That sluggish, sleepy period between Christmas and New Year's is a traditional time to recover from the frenzy and excess of the holidays by kicking back and watching movies.
Unfortunately, that kind of leisure just isn't an option for most small business owners. There's always work to do. Best get to it. But that doesn't mean you can't squeeze in a few must-see flicks between your chores. We're talking short videos for small business.
Here's one of those gotta-have-it gifts that hardworking manufacturers and suppliers all over Minnesota can give themselves this holiday season: An online place to find - and be found by - more customers right in their own communities, regions and state.
A Minnesota manufacturers supply chain database has been on the industry's wishlist for quite a while. And this year, manufacturers will find it neatly wrapped beneath their collective tree.
A couple years ago, Lisa Lavin posed a question to a friend over lunch. “Do you have a patent burning a hole in your back pocket?” she wondered.
The inquiry wasn't entirely out of leftfield, considering that Lavin’s dining companion was Mark Kroll, an internationally recognized biomedical engineer who helped revolutionize implantable heart defibrillators, who holds more than 350 issued or pending patents, and who is widely considered Minnesota’s most inventive genius.
For anyone who dreads the thought of writing anything longer or more complex than a text or a tweet, words like "describe", "discuss", or "detail" are synonyms for a splitting headache and the main ingredients for an upset stomach.
If you're among the faint of heart when it comes to putting complete sentences and paragraphs down on paper, it's a good idea to stock up on pain pills and Pepto before you sit down to write the guts of your business plan. This is going to be like the world's longest essay exam. Deep details count big. Generalities, not so much.
There’s a literary legend in which Ernest Hemingway places a brash wager on the power of brevity.
Insisting that just a few well-chosen words are enough to tell a compelling story, Hemingway bets several other writers $10 each that he can compose a complete story – one with a beginning, middle and end – in just six words.
Once his buddies ante up, he pens this on a napkin: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Short. Engaging. Powerful.
Whether it's true or not is a matter for literary scholars to debate. But when it comes to writing the executive summary of your business plan, it’s a good idea to channel Hemingway just a little.
Here’s a Thanksgiving recipe that should become a tradition all over Minnesota:
Take one small business – preferably one that’s homegrown, not mass-produced – and stuff it with customers and a generous portion of greenbacks. Serves: the entire community.
Success in business is no accident.
Ok, so everyone knows someone who launched a business on a whim; has flown it by the seat of his pants; and – far from going down in flames – has been wildly successful. Yes, it happens. But it’s not the norm.
What do Westinghouse, Walgreens, Wendy’s, Forbes and FedEx have in common? Besides the letters W and F, that is.
Give up? Or maybe the better word here is “surrender.” (Pssst. That’s a clue.)