Profit Minded
  • How funding mompreneurs is good for Kimberly-Clark

    Stephen Paljieg, Senior Director, Corporate Growth and Innovation for Kimberly-Clark, says he was shocked to learn that there are 6 million entrepreneurial moms in the U.S. The number showed great promise for a concept Paljieg was considering a few years ago to crowdsource new product ideas for Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies brand from its customer base.

    Clearly there are a lot of people buying Huggies diapers and wipes who have great ideas. And considering the fact that less than 3 percent of all venture capital dollars go to women-owned startups, Paljieg realized the best way to get input from mompreneurs would be to offer them what they needed most: financial resources to get their ideas off the ground.

    Paljieg described the Huggies MomInspired Grant Program at the Crowdopolis Big Apple meeting in New York this week. For women who have business or product ideas “inspired by the joys of motherhood,” the program, which Paljieg says will call for a new round of applicants this May, could be

    Read More »from How funding mompreneurs is good for Kimberly-Clark
  • Baby boomers say they’re more entrepreneurial than their offspring

    Millennial Branding study data by Monster, with icon and graphics by CharfishDesign

    Widespread technology access has eliminated many barriers to starting a new business in the past decade. And with 20-something business founders like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Rent-the-Runway’s Jennifer Hyman dominating headlines, it’s easy to believe that Generation Y youth have not just easier access but more entrepreneurial chutzpah than their baby boomer parents. But a new survey debunks that notion.

    Monster.com and Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, found in a survey of more than 2,800 Monster users that 45 percent of Baby Boomers (typically defined as the group born between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s) and 41 percent of Gen-Xers (born mid-1960s to early 1980s) consider themselves to be entrepreneurial. Only 32 percent of Generation Y (born early 1980s to early 2000s) respondents do.

    Members of Gen Y also confess to being less comfortable with risk than their elders. Only 28 percent of Gen Y respondents identified with being “high risk,” compared to

    Read More »from Baby boomers say they’re more entrepreneurial than their offspring
  • Money Secrets

    Why is all money advice the same? Why do so-called “experts” keep giving us confusing advice that never seems to work?

    For example, my favorite chestnut -- “Keep a budget!” -- almost never works. Yet do we question the advice? No. We blame ourselves, instead of realizing that budgets almost never work. (If you want a better way to manage your money, try automating it.)

    Your financial life would be tough enough if all you had to sort out was the confusing advice, but when you peek behind the veil, you’ll discover several money secrets that the money pros won’t tell you.

    Secret #1: Cutting back on lattes almost never works

    How many of us have heard this advice? “If you stop spending money on lattes, in 30 years, you could have $90,000 saved!” It sounds logical -- but it doesn’t work. If it did, we all would have cut back and we’d dutifully be stuffing our bank accounts with $3 every day. Here’s why saving money on lattes is futile:

    1. We love our morning coffee. It’s not just the

    Read More »from 3 Ways Personal Financial Advisors Mislead You
  • Global Quality

    For businesses that outsource their manufacturing to overseas suppliers, quality control is critical to success. Outsourcing, though, is not a level playing field. When the world's most valuable company, Apple, has an axe to grind on QC, CEO Tim Cook can jet in, don a white coat and demand a tour of the factory. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Cook revealed that Apple and its supplier work so closely that employees from Cupertino regularly bunk in Chinese factory dorms.

    If you're a small business you'll never wield Apple's level of influence—putting eyeballs and clipboards on the factory floor at every stage of the production process takes time and money that few SMEs can spare. But there are measures available, short of moving into a dorm room in China, that can help ensure the products that roll off the assembly line meet your standards and those of your customers. Here are five tips for getting what you pay for, without paying a lot to do so:

    1. ASK FOR

    Read More »from Global Trading Tips: The Fivefold Path to Quality Control
  • Trusting your team: A business owner’s aha! moment

    Businesswoman Lisa Firestone is a meticulous planner. When she approached her partners at an employee benefits consulting firm 15 years ago with a buyout offer in hand, she had a resignation letter in the other hand and four months of legal and financial strategizing behind her.

    When her buyout offer was rebuffed, she quit and launched her own firm within two weeks. She put her house up as collateral for a bank loan, two key colleagues and almost all of her clients followed her, and her workers' compensation and disability management consultancy, Managed Care Advisors, shot out of the gate.

    Lisa Firestone, founder and CEO of Managed Care Advisors

    “One of the best things I did was have a good business plan that I could put in front of a bank and customers,” says Firestone. “I normally think things out pretty thoroughly.”

    That cautious planning created a stable company that grew steadily for several years. But Firestone eventually came to see that her extreme caution wasn’t always a positive.

    As owner, CEO, and “chief motivational officer,”

    Read More »from Trusting your team: A business owner’s aha! moment
  • We are changing up the format of this post this week. In the past the top section covered a relatively small number of pieces of content from on Advisor itself, followed by a slightly larger number from outside Advisor. But as we add more content partners and writers we are posting and hosting a significantly larger amount of content that is directly useful to small business owners. So we are changing the ratio and will be pointing you to some of the content on the site that you might have missed as well as the very best from elsewhere.

    Business blooming

    We have been adding new content partners and writers quickly recently here at Yahoo Small Business Advisor. As a result our old format where we highlighted a few of our own articles and more good articles from around the web is preventing us from showcasing some of the great content that we have here. As a result we are switching that ratio around and highlighting more of our own content and slightly less from elsewhere. So here are some of the best

    Read More »from Customer service, brandjacking and older entrepreneurs. Small Business Reading for February 22, 2013
  • Love, Growth and Agriculture: Small Business Reading for February 15th, 2013

    Love and Growth

    The big news for small business would seem to be the proposed increase in the minimum wage - at least that's what politicians would like us all to think. The reality is that while this is an issue it still isn't the key issue. Much bigger issues for the typical small business are the burden of complying with regulations and the problem that has been the real key for the past three years or so - getting more customers. And for any individual small business the big problem is the current problem - whatever that might be. But it IS time to think about the possibility of growth, so Chris Myers' advice about growing carefully and not growing broke is timely. And Patricia Lotich wrote about what a bad hire can cost you - so if you are lucky enough to be growing fast enough to be doing some hiring, remember to make the hiring decision carefully.

    It's also a good time to think about making use of cloud technology even if you are a small business. There are starting to be some real benefits

    Read More »from Love, Growth and Agriculture: Small Business Reading for February 15th, 2013
  • In business with your Valentine? Some unromantic advice

    One in four business owners won’t have to make any extra effort to spend time with their Valentine today. They’re in business with the one they love. According to a Manta survey of more than 1,100 business owners, 28 percent of small and medium sized business partners are also romantic partners. More than half of those recommend the arrangement and some even tell Manta it has improved their relationship (though not necessarily their sex life).

    Data from Manta's Love, Sex & Marriage in Business survey

    Sounds nice, but the online legal services company Rocket Lawyer offers lovers a dose of reality for Valentine’s Day. If you’re mixing romance and business, Rocket Lawyer founder and attorney Charley Moore says you need to think about pre-nups, post-nups, and corporate governance. He points to some high profile business-couple disasters such as Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy, whose prenup gives Hoppy no rights to any of the $39 million made in the sale of her Skinnygirl Cocktail line—a business he played a part in, and billionaire hotelier

    Read More »from In business with your Valentine? Some unromantic advice
  • Shaking the Bode Tree: Growing Broke

    Growing Broke

    When you ask a small business advisor what you need to do to create value, the three most often-cited strategies are….grow, grow and grow some more.  Typically, advisors are only referring to your top-line sales because where the top-line goes, your cash flow follows!  While this advice might prove true, it certainly is not the rule.  Let me provide a new phrase for you to consider – Don’t Grow Broke!

    What does this mean?  In a nutshell, not all growth is good and many companies take a good thing (responsible growth) to the extreme and create massive havoc pursuing even more growth and sometimes kill their business.  We have all heard the stories about the restaurant owner that had a phenomenally successful location that was throwing off a ton of cash flow.  The owner was happy, not too over-worked and was making a very good living for herself and her family.  She was lured to expand rapidly  to other locations to take advantage of her company’s success and “not let the best locations

    Read More »from Shaking the Bode Tree: Growing Broke
  • Thumbs Down

    According to a Career Builder Survey, 40% of employers reported that a bad hiring decision can cost companies $25,000 and, 25% of those polled said the cost can be as high as $50,000! More than 68% of employers surveyed stated that they had made a bad hiring decision in the prior year. Poor hiring decisions can affect productivity, morale and work quality.

    “It can be hard to predict how a new hire will fit with the organization or perform in their new role. Even though mistakes happen that are beyond the hiring manager’s control, the more thoroughly the candidates are vetted, the less likely they will be a poor match,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “It’s important that candidates meet as many people in the department as possible – especially if they will work closely together. Also, if candidates say they are proficient in a skill critical to the job, they should provide ample evidence that their experience meets the organization’s

    Read More »from What is that bad hire costing your organization?

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ABOUT PROFIT MINDED

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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