By Jennifer Lobb –
Before long, the air will be cooler, evergreen and twinkling lights will deck homes and storefronts, and holiday music will begin to play – albeit earlier than seems necessary. Though the holiday season begins as soon as Jack-o-Lanterns end their month-long reign, when it comes to planning and sales most small businesses focus on what many consider to be the biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday.
Business owners and managers alike plan meticulously for the big day, with efforts covering everything from staffing and business hour updates to marketing and sales initiatives. However, as you likely already know, when it comes to Black Friday, inventory is often the make-or-break factor.
So, how do you have a wildly successful Black Friday? Take these inventory tips into consideration as you plan for the biggest shopping day of the year. (more…)
By Linsey Knerl –
The Big Mac – the special burger from McDonald’s that features “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and a sesame seed bun” – is almost as much of an icon as the fast-food chain itself. While the world is pretty much split on the one-of-a-kind sandwich (the sauce has a way of being fairly polarizing), no one can deny that it’s an unchanging staple that’s been branded into our culture.
The sandwich is 50 years old this year, proving that some things are still a good idea half a century later. Here are some other hard truths about its success for small businesses that cannot be ignored.
Have a Signature Item
Fast food has gotten weird over the years. I remember when McDonald’s introduced what they called a more “grown-up” menu, switching their classic grilled chicken offering over to something with honey mustard, a fancy bun, and more lettuce than I would ever put into a small side salad. This was on the tail of the failed McSpaghetti, and it predated some of the chain’s experiments into the McGriddle – which has gone on to become a current classic. (more…)
By Gerri Detweiler –
“Do Schools Kill Creativity?” is one of the most popular TED Talks of all time. In his entertaining and provocative presentation, Sir Ken Robinson says (referring largely to the state of education today) that “..if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong.”
Robinson doesn’t address entrepreneurship directly in his talk, but plenty of other people question whether our educational system helps prepare students to run their own businesses, often against the backdrop of stories like that of Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg dropping out of college to start their businesses.
As one example, Andrew Yang wrote in Forbes, “Schools don’t tolerate failure. Our students can’t accept it. The best entrepreneurship course would give everyone who enrolls an F. Whoever takes it probably has the makings of a decent entrepreneur.”
He’s referring specifically to university-level entrepreneurship education programs, and goes on to say: “The best programs push students out of the classroom, get business people with real problems, and give strong teams an actual chance to launch and operate with access to real angel investors. Go out and get some customers.” (more…)
By Gerri Detweiler –
What qualities come to mind when you think of those who build great amounts of wealth? Disciplined, hard-working, smart — perhaps even a bit ruthless?
You may be surprised to learn that there is another trait that may help you build wealth: optimism. Tom Corley devoted several years to studying the habits of the rich versus the poor, which he has shared in his best-selling book, Rich Habits: The Daily Habits of Successful Individuals. Among the many habits he studied, he found the rich were more likely to be optimistic.
“Sixty-seven percent of the self-made millionaires in my study forged the habit of being positive and upbeat. A positive, mental outlook is critical to overcoming problems, obstacles, pitfalls, mistakes and failures,” he says. “Staying positive is a critical component to becoming wealthy. Positivity is like a radar in search of solutions to problems. Thus, positive thinkers are able to see solutions, where negative people see only problems,” he adds. (more…)
By Jennifer Lobb –
Running a business is time-consuming work, and as a new business owner, time is exceedingly hard to come by. Though you may not be able to add an extra hour (or minute, for that matter) to your day, there are ways you can capitalize on, and make the most of, the time you do have. By following the seven tips below, you’ll be able to take charge of your day and manage your time in a way that improves both your productivity and state of mind.
1. List & Define Your Tasks & Goals
When thinking about time and how to better manage it, there are two dominating categories of obligations and to-dos and your list: operational tasks and business goals. Tasks are those mundane-yet-import requirements that happen daily, weekly or monthly, without fail.
Emails, meetings, bills, inventory, etc. all account for the tasks that must be completed to keep a business up and running. On the other hand, things like new projects, sales incentives, marketing initiatives, hiring and expansion activities, etc. all represent goals that are important to business success and growth. (more…)