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Financial News

Young CEOs Out to Conquer the World – A Book Review for You

As a retired franchisor, I am often contacted by future startup entrepreneurs, and they ask advice from me on how to run their future business. Generally I am contacted during the business planning stage, or right after the businesses started, and they are looking for tips on expanding their business, marketing to customers, or increasing their cash flow. Much of the advice I give is technical, and specific to their industry, but not all. Sometimes they’re looking for a little philosophy.
At times I’ve had trouble giving advice to young entrepreneurs and CEOs, although I am not without experience in this regard as I started my first business when I was 12 years old washing airplanes, long before I could drive a car. I know what they are going through, as I have been there, and I know how hard it was, and what it takes to succeed. Sometimes a little philosophy can actually go a long way.
Luckily, I ran across a very good book which has helped me more recently assist young entrepreneurs with words of wisdom. This is a book that I do own in my personal library, and I’m very glad to have it. It is also a book that I would like to recommend to you, in case you ever find yourself in the position of giving advice to Young CEOs who are out to conquer the world. The name of the book is;
“Wisdom for a Young CEO – Incredible Letters and Inspiring Advice from Today’s Business Leaders” by Douglas Barry, Running Press Publishers, Philadelphia, PA, (2004) pages, ISBN: 0-7624-1831-1.
This book dives into some of the inspirational advice that has been given by corporate titans to young entrepreneurs, in the forms of letters, e-mails, and other correspondence. The book imparts passion, respect, integrity, and a little bit of humanity. Perhaps some of the tips and ideas, or concept and advice given in this book will help you help someone else on their way to the top.
Everyone knows it’s not easy, but it’s much easier knowing that there are those who a blaze the trail before you, and are willing to help you on your journey. Not only does this book bring back memories of all the folks that have given me advice along the way, but it also helps me return the favor. Indeed I hope you will please consider this, and perhaps purchase this book for your own business library. It’s well worth reading and you can read the whole thing in one evening. Please think on this.…

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Starting a Small Business: Pros and Cons

There are excellent reasons to start a business — and, of course, there are other excellent reasons not to. This is why it’s important to weigh the pros and cons for yourself, as your situation is unique, and advice that worked for one entrepreneur’s business may not be applicable to your own.

Let’s look at the general pros and cons of starting a business.

Starting a Small Business: Pros

Being your own boss has quite a few perks, as we will learn below.

Job Security: When you’re the boss, you’re never in danger of being fired.

Decision-making Power: If you decide to make any changes in your small business, there’s no one above you to tell you you can’t, and little to no red tape when it comes to implementing those changes.

Retirement Value: Building a successful business and then selling it at the end of your career can give you a boost in your retirement funds (in addition to the 401k many business structures allow you to open).

Self Fulfillment: Working for yourself gives you a sense of pride in your work, allowing you to feel personally and professionally fulfilled. You are the master of your own destiny!

Community: Owning your own business and putting down roots gives you a connection to your local community in a way that being an employee does not.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the fulfillment, security, and stability your role as a small business owner can bring you comes to fruition only with hard work, dedication, and perseverance.

Starting a Small Business: Cons

However, starting a business is no walk in the park. There are cons to starting your own business as well, which we’ll discuss below.

Financial Risk: Starting a small business involves some amount of startup capital, which will require you to find investors, take out a loan, or dip into your own account — neither of which is without its risks.

Workload: It’s been said that the decision to become an entrepreneur is not simply a career, it’s a lifestyle. This couldn’t be more true; if you believe that you’re going to confine your role as a small business owner to 40 hours a week, you’re in for a surprise.

Slow Initial Business: Statistics show that most new businesses do not begin to recover their investment for something like 2 years after they began. Are you prepared to go without an income during these uncertain times?

Decision-making Responsibility: Great for letting you make your own decisions on products or pricing; not so great when it comes to reprimanding or firing a friend or turning down a family member.

It’s clear that the decision to start a business or not to start a business is one that must be made carefully and thoughtfully, with family and future in mind, in order to determine if it’s a decision you’re prepared to follow through with and help through the rough patches.

With hard work and determination, your business dreams can become a reality!…

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Small Business Ideas

Common Traits of Billionaires – They Crunch the Numbers – Starting a Business? Do What They Do

A recent article provided by stated that one of the most common traits that all billionaires share is the ability to crunch numbers. But what does this mean exactly? After all, everyone has taken math in school or can use a calculator. So, why aren’t more people wealthy?
Surprisingly, many people go into business without taking the time to really sit down and analyze what it’s going to take to make a profit in the business that they have chosen. Many simply decide to rent or lease a property, stock inventory, open the doors and hope for the best. While this scenario may work for some, it’s best to make a study of several factors that determine to a large measure the chances of any commercial success. Here are some tips on how you can “crunch the numbers” for your particular business and succeed.
Billionaire investors often buy commercial buildings, shopping malls, luxury hotels, trade in stocks and commodities, and invest in hedge funds. When they enter a trade or buy a property, they already have made an in-depth study of the numbers that factor into such a transaction or deal. What are the traffic patterns, for example, that pass by a particular corner, the buying habits of the clientele, the average salaries of people who live in the area, the cultural composition of the neighborhood, the nature of the competition, etc.? Crunching the numbers can give a real indication of the potential success or failure of any enterprise. Put the odds, in other words, as much in your favor as possible. Be smart when you enter the business waters, because once you dive in, there’s no turning back.…

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Business Website

Starting a Business? Online Presence is the New Yellow Pages

Whatever type of business you are planning to start, an online presence is an absolute necessity. The internet serves as the new Yellow steroids. Not only do consumers search the web for a specific business or service, but they are able to comparison shop and learn all about their options from the comfort of their living rooms. The online options range from a simple business card style page to a comprehensive ecommerce site, but the important factor is that your potential clients are able to find you with a simple web search.
Depending on the type of business you start, you may need only a basic business card-style website. Something as simple as a home page introducing your business, a contact page to help build your customer database, and a few pages of information to help your customers make the right selection of your products or services will go a long way in marketing your venture. In the information age, it is imperative that you provide useful knowledge to your customers. If you choose not to, plenty of your competitors that’s who will make the sale.
The information you provide online does not have to give away the house secrets, but should teach your prospective clients something about what you do. For example, a dog training business might include short article on house-training tips and descriptions of the various dog sports that you teach. A restaurant might include the menu along with articles about the right wine to select with different types of food. A service business might explain how using the available services will save the consumer time, money, or the like. The important factor is to offer useful information in a clear, coherent manner that shows your expertise and builds confidence in you and your business.
More developed websites can include ecommerce, where you customers can buy directly from you through your website. If you sell retail products, making them available online can increase your sales dramatically, often 30% or more. Including products, a shopping cart, and an online merchant account costs a bit more to set up, but the payoff is usually worth every penny. Selling your products on the web provides an opportunity to deliver your sales pitch for each item. Including a short paragraph about each product or service is common, and you can even incorporate a rating system or popularity scale for each. Consumers can find out all they need to know about your offerings without leaving the house.
All types of businesses are finding success using interactive websites. Some restaurants have had great success with allowing their take-out customers to order online. Some salons allow clients to set their own appointments online. And a mobile auto detailer we know fills over 50% of his schedule through online requests. The internet is the present and future of all business. If your startup isn’t represented on the web, your growth potential is inherently limited. But if your website is a high-quality, informative, useful tool for your customers, you will give your venture the legs to grow and develop into a thriving company.…

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Business News

Advice for Starting a New Business

Starting a new business can be very scary. For a new business owner, it can be very difficult to know where to start. If you are looking for advice, then you have come to the right place. This article will help you get started and give you tips for where to go next.
The first step to any successful business is a business plan. You need to make sure that you have one of these laid out. Throughout the life of your business, your plan will adapt and develop as your business grows.
Your plan will contain many important points. Firstly, you will need to look at your budget. Do a cost count and do a projection of the setup costs for the first 12 months of operation. When doing this, look at the costs month to month. If you can, factor in both the worst case scenario and the best case scenario.
Next, define your business strategy. Define your target market. Who are going to be your clients/customers, and why have you chosen this group. Do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). By considering the current state of your market you can look at what sets you apart from the others and where you stand.
When starting a new business, you need to access what makes you unique. You are competing with already established business. You need to give potential customers a reason to come to you instead! This leads on to the next item you need to consider; an exit strategy. If you cannot draw the customers, you will need to have a plan to get out. Is it therefore wise to get others involved? Can you be prepared to sell your business? These questions are tough but you need to have answers for them.
On top of a business plan, you should also consider getting a mentor. A great mentor is an important asset to your business. They can give you a different perspective on your business decisions, and provide wise advice. As long as you are prepared to listen to tough advice, a mentor will be of great help to you.
The next question for you to ask is who should be your mentor. Don’t only look to advisors within your business field. You are first and foremost an entrepreneur. Look to a successful entrepreneur who has a proven record in business.
Lastly, be sure you register as a business. To register in Australia, choose a business name with the ABR (Australian Business Register), the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission) and your state’s Department of Fair Trade. Make sure your business name is available. Otherwise, your business will not be counted!
Starting a new business can seem overwhelming. Don’t worry; its not that hard! The important thing is to keep a cool head and not get overwhelmed. With these tips you should be setup and running in no time.…

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Business Week

Economic Revival the Entrepreneurs’ Way

In all likelihood, the dramatic recession of 2008 and 2009 will continue into 2010, and no amount of government intervention is going to provide a cure. Instead, Americans will use their own independent spirit to dig us out of this economic mess through innovation and entrepreneurship. More and more of us are recognizing the iffy status of corporate employment and seeking ways to take ownership of our work life and future. Entrepreneurship is the best path to recovery, whether the startups are independent contractors or fast growing gazelles, or any size in between.
Historically, startups that are considered gazelles account for most of the growth in private sector employment and revenue in the US economy. These companies can be launched in just about any industry but are most commonly found in whatever field is the hottest at the time. In the 1990s, most gazelle firms were high-tech companies on the dotcom highway. Now, the most recent gazelle-like startups are in the petroleum industry. Still, these high impact firms can be developed from just about any viable business idea. The primary factor that sets the gazelles apart from the rest of the startup field is their overall efficiency – they generate for more revenue per employee than either traditional ventures or most other startups.
The average staff size of gazelle companies is around 50, and gazelle firms generally grow to that point very quickly relative to other startups. They typically are responsible for more than 85% of all job growth, though they represent only 2% of all businesses. They tend to be industry innovators that identify and exploit unique market opportunities. They move and change quickly and place significant focus on applying entrepreneurial fundamentals and creative thinking to streamline and revolutionize the way things are done in business.
Of course, not all startups can be gazelles – in fact 98% are not. But smaller startups make significant contributions as well, and the outcome of this recession is likely to see that impact be even greater. Small businesses employ millions, and every startup that begins with the intention for growth will build that security for a few to a few dozen workers. And, most economic development councils provide second-stage loans and grants to help existing businesses grow. Savvy entrepreneurs develop new markets (often international) and drive innovation through better processes of producing and delivering goods and services. In addition, small business owners tend to wield significant political and social power in their communities. Thus, those who join the ranks of entrepreneurship can and do influence the culture and social standards within their communities.
Many long-time cubicle workers will take this opportunity to strike out on their own as independent contractors as well. While these workers are not technically entrepreneurs, they still will be taking control of their work lives and creating a larger class of people willing and able to influence legislation and standards regarding the self-employed. Qualified independent contractors also provide a strong support base for the larger startups – bootstrapping entrepreneurs can use the expertise of the ICs to reduce overhead and achieve specific goals to grow and improve the company.
Whatever role future entrepreneurs seek to fill, they will be crucial to the economic revival of the country and help us regain our competitive edge in the global marketplace. It doesn’t matter where you are or which business you start, just taking the leap into entrepreneurship will have a positive impact overall. No, you aren’t likely to become rich overnight, but the cumulative effect of entrepreneurship across the nation will be the driving force behind rebuilding the economy.…

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Starting A Business

Business Planning For Beginners

If you’re on the verge of starting a new business venture, then you must have ideas swimming about in your head, just waiting to be taken advantage of. But with too many ideas, and with no distinct place to start, things might go awry. You need a systematic, planned approach when it comes to starting a business, one in which your short term and long term goals are clearly underlined, and will be practical, effective and will work. It’s not as hard as people make it out to be. If you have your business goals planned out, then all you have to do is follow these plans step by step, one at a time. Starting something in a well organized manner always pays off.
Some Guidelines Follow:
– First and foremost comes your table of contents, where every little detail, starting from your mission statement, to the services you provide and the products you sell, the current number of people employed, and information regarding market research, could be organized and set out clearly.
– Attachments and appendix materials are important since your business plans might be reviewed by investors and partners, and can also boost your online business planning strategy. Therefore, it is recommended you collect them.
– What helps more than anything is creating a list of essential points and topics. This will go a long way in lending a sense of oneness to your business plans as well as help create a map of sorts with which it’ll become easy to review or go over everything. And if you’re not certain as to what the exact starting point might be, this becomes all the more useful and effective as organizing things become a snap.
– Assignment of projects and tasks for each section can prove to be extremely helpful, as each point in the to-do list you have made is further broken down into even more accessible and practical steps. This way, it becomes so much more easy to keep a track of everything at every moment.
– Grammar, spelling mistakes might not sound as an important point to consider, but they are. In fact, you would not want first impressions which would have otherwise been perfectly great go awry thanks to some stupid grammar mistakes. This is also the case with errors based on facts. Do a complete check to see if you’ve missed out on anything and to refine the end product and make it suitable.
– An executive summarizing of your small business is a pretty useful step, primarily because your entire plan is shortened and made to read and be understood in an accessible and easy fashion. Later on, if you need to look over your objectives, instead of going through all of them, you could just browse through the summary itself. Basic points and subjects could also be included.
– Sometimes, it helps to have a third person perspective. Your strategies and your plans should be kept strictly confidential, but if you do have a friend or someone trustworthy enough, go ahead and have him or her look over your plans and offer an unbiased viewpoint. He or she might point out certain areas which could be improved. An objective view of everything where all the points are well organized and systematically set out always helps.
Business planning might seem difficult, but in truth it is not. It takes a little effort on your part, but at the end of the day your objective is to list out the basic points in a easy to access manner, so that glancing through it will get your memories jogged instantly. Then, each point could be further broken up for convenience’s sake and soon, your business will turn out a grand success.…