The newest, oldest and above all most important tools for your business.

March 9, 2012

By Peter Justen –

As we set out to build our businesses we are inundated with the latest “must have” tools.  Tools to increase our productivity, to help us with our marketing, to help us find new customers and keep the old ones.  Tools to build a web site, to launch a product or even to help us track our financials.

But…those aren’t the kind of tools I am talking about.  Here’s some you might not have thought of, that are free to use, but can cost you terribly in the long run if you don’t use them.

Honesty.  Intellectual honesty.  Being honest with yourself about your products, your marketing, and your growth.  About being honest in your representations with your clients, your brand and your employees.

Loyalty.  Loyalty is such a magic quality.  It can carry you through dark days, and build a bond with your suppliers, vendors, clients and employees that can’t be broken.  Remember, you can’t demand loyalty, but it often comes back to you when you give it.  (more…)

A Quick Guide to Foreign Trade Regulations

March 7, 2012

Who is the U.S. Principle Party in Interest (USPPI)? What is a shipment and when you must file in the Automated Export System (AES)? For more information, please visit our website: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/

The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.

Procurement Corner: Lasting Impressions…. Are Business Cards Passé?

March 5, 2012

Thinking back over the several decades when I managed Procurement organizations on government contracts for one of the aerospace & defense giants, I recollect the vast number of times I either exchanged business cards or merely received them from businesses hoping to do business with “me” (us). Occasionally, I would share them with my purchasing staff however, and in all honesty, the majority of the time I eventually just “filed” them, usually in a (infrequently used) rolodex or bottom of a drawer. Unfortunately, this scenario is not unusual today.

So what’s the point of swapping them in the first place? In theory, the objective of “the exchange” is to share critical business and contact information. From a supplier’s perspective, create lasting impressions to receive future orders as needs arise. From a procurement perspective, having viable sources readily available to meet technical demands and achieve mandated small business procurement goals. Did you know that government buyers and contractors still have procurement small business goals today? Yes, indeed!  (more…)

Entrepreneurship and Wounded Warriors

March 2, 2012

In the current economy where unemployment rates are already elevated for people in their twenties, the rate for Veterans sits at approximately 5% higher than the population as a whole. At the same time the SBA reports that veterans are more likely to start a business than the general population. Some reasons for this include the discipline and risk-taking they might have experienced in the field- when you’ve risked your life, taking a risk to start a business is put into an easier perspective. When you’ve been trained to get back up and keep going in the field, and to work precisely and closely with others, well, those are extremely useful entrepreneurial traits.

Because of the internet, the options for creating business and services create opportunities exist that weren’t imagined by veterans of previous eras. Even severely impacted people who might have needed in the past to be supported to live, are now often likely to need support to start something.

A welter of loans and grant programs for people with disabilities can be researched through the SBA and the Defense Department. But first it helps to know what one is doing and have a sense of the desired destination.  (more…)