Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sound Advice: Venture Capital Forms

In case you are wondering what is involved when you receive venture capital, these documents are free and created using the “best of breed practices” and, in addition to the Venture Capital community, can be used by entrepreneurs to prepare themselves for the onslaught of due diligence and general paperwork required for almost any financing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sound Advice: Pitfalls To Avoid When Operating a Family-Run Business

Family-owned businesses face unique issues—succession planning, marriages and divorces, complicated relationships—as well as routine issues that emerge around turf battles, shareholder control, compensation structures, and processes for strategic decision-making.

Without proper documentation in place to help address these and other issues when they arise, the family-owned business is at risk from an operational, management and financial perspective. Regardless of its legal structure (e.g., corporation, limited liability company, or partnership), the family-owned business can avoid many problems down the line and better position itself for success if relationships between business owners are carefully documented.

Find out more here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sound Advice: The Semantics of "Work"

Here's the author's lead:
Workforce Crisis had just been published; my coauthors and I had dedicated the book to our five teenage children.

“Hey, Mom! Do you want to hear something funny?” my then-16-year-old daughter asked. “You guys have just dedicated a book on the workforce to people who never plan to be in it!”

Now, despite what it sounds like, I’m (reasonably) confident that she is not planning a life of leisure. She’s an energetic and ambitious young woman. But whatever the word “workforce” triggers in her mind, it does not describe a club she wants to join.

The ways young people respond to the language of work give us some interesting clues on the preferences of our newest adults.
Read more here. Hint: The most enlightening part is the comment area. What's your reaction?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sound Advice: How Global Is Your Business?

How global is your business, really? Put your company to the test with Pankaj Ghemawat's Globalization Survey, and after completing it, download a free PDF of his 2006 McKinsey Award-winning article, "Regional Strategies for Global Leadership."

I completed the test and it takes about 8-10 minutes. Very substantial and well-thought out. Make sure you answer all the questions -- otherwise it won't take -- and include an email address (at the beginning) to receive the free PDF article!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Race To Creativity. Will You Win?

As you know, companies simply can't survive, let alone grow, without ingenuity and originality. UPS (who happens to be a WPO national sponsor!) understands this and today kicked off a program that seeks the best small businesses across the globe -- from Alabama to Argentina and from Zimbabwe to New Zealand.

Dubbed the UPS Best “Out-of-the-Box” Small Business Contest, the program is designed for companies with annual 2006 revenues of at least $250,000 but not more than $10 million -- you do not have to be a WPO member to register -- and is a way for UPS to reward small businesses using creative, innovative ideas and concepts.

Prizes for the winners range from $5,000 to $25,000 in cash, plus an IBM (also a WPO national sponsor) small business package. This is the first year that small businesses from around the world -- not just those in the United States -- are eligible to participate.

I participated in this event last year as a global small business expert panelist and it was a mind-liberating experience. I met so many innovative small business owners and still wear the decorative pin that one of the winners made at her small business.

First, you must register. And there is a special registration area set up for small business owners operating in different parts of the world. For example, if you are located in Canada, register here where all the information is provided in French. If you are selected as a winner, let's plan to connect at the award ceremony. I am always eager to meet the best and brightest idea generators!

Better hurry because contest application period ends September 1. In case you skipped the previous links, begin the online registration process here.

P.S. Just in (5/9) ... I have been asked to be a judge on the program and it's official:
The entries will be judged by an international panel of renowned small business experts, including: Laurel Delaney, President and Founder, Global TradeSource, Ltd.; Joshua Lau, Founder and CEO of YesAsia; Juan Antonio "Oso" Oseguera, editor of Entrepreneur en EspaƱol and Hayden Bradshaw, publisher and editor of Enterprise Magazine.
Read the press release here. I am honored and cannot wait. See you there!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sound Advice: Book of Interest

Ever wonder where successful people get their ideas from and how startups are really created? Well this book, Founders At Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days, by Jessica Livingston will give you the answers you've been searching for and is a must-read. I could not put it down. Out of 32 founders profiled, three are women: Caterina Fake of Flickr, Mena Trott co-founder of Six Apart and Ann Winblad of Open Systems, and Hummer Winblad.

Jessica is a founding partner of Y Combinator, a seed-stage venture firm based in Cambridge, MA, and Mountain View, CA.

If you want to understand business, go buy yourself a copy.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Article of Interest: A Nation of Entrepreneurs

30 years ago, huge corporations dominated the business world. Read about the seismic shifts that turned America into a nation of entrepreneurs.

The late 1970s were a time of bright miniskirts, mirrored disco balls and platform shoes. But the wild changes taking place 30 years ago weren't all in music and fashion.

Inside office suites, workers were learning to type memos into their Altair personal computers while hoping to become an important cog in a big, corporate wheel. But as the 1980s arrived, career goals were shifting for those who found cubicle life stifling and who were bold enough to take risks.

An entrepreneurial age was coming, fueled by social change, new sources of capital and new technologies. While some jumped at the chance to start a business, others were pushed by mass corporate layoffs, mergers and growing anxiety about job security.

Whatever the reason, entrepreneurship has become a popular aspiration.

Donald F. Kuratko, executive director of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Indiana University in Bloomington, perhaps summed it up best in the Baylor study: Entrepreneurship, he wrote, has emerged over the last two decades as arguably the most potent economic force the world has ever experienced.

Read more of Carol Tice's article here.