At the beginning of Day 3, Randy White shared about soul care for the social entrepreneur. After getting an update from each entrepreneur, Andrew Shinn taught business modeling – how to plan and project for success. Participants learned about pricing, cost of goods sold, monthly […]
Over the past few years, I’ve used Pricing Magic to help hundreds of entrepreneurs start their businesses profitably. Today I’m excited to announce that the kit is also available as a video course! For those of us who learn visually (which is almost all of […]
I’ve been really enjoying Guy Raz’s excellent How I Built This podcast on NPR. When I was listening to an episode with Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream fame, I noticed a few lessons that today’s entrepreneurs could learn.
- When Ben and Jerry were picking the site for their first ice cream shop, they stood out on street corners with handheld Tally Counters to count foot traffic. This is an excellent Lean Startup-style experiment, and one that only requires hustle and work (and a tally counter). They were making cheap, practical, data-driven decisions, even at a very early stage in their company.
- They started with only $8,000 of invested startup capital. And they taught themselves about making ice cream via a correspondence course.
- When Ben and Jerry wrote their first business plan for funding, they didn’t know what they were doing. They used a business plan from a pizza restaurant to guide them. When they were finished running their projections, they realized that they would have to set higher sales targets to stay in business. So they set higher sales targets and did what it took to reach them. This is an EXCELLENT example of the value to be gained from planning and projections. This is exactly the kind of insights that you should surface while you’re doing planning and business modeling.
If you want to read more about the Ben and Jerry’s story, you can check out the classic, “Ben & Jerry’s: The Inside Scoop: How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor“:
I’m privileged to teach business and entrepreneurship at Fresno Pacific University. This semester, my students in Seminar in Strategic Management are launching businesses. Here are a few of the projects they’re working on:
For Freedom Flags
These patriotic decor pieces are great gifts for veterans, police officers, firefighter, and other heroes and patriots.
This dynamic duo is offering social media marketing consulting for small businesses. Any business that needs more traffic or wants to sell more should look them up!
These caring helpers take care of the daily household needs of older people. They help people living on their own to stay independent for longer, and they provide peace of mind for anyone responsible for an older relative.
These recycle-preneurs take used or broken electronics and give them a new life before selling them overseas to people who don’t have access to the latest gadgets.
T.H.E. Detail Kings
These hard-working guys help to protect the investment you’ve made in your car. They make your used car feel like a new car for only a fraction of the price!
These guys make unique stickers, delivered with a unique experience!
These guys deliver custom, classy t-shirts for military members and firearms enthusiasts. They also offer military unit t-shirts at a good price and right when they’re needed.
String It On
This team makes custom string art wall art (backed by good stories) for home stagers and moms with kids.
Which project is your favorite? Which one(s) do you want more information about?
Do you want some money to start your business? Of course you do! Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading websites like this one. While you have many good options for financing a start-up, I want to offer you another one. This is the Jump Start loan program offered by the Valley Small Business Development Corporation. This is a small loan, ranging from $500 to $10,000.
You can use it to buy equipment or inventory, improve your signage, or set up a website. There’s no minimum credit score and very little paperwork. If you’re interested in this startup loan program, contact Rich Mostert at the VSBDC. Rich can be reached at (559) 476-3975 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I recommend working with these guys; they funded my first business loan many years ago. If this loan program isn’t right for you, they have others to look at.
If you want to read about funding a small business, take a look at Financing Your Small Business: From SBA Loans and Credit Cards to Common Stock and Partnership Interests.
*Disclosure: I’m not in any kind of relationship with VSBDC – I’m just passing this information on for your benefit. They don’t pay me any kind of commission or kickback.
The Lean Startup is a book that’s foundational for understanding much of the conversation around entrepreneurship today. But here’s the thing: if you haven’t read the book, it’s not what you think it is. I talk with business leaders and academics all the time. When […]