Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tracking eye movements gives fascinating insights into advertising and design

They say the eyes tell all. Now thanks to eye-tracking technology we can tell what they're saying. Tracking eye movements can reveal a few things about human tendencies.

Read more from Business Insider.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

First Industry Series release for the Utilities sector is now live in American Fact Finder

The first set of detailed statistics from the Industry Series for the following sectors has been released on the Census Bureau's American FactFinder web site:

  • Sector 22: Utilities


    Data for these sectors will be released on a flow basis. Click here to view a release schedule, see what has been released, or take a sneak peak at what’s projected to be released in the next 30 days.

    For more information about the Industry Series, click here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

100-Day Progress Report by Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator

The SBA Administrator recently announced a transformative new plan to automate SBA lending and streamline and simplify the agency’s underwriting process to attract more lending partners and open up new markets for small business owners who need capital to expand and grow. Days after this announcement, which will ease the burdens on lenders approving small-dollar loans to entrepreneurs, she appeared at a Clinton Global Initiative conference in Denver to help announce an exciting commitment called the Century Club. Eight Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) each pledged to make at least 100 small business loans a year for the next 10 years, which will inject $1 billion of additional capital into America’s small business ecosystem.

More HERE.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Poor grammar on websites scares 59% away

From Real Business:

A new study has revealed that 59 per cent of Britons would not use a company that had obvious grammatical or spelling mistakes on its website or marketing material, and 82 per cent would not use a company that had not correctly translated its material into English.

The research, conducted by Global Lingo, polled 1,029 UK adults on their online purchasing and browsing habits.
***
Wonder how Americans would react?

Friday, July 25, 2014

3 Essential Things to Know Before You Start Your Business

If you’re about to start a business, you’ve probably read several how-to books looking for advice on how to be successful. While researching is a great first step, there are some lessons that you won’t find in a book.

You need to hear from business owners who have been in your position, who started a business with a great idea, a lot of enthusiasm, and a shoestring budget. To give you a few business tips, we asked several entrepreneurs, including Kelly Costello, who was featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” to tell us what they wish they’d known before they started their businesses.


Read more in Bplans.com>

Thursday, July 24, 2014

You’re Spending Too Much Money on Professional Development

Carmen Sognonvi writes:

I know too many business owners who are going broke paying for expensive mastermind programs, business coaches, and info products.

They think they're "investing" in themselves.

They want their businesses to succeed, and they keep searching for the magic pill that will help make it happen.

Unfortunately in the process, they're being financially irresponsible and spending far more than they can afford.

I know, because I used to be one of them.

Watch my latest video, because in it I come clean about the mistakes I've personally made when it comes to professional development.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to determine your TAM (Total Addressable Market)

From bplans.com:

Whether you’re a startup or an up-and-running business, you should know what your total potential market opportunity is for your products or services.

Caroline Cummings has coached many companies over the years, as well as judged several business plan competitions, and she's always surprised by how most business owners can’t confidently tell you their total market potential. They tell her things like, “My market is everyone who eats dessert,” or, “Everyone in my community who drives a car,” or, “Anyone in the world who uses social networks.”

You may think these are your markets, but you need to drill-down and get more realistic and specific about the true size of your market, or lenders and investors will question your credibility.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weird Al’ Yankovic Wraps 8 Days of Videos With ‘Mission Statement’

From the Wall Street Journal:


‘Weird Al’ Yankovic premieres ‘Mission Statement’ video on WSJ
 
Robert Trachtenberg
“Weird Al” Yankovic wraps up his eight-day string of video releases with “Mission Statement,” which premieres today on Speakeasy.
The song, from Yankovic’s new albumMandatory Fun,” is in the style of“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills & Nash. The song features Yankovic harmonizing with himself on lyrics constructed of corporate jargon, like “operationalize our strategies” and “leverage our core competencies,” while the animated whiteboard video depicts a live-action hand that is drawing illustrations to go with the words.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Explore Exporting with SBA



Exporting
Did you know that 95% of consumers live outside the United States? And a whopping two thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries!
Exporting can mean big things for your small business, and SBA is here with resources and information to help you succeed!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

#SocialSkim: What Gets Shared, Word Crimes, TSA on Instagram, Write Like a Spy, More!

What nightspots trend on Twitter? Heineken helps young people find out. You’ll also learn what people really share on social networks, how to write like a spy, why word crimes are way worse than blurred lines, and why joining Instagram may be the smartest thing the TSA ever did. Skim for your share of state secrets.

Weird Al - YES!

Read more at MarketingProfs.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bill Gates' favorite business book is from 1971 and out of print

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and others rave about Business Adventures, by the late John Brooks. It was written in 1971, and consists of 12 stories from The New Yorker. The print edition has been out of print for a while, but it is now available as an e-book. It sounds great!

Details from BoingBoing.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless

From Vox.com:


The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is probably the most widely used personality test in the world.
An estimated 2 million people take it annually, at the bequest of corporate HR departments, colleges, and even government agencies. The company that makes and markets the test makes somewhere around $20 million each year.
The only problem? The test is completely meaningless.
"There's just no evidence behind it," says Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who's written about the shortcomings of the Myers-Briggs previously. "The characteristics measured by the test have almost no predictive power on how happy you'll be in a situation, how you'll perform at your job, or how happy you'll be in your marriage."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The State of Small Business: planning works!

As the lean startup method quickly gains popularity among the high-tech startups of Silicon Valley, many entrepreneurs may question the necessity of a business plan. But statistics prove that businesses are overwhelmingly better off when they set goals and implement a plan for how to achieve those goals.


The report, based on a survey of almost 400 small businesses conducted in January 2014 by Palo Alto Software, found that small business owners who regularly plan and track their business’s financial metrics expect more growth in 2014 than business that don’t plan. According to the survey, 79 percent of companies with a business plan say they are better off financially compared to a year ago, while only a third of small businesses without a business plan can say the same thing. Additionally, nearly 75 percent of established companies that have a business plan in place expect to grow more than 10 percent in 2014, compared to only 17 percent of companies that don’t have a business plan.


Read more from PaloAlto.com


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Foundation Directory Online Free

The premier funder database, Foundation Directory Online, now includes a free search tool that has replaced Foundation Finder, providing public access to essential information about nearly 90,000 foundations and over 250,000 IRS Forms 990-PF.

Funder profiles include:

Address and contact information
Fields of interest
Program areas
Fiscal information

Monday, July 14, 2014

Business Employment Dynamics Data by States - New York

Friday, July 11, 2014

Positive Economic Indicators for Small Business

After almost five years of gradual economic recovery, we are seeing increasingly positive signs from small businesses. The establishment birth rate (the share of the average of the previous and current total number of establishments) has been showing slow, relatively steady increases. And the number of employers is on the rise, which is apparent in the increasing gap between establishment birth and death rates. Above all, prosperity is most evident in the upward trend of proprietors’ income, which has increased more than a third in recent years after a lackluster performance earlier in the decade.

More from
The Office of Advocacy's Small Business Quarterly Bulletin for First Quarter 2014.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics

The Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program is part of the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau. The LEHD program produces new, cost effective, public-use information combining federal, state and Census Bureau data on employers and employees under the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership. State and local authorities increasingly need detailed local information about their economies to make informed decisions. The LED Partnership works to fill critical data gaps and provide indicators needed by state and local authorities.
Under the LED Partnership, states agree to share Unemployment Insurance earnings data and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data with the Census Bureau. The LEHD program combines these administrative data, additional administrative data and data from censuses and surveys. From these data, the program creates statistics on employment, earnings, and job flows at detailed levels of geography and industry and for different demographic groups. In addition, the LEHD program uses these data to create partially synthetic data on workers' residential patterns.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have joined the LED Partnership, although the LEHD program is not yet producing public-use statistics for Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. The LEHD program staff includes geographers, programmers, and economists.
Ther mission is to provide new dynamic information on workers, employers, and jobs with state-of-the-art confidentiality protections and no additional data collection burden.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Entrepreneurship.org: "For people growing great ideas"

Use the Entrepreneurship.org Resource Center to find information about all aspects of starting and growing a business. Designed with entrepreneurs, policy makers, investors, mentors and academics in mind, our resource center allows you to rate and comment on the materials posted by the community.

The Kauffman entrepreneurship team bloggers brings to light various policies and initiatives to advance innovation and drive economic growth.

Monday, July 07, 2014

SBA: Helping Underserved Entrepreneurs Succeed

Underserved Audiences
For more than fifty years, the SBA has helped entrepreneurs start, grow and succeed in their business ventures. For all kinds of business owners across the country – including in traditionally underserved communities – SBA provides resources and access to capital they need to flourish. Here's how SBA helps entrepreneurs and business owners who are:  
  • Minorities: Interested in government contracting? The 8(a) Business Development Program helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace.
  • Women: From registering your business to hiring your first employee, SBA is here to help you launch your small business. 
  • Native Americans: SBA has opportunities and programs designed to help Native American entrepreneurs start and manage their businesses.
  • Veterans: From the military world to the business world, SBA has customized resources to help our veterans succeed.
  • 50+ Entrepreneurs: Are you nearing retirement and exploring new opportunities? SBA has information and tools to help "encore" entrepreneurs start and run their businesses.
  • People with Disabilities: Explore resources and links to help disabled people establish and manage small businesses.
The online Learning Center also offers free, self-paced courses tailored to your business type and more, so you can get the online training you need, when you need it. 
SBA is in the business of businesses – and in making sure our diverse entrepreneurs across the U.S. access the resources and capital they need to find success in their ventures.