planning
millenial girl

Stop Bad-mouthing the Millennial Generation and Read the Facts

by Brian Eckert

At the end of June, U.S. employers listed more available jobs—4.7 million—than at any point since 2001. Unemployment is also falling, while consumer confidence has stabilized. By multiple measures, the economy is in better shape now than at any point over the last few years. So why are many twenty-somethings more interested in creating their own job than they are in accepting a job from somebody else? The issue is a complex one, not least because the next generation of would-be entrepreneurs lacks the basic skills and knowledge needed to get a business up and running. Read more »

planning
Exit Strategy

What Startups Need to Know About Exit Strategies

by Tim Berry

  Startups looking for angel investors or venture capital (VC) absolutely need an exit strategy because investors require it. The exit is what gives them a return. Exit strategies related to startup funding are quite often misunderstood: The “exit” in exit strategy is for the money, not the startup founders or small business owners. The... Read more »

starting

Is a Down Economy a Good or Bad Time to Start a Business?

by Tyree Harris

Graphic by: Global Economic Intersection Times of economic woe don’t mean you have to tuck-in your entrepreneurial spirit and settle for whatever job you can get. In fact, economic slowdowns can be prime opportunities to get your startup off the ground. Don’t believe it? Ask General Electric, IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, Disney, Burger King or Apple... Read more »

funding

Convenience is Key for Successful Service Businesses

by Tom Cleveland

As most economists assert today, we will never generate a stable recovery from the depths of the “Great Recession” without an energetic response from both small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s). The continuing saga, however, is that banks and investors are refusing to take risks and make loans to small business enterprises. Bankers cite high loan... Read more »

planning

Infographic: Startup activity since The Great Recession

by Palo Alto Software

This infographic from the Kauffman Foundation presents an interesting look at the state of entrepreneurial activity in the United States. The good news is that more new businesses were created in 2011 than in the several years leading up to the recession that began in late 2007. The bad news is that new business activity... Read more »

planning

Why are local businesses so good for the economy?

by Palo Alto Software

Congressman Peter DeFazio (Oregon, D) stopped by the Palo Alto Software office yesterday and discussed the important role small businesses play in their local economies. While many cities and regions spend time and resources trying to attract and convince large corporations to relocate to their area, DeFazio says a focus on the local businesses can... Read more »

managing

Troubling Times in Europe

by Alan Gleeson

Economic woes continue to dominate the headlines here in Europe (as in the US). Solutions to the problems are less forthcoming. One thing is certain, once the dust settles, the implications arising from the problems will be far reaching. The European Union is under significant stress (especially the members of the common currency) and it... Read more »

managing

Different Views from Opposite Sides

by Alan Gleeson

Today is the first in a new series by Alan Gleeson, managing director of the Palo Alto Software UK offices. The series will focus on business issues and commentary from the EU perspective. John Dennehy is a serial entrepreneur based in Cork, Ireland. His latest venture Zartis.com is an impressive software-as-a-service application that makes it... Read more »

Business Insider: The Scariest Job Chart Ever

by Tim Berry

I’d seen this a few weeks ago and intended to post it here then, but lost track of it. So when it appeared in my email again last Friday, I got it. This is what Business Insider calls THE SCARIEST JOBS CHART EVER. It comes as one of their Chart of the Day charts. This... Read more »

funding

Is Small-Business Credit Starting to Flow?

by Tim Berry

I just saw Denise O’Berry’s post “Credit Becoming Available to Small Business Again (Slowly)” on her Small Business Expert blog. Denise knows this territory very well because she focuses a lot of her work on the financial side of small-business management. She says: It’s been a long, dry spell, but I think things are slowly... Read more »

managing

Macroeconomics Doesn’t Drive Startups

by Tim Berry

I don’t get it. I believe it, but I still don’t get it. John Tozzi posted “Startup Activity at Record Low” today on his New Entrepreneur blog on BusinessWeek, quoting outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Here’s his summary: Challenger says just 3.7 percent of job seekers leaving its outplacement program are going into business... Read more »

Economic Big Picture: 1 Job Thousands of Times

by Tim Berry

I’m sorry I’m late on recommending John Jantsch’s “These Jobs Ain’t Coming Back” on his Duct Tape Marketing blog. Better late (he posted July 2) than never, though, because it’s important. John doesn’t talk about larger political issues very often, because he’s usually immersed in tools, techniques and practical ways to help real people in... Read more »

managing

What Are You Afraid Of?

by Brenda Mahoney

We’re in an economic downturn; a slump in the economy; bad economic times and the list goes on. Did you ever stop to think how this REALLY affects your business? I mean REALLY; not just believing all the naysayers but day to day what it means to your bottom line. My guess is nothing.  It... Read more »

Finally, Official Stats Show New Jobs Added

by Tim Berry

I posted several times here on the disturbing hundreds of thousands of jobs lost per month as we fell into the great recession in late 2008 and early 2009. So it’s a relief to see that last month the economy added jobs. I got this from MSNBC, with thanks to Steve King of SmallBizLabs, who... Read more »

managing

Disneyland Isn’t Participating in the Recession, Are You?

by Carolyn Higgins

When I ask small business owners what their number one challenge in marketing is, I get a range of different answers. Lately I’ve been hearing “the economy,” “the housing market,” “high taxes,” or some other force that is beyond our control. So where does that leave us? If our biggest marketing challenges are these insurmountable... Read more »

managing

Retail is Not Dead

by David Shear

Circuit City shut its doors, office supply stores are reporting slow quarters, and consumers are staying home. The slow economy has reduced sales in just about every retail store. If your company is selling in the retail channel (or thinking about it), the news can be frightening. One year ago I could read the writing... Read more »

Watching Small Business Economic Indicators

by Tim Berry

There’s a good piece on WSJ.com today on Small Business Economic Indicators that may be setting the tone for the new year. Author Diana Ransom looks at how these larger indicators affect startups and small business. She says: In the absence of your own economist or strategic planning office, what indicators should you keep an... Read more »

managing

Creating Certainty in Uncertain Times

by Scott Campbell

Wow, this last year has been something else, huh? The fallout from Wall Street’s financial collapse, the mortgage crisis, the global economic downturn, high unemployment…I think I can safely say that this year has been “special”. And I doubt that few people have been untouched by these negative events. The effect has been pretty severe... Read more »

Despair Humor Success

by Steve Lange

Here on the Business In General blog, and at Bplans.com, we are committed to optimistic support of entrepreneurship and the startup and growth of business, especially small- and medium-sized businesses. I’m not Pollyanna-ish about our business environment, however. It is unrealistic to think, or even hope, that a few short months of so-called recovery, including... Read more »

Political Hacking On Small Business

by Tim Berry

Health care, loans, SBA, job creation … have you noticed that the public discussion on all of these business-related topics is very far off base? Doesn’t it seem like the talking heads choose sides first, then recite talking points? And that the result is no real communication or discourse, because it’s all predetermined. Tell me... Read more »