Weekly Review April 24-30

With so much going on at Acceler8Success Cafe I know it’s easy to miss a newsletter or two, or possibly our Question of the Week slipped by without you noticing, or an announcement we may have made just seemingly got lost amongst the busy news feed. Well, just like an experience at your local cafe, I really want Acceler8Success Cafe to be conveniently located when you desire or need to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, and catch up on some reading.

Okay, I may be going bit far with this, but my goal is for Acceler8Success Cafe to be your virtual cafe. A place where you may frequently visit to enjoy a few minutes to yourself. I’d like the experience to be memorable by providing learning opportunities, by presenting a different perspective & insight, by spurring thought & reflection, by encouraging interaction, and by spotlighting topics that, frankly, may not be as front and center as they should or need to be.

To that end, Acceler8Success Cafe is open for business daily, seven days a week. For the benefit of current & aspiring entrepreneurs, our daily newsletter will be delivered each morning. Our Question of the Week along with an occasional announcement will be delivered at various times throughout the week.

As a way to jumpstart the week ahead, we also will deliver a weekly review each Sunday morning which will include articles you might have missed during the previous week. My goal is to provide an opportunity to begin the new week with information and ideas that possibly could accelerate your success.

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Conquering Fear “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

3 Steps Ahead of Business Ownership Whether doing so as an independent business or as a franchise there are important initial steps to take to ensure that business ownership is practical and feasible. Due diligence is essential in order to make the right decision – one that will go a long way toward minimizing risk of failure.

Sorry. Your Application Has Been Rejected! Despite being financially qualified and with a proven track record of success, is it possible for franchise candidates to be rejected for not being a “right fit” for a brand?

What role will entrepreneurs play in the economy over the next 5-10 years? This is our Question of the Week. As such, I’d really appreciate your feedback. So please, share your comments, insight and perspective in the comments section below. But first, let’s see if I can spur some thought.

Vision to Reality: A Deliberate Journey A deliberate approach led to the creation of the Acceler8Success mantra that is often seen alongside a black panther whose approach in getting to its goal is nothing less than deliberate.

Maintaining Work Life Balance Here’s to a great weekend and a productive stress-free week ahead. Please share this with others as there are far too many that have a difficult time managing stress and especially so during what are seemingly uncertain times.

Are you ready for National Small Business Week May 1-7, 2022?

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As we prepare to celebrate National Small Business Week 2022, it’s the perfect time to announce the new franchise & business opportunity platform by Acceler8Success Group. In its final stages of development, I anticipate an official introduction within the next 7-10 days.

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“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn

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Acceler8Success Cafe Small Business Weekly

Small Business Weekly

Are You an Entrepreneur? The Answer Might Surprise You! (credit: addicted2success.com)

They don’t wait to be told what to do, or for conditions to be perfect, or to be handed the resources they need on a platter. In the spirit of a famous slogan, they just go out and do it. End of story. Sounds simple, right? But it’s not an easy process by any means.

It’s this kind of spirit that sees success as inevitable after hundreds of failures, rejections and setbacks. It’s this kind of spirit that enables the entrepreneur to pick themselves up off the floor, dust themselves off, and start all over again, even where the outcome is uncertain. It’s this kind of spirit that can hold a dream in perfect suspension in the imagination, believing in it even in the face of all odds, until the day it’s there in solid reality.

And the best part? You don’t even have to be building your own business to have entrepreneurial spirit. You can be working to transform a business – someone else’s business, or even the ‘business’ of a non-profit, university or government. This is called being an intrepreneur.

Admittedly this can be extremely challenging. You often won’t have control over all the resources you need. However, don’t forget our definition! Entrepreneurs progress with determination towards their goals despite not having the resources under their control. That’s the entrepreneurial way.

Read more HERE.

4 Keys to Growing Yourself as an Entrepreneur (credit: startupmindset.com)

If you are considering the entrepreneurial journey, then you may have already weighed many of the pros and cons in taking on this new venture. From the financial aspect and its commitment, to the hours of hard work and personal time sacrificed, to finally the personnel and logistics that goes into a company, the entrepreneur’s path is not an easy one.

However, what’s the fun in taking the easy path in life all the time? Entrepreneurship is a challenge, one that can be daunting due to the weight of its expectations in the final result being a success for both yourself and the people you serve and employ. Regardless of all the scare tactics one can tell themselves when thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, there is so much more this journey offers than just a monetary benefit.

Becoming an entrepreneur is not just about the hard work you put into opening a business, but also about the personal growth one endures as well. The path of entrepreneurship is one that can test an individual in many ways, but ultimately, teaches invaluable life lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom or at a seminar.

Here are some examples where becoming an entrepreneur can grow a person in ways that one never thought possible, and why experience is so crucial in becoming a better leader and boss.

Read more HERE.

Ready or Not: My Experience Launching a Side Hustle in 121 Days (credit: success.com)

The handwritten check arrived in a plain envelope. I signed and deposited it right away. Normally I would have then shredded it. But not this one. I’m saving this one.

It’s from my friend Fred “Honey Pot” Williams, a 61-year-old gastroenterologist and beekeeper, and it’s the first revenue from a side hustle I started with another friend, the first check I’ve gotten since graduating college for producing anything other than words. It feels like the first check of the rest of my life.

That’s certainly an overstatement. But I’m excited to stretch out into something new and for conceiving, planning and executing the first product: an adventure I dreamed up called 50-50-50 in which Honey Pot, eight others and I hiked 50 miles, biked 50 miles and canoed 50 miles, all in one five-day weekend. The 50s were a hook to celebrate my 50th birthday and just happened to form a great marketing shtick for an adventure trip. 

I’ve had a thousand half-baked side hustle ideas; this is the first one I’ve allowed to cook until it was edible. The difference between all those half-baked ideas and this delicious one is simple: passion. I wanted, needed, had to try this one. 

Life’s too short to pursue things you don’t love. If you’ve got that idea—that challenging, exciting, can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head-idea—I urge you to stop thinking about it, stop daydreaming about it, and start doing it

Maybe you can learn from my journey. Here’s how it went.

Read more HERE.

Have a great week. Make it happen. Make it count!

Learn about Acceler8Success Group services & resources for current and aspiring entrepreneurs by visiting our website at Acceler8Success.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Small Business Weekly

Small Business Weekly is the weekly edition of Acceler8Success Cafe newsletter on LinkedIn. Moving forward, the newsletter will transition from a weekly to a daily publication. It will then be shared here on Acceler8Success Cafe blog for the benefit of our subscribers. We certainly do not want to leave our loyal followers behind. If you like what you see upon previewing this new content, please take a few minutes to subscribe so the blog will be in your email each morning. If you would, please also share with your friends & colleagues. It’d be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Small Business Weekly

Number of Women in Franchising Has Grown Each Year Since 2016 (credit: 1851franchise.com)

There has never been a better time to be a woman business owner. 

For Women’s History Month, Franchise500’s Jeff Cheatham offered a look at the impressive strides females have made in the franchising industry, which indicates a promising future for women in the industry. 

First, Cheatham looked at how much the rate of women-owned businesses has grown in the last half-century. The U.S. Census Bureau started keeping records of female entrepreneurs in 1972, when just 400,000 companies were women-owned. Today’s statistics show over 13 million businesses owned by women, a staggering 3,150% increase. Women now account for about one-third of small business owners and franchisees, Guidant Financial reports.

When it comes to interest in franchise ownership, women are currently outnumbering men in exploring possible investments, Franchise Insights reports. And that trend shows no sign of slowing; the number of women becoming franchisees has risen steadily for the last five years.

About 33% of all female business owners and franchisees have been running their operations for more than a decade, the Guidant Financial data shows.

As gas prices rise, small business owners slam Biden’s ‘shortsighted’ energy policies: ‘Out of touch’ (credit:foxbusiness.com)

The pressure that the coronavirus pandemic put on small business, coupled with the historic inflation and spiking gas prices as the Russia-Ukraine war wages and relative inaction by the Biden administration, is creating a rapidly deteriorating situation for small business owners and operators.

Gas prices have reached historic levels amid soaring inflation in the wake of the pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine. In an effort to combat soaring gas prices, the Biden administration has already released tens of millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but it has not been enough to have an impact. Meanwhile, the administration’s ban on Russian energy imports further tightened supply.

Some of the hardest hit have been small business across the U.S., who told Fox News Digital that they are struggling to keep their doors open and are demanding the Biden administration take immediate action to help them.

Read more HERE.

Funding Your Business Dreams at Benetrends

Get fast, economical, custom funding and realize your small business or startup dreams with help from Benetrends Financial. Our experts provide an innovative approach to help you achieve the ideal funding you need to get your ideas off the ground for long-term entrepreneurial success!

From unemployment to entrepreneurship (credit: yourstory.com)

Over a million Indians move to the US each year, but finding a job can be a tough task. Priyanka Botny found herself in such a situation. 

Unwilling to give up, she decided on becoming an immigrant entrepreneur and started Playonomics — an online experiential learning platform for employees to improve their emotional intelligence. 

Priyanka says often focusing on IT infrastructure takes away attention from employee wellbeing. “We help in bringing that intelligence to build emotional skills, along with digital transformation at organisations,” Priyanka explains. 

The startup focuses on decision-making and using human emotions to further digital transformation. 

Read more HERE.

Fast Food and Quick Service Restaurant Market Development, Trends, Demand and Forecast Till 2022-2027 (credit: marioniniversitysabre.com)

According to IMARC Group’s latest report, titled “Fast Food and Quick Service Restaurant Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2022-2027”, the global market reached a value of US$ 232.3 Billion in 2021. Fast food and quick service restaurants (QSRs) serve fast foods that are cooked and packed in advance. They are commonly a part of a franchise or a food chain, wherein standardized ingredients are available for food preparation. These types of restaurants have minimal table service and generally offer takeaway options. Some of the widely available foods and beverages in these restaurants include pizza, pasta, soft drinks, coffee, tea, juices and burgers.

The global market is primarily driven by significant growth in the food and beverages industry. Along with this, the inflating disposable incomes, changing dietary patterns and the shifting lifestyle preferences of the masses are creating a positive outlook for the market. Additionally, the hectic schedules and busy lifestyles led by the working professionals have resulted in a rise in the consumption of on-the-go food items, thereby providing an impetus to the market growth. Some of the other factors contributing to the market growth include the increasing penetration of social media, easy food availability via online delivery options and innovative marketing strategies adopted by numerous players. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the global fast food and quick service restaurant market to reach US$ 308 Billion by 2027, exhibiting at a CAGR of 4.9% during 2022-2027.

Read more HERE.

Have a great week. Make it happen. Make it count!

Learn about Acceler8Success Group services & resources for current and aspiring entrepreneurs by visiting our website at Acceler8Success.com.

Acceler8Success Cafe Daily Thursday 10.29.20

Every Company Needs an Entrepreneur in the C-Suite

Innovation thrives when it has power and status within an organization. To enable real innovative growth — and rapid response in the face of such crises such as Covid-19 — boards and company leaders must structure top organizational roles to give innovative efforts the resources and attention they need. In our work on business model innovation with over 100 large and medium-sized companies, we’ve found that companies looking for transformation have two good options: an entrepreneurial CEO or a powerful chief entrepreneur. Read more here.

7 Entrepreneurship Stages Will Propel You to Where You Need to Go

The road to becoming an entrepreneur is a journey, and it’s not a short trip. In my efforts to assist aspiring business owners like you, I find that too many see it as a short sprint to get over that one hurdle, like finding that innovative idea, or attracting an investor. In reality, I find that there are multiple stages to the process, each requiring a unique mindset and focused effort along the way. I was pleased to find a new book, The Entrepreneur’s Faces, by Johnathan Littman and Susanna Camp, which outlines the key stages and provides examples of real people making the transformation from one stage to the next. Read more here.

If you wouldn’t think about building a house without blueprints, why would you consider building a business without blueprints? Like plans for a home, business blueprints should include each component necessary for long-term benefit. Whether exploring franchise ownership or growing your brand via franchising, Franchise Foundry can help ensure you have the right blueprints specifically for you! Learn more here.

What Restaurant Sectors Thrived During The Pandemic?

Why did some restaurant chains sales thrive so quickly after the pandemic?

This week’s episode of the Restaurant Business podcast “A Deeper Dive” features Lorn Davis, who leads corporate and product strategy at the financial data firm Facteus. The company has been reporting sales using debit card information since the start of the pandemic, and its weekly reports have provided some key insights into the direction of retail and restaurant spending. Davis discusses some of the sectors performing particularly well, such as chicken wings, and those that have a longer runway for improvement, like coffee. He talks about the factors that have influenced the sectors’ success and failure, and he discusses how consumers have changed since the start of the pandemic—and how much of that change could be permanent. Listen to podcast here.

Jersey Mike’s Subs CEO Peter Cancro to join MFHA President Gerry Fernandez to talk about the path to Black restaurant franchise ownership

Peter Cancro, CEO of Jersey Mike’s Subs will be a keynote speaker at Restaurants Rise powered by MUFSO on its final day, Thursday, Oct. 29, at 3 p.m. EDT, in discussion on the path to Black franchise ownership, brought to you by PepsiCo Foodservice.

Cancro will be joined by Karim Webb, CEO of 4thMVMT and co-founder of PCF Restaurant Management — a franchisee of Buffalo Wild Wings — and Hugh Roth, senior vice president and chief customer and business development officer for PepsiCo’s Global Foodservice Division. The panel will be moderated by Gerry Fernandez, president and founder of the Multicultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance (MFHA). TIME SENSITIVE: Read more here.

5 Best Business Ideas for 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a flurry of challenges, from finding small business funding, short-term business closures, quarantines, and mask-wearing to sharp declines in storefront traffic and more.  So there is no doubt that many entrepreneurs threw in the towel this year. Despite all of this, the data shows that 2021 will be a great time to go into business for yourself. Let’s take a look at some trends shaping new businesses next year and five of the best entrepreneurial ideas for capitalizing on them. If you’re considering starting a small business in 2021, there are some trends to consider before making your plan. Read more here.

As Small Business Saturday is just around the corner please keep in mind that franchises are also small business. Franchise owners are very much the same as Mom & Pop businesses across America having invested their life savings to achieve the American Dream of owning a business. #ShopSmall and #ShopFranchise on #SmallBusinessSaturday.

Franchising Not [Completely] Respected by American Express!

Yes, today is Small Business Saturday and I urge you to support local business everywhere. That being said, please remember that franchises are small businesses as well, and are locally owned and operated. Unfortunately, despite efforts to educate American Express about franchising, they still found it necessary to place limitations on franchising’s involvement by excluding franchises with over 100 locations.

I’m concerned about the local franchisees of BrightStar Care, Rita’s Italian Ice, Red Mango, Nothing Bundt Cakes or of the many other franchise brands whose franchisees invested their hard earned money and savings to develop a business in their local area, just like the Mom & Pop proprietors have done. A small business is a small business. Period.

Franchising is very much small business and AMEX would certainly have a different opinion if all franchises stopped taking the American Express Card! Yes, please visit and support local businesses, including franchise locations, but as a true sign of support for ALL small business owners, about your American Express Card, please do leave home without it!

And, it’s not like American Express wasn’t made aware of franchising’s role in small business.

Last year I wrote numerous articles and actually had multiple phone calls with senior executives at AMEX. All appeared to be on track for including franchising in Small Business Saturdays. I even followed up with phone calls mid-summer to make certain last year’s debacle wasn’t repeated. I was assured all was in order, that they did their research and yes, franchising would be well-represented in this year’s Small Business Saturday event. Well, shame on me for following up, but not following through. You can be assured that will not happen again.

Here are links to last year’s articles which I will build upon for 2013…

Franchising Excluded from AMEX Small Business Saturday Events

Franchises Are Not Small Business?

Franchises Excluded From Small Business Saturday – AMEX Responds!

Was Franchising Slapped in the Face by American Express by Accident?

AMEX Reassessing Policies for Small Business Saturday


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Franchising Excluded from AMEX Small Business Saturday Events!

This Saturday, November 26th is the 2nd Annual American Express Small Business Saturday. Most likely you have seen advertising and promotions for the event. Possibly you’ve seen the event’s Facebook page that has over 2.3 million LIKES. If you spend as much time online as I have you, then you have definitely seen promo after promo mentioning the event.

Well, franchising, supposedly the cornerstone of small business and as many claim, the driving force behind economic recovery in America, has been excluded from the event. Here’s the AMEX notice…

ELIGIBILITY: The Program is only available to independently owned businesses. Small business cannot promote any of the following: pharmaceuticals, drugs, politics, pornography or sexual aids, diet aids, gambling, liquor, tobacco, firearms/weapons, or any sensitive topic with respect to current events, and any such small businesses are not eligible for this Program. Franchisees, national chains and government agencies are not eligible. By participating in this Program, you represent and warrant that (i) your business complies with the requirements set forth herein and (ii) you are the owner of the business and have the right to participate in this Program.

Yet, American Express heavily solicits franchise brands and franchisees to accept the American Express Card. And, as we all know, at a higher rate than that of Visa and MasterCard. Not to mention the fact that American Express typically exhibits at franchise conferences and trade shows where they promote AMEX Merchant Services. Besides, aren’t franchise locations independently owned and operated?

At the very least, franchisees should be able to participate locally even if franchise brands are prohibited from participating at the national level!

So, do you believe American Express was correct in excluding franchise brands and franchisees from Small Business Saturday? What are your thoughts?

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Top Five Social Media Tips For Small Business

The following article was written by Guest Author, Linda Daichendt. Linda is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses, and a Strategic Partner of franchisEssentials. She is a recognized expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at linda@strategicgrowthconcepts.com and the company website at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

Top 5 Social Media Tips for Small Business
by Linda Daichendt
as posted on Marketing With New Technology July 16, 2009
(Please Note: some content in this posting is from an article by Mya Frazier for Bankrate.com)

A few years ago, using the Internet to market a small business simply meant to create a presence online with a simple, informational Web site. Then came the demands of search engine optimization to ensure Google and Yahoo searches yielded top-ranked results for your company. Was your business’s Web site chock full of the key search terms that would bring it to the attention of customers?

social-media-trendsToday, social media is transforming the small-business marketing landscape. Social media are Web- or mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information. It’s not just for seeing who your high school sweetheart married. Businesses can tap into powerful networking sites and other social media to drive customers to their shops or companies.

If done right, small-business owners might even be able to slash their traditional marketing spending to zero. Writing blogs (short for “Web logs”) or on-going online commentary using social-networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, can provide inexpensive but powerful online marketing.

Because it’s free, people think it’s easy to create a social media presence. But this attitude can lead to missteps. So before you dive headlong into social media, take some time to observe the customs and social norms of these new forms of communications, says David Spark, founder of Spark Media Solutions, a San Francisco-based firm that helps companies tell their story through social media. “Also think about your strategy for effectively utilizing social media before you jump in,” says Linda Daichendt, CEO/Managing Consultant of Strategic Growth Concepts. “It’s easier to avoid costly mistakes before you begin than to correct them after they’ve done damage to your company’s reputation.”

New_rules_of_marketing_and_PR“Think of social media as a cocktail party,” says, David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” and “World Wide Rave,” books about how to create buzz online. “You don’t go into the cocktail party and go into the middle room and scream at the top of your lungs and say, ‘Buy my products.’ … What works is you have some meaningful conversation first. And that’s just how social media works.”

If you decide to take the social-networking plunge, here are five ways to harness social media to help your business.

1. Use free sites. Use free online services, such as the mobile short-message site Twitter, and popular networking sites Facebook and MySpace, to post significant news, specials or events. For example, you run a small Italian restaurant with a loyal following. You could create a Twitter account and upload the lunch or dinner specials via “tweets,” or short messages of up to 140 characters, daily to customers’ smart phones or to other Web sites.

“All you have to do is give a (Twitter) handle and start a conversation. You could put the Twitter handle on the menu or in the restaurant,” says Chris Abraham, Abraham Harrison LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based digital public relations agency. Granted, social networking sites are still for early adopters. “You aren’t going to get Aunt Matilda to tweet about the experience she had at dinner,” Abraham says.

Abraham considers Twitter one of the easiest ways for a newbie to social media to get started. “It’s more challenging to do Facebook,” Abraham says. “You have to create a personal profile, create a page and so on. With Twitter, if you’re Joe Smith with Motorcycle Emporium, you don’t have to create a page. And you can create Twitter updates via a phone or mobile device easily.”

“Don’t try to reinvent the wheel,” he says. “There are lots of people sold on really expensive solutions, but two of the best investments for reaching out to people and engaging with them are free on Twitter and Facebook.”

2. Shift marketing costs to social media. After learning how social networking operates, use social media to free up traditional marketing dollars for your small business by putting it online. You can quickly learn which of your Facebook or MySpace “friends” or online “group” members received and responded to your message.

Stanya Doty has cut her print marketing budget to zero. As owner of Simple Indulgences, a wine and high-end gift shop in Delaware, Ohio, she began using Facebook in December 2008 to communicate with her brother but quickly realized the online marketing possibilities.

“I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, there are so many people here,’ ” she says. Indeed, Facebook boasts 200 million users worldwide. In April 2009, she began promoting monthly wine tastings via a Facebook page for the shop that quickly attracted 100 members. Combined with an e-newsletter created using the do-it-yourself, e-mail marketing Web site Constant Contact, she keeps enough buzz going about her shop that her advertising budget for local print ads no longer seemed necessary. She usually sends out about 700 e-mails, with the response rate sometimes reaching nearly 50 percent. It sure beats a postal mailing. “If I sent out a postcard with postage and paid for all that, I’d still have no idea who read it and who threw it away,” she says.

Indeed, unlike a print ad, Doty gets instant, measurable results. “On Facebook, you can see who has responded to invites,” she says. “It’s easy, it’s cheap and I’m actually appealing to people that at first know me from the store and then hopefully … pass the word along throughout their networks.”

google-yahoo-thumb23. Do your own social-media optimization project. Learn about the competition in your industry and geographic region that are tapping social networking. Spark recommends starting by researching the competition in the major search engines — Google and Yahoo.

“Type in keywords and phrases that people would use to find you, like ‘plumber’ and ‘San Francisco.’ If you don’t appear in the top percentage of pages, take a look at the Website of those plumbers that do show up,” says Spark. “Look at their pages, and usually they will have a lot of content on their sites.”

To increase a business’s presence on the Internet, Spark advocates companies create blogs, newsletters and other articles on their sites to bolster the number of keywords — terms that search engines recognize — to boost their ranking in all-important Web searches.

“That’s the way people discover you,” he says. “Take that plumber in San Francisco. The right search terms might just be ‘clogged toilet and San Francisco.’” “That tells me I should write … in my blog about how to fix a clogged toilet and mention that I am a plumber in San Francisco,” he says.

4. Take social-network marketing to the next level. Create and post richer content about what your customers would expect from someone in your business. Don’t view social media sites as a place to simply hype your wares. It’s a place for conversation.

“Social media is about earning attention,” says David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” and “World Wide Rave,” books about how to create buzz online. “What’s most important is to forget about what your company does. Instead, think about the people who are buying your products. Simply hyping products and services online and in social media sites completely backfires. People are not looking for products but for something fun. They are looking to make connections,” Scott says.

So it’s all about having something interesting to say or show. It could be a blog, or a video on the video-sharing Website YouTube.

For example, if you’re a caterer, instead of talking about your service, create engaging culinary content. Imagine positioning yourself as a gourmet magazine on the Web, complete with links to a video you uploaded to YouTube.

“A caterer could create a blog with information about how to create a fantastic party, and each blog post or YouTube video could be another installment,” Scott says. “On the Web, you are what you publish and being on the Web is about publishing information.”

So back to that plumber faced with the prospect of dropping an expensive Yellow Pages listing but worried about customers not finding him if they have a burst pipe or a misfiring shower head. Scott recommends the plumber post a list of “the 100 home fixes for common plumbing problems.”

“All of a sudden you are going to get indexed very highly in the search engines, and people are going to share that content with their friends,” he says. “When someone puts an update on Facebook asking if anyone knows a good plumber in Boston, a friend might point to your content.”

blogging5. Use blogging to drive search results and help new customers find you. Lately, blogging has gained greater attention, with the advent of “micro-blogging” on Twitter. But consider the time commitment and strategy before launching an account.

Even with the spread of micro-blogging, Abraham remains a big fan of traditional blogs, which are lengthier and show up on Web sites. In general, no matter what form the blog takes, it should be consistent over time.

“If you can’t keep up one (blog) post a day or 12 tweets a day, do one tweet every Thursday. Consistency in blogging or tweeting will create a relationship of trust with your followers or readers. Do it once a week, but for the next two years,” Abraham says.

And don’t spend extra money on blogging software, technical help, or a ghost writer for your blog. To get started, sign up with WordPress.com or Blogger – both are free blogging platforms which are easy to use for beginners.

Additional opportunities within the social media environment include: online radio shows on platforms such as BlogTalkRadio, social networking sites such as LinkedIN, Plaxo, and FriendFeed, and a wide variety of additional tools as well depending on your type of business.

Following these social media basics for small business will get your company started on the right road to gaining new customers and increased revenue via social media.

Startups: Do We Really Need Them?

bonsai-treeI recently responded to a group discussion on LinkedIn where an MBA student asked the question, “Do we need startups?” This student went on to add, ” I just read Digital Darwinism by Evan Schwartz and it led me to wonder, with so many startups I hear about each day, How many actually serve a purpose? How many actually provide a non redundant solution to a problem?” After considerable thought, I responded accordingly…

Interesting thought. “Recycled” businesses instead of closed businesses. If you can’t make it, give someone else a shot. Diversification would be a necessity. Successful business may be worth more.

On the other side of the coin, startups brought us Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Henry Ford just to name a few. Would they have been as innovative working for a company as opposed to blazing the trails themselves? What would the world have missed without them? Would tomorrow’s Gates, Jobs, Disneys and Fords be left to work “within the box” as opposed to “outside the box?”

I have not even begun to think about the rise of even more powerful companies resulting in massive monopolies. In the end, would we wind up with just a small handful of enormous conglomerates owning and operating every industry? Or, could we end up with only one all powerful entity controlling all industries, and the world?

No startups? I think not! But still an interesting thought to say the least.

So, back to answering your question – I believe they all serve a purpose in lending to innovation and creativity that are vital to our future. Vital to democracy. Vital to free enterprise. Vital to helping third world countries. Vital to making the world a better place for today and tomorrow.

Redundant solutions? Without startups clicking at their heals, would companies continue to improve on solutions they’ve developed or just stop as they developed the solutions and then just sit back and rake in the profits. Afterall, why continue spending millions in improving on your solutions if no one else is working on a more effective solution. In simple terms, if we’ve created a trap that will catch mice, do we really need a better mousetrap? Maybe not from the practical sense. But what if we could catch a mouse a different way and it’s more cost effective? Or, maybe it has less health risks. Or more humane?

Social Networking and Business Growth: A Winning Combination

Social Networking is the perfect answer to growing your business, economic downturn or not.

networking-photosOver time, personal interaction within a social networking environment creates trust. In turn, it develops relationships, shares information, provides two-way communications, and provides points of reference for follow up. It creates a multi-tiered platform of information that benefits both business development and customer generation efforts alike. Often, simultaneously.

How are you using social networking (and Web 2.0 tools) to grow your business? Are you using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to full benefit? Need some questions answered? Post them below and we’ll be sure to answer them. If we don’t have the answers you need, we’ll get them for you as soon as possible.

Will the Economic Stimulus Bill Create New Franchise Opportunities?

The following article was written by Guest Author, Ray Haliber. By accessing his franchise website at www.azfranchises.com, you’ll find Ray offers a resource for entrepreneurs to find and research franchise opportunities for sale from A to Z. Ray has ten years’ experience as a small business broker in Arizona. His small business site may be previewed at www.azbop.comfinancialaid-photo.

Will the Economic Stimulus Bill Create New Franchise Opportunities?
as submitted by Ray Haliber

With the recent passing of the huge economic stimulus package there has been some speculation about whether some of its provisions will create or spur the development of new franchise business opportunities in certain industries like health care or renewable energy. The obvious question is whether major government incentives and investments in these 2 highlighted industry sectors will create sustainable franchise business models after the initial boost from the stimulus spending bill plays out.

In my opinion the answer is that this is a very realistic development given the scope of the stimulus bill and some of stated new policies of the current administration regarding health care and energy. In fact, potential small business opportunities emerging from the stimulus bill are becoming more obvious, (particularly in renewable energy) and appear to have a very good chance to create some viable franchising opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Heath Care: According to what I have read, the economic stimulus package includes nearly $20 billion dollars to help digitize or computerize health and medical records in the United States. I would think this could present some serious potential opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs because obviously private companies will become involved in providing services for this enormous and long term project.

Even with the recent news that Sam’s Club and Dell intend to enter this market by selling software to digitize medical records doesn’t mean there will not be plenty of other niche opportunities and markets available to develop and service. According to recent stats only about 17% of doctors offices are currently digitizing medical records. And with nearly 800,000 active physicians in the United States, many with small to medium size practices, their will undoubtedly be opportunities for smaller players to develop business franchising models that can service business opportunities that emerge from this program.

Renewable Energy: From what I have read and heard nearly $60 billion of the $790 billion stimulus bill will be spent on alternative and clean energy projects and other environmental related projects and research. This includes billions of dollars for greening government buildings, weatherizing homes and businesses, and providing significant tax credits and grants to help fund and subsidize renewable energy applications across the board.

Surely this type of massive government investment will almost certainly spawn a number of new franchising concepts to service the emerging business and consumer needs that will be created by this commitment. This would conceivably include the development of solar power related service franchises that would provide installation of photovoltaic panels for residential and commercial applications. Or green consulting franchises that would provide expertise to commercial businesses on how to “go green” or conserve energy. Or maybe new home improvement related franchise businesses will emerge that specializes in weatherization and residential energy efficiency.

In summary it’s going to be an interesting time to see how the franchising industry will adapt and ultimately capitalize on the potential business opportunities and new markets that will be created and supported by the stimulus bill spending. My guess is that it should ultimately produce some viable and profitable franchise companies that may someday become familiar household names and brands.