• A Branding Guru Shares Wisdom with Women Entrepreneurs

    Rather Be In ChargeIf there’s anyone who knows how to package a brand for success it’s Charlotte Beers, former CEO of advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather. During her lengthy career, which included a post as Undersecretary of State to Colin Powell, Beers was widely considered one of the most powerful women in American.

    Author of last year’s “I’d Rather Be In Charge,” a guide to achieving “pride, power, and joy at work,” Beers now offers 5-day “X-Factor” seminars across the U.S. and Europe to give women tools she says they need to “take charge, find pride and power at work, and learn to never miss a moment to lead.” Beers says she’s on a mission to help women find the power they have within and to exercise it, and that her book can help anyone become a masterful communicator.

    At the OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp at the American Express World Headquarters in New York recently Beers shared some of her wisdom in an hour-long session called “Authentic Leadership Breeds Confidence.” At 78, the supremely poised and

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  • Highlights of our #GoSMB Twitter Chat with @UPS

    We held a live Twitter chat with @UPS on Thursday Sept. 26th. Participating was Melanie Alavi, UPS Retail Marketing Manager. Here are some of the highlights from that event.

    The chat took a basic Q&A format.

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  • Jason Headsetsdotcom – IWearYourShirt Founder and CEO answers questions via live chat

    Here are the highlights of our Live Chat with Jason Headsetdotcom, Founder and CEO of IWearYourShirt.







    Jason Headsetsdotcom (formerly Jason Sadler) is the Founder and CEO of IWearYourShirt. In 2008 he recognized the growing influence of social media and decided he could utilize these platforms in a new and unique way, by getting paid to wear sponsored t-shirts for a living. Each day, Jason represented a different company online using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Ustream and Flickr. Jason has worked with over 1,000 clients that include professional sports organizations, advertising agencies, Fortune 500s, startups, and more. Jason previously co-owned a web design company and in 2013 auctioned off his last name to the highest bidder. Jason will be selling his last name again for 2014 and has a new project launching October 1.







    #StartupLab is a free virtual mentorship program created by The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of

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  • How do you hack offline as rapidly and as effectively as you hack online?

    Web startups can iterate a product and get it back on the market in a matter of seconds. But with product companies, we’re faced with manufacturing lead times that create a much longer development cycle. Luckily, Ministry of Supply's co-founders also went to MIT, where we learned the importance of hacking -- i.e., moving fast, iterating quickly and using customer insights to educate design.

    To that end, I want to share some creative ways that MoS brought some of the best online practices offline, and applied them to our product company:

    A/B testing isn’t only for web companies.

    When A/B testing, companies randomly test two variants and determine which one better achieves the company’s goals (e.g., click-through rate or conversion).  Web startups are notorious for doing this often and well -- and then optimizing based on the results.

    When we started Ministry of Supply, we wondered if we could take this same principle

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  • Announcing a live chat with IWearYourShirt Founder and CEO Jason Headsetsdotcom

    Jason Sadler

    Streaming live on Yahoo! Small Business Advisor’s Young Entrepreneur blog Founder and CEO of IWearYourShirt will answer questions from readers at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) Thursday, September 26th. As part of the Young Entrepreneur Council’s #StartupLab initiative, a virtual mentorship program, Jason will appear live via video chat broadcast on this site.

    Jason Headsetsdotcom (formerly Jason Sadler) is the Founder and CEO of IWearYourShirt. In 2008 he recognized the growing influence of social media and decided he could utilize these platforms in a new and unique way, by getting paid to wear sponsored t-shirts for a living. Each day, Jason represented a different company online using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Ustream and Flickr. Jason has worked with over 1,000 clients that include professional sports organizations, advertising agencies, Fortune 500s, startups, and more. Jason previously co-owned a web design company and in 2013 auctioned off his last name to the

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  • AmEx BootCamp teaches women entrepreneurs “three pillars of success”

    Melinda Emerson the SmallBizLady“We know we run better businesses than men, we just need the revenue to prove it.” Those words of encouragement, delivered in good humor by Melinda Emerson, better known to her 236,000 Twitter followers as @SmallBizLady, were among many that drew applause from an audience of nearly 300 women business owners at the American Express global headquarters in New York on Friday.

    The diverse group of female entrepreneurs had gathered for “OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp,” an all day-summit that kicked off a national series of live and online events hosted by American Express OPEN, the financial services company’s small business division, that promises to teach women entrepreneurs “the fundamental pillars for successful ventures: confidence, competence, and connections.”

    OPEN executives say they shaped the program based on needs identified in a recent “mindset survey” of 300 female owners of companies with fewer than 100 employees. The data reveal that, while most women surveyed ranked themselves

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  • Paypal Launches Breakthrough Small Business Loan Program – Working Capital

    PayPal Working Capital

    Paypal today announced a new loan program for small businesses that provides simpler and quicker access to capital as well as fixed and predictable costs and repayment schedule that is not tied to a fixed date. The program, while limited at first, is a radical approach to small business financing and one that could shake up the market for small business lending.

    Currently most very small businesses (3 or fewer employees) actually get most of their financing either in the form of self-financing or from friends and family or via a line of credit that is tied to their personal credit. Business loans from banks and cash lenders make up a much smaller percentage. You can get some idea of the small business lending landscape in this infographic.

    In addition, small business lending has been on a downturn since the economic crash and only this year has shown any signs of reviving. This is particularly true for online businesses where there are no physical assets against which to secure a loan.

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  • Cash Flow

    My client Steve called me up the other day to ask, “Where’s all my money?” I did a double take, thinking he wanted me to pay him.

    “What do you mean?” I asked.

    Turns out, Steve is invoice rich, but cash poor -- meaning he has plenty of business (invoices going out and payments coming in), but he also has a lot of cash going out. He needed to understand the difference between cash flow and profitability.

    The definitions are pretty clear, but sometimes the application is a little more complicated. Cash is the amount of money you have in your wallet, in your bank, or under the mattress. Simple as that. Cash flow is the actual movement of that money in or out of the business. Profit is the (theoretical) amount of money you keep after you pay your expenses, it is closely related to cash and cash flow, but it is NOT cash.

    Steve’s design agency is doing all right. They generate $1.2 million in revenue and earn a 5 percent net profit on that volume. Steve’s customers pay 30 days after he invoices

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  • How TechShop is spawning individual industrial revolutions

    TechShop Laser“It took the U.S. and Europe 150 years to go through the Industrial Revolution. Now, you can go through your own personal industrial revolution in 90 days,” says TechShop CEO Mark Hatch.

    That’s not hyperbole from the former Green Beret with an MBA and spiked silver hair. In an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Small Business on Friday in New York, Hatch, who was in town for the World Maker Faire, relayed numerous near-overnight manufacturing success stories that have emerged from TechShop facilities around the country.

    Since the company’s founding in 2006  in Menlo Park, Calif., locations have sprung up in San Francisco, San Jose, Detroit, Austin, and Pittsburgh. Members pay around $125 per month to access $1 million worth of advanced machinery and design software, 7 days a week, 9:00 am – midnight.

    TechShop’s $60 million investment offering announced today—perhaps the first to leverage new fundraising rules enabled by the JOBS Act—will help expand some existing facilities and establish at

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  • Go global for growth, says economic competitiveness expert



    When it comes to global sales, the U.S. ranks alongside Rwanda and Tajikistan with 17 percent of GDP coming from exports. Germany’s export-to-GDP ratio, by comparison, is 52 percent. So it’s little wonder that Nilmini Rubin,senior advisor for global economic competitiveness of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, believes there are huge opportunities for U.S. businesses to increase their competitiveness.  

    Fewer than 1 percent of the 30 million companies in the U.S. export, and 60 percent of that 1 percent export to only one country, she says. Those data, she says, point to “a massive incentive for increasing our exports.”

    Rubin, who leads technology, trade, finance, and energy legislation work for the committee, spoke at the Techonomy conference in Detroit this week. Techonomy CEO David Kirpatrick asked Rubin to explain how the U.S. can stay competitive and, “What should we be thinking of as a priority as we see countries around the world redoubling their focus on making jobs, building

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