Monthly Archive for November, 2009

Celebrating two milestones for one small business

If you will allow me, I would like to talk about a couple of milestones, of which we’re kind of proud: the 12th anniversary of The Small Business Advocate Show and the 10th anniversary of this publication. On Monday, November 17, 1997, I began broadcasting the Small Business Advocate Show for two hours, Monday through Friday. Since the first day, the program has been nationally syndicated on terrestrial radio.  In January 1998 we began simulcasting on the Internet, and in 1999 began offering multiple Internet on-demand streaming options. If you were streaming content before Microsoft had a media player, that makes you a pioneer.

This Monday was my 3,121st live broadcast since we began — including all the holidays — even when I was on the road. I’ve conducted almost 12,000 live interviews with small business experts and entrepreneurs, and next week I’ll broadcast my 13th consecutive live Thanksgiving Day show. When you hear me talking about making sure that you’re passionate about the business you start, now you know that I practice what I preach.

From the beginning, my primary programming goal was to focus on the fundamentals that are important to successfully starting, operating and growing a small business, and to make all of the things we do available to you for free.  On that last note — the free one — I must say thanks to our outstanding corporate partners, without whom the free part would not be possible.

Along the way, we’ve received a number of awards and recognition for our work on behalf of small business. All were accepted in honor of our heroes, small business owners.

Also, this week we celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Small Business Advocate NEWSLETTER.  This week’s edition, Volume XI, Issue 1, represents the 521st consecutive weekly issue, all delivered compliments of my small business, Small Business Network, Inc.,and our sponsors. Thanks for being a loyal subscriber.

Finally, thank you for your support, comments, critiques, the many words of encouragement and especially the honor and privilege of being your advocate.  I’m already looking forward to our next year together. Nothing I do as The Small Business Advocate is about me — it’s all about you, my heroes: small business owners, regardless of where you live on planet Earth.

I talked about where we’ve come from over the past dozen years on my show today.  Take a few minutes to listen and, as always, be sure to leave your comments. Listen Live! Download, Too!

The small business connection to Veterans’ Day

Veterans Day has its origins in Armistice Day, which was first acknowledged by President Wilson in 1919, on the first anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, that took place “in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” Congress made Armistice Day a national holiday on November 11, 1938.

Alvin King a small business owner in Emporia, Kansas, had a problem with Armistice Day. Al was so moved by the death of his nephew who was killed in World War II, that he, along with the Emporia Chamber of Commerce, started a movement to rename and redefine Armistice Day as Veterans Day. His goal was to expand the recognition beyond those who served in WWI. President Eisenhower made the change official in 1954.

But who should be recognized on Veterans Day? If you’re looking for the definition of a military veteran, good luck. There are several variations on that theme, and for good reason. The “veteran” universe is associated with significant financial benefits issues, so the sanctioning bodies have a lot at stake in, “Who qualifies as a veteran?”

But the most common technical definition of a veteran is someone who served on active duty while assigned to a U.S. armed services unit. But is there a case to be made for a practical definition of a veteran, especially on Veterans Day?

Perhaps Adam Smith offered the first practical definition of a veteran when he described in his 1776 book, “Wealth of Nations,” America’s “Minuteman” militia as those who “. . . turn from their primary citizen character into a standing army.” This militia, like all those that followed, were well represented by America’s small businesses.

So should our modern militia – Reserves and National Guard – be recognized on Veterans Day? Perhaps this justification can be found in Al King’s original motivation. The unit his nephew served in was Company B, 137th Infantry, Kansas National Guard, Emporia, Kansas.

On this Veterans Day, let’s honor all those who served in defense of our freedom by considering this definition of a veteran from an anonymous author: “A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, National Guard or Reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount of: ‘Up to and including my life.’”

America has received this “check” from many different kinds of patriots who prepared themselves to be called to protect and defend their country.

Happy Veterans Day to all who made themselves available to their country.

The growing phenomenon of women business ownership

For the past 30 years, marketplace forces and the evolution of business technology have continued to move in the direction of democratization. This means more productive tools designed for the size tasks of small businesses and offered at incremental price points that fit their diminutive budgets.

Today, technological leverage for small businesses is comparable to big businesses. And when you take their inherent flexibility into consideration, it’s easy to see how smaller and smaller enterprises are, within their scale of operation, increasingly able to compete with the big guys.

One of the groups that falls into that “smaller and smaller enterprise” category is women-owned businesses. Historically, women have not started businesses at the same rate as men for many reasons, not the least of which was access to capital. But for the period of time that not coincidentally tracks perfectly with the incrementalization of technology, women-owned businesses have become the fastest growing segment of the marketplace. With more powerful tools at prices that fit their smaller caches of capital, women business owners have become an entrepreneurial force to reckon with, and there is no reason to believe that this trend won’t continue.

Over the years I’ve made a commitment to regularly cover this growing phenomenon of women business ownership on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. Recently, I’ve interviewed several experts on this topic, including Kim Lavine, author of Mommy Millionaire, Mary Cantando, author of The Woman’s Advantage, and Janet Christy, author of Capitalizing on Being Woman-Owned. In these interviews we’ve discussed the issues that are unique to women in business, including both the challenges and the opportunities.

Here are links to these three interviews, plus a link to the body of work I’ve amassed on our website where you can find dozens of interviews with women-in-business experts.

Kim Lavine Listen Live! Download, Too!
Mary Cantando Listen Live! Download, Too!
Janet Christie Listen Live! Download, Too!
Full list of women-in business archives

Take a few minutes to listen to these experts and, of course, be sure to leave your thoughts.

Warning: fsockopen() [function.fsockopen]: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Temporary failure in name resolution in /var/www/wordpress/wp-includes/class-snoopy.php on line 1142

Warning: fsockopen() [function.fsockopen]: unable to connect to (Unknown error) in /var/www/wordpress/wp-includes/class-snoopy.php on line 1142