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  • Congratulations! Small Business Person of the Year 2014

    Congratulations to Billy and Brook Taylor of Portland, OR-based Pacifica , the National Small Business Persons of the Year for 2014. Organizational culture is a dynamic system of shared values, etc., that give an organization its distinctive character. Core values -- such as respect for the individual, integrity, trust, and continuous improvement -- should never change. Pacifica's values are "founded in taking good care of the environment, the kids, and the place where you live." How does using natural ingredients mesh with the values of Pacifica?
  • Jeff Bezos on Regret Minimization

    When Jeff Bezos was trying to decide whether to start Amazon or to stay with his Wall Street job, he created his "Regret Minimization Framework" to use for making the decision. Basically, he decided to start now to avoid regret later. The fear of regret helped Bezos to decide to start Amazon. What might you regret when you look back on your life at age 80? How might the "Regret Minimization Framework" help you to make management decisions?
  • Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week

    Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) , November 18-24, encourages and inspires entrepreneurs to collaborate, innovate, and explore entrepreneurship opportunities globally. The video below gives more information about GEW and resources available from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) . Why should an entrepreneur contact the Small Business Administration?
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  • What Small Businesses Look Like on LinkedIn

    LinkedIn , the social networking site for professionals, hosted 100 small business entrepreneurs in their Mountain View, CA. and New York, NY offices with the " goal of learning more about their unique business goals and challenges." The infographic below is a snapshot of what small business looks like on LinkedIn. Businesses are using LinkedIn to recruit and hire employees. Are you a member of LinkedIn? If not, why not? The group referenced in the infographic is Succeed: Small Business Network Powered by Staples. Being a member of an industry group can help you distinguish yourself as an expert in your field. If you are a member of LinkedIn, have you joined groups relevant to your desired industry and job? Which groups are of interest to you? Do you want to own and manage a business? What type of business would you like to own? Richard Branson, Jack Welch, and Bill Gates influence small business owners. If you are a member of LinkedIn, which managers do you follow? Are they in the industry in which you'd like to work?
  • How To Pitch To Investors In Under 2 Minutes

    Nathan Gold is the Demo Coach. I've seen him work with entrepreneurs developing their Elevator Pitch on the Wall Street Journal Start Up, a competition for new businesses. In this video, he tells us how to pitch to investors in under 2 minutes. He says to write a script. Memorize it. In your opening , use a story. That will set you apart from everyone else. Use analogies, similes, and metaphors. In the middle , answer the following questions. What is your product or service? Who is your market? How will you make money? Who is behind the company? Who are your competitors? What is your competitive advantage? In the close or conclusion, ask for what you want. In conclusion, I'd like to leave you with one thought, and that thought is . . . When you present your 2 minutes to investors, let your enthusiasm come across to your audience. Make a list of of the stories, analogies, similes, and metaphors. Answer the 6 questions in the middle with 2 sentences. Figure out your "Colombo" close. Memorize and Rehearse (2-3 hours of rehearsal over a week or two) Record it and play it back over and over again. Get some coaching to help you get better.
  • Elements of Disruptive Innovation

    Entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs of Apple and Bill Gates of Microsoft, have brought us products that reduce costs and improve quality. Yet, even though the United States leads the world in health care innovation, no entrepreneur has appeared. Why not? Disruptive innovation, also known as cost-cutting innovation, is described in The Innovator's Prescription by Clayton Christensen, Jerome Grossman, and Jason Hwang. The professors explain that cost-cutting innovation comes from the supply side, not the demand side. The elements of disruptive innovation can be seen in the graphic below. The entrepreneur understands what consumers want. But, many times, consumers can't describe these wants. Who among us visualized using a personal computer, smart phone, or tablet computer? In the video below, Jason Hwang talks about disruptive innovation in health care. He is co-author with Clayton Christensen and Jerome Grossman, of The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care . In the regulation of healthcare, Robert F. Graboyes, senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center and professor at George Mason University writes, "Medicare's reimbursement formula muffles prices and distorts resource allocation in ways that affect prices and distorts resource allocation in ways that affect private insurance. Tax laws effectively bind employees to their employers' health plans. State regulations protect insiders through scope-of-practice regulations, protectionist licensing, and certificate-of-need requirements" ( Robert F. Graboyes, " Where are the health care innovators ?"). How can managers influence the external environment of political/legal/regulations? How can managers drive costs down while increasing quality?
  • Statistics About Small Businesses

    Docstoc created the above infographic that breaks down the state of small businesses. How many small businesses are there? Who do small businesses employ? How much revenue do they make? Do you want to own your own business?
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  • The You Plan

    Dr. Woody Woodward, PhD, author of "The You Plan" wants you to think about your career like an entrepreneurial. He recommends the VIPER approach. Determine your values, intrinsics, passion, essence (brand), and road map. What are your values? What drives your decisions? What are your intrinsics? What do you bring to the table? What are your passions? What gets you up in the morning? What is your essence or brand? What are you about? What is your road map for making it happen? What is your plan? How will you make it happen?
  • Generation Y versus Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs

    American Express OPEN surveyed Generation Y entrepreneurs (those ages ages 24 to 35) and Baby Boomer entrepreneurs (ages 48 to 70). (See attached PDF copy of the report) The survey found that the younger generation’s first economic downturn has made them more risk averse (just 56 percent say they like taking risks, down from 72 percent in 2007) while Boomer entrepreneurs’ appetite for risk remains unchanged (54 percent vs. 53 percent in 2007). “Our research shows that while the impact of the recession on both generations has been deep, these entrepreneurs have the resilience to carry on and strive for success,” says Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN. “Even as the recession has come as a reality check for younger business owners, their passion, priorities and lessons learned have them reaping rewards.” The report states, "Since 2007, the impact of technology on running a business has meant more entrepreneurs have created a company presence on a social networking site (51 percent of Gen Y, up from 19 percent; 30 percent of Boomers, up from 11 percent) and established a relationship to sell products online (33 percent of Gen Y, up from 19 percent; 23 percent of Boomers, up from 17 percent)." Why is there a technological divide between older and younger generations? Read the report. Why do young people become entrepreneurs? Do you want to own a business? If so, what type of business would you own?
  • Steve Wozniack Tells the Auto Industry

    The Apple II, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad are very innovative and successful products. The Street asked Steve Wozniack , entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple , "What would you tell the automotive industry?" His answers are below. "Try to build quality products that are way above the competition." "Try to build things that didn't exist before -- that were not possible - that are very different inventions. Don't try to innovate and make things a little bit better. Try to think of a totally different solution to the problem. In this case, it might be electric cars instead of gas cars or self-driving cars. Those are very different solutions. But, when a product is different, it still has to make sense economically." What would you tell managers in the automotive industry? How could they sell more cars?
  • 10 Highlights from National Small Business Week

    Entrepreneurs are important to the economy of the United States. Thus, the United States government encourages competition. The Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the United States federal government "to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of the nation." SBA just celebrated 50 years of National Small Business Week . You can sign up for email updates from the SBA. I just received this email with "The top 10 highlights from the National Business Week." "SBA is no longer the federal government's best kept secret."- SBA Administrator Karen Mills John Stonecipher, President and CEO of Guidance Aviation in Arizona, was named the 2013 National Small Business Person of the Year "Technology helps level the playing field for entrepreneurs."- SBA Administrator Karen Mills Advice to entrepreneurs from Co-Founder of Square and Twitter Jack Dorsey- "Always ask the question why." "If you don't have a business mentor, go get one for free at ."- SBA Administrator Karen Mills "The 3 P's of entrepreneurship are people, passion and perseverance." - Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, Revolution Co-Founder, America Online Chairman, The Case Foundation "If you get a compliant about your business, go grab a cup of coffee. Think about a thoughtful response before replying."- Angie Hicks, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Angie's List "Cash flow is king to helping small businesses succeed."- Dave Rader, Wells Fargo, SBA's 7(a) Loan Program Lender of the Year "We need to make sure America stays a magnet for manufacturing, and small business plays a big part in that."- SBA Administrator Karen Mills "You don't have to look far to see the hard work of small business owners, they stand with their companies through every challenge and success."- Lee Rhodes, Founder, glassbaby Successful entrepreneurs report that they are more likely to be curious, passionate, self‐motivated, honest, courageous, and flexible. Which of these characteristics do you possess? Do you think you would be a good entrepreneur? Why or why not? Which of the ten highlights do you find most inspiring?
  • Are you a risk taker?

    Do you think of yourself as a risk-taker? Risk-taking behavior is associated with innovators, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs. Elke Weber, a professor of international business at Columbia University and a leading researcher on risk, says, that understanding the roots of risk-taking can guide people in making better decisions. (See, " What Makes a Risk Take r" Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2013). The Wall Street Journal reports, "Most people overestimate the probability of something going wrong" when they venture into unfamiliar turf, says Margie Warrell, a Melbourne, Australia-based authority on risk-taking who has coached many U.S. executives and employers. "They also overestimate the consequences of things going badly," says Ms. Warrell, author of "Stop Playing Safe." With experience, they become more realistic, and learn they can handle the consequences of failure. "The more often we step out of our comfort zone, the more we build our tolerance for risk-taking," she says. As depicted in the graphic below, the five areas where people take gambles are health and safety, ethical, social, recreational, and financial. Answer the questions on the graphic below. When do you take chances? Source: Take the attached risk assessment. What are your biggest risk areas?
  • The Entrepreneurial Mindset

    Millenials want freedom, and this desire is driving them towards independent (and often entrepreneurial) career paths. M any are planning their escape from corporate jobs. If organizations embraced intrapreneurs, would this help employees stay in organizations?
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  • Bill Gates on Steve Jobs

    In this 60 Minutes interview, Charlie Rose asks Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, about his competitor, the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. If you aren't familiar with these entrepreneurs, browse the Triumph of the Nerds , a history of the personal computer and the people who helped shaped it. How important is a computer to you? How do you use a computer? How important is the computer to business? Which jobs don't use a computer? Explain.
  • SHARK Acronym

    I received an email from Mari Smith , Leading Social Media Strategist. She reported on Shark Tank's Daymond John' s session at the annual conference , InfusionCon . Daymond John's acronym for SHARK is: S = set goals H = do your homework (research) A = amore (if you love what you do, you'll never have to work a day in your life) R = remember, you are the brand, and must have a 2-5 word brand mantra (like Nike's "Just Do It!" and Daymond's brand FUBU is "For Us, By Us.") K = keep swimming! What is your 2-5 word brand mantra?