In an entire 168 hour work-week where the average person spends 56 hours a week sleeping, and 40 hours a week working, that leaves one with 72 hours free. If one were to spend 35 hours a week viewing television, then that would leave 37 hours of free time. That’s nearly half of all of one’s available time spent watching television. That doesn’t even count social media! That seems ludicrous, does it not? That also doesn’t even begin to cover other activities individuals may carry out that don’t yield growth, whether in life or business.

Those are just some statistics of how much time is wasted, and there’s a lot more. The main point is that time is wasted by everyone including myself to varying extents. With modern media, it’s easy to spend countless hours on various apps and websites.

The best way to get around to creating time templates is simply to watch how much time you spend on social media and websites. There are apps that help with this. Once you do this, you will be downright shocked at how much time you spend on certain apps per week.

As you realize where those time vortexes of yours are, you will be able to adjust accordingly, hopefully slotting something productive in those areas like self-directed learning, business analysis and forecasts, etc.[1]
Final Thoughts

In modern times, success in business is not as complex as it was in the past. With the rise of the internet, social media and online social network, there are literally countless resources at hand, and a lot of those are free. However, if you can learn (proactively rather than reactively) from the mistakes and footsteps others took in a way that it can prevent you from making the same mistakes yourself, thus helping you forgo unnecessary hardship and time waste, you will be quite a few steps ahead of the
competition.

Seek to push your business beyond the boundaries of comfort zones, but first, seek to push yourself beyond what you think you are capable of. What you do personally within your life, the mindset you employ, will inevitably seep into that of your business and your employees and will become the template for success in your future.

In life, individuals often surprise themselves of what they are capable of doing once they employ a can- do mindset, rather than a can’t-do mindset, and in business it’s not different.

Don’t wait upon the shores of life for treasures to come to you, veritable life insights that could also be applied to business; that is simply wasting time you could be using to venture on into the unknown seeking the treasures that life and business provide. And you never know, when seeking those very treasures, you might just run into a life-lesson or insight that changes your life forever.

One can’t put a price tag to life-altering life-lessons and wisdom that come about which help you not only in life, but in business as well. Those can only usually be attained by venturing beyond comfort zones.

Life happens to everyone, but unbounded success happens only to those that keep persevering beyond their comfort zones and into uncharted waters, even if they face a storm. And just like those storms within the seas help provide the circumstances that create master navigators able to steer their vessels in any way, within any storm, the metaphorical storms life and business provide will make you capable of navigating through various circumstances be them economic downturns, personal plight, or anything else.

Such is the mindset of a proactive individual; such is the mindset that makes unbounded success inevitable.
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Author Info:

Zy Marquiez
July 27, 2019

Author’s Note:
[1] Time efficiency and inefficiency will be something discussed in the future and extrapolated upon at length given the incredible ramifications it has for business and success. This is only covered in this article in a cursory manner to give an individual a morsel of how significant time loss is within our lives.

Firefighter Health: Exploring Why Departments Need Wellness Programs

Intro and Purpose

With the accumulation of 58,835 documented fire fighter injuries within the nation for the year of 2017, departments should start (or continue) to analyze how the injuries arise and what methods of preventative measures might decrease the injury count for future years. This article will explore some injury and fatality statistics for fire fighters within the US, along with possible poreventative measures to aid the departments.

Statistics

US Fire Fighter Injury Statistics in 2017

  • 58,835 injuries reported in 2017
  • 24,495 fireground injuries reported in 2017
  • 1/3 of Injuries result from Overexertion
  • per‐claim average worker’s compensation cost: $5,168
  • per-claim average worker’s compensation cost for overexertion injuries: $9,715

With overexertion being the leading cause of fireground injuries, how can we prevent such a common and costly injury? Overexertion is the lack of ability for the body to withstand an external or internal force, tension, or stress. How can departments construct or impliment programs that better prepare or screen personnel to overcome overexertion and observe potential risk factors prior to an injury occurance?

US Fire Fighter Fatality Statistics in 2017

  • 60 on-duty deaths (29 were cardiac)
  • 32 volunteer firefighters, 21 career firefighters, 3 employees of federal land management agencies, 2 contractors with state and federal land management agencies, and 2 prison inmates

With 29 out of 60 on-duty deaths being a result of cardiac fatality, how can fire departments impliment medical screening to filter those with potential risk factors and develop a fitness program to improve the health of their personnel?

Research

Evaluating areas to monitor within the profession of fire fighting, Kuehl et al. (2012) concluded that the BMI of fire fighters is worth analyzing. They researchers’ presented study of 2012 displayed that “The odds of filing a compensation claim were almost three times higher for firefighters with a BMI >30 compared to firefighters with normal BMI (Kuehl, et al. 2012).” The study suggests that BMI might be a risk factor for potential injuries, and department staff need to closely monitor the BMI of their personnel. Although BMI might not directly mean someone is obese (since someone can have a high BMI due to a large amount of lean muscle for their height), it could be a potential risk factor since more mass on someone’s frame is a potential for limitation of ROM (range of motion).

A research study by Bates, G. et al. (2007) utilized FMS tests to analyze core strength of fire fighter subjects. The intent of the study was to “improve flexibility and strength in trunk stabilizer or core muscle groups through a training program was evaluated (Bates, et al., 2007).” The results of the study displayed that the twelve month program “reduced lost time due to injuries by 62%” and the injury count by 42% as compared to a historical control group (Bates, et al., 2007). The study suggests that a focus on core strength could decrease the amount of injuries among fire fighters in the field, as well as decrease the amount of time that fire fighters can’t work due to injury.

Become The Solution

Jabai Performance’s Fire Fighter Training Systems Program is devoted toward the prevention and management of injuries that fire fighters might become at risk of or exposed to during their career. The program’s mission is to establish proper assessments to analyze and improve all aspects of health & wellness. Jabai Performance focuses on utilizing movement screening, exercise testing, and job task analysis protocols in efforts to prevent overexertion and strains, the leading cause of injury among fire fighters. The company devotes time and effort into building essential resources, such as partnering with medical companies, seeking guidance in the realm of mental wellness, and collaborating with departments to understand the needs for other resources that can improve the quality of life of fire fighters. A single injury, such as those caused by overexertion, can result in costing the department nearly $10,000 per claim filed. This does not even take into account the cost, time, and efforts of hiring and training new personnel to fill the role of the injured fire fighter during the recovery process. Jabai Performance’s goal is to be able to assess and evaluate department personnel, develop strength & conditioning programs, and build a strong network of resources in which fuel the increase in performance output, injury prevention, and overall wellness of our fire fighters.

Resources

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ajim.10200

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/

https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Publications-and-Media/NFPA-Journal/2018/July-August-2018/Features/Firefighter-Fatalities

https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Publications-and-Media/NFPA-Journal/2018/November-December-2018/Features/US-Firefighter-Injuries-2017

Citations

Kuehl, K. S., Kisbu-Sakarya, Y., Elliot, D. L., Moe, E. L., Defrancesco, C. A., Mackinnon, D. P., … Kuehl, H. E. (2012). Body mass index as a predictor of firefighter injury and workers’ compensation claims. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, Retieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3349447/

Bates, G., Lunda, K., Francis, S., Bellamy, K., & Peate, W. (2007, April 11). Core strength: A new model for injury prediction and prevention. Retrieved from https://occup-med.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1745-6673-2-3

Top 4 Ways Small Businesses Can Finance Wellness Programs

If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll only make it impossible.”
– Bruce Lee

Programs that benefit a variety of causes are something individuals and organizations can create in order to support certain ideas. To get these programs of the ground it often takes funding and support. Funding of myriad types are a vital option that all individuals have in order to fund a particular program. Knowing how to go about raising funds is imperative to accomplishing the funding and support that a program would need in order to get off the ground. As such, researching what options are available should be the vanguard point to be accomplished.

Some of the ways that programs can be funded are the following:

business-3152586_960_720(1) Grants – Grants are a possible way that funds can be raised to benefit specific causes. Grants come in many types, and each have their own set of idiosyncrasies and to-do’s that need to be followed in order for the process to begin. One great benefit of grants is that the process to get grants is usually straight forward and very streamlined. This makes grants a reasonable option not to be overlooked when considering funding for a particular program.

money-652560_960_720(2) (Institutional) Requests – Seeking funds from organizations and/or corporations is another viable option for the funding of programs. However, whereas grants have a rather straight forward approach for those that seek funding, requests from organizations and business is more complex. Simply getting a proposal seen, yet alone considered by an organization or company will require a tactful, thought-out and persistent approach. Given that funding is a resource that many individuals and organizations are seeking, odds are whatever proposal one might have when it is brought to the table might be competing with other proposals for those seeking funding as well. Be that as it may, organizations and companies usually have significant resources, and given their financial latitude a request carried out in the correct manner could net significant results.

 

donate-654328_960_720(3) Donations – Seeking funding via donations is one time-tested way that is an option on the table. There is no limit from which to draw ideas to seek funding from; your imagination is the limit. Donations can be requested from various sources, be them local, national, friends, family, community, colleagues, organizations and institutions, so on and so forth. An honest and conscientious approach is crucial, and perseverance is key.

 
(4)adult-3725715_960_720 Fundraising – There are many ways in which fundraisers can take place in order to raise the resources required to fuel a program of a given nature. Some of the ways that fundraising can take place are via sales of merchandise (t-shirts, artwork, etc.), community events (garage sales, dances, gaming tournaments, BBQs, etc.), sports tournaments (put-put golf, bowling, basketball, etc.), and so on. There are no limits from which to draw ideas from, and as such, fundraising should be a core component considered for providing the fuel to certain programs.

One significant component that should not be overlooked in funding programs is social interaction – truly heartfelt individual interaction. We live in an age where social media has considerably curtailed the capabilities of certain individuals to interact in a sociable way. In some circles, even being sociable might get askance glances given how much people are glued to phones. Keeping in mind individuals, who they are, where they come from, their backgrounds, their passions and the like, are all parts of a heart-felt approach to getting to know someone.

Why is this important? Because people support programs not only for what they seek to accomplish, but more importantly, for the individuals behind them, who they are and what they stand for. Moreover, individuals will keep coming back for these very reasons due to the trust garnered periodically. These relationships built and forged with appreciation and honesty stand to grow considerably stronger over time. This makes relationship building a core component in raising funds for any program. The opposite side of the coin is seeking funds in a cold-call interaction type-way, which is already at a disadvantage given the lack of all the aforementioned points. This makes building value in relationships a must-do.

Whatever path you opt to take, keep in mind that perseverance is key, but more importantly, a strong mindset is significant to accomplishing your goal. Setbacks will take place, issues will no doubt arise, but those that stay the course and continue with consistency will undoubtedly accomplish the goals they seek.

 

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About Written By: Zy Marquiez

Writer, Researcher, Book Reviewer

Owner Of Blocked Up

Robinhood Investing: Claim Your FREE Stocks

 

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In previous blog articles, I explore the concept of residual income via observing and analyzing investments with Fundrise – Crowd Funded Online Real Estate. Within the realm of investing, we can find other avenues of residual return/kickback. One of these avenues could be ETF’s, mutual funds, stocks/bonds, etc. There are two platforms in which I currently use, being both Vanguard and Robinhood.

While keeping this an open dialogue and potential to expand this concept into a series of articles behind platforms for investment, I wanted to share Robinhood’s current special of claiming free stocks based on referrals! I’m not sure how long this will last, but I advise everyone to take advantage of collecting stocks where they can, especially if they ARE FREE.

Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, Facebook

You have a 1 in 200 chance of getting stock in one of these companies each time a friend signs up.

 

GE, Ford, Energy Transfer

You have a 1 in 150 chance of getting stock in one of these companies each time a friend signs up.

 

1 Invite Friends

Share your referral link on Twitter and get friends to sign up for Robinhood.

2 Get Free Stock

Once your friends sign up, you’ll both get a free stock when their application is approved.

3 Track Referrals

Remind your friends to sign up so you don’t miss out on getting free stock.

 

 

CLICK HERE TO CLAIM YOUR FREE STOCKS