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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Daily Conditioning

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
give careful attention to your herds- Proverbs 27:23 (NIV)

Proverbs for Business

You need to have a handle on what you have under your care.  Management simply relates to how you handle business matters.  I love The One Minute Manager.  That's good stuff, but I can't totally depend on that to get me where God wants me to be a s a believer.

I need the Bible.  I don't need Bible-based material or Bible-inspired sources.  I need the Bible itself.  I need God's Word to serve as a light unto my feet and a lamp unto my path.

A close friend introduced me to the Book of Proverbs.  He suggested it as a daily study based upon something another Christian had shared with him.  I tried it out and found nuggets of wisdom in my NIV Bible day by day, rewriting verses of my daily chapter of Proverbs that stuck out for me or struck me in my heart and spirit.  That continues to this day in a more advanced study, but it is the same basic activity.  I am reading Proverbs daily.

Later, while I was in an airport back East, I discovered Steve Marr's Business Proverbs, a devotional based upon a study of Proverbs.  I love it.  I keep a copy.  I usually end up giving away a copy to some excited and enthusiastic entrepreneur or some freshly-called man of God.  I give it away because of what it has meant to me.  I give it away because it is like the goodness of the Good News.  It's just too good to keep to myself.  It has to be shared.

You need a daily dose of wisdom.  Proverbs can offer that to you.  Psalms has a gold mine of jewels in it, too.  Ecclesiastes gives 12 chapters of wisdom from Solomon.  Take these on daily.  Take in the words of these books of the Bible day by day.  Let them lead you and guide you.  become conditioned to get refreshed by these words daily.
for riches do not endure forever...- Proverbs 27:24 (NIV)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Virtual Venues

Multimedia: Making it Work, Seventh Edition

The new information technology—Internet and e-mail—have practically eliminated the physical costs of communications.- Peter Drucker
The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)

In this technological age, you have to consider going into virtual venues.  You have to see how to maximize the current technology to your advantage.  See how to establish yourself within online communities that can expand your territory.  You set yourself apart from the crowd by what you put out there.

Here are some considerations for enhancing your multimedia capacity:
Whether you are are seeking new clients for your brick and mortar business or seeking to expand your ministry's presence, you need to see how to use technology to your advantage.  it can streamline your current communications in new ways.

Starting an Online Business For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Whose Nonprofit

I want to get my own nonprofit to do my own thing and not have to worry about taxes and licenses.

Managing the Nonprofit Organization
Nonprofits are not sole proprietorships.  You don't own a nonprofit.  That's a flawed perspective.  That's a poor perception.

I hear it a lot as I try to help other individuals get started with their budding business ideas.  In essence, some people come to the table with misconstrued notions that don't make much sense to anyone but the other person who passed on the bad information to them.  In many cases, people are operating off of what they have heard rather than what they have researched or experienced.

Nonprofits exist for numerous purposes.  In most cases, your average nonprofit is for "public benefit." In layman's terms, the entity is organized in order to accomplish some good for the benefit of the community as a whole.  No matter if its focus is on children, women, the poor, or some other group, the organization itself is established for the good of society as a whole.  Truly, the goal for starting a nonprofit organization should be the good that it can do for society, not the ability to get grants and write out your own exuberant salary for doing "part-time" work.

executive compensationNonprofits are under the radar.  In this information age, where you can Google in an instant and start a wiki on everything and anything, even nonprofit and faith-based scandals, you better have more than your ducks in a row.  Ethics come into play. The high road isn't the hard road when you go at it the right way and into with the right mindset and heart.The Nonprofit Challenge: Integrating Ethics into the Purpose and Promise of Our Nation's Charities

Consider the following when you recruit for a nonprofit's initial board members:
  • Attorney
  • Accountant/ Tax consultant
  • Nonprofit manager/ executive
  • Business professor
  • Law school professor
  • University/ college dean or administrator
  • Retired CEO/ COO

Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding FathersI find an extraordinary example of bridging faith and societal good in Richard Allen through the Free African Society that predated the AME church.  Even though he served as an itinerant Methodist preacher, Allen established himself as a businessman and change agent in Philadelphia before becoming the leader of America's primary African-American denomination.  He was a man of vision with integrity.  He worked cooperatively with others for the mutual benefit of his community and its people of African descent, especially former slaves.

Read Freedom's Prophet by Richard Newman and discover more about how to balance societal change and public good with business practices and zealous religious works.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Need-Based Programming

"Find a need and fill it."- A.G. Gaston

Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire

Have you identified the needs of your target audience? That's important.  You want to ensure that your target audience is getting its desired results through your product or service.  Identify what they need, and then identify how to meet those needs.  In doing so, you need to prioritize your work on addressing the needs.

Your programming should include matching your product or services with identified needs.  We call this "need-based programming."  Such methods provide you with an approach to meeting the needs and measuring success based upon which needs were met at in what areas.

Measure needs met and use these as your results.  Make sure that your data collection matches with your desired results.  As you move forward, keep your focus on keeping up with the pulse of the audience you serve.  If you lose touch, then you can lose some profitability.  That's not the direction that you want to move in. 

"At 103 years of age, A.G. &. Gaston leaves behind a thirst for success, a keen resourcefulness and an entrepreneurial split that will be deeply missed by those of us in the business world who either knew him personally or knew of his achievements."- Earl G. Graves interviewed at the death of A.G. Gaston

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Simple Start-Up Success

"Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth. "- Peter Drucker  
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Too many entrepreneurs believe that they have to build the next big thing.  I always like the concept of piggybacking on the success of others.  You know, that ancient business approach of building a better mouse trap rather than simply trying to replace the mouse trap.


Let's attack the obvious first. The mouse trap you seek to innovate already has an existing audience.  You don't have to search high and low to find them.  You will need to do some market research in order to reach them with what you have for them.  You will need to identify their wants and needs, especially where what you offer falls on their list of priorities.

Your next move is about accessibility.  How do you get access to your audience? Do you purchase a mailing list or do you cold call everyone in the phone book? Do you need to place ads in areas frequented by those who meet the demographic profile of your audience? Is there a low-cost mechanism that will reach a broad audience? Could you tie in with a human interest story for your local newspaper reporter?

How do you make what you have to offer easily accessible to them? Can they order online and off line? Do you have other sites where your products are available? Are you the sole proprietor and the sole soul serving in every capacity of the business? [Uh-Oh, I think I hit a sore spot.]

Make a list and see where you stand.  You may discover that you are on the right track.  Or, you may find yourself way off course and in need of some immediate changes before you find yourself facing serious issues.  In either case, be sure to take the real answers into consideration and do not get into making assumptions regarding your target audience.  Read Inc and Entrepreneur, even Harvard Business Review.  Be sure to check your competition.  Get ideas from those who have a greater amount of the market within their grasp.  You are not seeking a mother lode.  You just want to get a piece of the action.
I guess that I could put in simple terms by saying that I like Inc's "How to Run a One-Person Business." In addition, their site offers some other valuable resources as well.  Essentially, I believe that such sites offer budding entrepreneurs insights and ideas on how to start and sustain their own business whether they are traditional brick and mortar shops or if they are mobilized and globalized ventures.  Check out the landscape before you go setting up shop.  Do your homework and ensure that you are making the right moves in the right direction.