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Pablo Fuentes

Pablo Fuentes is the CEO of Proven. He is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and UCLA. He is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and a blues guitar player and builder.

Recent Posts

How to Dissolve a Business Partnership Peacefully | Featuring Joe Mellin

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on March 22, 2017

Let's face it:

There are a ton of challenges with starting a business, especially if you have never done it before.

That's why having a business partner with complimentary skills can be so helpful. Someone to help you stay focused, bounce ideas off of and ultimately shoulder the load.

However, what happens when that business partnership fails? Can you stay friends? How do you dissolve a business partnership peacefully?

To explore these questions, we talked with Joe Mellin, who use to actually be my original business partner.

Read the full article >>

The Soap Making Business and Sustainability | Featuring Zen Soap

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on March 15, 2017

For those of us that grew up in the 90s, it's hard to talk about making soap and not think about Brad Pitt's role as Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club.

However, that's the perfect setup for today's episode of Small Business War Stories.

We talked with Chris Cabiya, of Zen Soap, who is also a practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu. Chris is now in his second year of operation as a small business owner. 

Chris combines his passion for Jiu-Jitsu, a vegetarian diet, and his concern for the environment to create a high quality sustainable soap products.

We talked to Chris about how he got into the soap making business, why sustainability is important to him, and what advice he has for anyone starting a new venture.

Check it out:

Read the full article >>

How to Start a Massage Therapy Business | Featuring Mantis Massage

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on March 8, 2017

There's a growing demand for massage therapy as more and more of the general public have accepted that massages help improve overall health.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the growth rate of massage therapist will be 19% through 2018.

Although a tremendous amount of both classroom and real world training goes into become a licensed massage therapist, there is not a lot of training about how to start your own massage business and how to make it a success. 

Being a great therapist does not necessarily translate directly to being a great business owner.

To help us dissect the ins and outs of starting a massage business, on today's episode of Small Business War Stories we talk with Kyra Gerhard of Mantis Massage.

Read the full article >>

Making a Living in Music | Featuring Austin Vintage Guitars

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on March 1, 2017

Making a living in the modern music business has changed dramatically.

In the late 90s, free downloading services, like Napster, were considered a dangerous threat to the music business.

In many ways, to survive, the music industry has had to reinvent itself. Services like Spotify and SoundCloud help people discover new music and helps unknown artists get their music heard.

The Internet has also had a dramatic effect on the retail side of the business. Budding musicians can now turn to online sites to purchase musical instruments.

With these rapid changes in the music business, how can a musical instrument store prosper? How can you make money as a performer in this new digital age? Ultimately, how you can make a living in the modern music business?

In today’s episode of Small Business War Stories we tackle these challenging questions and more with Nick Boettcher from Austin Vintage Guitars and performer in band The Reverent Few.

Read the full article >>

How to Revive an Iconic Brand | Featuring Antone's

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on February 22, 2017

Iconic brands are instantly recognizable. Think the Volkswagen Beetle or the McDonald's arches.

Brands like these are rooted in our culture. They have a status that goes beyond simply what they sell. They come to represent our desires, hopes and dreams.

However, sometimes an iconic brand may actually disappear. Juggernauts like Pan Am, Blockbuster, and Oldsmobile have been hurt by changes in technology or phased out for various reasons.

Having brand recognition can be hugely powerful, but when reviving a once iconic name, it can actually be a challenge and uphill battle to change built-in perception.

Antone's, a once famous blues club in Austin, Texas has gone through six different business iterations and was even closed for two years after being open every day for 38 years. 

However, Antone's is once again becoming a destination location for visitors of Austin and a place many musicians desire to play. 

In today's episode of Small Business War Stories, we walk with Will Bridges of Antone's about how they have been able to revive this amazing and iconic brand.

Read the full article >>

How to Market to College Students | Featuring BinStored and ShuttleHome

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on February 15, 2017

There are over 21 million college students in the U.S.

Generation Y (or Millennials) is the largest consumer group in U.S. history.

Despite the demographic's size, people often dismiss college students as not having money or they market to them like any other segment of the market.

However, students spend up to $30 billion on college back-to-school purchasing alone. There are huge opportunities for entrepreneurs who know how to reach this generation.

But how do you market to this young tech-savy generation that has grown up with smartphones and everything available on-demand?

To answer this question, we talked with Dean Ginsberg, founder of two successful companies, BinStored and ShuttleHome, that market directly to college students.

In today's episode of Small Business War Stories, we explore how to market to college students and much more with Dean Ginsberg.

Read the full article >>

What is Social Entrepreneurship? Balancing People and Profit | Featuring Tribute

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on February 8, 2017

Social entrepreneurship can be difficult to define.

There are also many misconceptions when it comes to social enterprises. 

People think that a company with a social mission can't be as successful as a purely for-profit business. 

However, Andrew Horn, Founder of Tribute, a socially conscious company that helps people build video tributes for their friends and family, believes this is simply not true.

He defines social entrepreneurship as a business with a dual or triple business goal, a balance between people, profit and the planet. A social entrepreneur strives to build businesses that are not only profitable, but have genuine impact on people's lives.

In today's episode of Small Business War Stories, we explore this topic and more with Tribute CEO and founder Andrew Horn.

Read the full article >>

How to Start a Manufacturing Business | Featuring Tecovas

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on February 1, 2017

Let's face it, when we think about startups, we think about social network giants like Facebook and Twitter or on-demand companies like Lyft or Eat24.

We don't think about the manufacturing business. 

However, companies like Warby Parker, Bonobos, and today's podcast guest Tecovas is starting to change that perception.

They are all part of the "hardware renaissance".

It's no longer about the cloud, it's about physical products. 

These companies are disrupting the manufacturing industry by leveraging technology to manufacture top notch products for fair prices that they sell direct to consumers, circumventing distributors and stores.

In today's episode of Small Business War Stories, learn more about how Tecovas in Austin, Texas is changing the way high quality cowboy boots are produced and sold.

Read the full article >>

The Small Business War Stories Podcast

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on January 25, 2017
 

Small businesses are the soul of America. This is where they tell their stories.

We want to showcase how our stories bind us; how America is more united than it sometimes feels.

Small Business War Stories is a weekly 30 minute show recorded in person with small business owners. We discuss different topics and get the triumphs, struggles, and funny stories from our guests' everyday lives.

Hosted by Pablo Fuentes, CEO and Founder of Proven, the leading small business hiring tool.

Read the full article >>

How to Build a Brand | Featuring Home Slice Pizza

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on January 25, 2017

A recognizable brand is one of the most valuable assets a business can have. 

Brands with a die-hard following are the envy of every other business out there. These evangelical fans tell everyone they know about the business and share their love online.  

They become that brand's ambassadors and free marketing engine.

But how can you build a brand like this?

Find out how Austin, Texas's Home Slice Pizza did just this with no paid advertising!

This and more in the first episode of Small Business War Stories. 

Read the full article >>
 

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