Archive | August, 2009

The Roundup August 27

The Roundup August 27

For Governor Schwarzenegger, it turns out to be bad luck that this was the year Craig’s List started cracking down on prostitution ads. Just when California state government needed the money most! And for a limited time only on eBay and Craig’s List . . . the state of California! In his latest effort to […]

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The Roundup August 26

The Roundup August 26

Senator Ted Kennedy (1932-2009) “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.” William Shakespeare

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Jim Blasingame Small Business Advocate Show

Find interviews with Small Business experts on the Small Business Advocate show I had the great honor and privilege of being on Jim Blasingame’s Small Business Advocate last week. Now, I’ve been doing my fair share of radio interviews, but this was truly exceptional. If you weren’t around for the live broadcast last Tuesday, we’ve […]

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The Roundup August 24

The Roundup August 24

I’m thinking we shoulda’ called it The Micro-Startup Bible, since that’s the new VC fashion. Venture capitalists learn a new fashion — micro-startups. Kind of like a shoestring venture, no? Two dozen companies displayed their wares on Wednesday in brief talks that are the graduation ceremony at Y Combinator, which invests up to $20,000 in […]

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The Roundup August 21

And in genuinely good news for the economy . . . Sales of previously owned single-family homes were up 7.2% compared with June and 5% from July 2008, The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Friday. The monthly gain was the largest on record for existing-home sales, which NAR has tracked since 1999. (“http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/21/real_estate/home_sales_rise_in_July/index.htm?postversion=2009082114,” CNN […]

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I’m back!

Well, the busy life of an independent consultant does have its feasts and famine. While I’m very selective about clients nowadays — I only take jobs I really passionately believe in –in order to keep moving forward with the books we’re producing, that still means that every once in a while I take the 12 […]

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The Roundup August 17

It may not be “business,” but it’s not like there’s any news on Fox News, either. The News Corporation needs television viewers to find the Fox Business Network, and it thinks the cowboy-hat-wearing radio host Don Imus could help. . . . So far the upstart’s audience is measly. Nielsen Media Research estimates that in […]

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The Roundup August 12

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The Roundup August 11

You don’t become a billionaire by thinking “free” is a great way to make money. “Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting,” Murdoch said during a call with analysts and reporters. The Wall Street Journal, which he owns, is one […]

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The spreadsheet formulas every entrepreneur should know, Part One

The spreadsheet formulas every entrepreneur should know, Part One

The Series Introduction 1.) Internal Rate of Return 1a.) Modified Internal Rate of Return 2.) Net present value 3.) Payback 4.) Average 5.) Standard deviation Bonus!) Excel Solver If you’re like most entrepreneurs or business owners, you spend a fair amount of your productive poking away at some spreadsheet or other, but your demands of […]

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Talk of the Town, WICC AM 600 4 PM — New York and Bridgeport

If you’re in the New York, Manhattan, and lower Connecticut area, I just had a last-minute invite to as a guest on Jim Buchanan’s “Talk of the Town” today. Tune in — AM 600 — between 4 and 4:30 PM or listen live at the WICC Web site. Should be fun!

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The Roundup August 10

The Roundup August 10

Buy it now! (Don’t see it, don’t drive it, don’t kick the tires, just click and it’s yours!) This isn’t the GM your father knew. About 225 of California’s 250 GM dealers are set to take part in the program. They will be selling Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Pontiac vehicles on cobranded Web sites through […]

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Do auto buyers have a “right to repair”?

Do auto buyers have a “right to repair”?

Make sense? If the auto companies have their way, only dealers will be able to make sense of your car. In all the media storm about bailing out GM and Chrysler along with the multi-billion dollar bailout of auto dealers we call Cash For Clunkers, a political group primarily representing small repair shops is suddenly […]

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The Roundup August 7

Further proof that the jobs economy is slowly being replaced by a post-employment economy. For the first time since the Depression, the American economy has added virtually no jobs in the private sector over a 10-year period. . . .For the decade, there was a net gain of 121,000 private sector jobs, according to the […]

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“Talk of the Town,” WATR 1320 AM, Hartford, CT, Thursday August 6

If you’re in the Hartford area, don’t miss me on Ed Flynn’s “Talk of the Town” WATR News Radio 1320 AM this Thursday between 10 AM and 1 PM. I’ll be talking with Ed about starting a business in a recession and sundry other startup/small business topics. For those of you unfamiliar with Hartford radio, […]

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Is Wal*Mart really a Girl Scout stomping big blue meanie?

Is Wal*Mart really a Girl Scout stomping big blue meanie?

Beating up on sweet little Girl Scouts? Or a multimillion dollar, ruthless, hardball-playing corporate revenue machine? I have said it repeatedly in this blog that social networking and word-of-mouth is a two-edged sword that can not only cut both ways, but can very frequently stab you in the back. While an endless stream of books […]

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The Roundup August 5

Repair rather than replace. While not recession-proof, small business contractors, electricians, plumbers and even car repair shops seem to be weathering the latest economic downturn somewhat better than other businesses. It may not be time for an employed repairman to strike out on his own, but those already established in business are finding ways to […]

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A beginner’s guide to free stock photos: Part two, the better of the rest

A beginner’s guide to free stock photos: Part two, the better of the rest

Got no money to buy a stock photo of money? This sawbuck is free at MorgueFile.com. In our previous post, we compared photos from the number one free stock site, stock.xchng, to your quotidian stock photos from a pay site, like Corbis. Free is great on a shoestring budget, but, as we demonstrated, you get […]

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The Roundup August 4

The Roundup August 4

Lean management, but customer service sucks more than ever. When will the MBA wonks running this operation ever get a clue? Starbucks is flailing about trying everything under the sun except for improving customer service. Starbucks Corp. built its business as the anti-fast-food joint. Now, the recession and growing competition are forcing the coffeehouse giant […]

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A beginner’s guide to venture capital: the players

Shoestring Venture aims to be helpful to anyone and everyone starting a business, from solopreneurs operating a venture from their kitchen table to bricks-and-mortar small business owners to your standard, Sand Hill Road entrepreneur looking to score some big start-up money and create the next Twitter. Going the venture capital route is not for everyone […]

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