Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Yankee Invention Exposition

I will be running a workshop on Entrepreneurial Marketing at the Yankee Invention Exposition in Waterbury, CT on October 13.

I'll post a summary of my points after the Expo.

For more information, visit:

To read about Entrepreneurial Marketing, visit my website:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hillary's Plan won't work

I had such high hopes for Hillary's health plan. Too many Americans don't have health insurance. Too many Americans find preventive care to be too expensive. American business is at a competitive disadvantage internationally because we are saddled with high health insurance costs, while businesses in other countries with national health aren't.

But Hillary's plan doesn't help kids fresh out of college with no employment. It doesn't help those working part-time to make ends meet. And it saddles all businesses with more health insurance expenses. Small businesses cannot afford this.

We need a plan that helps the lower income and middle income folks. We need a plan that helps people get preventive care, while protecting them from catastrophic losses when they get really sick. We need a plan that doesn't place an undue burden on small and medium businesses.

How about a plan that removes all payroll taxes for people earning under the poverty level? Everyone could take that savings and put it into a federal health plan or into a retirement fund. To cover the shortfall in social security funding, the government could take the income cap off payroll taxes. The federal plan would cover preventive/wellness care and insure against catastropic loss.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Friday, I met with a PR expert. He suggested that I focus on helping companies grow, rather than just doing business plans. I've been thinking about that ever since. It makes sense, but it doesn't seem very unique. On the other hand, a business plan is only a tool that enables growth. It's a roadmap, a vehicle for fundraising, and a means of managing growth. The planning process helps managers focus on deciding what they want to achieve and the best way to do it. I realized that I already do help companies grow. That is the benefit I offer. And why not focus on the benefit?

I've decided I like the idea and will begin my own process of seeing how I can achieve what I want. I'm going to explore this new positioning.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Small Business Web Sites

50% of small businesses still don't have Web sites. I find this incredible. With all the ways to create a Web site cheaply, there's no excuse not to have a site. A Web site gives a business a place to establish itself as a brand. It lets you get the word out to the potential customers who might be looking for you and your services or products. and Yahoo! both offer really easy and inexpensive means to set up sites.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Do Start-Ups Need Plans?

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007, the Wall Street Journal's "Enterprise" column asked, "Do Start-Ups Really Need Formal Business Plans?"

Some academics say - no - unless you are seeking venture or angel capital. Big plans of 50 pages aren't worth the time. It's better to execute. That said, a good summary and PowerPoint, plus detailed financial projections are all start-ups really need to raise money.

I would agree. I haven't written a full 30-page plan in years. But I do write excutive summaries for clients, and they have raised capital with the summaries and financial projections.

Just doing the summary makes you, the business owner, think through the elevator pitch and the business model. It makes you go out and get relevant data about the market. And doing financial projections lets you know how much money you need to raise in order to achieve success. It also tells you how fast you'll burn cash and when you'll break even. These are crucial pieces of information.

The planning process also helps some entrepreneurs realize that they really don't need outside funding. Or if they do, they could take on some debt, rather than giving away equity and ownership to investors. Several entrepreneurs I've worked with have discovered that organic growth -- plowing profits back into the business -- is the best way to grow.

Bottom line for me -- do plan -- do an excutive summary and financial projections. And get together an excellenet management team.

You can read the WSJ article at: