10 Weirdest Services Out There (Video)

Have an idea for a new service but afraid it’s a bit too weird to work? Don’t worry. There are already plenty of weird services out there in the market. Some of the weirdest ones are included in the above video.

Whether it’s goat rentals, mobile weddings or an invisible boyfriend: all of these businesses meet a need in the market.  At the same time, their unconventional nature was almost certainly what made these businesses a success. Offering unusual services made these businesses easier to market and promote and guaranteed they would stand from the competition.

Unusual Businesses Get Noticed

Think about it. You’ve probably seen tons of lawn mowing services through the years. And even if that’s a service that you’re interested in, there are so many different companies you can choose from. But if you hear of a company that offers goat rentals, that’s likely to really catch your attention. And once you actually learn what the service is for, you might even see it as a huge benefit.

So if you have an idea for a weird service based business, you don’t have to give up your entrepreneurial dreams. Making money doesn’t have to be boring!

Make sure to also check out the full list of weird services here.

This article, “10 Weirdest Services Out There (Video)” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/07/10-weirdest-services-out-there-video.html

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Pokémon Go: A Security Threat to Your Business?

Mobile Device Security: Is Pokémon Go a Security Risk to Your Business?

It seems like you can’t go anywhere these days without bumping into a gaggle of Pokémon GO addicts. Since its release at the start of July, the insanely popular augmented reality app has already surpassed social media staples like Twitter and Facebook in terms of user activity.

Yes, Pokémon GO has caught on like wildfire, and this craze doesn’t look like it will be dying down any time soon.

Bearing that in mind, it goes without saying you’ve probably already got a few employees who are playing the game throughout the day at the office – potentially even on devices that are also used for business activities.

But according to Vadim Vladimirskey, CEO of the cloud-based IT services firm Nerdio, that sort of behavior can ultimately pose major security risks for your business.

“We should mention that since Pokémon GO was released, Niantic Labs, the maker of the game, has developed a number of security patches to minimize security threats,” Vladimirskey told Small Business Trends. “However, there is still the inherent risk that when employees use a company or personal mobile phone with corporate data stored on it, that data can be compromised.”

How Pokemon Go Threatens Mobile Device Security

The bulk of those risks stem from the game’s initial setup.

In order to start playing the app, Pokémon GO users must first sign up for an account that grants Niantic Labs access to their personal Google accounts.

The game asks for this access because Niantic reportedly uses an outdated version of Google’s shared sign-on service, which allows the company to automatically absorb basic account details such as a user’s name, email, gender and location in order to expedite the registration process. It’s all harmless enough in theory.

But in practice, Vladimirskey warns that the process also makes it fairly simple for hackers to access any given user’s emails, Google Drive documents and more. After all, a vast majority of mobile phones and tablets don’t usually encrypt traffic, which makes them easy targets for cyber criminals.

If Pokémon GO players fall victim to a hacking attempt while using a company address or affiliated device, that can subsequently place an entire business at risk.

“If a businesses’ data is compromised, it’s a very big problem,” Vladimirskey said. “A hacker could potentially read all business emails, send email as the user, access all Google Drive documents, access search history and Google Maps history, access and reset passwords, access all photos and do various other nefarious things.”

“The repercussions are endless when you consider all of the sensitive business information that is now stored and accessible digitally,” he added

Fortunately, there are plenty of things business owners can do in order to mitigate these threats.

First and foremost, experts advise companies to configure access to company assets like file and email servers via a remote desktop service. It’s also worth using a secure transmission protocol such as PC-over-IP (PCoIP) video feed, and ensuring that important or sensitive files are regularly wiped from shared company devices.

“By using cloud-based PCoIP connections, you are only using your device, be it a laptop, desktop or mobile device, as a remote window into your data,” Vladimirskey said. “With this approach, no data is stored on these devices, but rather solely on the server.  The devices then access the data on the server.”

Above all else, businesses must ensure they have strong hardware firewalls that are adequately supported by intrusion prevention systems in order to filter and block any and all intrusion attempts via apps like Pokémon GO.

And despite the surging popularity and security fears surrounding this summer’s hottest app, Vladimirskey points out that Pokemon GO is not the only mobile device security threat that poses a risk to small businesses.

“It’s important to understand that any app that needs access to the information on a mobile device could be a threat,” he said. “This is why one of the biggest challenges for small businesses is managing the ways employees use devices. One of the best defenses is a BYOD policy that either restricts app usage, or one that takes a new approach to how data is viewed with these devices.”

Pokemon Go Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Pokémon Go: A Security Threat to Your Business?” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/07/pokemon-go-security-threat-to-your.html

How to Open a Second Hand Shop

How to Open a Second Hand Shop

A second hand shop is often times one of the more talked about in a community.

For some, it’s a curiosity, an alternative to more traditional retail outlets. In other cases, it could be the local thrift store. But in almost every case, these second hand shops are known as places to get great deals!

And a place like that can quickly leave its mark. Second hand shops of all types often have loyal customers who like to tell their friends about some “secret” store where they’re scoring great products without breaking their budget.

So, opening a second hand shop of some type in your community could be a great business idea. Here are 10 things you should consider wen your launching and then running your business.

Things to Consider When Opening a Second Hand Shop

Choose the Kind of Store You Want to Run

There are second hand shops with a special niche — records shops, bookstores, clothing stores, furniture studios. Then there are second hand stores that will sell just about anything.

You’ll need to figure out what type of second hand business you’re thinking of starting. That decision could be based on a variety of factors, including availability of merchandise, shop location and your overall knowledge of a product. Consider your market, too. A college town, for example, may not be the best location for an antique shop but a used furniture shop or used bookstore could be a big hit.

Have a Plan for Sourcing Your Merchandise

You may be sitting on what you think is a lot of merchandise ripe for a quality second hand shop. And that may be true.

But what happens if you have a mad rush of customers one day and your shelves and racks are left bare? What’s the plan to get more merchandise in a hurry.

How to Open a Second Hand Shop - Clothing

Closeouts and liquidation sales may be one source, as are auctions. Check local auction listings. There are events near you for almost every type of merchandise — from restaurant liquidations to wholesale food products to an entire garage of tools — that could fill your shelves quickly.

Be Sure to Get the Proper Business Licenses

When starting any business, especially a local brick-and-mortar operation, it’s critical that you comply with all local laws and acquire all appropriate licenses. If you plan to buy merchandise from private citizens, it’s also important to ensure all procedures are in place to prevent buying stolen goods and that you work with authorities if hot merchandise does come through your doors.

Hire a Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It

If you’re running a second hand furniture or appliance shop, there may come a time when you buy something — with the intent of selling it — that needs a little work. You’ll be far too consumed with running other aspects of your business to have the time to devote to handiwork.

How to Open a Second Hand Shop - Furniture

Find a few reliable people locally who can do repairs at a negotiable cost and help you out on an on-call basis. This could include people with sewing skills or electrical skills or even someone as specific as an air conditioner repairman.

Run It Like a Modern Business

Just because a lot of your merchandise is second hand doesn’t mean your operation should be second rate.  Your customers will expect you to effectively use technology and create a positive shopping experience. Consider a point-of-sale system that has some portability. Adopt a customer loyalty program that’s easy to track. Keep a clean, well-lit location.

Don’t Be a Square, Keep Up with Trends

You may assume running a second hand store means accepting just about anything people bring in for resale or anything you can buy at an auction. Well, you’d be wrong. Not all second hand merchandise is created equally. So take a good long look at which of your products seem to sell best with your customers.  Stay up on the latest trends. Mix the old with the new and give your customers a truly unique experience.

Forget Firm Pricing and Learn to Negotiate

Few, if any, second hand shops have firm prices on their merchandise. And your goal running a second hand shop should be to move merchandise in an effort to bring in new stuff as quickly as possible. To do this, you’re going to have to learn how to make deals that keep you in the black and let your customers feel like they’re getting a good deal.

Being able to satisfy customers in this fashion can really go a long way in building a loyal customer base.

No  Matter What Your Niche, Diversify Your Stock

It’s great if you want to stick to a niche market but there’s nothing wrong with drawing in as many potential customers as you can. Using the record store as an example again … your shelves should be lined with vintage vinyl but to make the shop inviting to more people, consider adding products for people without a turntable but are related to your specialty.

Also, listen to your customers. If they’re asking you for certain kinds of products, do your best to get them in as soon as possible. Again, this is another way of developing loyal customers.

Promote Where Your Customers Are

Second hand stores have vibrant social media followings and you should work toward getting your posts — on Facebook and similar social media  — out to as many people as possible. Using each network’s best practices for promoting a business, let customers know about new products you just got in. Run special promotions for your followers too.

Remember, Second Hand Needn’t Be Second Rate

In some places, there’s a stigma that follows second hand stores of any kind. Of course, as noted earlier, these are the same stores that are often beloved — when they’re good — in the community. So be sure to connect with the community in which you operate early and often.

Work hard to get a feel for exactly what your community needs and the kind of experience customers are expecting.

Then do whatever it takes to fill those needs and create that experience.

Don’t wall yourself off from the rest of the community. Become part of it, instead.

What qualities about your favorite local second hand shop do you appreciate the most? What keeps you going back and what drew you there in the first place. Leave your answers in the comments below.

Vinyl Photo via Shutterstock, Clothing Shopper Photo via Shutterstock, Repurposed Furniture Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “How to Open a Second Hand Shop” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/07/how-to-open-second-hand-shop.html

Confused by Financial Statements? Maybe it’s Time for The End of Accounting

Confused by Financial Statements? It's Time for The End of AccountingMost of us have been around financial statements for so long that we take their use for granted. As a result, many of us don’t question when a financial report includes 50 or more pages of footnotes. We don’t question whether the “earnings report” is actually linked to higher profits. We don’t question how a company comes up with its numbers.

Two experienced accounting professors in the The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers argue that it’s time to start questioning.

What is The End of Accounting About?

The driving force (and controversial idea) behind The End of Accounting is that financial statements are a complicated mess when they don’t have to be. Throughout the book, the authors question the reliability and quality of earnings reports, balance sheets and everything else traditionally reported to investors as a sign of business performance. Numbers, they say, without the appropriate context, have been manipulated, distorted or even omitted without most investors even knowing about it (despite the regulations and 50+page footnotes), the book claims.

In short, the authors say we can do a whole lot better.

The authors of the book don’t call for everyone to throw out their financial statements just yet, but they do propose a better type of report to supplement the data-heavy financial statements called the Strategic Resources & Consequences Report. The Strategic Resources & Consequences Report is a financial document that brings more context to the numbers on a financial document, like a balance sheet. To provide an example, the Strategic Resources & Consequences Report would discuss a business’s new venture and how this venture might impact that business beyond the numbers put together by the accounting department.

Numbers are important in the business world, the book argues, (especially for investors, suppliers and creditors) but so is the story behind those numbers.

The End of Accounting is partly the work of Baruch Lev, an accounting and finance professor at the New York University Stern School of Business and director of the Vincent C. Ross Institute of Accounting Research.

Co-author Feng Gu is an associate professor in the Accounting and Law Department at the University of Buffalo.

Both authors are award-winning academic researchers in the areas of finance and accounting.

What Was Best About The End of Accounting?

The best part of The End of Accounting is the challenge the book issues. Essentially, the book asks, “Are we doing accounting the best way?” That is a very challenging notion if you accept the book’s assertion that accounting is going in the absolutely wrong direction and will continue in that direction if it doesn’t change.

A second best part of the book is the large amount of evidence it provides to back up its challenge. The book goes to a great deal of effort to make it’s case. And the results are very convincing.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

The downside of the book is that you really need to be technically competent in investing to truly understand some of the points being made. The book quickly gets into things like regressions (Chapter 3). Readers can understand the book’s main concept without it, but it can be a little intimidating.

The book also spends a lot of extra time defending its position which might be extremely helpful for those interested, but may be distracting to those readers who want a quick overview.

Why Read The End of Accounting?

If you have ever wondered (and I mean really wondered) why financial statements seem to require a Ph.D. to decipher, then this book may be for you. The book is an extended discussion (a bit heavy on the academic side) about why and how accounting needs to become more user-friendly. As the book wisely points out, we are in an age where just having numbers won’t cut it anymore. This book takes that discussion and provides a possible solution. If you are in any way, shape or form connected to financial reporting, this might be a book worth considering, just for the challenging ideas behind it alone.

This article, “Confused by Financial Statements? Maybe it’s Time for The End of Accounting” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/07/confused-by-financial-statements-maybe.html

Plan for Big Events in Los Angeles and Atlanta This August

HolywoodLosAngeles

Los Angeles and Atlanta are the big destinations this August.

First, the #BlogHer16 Conference brings plenty of Hollywood star power. Just look below.

Headliners will include music legend Sheryl Crow, TV actresses Mayim Bialik and Sarah Michelle Gellar and comedian Aisha Tyler.

Then it’s onto the city of Atlanta for the Small Business Market Expo & Job Fair. You’ll be able to connect with small businesses like your own, market yourself and tap into an  incredible network.

Do you know of any other big events coming in August of interest to the small business community? Please let us know.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

#BlogHer16 Conference#BlogHer16 Conference
August 04, 2016, Los Angeles, Calif.

Join an exhilarating mix of content creators, social media stars, entrepreneurs, top brands, activists and fans at #BlogHer16! You’ll experience inspiring keynotes, up-to-the-minute educational tracks, and of course, fabulous opportunities to network with YOUR community!


Small Business Market Expo & Job FairSmall Business Market Expo & Job Fair
August 27, 2016, Atlanta, Ga.

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with small businesses, market your organization and tap into a network of entrepreneurs, service providers, financial organizations, business coaches, and franchises.
#SBMExpo
Discount Code
VIP (25% off)


Content Marketing World 2016Content Marketing World 2016
September 06, 2016, Cleveland, Ohio

Content Marketing World is the one event where you can learn and network with the best and the brightest in the content marketing industry. You will leave with all the materials you need to take a content marketing strategy back to your team – and – to implement a content marketing plan that will grow your business and inspire your audience.


TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016
September 12, 2016, San Francisco, Calif.

TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. Disrupt gathers the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties.


MozConMozCon
September 12, 2016, Seattle, Wash.

Three days of forward-thinking, actionable sessions in SEO, social media, community building, content marketing, brand development, CRO, the mobile landscape, analytics, and more. MozCon speakers share next-level advice on everything from building a loyal community to making data-driven decisions in your marketing.


LeadpagesLeadpages’ Converted 2016
October 18, 2016, Minneapolis, Minn.

Converted 2016 will be an immersive experience taking place over two action-packed days in Minneapolis. We’ll share data-driven, practical tactics that will make a difference in the way you grow your business.

Discount Code
biztrends ($100)


Lean Startup ConferenceLean Startup Conference
October 31, 2016, San Francisco, Calif.

A gathering of thousands of thought leaders at Pier 27 for a week of keynote talks, interactive workshops, speed mentoring, industry dinners, bootcamps, and startup tours at the scenic edge of San Francisco. The conference unites intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs from government agencies, international conglomerates, boot-strapped startups, and civic organizations in their mission to create radical change in their industries.


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Hollywood, LosAngeles photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Plan for Big Events in Los Angeles and Atlanta This August” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/07/plan-for-big-events-in-los-angeles-and.html

10 Basic Strategies for Growing Your Business

shutterstock_338232086

It’s not uncommon for businesses to get a bit ahead of themselves when it comes to growth opportunities. But you need to have the basics covered before you can really experience success. The tips below include some insights from members of our small business community about some basic business strategies you may have overlooked.

Say Thanks and Build Engagement

Thanking your customers isn’t just good manners. It can also be a way for you to boost engagement. This Process Street post by Benjamin Brandall explains how you can use your company’s thank you page to boost engagement among website visitors.

Establish a Realistic Work Schedule

You need to establish a schedule that allows you to put your all into your business without burning yourself out. Take lunch breaks, for example. You need to take a long enough break to recharge your batteries, but not so long that your work suffers. You can share how long you normally take for your lunch break in the poll in this Small Business Trends post by Executive Editor Shawn Hessinger.

Write Persuasive Business Content

If you use content as part of your marketing strategy, you need to learn to be persuasive. In this Enchanting Marketing post, Henneke Duistermaat shares some power words you can use to spruce up your content. You can also see discussion surrounding the post over on BizSugar.

Make Sure Your Content Stays On Brand

Content marketing can be a great way to get the word out about your business. But if you want to create content that’s part of a strategy and doesn’t confuse your customers, you need to keep it on brand. Scott Pittman of Reef Digital shares thoughts on keeping content on brand in this post.

Simplify the Payroll Process

Payroll is essential if you’re running a business with employees. But the process doesn’t need to be overly complicated. In this CorpNet post, Charles Costa includes some tips you can use to simplify the process of setting up and managing your business’s payroll.

Avoid These Blogging Mistakes

Blogging has been a popular content marketing tactic for businesses for years. But plenty of bloggers and entrepreneurs still make mistakes when it comes to blogging. Here, Mike Brown of The Blogging Buddha lists some of the most common blogging mistakes made by experienced bloggers and entrepreneurs. And BizSugar members comment on the post here.

Get Started With CRO

CRO, or conversion rate optimization, is an important part of running an ecommerce business. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. Even newbie business owners can get started with CRO using the tips in this Search Engine Journal post by Andrew Raso.

Avoid Offering Review Incentives

Positive online reviews can be very beneficial to your business. But that doesn’t mean you should offer incentives to your customers to leave them. As Mike Blumenthal points out in this GetFiveStars post, there can actually be several downfalls of seeking positive reviews with incentives.

Don’t Underestimate the Appeal of Snapchat

Social platforms like Snapchat can gain popularity really quickly. And in those cases, you don’t want to realize the viability of a platform too late. In this Better Than Success post, Ileane Smith shares why Snapchat’s appeal is spreading beyond just millennials. And BizSugar members discuss the post further here.

Use Employee Referral Incentives to Build Engagement

Building a great team is an essential part of running many types of businesses. And if you want to build a team that’s actually engaged with your business, you might consider utilizing employee referral programs. McKenzie Stephens of Marketing Innovators details how those programs can benefit businesses here.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to:  sbtips@gmail.com

Steps Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “10 Basic Strategies for Growing Your Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/07/10-basic-strategies-for-growing-your.html

12 In-Home Business Opportunities You Can Start From Your Laptop

Work From Home Ideas: 12 In-Home Business Opportunities You Can Start From Your Laptop

Think you need a lot of complicated equipment to start a business from your home? Think again. There are actually plenty of opportunities out there for entrepreneurs to start businesses with just a laptop and maybe a couple of other simple items.

If you want to start a business from your home, but you only have a laptop to work with, here are some work from home ideas for businesses you can start right away.

Work From Home Ideas You Can Start on Your Laptop

Virtual Assistant

A huge variety of business owners and professionals need help organizing and managing their day-to-day tasks. That’s why they hire virtual assistants. You can start a virtual assistant business just by setting up a website and outlining your services and prices to potential clients. Then you can help them manage things like scheduling, email, social media and more communicating with your clients via chat, Skype, email or other means.

Social Media Manager

If you want to get more specific, you can start an online business just to help various businesses start and manage their social media accounts. You can work remotely and communicate with clients about their social media activity. And you can enact specialized social media campaigns and promotions to help them grow their networks on those sites.

Copywriter

Skilled writers, you can offer your services to clients as a freelance copywriter. You can provide a variety of different writing services, from blog posts and product descriptions to short ad copy.

Blogger

Or you can start your own blog about business or a variety of other topics. Then you can earn revenue through PPC advertising, sponsored content, affiliate promotions or even selling informational products related to your topic.

Website Manager

Web developers and tech savvy business owners can also offer services as a website manager. In this capacity, you’d be responsible for maintaining websites for different businesses and clients. You might also be able to help businesses set up and develop different features of their websites.  You can do all the work yourself or outsource some of the day-to-day operations with services like Go Daddy Pro.

eBay or Etsy Seller

If you have physical or even digital products to sell, you can set up an eCommerce store on a number of different platforms from your laptop. eBay is one of the most popular platforms for home businesses. But you could also sign up for an account with Etsy, Amazon, or a number of other options.

Translator

Things like books, transcripts and reports all need to be translated into different languages from time to time. If you are fluent in multiple languages, you can offer your services as a translator to make content available in languages other than the one in which it was originally created.

Proofreader

Offering your services as an editor or proofreader is another option for a home-based business. You can have clients send you pieces of writing that you can check for errors. You can even provide suggestions for overall content improvement.

Ebook Author

Writers who have a more long-form story or subject in mind could opt for book authorship rather than short blogs or articles. And you can even become an author from your home with just a laptop thanks to the growing popularity of ebooks. Platforms like Amazon offer the opportunity for writers to upload entire books and offer them for sale to an eager community of online readers.

Logo Designer

Designers who create complicated pieces may require desktop computers or complicated equipment. But you can offer some simple branding packages like logo design to clients right from your laptop. You’ll need to create a website and outline your services. Then work with clients to develop designs for their brands.

Marketing Consultant

If you have some expertise in any area of marketing, you can offer your skills to businesses as a consultant. You can choose a specific niche or just work with businesses in a variety of different areas of marketing. Then communicate with your clients through email, phone calls or other online communications.

Online Teacher

Or you can share your knowledge with online consumers in another format. Whether your expertise is in business, marketing or another discipline entirely — like French, history or creative writing — you can create online courses within your niche and then sell them on your website or other online platforms. This option allows you to share your knowledge with more people in a shorter amount of time than if you were to just work with clients one on one.

Laptop User Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “12 In-Home Business Opportunities You Can Start From Your Laptop” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/07/12-in-home-business-opportunities-you.html

“The Purpose of Profit” Shares Journey of Entrepreneurship

The Purpose is Profit Book ReviewEd “Skip” McLaughlin felt pretty good about his job, but could see the proverbial “writing on the wall”. He became a partner but at the expense of his salary. He had already watched his business devolve from a growing environment into one where you had to watch your back.

Then, one day, he saw a spreadsheet with his name on it.

That spreadsheet was a list of people who would be part of the company’s “downsizing”.

When he saw that spreadsheet, McLaughlin took the first steps to own his own business.

He ended up with two and an incredible story he shares in The Purpose is Profit.

What is The Purpose is Profit About?

McLaughlin shares the purpose of his book early on. He wanted to share his personal journey into entrepreneurship from the inside out. That journey tells the two stories of two businesses, both in real estate, United Systems Integrators (USI) and Sigma Communications Incorporated.

Only one business survived (USI) and survived to become a powerful multi-million dollar business.

The key theme that McLauhlin learned from that journey is the power of capitalizing “distinctive competence.” Distinctive competence is your “special sauce”, your unique set of skills and knowledge that can be leveraged into something more powerful. Ed tapped into the power while working with Trammel Crow Company and single-handedly closing one of the firm’s largest real estate deals. He saw that he had a knack for building a real estate network in completely new areas from scratch. What if, he thought, I helped businesses build and manage their real estate using what I know?

That “what if?” question followed McLaughlin for a long while. It followed him as he progressed at Trammel Crow Company. It followed him as he watched his wife develop her own independent dental practice.  McLaughlin calls this the “what if?” question, the “pull” to entrepreneurship.

Then, he saw that spreadsheet with his name on it, the spreadsheet of employees that would be no longer needed. From that point on, he experienced the “push” to entrepreneurship that capitalized on his distinctive competence of building a network from scratch into a profitable business that grew into something incredibly larger.

Besides authoring The Purpose of ProfitMcLaughlin is the founder of four businesses. One of those four businesses, USI, grew to become a multi-million business sold to a Fortune 500 company within a few years of its launch. His current business is Blue Sunset, LLC., a real estate investing and consulting company.

Co-author Wyn Lydecker is the founder of Upstart Business Planning. Lydecker is an author, consultant, and business owner with an MBA degree in Finance from the Wharton School and a BA in Economics from the University of California.

What Was Best About The Purpose is Profit?

The greatest part of the The Purpose is Profit is the unique internal perspective McLaughlin offers on entrepreneurship. The book offers a view on the developing mindset of an entrepreneur as it progresses through hesitation to mastery.

Beyond that, The Purpose is Profit offers a unique perspective on the post-sale life of a business. As shared in the book, the author built and then sold his business to Johnson Controls. Unlike most books which stop at this point, The Purpose is Profit goes further.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

The Purpose is Profit does an incredible job of providing a unique perspective on entrepreneurship, but that focused perspective predictably leaves out other perspectives. So the focus seems to be on experienced professionals like McLaughlin looking to branch out into an area that they have a distinctive advantage in.

In other words, this book won’t help you discover your distinctive competence. It will show you how the author maneuvered his business using his personal competence. To the book’s credit, the authors recognize this and attempt to provide advice for a broad group of entrepreneurs.

Why Read The Purpose is Profit?

The Purpose is Profit is an incredible book for entrepreneurs who want a more comprehensive story about business from a personal viewpoint.The book delves further into what it feels like to take a business idea from start to selling your company. McLaughlin takes readers on his journey in a storytelling fashion, dropping off tidbits of professional wisdom and advice along the way.

If you are seeking a real-life business story with substance and advice, this is a book that will inspire, inform, and connect with your inner entrepreneur.

This article, ““The Purpose of Profit” Shares Journey of Entrepreneurship” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-purpose-of-profit-shares-journey-of.html

MTV is Bringing Back the 90s With New Network (Watch)

Throwbacks are all the rage right now. And that’s what MTV is banking on with the launch of its new network, MTV Classic. The new network will play nothing but reruns of popular MTV shows from the 90s and early 2000s, like Beavis and Butthead, Daria, Total Request Live, MTV Unplugged and Laguna Beach.

And MTV isn’t the only company using nostalgia to get people’s attention. Nickelodeon also has a network dedicated to older shows. And Pokemon Go likely wouldn’t have been as popular without nearly 20 years of the Pokemon brand behind it.

Nostalgia can also be a big selling point for other types of brands. If people have fond memories of something from their past, they could buy something associated with it without much convincing from you. And in the case of MTV, playing reruns also means saving money on production costs.

Using Nostalgic Marketing

Using nostalgia doesn’t mean you have to sell an actual product that’s old. You could find a way to associate your new product with something from the past. You could create a new spin on something older. Or you could even use a retro design in your marketing materials.

Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that your nostalgia is likely to bring back fond memories for people. And keep an eye on the trends. MTV’s move makes sense because everything from 90s music to 90s fashion is experiencing a resurgence.

When you look at using retro ideas for your next product, service or marketing campaign, make sure it’s from an era your audience can relate to. Otherwise you’ll be putting distance between you and your customers instead of bringing people together.

Beavis and Butthead Image: MTV

This article, “MTV is Bringing Back the 90s With New Network (Watch)” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/07/mtv-is-bringing-back-90s-with-new.html

Facebook Successfully Tests Drone, Pinterest Adds Buyable Pins to Web, More

facebook drone 2

Commercial drone use is a hot topic for commercial deliveries these days. But Facebook is using technology in a very different way — in an experiment aimed at giving a potential four billion more people access to the internet. Some of those could be additional customers for your small business, by the way.

In addition, here’s a look at Pinterest’s long awaited Buyable Pins feature for the web. These headlines and more are included below in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Social Media

Facebook’s  Aquila Internet-delivery Drone Could Add Billions More Online Customers

Social networking giant Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) last week reported the first successful full-scale test flight of its ambitious Aquila solar-powered high-altitude unmanned aircraft. It’s part of an ambitious goal to bring four billion more  people online — more customers, freelancers and maybe even partners for your business.

Pinterest Brings Buyable Pins to the Web – Finally

Pinterest is finally introducing Buyable Pins to the web version of its site — and a new shopping bag is being rolled out too. Last year, Pinterest introduced “Buyable Pins” on mobile and later integrated them into eCommerce platforms such as Bigcommerce, eBay-owned Magento and IBM Commerce.

Your Ice Bucket Challenge Videos Worked! New Gene Breakthrough Discovered (Watch)

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge from a few years back? The viral videos had everyone from LeBron James to former President George W. Bush getting buckets of icy water dumped onto their heads — all for a good cause, of course. The Ice Bucket Challenge was created to support research into a cure for ALS, or Lou Gherig’s Disease.

Finance

U.S. Bank and Sage Announce AP Optimizer to Streamline Invoice Payments

U.S. Bank (NYSE:USB) and Sage (LON:SGE) announced this week at Sage Summit 2016 in Chicago a new partnership that will benefit Sage customers in the U.S. and Canada. The partnership centers around the introduction of AP Optimizer, an application built by U.S. Bank that lives inside the Sage Live accounting platform.

Sage Announces  API Partnership: This Will Make Using Third-Party Apps a Breeze

Cloud Elements, a Denver-based API management and integration platform, today announced a strategic partnership with Sage (LON:SGE), the accounting, payment and payroll provider used by millions of small businesses, as a part of the Sage Partner Program at Sage Summit taking place this week in Chicago.

Marketing Tips

Email Marketing STILL Not Dead, New Podcast Claims

“Email marketing is dead.” If you’ve been involved in the world of marketing over the last few years, you’ve likely heard that declaration more than once. But a new podcast wants to bring a new perspective to that discussion about email marketing. Email Marketing’s Grave is a new podcast from the team at marketing solutions provider PostUp.

The Latest Harry Potter Book is Already Breaking Records (Watch)

Harry Potter is back – or at least, another book starting with that name will be released this weekend. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a book written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, which is actually based on a play of the same name, is slated to hit bookshelves on Sunday.

Make Money, Get New Customers Now Thanks to Pokemon Go

If you don’t know your Pikachu from your Pichu or if you have no idea what either of those are, that doesn’t mean you have to stand out in left field as the rest of the world — and thousands of businesses big and small — capitalize on the Pokemon Go craze.

Zoho Introduces Email for Sales People, Marketplace and More

Zoho came out with four announcements today. Among them is the launch of SalesInbox. Zoho calls it the first email client just for salespeople. SalesInbox prioritizes customer conversations, instead of displaying emails strictly in chronological order. Also announced were upgrades to Zoho’s popular CRM system, as well as an expansion into the European market.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: BeeSmart Provides Social Media Services for $75 a Month

Social media has become a huge part of small business marketing. But it doesn’t have to take up all your time or marketing budget. BeeSmart Social Media is one company that strives to provide affordable social media solutions specifically for small businesses. Read more about the company and its offerings in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

Small Business Operations

2-Minute Whirlwind Tour Of Sage Summit 2016

The theme was “Ignite your passion” at Sage Summit 2016. Sage CEO Stephen Kelly said in the opening keynote yesterday, “At Sage we want to help you ignite your passion for business.” To help with that goal, Sage this year included several celebrities in the speaker lineup. Day 1 kicked off with iconic entrepreneur Richard Branson on stage with Kelly.

What  Brand is Tops with Small Business Owners? WordPress, Alignable Index Says

Winning the trust of small businesses is not always easy, but one brand that seems to have succeeded is WordPress. According to the new SMB Trust Index, WordPress is the most trusted brand for small businesses, with a Net Promoter Score of 50 in Q2 2016. Languishing at the bottom of the list are Web.com (-62 NPS score) and Yelp (-65 NPS score).

Need  to Get Off the Phone? Microsoft Bookings Will Handle Customer Scheduling

Small business owners are jacks of all trades, which is a great attribute, but can be overwhelming if there is not enough help and the business is growing faster than expected. However, digital technology has introduced many solutions that have made it possible to run a business single-handedly without pulling out your hair.

Sage Introduces New Partner Program, Marketplace, Community at Summit 2016

In his keynote address to partners on Monday at the annual Sage Summit, held in Chicago, Sage CEO Stephen Kelly introduced several new initiatives designed to build on his company’s partner strategy. These include the Sage Partner, Marketplace, Community and Rewards programs.

UPS Can Now Rush Deliver Your Package to More Places Than Ever — 177 Countries to be Exact

UPS (NYSE:UPS) has announced a major expansion of its UPS Worldwide Express that will see the world’s largest package delivery company provide customers with next day shipping to 117 countries across the globe. Over 50 countries and territories have been added to the UPS Worldwide Express service, which guarantees delivery on the next business day by 10:30 a.m., noon or 2 p.m.

Skype Meeting Broadcast Will Get Translation, Transcription Features

A communications tool used to facilitate online meetings will soon have the capabilities to translate the remarks of participants and preserve a written transcript of what was said. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced last week at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto that it would be adding automatic transcription and translation for Skype Meeting Broadcast.

Startup

Does Census Data Suggest Progress Towards Gender Equality in Entrepreneurship?

Data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners — the Census Bureau’s quinquennial examination of business ownership — indicates that the fraction of women-owned businesses increased substantially between 2007 and 2012, the most recent year the survey has been completed. But on other measures of entrepreneurship, there has been less progress.

Technology Trends

Watch Out for Modobag! It’s Motorized Luggage You Can Ride — Really

Ah, the road warrior of the business world. The image is almost universal — a business person in the airport running along pulling their luggage, a laptop on one shoulder, a carry on, an overcoat of some kind, and the always present pastry and coffee.

Amazon is Going Outside the U.S. to Test Drone Delivery (Watch)

Remember that drone delivery service from Amazon you’ve been hearing about? Well, the company is finally getting to do some testing in preparation even if the actual implementation of the program could still be a ways off here in the U.S. Amazon is partnering with the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority to test the technology, since U.S.

Small Cable Companies Worry About FCC “Unlock the Box” Rule

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a proposal that would make room for software, hardware devices and other technology innovations to compete with the set-top boxes that consumers lease from cable, satellite and telco companies.

How Good a Deal Did You Get on Your Smartphone? ZTE Still Has You Beat

It doesn’t matter how great a deal you got on your last business smartphone, there’s one company that almost certainly has it beat.

Think Pokemon Go is Advanced? Here’s What’s Next (Watch)

Pokemon Go’s massive breakout popularity could propel some other tech companies into the world of augmented reality success. Microsoft’s HoloLens, for example, is an AR headset that could let users play games like Pokemon Go without having to actually look through a phone screen.

Verizon  Will Acquire Yahoo for $4.8 Billion with Advertising Assets Being Added to AOL

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) for $4.83 billion. The acquisition only includes Yahoo’s core operating business, not its more valuable assets: Yahoo Japan and its $41 billion stake in Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce company.

New Product Sunscreenr Shows Where Sun Damage Can Occur

As you apply sunscreen before you go outside or spend the afternoon at the beach, how sure are you that you have covered all of the areas that will be exposed to the sun? Sunscreenr is a small and lightweight viewer that lets you see where your skin is covered or not covered by sunscreen.

Image: Facebook

This article, “Facebook Successfully Tests Drone, Pinterest Adds Buyable Pins to Web, More” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/07/facebook-successfully-tests-drone.html