Small Business… the Hope for America’s Future.

January 23, 2012

By Peter Justen –

When I’m asked to speak on small business, it always amazes me how few people realize the role small business plays in our economy.  Here are some interesting stats from the Small Business Administration.

  •  Small businesses Generate $5 Trillion in business in the US
  • Represent 99% of all employer firms
  • Pay 44% of total US payroll
  • 68% of employment
  • Employ 50% of private sector employees

These are the numbers that helped build our country, that keep our economy running strong, that create the jobs.  We don’t need bailouts or government assistance…all we need is the opportunity and the drive to make it happen.  (more…)

Essential Apps Every Small Business Should Use

January 23, 2012

Success in the small business arena can be measured many ways.  However, one of my favorite barometers is tied to the speed at which a business owner can adjust his business to the ever-changing needs of his customers.  And making those decisions quickly is directly tied to having the right information at the right time.

Today’s smartphones empower business owners with real-time access to this information.  But, with literally millions of apps competing for space on your phone, which programs should earn a spot?  Following, are my four favorites that I use every day.

Toodledo.com
I used to keep a small slip of paper in my pocket, my to-do list.  However, at the end of the day, it would disappear along with all of my undone tasks.  Now, I don’t have that problem anymore.  With toodledo, I can access my list from anywhere and any device. Their incredible iPad and smartphone apps sync, so every task is only a click away. All tasks are organized in folders of your choice to help separate, say, home tasks from office errands. This one app keeps me focused!  (more…)

America The Land of Opportunity

January 19, 2012

America is the land of opportunity and nobody knows that better than the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces protecting our Freedom both here at home and in foreign lands. We understand it because we have seen what it is like when people don’t have Freedom, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Personally, I’ve served in both Bosnia and Afghanistan. In Bosnia I witnessed as people who had lived under a communist dictator for decades, suffered through a brutal civil war and then tried to learn the values of Freedom and capitalism. Fast forward 5 years and I found myself in Afghanistan which, while completely different culture, terrain and ethnic background, was undergoing the same transition after we ousted the Taliban. Witnessing and enabling the transition to a FREE society is an amazing experience and I believe that without it success is not possible.

The first step in Success stems from the three important factors that I believe are critical for success. First, as I mentioned, you need FREEDOM. Freedom is essential to allowing people the opportunity to be successful. The day I realized what freedom meant was a very hot day in Afghanistan. I was pulling security on the street while my team was inside a building. A small girl probably 5-6 years old approached with an older gentleman. Every bad thought was running through my head. Like does she have a bomb strapped to her?  (more…)

Youth Entrepreneurship: The Equation for Success

January 18, 2012

(O + R)∞ + Pr – F + Ac = Ye    

People always ask, “What is youth entrepreneurship? Is it just some kid that starts a business?” During 2012, this column will explore various topics in relation to youth entrepreneurship. It will be analyzed through an equation that applies to all the successful youth entrepreneurs in recent history.

“Youth” is a concept defined by the observer. If someone thinks you are young, then you are youthful to them. This means you could be 9 or 29 – but either way, motivated to start your own business. Therefore, a “youth entrepreneur” is someone that is considered a youth and is an entrepreneur.  

The key to being a successful youth entrepreneur is the equation above, and young entrepreneurs have never been more important to the world. So let’s break it down, and start actualizing this equation today.

The main ingredient that makes the young so perfect for entrepreneurship is optimism. Believing that something is possible must be an element of any entrepreneurial endeavor, or it doesn’t have a chance. The next element is resourcefulness. This involves creativity and not running to get borrow money every time you hit a roadblock.  (more…)