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Posts Tagged “small business”

Innovative Idea: Give Tours

I sign up for a lot of newsletters because I like to know what’s going on, what people I used to work with are up to, and it helps spark the Idea Mill. I worked with Jerry Shereshewsky back in ’97 at Yoyodyne and (among other interesting andecdotes) I remember then he mentioned a desire [...]

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Show Customer Love: Be Eco Positive

Part of a series in showing customer love… Eco Positive| When companies move from merely neutralizing and offsetting their undesirable eco-effects to actually boosting the environment by going the extra mile. London-based Ecoigo, a ‘green’ car service, aims to be carbon positive, offsetting double the emissions from every trip as well as from energy used [...]

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Giving is the new taking….

There are precious few examples of corporations ditching the greed and embracing generosity. President Obama’s speah highlighted a CEO who distributed his bonus across his workers (past and present) – who does that??? (a true leader) And what an incredible example for the larger companies to follow. Countless individuals have already started giving, of course: giving is the new [...]

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Creative Business Model: Knitting Grannies

Modeled after Swiss and Danish efforts which sell knit goods handmade by real-life grandmothers, French based Golden Hook is a company that lets customers design their own hat and then choose the grandmother they’d like to knit it. The Concept: Customers choose a hat—classic, long or Peruvian, with pompom or without.  Customer choose a blank hat or [...]

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Robert Kiyosaki Interview-Part 2

On Tuesday, you heard from Robert Kiyosaki, investor, entrepreneur and author of The New York Times, international bestselling book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” with 26 books in the Rich Dad series. Here is the continuation of our interview: What main pieces of advice do you have for entrepreneurs and new investors today? I would say [...]

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Exclusive Interview with Rich Dad’s Robert Kiyosaki

Recently, I met Robert Kiyosaki, and he agreed to offer his advice to the StartupNation audience. Robert is the author of The New York Times, international bestselling book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” with 26 books in the Rich Dad series. As an investor, entrepreneur and educator with unconventional perspectives on money and investing, he has [...]

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The Forgotten Secret to Startup Success

It’s 10:00 a.m. in the middle of the work week, and your website just went down, a client wants a document in the next twenty minutes, the shipment you were expecting didn’t arrive, you spilled mustard on your shirt five minutes before your big meeting, an employee is doing all of her holiday shopping during [...]

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Important Contract Terms, Part I: Indemnify this.

One of the mainstays of my practice is writing, or reviewing and revising, contracts for my clients. Often, I am revising contract terms written by my client or another business person, and so, understandably, key contract terms are often absent or inadequately drafted. This led me to think about what contract terms could be critical [...]

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Hay Hotels…Anyone?

Interesting article in the NYTimes: Leave it to the Germans to combine livestock with lodging. In the last decade, hundreds of farms throughout Germany have transformed old barns and potato warehouses into heuhotels, or hay hotels, where guests spend the night on a bed of dried grass. The eco-friendly hotels (no sheets to change) are [...]

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Gone Missing

Several years ago we had our house remodeled. Immediately after, we “flipped” another house. In both cases, numerous subcontractors, both experienced and inexperienced, did the work.  Linda was the interior designer. I was the general contractor.  In this world of framers, plumbers, electricians, roofers, and concrete specialists, there is an interesting commonality among inexperienced subcontractors: [...]

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The Tip System

Here is an evaluation system, albeit waggish. It’s about tipping in restaurants, and I’ll preface things by saying I don’t believe a tip is a diner’s obligation. It’s a tip—something extra that one earns if the service he or she delivers is at least good.  Linda and I sit down for a meal in a [...]

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The Cardiovascular Equipment Sign-Up System

Here’s a remove-the-system-altogether scenario. It’s the ultimate in simplifying things. My staff and I take delight in chucking unnecessary Centratel protocols. System-elimination is great to see in personal life, too.  The cardio room at the gym where I work out is equipped with dozens of treadmills, step climbers, and stationary bikes. It’s a busy place, [...]

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Losing Key Employees

In my small business, Centratel, each of our half-dozen key management people has had several years of on-the-job experience. Training managers to operate a telephone answering service is a long, drawn-out affair because it is necessary to understand a myriad of technical details and random facts. The introduction of documentation speeds up this training process, but [...]

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Hey, Green Business, is regulation a good idea?

·         How does environmental regulation affect your small businesses? o    Additional taxes? o    Ability to get loans? Credit? o    Required compliance to unnecissary rules? ·         Are self governing goal setting more effective? How have you been able to get out in front of the economic or environmental climates by o    Aligning with government initiatives? o    [...]

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Installing a Preventative System

Sometimes we install a system and it doesn’t do much. We achieve the desired effect by the mere existence of it. At Centratel, we knew a few of our employees spent time “cruising the net” on company time. It was impossible to track these sleight-of-hand excursions and the closest we could get to managing the [...]

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Leader and High Earner

Not too long ago I participated in Cycle Oregon, a weeklong bicycle tour. Seventeen hundred riders pedaled an average of 75 miles each day through remote eastern Oregon. At night we camped in ad hoc tent cities planted at various locations along the route: rural high school football fields, small town parks, or wheat fields. [...]

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Nobody Wants New?

I just returned from the ABC Kids Expo in Vegas this past week.  The show is a children’s industry tradeshow that connects children’s manufacturers with buyers from specialty boutiques, department stores, and chains.  Buyer traffic was down as the case with most shows; however, I couldn’t help but notice a reoccurring theme throughout the five [...]

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Getting Back To Basics: Lessons From My Interviews

When I first started social venture labs, I drew inspiration from companies who were classic examples of triple bottom line organizations like Burt’s Bees and Life Is Good. The owners of these kinds of companies went from living out of their cars or without running water, to earning over several hundred million while including communities [...]

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