They say that you shouldn’t invest in an organization in which the participants don’t have “skin in the game”. There was a classic story told in which a group was meeting with an investment company to decide if they should make an investment in that company. The group asked the company where the employees had their own personal money. When told the employees had their money in bonds and other investment vehicles other than the investment company at issue, the group left the meeting. Nothing more needed to be said. Why should outsiders invest if those on the inside aren’t investing?
I had the opportunity this past weekend to hear Al Sacco speak about his journey to space as a payload specialist on board the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1995. Dr. Sacco, who is now the dean of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech University, was chosen for the mission because of his work in chemical engineering. When I listen to amazing experiences like Dr. Sacco’s, I try to think of ways that it relates to my own life, since I can assure you I’m not going to going into space any day soon. And, it came to me that launching a business has the same requirements as a launch into space and that WESST is to our clients like NASA is to its astronauts.
A man stepped into my office seeking business-startup assistance. The frantic look on his face and his uneasy demeanor caused me to label him as ‘desperate’ (the worst position to be in when starting a business). Automatically, I went through a series of questions regarding his business idea: did he have experience, money, and a passion? I also wanted to know about his personal finances – was he expecting to support himself right away from the business or did he have a “day job”?
Setting goals the SMART way can help you reach your goals, whether it’s a short-term goal of losing 15 pounds or a long-term one of saving enough money to start a business. The act of writing goals down forces you (and me) to focus on those goals in a SMART way. So, this year, I resolve to turn my resolutions into SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and within a reasonable Time-frame.
Even though buying on credit is convenient, it is not always a good decision. Once a person crosses that line, of buying now and paying later, the process becomes more tempting to buy items we do not need or items that are on sale. Instead we should be asking ourselves, “Can I pay off the debt in a month before interest is added?” “What is the long-term benefit of this purchase?” “Will I end up paying more (in the long run) for the item than it is worth?” “If I had the cash, would I make that purchase?” “Is it a need or a want?” The wise reasons for not using credit cards are:
You hear it all the time, “I wish someone taught me financial education when I was in school. That sure would have saved me from learning the hard way!” It is a hot button topic right now, especially considering the current state of the economy. Can we prevent future generations from repeating our mistakes? The answer to that question is a resounding “YES!”
As a non-profit, WESST only exists because of people and organizations giving us money to do what we do best—helping entrepreneurs from the idea stage to actually starting and expanding their own self-sufficient businesses. What is the perspective of our investors? Our investors want to know that the investment they are making is a good one. To answer that question, we have to be able to produce actual, quantifiable results.
Last week, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) New Mexico chapter presented its first time ever program, Go Global with NAWBO. “With the world getting smaller and with increasing competition from foreign and domestic sources, NAWBO wanted to present options to members and guests on how to grow their businesses with exporting opportunities.
As news of Google’s official launch of Google+ Pages for Business spread rapidly across the Internet on Monday afternoon, digital marketers and brand managers for big companies scrambled to get their G+ pages created for their brands. I, too, rushed to get a page created for WESST by early afternoon. Did I jump on board too soon? Should you bother creating a Google+ page for your small business?
So, your business plan has proved to be a good tool — a roadmap essential to your building a successful business domestically. Maybe you sell regionally or throughout the U.S. and now you are thinking of expanding your business to international markets. Good thought since exporting can even out sales and cash flow. But before spending too much time and money on research, there are a few things to contemplate before you begin your Export Business Plan.