Q1 - Decisions: Which would you rather have: The power to make all the decisions, or the ability to veto them?
Q2 - Time Management: Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, "You may delay, but time will not." What's your most valuable time management advice?
Q3 - Cutting Back: Economists tell us the U.S. economy began contracting in late 2007, and that the economic downturn became global by the beginning of the 4th quarter of 2008. With the current recession in mind, what have you already done to reduce costs within your company, and what do you think you might have to do going forward?
Q4 - Expressing Your Opinion: In an op-ed appearing in the Wall Street Journal last week, Whole Foods Market, Inc. CEO John Mackey proposed eight things we can do right now to improve health care in the U.S. without adding to the federal deficit. While Mackey's points weren't necessarily new, groundbreaking, or even controversial (all had been proposed during the run-up to the last Presidential election), the tone of the op-ed -- along with many characterizations of it by those who support the President's health care reform -- has caused a backlash in the form of calls to boycott the grocer's 275+ stores nationwide (on Facebook alone, more than 22,000 people have signed on to boycott the chain). As a founder, CEO, or senior company executive, how likely are you to stand up for something you believe in -- as Mackey did -- even if it means putting your brand's reputation and business in harm's way?
First, our latest news flash: Equifax reports U.S. small business bankruptcy rates soared 81 percent in June 2009 compared with June 2008. More than 10,000 small businesses bit the dust. Leading the pack in small business shrinkage: California, natch, with 10 metropolitan areas in the top 15 worst-affected areas. The top four losing markets were the Charlotte, NC area; Atlanta; Portland, Ore.; and Dallas.
This week, WalletPop's Editor-at-Large, Jason Cochran spoke with Susan Knapp, whose gourmet food company A Perfect Pear wowed the Sharks.
Among the recent job posters I noticed exclusively using LinkedIn -- Google, Cisco Systems, and Kaiser Permanente. Big companies from a variety of industries. I used to see just a tiny fraction of the job listings carrying asterisks, but that percentage is definitely increasing.
And if you want proof that real deals are happening, get this: When we caught up with Corcoran, she'd just finished up a business call with episode one's Tiffany Krummins, who got $50,000 to fund production of Ava the Elephant, a cute elephant-shaped medicine dispenser for children. The website is now up-and running (but if you want one, it's back-ordered until November 30), with store distribution to follow shortly.
Q1 - Reality TV: No longer a fad, reality television shows can be seen on nearly all major networks, and span the programming landscape from shows focused on birth, dating, marriage, divorce and death, to ones about sports, travel, cooking, and talent (and yes, the word "talent" is debatable). The latest trend in reality TV programming may just be entrepreneurship. Would you allow a television production company that develops and produces original non-scripted programming to film the inner workings of your company? Why or why not?
Q2 - Rehire: We all know the story about Michael Vick (talented professional football player who served time in federal prison for his involvement in an illegal dog fighting ring). Vick plead guilty to felony charges in 2007, served 18 months of a 23-month sentence in federal prison, with the rest of it in home confinement. While he wasn't rehired by the team he played for before his arrest and conviction, another team -- the Philadelphia Eagles -- today inked Vick to a two-year deal worth a reported $6.6 million over two years. If Vick (or someone who committed the same crime) worked for your company, would rehire him after his release from prison?
Q3 - Videoconferencing: The promise and potential of videoconferencing is clear: Connect to anyone with the ability to connect with you and in doing so, save time and money over doing it the old way -- traveling for face-to-face meetings, which takes time away from the office and has a measurable environmental impact. Do you use desktop or enterprise level videoconferencing in your business? If so, would you say its saved your time and money? If you haven't used it, do you think videoconferencing is worth exploring?
Q4 - Pets: According to a national poll of working Americans, 17% report their company permits pets at work, while nearly 25% are of the belief that pets should be allowed in the workplace. Do you allow pets in your office/workplace?
The site includes a variety of independent experts in business topics, but the majority of the bloggers on the site to date are more than a half-dozen federal employees with the Business Gateway program, including program manager Nancy Sternberg. Business Gateway is a partnership of 22 federal agencies striving to make their information easier to access...and now you can blog with their managers? Sounds like a real time-saver.
So where are these jobs? The top online job postings for small businesses in Q2 were in the fields of information technology (11.8 percent), healthcare and medical (9.5 percent) and human resources (6.7 percent).
That may sound like a lot, but if you're interested in participating in this program, you shouldn't drag your feet. Though many mainstream newspapers are reporting that the new funding should take the program through Labor Day, CARS may not make it that far, even with the new cash infusion.
Entrepreneur.com had a chance to speak with each of the "sharks" about the show and their personal successes, so over the next five weeks, we'll be sharing these interviews on the Daily Dose. Stay tuned.
Q1 - Challenge: What is the largest single challenge facing your start-up or established business today?
Q2 - Social Media: Do you use social media platforms (e.g., blogs, micro-blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) to engage with customers and prospects? If so, how is it working?
Q3 - Coworking: If you were in the early stages of forming a new business and became tired of working from home or your local coffee shop, would you consider coworking? (For the uninformed, coworking is an emerging trend that allows entrepreneurs to share non-traditional, community-style office space and office equipment, usually on a month-to-month basis. Many coworking spaces feature open floor plans and encourage renters to collaborate with one another while maintaining their independence and working toward their own business-related goals.) So, what do you think... is coworking something you would consider doing or do you need a space of your own, even it is your kitchen table?
Q4 - Health Care: What do you think is the best health-care solution for small businesses?
The quarterly Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index reports that small business owners' level of optimism fell to its lowest level in the survey's six-year history. Owners' assessment of their present situation declined, as did their future expectations.