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Showing posts from July, 2010

Stats about all US Cities

City-Data.com is a useful website that has collected and analyzed data from numerous sources to create as complete and interesting profiles of all U.S. cities as possible. The website has over 74,000 city photos not found anywhere else, graphs of latest real estate prices and sales trends, recent home sales, home value estimator, hundreds of thousands of maps, satellite photos, stats about residents (race, income, ancestries, education, employment...), geographical data, state profiles, crime data, registered sex offenders, cost of living, housing, religions, businesses, local news links based on their exclusive technology, birthplaces of famous people, political contributions, city government finances and employment, weather, tornadoes, earthquakes, hospitals, schools, libraries, houses, airports, radio and TV stations, zip codes, area codes, air pollution, latest unemployment data, time zones, water systems and their health and monitoring violations, comparisons to averages, local …

The WorkingPoint Blog

I've been checking out the blog put out by WorkingPoint, an "online, small business solution." They have been putting out some interesting articles such as Essential Ingredients for Small Business Success and 19 Ways to Drive a Steady Stream of Traffic to Your Website. It's fun site - periodically, you'll come across the Botpreneur, who is ready for (business) action.

WorkingPoint offers free invoicing, bill & expense management and bookkeeping, with additional services for $10 per month. This article explains that the founders of WorkingPoint "worked for Intuit and were behind the creation of QuickBooks and Quicken. They believed Quickbooks had become too complicated and that the small business software segment was ripe for SaaS-based innovation."

Industry Snapshots from the Economic Census

When I am assisting a business with start-up information, I find that industry statistics are particularly helpful. A wonderful source for industry statistics is the Economic Census. A useful information tool available from the Economic Census are Industry Snapshots. 2007 data is available for the majority of 6-digit NAICS codes and snapshots can be obtained for 3, 4, and 5-digit codes as well. Each snapshot provides comparisons between the current census and the previous one. Maps of the United States divided by state are provided that show various industry statistics, including sales per capita, number of establishments, payroll per employee, etc. There is an option titled "Compare YOUR Business" that compares a single business to national averages. And a "Did You Know" feature provides interesting factoids on the Industry. All in all, this is a useful AND interesting tool from the U.S. Census.

Heath Brothers

The authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Other Die and Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard have made some related resources available on their website heathbrothers.com.


Free with registration, the tools available here are probably most useful if you have read the corresponding book(s), but are helpful even without that additional context.

There is a framework and first chapter available for each title, plus a podcast series, a guide for creating successful (“sticky”) presentations, and more.

(Tip o the hat to hillsearch.org)

The ADA Turns 20

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The US Department is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act this week. I find this to be exciting; at the same time, it seems as though some people seem to find ADA difficult and punitive. While I'm sure that one can find bad outcomes of good intentions in any bureaucracy, the core message of the Act is to make goods and services more accessible to a population that is nearly one in five Americans, and growing.


As the Reaching Out to Customers with Disabilities section indicates that "The ADA asks public accommodations to take steps that are 'readily achievable' or are 'reasonable' or that do not constitute an 'undue burden' to enable people with disabilities to be their customers and clients."

I was at a business conference a few years ago, and a representative laid out some examples about how a business could become more customer friendly. A dry cleaner had a three-step walk up to the entrance. Not o…

The SBA is Redesigning SBA.gov

The SBA is conducting a complete overhaul of its website to make it easier for small business owners to find the information they need. The agency recently launched “The NEXT SBA.gov," a transition site dedicated to sharing its redesign progress with employees, small business owners, agency partners and other agency stakeholders. You can find the site at www.sba.gov/NEXT. The site includes a link to Frequently Asked Questions which provide more details about goals of the redesign. Feel free to submit comments and suggestions using the “What Do You Think?” box at the bottom of the site.

SBA Podcasts to Help Small Businesses Break into the Global Market

SBA is now offering a new set of three export-oriented podcasts offering valuable information on issues and challenges small business exporters may find when dealing with specific countries.

The podcasts, featuring interviews with business representatives from Uganda, Cameroon and Bahrain, are part of a comprehensive effort by SBA to promote and support the President’s National Export Initiative. The interviews focus on what U.S. companies can expect when exporting to those countries and provide information relevant to their respective business and import environments...

The podcasts on Uganda and Cameroon include interviews with two women business owners who are members of the African Women’s Business Network, an organization that supports a network of businesswomen’s organizations in Africa. The podcast on Bahrain features an interview with an official of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce.

The podcasts are available online and include transcripts. They provide valuable information …

StepByStepMarketing

StepByStepMarketing is, according to its website, "an Internet-centric resource for owners and managers of growing and emerging businesses – entrepreneurs and established businesses alike – designed to keep you on top of the latest trends in brand building, marketing, sales, and customer service and relationship building. To help you build profits, take your business to the next level, and gain competitive edge, StepByStepMarketing.com provides you tips, tools, and techniques in a methodical, how-to, step-by-step way that is easy-to-understand and quick and simple to implement."

The site offers daily tips such as how to improve the results of your marketing and tips for retaining lasting customer loyalty. The site also offers several free reports.

Doing Business in...

For a summary of what doing business is like in various countries, have a look at the Doing Business project. These reports focus on a select number of topics relating to starting a business including permits, taxes and enforcing contracts for small and medium sized companies.

Directory of Social Enterprises

"Social enterprise" is the new buzzword within both the nonprofit and for-profit world, encompassing an organization or individual who wish to do well while doing good – that is, achieving the "triple bottom line" of people, planet, profit (that is, having social, environmental, and economic goals).

Presented in partnership with Community Wealth Ventures and the Social Enterprise Alliance, this is a free, searchable directory of nonprofit social enterprises.

Search by keyword, type of organization (think interest/activity area), budget, type of venture, legal status, and/or state. Your search results typically include basic contact information, stated mission, and any specific enterprise or partner venture(s).