Contract Cancellation 101

As an Entrepreneur or CEO you have probably discovered that trying to cancel a service contract, regardless of reason is a special form of hell.

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No matter how righteous your cause or even if you you are just out of funds, you will find that service providers have a special weapon in their contracts – camouflaged in the fine print at the end of their “Terms of Service” clause. Euphemistically called non-renewal this tiny paragraph hides a mountain of financial liability just waiting to jump onto your credit card.

Below is one example of the easier ones I have run across, but if you miss the 45-day deadline, your credit card is automatically hit with a 12 month renewal fee and there is nothing you can do about it!

Example:

Unless otherwise specified in your Order, to prevent renewal of a Full-Service Subscription, you or we must give written notice of non-renewal and this written notice must be received no less than forty-five (45) days in advance of the end of the Subscription Term. If you decide not to renew, you may send the notice of non-renewal by email to accountmanagement@xxxx.com

Technically called an Evergreen Contract , you will find it used by your Uniform Company, Automated Marketing Platforms, Fulfillment Centers and in such mundane areas as your dumpster rental and office cleaning contract and your lease.

What can you do to protect your company?

First and foremost: Always read your terms of service clause and mark your calendar with the critical non-renewal dates.

Second: No matter how happy you are with the service, always cancel 10 days before the end of your notice period.

Third:  Cancel in writing  via “Registered US Mail – Return Receipt Requested” and keep all the paperwork!

In conclusion, you should cancel every contract after the initial term, no matter how satisfied you are with the supplier. Cancelling gives you leverage for the next term!

Entomophagy or Meat from a Petri Dish? Two different solutions to solve hunger.

By now, both solutions have probably appeared on your radar, especially if you are involved with the food business. What you may not know is that two very different factions have gotten involved behind the scenes.

Entomophagy

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Per Eco- Business, the global market for insect-based protein in 2015 was $ 33 Million and is expected to increase to $ 773 Million by 2024. Despite the huge growth rate, that is a small slice of the global meat and seafood market, which is currently estimated at $ 844 Billion by Statista.

This correlates with our own observation that insect food companies are small start-ups funded either by the founders or angel investors using direct sales via e-commerce to create a viable business.

We have worked with several start-ups in this field. If you are considering an entry into this market, please contact us for a no-obligation conversation.

Lab-Meat

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Unlike insect protein, Lab-Meat has drawn the interest not only of Silicon Valley but also the venture arms of traditional protein producers such as Tyson.  While getting funding has not been an issue, growing meat in a Petri dish has proven to be difficult and capital intensive. What did not help were companies such as Hampton Creek(now called Just), which was the darling of Silicon Valley until their mayonnaise product turned into a sales fiasco.

Unlike insect food, lab-meat has a high capital cost for entry and while it is being worked on, the final break-through in both taste and cost is still in the future.

Fascinating Trends over the next 30 years – Decentralization vs. Internalization ?

If you are a Millennial, these two books will provide some insight into what you will be facing in your professional life over the next 30 years or so.

While both books are somewhat “out there”, both provide information and parameters as to where our environment is heading.

Personally, I favor internalization. As Boomers we experienced mind-altering drugs early and the effects of the cloud late. However, I can see how easily the two schools of thought can merge and that some knowledge of both trends can be beneficial and also prepare us for the inevitable “Black Swan” events in our life.

More on Internalization                                                      and more on Decentralizationdecentralization-vs-internalization.jpg

The Water is coming!

If 2017 had one message for small business, it was: “Check your Insurance”.

With the realization that extreme weather events and rising sea levels are now the new normal, many small (and large) businesses found out the hard way whether or not their policy covered them for damage. Since normally a location is a large fixed asset, resilience in fixing the damage and preparing for the next event is essential.

Interesting read, but somewhat biased!

Water will come

Infinite Diversity and issues with “customized” products.

One of our clients is in the MVP phase of a health/performance related product that will be unique and made separately for each customer.

One of the issues is whether or not a potential customer is willing to go through the steps (taking 4 specific pictures and uploading them) needed to allow the company to produce the product.

As part of our research we came across a blog that had compiled a lot of interesting statistics, which unfortunately did not answer our questions.

Interesting Statistics! 

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