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Link-O-Rama 3/26/12

by Dan Beenken April 10, 2012
  ·         Marty Zwilling writes some great stuff, this time on mentoring. The thing I like about this one is it starts out the right way – identify what you want mentoring for, NOT who you want to be your mentor. Starting with the person in mind first often leads to a waste of time for both parties so be honest with yourself up front. ·         Deciding where to place your social media time can be a tough decision to make. This is a good take on the Facebook versus Twitter debate.  ·         A good checklist for putting together your social media strategy and keeping it simple.  ·         I’m a huge proponent of having an Advisory Board for any start up, so these articles about how to create a board are always on my radar. ·   &nbs...; [More]


Link-O-Rama for 3/12/12

by Dan Beenken March 12, 2012
·         Some good advice here for anyone thinking of structuring there business as a partnership.  When money and time are tight, a partnership always sounds like a good idea.  Many times, especially if time and money are your reasons, it’s a terrible idea.  ·         Pinterest is growing like crazy, which means you should probably be giving it a look.  While it’s a great way to express your creative talents, Pinterest is also an awesome platform for driving traffic to your business. ·         Time to file 1099’s, thanks to the IRS rule changes of the last couple years, anyone you paid $600 or more to has to get one.  ·         Nice overview on how advertising and working with Patch can be a great way to ensure your ad dollars are hitting your “e... [More]


Link-O-Rama for 2/13/12

by Dan Beenken February 13, 2012
Looking to drive a little more traffic to your Facebook presence? Try a couple of these strategies. If those don’t trip your trigger, here are a few more ideas for getting the most out of your FB presence If you are beyond Angry Birds and are looking for a few apps to make your life a bit more organized and productive, give these a try. Success is always the goal, but sometimes a business failure isn’t such a bad deal I am definitely a movie-freak, so this list combining some great flicks with an entrepreneurial bent, is pretty cool (yes, I have seen them all) The Ghostbusters tip is a sweet little gem. I’m a Tennessee Titan fan to the core, but I will admit there is something to be learned from the Giants win for all of you aspiring entrepreneurs out there. Having a top of FB fans for your business is great, but does nothing if they don’t come in and shop. John Jantsch over at Duct Tape put together a nice piece on using your online presence to drive traffic to yo... [More]


Link-O-Rama for 1/23/12

by Dan Beenken January 23, 2012
If you are looking for cash to start your business and getting sick of hearing “no” from Uncle Larry, the bank, your mom, and everyone else you have tried – give the clouds a go – seems to be working for others. I love these articles sharing tips on how to get your business off the ground while you get a paycheck from someone else. Quick advice on why a business plan is still necessary, even if you aren’t going after 3rd party financing. I wouldn’t say it needs to be a novel by any means, by a couple pages to keep you on track is going to be well worth it down the road. barCamp is coming to the Cedar Valley in a couple weeks – www.barcampcv.com - I strongly encourage you to come- Feb 4th. Seth Godin does a great job of explaining what its all about, via the TED imperatives Here is a little motivation for all of you entrepreneurs-in-waiting This is a great piece on the crowdfunding revolution, where things are at in the U.S., and why it m... [More]


Link-O-Rama for 12/23/11

by Dan Beenken January 9, 2012
Are you sending out signals that your business is in trouble? Customers aren’t going to flock to a sinking ship, so watch out for some of these red flags to keep your brand positive, even if your bottom line isn’t. Starbucks and Howard Schultz are quickly becoming a new power player in peer-to-peer lending. So if the bank turns you down, stop in for coffee and a micro loan to get your ideas off the ground. Looking to land some big VC money is 2012? Tom Kinnear has some advice on how to go about it. A new generation of Farm-preneurs is picking up steam thanks to the popularity of organic and other food trends. One of Seth Godin’s latest posts caught my eye on the power of specialization – “the more or less choice” For many entrepreneur’s, sales is one of the least favorite parts of life on your own. Shying away from it because of your apprehensions is always a fatal flaw. Take a read of this for some ideas on how to make it happen. ... [More]


Staff Blog

Link-O-Rama for 12/19/11

by Dan Beenken December 20, 2011
As an avid The Office watcher (and I know the British version was probably better), this was a good read on the lessons we can learn from Andy Bernard’s struggles in management. Google is buying companies at a crazy clip, so if you are looking to sell out, start there. Nice piece in the Times about the less-attractive side of entrepreneurship. If you are looking at leaving the cubicle behind, read this first. Its December, which means year end is here (among other things), so if you want to avoid Uncle Sam in April, get your tax avoidance strategies in place now When getting ready to start up, here is what not to do. A little love for Iowa’s start up culture. You can have all the drive and ambition in the world, but entrepreneurs also need these 4 things according to Glen Blickenstaff on Inc.com. I tend to agree, especially in regards to making a difference. If you have thought about kicking off a pay-per-click strategy for your business, now is a great time as... [More]


Staff Blog

Where Have the Jobs Gone?

by Maureen Collins-Williams December 6, 2011
Many people blame the current high unemployment rate in the United States upon the outmigration of manufacturing jobs to foreign countries, where labor costs are cheaper- much cheaper.   Some American job loss can credibly be attributed to this kind of outmigration but surprisingly, many more American manufacturing jobs are being eliminated because of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Columnist Hale Stewart wrote last year in the popular Huffington Post online magazine, that improvements in manufacturing processes- rather than outmigration of jobs overseas- have resulted in the huge layoffs we’ve experienced over the past decade. Even though the national unemployment rate is currently over 9%, Stewart notes that manufacturing productivity has never been higher; we manufacture more goods today than we did a decade ago with only 4-5% unemployment.  While looking at these numbers, I kept thinking about Chickasaw County in NE Iowa. Between 2000 and 2003 ... [More]


Staff Blog

Link-O-Rama for 11/11/11

by Dan Beenken November 15, 2011
Link-O-Rama for 11/11/11 It’s often said, but not nearly often enough practiced that the best funding to get your business going is sales. It’s always easier to head to the bank or your brother-in-law, but sales trump it all in my opinion. Here is a pretty good primer on how to take a step back and look at your sales process to “Six Sigma It up” a little. One thing that always amazing me when counseling with small business is their lack of process around collecting from customers. If you have a business model where you can’t get cash up front or at time of service, you NEED to have things in place to keep the A/R under control. Here is a great read on how to go about it. Waiting it out and playing nice is not always the answer. And when you’ve worked hard for the sale, the last thing you need is a deadbeat that doesn’t pay. Jeff Haden over at Owner’s Manual always has good stuff to share. Here he delves into the world of Linked In&... [More]


Staff Blog

Rural Young Entrepreneur Summit - "YES"

by MyEntre.Net Staff November 2, 2011
On November 9th, young entrepreneurs and small business owners from all across rural Iowa will gather for the Rural Young Entrepreneur Summit (YES) in the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. The event provides an opportunity for young and/or emerging rural entrepreneurs to network and connect with resources and programs that can make a difference in the entrepreneurial culture of rural America. Governor Terry Brandstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will also be in attendance to learn from and share perspectives on opportunities for entrepreneurship in rural Iowa. During the event, a panel of young rural entrepreneurs will be sharing their business stories and discuss with attendees how they were able to make their enterprises successful in rural Iowa. Panelists include: Matt Russell, Coyote Run Farm (Lacona, Iowa)   Amy Strouth, Prairie Queen Bakery & Restaurant (Sheldon, Iowa) Pat Palmer, The Computer Guy (Hampton, Iowa) Mari Holthau... [More]

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Staff Blog

Iowa Innovation Gateway Dream Big Top Five Announced!

by MyEntre.Net Staff September 21, 2011
The on-line public voting phase of the regional Iowa Innovation Gateway DREAM BIG GROW HERE contest closed on Thursday, September 15th at 11:59 p.m. Thirty different regional entrepreneurs submitted testimonies about their businesses for the contest. Over 16,000 votes were cast throughout the voting period. Congratulations to: Chris Perkins, Go Topless Glassware Heidi Rockwell, Yumi’s Bakery & Deli Carol Von Klompenburg, The Write Place Josh Cowman & Jon Kettler, Skowty, LLC Simone Bates, Simone’s Cuppa These top five vote getters will now present to a panel of regional judges on September 20th to see who will take home the $5,000 regional grant. Judges will be using the following criteria to determine the final winner: the viability of the business, an effective plan for use of prize money, the ability to raise additional capital, a potential to generate wealth in the region, the business provides economic diversity to the region and there is a potential... [More]

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