Thursday, January 31, 2008

What Women Want

I was going through a pile of newspaper clips last night and stumbled upon this one. It's only about a half-year old. My how time flies and how much things have changed since this was released! See what you think. We do rule. Too bad not many folks know how to woo us.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Help With How to Launch Out of Your Cube

Our friend and colleague at Escape from Cubicle Nation just released her latest creation: A new audio program to help entrenched employees launch out of their cubes.

Sounds like it's right up the alley for Escape From Corporate America readers!

Read more about it and buy it here.

What The Customer Wants You To Know

I am reading a really good book, actually two, by Ram Charan. One is What The Customer Wants You To Know and the other is Know-How which I haven't finished yet. I highly recommend What The Customer Wants You To Know. It's a fantastic book about how to look at sales and new business development in a radically new light. For example, here's a clip from the book:
When I think about our own vendors, all they do is keep trying to beat each other on price," he told Phil. "They tell us how much money we can save if we go with them. But my biggest challenge is building revenues and stemming the erosion in market share. I can't recall any supplier coming to us with ideas for generating more sales or winning more market share, the things really value."
As a business owner, when is the last time you dug deep to find out what your customer's goals, priorities and competitive challenges are? If you can't recall, I suggest you buy this book. It's a door-opener to growing your business. Within the first 40 pages, I dog-eared nearly every other page for reference later.

Excerpt from What The Customer Wants You To Know here.

Just in (1/28/08) and featured in the Wall Street Journal:
Next in Line for Reinvention: The Art of Selling
Consultant Ram Charan Says Focus Is All Wrong; What a Customer Needs


Friday, January 25, 2008

A Day in the Life of Corporate Women

We will dare to go to the other side on this post and provide a glimpse of how corporate women manage work-life balance.

When I caught this part:
Nadine McHugh, 42, managing partner at the ad agency MindShare. About four years ago McHugh, mother of a 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, told her employer she wanted to stay home full-time with the kids. Her boss asked her to work part time from home because her key client, Unilever, was concerned about her departure.

A working mom's dream, right? Yes and no. McHugh, of Massapequa, says working from her dining room table made her world feel small. So after a year she told her boss she wanted to return full time.
I thought: She's going for it. Out the door! She's thinking BIG. Start her own business! But no such luck (or happy surprise).

Read the article here. What's your take on it? How long do you think these women will last in corporate America?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Calling All Women Entrepreneurs: Nominate Yourself or Someone Else!

The Doing Business project of the World Bank is conducting a two-year research effort to identify legal and regulatory barriers facing businesswomen in 178 economies. The program will provide analysis on reforms that benefit women in business.

As a part of this effort, team members will be preparing profiles of women entrepreneurs describing reasons for their success, as well as highlighting some of the main legal, regulatory, and practical obstacles they faced in expanding their business. These case studies will help identify strategies to alleviate such obstacles, as well as communication approaches to promote the benefits of reform.

The Doing Business team will select from each region amongst the nominations, contact them, and prepare a profile of the individual. These profiles will be published by Doing Business.

A candidate for nomination is a woman entrepreneur who:

-- Is the founder/owner of the business
-- Is active in her community
-- Has an experience that can offer lessons that can inform reform efforts

When submitting your nomination, kindly provide as much of the following information as available to you:

• Full name of Nominee
• Name and type of business
• Business address, phone number, and e-mail
• Month and year business was started
• A brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur
• A brief description of the business
• A brief summary of the obstacles overcome, discoveries made, and outcomes

Please forward your nominations by no later than (extended) January 25, 2008 to Sushmitha Narsiah (refer to following link).

More information can be found here.

Thank you very much in advance for your support and good luck!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Start Anywhere and Just Get Going

Are you finally going to start a business in 2008? Sure it's a scary time out there with everyone predicting a recession. Heck, we're no longer forecasting it, we're living it. But that doesn't mean you can't start a business. Quite the contrary. The nice thing about starting a business when the economy stinks is that you can only go up from where you begin. And to begin you first need a plan.

Tim Berry, president of Palo Alto Software and principal author of its Business Plan Pro® software for developing business plans, wrote this blog entry, "Plan Your Business As You Go."

Maybe it will help spur you to get started or get going with that business!

Monday, January 21, 2008

King Was All About Achieving Acceptance For All People, Regardless of Race or Nationality

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I will be out of the office learning more about the man who helped achieve civil equality for African Americans. Hope you are doing the same.
There is a great day ahead. The future is on its side. It's going now through the wilderness, but the promised land is ahead.
-- King, Martin Luther Jr.

The Birth of a New Nation
Montgomery, Ala.
7 April 1957

Friday, January 18, 2008

World's Largest Research Project: What a GEM

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor's ninth annual review of entrepreneurial activity and perceptions spans 42 countries and is the world’s largest research project focusing on entrepreneurs and how they affect national economic growth.

See how we stack up here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How Do American Entrepreneurs Stack Up Against Others Worldwide?

Think entrepreneurs around the globe are all alike? We will find out tomorrow at the crack of dawn when we release the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What Mood Are You In?

Are you pessimistic about the economy or jumping for joy that you are putting all sorts of great new ideas into play?

Here's what some folks are saying.

At the same time, find out what the biggest difference is between men and women business owners.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Set-Asides on Women's Contracts Criticized

Still more brewing on this hot topic. Weigh in with your comments or feelings about it. Will it impact how you run your business in 2008? If so, how? Don't you think as business owners we deserve better?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year, Less Dollars For Some Women Owners

SBA effort for women owners stirs outrage among backers of a long-delayed program that would funnel more federal contracts to small companies owned by women.

Seven years ago, Congress ordered the SBA to draft guidelines so federal agencies could meet the goal of awarding 5% of federal small-business contracts to female owners -- a goal set by law in 1994. Last week, the SBA proposed a rule to implement the program and was criticized by those who said the guideline would be too restrictive.

The new rule would cover just four industries in which the SBA says women-owned small firms don't get their fair share of federal contract dollars: national security and international affairs; coating, engraving, heat treating and allied activities; furniture and kitchen cabinet manufacturing; and motor vehicle dealers.

Read more about it here.

Some quick facts:
There are 7.7 million women-controlled firms, which are those in which a female owns 51% or more of a company, according to the Center for Women's Business Research. That's about one-third of all U.S. firms. Yet their sizes and sales tend to be lower than average. Women-owned firms account for only about 4% of total company revenue, according to the women's chamber.
Women-owned small firms capture about 3.4% of federal small-business contracting dollars.
And now it may be even less.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008: Dive Into Entrepreneurship!

On new year's day and very much predicated on the weather, I go for either a jog or nice long walk by the lakefront which is only about a block or two from where I live. I stop along the way to photograph notable moments, especially ones that strike up powerful emotions.

Well, what a surprise I had today! It's Polar Bear Plunge Day -- or how about Polar People Plunge Day -- in Rogers Park, Illinois where folks on the first day of the new year strip off their clothes and jump into the lake. How wild is that?! And to think they do this when it's 22 degrees F. (need we mention there was a wind chill factor ... why just look at the waves in the water). What uncommon valor these people have.

It reminds me of the toughness (and a certain sort of craziness) that is required to start a business. Doesn't it look like everyone shown below (click on photo to enlarge) is in it for the escape and excitement? Enjoy.

Dare. Dream big. Be inspired in 2008.

Another amazing surprise: In case you missed it, these photos were featured on (WMAQ TV Chicago) at about 10:18 p.m. CDT! Checking to see if we can get the link. Stay-tuned.