Veteran Entrepreneurs: Demonstrating Our Gratitude Through Acts of Support.

January 29, 2012

They served and fought on our behalf. They devoted years of their lives and many endured repeated deployments. Now is our opportunity to help them in return. 26% of returning veterans are not looking for a job or a degree: they’re looking to get into business for themselves, and we should all be contributing in one way or another to help. We can help returned vets build new lives and thrive as they launch new business and grow their piece of the “American dream” in these tough economic times.

Imagine the impact it would have if millions of experienced business people individually stepped up and did just one thing, like mentoring, coaching, investing, creating strategic partnerships, making introductions to contacts and connections to help further an enterprise, donating or discounting equipment or materials, office space, and so much more that might be needed. What a powerful thing it would be to show our gratitude in this way and pay it forward to help support local veteran entrepreneurs in our towns and neighborhoods all across the country. Imagine if the rest of us were to make a point of buying their products and services and do whatever we can to help give them a leg up.  (more…)

7 Ways to Make Your Kick-Off Gathering a Successful One

January 25, 2012

Hosting an event is a great way to kick off the New Year.  No matter the type, an event gives your business or organization an opportunity to make a more personal connection with the people you meet.  This can give you a huge advantage, especially in a tough economy.  Here are 7 ways to make your event a successful one and start 2012 off on the right foot:

1. Get the word out early. Sending a save-the-date email as soon as you firm up your event details allows invitees to reserve the time. You can follow up later and ask people to RSVP and register in advance. If you’re charging, ask people to pay in advance as well– they’ll be more likely to be there.

2. Create a sense of excitement and exclusivity. Everyone wants to feel like a VIP. Email a coupon to attendees that they can redeem at the door, or if there will be a cash bar, send a free drink ticket that attendees can redeem if they bring the coupon.

3. Increase the urgency when needed. As the registration deadline nears, send a reminder email to anyone you’ve invited who hasn’t signed up yet. For example, “Only 5 spots left. Register today!”  (more…)

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…)