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Anything Can Be Possible

Posted by iBlog on July 5, 2008

Moving Ahead, Why Anything Can Be Possible!

In today’s competitive society and all the negativities, the stressors involved, it is common human nature to fall short with worry and doubts. Having the proper emotional intelligence and the ability to think forward that “Anything can be possible” is positive for cultivating growth, inner strength and continuous progression through life. We learn through experiences, we learn through others and we learn for ourselves. There are many books, human nature of conversations that are expressed on ways and techniques. But in the end, it is only to your own making that anything can be possible if you possess the proper mental efforts.

Thinking bigger, and bigger and BIGGER…

Staying small is one’s own choice, however we cannot grow if we do not put in risk. Risk taking can frighten many people. Whether they are simply too set in there ways, or naturally uncomfortable, undesired to grow. Practicing risk taking behavior is supported to moving ahead in life. It is how you view the experience, take it in, look back and revisit these experiences, learn from them and move on. Repeating the cycle is unhealthy, takes out of your precious personal time and remember that we only have one life so it is to one’s own choosing how to live it well.

Pessimistic Views on Life…

Why it won’t…Why it can’t? How many times and rehearsed conversations from people have we heard that this won’t work because…or I am not able to because…Perhaps it was just a bad day or perhaps we are simply just acting out in ways why it won’t work. “No” is a regular response to these type of people. They have trouble imagining and visualizing. They are the types whom see failure as a predictable option. Fear and doubt create worry among these types. In the end, there isn’t enough of a mental climate to create something positive. Pessimistic views tend to down play on the dreams, the ideas and creativity.

Optimistic Views on Life…

Possibility Thinking is focused on problems and ways that are positive. Dreamers of sorts. They see the “Anything Is Possible” point of view and keep working past experiences “Turning Water Into Wine.” They are the ones who strive to achive, climb mountains, adventure, experience and explore. In a sense, a full life, resilience of never giving up one’s dream. Success thinking in optimism makes anything possible.

Positive outcomes with optimistic thinking result in the following:

Overcoming Inferiority
Living Confident
Challenges To Problems
Facing Lifes Personal Battles
Evaluating Ideas

What type of life do you want to create?

When you are putting your life together we look to believe in creating success in career, in marriage, in family and in friends.

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Posted in Entrepreneurship, Sales & Marketing | Leave a Comment »

Services Vs. Recession

Posted by iBlog on May 13, 2008

As the U.S. economy tries to fight off a recession, has it found a way to avoid a knockout? So far, strength in many service industries is delivering a powerful counterpunch to hits from homebuilding, autos, and other goods-producing businesses. Despite the economy’s tepid 0.6% growth rate last quarter, its service sector advanced a sturdy 3.5%. Consumer spending on goods plunged 2.6%, but outlays for housing, medical care, and other services rose 3.4%. Heading into the second quarter, while overall April payrolls shrunk by 20,000 jobs, services added 90,000. And in contrast to the weakness in manufacturing, the Institute for Supply Management says April service-sector activity continued to grow.

There’s no denying the sector’s increasing impact on economic trends. Services make up almost 60% of gross domestic product, up from 55% a decade ago and 52% the decade before that. However, despite that growing influence, the more important engines of the business cycle have always been the goods-producing sector and construction, and they are taking an unusually heavy pounding.

Dropping Demand for Goods

This sharp divergence reflects the unique set of forces affecting the economy, especially consumers. The mix of tighter credit, the double hit to buying power from fewer jobs and higher prices for energy and food, and shrinking household wealth are killing demand for big-ticket consumer goods such as homes, cars, and other discretionary purchases.

As a result the downturn in the goods-producing sector is intensifying. Despite strong exports, manufacturing output is down two quarters in a row, and in April, hours worked posted the largest drop in five years, pointing to a steep fall in industrial production. Automakers are getting hit especially hard as April vehicle sales dropped to a 14.4 million annual rate, the lowest since 1998, led by flagging demand for gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicles.

The pressure on autos and other credit-sensitive goods is only getting worse as the credit crunch spreads. The Fed’s April survey of banks’ senior loan officers showed sharply tighter lending standards, up from the already elevated January readings. For large companies, the percentage of banks clamping down was the highest since the 2001 recession. A rising percentage also tightened up on mortgage lending to households, even for prime mortgages. Meanwhile, standards for credit cards and other consumer loans rose significantly, partly reflecting higher required credit scores.

Dwindling Incomes

Even as credit is drying up, jobs and incomes are shrinking. Since payrolls peaked in December, service employment through April is up 98,000, but goods-producing jobs have plunged 358,000. Overall, more people are having trouble finding full-time work. This year’s rise in the number of people forced to work part-time is the fastest since the 2001 recession. Total hours worked began the second quarter well below their first-quarter level, and with hourly pay slowing, income growth, almost all of which has been eaten up by inflation over the past year, began the quarter on a weak note.

So far, despite consumers’ weaker incomes, their savings rate remains close to the near-zero level of the past two years, implying they are spending about the same proportion of their earnings. That means factors other than income have not yet had a negative impact on spending, but that trend will be put to the test this quarter.

As household wealth, which had helped to make up for low savings, falls, along with credit availability and consumer confidence, consumers may soon be forced to save more of their incomes. There’s a good chance the tax rebates will be either squirreled away or used to pay down credit cards. A shift to greater saving would tend to hit outlays for both goods and services.

On balance, recession forces appear to be getting stronger this quarter, not weaker. That will put even more pressure on the goods sector. And while the service sector’s resilience may help to keep the recession mild, it won’t necessarily be able to prevent one.

Posted in Current News, Entrepreneurship | Leave a Comment »

Why Risk Is Important

Posted by iBlog on May 13, 2008

“What is it about entrepreneurs that enables them to live so far on the edge? Do they thrive on the adrenaline of risk-taking?” This made me think of another question that I frequently encounter when people find out that I love ice climbing: “How can you live with the risk? Do you actually enjoy flirting with death?”

I think that these are all the same question, founded on the same implicit but ill-founded assumption: that risk equates to danger. Now, I am not going to try and convince you that there aren’t people who do love the rush of throwing the dice—with their life or their bank account. But just because someone won a multimillion-dollar windfall by buying lottery tickets with their retirement fund, or survived running a treacherous river without any training, the fact is not altered that what they were doing was gambling, not investing. The end result is as unrepeatable as it can be inadvisable.

Calculated Risks

So if it’s not the thrill of gambling, what does distinguish the serial entrepreneur and the ice climber from the population at large? For a start, they understand the very clear distinction between risk and danger. Second, and—perhaps most importantly—they know that there are ways to approach an otherwise dangerous task in such a way that the risk is reduced to an acceptable level.

In fact virtually everyone knows this, at least in some domain. For example, driving in good weather on a 12-lane freeway in a well-maintained car is something that a trained driver would not hesitate to do. Yet it could be near suicide (or murder) for someone who had never been behind the wheel of a car, or who was driving a vehicle without brakes. What is curious about human nature is that we sometimes seem unable to translate knowledge from such everyday examples into our workaday life.

Why do entrepreneurs and ice climbers repeatedly prompt questions of flirting with death and disaster? My best guess is that a lack of familiarity prevents nonpractitioners from seeing what lies behind the surface: the serious and conscientious preparation that such people bring to their respective activities. To illustrate this, let me tell you a bit about ice climbing.

Essential Requirements

Anyone who has ever walked on a frozen lake, gone ice skating or tried curling knows that ice is slippery and that it takes practice to move with any kind of confidence. Now imagine that the ice sheet is vertical rather than horizontal. This should give you some sense of the challenge of ice-climbing. But then remember there are four things that the prepared ice-climber brings to the base of any climb: training, tools, fitness, and partner(s)

The need for training is pretty obvious. One has to know what one is doing. Just as you have to learn the rules of the road in order to drive on the freeway, the ice climber has to be educated about technique, the appropriate use of tools and procedures, reading the ice, and the evaluation of objective hazards.

Tools have improved significantly over the past decades. Strapped to one’s feet, in a manner not unlike roller-skates (but much more secure) are crampons. These have one or more long, sharp, surrogate toes that you can kick into the ice, thereby giving purchase to your feet. In each hand one has a short, curved, ice axe that is designed to enable one to smoothly drive the pick into the frozen water, thereby giving you something to hold onto. In the event that someone above knocks off some ice, one wears a helmet to protect the head. For protection in the event of a fall, one has a rope firmly tied to a harness around the waist. While ascending, the climber regularly sets a hollow titanium screw into the ice. This forms part of a system of running anchors.

The rope attached to the climber’s waist is clipped to the anchor, from which it runs to another person who is anchored below, paying out rope—but also positioned to catch the climber with the rope, should a fall occur. Properly placed, the ice screw will hold the load, with the ones below it as backup.

Fitness is critical. It doesn’t matter how good my training is or how good my tools are: If I am halfway up a climb and run out of strength, I am a liability both to myself and my partner. The middle of a route is not the time or place to suddenly realize that it might have been a good idea to do some jogging, pull-ups, or other conditioning before setting out. If people want unnecessarily to put their lives at risk, I guess that is their prerogative. But they have no right to jeopardize that of their partner in the process.

The Element of Trust

This last point relates to the fact that the whole exercise is based on trust; trust in our training, our assessment of the situation, our tools, fitness, and—especially—our partner. You wouldn’t consent to being driven on the freeway by someone you didn’t trust, or who was impaired in one way or another. Nor would any reasonable person put their life in the hands of such a person in the mountains. Your partner is someone you trust with your life. Perhaps because of that, a partner is also the kind of person who makes the experience doubly enjoyable, being shared.

If all four of these factors are well considered and adequately addressed, the recreational ice climber can undertake routes with a margin of risk that is comparable to a typical urban bicycle commuter. If any or all of them is not adequately addressed, the consequences could be catastrophic.

The lessons for business are simple: the four considerations employed by the ice climber are exactly the same as those used by the serial entrepreneur or the effective business person. Of course it could be argued that the rich scope of business constitutes a much more amorphous challenge than a frozen waterfall. But that makes it all the more rash to proceed without carefully considering the following:

Training: What, in fact are the skills that would best equip me to engage this problem? Are they evident in my team? If so, how do I hone them? If not, how do I bring them onboard?

Tools: What tools are relevant to the problem? What are the potentially useful processes, technologies or other instruments that might give me purchase and protection throughout the exercise?

Fitness: How does one prepare? How rusty are my skills? What would constitute a warm-up exercise, or a “preliminary heat” that would let me find out if I were ready for the game?

Partners: No matter how good you and your team are, in most significant cases you will need partners. Do you have the right ones? My approach in this is simple: Get the best. If you can’t, you might want to question the wisdom of proceeding. After all, if they aren’t working for you, they may be working for someone on the other side of the table.

These basic points provide a skeleton on which you have the opportunity to flesh out your creativity. The more innovation and insight that you bring to determining the answers pertaining to each of these four points, and the more effectively you execute on the answers, the lower the risk of your endeavor and the higher the probability of success.

Are there any guarantees? Few. Yet if you fail, which you might, at least there is a higher probability that you will live to try again. But remember, business—like life—never was about certainty (as long as we rule out the proverbial death and taxes).

Finally, what struck me most about the question from Roger’s student—a student in an MBA program at Rotman—was the implicit assumption that risk was the domain of the entrepreneur, not him. If there is a single message in all of this, it is this: The most dangerous way of all to play it is so-called safe. Safe leads to atrophy and certain death—of spirit, culture, and enterprise. There is not a single institution of merit or worthy of respect in our society that was not created out of risk. Risk is not only not to be avoided, it is to be embraced—for survival.

Anyone for ice climbing?

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Innovation | 1 Comment »

Raising Capital In An Economic Slowdown

Posted by iBlog on May 13, 2008

Raising capital is difficult under normal conditions, and a tight credit market and fears of an economic slowdown have made the challenge harder. Unproven early-stage companies could face a tough time finding funds from informal investors who are less willing to take risks in an unsteady economy. Firms looking for equity investments should expect to give up more ownership for less cash than during flusher times. For established businesses that are good credit risks, lower interest rates will make borrowing more attractive. Here’s what you need to know.

Where should I look for capital if I have an existing business?

A good source might be a loan or credit line from your local independent bank (BusinessWeek.com, 12/26/06), especially if you already have a business relationship there. Subprime mortgage defaults have hit banking giants (BusinessWeek.com, 1/15/08) like Citigroup (C) hard, but most smaller banks don’t face the same losses. “Community banks have very solid balance sheets and liquidity. They’re not having to do the large writedowns for the subprime mess because they’re traditionally more prudent lenders,” says Paul Merski, chief economist at the Independent Community Bankers of America, a trade group. “They have money to lend.”

Is now good time to take out a loan?

Yes, if you can get it. The Federal Reserve has dropped its rate target for overnight lending by 2.25 percentage points since the summer, to 3%, in an effort to ease the credit crunch. That means banks can offer borrowers lower rates and make the same profit. “If you have a good business and you have a good relationship with your lender and interest rates are coming down, it may be even less expensive to borrow,” says Merski.

Will I face tighter credit standards?

Banks are still looking to lend to companies that have the ability to repay, according to Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, executive vice-president and head of Wells Fargo’s (WFC) small business segment. “In any economic environment, we’re going to want to look at a profitable business, an established business that has a history,” she says. The same credit standards apply for business loans, but an economic downturn could make it harder for you to meet them. “What will happen in a stressed economic environment is you may have fewer receivables, your collateral may be worth less,” Macieira-Kaufmann says.

Lenders are looking closely at the region and the sector that loan applicants are in, she says. You should demonstrate that your business is resilient enough to weather an industry slump. For example, businesses that thrived off new-home construction should show that they can shift to existing homes.

What if I my credit isn’t good enough?

There are nonbank options available for businesses that can’t land traditional loans. One new company in this space, On Deck Capital, offers loans of up to $100,000 to small firms based on their cash flow, rather than the owner’s personal credit rating. “We focus on loans to small businesses who can’t qualify for bank loans,” says Mitch Jacobs, On Deck’s CEO. “We’ve entered the market to fill the gap.” Jacobs says interest rates are “in the ballpark” of traditional bank loans. Borrowers have to be in business for at least a year and show they have adequate cash flow of at least $3,000 a month in credit-card volume

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Finance | 2 Comments »

Raising Funding for Entrepreneurs

Posted by iBlog on May 13, 2008

Most entrepreneurs, at some point along the way, need a good chunk of other people’s money. Although many small business owners have great ideas and a generous dollop of charm, they often shortchange the relationships that can bring in capital when they need it. “Entrepreneurs can get so swallowed up in their enterprise that they don’t take the time to romance those who they need to invest in them,” says Jerold Panas, executive partner and CEO of Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners, a Chicago fundraising company that works with nonprofits, and author of Asking: A 59-Minute Guide to Everything Board Members, Volunteers, and Staff Must Know to Secure the Gift.

Chemistry isn’t enough. “A relationship will not guarantee you financing,” says Edward Zimmerman, partner at Lowenstein Sandler in New York and founder of AngelVineVC, a network of angel investors and venture funds. “You still have to perform. But there is always some relationship in place before a deal closes.”

Many business owners just aren’t comfortable asking for money. But professional fundraisers spend all their time doing it, and entrepreneurs would be wise to adopt some tricks of their trade. Most likely, your anxiety about asking for money will fade as you slowly build relationships with people who become so interested in your company they volunteer to open their checkbooks.

FIND PROSPECTS
1.
Cultivating investors is a long-term affair. “Respect must be earned,” says David Lansdowne, a fundraising consultant and author of Fund Raising Realities Every Board Member Must Face. “Passion must be stoked.” Successful suitors meet potential investors long before they need money. “We’re always much more eager to talk to entrepreneurs when they aren’t raising capital,” says Joel Cutler, managing director at General Catalyst Partners, a $1 billion venture fund in Cambridge, Mass. “It gives us time to develop the relationship without the pressure of closing the deal. We don’t want a dating game, we want relationship development.”

You may have greater entrée to potential backers than you think. Your banker and accountant are obvious go-betweens, but perhaps your neighbor works for a law firm specializing in deals, or a former college roommate is in venture capital, or your second cousin runs a company and has fought the financing wars herself. But don’t ask your pals to do more than set up an introduction. “I do not want to talk to a banker or accountant or lawyer,” says Cutler. “I want to talk to the CEO. This is the person I will be developing the relationship with, the one who is the protagonist of the idea.”

Follow up an introduction immediately with a pithy e-mail explaining what your company does and why the investor might want to know about it. But don’t burden people with PDFs or spreadsheets, or slip into sales mode. As Cutler says: “An e-mail that tells me I’m going to make a billion dollars is not as valuable as one saying, ‘I am an entrepreneur and I’m not looking for capital today, but I think you will be interested in learning about my company. Do you have some time when we can chat?'”

Former colleagues and employers can also help. Sheila Lirio Marcelo, founder and CEO of Care.com, a 25-employee startup in Waltham, Mass., that offers a searchable database of caregivers, long hoped to launch her own company one day. She made a point of meeting the venture capitalists on the boards of the companies where she worked. So Marcelo already had a strong relationship with executives at Matrix Partners, a venture fund in Waltham, when she had the idea for Care.com. She launched in May, 2007, with $3.5 million in Matrix funding. Says Marcelo: “You have to take a long-term view of every job and relationship you have.”

Look for donors most likely to fall in love with your idea, says Panas. Don’t be afraid to cast a wide net. Investors are always looking for good companies to support and are happy to learn about them. Travis Corcoran is taking advantage of that eagerness. Almost immediately after launching Smart- Flix in January, 2005, Corcoran started a bimonthly e-mail newsletter about his $1 million, 10-employee company, which rents how-to videos and DVDs à la Netflix from its offices in Arlington, Mass. He asked executives and entrepreneurs he knew from previous jobs if they’d like to receive his bulletin. Five said yes. The roll has since grown to about two dozen, including several venture capitalists.

FIRST DATES
2.
As in any courtship, it helps to know the tastes, interests, and background of the person you are wooing. You can often find an enormous amount of information about people online, including philanthropic interests, alma maters, and even net worth. Search on Google, as well as on business networking sites such as LinkedIn. Try to find out if your prospect prefers talking about business over lunch or espresso or martinis. Always defer on questions of time and location, even if you have to put off meeting for weeks or months. Remember, your goal is a long-term relationship.

Fundraisers advise that establishing your credibility at the outset is crucial. If you haven’t already, set clear revenue goals that you can share with potential backers. Make sure you understand your balance sheet and any weaknesses in your company that others might question. There’s no magic number for how much revenue you should have before you approach investors, says Zimmerman, but you do need to show why and how you expect to grow, and you must be able to explain your competition.

It is never, ever wise to ask potential investors for money during your first meeting. “It’s not unusual to visit a potential donor two or three times before even bringing up the discussion of a [donation],” says Lansdowne. “These early visits are critical to setting the stage for your relationship. Take the time to learn about your investor’s personal and business preferences.” Show passion for your product and ideas, but don’t boast about your successes. Instead, ask your new contacts for advice. Then they’ll be personally engaged in the growth of your company.

At this stage, you shouldn’t be monogamous. Meet as many potential investors as you can. As you get to know them, the field will narrow. “We can tell pretty quickly if an entrepreneur has a good idea or not,” says Michael Rolnick, general partner at ComVentures, a $1.5 billion Palo Alto (Calif.)-based venture capital firm. “What we can’t tell right away is if a person is insightful, manages well, hires well, sells well. So it’s always helpful for us to reduce the risk by getting to know somebody or have somebody we know vouch for them.”

BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP
3.
After a first meeting, send a thank-you e-mail or note. Keep your prospect interested, either through regular updates or the occasional note after you land a big client, say, or launch a product. Some fundraising pros, like Panas, say such “touches” should come monthly. Others recommend that you share only particularly significant news. Still others don’t want to hear from you until you fix the problems they’ve brought to your attention. “If I have questions about a company,” says Rolnick, “the right time to follow up with me is when those questions are resolved.” Use this getting-to-know-you period to show you’ve absorbed the advice your potential investors have generously given you. “Talk shop,” advises Zimmerman. “You can get legitimate business advice during this process, and it’s a great way for investors to follow your growth.”

Unless you’re actively seeking investment, you should be spending only 10 to 15 hours a week on networking. “You want to make sure that your networking doesn’t get in the way of building your sales,” says David Honig, vice-president of Insight Venture Partners, a $1.2 billion venture fund in New York City. “Less is more during the courtship process.”

When your business does take a great leap forward, the time will be right to suggest another meeting—the one where you ask for the money.

THE COMMITMENT
4.
When you’re ready to broach the topic of money, you may find to your relief that you only have to drop a hint. Corcoran of SmartFlix hasn’t yet asked anyone to invest, but he has had volunteers. In his newsletter this summer, he mentioned that his growth forecast was rosy, but that he wasn’t sure where he would turn for financing. Within two days he had three offers.

Even if no one is throwing money at you, you’re likely to know by now who your best prospects are and how much they might be willing to invest. You also should have figured out how much you really need and what you’re willing to give up for it—perhaps a seat on your board or some other advisory role. Ask for one more meeting with your prospects, and talk to them honestly about your goals. If they don’t see eye-to-eye with you on your strategy, talk candidly about why. In the end, if they say yes, bring in your banker or your attorney to handle the formalities.

If your potential investor says no, don’t be discouraged or think your effort was wasted. Rolnick has turned down entrepreneurs several times but kept in touch because, he says, “If I think they are quality people with quality ideas, I will always want to maintain that relationship.” More than once he has jumped at a chance to back a serial entrepreneur after declining to invest in an earlier venture.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Finance | 1 Comment »

Bankrupcy on the Rise

Posted by iBlog on May 13, 2008

More businesses filed for bankruptcy in April, 2008, than in any month since new bankruptcy laws took effect in 2005, according to a company that tracks federal court filings.

The numbers show a 49% increase in commercial bankruptcies over last year, with an average of 235 daily filings last month compared to 158 in April, 2007, according to data compiled by Jupiter eSources, an Oklahoma City company that runs a database called Automated Access to Court Electronic Records(AACER). More than 5,000 firms filed for bankruptcy in April, 2008, the most in any month since the new laws took effect in 2005.

That leap in bankruptcy filings shows the troubles that started with sub-prime mortgages and other financial instruments on Wall Street have hit home for small businesses, according to one economist. “Last year was too early to really see the problem for normal-type firms. The only people having trouble last year were hedge funds and big banks in New York City,” says William Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). He adds that companies that survived at the margins in good times are likely to be wiped out during a downturn: “Recessions always used to clean up the inefficient firms, and that’s what we’re seeing.”

A combination of tighter credit, higher commodity prices, and stagnant sales likely accounts for the rise in bankruptcies, experts said. Builders and other businesses tied to the housing market likely account for many filings.

Turning to Out of Court Resolutions

It’s unclear how much bankruptcies reflect the overall rate of business failure (BusinessWeek.com, 1/23/08). “Increasingly, businesses over the last 10 years have been turning to out-of-court resolutions for resolving financial distress,” says Robert Lawless, a bankruptcy law expert at the University of Illinois College of Law. Companies that have no creditors simply close their doors and are not recorded in the statistics.

AACER records any bankruptcy filed with a taxpayer identification number or a “doing business as” name instead of a Social Security number as a commercial filing, according to Mike Bickford, the firm’s president. Those filings include many sole proprietors whose bankuptcies would not be counted as commercial filings under official government records, he says.

Some of those unincorporated businesses—sole proprietors running home-based businesses, for example—may be victims of tighter consumer credit. “Those people don’t rely on bank loans. They’re using their credit cards, they’re using home equity lines of credit,” says Lawless, who writes about bankruptcy on the blog Credit Slips. Banks loans are tougher to come by as well. A Federal Reserve survey of senior loan officers at 56 banks showed that more than half raised lending standards for small business borrowers during the first quarter of 2008.

Rising Prices Are Real Culprit

The filings also reflect a shakeout in the housing market. “The number of new builders that opened up shop [in markets like Florida] was huge,” says the NFIB’s Dunkelberg. “A disproportionate number of these bankruptcies are going to be builders or companies closely tied to the housing market.”

Dunkelberg disputes that tight credit has hit small companies; he says rising prices are the real culprit. The share of business owners who listed inflation as their top concern rose to 12% in March compared with 4% the previous year, according to the NFIB’s monthly membership survey. Only 2% listed financing and interest rates. “There’s still no credit problem on Main Street, but there is an inflation problem,” Dunkelberg says.

As rising costs put pressure on margins, many businesses have seen their revenue fall as well. “I’m seeing contraction of the sales,” says Cathy Moran, a bankruptcy attorney in Mountain View, Calif., who works mostly with small businesses and consumers. Moran says she has handled recent cases for two construction companies and an engineering firm, along with non-housing related businesses like bike shops and spas. Business failure had been the prime reason clients came to her until about four months ago. “Now it’s kind of tipped the other way, so that more often than not bad mortgage loans are the driving force,” she says.

Tozzi covers small business for BusinessWeek Online

Posted in Current News, Entrepreneurship, Small Business | 1 Comment »

Scouting Emerging Business Trends

Posted by iBlog on May 13, 2008

There are few people as well placed and well qualified to see emerging business trends unfold as the world’s most influential executive recruiters.

Just consider the experience and perspective they gain from working with a variety of corporate clients to scope the competitive landscape, court exceptional management leaders, and shape succession plans that are both solid enough to ensure continuity but adaptable enough to compensate for challenges looming just over the horizon.

In the course of conducting research for my just-published book, Deciding Who Leads, I was reminded by a number of executive recruiters and corporate leaders that perceptions about the quality of management, future financial opportunity, and recent market momentum move the best management candidates to gravitate to the most compelling job opportunities.

Ready to Jump

Likewise, whenever a company begins to falter, the sharpest executives can read the tea leaves and usually begin to leverage their network to make their next career move before things start to get ugly. That often leads them to the executive recruiters and almost immediately to some pretty serious discussions about why they want to leave their current employer.

The cumulative effect of that one-on-one intelligence gathering about executive attitudes—either perceptions of a bright future or a looming organizational meltdown—gives executive recruiters unparalleled vision into emerging business trends and the best executive career opportunities.

Take that kind of information, multiply it by several hundred interviews with executive interviews in the course of a year, and you begin to realize that executive recruiters’ attitudes are actually a leading indicator about the health of organizations, and, for that matter, the broader economy.

The caliber and performance of senior corporate management is almost always suggestive of an organization’s current and future financial performance. So who better to judge the trajectory of an organization than these external leadership scouts? And who better to provide us with compelling statements about future business trends than those recruiters who help move top executives to where the best action is?

Sniffing the Breeze

The world’s most influential headhunters have a particularly acute sense for the business trends that may already be shifting the strategy and management demands for their myriad corporate clients. What follows are just some of the perspectives they’ve shared about the single global business trend that will most influence corporate performance in the future.

Tierney Remick, global managing director of the consumer/retail market for Korn/Ferry International (KFY), says she has already witnessing a global shift in consumer influence that will reshape the economic landscape. She points to “the globalization of consumerism, specifically the growing impact of consumer and economic independence in larger developing countries that have historically followed trends as opposed to setting them. They will create new centers of influence that will need to be understood by business leaders to compete effectively on a global scale.”

Marylin L. Prince, co-founder of New York asset-management specialist search firm PrinceGoldsmith, says sustainable business practices will have a tremendous impact on future corporate earnings and on the search for leadership talent for some time to come. “Industry leaders will need to embrace the moral and economic principles of sustainable business to remain competitive and build successful companies,” Prince contends.

The free flow of human and intellectual capital made possible by Internet technology is the moving force that will alter the course of many businesses, says Anne Lim O’Brien, a managing director at Russell Reynolds Associates. The fluidity of those forces, she offers, “provides speed and access to talent where you want it, when you want it. New media/social networking trends feed this flow.”

A Share of the Blame

Recognizing how lackluster or incompetent corporate management has hurt shareholders and led to scandal in recent years, Robert J. Brudno, managing director of Savoy Partners in Washington, offers his view of something that should influence future organizational performance.

That, he offers, is “greater professional and moral accountability from those who recruit, install, and maintain weak corporate leaders. In the case of most well-publicized meltdowns of companies, it is rare that insiders did not know that bad things were likely to occur.” Certainly he’s counting some misguided executive recruiters among them.

Furthermore, Brudno opines, “too many people pay no price for the damage they cause, and their enablers are rarely held to account. Fix that and watch performance soar.”

One consensus view offered by many of the most influential executive recruiters revolves around the growing influence of China and India. “The ability to expand in new markets and the capacity to reposition your business in new lines of activity while your core business or expertise is either disappearing or becoming a commodity,” says Marc Lamy, a Paris-based partner and managing director with Boyden, is going to shape future business performance in ways that are just beginning to be revealed.

That suggests that more business leaders, and, for that matter, more of the world’s executive recruiters, are going to have to balance intense focus on the challenges directly in front of them with a broader, global view of business trends before their full impact is widely felt.

Posted in Creativity & Culture, Current News, Entrepreneurship, Going Global, Management | Leave a Comment »

The Secrets Of Serial Success

Posted by iBlog on September 12, 2007

Five years ago, Tom Scott and Tom First realized they would never have to work again. Friends from college, the pair had launched a juice brand called Nantucket Nectars from the back of their island boat and catapulted themselves — the self-dubbed “juice guys” — into the stuff of entrepreneurial legend as their beverage took off nationwide.

Read the full article in WSJ

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Small Business | Leave a Comment »

Business Organization In Thailand

Posted by iBlog on August 21, 2007

Basic Business Organization

By Ekkapon Yuangnark

There are many kinds of business organization for person who would like to do business in Thailand. However, the basic and most favorable are as followings:

1. Sole Proprietorship :

The Sole Proprietorship is an unincorporated business owned by one person. All the proprietor’s assets, both business and personal, are subject to attachment or other legal action which may be brought with respect to the business.

2. Partnership :

According to Thai law, there are three different types of partnership. They are (1) unregistered ordinary partnership, (2) registered ordinary partnership, and (3) limited partnership. A joint venture or consortium is deemed as kind of unregistered ordinary partnership but may be treated differently under the Revenue Code.

(A) Unregistered Ordinary Partnership

An unregistered ordinary partnership is one in which all partners are, without limit, jointly liable for all the obligations and debts of the partnership. The partnership cannot be regarded as a juristic entity separate from each partner, who must make a contribution in the form of money, properties or services.

(B) Registered Ordinary Partnership

If an ordinary partnership is registered, it becomes a separate juristic entity from each partner, who thereby gains the following advantages:

(1) The assets of the partnership have to be examined before creditors can claim debt payment from the partners. This is unlike an unregistered ordinary partnership, in which each partner is directly liable for debts incurred by the partnership.
(2) The liability of a partner for debts incurred is limited to two years from the date he ceased to be a member.

(A) Limited Partnership

(1) A limited partnership consists of two types of partner:
(a) one whose liability is limited to the specific amount which he has contributed to the partnership, and
(b) one whose has unlimited liability for all debts incurred by the partnership.
(2) A limited partnership must be registered and is regarded as a separate entity.
(3) It should only be managed by a partner who has unlimited liability.
(4) If the business of the partnership is managed by a partner whose liability is limited, that partner will become unlimitedly liable for all debts incurred by the partnership.
(5) Partners with limited liability are entitled to carry on business of the same nature as that of the partnership and are free to transfer their shares without prior consent of the other partners.
(6) Creditors of the partnership are not entitled to sue partners with limited liability unless the partnership is dissolved. Even then, creditor can claim only the following amounts:
(i) part of the undelivered contribution,
(ii) part of the contribution which has been withdrawn,
(iii) divined or interest received in bad faith or contrary to the law.
(7) New partners cannot be introduced into the partnership without the consent of all other partners. A new partner is liable for any of the partnership’s debts from time of his becoming a partner. Similarly, an ex-partner is liable for debts incurred by the partnership up to the termination of his right as a partner.

An ordinary partnership is dissolved if :

(i) Terms of contract of partnership provide for it.
(ii) A definite period of time descried in the terms of partnership has expired.
(iii) The partnership was formed for a single undertaking, which has been completed.
(iv) Any of the partners gives due notice to the others
(v) Upon death, bankruptcy or incapacity of a partner.
In (iv) and (v) above, the partnership can continue to exist if the remaining partners buy the shares of the withdrawing partner.

An agreement on how the profits and losses of the partnership are to be divided should be made between the partners of the partnership. In the event that no such agreement has been made, each partner’s share in the profits and losses will be calculated in accordance with the proportion of his contribution.

The partner should also make an agreement concerning the manner in which the business of the partnership should be managed. In the absence of such an agreement, the business of the partnership may be managed by each of the partners, who are jointly responsible for the acts of any other partner in the ordinary course of business. Relations between the managing partners and the other partners are governed by the laws of agency.

Unless consent is given by other partners, each partner is prohibited from carrying on any competitive business of the same nature as that of the partnership. If this does occur, the other partners are entitled to claim back any profits made, and/or compensation for any injury suffered by the partnership in consequence.

If the partnership is dissolved, liquidation shall take place unless ;

(a) some other method of property adjustment has been agreed upon by the partners,
(b) The partnership is adjudicated bankrupt.

Liquidation of a partnership must be done in accordance with the following procedure:

(i) Repayment of debts to third party.
(ii) Reimbursement of advances made and expenses incurred to the partners in managing the business of the partnership.
(iii) Return of each partner contribution.
(iv) Division of any remaining balance between the partners, as profit.

3. Limited Company :

Under Thai law, there are two types of limited companies, private company and public company. In this brief shall mention to private company only.

Limited company is a company which is formed with a capital divided into equal shares. The advantage of conducting business in the form of a limited company is that people can participate in large-scale business activities with their liability being limited to the amount unpaid on the shares held by them.

The procedure for forming a limited private company is as follows:

(1) The promoters of the company must file a memorandum of association. The memorandum of association shall contain the following information:
– the full name and intended location of the company,
– the objectives of the company,
– the intended location of the head office of the company,
– a declaration of the shareholder’s limited liability,
– the amount of share capital, and the value of each share,
– the name, address, occupation, and signature of each of the promoters together with the number of shares subscribed to by each.
(2) The official in charge of company registration will review the memorandum of association, especially the company objectives, to determine whether it is (a) against the law, or (b) detrimental to public morals. Once satisfied, registration will be granted.
(3) After registration, the company promoters will try to have all shares subscribed to. A private company is not permit to invite the public to subscribe to the shares.
(4) After all shares have been subscribed to, the promoters of the company must immediately call a general meeting of subscribers. This meeting is the statutory meeting, which should call :
(a) adoption of the company regulations,
(b) rectification of any transactions or expenses made by the company promoters during the formation of the company,
(c) determining and fixing the amount to be paid to promoters,
(d) fixing the number of preference shares, if any,
(e) fixing the number of ordinary and preference shares to be allocated as fully or partly paid up in place of money, and determining the amount at which they shall be considered as paid up, and
(f) appointment of directors and auditors and establishment of their respective power.
(5) After the statutory meeting, the promoters shall hand the business over to the directors.
(6) The directors shall cause the promoters and subscribers to pay up each share in money at an amount of not less than twenty-five prevent of the par value.
(7) When the above mentioned amount has been paid, and within three months of the statutory meeting, the directors must apply for registration of the company.

Regulation of the Company :
Shareholders will normally adopt company registrations. These regulations will be registered. They are deemed as the law governing the company’s business and binding the director, shareholders and outsiders in accordance with the company’s resolutions which require approval of the shareholders.

Management of the Company’s Business :
The company’s business is to be managed by the directors of the company as appointed at the meeting of the shareholders. The first group of directors are appointed at the statutory meeting and thereafter at the ordinary meetings. The directors have to manage the company’s business in accordance with the regulations passed at the first general meeting of shareholders. The regulations will usually specify which director(s) are to conduct transactions with outsiders. However, if other directors have an agency relationship with the company, they may conduct transactions which bind the company to outsiders. In this case, these directors will also be responsible to the company and the shareholders.

Although the directors have the authority to conduct all types of legitimate business on behalf of the company, there are some things for which they must obtain the approval of the shareholders at the shareholder’s meeting. These are :
(1) appointment and removal of directors(s),
(2) appointment of auditor(s),
(3) declaration regarding distribution of dividends,
(4) conducting business involving capital, fully or partly paid up in any form other than money,
(5) dissolution of the company,
(6) amalgamation with other company(ies),
(7) other matters recorded in the regulations of the Company.

4. Joint Venture :

A contractual unincorporated joint venture or consortium is not recognized as a unique legal entity under the Civil and Commercial Code, except, perhaps as a form of partnership, but these forms of organization are recognized under the Revenue Code.

5. Branches of Foreign Company :

There is no special requirement for foreign company to register its branch in order to do business in Thailand. However, most businesses fall within the scope of one or more laws or regulations which require a registration, either before or after commencement of activities and foreign business must follow the generally applicable procedures.

6. Representative Office :

By a regulation of the Prime Minister’s Office, special procedures were establishes for those companies that wish to establish branches in Thailand to engage in limited “non-trading” activities. These procedures are optional but may be beneficial in certain circumstances. If the business activities of a foreign company are limited to the search for Thai products to be exported to other organs of the company or to do quality control work associated with such purchase or to engage in market survey activities, it is recommended to register as representative office. If a company is accepted for this representative office, expedited visas and wok permits for up to two foreigners to work in the branch are available.

Posted in Articles By Author, Asia Business, Business Tactics, China Global, Consulting, Corporate Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Going Global, Hiring & Training, Innovation, International Business, Management, Researching, Small Business | Leave a Comment »

Business Plans With Legs

Posted by iBlog on August 20, 2007

Chief executives of 53 fast-growing companies rated their business plans 4.3 out of a maximum six in helping them obtain outside funding, according to a recent study by two professors at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. More significantly, the CEOs rated their plans 4.1 in helping them manage their companies. “This strong rating indicates that small successful companies continue to use their plan for more than funding,” say the professors, Anthony Allred and H. Lon Addams, in an article published in the Journal of Small Business Strategy.

Read the full article in BusinessWeek.com

Posted in Business Tactics, Entrepreneurship, Small Business, Start Ups 101 | Leave a Comment »

Small Business Communication Tools

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

Working with clients across great distances, Steve Bridges needed a better way to exchange information and collaborate on projects. E-mailing large documents wasn’t efficient. Inboxes got filled up or, worse, documents got overlooked. To remedy his situation, Bridges, IT manager for advertising firm La Agencia de Orci, decided to employ an extranet.

Read the full article on Fastcompany.com

Posted in Digital Media, Entrepreneurship, Small Business, Start Ups 101, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Great Moments in Self Promotion

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

Self-promotion can be a painful and humiliating process, but one that seems pretty much unavoidable these days. At least that’s how I feel about it, which is why I’m always on the alert for a fresh rationale to make me feel better about something I’m probably going to have to do whether I like it or not.

Read the full article in Fastcompany.com

Posted in Advertising, Entrepreneurship, Sales & Marketing | Leave a Comment »

Powersell on eBay

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

To get the most from your eBay business, make sure you’re using the “triangle of success”: eBay auctions, an eBay Store (read my previous column on eBay Stores) and a website. eBay Power-Seller and 47-year-old website owner Yaron Hankin (www.anytimesale.com) says, “People look at someone who not only sells on eBay, but also has his or her own website, as a more established seller.”

Read the full article in Entrepreneur.com

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Online Retail, Retail Market, Sales & Marketing, Small Business, Start Ups 101 | 1 Comment »

How To Play To Your Strengths

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

Most feedback accentuates the negative. During formal employee evaluations, discussions invariably focus on “opportunities for improvement,” even if the overall evaluation is laudatory. Informally, the sting of criticism lasts longer than the balm of praise. Multiple studies have shown that people pay keen attention to negative information. For example, when asked to recall important emotional events, people remember four negative memories for every positive one. No wonder most executives give and receive performance reviews with all the enthusiasm of a child on the way to the dentist.

Read the full article in Harvard Business Online

Posted in Business Psychology, Business Tactics, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Management, Small Business, Talent Development | Leave a Comment »

CEO’s 6 Steps to Effective Feedback

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

Delivering feedback is among a manager’s most important tasks, yet many managers struggle to do it fairly and consistently, and–above all –in a way that drives improved performance. In the chapter on people development in his recently published book, Lessons on Leadership: The 7 Fundamental Management Skills for Leaders at All Levels (Kaplan, 2007), Jack Stahl, CEO of Revlon and former president of Coca-Cola, proposes a six-step model to make the feedback process easier and more effective.

Stahl’s framework struck me as having the virtue of being systematic yet adaptable to the needs of each individual you manage.

Read the full article in Harvard Business Online

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Leadership | Leave a Comment »

Avoid These Leadership Traps

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

The biggest mistakes I see executives make when hired in from the outside are (1) trying to recreate the organizations they left behind and (2) overestimating their change mandates. Both set up vicious cycles that can end in outright derailment for the new leader. And you can usually see these problems start during the recruiting process.

The temptation to try to clone a business model or system that you’ve had success with elsewhere is great. You understand it deeply, struggled hard to make it work, and achieved great things. In fact, your success in making something wonderful happen at your old company is likely a major factor in why your new company wanted to hire you. During the recruiting process you may have been explicitly encouraged to “bring the great ideas you have to us.” So it’s natural to want to try and replicate your previous success.

Read the full article in Harvard Business Online

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Leadership | Leave a Comment »

4 Ways to Market Your Business Online

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

When Mark Bitterman, who calls himself a “selmelier,” was trying to pump up sales at his gourmet salt shop, he knew standard marketing techniques such as radio ads and direct mail wouldn’t be enough.Seeking to capture the imagination of educated, adventurous gourmand prospective customers, he instead set out to draw more people to his Web site and his Portland, Ore., shop by writing an informative, entertaining and provocative blog, “Salt News.”

Bitterman knows that people, including reporters, visit both the site and the blog, and many eventually come through the doors to see the 60 or so varieties of salt.

Read the full article in CnnMoney.com

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Sales & Marketing, Start Ups 101 | Leave a Comment »

Should You Offer a Free Trial?

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

I want to expand my customer base. Are free trials worth the investment?

Absolutely. A free trial is a great marketing tool and a solid step toward establishing good will with new customers. Trials with products aimed at particular audiences are effective, such as chewing gum geared toward people with dental work, tasty protein bars for athletes or eye shadows that complement certain eye colors.

Read the full article in Forbes.com

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Small Business | Leave a Comment »

What’s in a Leader?

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

Recent focus on board activism and chief executive turnover would have you believe that these are particularly difficult times for CEOs and that the job of a CEO is more challenging than it has ever been. The fact is, the job of a CEO has always been a highly complex task.

In our over 30 years of experience in dealing with leadership issues and education, we have always emphasized the importance of innovative and flexible leadership that is adept at adjusting to changing times and circumstances. As such, over the years, we’ve selected and awarded leaders based on their ability to take calculated risks and alter an industry, all the while delivering continued shareholder value, built on a strong ethical foundation. Good CEO leaders have operated like this for years.

Read the full article in Forbes.com

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Leadership | Leave a Comment »

Pricing Your Product

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

Here are six simple, relatively low-cost steps at making that best guess.

Click here to visit Forbes.com for the full article…

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Online Retail, Retail Market, Sales & Marketing | Leave a Comment »

The Evils of Ego

Posted by iBlog on August 9, 2007

Hayward says a big head can lead to big problems for entrepreneurs…

View the full video on Forbes.com

Posted in Business Psychology, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Small Business Start Ups

Posted by iBlog on August 7, 2007

Protesting on college campuses is back. The object of this generation’s rebellion? Traditional jobs. In an era of widespread disenchantment with the often bureaucratic, scandal-ridden world of big corporations, more students believe that building a successful startup is the way to go. A recent poll of 1,155 teens by Junior Achievement Worldwide, a Colorado Springs outfit that teaches students about entrepreneurship, revealed that 69% want to start a business, an increase of five percentage points since last year. And the Harvard Business School just found that 67% of MBAs it surveyed had started a firm after competing in its business-plan competitions.

Click here to read the full article on Fortune.com

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Start Ups 101 | Leave a Comment »

Managing The Entrepreneurial Psyche

Posted by iBlog on August 7, 2007

If this magazine decided to choose a patron saint, I’d nominate the economist Joseph A. Schumpeter. Born near Prague in 1883, Schumpeter (pronounced SHOOM-pay-ter) was one of the most astute business thinkers who ever lived, and–luckily for me as his biographer–an electrifying personality besides. He liked to say that he aspired to be the greatest economist, lover, and horseman in the world. Then he’d pause for a second before delivering his punch line: Things weren’t going well with the horses.

Read the full article on Inc.com

 http://www.inc.com/magazine/20070801/guest-speaker-mapping-the-entrepreneurial-psyche.html

Posted in Business Psychology, Entrepreneurship, Start Ups 101 | Leave a Comment »

Start Ups – Inside and Out

Posted by iBlog on August 7, 2007

You don’t need to quit your day job to launch a startup. Instead, follow the lead of a team from Nortel Networks whose members jump-started a big idea, declared themselves intrapreneurs, and never looked back.

Read the full article on FastCompany.com

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/32/toolbox.html

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Start Ups 101 | Leave a Comment »

The Importance Of A Business Plan

Posted by iBlog on August 7, 2007

Creating a proper business plan is essential. There are newbie entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners who can whip up a venture on the fly, but if you plan to talk to investors without a business plan chances are very slim you will even get your foot in the door when it comes down to raising capital.

businessplan_lite.jpg

 A business plan is significant to the beginnings of the growth of your company. We create business plans for many reasons. To obtain financing, form strategic alliances, attract important people and it sells your company. You utilize it as a tool to attract attention to the appropriate sources you need.

Click on the links below on creating a business plan:

Writing a business plan on Inc.com

http://www.inc.com/guides/write_biz_plan/20660.html

Another useful guide to creating a business plan on Inc.com

http://www.inc.com/guides 

Jen Lyn

Posted in Corporate Strategy, eCommerce, Entrepreneurship, Start Ups 101 | Leave a Comment »

Competitive Analysis

Posted by iBlog on August 7, 2007

Here’s How To Break It Down

Whether you are scoping out the market, researching your new product ventue or want the depths of your competition, a competitive advantage is key. Miss out on this and you may be missing out on a whole lot. Marketing a product with little or no knowledge let alone marketing without knowing what the competitive product is a big mistake. A competitive analysis gives you in depth facts and price points on your product. Below is an example of a competitive analysis featuring two competitive products sold and marketed on ebay:

Competitive Analysis

 Canon GL2 MiniDV versus Sony DCR-TRV950

Designed for the serious videographer-Impeccable picture quality that is better than the Sony DCR-TRV950-GL2 outperforms on manual audio control feature-Overall far superior manual control on GL2 vs. DCR-TRV950-Top handle buttons strategically placed for better creative shooting with the GL2 vs.   Sony which has no top handle button features-20x optical zoom out beats the 10x optical zoom of the Sony DCR-TRV950-Aperture F stops displayed with GL2 vs. DCR-TRV950 has no F stops to display-Neutral Density feature on/off option on GL2 vs. DCR-TRV950 has no such feature-GL2 lowlight/custom preset performance excels vs. DCR-TRV950 

Introduction The following sections will compare and focus on the capabilities/features of the Canon GL2 MiniDV Digital Camcorder Camera 20x versus the Sony DCR-TRV950 Camcorder. The GL2 camcorder offers high quality digital video up to 530 lines of resolution. Building on Canon’s expertise, the GL2 offers sleek innovative design, precision optics, excellence in manual control, digital processing, display of F stops, clear scan, top button placements, +18 dB gain level and custom preset that all make for great features to enhance the picture quality for the user  In summary, the Canon GL2 MiniDV Digital Camcorder Camera 20x is a better suited camera for excellence recording video and in the end result makes an ideal choice for the serious videographer. 

Performance The number of pixels has increased with the GL2 from 279K to 410K and gives the camcorder overall improved picture quality. The quality of the GL2 picture is sharp, professional and impressive and in the end result produces a better picture quality versus the Sony DCR-TRV950. 

Price The Canon GL2 has an MSRP price of $2,799 and falls between the $1,499-$2,799 price range. Consumers can expect to find an average street price for the GL2 around $2,400 or better.  

Overall Features Manual Audio Control The GL2 outperforms the Sony DCR-TRV950 on manual audio control by far. Located at the far back left near the top of the GL2 are the indicators for the left and right manual controls with dials located at the back.  

Button Feature Controls The accessory shoe of the GL2 is located near the camera lens. Almost all of the buttons are located and raised above approximately one inch from the top handle of the camcorder. The zoom toggle button and the record start stop button are located next to each other towards the back of the camera. The photo button is located just below.  The location of these buttons and features that were placed on near the top handle is ideal for creative shooting. The Sony DCR-TRV950 does not include such controls on near its top handle. The GL2 has an advantage on this feature because you are able to toggle record on and off button and easily be able to control the zoom feature button.  

20x optical zoom Every camcorder includes a manual zoom. When it comes to manual zoom control, the GL2 excels in offering the user ultimate control over the picture they are recording. The 20x optical zoom out beats the 10x optical zoom of the Sony DCR-TRV950 for the individual consumer hands down. This is because the GL2 offers a variety of options such as two zoom controls where one is located at the grip and the other is located at the top of the handle. Within the handle, you can set the speed option of the zoom variables to slow, medium or fast. The speeds of the top handle can also be set and the right side grip zooms independently for great precision.  

Outperformance The GL2 outperforms Sony DCR-TRV950 in with its aperture and shutter speed features in manual control. When you are in automatic shooting mode, you can use the exposure wheel to compensate the overall exposure by setting the exposure lock.  Clear Scan Feature The GL2 also includes a new feature on its shutter speed that is called clear scan. The shutter speed option is designed for adjusting the shutter speed based on the scan frequency of a television or a computer monitor. This added feature is a broader example of Canon including features to the camcorder with no extra cost, therefore showing respect to the individual consumer.  

F Stops Also with the GL2, you can set the aperture (depth of field) from F1.6 to F8 in 19 steps and the camcorder notifies you on the exact number of F Stops on the onscreen display. The inclusion of the numerals is a very helpful feature for the professional videographer. The DCR-TRV950 does not include the display of the number of F Stops. 

Natural Density  The Canon GL2 offers a feature that gives the consumer the ability to turn the neutral density filter on and off. No such feature is available on the DCR-TRV950. The GL2 camcorder has the advantage on the manual control feature because it is perfect to utilize for shooting bright scenes. 

3 CCD For Low Light Setting When you throw the GL2 camcorder into full manual, open up the iris, bring the shutter speed to 1/60th and turn the gain up to +18 dB your end result in utilizing the GL2 is an excellence performance in a low light setting. The better still performance in the GL2 excels over the DCR-TRV950 which because of the GL2’s slightly larger 3 CCD (charged coupled device) maximizing it’s capability of the DV format. The GL2 is able to bring in heavier light pixel than its competitor camcorder with its custom preset. 

Audio Canon concentrated on developing a solid audio camcorder within this model. The GL2 offers many audio options such as recording and monitoring than the Sony DCR-TRV950 does.         

Matrix This matrix examines the benefit of obtaining a competitive advantage through feature differentiation:  

Competitive Advantage 

Outstanding Features

                             

Consumer Care   

HIGH   DIFFERENTIATION

LOW  Conclusion When making a choice between the Canon GL2 Camcorder and the Sony DCR-TRV950 camcorder, I would recommend the GL2.  The GL2 offers better manual control which would be the overall reason for coming to this conclusion. The sleek innovative design, precision optics, digital processing, display of F stops, clear scan, top button placements, +18 dB gain level and custom preset all make for great features to enhance the picture quality for the user. The picture quality of the camcorder is very sharp with excellent lowlight performance. The camcorder is all about shooting video and is ideal for the consumer looking for great picture, manual control and excellence in video taping. If you are in the market for a camcorder that is in the $1,500 – $2,000 price range, the GL2 is a great choice. These are the valid reasons why the serious professional videographer would make the GL2 camcorder there overall product of choice. I’d strongly suggest to everyone to go with the Canon GL2.  

Jen Lyn 

 

Posted in Competition, Corporate Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Researching | 1 Comment »

Marketing 101: Typical “Buzz” Marketing Advice

Posted by iBlog on May 20, 2007

 Wanna buy? Wanna try? Marketing at it’s finest. 

Peel back the ad and smell the sweet smell of Armani cologne. Go ahead and take a whif it smells so good. Like my ex lover how he wore it so well. Wanna buy? Wanna try? Marketing at it’s finest. What’s new? This is new. Within two second like Malcom Gladwell’s Blink bestseller. Within two seconds you just know. The theory proves true. My first two seconds of taking a whif of that scent had me going and if you had asked me in that moment how I was feeling well I am sure you could have guessed. That’s marketing. Of course the allure is a mind aphrodesiac however the smell eventually wears off. 

A perfect example of buzz marketing at it’s best.

value-added_services_in_china.jpg

Nothing lasts forever in marketing. Unless at least you throw in the promoting and the constant attention generating. If you asked me, over the years of implementing hands on marketing experience, the effect is a hard working process of trying to put together pieces to the puzzle and hyping up the hype. Whether it be the people, the ad or the words it’s all a part of creating “buzz.” Buzz sure can carry you a long way during your marketing campaign.What is buzz? Buzz is marketing. Buzz marketing specifically. I never recieved mba, I never went to b-school. I learned from first hand dirty entrepreneurial experience. What I learned that I valued the most from marketing 101 beginnings was that when you start your own business you must be able to market, market, market like a guerilla!Whether it be through people or constant ad contact attention, marketing is the key word. Gaining the attention of others. Letting them know what it’s all about. How to market? Be clever, be daring be unique and stand out. Ignorance can be bliss to the newer population. But us old folks and seniors know the game. You need to get in at the right place and right time.

Don’t be typical. Don’t over hype. Too little or too much can bring disaster to your marketing campaign. Experiement and try new things and it will all make sense in time. Learn to listen, tweak and play to your audience. Imagine yourself on stage at a national talent show. The talent? Your product of course. You have to show the audience what makes your product rock. Put on a good show. Marketing is all about being creative. Get creative. Make sense. Dress it up and wow them with your intelligence. Product knowledge is icing on the cake. If you can master the art of product performance (and details do indeed earn you extra brownie points) then you are well on your way to a stellar performance.

Jen Lyn 

Posted in Business Tactics, Creativity & Culture, eCommerce, Entrepreneurship, Sales & Marketing | Leave a Comment »