Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays From WPO Chicago!

©Laurel Delaney 2011, "First snow in Chicago 2011"
In the quiet moments of the holiday,
may you find peace and joy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Article of Interest: Trends That Will Shape Small Business in 2012

It's that time of year -- nearing the end of December. A time to reflect on where you've been and where you're headed with your business.  As you plan, are you aware of what may be hot in 2012? But first, before we get to it, does this sound like you?
Small-business owners don’t care what’s cool. They care about what’s practical and what seems obvious—and that’s not always what gets buzz.
If it is, have a look at:

5 Trends That Will Shape Small Business in 2012

Prepare your business for another spectacular year of growth and profits.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Book of Interest: Start-up Nation

Why does Israel produce more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Canada, Japan or India?

There's one way to find out or at least get a few clues.  Read "Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle."
Start-up Nation examines the lessons of the country's adversity-driven culture, which flattens hierarchy and elevates informality -- all backed up by government policies focused on innovation.  In a world where economies as diverse as Ireland, Singapore and Dubai have tried to re-create the "Israel effect," there are entrepreneurial lessons well worth noting. 
Go here to find out how Israel has beaten the odds to become a major player in the global business world, especially in the technology space and a main contributor to global culture.  After you read the book, see how you might develop the next generation of corporate leaders or put those within your business who question authority to work!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Book of Interest: Confidence

Throughout the year, I've tried to read at least one good business book a month and this month it is "Confidence:  How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End" (2004) by Rosabeth M. Kanter, who holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School.

Professor Kanter is in the upper crust of great minds such as Jim Collins, Gary Hamel, Peter Senge and Clayton Christensen.  Reading nearly every book she has ever authored, I will never understand why she is not on the best seller list more often. 

But to "Confidence."  If you want to know why some people and organizations always seem to land on their feet, while others, equally gifted, stumble again and again, then this book is for you.  I highly recommend it.  It's well-written, well-researched and will help you win in any global game you're playing.

From Amazon book review:
Rosabeth Moss Kanter will convince you that the goal of winning is not losing two times in a row. In her view, success and failure are not events, they are self-fulfilling tendencies. "Confidence is the sweet spot between arrogance and despair--consisting of positive expectations for favorable outcomes."
Meanwhile, learn what another entrepreneur thinks of the book and how it rang true to him as he rides out his own firm's recent acquisition of a troubled firm and what he did to turn things around.

Monday, November 21, 2011

News of Interest: Everything You Want to Know About Cloud Computing

We wrote about cloud computing on July 5, 2010.  What's happened since then?  Plenty.
Recent IDC cloud research shows that worldwide revenue from public IT cloud services exceeded $16 billion in 2009 and is forecast to reach $55.5 billion in 2014, representing a compound annual growth rate of 27.4%.
Learn everything you need to know about cloud computing to bring your business up to speed -- from new business models to the biggest cloud opportunities to how organizations can keep up with new architectural paradigms and offer more flexibility with less customization and more integration -- it's all here.

IDC Cloud

Illustration credit:  IDC Cloud

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Monday, November 14, 2011

Article of Interest: Unbeatable Customer Care

Whether you run a local or global company, customer care should be a No. 1 priority for you as you grow your business.  Here are ten ways to provide unbeatable customer care. 

Developing Great Global Customer Relations

Full disclosure:  Laurel Delaney serves as the Import and Export Guide for (a New York Times company).

Monday, November 07, 2011

News of Interest: Woman-Owned Businesses Show Strength, Versatility and Growth

According to the annual survey by the Women Presidents' Organization and sponsored by Wells Fargo, it shows 76% of companies have maintained or grown their employee base.
Women Presidents have shown they can adjust to the changing economic climate. Results from the surveyed membership indicate 82% of multi-million dollar business owners have positive outlooks and experienced company growth in 2011, according to the annual economic survey by the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO), the premier peer advisory organization for women entrepreneurs.  Despite the economic downturn, 42% of these CEOs and presidents were able to give their employees raises while, 49% maintained current employee salaries.
Other interesting facts surveyed by WPO:
  • 58% of member businesses have grown since joining; 75% of these believe WPO has helped them grow
  • 80% believe the WPO helps manage business concerns in the current economic climate
  • 72% believe their WPO chapter is the most valuable resource that WPO provides
Read more here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Event of Interest: WPO Fall Regional Seminar Series 11/2/11 - LAST CHANCE!

Register now for the WPO Fall Regional Seminar series "Stirring it Up:  How to Grow Your Business, Make Money, and Save the World" featuring Gary Hirshberg, Chairman, President and CE-Yo of
(L) Samuel Kaymen and (R) Gary Hirshberg
Stonyfield Farm, sponsored by American Express OPEN.

Chicago, Illinois
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
The Westin Michigan Avenue
909 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

What you will learn:

1. The strategy that Gary Hirshberg put into action that led to Stonyfield’s growth from its infancy as a seven-cow organic farming school to its current $370 million in annual sales.

2. How Stonyfield has parlayed its social media platforms and marketing initiatives into successful and authentic communication with consumers.

3. How Stonyfield has challenged the myth that social or environmental missions conflict with the company's financial objectives and instead created a "win-win-win-win-win-win-win" business model in which all stakeholders (employees, investors, customers, consumers, suppliers, farmers and shareholders and even the cows) all win.
FINAL CALL!  Click here to register.   Private affair:  For WPO members and prospective members only. 

Link to Samuel Kaymen and Gary Hirshberg Stonyfield story

Monday, October 24, 2011

Event of Interest: WPO Fall Regional Seminar Series 11/2/11

Register now for the WPO Fall Regional Seminar series "Stirring it Up:  How to Grow Your Business, Make Money, and Save the World" featuring Gary Hirshberg, Chairman, President and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm, sponsored by American Express OPEN.

Chicago, IL
November 2, 2011
4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
The Westin Michigan Avenue
909 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

What you will learn:
1. The strategy that Gary Hirshberg put into action that led to Stonyfield’s growth from its infancy as a seven-cow organic farming school to its current $370 million in annual sales.

2. How Stonyfield has parlayed its social media platforms and marketing initiatives into successful and authentic communication with consumers.

3. How Stonyfield has challenged the myth that social or environmental missions conflict with the company's financial objectives and instead created a "win-win-win-win-win-win-win" business model in which all stakeholders (employees, investors, customers, consumers, suppliers, farmers and shareholders and even the cows) all win.
Click here to register.   Private affair:  For WPO members and prospective members only.  Only a few seats left!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Article of Interest: Time As a Means to Happiness

New research takes a fresh look at the topic of happiness.  You can run a successful business and make a ton of money but what if happiness is not something you feel?

According to "If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Consider Time," the authors discuss how happiness is indeed a consequence of the choices people make.
So what can people do to increase their happiness? Their answer is surprisingly simple: spend your time wisely. Careful though.
You will be surprised to learn how people spend their time.
Although happiness is clearly relevant for individuals, businesses should also pay attention. Building a workforce of highly qualified, hard-working, and loyal employees is an essential aspect of staying competitive in today's global markets. Therefore, being concerned about employee happiness is not just a moral thing to do, but it makes smart business sense as well.
Read the entire article along with discovering the five time-spending happiness principles here.

And the author's tip to finding the best road to happiness?   Spend time with the people you love doing the things you love.  

Download PDF file:

If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Consider Time," Jennifer Aaker, Melanie Rudd, Cassie Mogilner, Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2011.

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Article of Interest: How to Impress Your Bank

First rule of thumb:  Know how much you need to borrow - and why.  Here are some tips (and tools) on how to not just impress your bank but make the most out of the relationship.

Second rule of thumb:  Know your numbers.

Read the entire article:  How Can Entrepreneurs Impress Their Bank? | Chief Executive Magazine

Monday, October 03, 2011

Article of Interest: How to Do Business in China

Nanjing, China
At some point with a business, you look at how to achieve greater and faster growth without breaking the bank.  Expanding internationally is a wise choice.

Below, Inc. Magazine contributor David Freeman makes a solid case for doing business in China.  Although China is a complicated and a frustrating market to enter (definitely not for the timid business owner), it does offer unlimited upside growth potential for a business. After all, we are talking about selling to more than 1.3 billion consumers.

Read:  How to Break Into China

For additional help in going global or entering China, visit: Import and Export Guide site, The Global Small Business Blog and Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (full disclosure: Laurel Delaney manages these sites).

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Monday, September 26, 2011

Article of Interest: Growing Firms Seek Part-Time Execs

According to the article referenced below, mid-size companies -- considered the engine for future economic growth and job creation -- are reporting a greater demand for part-time high-level executives as the economy recovers.  Even though the article focuses on Detroit, this might be indicative of just about any major city in the United States with a high concentration of business owners.
When a company reaches several million dollars in annual revenues, its need for at least a part-time chief financial officer instead of a bookkeeper or a part-time chief technology officer in lieu of a web technician becomes undeniable, Fowler said.

"By the time you get to $5 million, your financial systems will have to be pretty sophisticated for you to grow your company," he said.
Something to think about and seriously consider.

And of course, many WPO members are at a revenue level that supports this notion:
"However, once most companies hit the approximately $15 million mark and they see a growing revenue stream, they want full-time employees at the C-level," Holland said.
Read more:  "Growing firms seek part-time execs"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Article of Interest: How to Put Your Strategic Growth Drivers In Place

To build and grow your business during difficult economic times, put the following three pieces of advice into place:

•  Preserve your cash.
•  Be predatory from a sales and marketing perspective.
•  Be opportunistic toward acquisitions.

... companies are proving that, if a business has strategic growth drivers in place from the very beginning, it will have the opportunity to grow, no matter what the economic climate. A fundamental piece to this puzzle is ensuring that the business model that you create and develop enables value creation and the possibility for creating a successful business, not just a successful product line.

 Learn more about how to do this:

"Three Tactics For Building a Successful Business in a Bad Economy."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Article of Interest: Tips On Managing Experienced Workers

Here's a good look at how to manage experienced workers and at the same, stay on top your game.

Richard Branson on Managing Experienced Workers ||

Excerpt from article:
... if you want to stay at the top of your game and work smoothly with your younger colleagues, you have to embrace change.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blog Post of Interest: How to Think and Act Different

This one's for Steve ... reflecting on his 2005 Stanford commencement address ... lessons we can all learn as we grow our businesses.

Reflecting on Steve Jobs' Words of Wisdom

Are you putting a ding in the universe?  What are you going to do about it?

Note:  Authorized biography on Steve Jobs coming out soon.

Photo credit here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Article of Interest: The Days of Middle Managers Are Over

Call it what you like -- extinction, thing of the past or obsolescence -- but the potential death of mid managers is something we should all look at within our own organizations. For example, do you have a General Manager? How many middle managers is he or she managing? The following article warrants a rethink on your organizational chart.

Quick snippet:
“The days of general managers who know a little about a lot of things are completely over,” says Ms Gratton. As the developed world moves towards knowledge-based industries, she says, there is no longer a workforce that can be “managed by looking at it”. It is not enough simply to monitor how many hours workers spend at their station. Teams are now often comprised of peers focusing on a particular project who, aided by technology, now also monitor output and give each other feedback—two classic roles of the middle manager. Rather than general management, Ms Gratton argues that corporate types should develop mastery of one or two areas—"such as leading complex teams or understanding how virtual communities work"—and be prepared to bone up on new specializations quickly, as the needs of business change.
Read the entire article here.

Illustration credit (related to above) here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Article of Interest: 5 Best Social CRM Programs

What is a social CRM program?  What are the best CRM programs?  Here's a look at five you should be using for your business and why. 


The Best Social CRM Programs |

Illustration credit:  Radian6 

Monday, August 01, 2011

Interview of Interest: How to Pitch and Win Over Investors

Author Donna Fenn interviews Amy Millman, president and co-founder of Springboard Enterprises, a not-for-profit “venture catalyst” with a mission to facilitate women entrepreneurs’ access to the equity markets.
When we ask investors what they look for in a company, they say ‘we invest in the jockey, not the horse.’ What they really mean is they are willing to bet on a CEO who they believe would make them money. Lots of money. So if you want them to invest in you, you need to appear to be a clone of that investor, have a serious track record of delivering big returns for investor, or be able and willing to proclaim your expertise.
Springboard educates, sources, coaches, showcases, and supports high growth women-led companies seeking equity capital for expansion.

Do you have a serious track record of delivering big returns at your business, or are you able and willing to proclaim your expertise?

Read the entire interview here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

News of Interest: Google+

Laurel Delaney, Google+
Are you on Google+? I am ( Currently, Google+ is in a "beta trial period," meaning it is an invitation-only product and will be available globally (hopefully) later.

Here's how Google defines Google+:
The Google+ ( ) project aims to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life. Check out Circles, Sparks, and Hangouts, just a few of the things we've ...
To get up to speed fast, read:

Google+:  What Is It, and How Do I Get It?
... but the big difference (between Facebook and Google+) is that with Google+, you can choose who you want to share these things with. ~ Source:
Google Takes on Facebook With New Social Network Google+

Is Google+ Really Google Buzz 2.0?

A Review of Google+

Illustration credit:  Google+ Project

I like Google+ because it will give us, as business owners, a chance to share the right stuff with the right people to grow strategically.  Take a tour here.

Hope we connect on Google+ soon.  

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Monday, July 18, 2011

Article of Interest: How to Breed a Management Rebel

Good stuff from our friend and colleague Gary Hamel (pictured). 

Inventing Management 2.0

In it, he talks about busting bureaucratic practices and discovering new ways of motivating, organizing, compensating and goal setting.  For example, does this sound anything close to how you currently run your business?
... the management model found in your organization most likely over-weights the views of senior executives, undervalues unconventional thinking, discourages full transparency, deters initiative, frustrates experimentation and encourages an entirely unwarranted reverence for precedence. In so doing, Management 1.0 squanders the leadership talents of just about everyone apart from the CEO.
Find out how you might become a management (Presidential) rebel here.  Go ahead:  shake it up! 

Note:  Gary Hamel was the keynote speaker for our WPO Conference 2006 in Chicago.

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Monday, July 11, 2011

Case Study of Interest: Firing Your Best Friend

With business revenue drying up, Susan Southerland, owner and President of Just Marry, was cutting expenses everywhere (sound familiar?).  But could she really fire her best friend?

When things get tough, the tough get going.  See what she does here:

Case Study
Nothing Personal
Inc. Magazine
Should This Wedding Planner Fire Her Best Friend?

Have you ever had a similar experience?  What did you do?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Article of Interest: Characteristics of Second-Stage Growth Companies

Are you experiencing second-stage growth pains? Many Women Presidents' Organization members are. The signs are usually very telling. According to our partner, Edward Lowe Foundation, the characteristics are as follows:
  1. Many people are not aware of what others are doing.
  2. People lack an understanding of the firm's ultimate goals.
  3. A precipitous drop in product quality occurs for unknown reasons.
  4. Turnover increases sharply, just when the company needs more personnel.
  5. You wake up worrying about operational tasks that someone else ought to be handling.
  6. All your customers want to meet with you, but finding the time to do so seems impossible.
Learn more about second-stage growth for a business and what to do about it.

Characteristics of Second-Stage Growth Business Owners

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Article of Interest: What's the Difference Between a Boss and a Leader?

As a business owner, you may be clear with your sense of purpose and direction, but when you command with a position of power, does that mean you are acting like a leader or a boss?

Find out more here.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Article of Interest: How To Embed Anything on Your Blog or Website

First, you have to find out what embedding means.  Next, you have to figure out how to do it.  Lastly, you must understand the 'why' behind it.

It's all here.

Illustration credit:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Article of Interest: How to Create a Handheld Device Strategy for Your Business

How to create and keep customers on mobile phones?  In his time, Theodore Leavitt would have a field day with this issue.  After all, he is the founding father of coining the term 'globalization' and defining corporate purpose:  Rather than merely making money, it is to create and keep a customer.  Oh how I wish he were with us today to provide his two cents on what we should be doing to leverage the mobile market.

But Inc. magazine does a good job with whetting our appetite on the topic:

How to Create a Mobile Strategy for Your Business.

Short clip:
Let's face it. Mobile devices have drastically shifted the online landscape to the point that in 2010 more than 50 percent of all Internet access was being done via handhelds of some sort. About 45 percent of mobile owners are using their devices to download social networking apps. In fact, 35 percent of Android and iPhone owners in the U.S. use apps such as Facebook before getting out of bed, according to a recent survey conducted by telecommunications equipment vendor Ericsson.
Your strategy should be based on how your customers use handheld devices in their everyday lives.  Do you know how they use their devices?  Better start asking.

Read the entire article here.

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Monday, May 16, 2011

Article of Interest: Becoming a Disruptive Innovator

Photo credit: Kheng Guan Toh
If you can't beat them, disrupt them!  That's the call to action on this nifty little article by Matthew May for the American Express OPEN Forum.  Not only does he cover that, but how to do it -- create the disruptive business model. 

Read the entire article here.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Article of Interest: How to Take Content Marketing to the Next Level

If you are stuck on how to kick it up a notch with your business relative to your content marketing strategy, this article offers some good advice (short case studies) on how three companies -- Mint, Hubspot and America Express OPEN Forum (one of our favorites!) -- attained success.

Read the entire article here.

Illustration credit here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Article of Interest: The Sharing Economy

Thanks to the Internet (which includes social media and social networking platforms), you can now share anything with anyone anywhere in the world.

Embrace it for your business and start using the communal assets to your advantage.

Read:  "The Sharing Economy" by Danielle Sacks, Fast Company

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Sunday, April 17, 2011

News of Interest: WPO Chicago Member Featured On Undercover Boss

Tune in to Undercover Boss tonight (April 17th) at 8:00 p.m. CDT to watch our very own WPO Chicago member Shelly Sun, CEO and co-founder of BrightStar.

Play the preview clip here. 

Best wishes Shelly!  We are very proud of you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Article of Interest: Social Media Efforts Pay Off

According to Courtney Rubin for Inc., "Social Media Worth the Time."  Her opinion is based on the 2011 Social Media Marketing Report which highlights how important social media is to the success of a business.
Small businesses and the self-employed are most likely to close new business deals and find partnerships thanks to their efforts on Facebook, Twitter, et al.
Read the entire article here.

And let us know if you agree or disagree.  Have your efforts on social media paid off handsomely for your business?  We welcome hearing from you!

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Monday, April 04, 2011

Tip of the Week: Gogobot

Plan a trip with great travel recommendations from friends, business colleagues and people who travel like you. Collect and share where you've been in your Gogobot passport.  Gogobot says:
Whether it is a week's vacation, a business trip or a weekend getaway, we believe planning your trip should be almost as fun as the trip itself. We believe the best advice comes from people you trust - people like you - and not from anonymous strangers on the internet. We believe sharing your experiences should be as simple as touching the screen on your phone. We are passionate about technology and design and their power to reshape our world for the better.
Visit Gogobot.  See if it helps plan your next business trip which might include one day of fun to clear your head.

Illustration credit:  Gogobot hompage

Monday, March 28, 2011

Video of Interest: Follow Your Interest

As a business owner, what do you care about?  Who do you follow?  What do you want to know?

Follow your interests (e.g., @WomenPresidents).   Keep discovering and growing.

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Monday, March 21, 2011

Commentary of Interest: The Power of Persuasion; Does It Sell Anything?

Are you advertising with your business?  Yes, remember that good old-fashioned way of getting the word out to a large number of people about your brand via television, print or radio?

Or maybe you've switched to heavy use of social media platforms like Linked In, Twitter and Facebook to boost the star marketing power of your business.  Have these platforms rewarded you in some fashion with having the most number of fans -- say with new business?

Clearly, as business owners, we need to revisit the whole point of social media and social networking:  to sell a product or service.

Read:  Just How Influential Is Your Social-Media Program if It Isn't Helping To Sell Product? ~ by Rance Crain

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Monday, March 14, 2011

Article of Interest: How Reframing Behavior Can Lead To Organizational Change

When business owners talk about change, they usually have a desired result in mind:  wake people up a bit (change the company culture), a better approach or relationship to clients, a focus on profit instead of just revenue.

Sometimes a given situation merely calls for new behaviors and a change in practice.  Learn the secrets on how to make it happen:

"That's the Way We (Used to) Do Things Around Here"

Monday, March 07, 2011

White Paper of Interest: Life After Exit

Most business owners reach a point when they are ready to exit from their baby, the business that is.  In Chicago, with three robust chapters, we generally have at least one or two members in each chapter who are positioning to sell their business.

The itch to exit starts with getting weary from doing the same thing (the passion is lost), a readiness to retire or the contemplation of an offer from a buyer that you cannot refuse.  Whatever the reason and whenever the point in time, one needs to prepare well in advance.  Doing your homework matters and so does finding out how others handled the sale of their company, which might resemble a circumstance similar to yours.

Esteemed fellow WPO Chapter Chair Barbara Roberts (Zenith group), authored a 38-page "white paper" for the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School: "Life After an Exit:  How Entrepreneurs Transition to the Next Stage (immediate download of PDF file)."

For the paper, Ms. Roberts interviews 23 entrepreneurs who sold their company for $10 million to $970 million.  The interviews are about how they experienced the sale and how they learned about wealth management.  The interviews also cover how they had transitioned to the next chapter of their lives.  The "white paper" includes what they did well and what they wished they had done better before, during and after the sale.

If you have questions about the white paper or would like to contact Ms. Roberts to attend an event when she will be speaking more about the themes of paper, feel free to connect with her directly here.

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Monday, February 28, 2011

Blog Post of Interest: 5 Tips On How to Grow a Business

Dennis Crowley, founder of Foursquare, knows a little something about growing a business.

Read:  Growing Your Business:  5 Tips From the Founder of Foursquare

Quick glimpse on the tips he offers:

1.  “Twitter is your best friend”

2.  “Keep it light”*

3.  “Guerilla customer service”

4.  “Small and scrappy marketing 4eva”

5.  “Show off your team”

*Light as a feather

Monday, February 21, 2011

Register: WPO 2011 Conference in Vancouver, BC

Registration is open for the 2011 WPO Conference, Grow Boldly, Lead Globally, Vancouver, BC on April 27-29 at the Westin Bayshore (pictured).

Keynote Speakers include:

Coping with the Economy in Turbulent Times
Meredith Whitney, CEO, Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, LLC

Lululemon: From One Store to a Global Brand in 10 Years

Chip Wilson, Chairman of the Board, Lululemon

A Global Leader – Her Story

Rebecca MacDonald, Executive Chair, Just Energy Group

And ... Dancing and Drumming with the Rainbow Creek Dancers!

For registration and more information, click hereFor a quick look at the workshops, go here.

See you there!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Article of Interest: Effective E-Mail Marketing

Whether it's Valentine's Day or any special occasion, these e-mail tips will help you target better and sell more product or service offerings throughout the year.

1. Use social media to help your campaign.
Yes, we just said customers are more tolerant of e-mail pitches. But an established social media presence will smooth and enhance the path to direct ...
Read more:
7 E-mail Marketing Tips for Valentine's Day

Monday, February 07, 2011

Article of Interest: For the Geek in Your Life

As business owners, we like to be hip and trendy in how we run our companies and purchase gifts.  With Valentine's Day right around the corner, take a look at some of these simple yet inspiring items that run counter to ordering the same old chocolates and flowers.

One can never be too geeky.  See whether your employee, colleague, significant other or best client might enjoy one of these.

10 Valentine's Day Gifts for the Special Geek in Your Life

Photo credit:  USB Tulip Hub, Mashable

Monday, January 31, 2011

Video of Interest: How to Craft a New Set of Wings

In the course of growing a robust business, everyone at some point or another runs into this scenario:  You launch a new product and it falls flat on its face. 

As a business owner, what's the typical reaction?  Keep working it (same old, same old) or cut your losses fast (e.g., pull it from the market).

But there are other options.  You can, according to Marissa Mayer (pictured), V.P., Consumer Products at Google, breathe new life into failed ventures.  That old adage of "if you don't succeed, try, try, again" can actually work.

Find out how here by watching a short video.

Photo credit here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Legal Tax Alert From Our Sponsor: Foley & Lardner

We are grateful for the support we receive from our WPO national sponsor Foley and Lardner and always look forward to their important business news updates.  Here's one of them below.

See how the new law might impact the way you run your business.  If you have questions, reach out to the co-author partner Mary Kay Martire.
A legal news alert on the Illinois tax increase and another pending piece of legislation designed to expand the scope of sales/use tax nexus. 
Read the entire article here.  While you're there, sign up for their newsletter.

Illustration credit here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Article of Interest: Contracting With Women-Owned Businesses

Find out how a woman running a construction business beat the odds and fostered growth for her own business and others by contracting with other women-owned businesses.  If she did it, you can too.

Increasingly, federal contractors of all types are being held accountable for meeting the modest goal of doling out 5% of their subcontracted business to women-owned firms. (Currently, the overall goals are to direct 23% of total Federal dollars to small businesses, plus 5% each for ‘disadvantaged’ and women-owned businesses, and 3% each for businesses in designated locations and those owned by disabled veterans.)
Want to Find Women-Owned Suppliers?  Build Your Own!