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Entrepreneurial success awaits companies that are not just better but different. If you keep your promises and sell more than just product, you'll be irresistible.
A formal business plan, often considered an anathema to entrepreneurs who fancy themselves "do-ers" rather than thinkers, enables clear thinking, clarity of purpose and a benchmark against which ventures can measure success. Included are a list of do's and don'ts for entrepreneurs new to (or bewildered by) the essential planning process.
OK, let me get this straight: The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy reports that 27 million small businesses in the U.S. account for 50% of the Gross National Product and employ over 50% of the workforce, and Washington figures $30 billion in loan support and some tax credits will get things done.
What's that, $1,100 per company? Wow, where do we sign up!
Our fearful leaders gave $50 billion to General Motors, and $185 billion to AIG. According to the Congressional Budget Office publication, The Budget &amp; Economic Outlook: An Update August 2009, big business has been showered with more than $10 trillion (that's a "T") in funding and commitments, including: $1.3 trillion disbursed by the Federal Reserve, with another $2.8 trillion committed (including aid to AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, Bear Stearns; $800 billion from the Treasury, with $3.6 trillion committed (including guarantees for Money Market Funds and TARP); and over $2.1 trillion committed by the FDIC (including increased depositor insurance and more Citigroup guarantees).
Um, does $30 billion to small business make a difference?
Sue Hesse left a corporate career and started her own business so she could cut down on her travel schedule and raise her children. By the time she sold it to spend more time with them, she had learned that even in an old-fashioned industry, numbers could outweigh gender. Performance-based incentive compensation turned out to be the strategy that propelled her and other women forward. Getting support from other entrepreneurs, male or female, is her other key to success.
For the third time in three years, the world has a new richest man.
Riding surging prices of his various telecom holdings, including giant mobile outfit America Movil, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has beaten out Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the wealthiest person on earth and nab the top spot on the 2010 Forbes list of the World's Billionaires.
Slim's fortune has swelled to an estimated $53.5 billion, up $18.5 billion in 12 months. Shares of America Movil, of which Slim owns a $23 billion stake, were up 35% in a year.
Niche businesses either start with specific offerings for a discreet audience or carve out specialities within a broader base. Either way, entrepreneurs who operate niche companies must understand themselves, their goals, and their customers, in order to deliver marketing campaigns that are simple and effective.
The author asserts there are three tasks entrepreneurs need to do to attract the attention of angel investors. They are "the three shows": show up, show enthusiasm, and show humility.
Some world-beaters start young. And they're thinking about more than lemonade stands.
In 1996 Apple celebrated its 20th anniversary, Mark Zuckerberg was in junior high and Jacob Cook--who owns a computer support company--was born.
No, your math is right: Cook is all of 13 years old.
Cook, who lives in Sacramento, Calif., has been an entrepreneur for three years. At age 10 he started buying books and other "low-end stuff" at garage sales and re-selling it on eBay. As he learned more about computers, he started creating video tutorials about fixing tech problems and broadcasting them on YouTube. After he was profiled in a local newspaper, people started contacting him with their own troubleshooting requests. Today he charges up to $30 an hour to help clients erase computer viruses and fix other problems.
Based on 300,000 companies, most with annual sales under $10 million. One takeaway: Specialization pays off.
Spiking sales might make for good cocktail conversation, but if you don't turn a profit--and keep turning one--you won't be in business very long. With the help of Sageworks, a Raleigh, N.C.-based accounting consultancy and private-company data provider, Forbes assembled a list of the 20 most profitable businesses, on a pretax basis, that aspiring entrepreneurs might launch. At No. 1: offices of Certified Public Accountants, with an average pretax margin of 17.1%. Wired communication carriers (transmission-line operators and the like), which clock an average 10.1% margin, brought up the rear.
The process of going through a legal audit isn't easy, but the risks associated with avoiding the issue are too high for any company to bear. Doing so is not only necessary, but beneficial.
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