I have often asked myself this question “How did they get the funding for their business?” especially when hearing about start-up businesses that have been around less than a year or two and have no discernible revenue model. Since I have work to do and have no time to “keep up with the Jones”, I just let it go but the question remains. It just seems like a good idea and hard work are not enough. That’s why I am so excited to read Chris Rabb’s new book, Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity. In his book, Rabb puts forth concrete and effective ways entrepreneurs and their advocates can build and grow sustainable enterprises amid these unseen forces created by society’s uneven playing field. It comes out in November, but you can pre-order it now.
Full Disclosure: Chris Rabb is my cousin-in-law, and I am proud!
Seth Godin has a great post listing important elements to consider when starting a business today. Here’s 10 of the elements, but you can read the rest on Seth’s blog.
- Build in virality. Consider: Groupon.
- Don’t sell a product that can be purchased cheaper at Amazon.
- Subscriptions beat one-off sales.
- Try to create an environment where your customers are happier when there are other customers doing business with you (see #1).
- Treat different customers differently.
- Generate joy, don’t just satisfy a need for a commodity.
- Rely on unique individuals, not an easily copyable system.
- Plan on remarkable experiences, not remarkable ads.
- Don’t build a fortress of secrets, bet on open.
- Unless there’s a differentiating business reason, use off the shelf software and cheap cloud storage.
Intuit is hosting its second annual Entrepreneur Day on August 16 at their headquarters in Mountain View, California. The deadline for submission is Friday July 16. Last year, Intuit organized the first Entrepreneur Day where 40 companies met with senior business leaders and propose how they could collaborate with Intuit to develop new products and services. On August 16th, Intuit co-founder Scott Cook will kick off the day by sharing reflections from his experience as an entrepreneur and open up the discussion to participants. Intuit leaders will give a first-hand introduction to Intuit’s overall strategy as well as strategies specific to business units. Companies at the event will participate in “speed-dating” sessions during which they will pitch their idea to Intuit business unit leaders. Finally, the day ends with a social hour where invited companies and Intuit innovators get to showcase their innovations while enjoying food and drink.
Lunch and Learn: Marci Alboher will talk about “encore careers” at the 92 Y Tribeca on Tuesday, April 27.
They can bring home the bacon: Read this post about women entrepreneurs by Adelaide Lancaster.
The Lady Knows: Yesterday, I say Melinda Emerson (AKA SmallBizLady) speak at the 140Conf. I love that her goal is to end small business failure.
Add fun to your bar: Stickybits lets you add digital content (mp3, jpg, mov) to barcodes.
Credit check: Transunion has launched Zendough, an all-in-one site that addresses concerns abour credit scores and identity theft.
If you are new to Keeping Nickels, I want to let you know that I have recently combined my love of food photography to blogging about business and personal finance. East post will feature a picture I have taken in the last week.
Friday night, I attended BizNik event at In Good Company. Biznik is a social networking community for entrepreneurs. They have groups most on the west coast in cities including Portland, SanFrancisco and Seattle. When I arrived, I immediately ran into my friend Erica Ecker, a home and office organizer, and it was good to catch up with her.
Hosted by Jezra Kaye and Caroline Green, the happy hour was full of friendly people doing interesting things.
Celia Currin is the founder of Whisper Street, which builds automatic websites.
Stephanie Cockerl runs NextSteph, and she is a blog designer and SEO consultant.
Hideki Aono is a graphic and digital designer.
Sharon Beason provides concierge servcices in Brooklyn.
Anastasia Toom is a spiritual counselor and healer.
Phyllis Taylor is a virtual assistant.
It would seem with the high cost of living and high tax rate that New York City would be a bad place to start a business. Rubbish! In my experience, New York is great place to be an entrepreneur. The talented people, the business community, the high speed internet and the idea that there is something for everyone makes running a successful business possible. Here are some great resources.
To help you get started, check out NYC.gov’s site.
New York City Entrepreneur Week is April 20-24. There will lots of events and speakers. Plus there is a contest where you can submit your business plane.
BootupNYC is like a mashup of a business networking and a dance party. It will be Wednesday April 22 at Webster Hall.
The Runway Project helps people get in gear and start their businesses. Their next meetup, “Brainstorm: Get Your Idea From Napkin to Action” will be April 16 at New Work City.
With an eye on keeping expenses to a minimum, it’s good to focus on business-related that can inform, inspire or connect you to the right people. I recommend these events below.
Tonight, Girls in Tech hosts pitching expert Laura Allen tonight for a super-fast 15-second pitch session for Women in Start-ups. Fee: $10.99
On October 16, the lovely folks from All Day Buffet are holding their first conference, The Feast. Speakers include Dickson Despommier, Dale Jones and Summer Rayne Oakes. I’m going to this event.
On Monday, November 17, the New York Times will be hosting its 4th Annual Small Business Summit. Speakers include Liz Lange and Gary Hirshberg from Stonyfield Farm. (I love their yogurt!) I went last year, and enjoyed it.