I have recently been given the opportunity to work with a remarkable individual - Let's call him Sam. Sam grew up as the 10th child in a large family. His father was a small dry land farmer. They were so poor that they did not have enough food to feed all the children. Sam left his home at age 10 because he wanted to attend school. He was always hungry. His day went like this. Sam woke at 5AM, studied, prayed, attended school, prayed, ate, studied until 10PM then did it again the next day. Eventually he married, immigrated to the United Stated and earned his PhD from the University of California Berkley. Wow.
Sam now lives in a nice house on the west coast, has two children, and is a well respected teacher and scientist. Sam contacted me because he wants to become an entrepreneur. When I asked him "Why change direction", he said, "I cannot achieve my goals on my current path. I must create a different future." I then asked him what his goals were that demanded a different path. He said "there are thousands of poor children in my home village just like I was as a child. Only a business will give me the chance to create sufficient wealth and income to support the needs of all those children. They all deserve the same chance I had and I am determined to give them that chance to grow up and follow their dreams."
Many of us tend to take things for granted. We have food in the fridge, we have a roof over our head and we have schools to attend. Sam's story put many things in perspective. Life's challenges are what strengthen us. Confidence is not gained by winning, it is gained by overcoming. I think Sam will be successful. What do you think?
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
| Borrowing Money- The Right Way.|
We all know that small business lending is down. Still, despite the lending challenges facing small business owners, there are loans being approved and, although it's never easy nowadays, small business owners are getting approved for many different forms of financing to start, build and grow their businesses.
Here's the question: Are you getting the right loan and borrowing the right way so you do all you can to ensure that you can get the next loan you'll need for the continued growth of your business?
Some entrepreneurs think that the only goal of borrowing is to get approved or just to have some form of financing they can use. But it's bigger than that. It's actually common for businesses to grow and then to need additional capital to propel themselves to the next level. It's also common for things like debt and credit mistakes to stop them from qualifying for that additional capital.
Here are the four biggest dangers of borrowing money the wrong way when building a business:
Go to Small Business Trends, Click Here
SBA Loans Hit Record Volume for 2011
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has concluded its 2011 fiscal year with the highest loan volume ever in the agency's history. SBA Administrator Karen Mills said the loan growth continued a trend started in 2009 and that SBA-backed lending has reached pre-recession levels.
"SBA-backed lending continued the upward trend we saw last year," Mills said in announcing the total loan volume of over $30 billion. "Due to the Small Business Jobs Act ... over 61,000 small businesses had access to capital."
In fiscal year 2011, which ended September 30, the SBA approved $30.5 billion (61,689 loans) to small businesses and startups through its two largest loan programs. The continues the growth from $22.6 billion (60,771 loans) in FY 2010 and $17.9 billion (50,830 loans) in FY2009. Th total for 2011 included approximately $5.8 billion in loans to more than 16,000 startups, the most since FY2008.
| A Success Story.
MANATEE -- When Michael Grothe, a former banker, heard from his franchise consultant that he should check out a company called ShelfGenie, Grothe said he almost told him "not to bother."
"But I shut up and listened," said Grothe, who left the banking business because he felt it had become more about collecting money from people rather than helping them pursue opportunity. "And in the end, I really fell in love with the business model of ShelfGenie."
Just over six months into his new franchise, Grothe is seeing his sales steadily increase. He now realizes that he was a great match with ShelfGenie, a nationwide company that installs space-saving dividers into kitchens, pantries and closets.
Grothe's story is one that could be shared by scores, if not hundreds, of people whom franchise consultant Rick Bisio has advised over the past decade.
Go To The Bradenton Herald, Click Here
| Use and Misuse of Social Media - NetFlix Style
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings this week announced in his blog that the company was abandoning the idea it had announced last month (in Hasting's blog) that it would split its business into two parts. One, Qwikster, would stream movies over the Internet. The other, good old Netflix, would continue mailing DVDs to its customers in those iconic red envelopes. In this week's blog, Hastings admitted that Qwikster was a bad idea, pulled the plug, and apologized. This October apology followed his September apology for the way Netflix handled the July announcement (in a blog by marketing VP Jessie Becker) of a price hike for the streaming plan that took the cost of adding streaming to mailing from $2 to $7.99.
The first comment (out of 5,000) on Becker's blog read, in its entirety, "Are you F#**!!@! kidding me?"
Go to CFO.com, Click Here
There is a reality in life. Greater knowledge drives better decisions and better decisions reduce business risk. Franchising is all about risk reduction but not all franchises are low risk. The Educated Franchisee is designed to empower you. By following the advice and guidance presented in this book you will recognize high quality franchises and confidently pass over those that are not.