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WSBDC – Washington Small Business Development Center, the small business administration.#The #small

“The bottom line is that I have the utmost respect for the SBDC, I could not have done this without the support and help of my advisor. It changed my life.”

Thea Heinman, Monroe Montessori

The small business administrationThe small business administration

“It’s not easy, and I think people really need to understand that. But the SBDC really is an amazing resource and guiding light in helping to make it more manageable.”

Marley Shain Rall, The Brewmaster’s Bakery and Taproom

The small business administration

Grow Your Business

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Grow Through Exports

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Start Your Business

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Washington Small Business Development Center

Small Business Success

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Client Testimonials

“I love talking to [our advisor]” “He’ll walk in with a fresh set of eyes, but a fresh set of eyes with a lot of experience. He helps guide us where we need to be.”

Luke Hossner DropForge Leather Care, Clarkston January 27, 2017

“The bottom line is that I have the utmost respect for the SBDC.” “I could not have done this without the support and help of my advisor. It changed my life.”

Thea Heineman Monroe Montessori January 27, 2017

“I thank you so much for your guidance and coaching through this process. Your help is the reason I felt so confident and the reason I was so prepared. I have learned a ton by going through the business plan process and now feel like I have a solid foundation for starting my business.”

SBDC Client Okanogan June 26, 2014

“I was so relieved that I finally found someone who could help me-that I could afford.” SBDC business advising is free of charge. “If it weren’t for Jim, we wouldn’t be here.” She calls the SBDC program to help small business owners ‘genius’. “It really does help small business owners in Washington.”

Marion Lodato – Snowcreek Yoga Leavenworth June 26, 2014

“I received a call from (the bank) yesterday late afternoon and they have decided to approve my loan. I also wanted to express how appreciative I am of all the amazing help, follow through and support you have given to me! I am so thankful that I was referred to the SBDC.”

SBDC Client Okanogan June 26, 2014

“Thanks to the SBDC advisor’s . experience [we have] hope when we thought there was none. He put together a cash flow sheet that gave us the ability to ‘see’ how the business was growing.”

SBDC Client Moses Lake June 26, 2014

“With the SBDC’s assistance, we were able to launch the creamery and make a dream come true for our whole family by starting on the road to becoming a sustainable farm.”

SBDC Client Mount Vernon June 26, 2014

“I have really appreciated the good solid business direction [the SBDC has] provided me over the years.”

SBDC Client Peninsula Region June 26, 2014

“There is no doubt that my planning process would have been far more difficult, and I would have missed some essential elements if not for the SBDC.”

SBDC Client Wenatchee June 26, 2014

“The SBDC was a main source of education on the process of purchasing a business. Our success was because of the help received.”

SBDC Client Spokane June 26, 2014

“SBDC provided tools such as spreadsheets to help plan and manage the business.”

SBDC Client Yakima June 26, 2014

“My advisor at the SBDC gave me the knowledge, insight and technical assistance necessary to encourage and empower me.”

SBDC Client Seattle June 26, 2014

“I could not have done this without your help. It’s beyond words how much I appreciate you guiding me through the maze to secure the SBA loan that kept my little company alive.”

SBDC Client Seattle June 26, 2014

“I had no idea that I would have access to such a powerful resource.

SBDC Client Lacey June 26, 2014

“The financial analysis and development of cash flows allowed me to develop the confidence I needed to move forward on my business plans and expansion.”

SBDC Client Lynnwood June 26, 2014

“They are a really good sounding board for me. They have helped me greatly during this expansion.

SBDC Client Bellingham June 26, 2014

“You are so much a part of our success.”

SBDC Client, Longview June 26, 2014

WSBDC Economic Impact

Making a difference for small business in Washington State

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Business Blogs

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Highline College SBDC

Spokane SBDC

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The Washington Small Business Development Center is a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington State University and other Washington Institutions of higher education and economic development organizations. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the SBA.

All services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. Email or phone the WSBDC.

Because we are federally funded, we cannot provide services for enterprises selling federally illegal products such as marijuana.

The small business administration

The small business administration

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Free Online Education Courses From The Small Business Administration, the small business

Free Online Education Courses From The Small Business Administration

For small businesses entrepreneurs, continuous learning and finding new resources to help further business goals can be essential to growth and success. However, business courses can be costly and the sheer amount of information and resources available online can be overwhelming.

But now, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced a new online Small Business Learning Center aimed at simplifying the process of finding and procuring small business resources online.

The small business administration

The redesigned portal features a searchable catalog of educational resources including videos, web chat sessions, and self-paced courses all aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The free courses can cover anything from disaster recovery to market research. Basic topics covered include starting a business, managing a business, financing, marketing, and government contracting. Users can browse items by selecting the course topic and/or the type of media.

Once users select a course that looks interesting, they can view details about it including a brief overview, length of the course, system requirements, and a few more details.

The photo above shows what the overview page looks like for a course regarding the 8(a) Business Development Program. Users can view the course s workbook (PDF) or a text-based version (PDF) in addition to the course itself.

Once you begin the course, all of the course s topics are indexed on the left, so that you can see an outline of what is to be covered. At any time, you can stop the course, go back to a previous slide, or advance to other content within the course. Many of the slides also include links that direct you to supplementary content elsewhere.

For videos and chat sessions, you can simply view the media or transcripts directly on the overview page.

The site also gives businesses access to analysis tools and information about local resources, such as connection to SBA district offices, SCORE chapters, Small Business Development Centers and more.

The SBA already offers many resources for small business entrepreneurs, both educational and otherwise. But this new portal is a way to easily find and access the resources that can be most relevant to your business needs.



Nasdaq Stock Market, Stock Quotes – Stock Exchange News, the stock market.#The

Stock Market Activity

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Valeant Pharma: Why This Bear Still Growls

Income Investing

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CenturyLink: A Dividend Cut Is Logical but Unlikely

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Nvidia: Did You Feel the Ground Shake, Too?

Stock Market News & Analysis

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If You Love Artificial Intelligence, You Should Check Out NVIDIA

AI is getting a lot of attention these days

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Visit Earnings Calendar for the week starting 11/05; 69 reports are scheduled.

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ETF Headlines

  • USAA Launches Intermediate-Term Total Bond Market ETF11/10/2017
  • Active Bond ETFs in a Changing Market Environment11/10/2017
  • A Comprehensive Bond ETF to Access the Total Corporate Debt Market11/10/2017

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Commodities

  • Novartis posts eye drug data amid play for Eylea’s turf11/10/2017
  • Brazil’s Cosan 3rd-quarter profit jumps 53 pct11/10/2017
  • CES Energy Solutions (CEU) Shares Cross Below 200 DMA11/10/2017

Wealth Management

  • Don t Let Today Guy Destroy Your Financial Future11/10/2017
  • Merrill’s New Incentive Program Debuted11/10/2017
  • Reasons You Might Go Bankrupt in Retirement11/08/2017

Forex and Currencies

  • Dollar: Senate Tax Bill Provides No Reassurance To The Dollar11/10/2017
  • Continuity In New Fed Chair. The British Pound Bears Watching11/10/2017
  • A Yellow Light of Caution for Dollar Bulls?11/10/2017

Investing Ideas

  • Walker Dunlop Becomes Oversold (WD)11/10/2017
  • Relative Strength Alert For BofI Holding11/10/2017
  • Relative Strength Alert For FibroGen11/10/2017

Retirement

  • Hungary’s buoyant housing market needs continuous monitoring11/10/2017
  • Lenders to embrace a record Broadcom bridge loan11/10/2017
  • Ireland predicts American boost to Dublin financial services11/10/2017

Technology

  • Hasbro makes takeover offer for Mattel11/10/2017
  • U.S. toymaker Hasbro makes takeover approach for Mattel11/10/2017
  • U.S. toymaker Hasbro makes new approach to buy Mattel11/10/2017

Today at NASDAQ

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Announcement: Visit the press releases for the latest information

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NPM Liquidity Program Volume Rises 35% in First Half of 2017. Learn more.

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2017 CNBC Disruptor 50: Who made this year’s list?

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Nasdaq’s blueprint for a new era of trading.

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Nasdaq Private Market offers innovative liquidity solutions

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Why The SBIC Doesn – t Work For Venture Capital Anymore –

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Why The SBIC Doesn t Work For Venture Capital Anymore

There are so many things wrong in the article I felt compelled to write about it. This isn t a knock on the writer (Alicia Wallace) I like Alicia and think she does a good job. Rather, it s an example of the difference between signal and noise in any kind of reporting around the VC industry.

I’m an investor in over 40 VC funds around the world (mostly in the US) and three of them are SBIC funds. Each of the SBIC funds were raised in the 2000 2002 time period. On paper, only one is in positive return territory as a fund, but the SBIC leverage is a substantial negative factor for the LP investors in that particular fund. And, in the other two, I don’t expect to ever see any of my capital back because of the SBIC leverage. Furthermore, I don t believe any of the GPs in any SBIC-backed fund would ever take money from the SBIC again.

So I’m speaking from at least a little experience albeit indirectly with the SBIC, as I ve never been a GP in a fund that had SBIC leverage.

The article starts off saying that “Matthew Varilek has traveled across the state, proselytizing the potential benefits of the Small Business Investment Company Program.” As a partner in one of the most visible VC firms in Colorado and an LP in many of the Colorado VC firms, I’ve never heard from Matthew or anyone from the SBIC. Matthew, if you really want to have a deep discussion about why the SBIC program isn’t effective for VC funds anymore, feel free to give me a shout. I’d be happy to meet with you.

Next, there is the wonderful PR quote about the SBIC that says “Since the program s inception, SBIC success stories include the funding of companies such as Apple, Costco and FedEx when they were burgeoning small businesses.” The SBIC was instrumental in the creation of the venture capital business. The Small Business Investment Act of 1958 helped catalyze many of the VC firms created in the early 1960s. When I first heard about VC firms in the late 1980s, and my first company (Feld Technologies) started writing portfolio management software for some Boston-based VC firms, many of them had funds with SBIC leverage, although even by the late 1980s this was changing and many of them had shifted away from the SBIC. If you want to see a fun quote on it, read A History of Silicon Valley which quotes:

“ …many venture capital pioneers think the SBIC program did little to advance the art and practice of venture investing. The booming IPO market proved the model of investing in new companies, as some SBICs cash out at attractive levels. SBICs did give a boost to early venture firms, and some like Franklin “Pitch” Johnson, profiled below, thought the new law made the US “see that there was a problem and that [venture investing] was a way to do something… it formed the seed of the idea and a cadre of people like us.” Bill Draper, the first West Coast venture capitalist, has been more blunt: “[Without it] I never would have gotten into venture capital. it made the difference between not being able to do it, not having the money.” Many believe SBICs filled a void from 1958 to the early 1970s, by which point the partnership-based venture firms took off. The US government, however, lost most of the $2 billion it put into SBIC firms.

So, while Apple, Costco, and FedEx benefited, the PR would be more credible if the SBIC was trumpeting iconic companies created after 1990 or even 2000, especially where the lead investors (rather than follow on investors) had SBIC capital.

Peter Adams, head of Rockies Venture Club, is quoted a few times. I like and respect Peter, so this isn t aimed at him, but rather at the clear lack of understanding of the capital dynamics around VC funds.

It looks really great on the surface, said Peter Adams, executive director of the Rockies Venture Club, a nonprofit aimed at connecting investors and entrepreneurs. Then when you dig into it, there were some problems. Adams, who has been involved in many of the meetings with the SBA and members of the investment community, said the greatest concerns voiced by investors and venture capitalists involved management team qualifications, investment track records and the addition of debt to the equation. No. 1 for us is they want a management team with multiple people that have track records in venture capital and have worked together as a team before, he said. I can see where they re going with it, but the VC industry in Colorado has been fairly decimated through the economic downturn.

Peter is right about the context, but has two fundamental things wrong here. First, the VC industry in Colorado wasn t decimated through the economic downtown. It was decimated because of lack of performance between 2001 and 2009, just like much of the rest of the VC industry around the US. There s nothing special about Colorado in this mix, and it has nothing to do with the economic downtown. This dynamic has been reported thousands of times so I don t need to go through it again, but we don t have to look back very far to hear the drum beat from the media, LPs, and everyone else about how VC is dead. And if you re curious, it wasn t too long ago that Silicon Valley was also dying .

The other problem here is the need of the SBIC to invest in a management team with multiple people that have track records in venture capital and have worked together as a team before. Any VC firm that fits this qualification is unlikely to have difficulty raising money in today s environment, and subsequently has no need for the SBIC leverage. And, more importantly, the only firms that will look for SBIC leverage are one s that don t have this, which is a classic adverse selection problem.

Then there s this:

The recession also then plays into requirements that the management team members have been involved in a meaningful number of successful exits during a four- to six-year period. From 2008 to 2013, that was not a good time for exits, Adams said.

Huh, what? At Foundry Group, our significant exits (at least 10x capital returned) since we raised our first fund in 2007 include AdMeld, Zynga, MakerBot, and Gnip. We ve had plenty of other exits, but these are the big ones. One of those companies, Gnip, is Boulder-based and another from our older funds (Rally Software) also generated a greater than 10x return for us. Techstars (which we helped start) have also had a steady stream of significant exits, including local Boulder companies like Filtrbox, GoodApril, and SocialThing. And then you ve got plenty of Boulder / Denver monsters on paper some in our portfolio (like SendGrid and Sympoz) and others like Zayo, Ping, Logrhythm, and Datalogix. Finally, if you look across the country, the exits have been awesome the past three years.

It keeps going. There s talk about the angel cliff (e.g. we need funds to invest between angels and VCs nope, been there remember gap capital not so effective) and the SBA rules and regulations (which I believe are toxic and inhibiting to a successful VC fund.)

One of the other problem is SBA and SBIC s behavior in governance of the fund. The paperwork is silly and the overhead is non-trivial. The control over distributions and negative incentives to hold or distribute capital often generates bad decisions when companies go public. And at least one close friend who is a partner in an SBIC fund has now found a new LP to buy out the SBIC so they could actually invest capital in their winners, rather than be limited by the SBIC s constraints on the amount of capital you can invest in any particular company.

The SBIC could be a powerful force for good in the venture capital industry. But it has to approach things very different and based on my experience with the SBA over the past decade, I don t see it happening unless there is real leadership somewhere in coordination with leaders in the VC industry. I m certainly willing to help, if only someone bothered to reach out to me.

UPDATE: It turns out my partner Seth Levine had met with Matthew a while ago. Seth said Your blog was right on and much of the type of thing I related to Matt and some senior guys he brought in. The gist of my conversation with them was pushing them to consider a different model that the current one basically led to lowest common denominator GPs and sub-optimal returns. Plus the SBIC leverage could be crushing. I don t think they have a ton of flexibility around this but they at least listened to the feedback. I m going to see a bunch of them in a few weeks I agreed to help judge a business plan competition they were hosting. Like you I m not a huge fan of the program as it has existed but I give the new guys some credit for both reaching out and trying to be proactive about thinking through this.

UPDATE 2: Matthew Varilek reached out to me and we are setting up a time to talk.



Harvard Business Law Review (HBLR) – The Harvard Business Law Review (HBLR)

#harvard business journal

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This Article addresses mutual fund governance, explaining how it has recently become entangled with the norms and rules of corporate governance. At one level, it is understandable that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and courts have viewed mutual funds as a type of ordinary corporation. Both mutual funds and corporations are separate legal entities, having directors and shareholders. Directors of each are held to fiduciary duties, charged with serving shareholders’ interests, and expected to aspire to best practices. However, there are fundamental differences between mutual funds and ordinary corporations. This Article contends that these differences have important implications for governance, differences that should lead to the disentanglement of mutual fund governance from corporate governance.

We examine firm lifecycles of 3,081 IPOs from 1996–2012. We find that small IPOs have a different lifecycle than other, larger companies. Within five years of an IPO, only 55% of small capitalization companies remain listed on a public exchange, compared to 61% and 67% for middle and large capitalization companies, respectively. We examine various theories explaining the decline of the small IPO. We find only minor evidence that regulatory changes caused the decline of the small IPO. The decline appears instead to be more attributable to the historical unsuitability of small firms for the public market. Absent economic or market reforms that change small firm quality, further regulatory reforms to enhance the small IPO market are thus unlikely to be effective or bring firms into the public market that have the horsepower to remain publicly listed.

In Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress instructed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to draft rules that would require public companies to report annually on whether their products contain certain Congolese minerals. This unprecedented legislation and the SEC rulemaking that followed have inspired an impassioned and ongoing debate between those who view these efforts as a costly misstep and those who view them as a measured response to human rights abuses committed by the armed groups that control many mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This Article for the first time brings empirical evidence to bear on this controversy.

In 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission made waves by deciding to regulate the nascent peer-to-peer lending industry. Only two lending platforms survived the SEC’s entry into a previously lightly-regulated market. Under this regulatory setup, the SEC would regulate the lending-investing process, while other agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission would regulate the borrower side of the business. This Article argues that the existing bifurcated system works and is continually getting better as the SEC amends existing exemptions and introduces new regulations to smooth the path for financial innovation.

Since 1977, with the enactment of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the United States Department of Justice has played a leading role in applying the Act’s anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions in enforcement proceedings against numerous companies and individuals worldwide. In November 2015, the Department of Justice took the unprecedented step of hiring a Compliance Counsel to guide its prosecutors in decision-making in corporate prosecutions and in benchmarking corporate compliance. This Memorandum is composed as an open letter to the Compliance Counsel, focusing on how she and the Department of Justice should go about that critical benchmarking function.

Eric J. Chang’s provocative article, www.PayDayLoans.gov: A Solution for Restoring Price-Competition to Short-Term Credit Loans—which, as its title suggests, proposes to facilitate price competition in the payday lending market by creating a federal online exchange for payday lenders to post lending rates—has sparked thoughtful reactions among consumer borrowing experts. This Response provides constructive criticism to Chang’s proposal, arguing that such an exchange is unlikely to meet its goal of restoring price competition and offering tweaks that would raise the likelihood of doing so.



Monkey Business » On a Mission to Make the World More Fun

#monkey business

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We help people
to implement
new ideas!

Meille apinoille ihminen on tärkein.
Organisaatio on ihmisten päiden, käsien ja sydänten summa. Tavoitteenamme on saada sydämet ja päät toimimaan yhdessä entistä paremmin. Tällöin kädet vapautuvat ja uudenlainen tekeminen luo tekemisen kulttuurin.
Lähestymistapamme on muotoilullinen, eikä meillä ole valmiita vastauksia. Jokainen ongelma ratkaistaan yhdessä ihmisten kanssa, ihmisten tarpeisiin. Avullamme tekijät itse keksivät ratkaisut ja ideat omiin ongelmiinsa.

Tämä referenssi on ollut osa Kokeiluraportti 2/2015 -uutiskirjettämme. Käy vilkaisemassa koko kirje tästä. Emme voi kertoa organisaation nimeä tai hankkeen tarkkoja

Tämä referenssi on ollut osa Yellow Press – Kokeilut 1/2015 -uutiskirjettämme. Käy vilkaisemassa koko kirje tästä. Emme voi kertoa organisaation nimeä

Organisaatiot hakevat jatkuvasti uusia toiminnan muotoja. Toimintaympäristössä tapahtuvat muutokset edellyttävät valmiutta reagoida nopeasti, ketterästi ja tehokkaasti. On löydettävä se, missä

Vuodesta 2006 asti olemme Monkey Busineksessä tutkineet tulevaisuuden organisaatioita. Tutkimusmatkoillamme olemme toteuttaneet yli kaksisataa erilaista kehitysprojektia yli kahdessakymmenessä maassa, viidellä

Katri Viippola kertoo yllä olevalla videolla miksi on valinnut Monkey Busineksen avukseen jo kahdessa eri organisaatiossa.

Monkey Busineksen ensimmäinen virallinen iso keikka elokuussa 2007 oli Strategian lanseeraustilaisuus eräälle yritykselle Pieksämäellä. Se tarjoiltiin Tatulle ja Villelle verkoston

Monkey Business on teille oikea kumppani, jos: Haluatte muutosta toimintatapoihinne, yksinkertaisin keinoin. Haluatte, että muutos on vuorovaikutteinen ja osallistava – ihmiset saavat

Kolmas ydinteoriamme on kirjasta The Leadership Challenge.

Nonakan & Takeuchin kiteyttämä tiedon luomisen teoria on hyvä malli uuden tiedon synnyttämiselle. Tässä yksinkertaistettu malli. 1. Dialogi – käymme dialogia

Toimintamme ytimessä on dialogi. Dialogi on yhdessä puhumista ja ajattelua. Dialogin perusidea on yksinkertainen: kun yksi puhuu, niin muut kuuntelee.

Visiomme: Monkeyn visio on olla Suomelle paras lifestyle-osuuskunta. Teemme töitä sydämestä puhumisen ja välittämisen vallankumouksen puolesta. Meidän unelmamme Suomesta on intohimon



How The Most Creative People In Business Generate New Ideas #best #online

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How The Most Creative People In Business Generate New Ideas

The 100 people on 2015 s Most Creative People in Business list have achieved impressive breakthroughs across a wide swath of industries: finding a possible cure for Ebola, using drone technology to help save endangered animals, modeling jet engines with 3-D printers.

None of these breakthroughs came from resting easy on outdated ideas or settling into familiar ruts. And yet, even this illustrious group admits to getting stuck and actively seeking grist for the mill. So we put the following question to the group: Where or from whom do you seek out inspiration? What do you do when you re in a rut? And most importantly, how do you keep new ideas flowing? Here s what some of them had to say if you try them out yourself, one each day of the work week, you ll have almost a month of options to help spark some creative new ideas of your own.

Jens Bergensten. lead creative designer, Minecraft, #5:

Before I started working on Minecraft, we would figure out new games by going on small holidays. We used to go to Berlin. They have these really great around-the-clock Internet cafes, and we d just work on something. We d also attend Game Jams, where you re given just random things and have limited time to produce a game. It s quite often that you are forced to think of something that works within the theme and, like I said before, I don t know where I m going and try to make it fun during this 32- or 48-hour Game Jam. You either produced crap or finished something interesting, and the interesting thing would end up in a pile. Then when we would actually need to start a launch project, we would look back in the pile.

Dana Mauriello. Etsy, #7:

I am obsessive with finding, cataloging, and doing new activities. A dance-floor meditation? A talk on game design? A tattoo convention? Done, done, and done. I am on an endless quest to learn about and personally experience as many diverse subcultures as possible and never leave home without my adventure backpack and a notebook so that I can collect inspiration and log new ideas.

Greg Hoffman. Nike, #12:

I pull a lot of inspiration from traveling around the world. One in particular is Brazil, where I ve been going since 1997. Whether you re talking architecture or furniture or digital, the design is modern but with a soul. Which mirrors Nike. I ve been to Brasilia, the modernist mecca that [Oscar] Niemeyer designed. Talk about being representative of an incredible, bold, disruptive vision. It s an entire city designed in exacting and uncompromising detail. It forces you to look at your own work and ask: Are we really pushing things as far as we can?

Jermaine Affonso. Clickhole, #13:

Okay, so out of everyone in the world authors, humanitarians, entrepreneurs, innovators, Elon Musk, scientists curing AIDS right this second I m going to say Kanye West. I know, I hate me too.

Martha Murray. Boston Children s Hospital, #15:

If one project is getting stalled for some reason, I switch gears to another project or two for a while until the problem with the first one works itself out. Sometimes if I am stuck, and leave a problem to sit for a bit, the answer shows up at a traffic light or when I am reading something totally unrelated. It s like when you are trying to remember someone s name and once you stop trying, it pops into your brain. It s the best part of having a bunch of things going on at the same time.

Alex Lifschitz. Crash Override, #18:

Creativity isn t just an abstract font for me personally I tend to just look at those who have successfully overcome issues similar to the one we re dealing with, and try to imitate not their solutions, but their attitude and approach to it, and take it to heart.

Barbara Bush. Global Health Corps, #29:

The need comes first, then the ideas. I m also an endorphin freak, and working out, running, and playing certainly creates the proper mind setting for creativity.

Ava DuVernay. director, #32:

[Creative inspiration] is all around. Nothing s ever boring. I m never bored. Even if I m sitting with my oldest cousin out in the country in Alabama and no one else is around. No way that s boring. I m going to sit there, I m gonna watch what she does, I m gonna listen to every story. Everything seeps in. Like I m standing in line at the pharmacy, I m not bored. I m looking at that lady wiping her snotty kid s nose like, is she really gonna use her hand? Wow, that s love. What s her story?

Larry Wilmore. The Nightly Show. #44:

I m always inspired by the small stories I see about people who are doing the right thing with no attention given to it. I used to watch Charles Kuralt on CBS s Sunday Morning show, and they used to have all those stories. Also, when I see people around the world in the most dire situations doing stuff. Malala [Yousafzai], what she went through. man, if you re not inspired by that, there s just something dead inside of you. What they have to face in that part of the world, it s just ridiculous. And then on a personal level, my kids inspire me all the time.

I read everything I can get my hands on, flip through the racks at Zara and Forever 21 (it s like a meditation), browse IRL in as many bookstores as possible, and go to the club. Listening to good music makes you smarter! I also love to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If I m stuck on a writing or strategy project, I write freehand on a legal pad in a weird place without Internet no environment that s too lovely or I get distracted. Other methods: Go outside and walk, listen to something, smoke cigarettes, tell jokes.

Imrad Amed. Business of Fashion, #54:

Most of my ideas come from drawing patterns across conversations I have with different types of people technology investors, young fashion design students, a CEO. This variety is stimulating, and offers many different perspectives on the things I am thinking about.

Janet Mock. host, activist, #57:

I usually take my cockapoo out on a walk, I do some kind of physical activity, whether that s Bikram Yoga or SoulCycle. Usually it s some kind of creative activity. Or it s completely turning my mind off and watching something that doesn t really challenge. Like Real Housewives of Atlanta. Literally watching people argue about one little thing of shade that they threw.



10 Steps For Starting a Car Wash From The Ground Up –

#car wash business

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10 Steps For Starting a Car Wash From The Ground Up

As a 40 year veteran car wash equipment manufacturer and site developer, we’ve seen it all. We know what a daunting and potentially confusing process starting a new car wash can be. What comes first? Prospecting site locations? Securing financing? Assessing your market? How soon should you begin marketing? How long will the process take?

While we certainly can’t cover everything you need to know to start a car wash in a single post, we can take a few words to cover what we feel are the 10 most important steps to launching your own car wash business.

1) Location is Everything Go Scouting

Car washes aren’t automatically successful. Great care must be taken when selecting the location on which you want to build. Our Site Model Pages have in-depth descriptions of location criteria to consider (including population, competition, street types, car counts, and more) and our site development services can help you select and approve the best locations available in your area.

Start by driving around your target area, paying close attention to the relative traffic, types of local businesses, and anything that looks for sale. Get a feel for your potential market. You should also visit a commercial real estate MLS like Loopnet.com or many others. Be sure to take your time and never rush into a purchase.

2) Review the Competition

Try to get a feel for the local car washes in the area. How many customers do they have and how aggressively are they marketing? What will they do when you open your wash? Can they afford a multi-million dollar renovation to bring their wash in line with yours? Are they debt free and can they cut prices to outcompete you (with your interest payments) in the short term? Are their customers frequent users and very loyal—or are they waiting for something better?

Entrenched local competition can be dangerous, even for Totally Tommy buildings, and selecting a location with some elbow room between you and competitors is important. But don’t worry too much about single stall automatic car washes or local fundraisers—you’ll be working in a completely different weight class.

3) Do the Paperwork

Find out what local city or county department handles business licenses and request an application, as well as information on local utility usage codes, insurance requirements, tax rates, and other requirements for opening a business. You will also need a Taxpayer Identification Number and you should use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool to check your brand then register to claim it.

Each area and city has different rules, so make sure you take the time to understand everything and keep your business in line. If you can, also get information on local sanitary sewers (for your waste water), utility prices, water usage limits, and other regulations.

4) Planning and Approval Process

Set up a meeting with the city planner. Show them a rendering of your concept and try to get verbal approval of the design—or a list of probable issues to address. If you have approval you can set up a formal meeting to present your plans and have them voted on at a city council meeting. With luck, your Totally Tommy building with its modern style, efficient design, and great investment potential will blow them away! Try to be friendly, optimistic, and down to earth. If the city gets on board with your project it can make the whole process move along more smoothly.

5) Research Car Washes

Tour as many successful car washes as possible to see what makes them tick—especially if you haven’t been in the business very long. Check out automatic car washes, partially automatic, express, detailing, and other washes to see how they differ from one another. Operations, promotions, pricing, services, demographics… Try to learn as much as you can and develop as deep a background as you can with operations, staffing policies, equipment repair, and customer management (aka, complaints ).

To help out, our team has training available to teach you everything you need to know BEFORE you’re trying to run your wash on hot days with long lines.

6) Operations Decisions

Will you run your car wash independently or will you have a franchise, LLC, or S-corp? There are many models, each with pros and cons. Franchises offer support at the cost of a residual. Solo operations offer total freedom but deprive you of much-needed backup and brand awareness. How much personal involvement are you looking for? If you plan on hiring a manager instead of handling things yourself, make sure he or she has the necessary qualifications and is heavily invested in your future success.

7) Make a Business Plan!

Your car wash business plan (click for outline) should focus on both long term and short term operations. Use a professional service and remember that the more detailed, thorough, and researched your plan is, the better it will look to investors or your bank. Include costs (up front and overhead costs), planning for building to long-term revenue management, and marketing strategies (launch and long-term). Professional proforma companies are ready to help and our team is also standing by with years of experience to back up our advice.

8) Get Financing

This is likely the most challenging step, and your success here will largely depend on how well you’ve researched and prepared your business plan ahead of time. A solid revenue model can help convince investors to put up the capital for your new car wash business, so be prepared to demonstrate that you need enough funding for a truly high quality car wash facility and equipment with great return potential. You will also need a convincing resume with business and/or car wash experience, and a solid marketing plan.

9) Build the Right Wash

Car washes thrive when they capture the attention of the local market and are designed to make turning in, purchasing a wash, and moving through the tunnel as quick and easy as possible. The Totally Tommy building is the best way to do just this, drawing huge numbers of passing customers with a great looking building, perfected layouts, and a full and fast service menu. Proven in scenarios around the country, every component of this facility design has been carefully thought out to create a single, cohesive investment that pays off. From our towers to our pay system, deceleration lanes, glass walls, stainless steel equipment, and clear roof, everything is designed to project sophistication, professionalism, and value. So why waste money reinventing the wheel, and why risk building a second-best wash when a Totally Tommy wash is waiting for you?

10) Market your New Business

Customers don’t know what they don’t know, so don’t just expect them to line up without any effort on your part. Make sure to let the community know about your wash ahead of the grand opening with onsite advertising as well as print, radio, local web, and possibly TV advertisements. You’ll begin to build a curious customer base who will drop buy and tell their friends and family afterwards. $15,000 or $1 / car for initial marketing including billboards, mailings to 5 mile radius, promotional washes, and radio commercials is a good place to start at your launch and $.10 / car is a standard ballpark long-term rate for the future. One or two day Social media campaigns (incentivize customers with free washes for best results) can also be highly successful. Be prepared to collect feedback and adapt your marketing program for the greatest possible effectiveness moving forwards.

Launching any business, and especially a brick and mortar car wash filled with high-end technology, is a complex and daunting prospect. But don’t worry. The team at Tommy Car Wash Systems has hundreds of washes behind us with thousands of installations and developments. We know the steps you’ll need to take to get your wash planed, approved, built, and operational, and we’ll help you turn a fantastic business opportunity into an even better reality.

Tommy Car Wash Systems

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The 10 Most Reliable Ways to Fund a Startup #small #business #advice


#start up business grants

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The 10 Most Reliable Ways to Fund a Startup

One of the most frequent questions I get as a mentor to entrepreneurs is How do I find the money to start my business? I always answer that there isn t any magic, and contrary to popular myth, nobody is waiting in the wings to throw money at you just because you have a new and exciting business idea.

On the other hand, there are many additional creative options available for starting a business that you might not find when buying a car, home or other major consumer item. If you have the urge to be an entrepreneur, I encourage you to think seriously about each of these, before you zero in on one or two, and get totally discouraged if those don t work for you.

Of course, every alternative has advantages and disadvantages, so any given one may not be available or attractive to you. For example, professional investors put great priority on your previous experience in building a business, and they expect to own a portion of the business equity and control for the funds they do provide. These are tough for a first-time entrepreneur.

Thus it is always a question of what you qualify for, and what you are willing to give up, to turn your dream idea into a viable business. Here is my list of the 10 most common sources of funding today, in reverse priority sequence, with some rules of thumb to channel your focus:

10. Seek a bank loan or credit-card line of credit.

In general, this won t happen for a new startup unless you have a good credit history or existing assets that you are willing to put at risk for collateral. In the U.S. you may find that the Small Business Administration (SBA) can get you infusions of cash without normal backup requirements.

9. Trade equity or services for startup help.

This is most often called bartering your skills or something you have for something you need. An example would be negotiating free office space by agreeing to support the computer systems for all the other office tenants. Another common example is exchanging equity for legal and accounting support.

8. Negotiate an advance from a strategic partner or customer.

Find a major customer, or a complimentary business, who sees such value in your idea that they are willing to give you an advance on royalty payments to complete your development. Variations on this theme include early licensing or white-labeling agreements.

7. Join a startup incubator or accelerator.

These organizations, such as Y Combinator. are very popular these days, and are often associated with major universities, community development organizations, or even large companies. Most provide free resources to startups, including office facilities and consulting, but many provide seed funding as well.

6. Solicit venture-capital investors.

These are professional investors, such as Accel Partners. who invest institutional money in qualified startups, usually with a proven business model, ready to scale. They typically look for big opportunities, needing a couple of million dollars or more, with a proven team. Look for a warm introduction to make this work.

5. Apply to local angel-investor groups.

Most metropolitan areas have groups of local high-net-worth individuals interested in supporting startups, and willing to syndicate amounts up to a million dollars for qualified startups. Use online platforms such as Gust to find them, and local networking to find ones that relate to your industry and passion.

4. Start a crowdfunding campaign online.

This newest source of funding, where anyone can participate per the JOBS Act. is exemplified by online sites such as Kickstarter. Here people make online pledges to your startup during a campaign, to pre-buy the product for later delivery, give donations or qualify for a reward, such as a T-shirt.

3. Request a small-business grant.

These are government funds allocated to support new technologies and important causes, such as education, medicine and social needs. A good place to start looking is Grants.gov. which is a searchable directory of more than 1,000 federal grant programs. The process is long, but it doesn t cost you any equity.

2. Pitch your needs to friends and family.

As a general rule, professional investors will expect that you have already have commitments from this source to show your credibility. If your friends and family don t believe in you, don t expect outsiders to jump in. This is the primary source of non-personal funds for very early-stage startups.

1. Fund your startup yourself.

These days, the costs to start a business are at an all-time low, and over 90 percent of startups are self funded (also called bootstrapping). It may take a bit longer to save some money before you start and grow organically, but the advantage is that you don t have to give up any equity or control. Your business is yours alone.

You can see that all of these options require work and commitment on your part, so there is no magic or free money. Every funding decision is a complex tradeoff between near-term and longer-term costs and paybacks, as well as overall ownership and control.

With the many options available, there is no excuse for not living your dream, rather than dreaming about living.



Fun For Kids – What is the Stock Market? #business #mentor


#the stock market

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What is the Stock Market?

The stock market is an everyday term we use to talk about a place where stocks and bonds are traded meaning bought and sold. For many people, that is the first thing that comes to mind for investing. The goal is to buy the stock, hold it for a time, and then sell the stock for more than you paid for it.

How long do you hang on to stock? Investors who hold stock for 15 years or more usually succeed in the market. Stocks are long-term investments. But there are no guarantees.

What are stocks?

Stocks are units of ownership in a company.

Companies sell stock to get money to

  • Research better ways to make things
  • Create new products
  • Improve the products they have
  • Hire more employees
  • Enlarge or modernize their buildings

So just as the federal government sells bonds to raise money, businesses raise money by selling stock.

How it works

When you buy stock, you become a shareholder. which means you now own a part of the company. If the company’s profits go up, you share in those profits. If the company’s profits fall, so does the price of your stock. If you sold your stock on a day when the price of that stock falls below the price you paid for it, you would lose money.

Stock prices can rise and fall

In the stock market, prices rise and fall every day. When you invest in the stock market, you are hoping that over the years, the stock will become much more valuable than the price you paid for it.

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