Rumor has it that later this year, Facebook will start charging its members to use the service. Although this may sound like an April Fool's joke, the rumor's more malicious than that. Using this ruse, pranksters and malicious hackers have stirred up angry tirades against the social media giant and convinced thousands of Facebook members to click links to websites that hijack their computers, blast them with offensive pictures and install malware on their systems.
Q1: iPad: April 3rd marks the debut of the iPad, Apple's new tablet computer. What uses does your business have for the iPad or devices like it, and will you be buying one or more within the next couple of months?
Q2: craigslist: As you may have read in Entrepreneur's recent article, it's been 15 years since Craig Newmark started craigslist as an online arts and events list. Does your company use craigslist? Why or why not?
Q3: First Quarter Results: For companies whose fiscal year follows the calendar (i.e., January through December), the first quarter is now behind us. How did your company perform during the first quarter of 2010?
Q4: Homeshoring: The Vermont Teddy Bear Company, J. Crew and JetBlue all homeshore (the transfer of service industry employment from offices to home-based employees with appropriate equipment). Does your company now, or is it considering, homeshoring? Why or why not?
Last night at dinner I got the inevitable question any book reviewer gets: "What should I read next?" Fortunately, this group was a bunch of corporate rock stars who often get asked to speak to crowds, so it was easy to recommend Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun.
This week, the spotlight shines on Funley's Delicious, an all-natural snack food business based in Westwood, Calif., and its owners, Ashley and Shawn Mendel, whom I met at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif. What I find most compelling about Funley's is that its business model is perfectly tailored for social media marketing. Funley's doesn't just sell all-natural snacks, it markets a totally fun experience for the Funley's community. The products are simply something to snack on while you're having fun.
Without further ado, let the Q&A begin . . .
This type of opportunity in adversity can also be found at the medium- and small-business level. So today I ask -- Have you spotted your recession-era opportunity?
Once there's affordable insurance available through state-based exchanges for individuals and small companies in 2014, how many people will leave their jobs?
AmEx surveys more than 700 small-business owners twice a year to gauge their feelings about the business climate. This time, nearly half say they're making capital investments in their business, and 28 percent have plans to hire. Both measures were markedly higher than in the survey last fall. Most of that planned hiring is part-time, though, with 18 percent now saying they're planning some temp hires.
But, occasionally, I'll meet with partners who have started their business already, and now their relationship is on the rocks. Last week, I sat down with two partners--let's call them The Visionary and The Money Guy--who came in for help with their business plan. Though they both still shared a passion for their business, The Money Guy had invested a boatload of his own cash into the venture while The Visionary was burning through money at an alarming rate and had yet to make a single sale. Before long, the consulting session turned into couples therapy with the "husband" lecturing his "wife" about all the money she was spending on "shoes" and the "wife" complaining that her "husband" was pressuring her and "just didn't understand."
If you do business locally, try googling your business in the area you serve. If your company doesn't appear in the list, click the "Local business results for..." link above the Google Map results to see if your business is listed there. Based on what you discover, you have two possible next steps:
When your business establishes a presence on Facebook, you make a commitment to be a good neighbor, a trusted Facebook friend. The emphasis is on being a friend, not a store, a business, or even a customer service help desk (although these days, your customers are just as likely to ask you a product support-related question via Facebook as they are through your website, but that's really a topic for another blog post). As my co-author Joe Kraynak and I point out in our forthcoming book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Facebook, if you are not careful, social-media marketing, particularly on Facebook, can do more harm to your business or brand than good. To improve your chances of success, adhere to the following rules of business etiquette when launching and managing a business-related page on Facebook.
Biotech stayed the biggest funding subsector in the world of technology with $1.9 billion in funding in the fourth quarter of 2009, flat with the previous quarter. Internet-sector companies leapt ahead 38 percent, the biggest gain of any sector, snagging $1.8 billion in funding.