Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Hope for Our Future

My daughters middle-school 6th grade recently held an innovation fair. Each student had 3 weeks to invent a product. They received guidance on how to find an idea, build a prototype and present to potential investors.

At the fair each adult (parent) had $25 to invest $5 each for five different product ideas. In total about 250 students participated.

The event was great and there were some great product ideas presented. Many of the kids were dressed in business attire, had a presentation ready and were even able to demonstrate a working prototype.

Here are some of the ideas:


This is my daughter Liz.…

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Top Ten Podcasts of 2007

Over at The Small Business Trends Radio Show we had a great year and we wanted to share the Top 10 Small Business Podcasts for 2006 with you.

Congratulations to the small business experts listed below — they had the most requested podcasts for 2006.

Here are the Top 10 Small Business Podcasts for 2006 (in no particular order):

Steve Kinney of Search Optimizers SEO Success for Small Business
Guest: Steve Kinney, Founder of Search Optimizers
Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your business beat your biggest competitors.

Gary Schoeniger on How to Start a Business With No Money How to Start a Business With No Money
Guest: Gary Schoeniger, Founder of GarySchoeniger.com
Gary Schoeniger started a business dead broke with a borrowed ladder.…

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Caffeine and Small Business

ePrize, the worldwide leader in interactive promotions, today announced the launch of a new technology specifically designed for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that delivers interactive promotions to enterprises of any size. ePrize’s Caffeine Promotions Platformâ„¢, available at www.caffeinenow.com, offers smaller businesses the power to build and deploy advanced and fully customized online sweepstakes, instant-win, and coupon-based promotions in fewer than 10 minutes, anywhere in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Caffeine’s unique technology makes it easy, fast, and efficient for small businesses to develop and deploy an end-to-end interactive promotion campaign without the burden and risk of development, prizes, security and compliance.…

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The Blog Chain Letter Craze

I have been tagged by Anita Campbell at SmallBizTrends in the chain-letter blogging craze.

Here is the way it is supposed to work. I have to answer five questions. Then I get to tag five other people to answer the questions. They in turn can tag five others. (That’s where it resembles a chain letter.) And so on.

So what’s in it for you, you ask? Reading the answers is a good way to get to know me and other people online.

Here are the five questions and my answers:

1. What have you learned so far from visitors to your blog?

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Presentation Skills for Entrepreneurs

Presentation Skills for Entrepreneurs is now available at The Great Big Small Business Show.

This week is a mashup of 6 different podcasters discussing various aspects of Presentation Skills for Entrepreneurs.

(Below is the transcript from my portion of this weeks Great Big Small Business Show)

This is one of my favorite topics, I have been giving presentations for just about 25 years and I have learned many lessons along the way. Today I want to share with you what I think are the Top 3 keys to Delivering an Effective Presentation.

Key Number 1: Focus on your audience.

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How to Build Client Relationships

A few years ago, before I started my own business, a friend and I set out on a research project. We wanted to know why some people could make an effective relationship with someone very rapidly and others would take much more time and sometimes they would never get to the point of having a good relationship.

We were doing this study in the context of selling, why would some people get to a trusting relationship quickly and therefore have a higher likelihood of sales success?

Of course we felt that trust was the key to a successful sale of anything that is complex and expensive.…

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7 Great Reasons to Have an Advisory Board

By Anita Campbell (www.smallbiztrends.com)

We can all benefit from good advice, and that makes advisory boards a hot topic for the savvy CEO and business owner.

In recent years, advisory boards have become an increasingly popular tool for endeavors ranging from Fortune 100 companies to one-person shops. That’s because a Board of Advisors can do more to make your business grow than any other comparable expenditure.

So here’s some advice: set up your own Advisory Board, and here are seven great reasons to do it today.

SEVEN GREAT REASONS TO HAVE AN ADVISORY BOARD:

1. EXPERTISE YOU CAN’T BUY: Advisory Board members typically bring a combination of skill sets that are totally out of reach for most small businesses.…

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4 Ways to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Customer Relationship Programs.


Strong customer relationships are like money in the bank, literally.

Our world is constantly changing, big box retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot are dominating the landscape, promoting the promise of “one-stop shopping”, and the Internet is making it easier to make online purchases with limited human interaction. On the surface, these changes make it seem as though the customer is only concerned about swiftly making their product selections and racing to the check-out counter as quickly as possible.

Reality says that buyers are concerned about a lot more than one-stop shopping, speed of check-out and price. One of the other major deciding factors buyers are using to make a decision about what to buy and from whom is based on a dying art customer relationships.…

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Pursue the Passion – Summer Tour

The Pursue The Passion Tour is a movement to inspire and instill a passion within college students nationwide. It is a special project to encourage the exploration of goals and ambitions, and to pioneer personal development.

Live Update from Brett Farmiloe on the Tour:

After traveling 4,500 miles, conducting 40 interviews, and suffering two parking tickets and two close calls to the breakdown of our RV “Maggie,” I am proud to say that we are still “pursuing the passion.” The West Coast tour exceeded expectations and brought us closer to achieving our goal of 100 interviews this summer.

We are currently in Tucson, Arizona until June 27th when we will be traveling to New York City to conduct interviews until July 6th when we will be returning to Arizona.

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Team Building – Four Stages

We all belong to different teams, or groups of two or more people who have some type of common purpose for connecting. It could be for work, church, fun or any of a number of other reasons. What I observe over and over again is teams get frustrated and don’t perform together. I believe the reason why is they don’t have an understanding of the key stages a group or team goes through.

I believe all groups go through these 4 distinct stages in order to get to the point of being effective:

Form – A group has to form, get to know one another, backgrounds, history, why they are on the team, what are the goals of the team and the members, many teams short change this effort.…

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