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Social Enterprise Academy Day 3

Social Enterprise Academy Day 3

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 […]

Pricing Magic Video Course now available!

Pricing Magic Video Course now available!

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 […]

Lessons in Entrepreneurship from Ben and Jerry’s

Lessons in Entrepreneurship from Ben and Jerry’s

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.

  1. 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.
  2. They started with only $8,000 of invested startup capital. And they taught themselves about making ice cream via a correspondence course.
  3. 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“:

Social Enterprise Academy – Resources from Day 2

For day 2, we heard from Brice Yocum, Rex B, and Miles Sebesta. Stuff Brice shared: Change by Design by Tim Brown Design thinking: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test Fairness is overrated. Don’t serve everyone: serve one group with excellence. You can’t swing at every […]

Social Enterprise Academy

Social Enterprise Academy

 Here’s a gallery version of these photos. Today marked the first day of the Social Enterprise Academy run by the Center for Community Transformation at Fresno Pacific University. I’ve been privileged to get to work on this project as a writer, an entrepreneurship advisor, […]

Businesses my students are launching

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.

Altered Marketing

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!

Wisdom Watchers

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.

Cell Now

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!

Renegade Shirts

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?

How valuable are brands?

Taio Cruz, in his 2010 song Dynamite, sings, “I came to dance, dance, dance, dance I hit the floor ’cause that’s my plans, plans, plans, plans I’m wearin’ all my favorite brands, brands, brands, brands Give me some space for both my hands, hands, hands, […]

Featured Entrepreneur: Pitman Farms

I had the privilege this week of visiting Pitman Farms, the company behind Mary’s Free Range Chicken. Though I didn’t meet Mary or her husband Rick, I did get to sit down with their son Ben. He told us about the family business, including their […]

Money to start your business

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 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.

Reading for Entrepreneurs: The Lean Startup

Reading for Entrepreneurs: The Lean Startup

 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 […]