Profit Minded
  • A 3-step strategy to make your first million

    POP QUIZ: What’s the difference between a professional salsa dancer and a millionaire?

    The answer: Nothing. They both know how to use simple mental “hacks” to become highly successful at a new skill.

    Learning any skill (even salsa dancing) gives us the chance to set measurable goals and test our approach over and over again until we finally see success. You just need to experiment with enough approaches to find the one that works best.

    Here's a great example from my friend Lewis Howes, who taught himself salsa dancing -- and in the process, devised a 3-step strategy to make his first million.


    How salsa dancing helped me make my first million -- by Lewis Howes

    I’m 6’4 and 225 lbs, and when people look at me I’m sure the last thing they’re thinking is, “I bet that tall white dude is a good salsa dancer.”

    But, with all humility, I'm not bad for a white guy. And, the lessons I learned along the way to becoming good on my feet are the very principles that helped me make my first million

    Read More »from A 3-step strategy to make your first million
  • Southern small businesses safest loan bets, data show

    WAIN Street has been charting Relative Credit Quality of small businesses in four U.S. regions monthly for 3 years. A value of 1 indicates that the credit quality is the same as that of the US. A value greater than 1 corresponds to the credit quality being better than the overall US.

    Thinking about investing in a small business? Do not head West; go South.

    At least that’s the takeaway from new data published by WAIN Street, a company whose monthly index predicts the likelihood of 18 million small businesses in a variety of sectors and geographic regions to default on financial obligations. The index aggregates micro-level indicators of credit performance such as bankruptcy and delinquency concerning U.S. businesses with a headcount of fewer than 20, but excludes sole proprietors and businesses with a single owner/operator.

    WAIN Street publisher and financial analyst Vidur Dhanda reports that, overall, his Business Default Index—quoted as a seasonally adjusted, annualized default rate—showed an improvement of 0.06 percent between September and October, but says the improvement was narrow with a near equal number of businesses improving and deteriorating in credit quality.

    “The improvement is remarkable considering the drama in D.C. at the start of October,” Dhanda

    Read More »from Southern small businesses safest loan bets, data show
  • Rainbow Loom Leads to Entrepreneurial Gold for Many

    The success of Rainbow Loom inventor Cheong-Choon Ng is every entrepreneur’s fantasy. The Michigan-based mechanical engineer-turned toymaker, who has sold 3 million of his plastic handloom kits in under three years (with revenue of over $15 million), says, “Actually, it’s mind blowing. Every day I wake up and tell myself this is for real, it’s not a dream.”

    An immigrant from Malaysia, Ng was working as a crash safety engineer for Nissan in Detroit when, inspired by his daughters’ friendship-bracelet-making hobby, he designed a small loom with hooks for weaving jewelry from colorful rubber bands. The girls and their friends liked it so much that he started a side business, Choon’s Designs, LLC, to manufacture more. He and his wife invested their entire $10,000 life savings in having a prototype and initial order made in China. (U.S. manufacturers he spoke to would have charged upwards of $20,000 just to create the mold, he says.)

    Ng ran the entire operation out of his home until seven

    Read More »from Rainbow Loom Leads to Entrepreneurial Gold for Many
  • New tools now available to Yahoo Web Hosting customers!

    Yahoo Web Hosting customers:  starting this week you will have access to a range of simple, affordable, and effective tools to build and grow your business, right from your Web Hosting Control Panel.

    This is being rolled out in a phased manner, and when enabled for you, your Web Hosting Control Panel will include Live Web Insights, a free app available through Yahoo Commerce Central. This tool puts your finger on the pulse of your small business site, gives you a real-time view of how customers are exploring your site, and makes personalized recommendations to help improve traffic and sales.

    With Live Web Insights you can:

    • Know exactly what’s happening on your site in real time: Real-time information about current site visitors lets you see how your visitors are browsing your site looking for information on your products and services.
    • Get data-driven guidance on what to do next: Find your top keywords, referring sites, where your customers are coming from, your site’s growth and
    Read More »from New tools now available to Yahoo Web Hosting customers!
  • Independence is leading motivation for entrepreneurs

    A survey by BizFilings of 1,110 small business owners conducted this month (November 2013) highlights that the largest group of people becoming small business owners choose to do so because they are seeking independence. And the smallest group are those driven by becoming rich. BizFilings highlighted its survey in the infographic below. We aren't sure how valuable the flow of questions and answers is but the end result matches our experience with independence and passion being bigger drivers than money - which is a good thing since financial success from a small business only comes with lots of very hard work - so that work better be satisfying!

    Read More »from Independence is leading motivation for entrepreneurs
  • Why a digital communications company went postal

    Alexa Hirschfeld is a something of a tech-entrepreneur celebrity for having founded Paperless Post in 2007 with her brother James when she was just a year out of college and he was still matriculating. At 29, she’s already made several “most influential women in technology lists” and she’s not even technically a technologist, just a digital native.

    Now her company has evolved to serve customers who want something other than the virtual product it offers. What sets Paperless Post apart from other electronic invitation websites such as Evite is that the Hirschfelds conceived and designed their platform to cater to the formal invitation market, which had yet to transition online. In 2007, Hirschfeld says, “pretty much everything was going online, except there were some culturally important types of communication, like wedding invitations, that just hadn’t.”

    Though many people she spoke to predicted that formal invitations would never shift from paper to electronic, she didn’t buy it. “The

    Read More »from Why a digital communications company went postal
  • Sales rates are plummeting again for small business

    Small business growth is at its lowest since the recession, according to the financial information company Sageworks. An analysis of private companies with less than $5 million in annual sales reveals that these companies are seeing average sales growth of just 0.3 percent in 2013.

    Among four sectors—construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and retail trade—private small construction companies are faring best, with year-to-date growth of 1.6 percent. Private small manufacturing firms saw negative growth (-2.9 percent) as did private wholesale trade (-4.7 percent) and private retail trade (-1.9 percent).

    To be sure, 2013 rates are far healthier than they were at the recession’s depth in 2009 when small companies’ sales growth plummeted to between -6 and -14 percent. But in 2011 and 2012, businesses seemed to be recovering as the growth rates for all industries was better than 7 percent, and for those four sectors rates ranged from 5.9 percent to 12.8 percent. Sageworks Chairman Brian

    Read More »from Sales rates are plummeting again for small business
  • A new line of business is introduced in your company and you’re in charge of making it a success. There’s a mountain of new data that you now have to track that didn’t exist before. Things like, client demographics, service requests, process flow info and sales data. Your IT department doesn’t have the time or resources to respond to your requests so you do the only thing you can do. You open Microsoft Excel and start typing away, problem solved!

    The project starts to get a little complex so you add a few more tabs and even create entirely different spreadsheets to manage different types of data. You have one for clients, one for new orders, and one for tracking where the client is in the service process. You know where everything is and this seems like a big help. Then you realize that when working on service orders you have to be able to see the related client info on the same spreadsheet tab at the same time. That’s easily solved by a little cut and paste, right?

    Then managers from

    Read More »from 3 Solutions to Ending Data Chaos: Spreadsheets vs. Off-The-Shelf Solutions vs. Custom Web Based Applications
  • The best 18 tablet apps for business: Winners of the Tabby Awards

    As businesses follow the wider market and become ever more mobile in their technology and operations, it becomes increasingly important to find mobile
    versions of business apps and even brand new apps designed for mobile devices. That’s why it is worth paying attention to the Tabby Awards where the focus is on business, unlike most mobile apps awards where more attention is paid to consumers and gaming.

    The Tabby Awards /Business, considers productivity tablet apps on all major platforms (iOS, Android and Windows 8) and results are announced as part of the TabTimes TabletBiz conference & expo. Here are the 18 winning apps:

    • Best Collaboration app: Fuze for iPad (iOS), by FuzeBox (USA)
    • Best Communications app: ClickMeeting Videoconferencing (iOS), by Implix (Poland)
    • Best Creation and Design app: Concepts: Smarter Sketching (iOS), by TopHatch (USA)
    • Best Data Access and Collection app: Citrix ShareFile (iOS), by Citrix (USA)
    • Best Education and Training app: Curious (iOS), by
    Read More »from The best 18 tablet apps for business: Winners of the Tabby Awards
  • With the recent Twitter public offering, we may see "Mom and Pop," or retail, investors racing to invest in the "next hot IPO." Unfortunately, many of these investors will come out on the losing end of the equation.

    Granted, some IPO deals are good for retail investors, but I'd argue the odds of that happening are stacked against you. Regulatory rules, designed to protect IPO investors, generate reams of disclosures about the company and the offering process, but unfortunately, many investors neither read nor understand these.

    On an individual level, of course, there are strong companies that go public and yield high returns for initial investors. However, what I'm concerned by is a certain "narrative" about IPOs that relies heavily on several perceptions that are highly problematic.

    Myth #1: Investing in an IPO gets you in on the ground floor.

    People assume an IPO is an opportunity to "get in on the ground floor" of owning a good company. In reality, you're coming in on something like the

    Read More »from 5 Myths about IPOs: The dangerous narrative of “the next big thing”


(439 Stories)


Profit Minded is the Yahoo! Small Business Advisor blog that looks at ideas, trends, commerce, and noteworthy developments that can help small business owners develop and grow their organizations.

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Owen Linderholm

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