Entrepreneurial Business 101

The practical implementation of the “business model” concept dates back to the earliest days of organized business when businessman sought to have a better return of their investment, a more practical and efficient way to open markets, and a pragmatic manner to “see” into the future of their business ventures to counter the unpredictability of markets, costs, and sales.

A business model simply depicts in detail the company plans to make money by offering a service, or a product. Depending on your own natural concept and your quintessential idea of a business model, your business model can be very simple, narrow, and straightforward, or it can be very complex, detailed, wide-ranging, and far-reaching, as you want to make it. A supermarket’s business model is to make money by offering customers as many products as possible beneath one roof, in a convenient and pleasant place, putting the convenience and speed on the side of the client. An internet based business model such a website can be potentially confusing, and with wide-reaching objectives since there are too many different ideas and concepts on how this atypical class of companies try to engender profits. At the end, all these companies will offer products or services like anyone else.

 

A business model then, is an eclectic term brought into play to illustrate a profit-generating scheme. This business method is in most cases, independent from the set of business models within the same endeavor, although it is an integral part of the general business objectives of a company.

 

The expansive and flexible structure of the business model is the recipient of an all-encompassing range of pinpointing sales strategies, offering tactics, managerial structures of the human capital, descriptive approaches to attain the purpose of the plan, operational and implementation methods, flexible navigational courses of action, new-fangled market penetration stratagems, original infrastructures models, re-deployable commercial tactics, and updated trading practices to deal with the relentlessly evolving market forces.

 

What is a Business Concept?

 

A business concept is a theoretical and intangible design, an abstract idea that represents at its best the company’s offering of the product or services to the market. This sketched business concept must capture in its entirety the purpose and object of the business model. The business concept must lead concisely and evidently a set of activities that define in a distinct, different, and innovative way of presenting the service or product to the market. This should be a 3-minute vocal concept capturing a brand new concept of marketing, which must be swayed into the minds of investors and marketers.

 

The business concept then must outline exactly what the company will deliver to all relevant targeted constituents. This includes the tangible value that the service or product will provide, the vertical market that will be able to access to, and the sustainability of its business model in the sought-after marketplace. The business concept is the cornerstone for all and each activity supporting the business endeavor. It is fundamental that your business concept soundly testify to your business plan and its original value proposition

 

Back to the Business Model

 

The active implementation of a new business model under the guidance of the business concept, will allow companies to have a better and more controlled administration of their products and services, and a better handling and monitoring over manufacturing, marketing, sales, and distribution strategies.

 

One critical element of particular importance that should never be overlooked in the development of a business model, it is its essential chronology. In developing a business model for a new product or service, the lack of careful and logical planning and timing of investment vs. expenses and cash flow, will always discredit the expected delivery of profits and revenue. The critical path and implementation table of your business concept delivered by your business plan, must be logical, convincing, and most of all, realistic. Investors can smell wishful thinking a mile away and will keep your business at a safe distance from their dollars.

To avoid a certain concept-to-reality failures, some of the issues you need to cautiously percolate are:

 

– Determine how much of the product or service has to be constructed or established before a customer makes a purchase decision or a purchase commitment. Most mayor clients will not buy more than 10% of your total proven capacity of production. For the client, this will circumvent strategic dependency from you or the product.

 

– Define the amount of investment that will be necessary to secure contracts and commitments from customers. Clients need to see your financial stability and capacity of deliverance before they entrust you with a long-term obligation. This decision also entails strategic dependency and risk for the client business.

 

– Extrapolate the dimension of the investment’s cumulative risk factor before achieving net positive cash flow, evaluate contractual to upfront investment, and define an acceptable timeframe to penetrate and secure a steady sales market to generate revenues. The investors must see clearly how you are going to protect their money, how you will amortize the investment, and how you will generate profits within a levelheaded agenda.

 

The above mentioned topics of concern when not addressed properly, time and again will make, or break your new venture. The business models that call for a reduced and less risky upfront funding need to be optimized to be reasonable, and realistically quicken the intake of revenue, receivables, and cash inflow. Business models that implement consequential actions across the board to minimize and shorten the exposure (in time) of the investment at risk will have a better chance of, and a faster prospect of success.

 

In the car manufacturing industry, a new model has to be produced and stocked away before any resulting revenues from sales can be obtain. This is an elevated upfront investment with an inherent risk of sales market failure. However, you can’t sale cars by parts to secure a market, so your investment overflows into other areas such as manufacturing facilities, parts, materials, equipment, marketing, etc.

 

In the food industry, the upfront financial risk is a fraction of the car industry if you are trying to sell bread because of the lower cost of infrastructure, and also because you can start with a scalable strategy by selling small amounts of bread until you can build a steady and growing market.

 

In both cases, a reasonable, well-thought business model will determine the viability and accessibility of the target market, and the possibilities of success in it. Also, a car is a higher ticket-price item than bread, so the fundamentals of economies of scale also change and differ, and its integration into the business model is of utmost importance.

 

Not in all business the popular adage “built it and they will come” actually works. If you are risking a lot, you need a more comprehensive, realistic, judgmental, less vulnerable, and proactive means to factually measure risk and success.

 

To Sell or Not To Sell: The Question is Diamonds or Potatoes?

 

Here is a little story about two entrepreneurs who decided to go in business by themselves roughly at the same time, but in two distinct industries, and how it worked for them. The stories are real, so I am concealing the actual names of those performing the business, and the places where they performed their business at, because I have no way to ask for their permission to make these elements public.

 

Meet Pedro. Pedro finished college and he could not find employment for his career anywhere due to the regrettable state of the economy and lack of opportunities in the country where he lived. His father did not own a business and Pedro really had no place to go, so he decided to start his own business.

 

Meet Carlos. Carlos also completed college but his father wants him to work in the family business as resellers of Caterpillar equipment. Carlos had a place to go, but he disliked the family business so he decided to start his own. Carlos shared the same lack of opportunities that Pedro had.

 

Carlos’ Short Story

 

Carlos was used to a fairly good life. His family’s business was not great, but provided for a comfortable living standard. Once Carlos decided to start a new venture, his family helped him with advise, contacts, and capital. Carlos went into the luxury car business. Carlos did not know much about this business, but he figured that with all the help, contacts, family support, and money available for him, he could have a good business up and running fairly quick. And he did it. After jumping through the trade ropes, permits, and regulations, after 4 months he had a flamboyant European sports car dealer. After the inauguration party of his new and exclusive dealership, and after a few sales to family members, to close friends of the family, and a few sales within a niche market of affluent people in the area that followed the first 2 months after he opened, no one else came to his dealership to buy cars.

 

In spite of the efforts of Carlos and his family, the glitzy car dealership closed, leaving Carlos and his family with debts and losses. Like most people in that country, I was in no position to buy one of those expensive and non-practical cars (for the economic environment) Carlos used to sell, so I couldn’t contribute. A few months later I run into Carlos and he explained to me the long list of mistakes he made before and after his failed venture.

 

In short, he did not have a clear business model, nevertheless a sound business plan. Carlos learned dearly from this awful and expensive experience, and so did I.

 

This might sound unbelievable, or even dumb, but do not be surprised because many business are started this way. In the country where Carlos lives, some people start a business because they “heard people saying that is a good business”.

 

Pedro’s Less Short Story

 

Pedro lives in the same country than Carlos, in a different city. Pedro did not have capital, or a family that could help him, neither he knew the business in which he was about to start. But Pedro had an idea, and he took the time to dig out knowledge about his idea, and to see how it could fit it in the business environment he was targeting, and how could he fund his idea. After about a year, Pedro was ready to flight. Pedro explained his business concept to an uncle, he got a small investment and a partner with him, and both went into the French fries business!

 

This is what Pedro did. Pedro prepared a different kind of French fries. He peeled and grinded the potatoes, then he mixed them with a secret minced compound to make a sort of dough; protruded the mix through a small machine in the form of French fries, next he fried them, and afterward sold them at the beach during the summer.

 

Pedro and his uncle had an old beaten pick up truck (a re-formatted Studebaker) that they loaded every summer morning with potato sacks, machinery, other paraphernalia needed for the business, and him, his uncle, and a helper went off to sell French fries to the beach. I tried his potato contraption. He offered several flavors: spicy, non-spicy, salty, non-salty, hot-mild, hot-hot, and of course the regular nonsense French fry. His product was exquisite. He named his business “The King of the French Fries”. Little he knew…

 

I intermittently observed Pedro and his crew almost every day during the hot summer of 1970, and I noticed that he didn’t stay long in the beach we use to frequent as he did at the beginning of the season. He just dropped off his uncle with a helper and after a while he and other person who accompanies him went off somewhere else. Close the end of the summer I learned that Pedro had a total of 7 little stands, just like the one in our beach, in 6 other beaches. “The business went well, but is a lot of hard and hot work”, he told me once after the summer. “I have to get ready for the next summer,” he said, and that was the last time I saw Pedro.

 

By the following summer I had totally forgotten about “The King of the French Fries” until I did see a small, but colorful add in a local paper at the city I used to spent my summers. The add portrayed a big French fry guy with a crown, in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt standing by a small cart with a awning saying “Make your summer unforgettable, starting with your tummy”. That summer he had grown his business reaching to a staggering 22 beaches! His French fries were the sensation at the beaches and everyone had, at least once, eaten one of his products. That summer went fast as my money, and I catch a glimpse of Pedro’s business now and then in the papers, TV, and radio. Pedro had become the BONA FIDE KING OF THE FRENCH FRIES, the real McCoy.

 

I have no details, but I know that Pedro became the biggest seller of (these) French fries in the country, and he was dominating the industry at this time not just during the summer, and according to the rumors, he had at least one stand of French fries in each and every beach in the country. As indicated by the local papers, Pedro was still working hard, but now supervising the operation with his uncle aboard of an Italian Red Alpha-Romeo sport car… I couldn’t prevent learning a lot from Pedro. He started his Human Capital Team with 2 people and a business concept, and I believe by the end of the summer of 1973, he had more than two hundred people in his potato Kingdom, and a flourishing business.

 

Neither Carlos nor Pedro had a business plan to start with, but Pedro had a Business Concept. Pedro never developed a business plan, but he did evolve his business concept into a working tool. Today, Carlos is working in the family business and he is doing just fine, and Pedro, well… Pedro sold the business, retired, left the country, and now he lives comfortably with his family in Florida.

 

Of course there are many details, and countless boring steps missing in these two stories that I did not bother to include, but the point is that a little serious and responsible preparation and planning can go a long way in your new venture.

 

The Mighty Human Capital

 

In my view, Human Capital is the only and sole dynamic resource of indispensable value any company will ever posses that will evolve synchronically with its business model. Pedro would have never been able to grow his business without the support of his reliable human capital.

 

What is the Capital Value of the Human Element?

 

When writing a business plan, normally a great apportion of its content deals with industry, sales, projected revenue, competition, the product or services, investment opportunities and capital amounts, risks, local and foreign markets, and market availability among other valid points, however, very little of the business plan is devoted to the most important element of the entire system: The Human Capital.

 

The real risk of an investment does not reside in the speed of recuperating the money, or how much inventory will be sold, or what size of the market can be captured, or how profitable the company will be in the years ahead. At the end of the day, the entire risk of the company rests on the shoulders of its human capital and its ability to make it all work. All your money is bet on you managers and their dedicated and loyal crews.

 

You always end up investing in a management team, and if you don’t, your business venture is condemned before starts. The business hell is full of entrepreneurs without crews. Why do you invest in your management team, your essential human capital? Because what is established in the business plan will not come to fruition, or will never will be executed without an adaptable management, capable of carry out the objectives of the business plan that are always in need of change and adaptation. Business plans are like a vehicle. It doesn’t matter its size or capacity, they all need a skilful driver to maneuver them safely to their final destination. That driver is you human capital!

 

The single most important understanding of an entrepreneur is to recognize, appreciate, and embrace his/her human capital strategic potential, so he/she can utilize it and apply it towards the success of the business. You need to comprehend the important characteristics and virtues your human capital provides as a whole, and how it stands out compared to other management teams.

 

As long as you acknowledge that the human capital is the most important positive feature your company will ever have, you will be not alone, but empowered to conquer a successful future. It is important to groom your work force to work as a team, to work together, evaluate its past performance, and use the learned lessons to put the teams’ work in perspective for the future. It is important to ask yourself who’s missing in the team. It is important to find natural leaders among your lineup, it is important to publically or privately recognize manifest member’s abilities and skills, it is important to promote advancement and progress, and it is important to multiply these capabilities as much as you can among your human capital members.

 

The Capital Value of the Human Element is the entire investment in the endeavor.

Avoid Single Points of Risk

 

No business model is guarantee of success. Only humans dare to guarantee things, knowing that there are no guarantees for anything. The only guarantee in business is that risk will be ever-present.

 

Some people think because he or she is the only person that can perform well a specific task, because it is difficult, or requires and advanced level of skill, or otherwise they are the only ones capable to execute such task, they have achieved job security. This can’t be farther from reality! As a business owner or responsible manager of an industry, you can not bet the future of the enterprise in one single point. If that employee becomes sick, or goes on vacations, or dies, then the industry stops. Ridiculous! If that “critical employee” decides to ask for more money or other benefits, he or she will hold the company hostage until the demands are satisfied. Ridiculous! If you are the only one able to perform certain tasks in a company, you are at the highest risk to be eliminated as soon as possible if not before. And this includes the entrepreneur.

 

Make sure your team is interchangeable, capable, well trained, and everyone of its members is taken care of. Good management and good care of the human capital can be de most decisive and accelerating reason for success or failure. Always consider making available prospects for growth and opportunity for your work force.

 

Our glorious US Marines are lethally effective in their indivisible team cohesion. Any member of the team can and will perform the other member’s duties at any time and with the same efficacy, they work together, they support each other, they relay blindly on each other, they all fight for the common goal, and they deliver. This is a perfect example of the ideal strength for a human capital team. Turn your human capital into a Business Marines Team.

The Perfect Business Model

 

The perfect business model is your own business model. Think about it. You will give birth to this baby in any and each way you want this business to be. You will plan every piece of it, maneuver every decision, design every strategy, define each goal and purpose, architect your human capital, and impregnate your business plan with your ideas, wishes, desires, objectives, output, and imagination. You have the exceptional opportunity to create the perfect business model for your own business.

 

In order to accomplish this, you must honestly apply sound business principles, market knowledge, and experience. You need to bring to existence a solid, cohesive, and well organized management team (human capital) to help you to fill all the blanks within the lack of knowledge and expertise you might have. You will not find honesty, loyalty, or responsibility in any market, product, or service. These virtues can only be provided and embraced by your human team, and if you are the chief leader of your human team, you must lead with those principles deeply rooted in your conduct first.

 

Your business model is not a logistic regression where you can predict the probabilities of success of your venture, but a carefully crafted document, a detailed roadmap, a planned strategy, a calculated input and output, a blueprint of the market, a tactical assessment of the risks, an archetype configuration for human capital, a powerhouse for accomplishment, an exact compass for direction, a financial chronograph, and your legitimate keystone for success. Design it well!

 

Perhaps we all need to be a little like Pedro, but carrying our business endeavor preparation to the next higher, logical steps, and turn it into an innovative Business Concept, a solid Business Model, and an accomplished Business Plan.

Quenching of America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

The following is a guest post from Brabble Director of Business Development Patrick Mackaronis.

In America we pride ourselves on our freedoms. The great American dream tells the world we are the land where hard work can obtain a successful life. It is a fact that the poorest Americans have higher living standards than scores of people in third world countries around the world so we are indeed a land in which to prosper. This is a country built by hard labor and enterprising minds. Inventors and small business men worked diligently to make America the super power it has become. Individual spirit and drive made up the country’s unstoppable spirit of moving forward doing things better and faster than ever before. However, government regulations and big box retailers have quenched the entrepreneurial spirit and made it more challenging than ever for an individual to realize the great American dream of becoming a self made success and sent them to the time clock to follow the orders of managers.

In India Wal-Mart sits poised at the doors begging for entrance which at least for the foreseeable future has been denied in their original form. They have entered under another name as a wholesale bargain center selling to retailers but not to consumers, in the way that Sam’s club does here in the states. The reason why India has not slung the doors wide open for the retail giant is for the protection of their vendor’s who would not be able to compete with it. When looking at the Indian government’s actions and the laws they produce to protect their local vendors the natural question becomes why it is our government does not offer protection to small businesses. The resounding answer from those who tend to hate big government would have to include statements on free enterprise and fears of the government over stepping their bounds by entering into the private owned businesses. However those statements would be ignoring the fact the government is already heavily involved in every industry by heavily regulating every step of production, delivery, sale, and use of any product you can think of. Perhaps to an extend of regulating the small business out of business by driving cost to meet government regulation to the point of outrageous expectation for a small business trying to compete with retail giants.

While the government tends to over regulate the small business owner they turn a blind eye to the corporate giant’s who step all over the smaller competitors. These retail giants rob consumers of choices by forcing producers to cut corners and streamline production at the cost of quality and variety. Consumer’s are trained to think cheaper is better and quality is a luxury that can’t be afforded by the average family. Consumers are challenged with marketing, packaging, and display tricks that are designed to make it impossible for the best deal to be found. All of these tactics hurt not only the consumer of goods but make it next to impossible for the small business owner to draw the weary consumers into their shops without the smoke and mirror tactics. When you take into consideration the way the cards are stacked against the entrepreneur who wants to try and start a business from scratch the overall view can be discouraging. Whereas other countries such as India have took steps to protect their smaller business people it appears that the green fields of America have been left to the wolves.

Understandably persons will argue that regulations are meant to protect the consumer and the health of our environment. All regulations are not bad, it is over regulating that is the problem. For example while it is helpful for health inspectors to visit the local eatery to ensure foods are being served in a safe clean environment, the equipment regulations are often so expensive to meet that mom and pop eateries are becoming a thing of the past. If a mom and pop eatery can keep foods in safe temperature zones using cheaper equipment they should be allowed to serve their food. The regulation oversteps safety and declares only the more expensive commercial grade food equipment is acceptable even though we as consumers eat daily food prepared on standard equipment. Lofty regulations squash many entrepreneurial spirits who can’t raise the money to buy high dollar commercial equipment but can produce a quality product that given the option many consumers would safely purchase and consume.

The entrepreneurial spirit of American’s has suffered many blows including overly regulated business practices, high dollar marketing schemes by larger retailers and training through repetition to the American people that cheapness is preferable to quality. Even though a highly crafted piece of furniture may last it’s purchaser a life time overwhelmingly Americans are choosing to buy cheaply made furniture that will need to be replaced many times over during their lifetime. Choosing to pay less upfront can cost more over a period of time. In countries where vegetable vendors, clothes makers, and bakers still offer their products in open air street markets there are families who pass down their skills to their children and provide for their families through their own entrepreneurial efforts. Globalization could threaten these countries entrepreneurial spirits as large retailers move in and take over if individual countries do not protect their people as India has done. On the other had perhaps the information age that has came along with globalization will give a view to us in America that will cause us to demand protection for our own entrepreneurs. One can only hope that the result of that would result in revival of the entrepreneurial spirit in America. Additionally benefits would include an enhancement of our cultural experiences with an explosion of individual enterprises popping up on every corner.

Factors to Consider – Organizing House Spaces for Small Business Entrepreneur Owners

There has been an increased number of home-based small business emerging everywhere through out the United States.

This is the generation X and Y; entrepreneurs are what everyone hears and know.

Average houses might have 5 rooms, a finished basement and a garage.

Small business entrepreneur owners are facing a problem with the space in the house and how to organize that to provide them with what they need for running the business successfully.

In general, those who operate home-based enterprises, make extra space by converting basements, guest bedrooms or attics into offices and garages into warehouses. In that case they keep the space simple and eliminate traffic to that area, pets interference or house birds.

Most likely entrepreneurs stick with items that are critical or highly useful, rather than stylish or decorative. And in some cases, they invest in compact technology-laptops, wireless printer-scanner hybrids and other devices that take up minimal space. Usually that works great.

There are several factors to consider when establishing a home office. The set up should help you with your productivity, keep the business organized and clutter-free. Avoid having a small refrigerator in the office, that will be a great distraction. If you have a TV set int that room don’t put it on for day time television. These items may be under your control, then you have to look at the external factors that could be a big distractions in your day.

After observing them for a little and based on your neighbors daily routine and behavior, you should determine which room in the house is a the best choice.

Diverting potential distractions might be difficult to overcome. It’s summer and you want to keep the window open; the neighbor starts mowing their lawn and you’re on an important call. The kids are on vacation and across the street have a pool party. A bus or garbage truck drives by. you can hear everything.

There are few things you can do about all that, start with a headset with a mute button – is an essential tool for keeping disruptive noises at bay.

More tips:

Give room a clam feeling and have plenty of light so you can concentrate on work and not feeling trapped.

Set up working hours and keep the family preoccupied before you are “home from work.”

With effective time management, you can squeeze more productivity out of each day – and actually accomplish more. If necessary hire a Virtual Assistant, that will save you some time and keep your stuff organized.

Pat Mackaronis Describes How to Be an Entrepreneur

The following is a post from Brabble director of business development Pat Mackaronis. Pat is a thought leader and subject matter expert in the fields of entrepreneurship and startups, and has been a self-starting businessman for years.

Over the past year I have came across many people who want to become entrepreneurs but fear became their biggest obstacle. To have success as an entrepreneur is nothing more than a different mindset from your present mind. You are programming your mind to object the reality of going from crib, to cubicle, to casket. We all have experienced seeing some invention or idea and thought to ourselves, “I had that same idea” The difference was the other person mindset was in action as yours remained in fear. I will share with you some attributes that you can put into your life to start programming the way you think.

The first thing first is how you define what an entrepreneur is. The definition I like to use is simple as, a person who solves other people problems. All you have to do is ask yourself, “Do I have what it takes to solve someone’s problem?” Once you have the answer to that question you move into the next step.

Brainstorming is a way to start taking action and begin putting all your thoughts down on paper. Not caring about structure but writing non-stop about what you have to offer to solve someone else problem. I recommend not even thinking too much about what you are going to write down. Like the slogan for Nike say, “Just Do it.”

After you have brainstorm and wrote all your ideas and visions down on paper, take a quick break just to say, ” I am on my way to fulfilling my dream.” Feel great about taking action, because if you are feeling fear or overwhelmed, then maybe you might want to reexamine your passion or idea.

One simple step is to organize that same piece of paper you brainstorm on into a business plan. There are websites like; www.score.org that contains business plan templates and my favorite site is www.myownbusiness.org, which will walk you through the whole process of starting up a business.

Let me take a break and state that you should not have money on your mind right now. It will come a time you have to relax and just concentrate more on your goal. There are two outcomes after you have your business plan, either you will have an affect on your environment or your environment will have an affect on you. Please repeat what I just said because this is what is going to push you forward to get your idea going. You have to be the one to control your environment. You don’t believe in yourself then no one will believe in your services or product you are trying to offer.

The best attribute I can offer is read as much material on what you are trying to accomplish as possible. Successful entrepreneurs educate themselves in their field. While majority of people are sitting on the couch stuffing there minds with false reality of T.V., successful entrepreneurs are at the bookstore and library soaking up all the knowledge that they can endure.

Being an entrepreneur is the new reality. People are tired of going to work for hours out the day for a single pay check, which the government takes 25% of. The economic recession should be a wake up call to people who have the desire within to unleash their true potential. Look at the economic recession as a blessing because you can provide other people with jobs if you use what talent you have and bring it into existence.

To be an entrepreneur means getting over the fear and knowing that you are beyond powerful and well capable to create the life you deserve.

What Are Social Entrepreneurs

With slogans like “greed is good,” capitalism has earned a bad name despite a prevailing view that capitalist market action is the best means to address social issues like poverty. Although charity and investment seem to be conflicting terms, we actually need true social investments to ensure charity is successful. As a result, social entrepreneurs are the types of investors we need in our society to ensure long-term prosperity for our Country and the rest of the world.

A social entrepreneur is a businessman or woman who focuses on addressing the needs of a society through business. When jobs are needed, the goal of these individuals is to spur an industry that can create jobs. If a community needs better food production or sustainable energy sources, social entrepreneurs step up to the plate. The ultimate goal is to ensure necessary industries exist to provide for current and future interests of a society.

 

Beyond essentials like greener industries, socially responsible entrepreneurs also try to address the other human needs of a community. Looking at healthcare, public health clinics and programs for children with behavioral issues may be considered the end result of social entrepreneurs. As such, this kind of business culture is not new. Of course, not every business answering the call of society falls under this category. The behavior of these institutes must serve both the short and long-term needs of a society while the firm must be stepping in to fill a need without regard to profitability.

 

While social entrepreneurs can certainly generate profit with their endeavors, it is not their goal to work for personal gain. Their altruistic firms are designed to turn a profit, so operations can continue and expand before funds are reinvested into other endeavors. As such, social entrepreneurs are creating true social investments versus starting charities that rely on funds or the kindness of others to continue.

 

Moreover, social entrepreneurs are individuals who use the capitalist markets to generate the resources needed to solve social issues. These social investors create firms and industries designed specifically to address the issues facing communities around the world. Certainly, profit from these firms can be used to award investors and founders, but the objective is to continue creating new programs. As such, these businessmen and women work to address social injustices by utilizing the most redeemable characteristics of our capitalist philosophy.

The Winning Mindset for Online Entrepreneurs

The mindset required to be an entrepreneur online is essentially the same as that required to an entrepreneur off-line. The mindset of an entrepreneur is composed of specific beliefs, values, thoughts and idea. His mindset helps him succeed, by taking actions that are congruent to it. Here is a general outline of what an entrepreneur thinks like:  An entrepreneur is responsible for his life and business. He does not blame his family, his neighbors, his dog, his circumstances or God for what’s going on in his life and business.

An Entrepreneur begins with the end in mind. He is very clear about what he wants. He plans his work and works his plan.

An entrepreneur plays on the court rather than sits on the side line watching others play.

An entrepreneur is disciplined enough to not let unjust criticisms and temporary setbacks upset him (God knows he receive a lot of it). They are pretty thick skinned to what their family, neighbors, or friends have to say. At the same time he is not arrogant. He gives people a patient listening and takes in constructive criticism, discarding the rest.

An entrepreneur does not wait for all signals to turn green. He deals with the red ones, when he reaches them and never before. He takes one step at a time.

An entrepreneur plays to win. He does not play to try, or to not fail, like most people do.

An entrepreneur is persistent. He might fall and get bruised several times. He just gets back up, thinks “That was interesting”, dusts himself clean and move on with his head held high. He will never give up. If he doesn’t get the result one way, he will try another way.

An entrepreneur is willing to lose. This doesn’t mean that he wants to lose, but just that he is willing to take calculated gamble. Most people don’t even start, just out of fear of losing.

An entrepreneur does not fear failure. He understands that failure is a part of life. He learns from them, rather than sits and brood about it.

An entrepreneur promotes and markets his-self and his ideas at every opportunity he get, where as most people hate selling or marketing.

An entrepreneur is an excellent receiver. He is willing to receive success, compliment, good publicity, good news, profit, and happiness and is just as much willing to receive failure, criticism, bad publicity, bad news, lose and sadness. He understands that you cannot have one without the other.

An entrepreneur is willing to get paid based on his results, rather than on the time he spent to achieve it. Most people won’t be willing to work for months without pay, but an entrepreneur will.

An entrepreneur has a ‘both’ mentality rather than an ‘either/or’ mentality. You have people who say that you can either have fun or make money, but in his world, it is possible to have both.

An entrepreneur values his, and other’s time more than anything else in the world. He understands that his time on this planet is limited, and does not delude himself into ideas that, he has all the time in the world.

An entrepreneur is just a normal man/woman like you and me. He has fears and worries too. What separates him from the rest is that, he acts despite the fear, where as most people are paralyzed into inaction.

An entrepreneur is always open to learning new things. He understands that the day he stops learning, he is dead. Most people on the other hand, have the notion that education ends with school or college.

Last and not the least, an entrepreneur is highly charitable, not just with his money, but also with his time, his knowledge and effort. He is always willing to donate money for a good cause. He is always willing to mentor someone. He understands that what ever he gives out, he will always get it back many fold. Some call it karma. Some call it ‘giving back’.

Could You Be an Entrepreneur?

First of all you need to know what the word entrepreneur means. Many people tend to give this word different definitions, and most of the time they will be right, but the dictionary defines an entrepreneur as a person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk of a business venture.

Entrepreneurs are usually perceived as people with strong ideas, and the will, conviction, and determination to see their ideas materialize in the form of a company. They are risk takes who do what they think is right even when everybody yells at them and tells them that they are wrong. They make things happen,which is why they are very successful or broke. Most technological breakthroughs and advances have been possible thanks to entrepreneurs with vision. People like Edison, Henry Ford, or Bill Gates are just a few famous entrepreneurs.

 

Common attributes given to entrepreneurs define a strong personality. They are associated with personality traits such as leadership, vision, intelligence, gut, and ability to take risks and to reach goals. You might think that you do not posses these traits and therefore you can’t be an entrepreneur, but the reality is the opposite. You can develop some of these skills by learning and practice, and even more importantly, with tools such as modern computers and the internet, you can become an entrepreneur even if you don’t possess the aforementioned characteristics.

 

To be an online entrepreneur you don’t need millionaire investments or risking your reputation like the famous entrepreneurs do because the goal of most online entrepreneurs is more modest. They only want to be in control of their life again. Many people belonging to this group aren’t even the typical entrepreneur type of person, nor have an innovative new idea they market for millions of dollars. They are regular people with a defined goal and a fair amount of ambition; you can be in this group too.

 

You might encounter that you need certain skills to be successful in the online business, but everybody can learn new skills, plus the skills needed to be successful in this market are pretty simple. If you need more self confidence read books or listen tapes on the subject, if you need some knowledge in marketing, then get yourself a book and start learning. There are plenty of free and paid sources you can use to learn, so just go out and start your home business now.

Lessons for the Small Business from Avatar: Trends and Growth Lead to Change, a Closed Mind May Lead to Failure

ShowAs the story line unfolds, there are those who insist on doing things the way they have always been done. Closed minds lead to the inability to see possibilities. These individuals are incapable of seeing past the norm and accepting anything different.

As in most story lines, there is the other side. There are those who seek to understand, and are willing to open their minds to new possibilities. They are willing to consider something other than the norm.

How does that apply to the business world?

Building something from the ground up can have an emotional impact on individuals. When a business owner struggles to bring an idea into reality, they can fall in love with that creation. As the business fulfills the needs of a family, putting food on the table and sending the kids to school, a bond is established. That bond, between the creator and the created, is easy to see but difficult to break.

In some cases, it is a sad fact that a business will go under, due to the lack of an open mind and a willingness to accept change. Accepting change can become easier, if the creator of the business is willing to see the creation as something that can grow and change as needed.

While small business trends tend to change from year to year, it is a good idea to stay on top of the current issues which small business owners may face. Subscribing to Business Growth Trends will allow for access to this type of information. Along with information concerning business trends; this website also includes information on business resources and financial information.

Below are a few ways to help establish an open mind and ensure a better a transition toward growth and new industry trends.

Attend Trade Shows

Stay on top of the newest trends in the industry. Attend trade shows and conventions. This a great way to discover what others are doing, and learn more about new technology that may be making an impact on a particular customer market.

Read and Subscribe

Subscribe to magazines and other trade publications. Don’t stop there, locate the most popular websites within a trade industry and register to receive updates. This allows for information to flow into the business on a daily basis.

Join Associations

Opening a business is just the beginning. As the world changes, so does the technology within the business world. By joining associations and organizations that are dedicated to certain industries, a business owner is more likely to learn about the newest and hottest trends.

Continue to Learn

It is important to realize that as technology and knowledge increase, the business owner must keep up. Make education within your field a priority. According to Connie Podesta, many choose not to change out of fear. Reading her article, Why Accepting Change is Vital to Your Professional Success. can be a step toward having an open mind.

Bring New Ideas and Services to Customers

By putting a company at the front line of new products and services, a business owner is able to increase the value offered to customers. Customer loyalty and confidence can be built when new advancements in a business, create a greater perceived value.

Be Willing to Educate

Although new ideas and new ways of doing things are easier to accept for some people, there are those that have difficulty accepting change. Take the time to educate your customers about the reason for any changes. Allow them to voice their concerns or uneasiness, while reassuring them that the business has not changed, only the way some things are done.

Have an Attitude of Growth

With new trends, and cutting edge technology, may come some very expensive changes. An attitude of growth will allow a professional to see beyond the current customer base and recognize the needs of the community. There are always ways to improve. Reach out to the community, letting people know about the positive changes made and how they may be served by them.

Accept Change with an Open Mind

Having a closed mind does not allow for personal growth, or the acceptance of change. Looking beyond today and into tomorrow will allow for any needed changes. Competition can be difficult, economic downturns are not easy, but there is always room for an open mind.

Evaluate Business Trends Today

Take the time to evaluate the business as it is today. The evaluation process will be different for every field of interest. However there are a few steps that can lead to being better prepared.

  • What changes have come within this field and how have they impacted the business as a whole?
  • What changes can be seen on the horizon?
  • Will the changes make an old system obsolete?
  • Will the changes create new opportunities and a new customer base?
  • What type of education will be needed to stay on top of the changes that are coming?
  • Will the business be able to survive without incorporating the changes that are coming?
  • If so, how will it impact the business as a whole?

Change does Come

As the movie Avatar points out, changes do come. How a business deals with change and the impact, will have a lot to do with the survival of that business. Although survival may be important, economic stability is extremely important. A business that is merely surviving may be a business that needs to evaluate where it stands.

Owning a business can be a great experience. A successful business will continue to grow with the trends. The way it has always been done, may not always be the answer to growth. Look to the future, with an open mind and willingness to learn and grow.

Business Ideas: Hobby Services: Service Industry Business Ideas

YogaIn today’s marketplace, convenience is key. Consumers want what they need, when they need it, without having to rearrange their busy schedules to get it done. That’s partially why service businesses are always in hot demand – if they can find a niche market and then serve it well.

What follows is a list of some service industry business ideas that will get your creative juices flowing while providing you with several opportunities to explore, brainstorm and research further to see if one of these business ideas is the perfect entrepreneurial venture for you.

Business Idea: Searching for Collectibles and Antiques

This is a highly specialized niche market, but for the right collector, it’s a business idea that can provide great financial rewards. For those who already have a specific hobby they are passionate about collecting – such as stamps, paintings, comic books, dolls and antique scales – opening up a service business that caters to similarly inclined shoppers may be a logical step. Continue doing what you normally do to find the items you collect (garage sale hopping, flea markets, eBay) but instead of merely looking for yourself, look for your clients, too. Finding clients isn’t that challenging either, as you’ll probably already know where people with similar interests spend their time: reading collectors magazines, in the eBay forums, searching the Internet and in flea markets themselves.

Business Idea: Cleaning Golf Clubs

If you are already an avid golfer, then you know how important it is to keep your golf clubs clean. Yet, how often to you actually make the time to keep them in tip top shape? That’s where a golf club cleaning service can step in. By giving clients a very specific service – cleaning their golf clubs – while they get changed after a game or at any other time that is convenient to them – you are saving them time, energy and probably the cost of a new set of clubs after their poorly maintained ones have rusted, pitted or become discolored with use.

Business Idea: Yoga, Pilates or Self-Defense Instructor

Although the services are quite different, the intention is the same: offer clients a way to get into shape or defend themselves by showing and guiding them in ways to take control of their bodies and minds. Your schedule should be somewhat flexible for these types of business ideas, since your intended audience will likely require classes at varying times, and you’ll need to take some intensive training before teaching anything at all. But once you’ve completed those necessary steps, contact either other instructors in town to ask them how and where they began teaching, or make a call to your local recreation center and find out what you’ll need to do to use their facilities for a course.

Business Idea: Seamstress

For those who already love to sew and have all of the necessary items in place, starting a sewing business is quite straightforward. Put up some flyers around town announcing your services, contact local tailors and dry cleaning companies to let them know you’ll work with for them as a contractor, and get a cell phone that is only used for work purposes. Then, create a list of set prices for all different kinds of sewing needs such as hemming, repairs or creating a prom dress from scratch. Before you know it, your phone will be ringing off the hook.

Business Idea: Personal Chef

There are as many opportunities for providing cooking services to clients in your community as there are types of cuisine to choose from. Elderly clients may want someone to come into their home and cook for them, and young families overloaded with responsibilities may cherish a couple of hours of cooking time off from a pro. Expecting parents may like to sit down with a chef to work out meals they can prepare in advance and freeze for when the baby comes, and busy singles who travel often may lust after a home-cooked meal. You could even teach a specific kind of cooking that normally takes a bit to master, right in the intended chef’s home. How’s that for convenience?

What is a Social Entrepreneur?

SocialWhat is a Social Entrepreneur?
Defining the term ‘social entrepreneur ‘ is no easy task. Simply put, social entrepreneurs are those who identify social issues and use enterprise to help solve those issues. Social entrepreneurs act as agents of change and transformation for whatever problem they are trying to solve. This definition is clearly broad and open to interpretation.

Social entrepreneurship sounds a lot like non-profit work, but the two are actually quite different. Typical non-profits focus on immediate efforts, often taking on the task of disaster relief or providing immediate aid to those in need. Social entrepreneurship, on the other hand, involves trying to create long-term change, such as creating work opportunities for women in third-world countries to help eliminate poverty. Social entrepreneurship is not limited to the non-profit world; many for-profit ventures exist as well.

Famous Social Entrepreneurs
What, exactly, a social entrepreneur does is perhaps best illustrated by some of today’s most well-known social entrepreneurs. The founding father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus, started Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1976. Yunus was teaching economics when a terrible famine hit the region, leaving people starving to death in the streets. His solution was to provide collateral-free microloans to the very poorest people in the area, allowing the poor to fund their own small businesses and stop the cycle of poverty. The result has been nothing short of incredible; with $4.7 billion dollars provided to 4.4 million families in Bangladesh, Yunus has kept millions of people out of poverty. Today more than 250 other institutions follow the same mico-lending model.

A second notable social entrepreneur is Mimi Silbert, founder of the Delancey Street Foundation. Delancey Street rehabilitates former felons and drug addicts and teaches them to live productive and crime-free lives. Everyone who enters Delancey Street spends up to four years in the facility earning at least a high school diploma and training for a particular occupation. Delancey Street is 65% funded by the businesses operated by its graduates, including Delancey Street Moving Company and Delancey Street Restaurant. By taking former criminals off the street and giving them a fresh start, Mimi Silbert helps to end the cycle of crime that can often last a lifetime.

Interested in Becoming a Social Entrepreneur?
If you are interested in learning more about social entrepreneurship, many colleges now offer both undergraduate and graduate studies in the area. Check the colleges near you to see if any courses are offered.

Don’t want to head back to school? If you have a way to solve a social problem, you can start your own social enterprise at any time. Starting a social enterprise will vary in complexity depending on the task at hand, non-profit or for-profit status, and funding. Seek the guidance of friends, business professionals and fellow social entrepreneurs, and you could be on your way to changing the world in no time.