[TheVOICE] Resources, Fixing Markets, Small Biz Saturday & Pinterest

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A lot is going on in the world of startups, business owners and entrepreneurs. Here are some great articles you should read from the week of Novemer 11, 2012.

CEO Blog Nation

  1. A Business Leader’s Guide to Investing in Tuition Assistance Programs (via Rescue a CEO): Investing in employee education is a great way to foster higher retention rates and improve employee performance, but at the end of the day you’re working with limited resources. Whether you’re creating a new TAP or revamping an old one, remember that an effectiveplan doesn’t have to be a largeplan.
  2. Meet the Sharks: Daymond John (via Hearpreneur): Viewers of the television show, Shark Tank, may be familiar with Daymond John.  John, a leading entrepreneur, is the founder of the clothing line, FUBU.
  3. Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf: Small Business Books for the Library (via Teach a CEO): CEO Blog Nation & Teach a CEO presents lessons from our bookshelf on how you can improve and grow your venture. We have taken nuggets from our library and provide them for entrepreneurs and business owners.
  4. Why Did You Start Your Business? Week of November 11th (via Hearpreneur): Each and every business has an entrepreneur and unique story for launching his or her business, and it is that story which make each business special.
  5. Entrepreneur Brian Potter Clears the Air in Hollywood (via Hearpreneur): Brian Potter is the founder of the rights and clearances agency, Clearly Right Entertainment.  His company works with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, but that doesn’t mean that he designates various agents to work with his clientele.
  6. The University Entrepreneurship [INFOGRAPHIC] (via Teach a CEO): A recently published report from the AccountingDegree.com reveals which universities graduate the most entrepreneurs and how much funding these alumni get from investors and venture capitalists.
  7. [TheVOICE] DMV Roundup: Students, Charity, Hackathon & Optimism(via DMV CEO): Roundup of entrepreneurship stories in Washington, D.C., Maryland & Virginia.

Around the Web

  1. Ideas are Cheap (Scott’s Blog): Sitting on an idea won’t get you anywhere. Beginning to execute on it will get you somewhere, one way or the other.
  2. 25 Essential Entrepreneur Resources (Entrepreneur): Cut through the online clutter with our roundup of Web resources that every entrepreneur should know about.
  3. 6 TED Talks Every Entrepreneur Should Watch (Inc): Here are a handful of insightful TED talks posted this year that every entrepreneur should check out.
  4. If It’s Broke, Fix It: Three Tactics For Successfully Attacking Big, Broken Markets (Fast Company): The more static, outdated, and backwards the industry, the more disruptive–and attentive to change management–you should be.
  5. Here Are The Best Startup Pitches We’ve Ever Seen (Business Insider): What persuades an investor to write a check for an entrepreneur’s raw idea? We spoke with active angel investors and venture capitalists, as well as scouring the Web, to compile a list of some of the best startup pitches ever.
  6. 10 Shockingly Terrible Startup Pitches (Business Insider): Giving a good pitch can make your career as an entrepreneur. Giving a bad pitch can break it.
  7. Reality Show’s Hard Truths (Wall Street Journal): Bravo’s latest confection, “Start-Ups: Silicon Valley,” a glossy portrayal of the entrepreneurial life, has triggered a maelstrom of scathing reviews from the likes of bloggers and founders here, who see it as a gross misrepresentation of their beloved startup ecosystem.
  8. Closing the African-American Startup Gap (Opinion) (Entrepreneur): Despite entrepreneurial tendencies, African-American small-business ownership lags that of whites. White men run their own incorporated businesses at more than twice the rate of African-American men, and white women do so at more than three times the rate of their African-American counterparts, analysis by Bureau of Labor Statistics economist Steve Hipple reveals.
  9. Small business owners “nervous” about looming fiscal cliff (Reuters): Eric Blinderman, who had to shut down his two upscale New York restaurants for a week in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, said the approaching fiscal cliff could mean a “double whammy” for his business heading into the busy holiday season.
  10. Thanksgiving Tips: 9 Great Business Skills Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the Pilgrims (Forbes): We can learn much about effective business  from the example and the legacy of the American Pioneers.
  11. Audacity: Your First Venture Can Be Extraordinary [VIDEO] (Inc): Sir Richard Branson talks about entrepreneurial audacity–his own and that of his “great friends,” Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
  12. When is it time to stop calling yourself a freelancer and become an entrepreneur? (The Next Web): For those who enjoy making a living from something they have built, they may label themselves all of the above. However, for some of us freelancers, we may see ourselves as self-employed and as business owners, but stop short of calling ourselves entrepreneurs.
  13. Making Small Business a Cause (New York Times): Speed coaching is one element of “Brewing the American Dream,” a program Boston Beer established with a microlender, Accion, to help small businesses.
  14. Startup Weekend Boosts Profiles of New Entrepreneurs — and Host Cities (Mashable Business): It’s the final stage of a 54-hour competition to create a startup from scratch. Nearly 300 lanyard-clad entrepreneurs squeeze together on rows of plastic chairs to watch fellow hopefuls pitch their way to the top. Under the intense scrutiny of spotlights and judges, they present three days of blood, sweat and tech in just five minutes.
  15. How to Work 86 Less Days Per Year (Carrie Wilkerson): Saving 86 days of work per year can be achieved but only if you change ONE element of your work processes.
  16. Social Media Isn’t Dead: It’s Boring (Chris Brogan): There are details and technologies you must master if you want to succeed. But that’s the keyboard-level and tactical part of what you’ll do. We wanted to give you something more encompassing. The strategies around and behind The Impact Equation boil down to 5 Cs.
  17. Why You Need a Responsive Blog Design Instead of a Mobile-Friendly One (Danny Brown): I could also install a plugin like WPtouch Pro, to optimize the mobile experience even more. But I’m not a fan of either of these approaches – instead, I much prefer a responsive design for mobile visitors. Here’s why.
  18. Are Women being too modest when discussing their achievements? (Australian Women Online): A recent survey of Australia’s top business women found that women are much more inclined to attribute their success to teamwork, referring to ‘we’ rather than ‘me’ or ‘I’ when discussing their achievements.
  19. Is Your Bank Committed to Your Small Business? (Under 30 CEO): There’s something far more important to be concerned with: whether your bank is committed to your small business. Ultimately, aligning yourself with the right bank does make a difference. It’s up to you to define what you need and which bank can help your small business succeed.
  20. Obama Built a Social Network to Reach the Top: 5 Reasons Why You Should Too (Under 30 CEO): Obama understood the importance of networks and built up his own meticulously. By the time he first ran for office he had ties to so many people that mattered that the local press described him as “a well-connected attorney”. The rest is history. The same goes for any career. Here are 5 reasons why the quality of your professional network can make or break your prospects.
  21. How Do Millennial Marketers Score and Turn Singles to Home Runs? (Social Media Today): The zeitgeist of marketing has updated with the world to the 2.0 status. The raw energy and passion of the net (new) gen marketers, belonging to the millennial group (aged 16-34), has turned around the already dynamic field of marketing.
  22. Loans Available at 1 Percent for Small Business Affected by Sandy (Black Enterprise): Small businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy can apply for up to $25,000 in loans to pay for costs related to replacing or repairing facilities and equipment. The money can also be used as working capital needed to restart business operations.
  23. Time for America to Go to Entrepreneurship School (Huffington Post): Here’s a new, old idea for America: Let’s identify, recruit, develop, and make a welcoming home for all the entrepreneurs in the world. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again. But to do it again, it will require all of us to go back to entrepreneurship school.
  24. The SBA and Small Business Saturday (OPEN Forum): The Small Business Administration is doing its part to get the word out about Small Business Saturday. Administrator Karen Mills says customers will definitely get a more personalized experience.
  25. 6 Right Times to Be a Ready-Fire-Aim Entrepreneur (Startup Professionals): Even when a good plan is possible, I believe there are many circumstances where the ready-fire-aim approach is the best alternative, even though it may be counter-intuitive that one can fire without having aimed precisely. Here are the key parameters that can swing the pendulum.
  26. Companies need to Reverse the 1,2.3’s! Employees First [VIDEO] (Gary Vaynerchuk): Put employees first.
  27. How admitting weakness makes you stronger (Successful Blog): Fears can serve as a tether, keeping you tied to your past and ultimately from achieving independence. However connections can serve as anchors, or a stabilizing force, enabling you to reach higher and more fully develop your independence, even as you are “tethered” to others.
  28. Using Google+ Hangouts for Internal Team Communication (Small Biz Trends): Hangouts has proved to be a valuable tool for some small businesses that use Google+, particularly those who use it for collaboration and communication among team members. Here are some tips to help your business make the most of the service for internal communication.
  29. How to Turn Website Visitors into Buyers (Small Biz Trends): The first step to ensuring a successful holiday sales season is to optimize your eCommerce site. But the next step – converting those website visitors into customers – is equally important and can be even more difficult to achieve.
  30. New Tools for Businesses in the Pinterest Community (Pinterest): Pinterest announces new tools which will benefit businesses.
  31. This is the best I can do (Seth’s Blog): Entire industries lull themselves into believing that what they make and how they make it is good enough–until someone comes along and turns the market on its head by proving them wrong.
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