Posts Tagged 'small business'

Open for Business: Google and SBA Launch Small Business Site

Google and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched a website to help small business site to help businesses establish an online presence and find web tools to help them succeed.

Tools for Online Success presents many of Google‘s suite of services for small businesses, entrepreneurs or solopreneurs.

Read more on the Google Small Business Blog.
Visit the Google SBA website.

Google launches Small Business Site with SBA

Does it take a community to raise a business?

Posted by Dee Allomong.

Does it take a village to raise a business?
Some experts think so. Business Woman Looking

In this information era, consumers have digital access to a myriad of competitors and business information and market forces and disruptive technologies have shifted the balance of power away from traditional marketing and advertising models.

Both consumers and businesses have self gravitated to online communities to find answers to new questions and to find solutions to the unforeseen challenges they have yet to experience.

Proverbs: Lessons from our past

The old African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” emphasizes the impact a community has on the growth, development, and successful maturation of a person to not only survive to adulthood, but to thrive to become a contributing member within their community.

Although we are in a high-tech age, these simple words still ring true with in application beyond the walls of the family unit – as they are now being applied to impact community as it supports the growth of entrepreneurial businesses.

So, if it takes a village to raise a child, what does it take to raise a business?

Often, your business is often conceived out of a passion, which gives birth to an entrepreneurial idea.  Once that idea is “born” from your research and planning, it must be properly nurtured in order to mature to a full-fledged business.  That’s when the work begins in earnest, and when the support of a community can become crucial to its survival.

5 Community Assets

Here are 5 community assets that can impact the growth, development, and maturation of a small business.

1.  Knowledge –  A community is a place or experience where knowledge is shared.  Each community member brings unique skills, perspectives, experiences, and level of education to contribute. Community mentors (those who hold and/or share the greatest amount of their community experience) bless others with their wisdom and often shorten the path to success for newer entrepreneurs in sharing their lessons learned.

2.  Encouragement –  A community is a place where achievements are recognized and celebrated, and where trials, challenges and failures are kept in perspective. Community “encouragers” help entrepreneurs keep going when things are tough or when vision is lacking, spurring us to create and set goals, to remain focused, to celebrate victories, and to overcome roadblocks. Their support is the glue of any community.

3.  Critical Analysis –  A community is a place where people ask hard questions and tell you the truth. Community “critics” stretch us to go beyond their comfort zones, and, through their analytical questions, ignite us to plan and develop business strategy.

4.  Cooperation –  A community is a place to meet like-minded people and to form strategic partnerships to collaborate on meaningful work. Successful entrepreneurs learn to leverage key relationships to expand visibility in their target niche, to launch cooperative business ventures, and to develop credibility and influence.

5.  Reservoir of Resources –  A community can serve as a self organizing reservoir of resources.  Through networking as a community member with supportive and sharing, like-minded individuals, an entrepreneur can identify the technology, business tools and resources that can help them run their business more effectively and grow more quickly.

So what does it take to raise a business?

Today, building a successful business takes passion, an entrepreneurial idea, and a nurturing business community. A fair amount of sweat, research and strategic focus are not to be excluded.

A community of sharing, supportive, experienced and learning individuals will contribute significantly to helping you achieve business success.

What online communities were helpful in developing your business?
Which communities provide good business ideas and support?
Share your comments here.

Dee Allomong_Community CatalystDee Allomong is Community Catalyst for
Let’s Talk Property Management: an online community
of news, strategies, tips and engaging discussions.
www.letstalkpm.com

Amos WhiteAmos White is a Social Media Marketng evangelist
and public speaker.Follow Amos on Twitter @Mos42

Is success worth falling for?

How important is falling down and failure to developing future success?

In a previous post I shared how entrepreneurs and organizations explore enabling risk taking and even failure to foster innovation and creativity.

Recently, Guy Kawasaki showed how the 40-30-30 rule applies as well to business as it does to sports: 40% physical training, 30% technical skill and experience, and 30% willingness to take risks. The moral? If you haven’t had a good fall, you probably aren’t trying hard enough nor taking enough risks.

I find the upside to this rule in our potential to learn from our mistakes and the path that new learning can take. Falling down or failure can produce learning in the form of a new approach, an innovation upon a stagnant theme or a creative tact – all because we chose to push the envelope a little further and fell along the way.

Falling for Success

How have you or your business gained from a recent failure?
What are you doing to increase measurable risk taking away from routines?

Share your comments here.

Amos White is a Social Media Marketing Evangelist and public speaker.
Follow Amos on Twitter @Mos42

CNN Money offers small businesses innovation in Six Steps

Small businesses innovation Solving the Rubik's Cube
or productive creativity can be daunting when considered within the context of what adds to the business bottom line.

Managers and chief executives are wary enough of employees losing valuable work time to social media chats and water cooler gossip.

But consider this- if your business is not improving (read: growing) when you keep doing the same things, isn’t it worth enabling and supporting you staff in trying something new and different?

CNN Money’s post on Six steps to creative breakthroughs listens to industry leaders share how they effectively leveraged existing resources to produce innovative changes that improved their bottom line.

Here are some lessons learned from the “6 Steps”:

1) Look behind you.
Always look back to see what did and did not work.

2) Lose the routine.
Make time to read widely.
Move more quickly in your own life to find your creative impulse.
Attend a trade show or seminar about an unrelated industry.
Try spending a day in the life of a client.

3) Use the brains you hired.
“Give people the license to take risks and to fail often enough
to realize that they will not be punished for doing the right thing.”

4) Get cozy with customers.
“Your guests are going to tell you how to be successful.”

5) Share the load.
Get outside feedback and vett new concepts with partners.
Use student interns: they’re not afraid to tell you something is dumb.

6) Try to fail quickly.
Once you find a good idea, commit to it.

Read the full post here.


Lessons Tried?
What has worked for you in moving your business out of the box?

Is Entrepreneurism The New Economy?

Will the proliferation of entrepreneurism and small businesses
lead the U.S. out of recession as the New Economy?

What if we haven’t bottom out yet?
What if we rethink our current approach?
What if I started a new business?


Historically, economic downturns are lead to recovery by small business.
Data and public sentiment show this may hold true for the present economic
turn around to begin.

Today’s jobs and tomorrow’s sources of gainful employment are projected to come from the burgeoning entrepreneurial class and new businesses starting up across the country.


Consumer Confidence = Two thumbs up!

When asked this Spring, “Who will lead us to a better future?” Americans put Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses first with 63% followed by Science and tech leaders (52%). (Source: WeMedia, 2009)


Encouraging Facts

In 2008, 3.2 out of 1000 adults created a new business each month. That’s approximately 530,000 new businesses per month (source: The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, 2009).

The states with the highest entrepreneurial activity rates were Georgia (590 per 100,000 adults), New Mexico (580), Montana (530), Arizona (490), Alaska (440), and California (440). (Kaufman)


Crazy to Start a Business Now?
Who would start a company when their economic future is unstable? Well try reading Startups in a Downturn. Lessons learned: everything is cheaper, there is less competition in the marketplace and in fundraising, there is more time to work on business plans. Read more here.

Still not convinced? Looking for more support? For more mental fodder
see Inc.com‘s “6 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business.


For the full study on Entrepreneurism, download the Kaufman Index here.
http://www.kauffman.org/uploadedFiles/kiea_042709.pdf

Amos White is an Internet Marketing Evangelist and public speaker.
Follow Amos on Twitter @Mos42 and on his blog https://amoswhite3.wordpress.com.

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