Where are the Entrepreneurs?

I wrote a post several months ago called “Is the Entrepreneurial Spirit Dead?” Well, according to new research at the Brookings Institute, it appears it very well may be. Their data shows that new business creation has been on the decline for the past several decades and for the first time in many years the failure of businesses is outpacing the creation of businesses. It seems that entrepreneurs across the country are getting discouraged.

entrepreneurs

entrepreneurs

This is a scary thought. According to the Small Business Administration roughly 64% of all net new jobs that were created between 1993 and 2011 were created by small business owners. If we aren’t cranking out any new entrepreneurs, we aren’t creating enough new jobs.

Before the economic collapse I had 3 great employees. As much as I tried to hold on to them, eventually I couldn’t keep them. Payroll is one of the biggest expenses a small business has. If there isn’t enough business coming in to justify having them, you have to let them go. And believe me, no one wants to lose a great employee. [Read more…]

How the On Demand Economy Will Create More Entrepreneurs

on demand economy

on demand economy

With more people working more hours, consumers are becoming more demanding. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but we’re just too busy to be tied down to a time frame. If you don’t believe me, when was the last time your entire family sat down to a scheduled dinnertime? Instead we’ve become an on demand society and an on demand economy.

So, what does that mean for the entrepreneur of the future? More money, more markets, more customers, more products and more services. But they have to be delivered on demand. [Read more…]

A Small Business is a Work in Progress

I currently run five different businesses and I’ve never written a single business plan. I know I’m going to get comments from people who swear you absolutely have to have one. But here’s one thing I’ve learned from running a small business. There is no definitive rulebook.

small business

small business

In looking back on each small business I would have to say that even if I had written a business plan, within a few months it would have completely changed anyway. No matter what I do there seems to be a certain learning curve every time I try something new.

With a brand new invention I thought I knew exactly who my target market was. After all, I invented it for that market. But no matter how many times I knocked on the door, it wouldn’t open. It was only after I experimented with different markets that I finally found the one where the product sold the most and sold almost effortlessly. This would never have been in my business plan because I didn’t even know about it. [Read more…]

How eBay Deals With Counterfeit Products

If you’re going to be a product entrepreneur, sooner or later you will have to deal with counterfeit products. It doesn’t matter if you’re a tiny one item inventor or NIKE, it happens to everyone.

counterfeit products

counterfeit products

The first time I heard about a counterfeiter I looked up “wrist water bottle” on the search engines and found a picture of me wearing my own product on a Chinese website. Since it had a phone number I called them up. When they were trying to sell me my own product they spoke perfect English, until I told them they were selling a counterfeit product and I owned the intellectual property. Suddenly, “no English”.

When I found counterfeiters selling my product on ebay I called up the company to let them know. As a company that deals with multiple people selling everything from used bikes to used chewing gum thrown away by Brittany Spears, they have to keep a handle on counterfeits. [Read more…]

Why Your Company Needs a Rainmaker

If you’ve ever been through a serious drought you know how it feels to get a massive downpour of rain. Companies go through similar droughts, whether through economic hardship, changes in technology, or just general changes in an industry. This is why your company needs a rainmaker.

rainmaker

rainmaker

In American Indian culture the rainmaker is typically a medicine man who would use rituals and incantations to artificially make it rain. This practice still goes on today in some parts of the world. The person who is able to bring the rain is the most valuable person in the tribe.

In business a rainmaker is the person who can bring in new revenue and find new clients. That person is the most valuable person in your company. Because without customers you don’t have a business. [Read more…]