Why The Most Entrepreneurs Start Businesses

opNew research from Cox Business has found that more than half of small business owners start their own business in order to be their own boss. The researchers found that people were also motivated by the idea of creating something from the ground up. Overall, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they had started their own business for one of those reasons.

Money, on the other hand, is not a motivating factor for many small business owners: Just 8 percent of respondents said that was their main motivation for starting their own business.

Small business owners are also very dedicated to building those businesses, the research revealed. Forty-three percent of business owners said they have never considered closing their business, even as new technologies create challenges they may not have anticipated when starting their businesses.

Despite those challenges, small business owners are looking at the rise of new technologies as more of an opportunity than a detriment for their businesses. More than half of the business owners in the Cox Business Small Business Week survey said that new technologies like

How to Know Your Kid Succeed in Life

yuThose looking to predict a person’s chance of success should start their investigation on the playground, research shows.

A new study by researchers at Concordia University revealed that a kid’s friends may be the best judge of what the child will grow up to be like.

Specifically, the study found that a child’s peer evaluations of their classmates’ personalities can more accurately predict adulthood personality traits – which are associated with a number of important life factors, such as health, mental health and occupational satisfaction – than self-evaluation at that age.

The study, which began in 1976, asked students in grades 1, 4 and 7 to complete peer evaluations of their classmates and rate them in terms of aggression, likeability and social withdrawal. In addition, the students conducted their own self-evaluation.

The children were tracked into adulthood over the next 20 years. A follow-up survey was then conducted that included measurement of their personality traits as an adult, such as levels of neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

Alexa Martin-Storey, a recent Concordia graduate and one of

The Next Generation of Workers

workplace_wellness_ideasThe next generation of employees is getting ready to enter the workforce and they have a much different outlook on what they want out of their careers than those who have come before them, new research finds.

The study from the job search site Monster revealed that soon-to-be professionals from Generation Z, those born between 1994 and 2010, are more driven by money and ambition than those who are already working. Specifically, 70 percent of those surveyed from Gen Z said their top work motivator is money, compared with just 63 percent of employees from all other generations.

Being able to work in a job they are passionate about is another motivator. The study found that 46 percent of those from Generation Z, specifically between ages 15 and 20, said the ability to pursue their passion is a top motivating factor, compared with only 32 percent of baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials.

The next generation of workers appears more willing to put in the extra effort needed to achieve their goals. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed from Generation Z

Why The Customers Will Pay More for Sustainable Products

The good news for companies that make sustainable products is that consumers say they are willing to pay more for products that have less of an impact on the environment. The catch, however, is that they’re willing to pay more only if you’re doing a good job communicating to your customers why your products are different.

That’s the finding of research from the University of Missouri, which focused exclusively on the apparel industry. The study found that consumers are willing to support apparel companies that employ sustainable and ethical practices, but those businesses have to prove it.

In fact, consumers say they would be willing to pay 15 to 20 percent more for such products. However, they are also likely to remain skeptical about apparel companies’ claims of sustainability unless companies are willing to confirm that sustainability .

Gargi Bhaduri, a doctoral student, who conducted the research with Jung Ha-Brookshire, an assistant professor of textile and apparel management, said the research has implications for all sorts of industries.

For all businesses, it’s important to be open about how you create products.

“To solve this issue, consumers seem to demand a universal standard authorizing agency to verify the claims of the businesses with transparent

Green Building as an Economic Development Tool

From improving energy efficiency to mitigating the impacts of climate change, businesses have been working to meet the demand of a marketplace that’s ever-more ecologically conscious. One industry in which this shift has been markedly noticeable is construction, where companies have turned to new, more efficient techniques.

“In major markets now, conventional construction doesn’t really exist,” Nathan Taft, director of acquisitions for green builder Jonathan Rose Companies, told Business News Daily. “We’ve seen a real shift in the industry, getting a push from government mandate to push people along on the learning curve. People are just realizing that green building makes sense.”

Sustainable building involves an analytical, data-driven approach to various renovations, including installing insulation, updating lighting to LED fixtures, and diagnosing heating and boiler systems. This approach helps companies identify the most wasteful aspects of a given structure and determine how to best address that waste.

Sustainable building is not just about renovations. New construction is also a key element, with the designs constructed from the ground up to accommodate both environmental sustainability and human needs.

“We position buildings from a holistic standpoint to enhance efficiency, as well as tenant and resident experience,”

You a True Leader, or Just a Boss

How do you know if you’re a good boss and, more importantly, a good leader? The two roles aren’t mutually exclusive, but the best bosses are actually leaders first.

“When the boss is a true leader, the fact that he or she is the boss might be a side note,” said Charles A. Mohler, president and founder of Eagle CFO Consulting. “People often see a boss as getting things accomplished through rewards or punishment or consequences, while they see a leader as using mentorship and encouragement, trying to teach and train and motivate.”

“A leader runs with their team and empowers them with a shared vision and strong values in which everyone enrolls and excels,” added Jennifer Borba Von Stauffenberg, founder of Olive PR Solutions. “A boss can mean the same thing if the boss in question holds these values.”

According to the Great Boss Assessment survey by S. Chris Edmonds, founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group, only 45 percent of survey respondents say their boss inspires their best efforts each day. Fifty-eight percent say their boss treats them with trust and respect daily, which means 42 percent of bosses treat team members

Social Media Marketing

With businesses looking for the best ways to reach their customers, social media marketing has quickly become one of the easiest and most cost effective options.

Social media marketing enables businesses of all sizes the opportunity to reach consumers where they are spending an increased amount of time — social networking sites. Social media marketing entails marketing or trying to sell a product by advertising on social networking or social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

Social media marketing revolves around creating original, free, content on the sites in order to generate buzz about a brand. The objective is to create content that followers will find interesting enough to share with their friends in family. The end goal is to produce a larger circle of consumers taking interest in a business.

The first step in creating a social media marketing plan is determining the social networks worth being active on. With so many social networks out there, businesses need to focus on the ones where they know their customers are. It is important to gauge your customers on the social networks they use most often in order to not waste

How to Entice Holiday Shoppers with Social Media

A recent survey by Crowdtap, a collaborative marketing and social influence platform, revealed that 65 percent of holiday shoppers use social media to find the perfect gift. With Christmas just a couple weeks away, this is a business’s last chance to maximize its reach using social media.

“Whether you are a big-box retailer or small business, you can leverage the holidays to grow your online influence through social media,” said Becky Robinson, social media strategist and CEO of Weaving Influence, an online influence-building company. Robinson offered the following tips and anecdotes on how to use social media to listen, monitor and engage with current customers and influence potential ones.

Turn up your listening.Although many businesses schedule social media updates, Robinson said businesses can stand out by stepping out of that box and showing a willingness to connect.

“While it may be tempting to schedule and send promotional updates through the holiday season, you can stand out by listening to and responding to fans and customers who communicate with you,” Robinson said.

Robinson also advised businesses to always keep their eyes open. She recommended signing up for services like Google Alerts — which lets businesses

Tips to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Small Business Loan

Small business owners looking for capital may want to spend some time preparing for the process.  That’s because, Marc Scheipe, chief financial officer at Sage North America, says preparation can make all the difference in whether a company receives the funding they desire.

Scheipe, a former small business owner himself, says that prepared businesses going through the financing process have a better chance of gaining loan approval. To help businesses in their journey, Scheipe offers the following tips to small business owners.

Provide detailed information— Don’t skimp on specifics with banks. Show exactly how you will use the requested funds and how much you need to accomplish your goals.  Lenders appreciate attention to detail and preparedness when it comes to the facts.  For example, if you are looking to purchase a new piece of equipment, provide quotes on the exact costs, how much capital you need to facilitate this purchase and specifically how the new equipment will help grow your business.

Be prepared to share your financial information – all of it – Provide your lender with all the financial background on your company, future growth plans, and often your personal financial information.  By offering

Holiday Decorations Boost Sales

The grill-buffet restaurant Golden Corral franchise has determined that adding a little holiday cheer to the outside of its restaurants is bringing new diners in the door and increasing sales.

Bob McDevitt, senior vice president of franchising for Golden Corral, said about 50 of the chain’s restaurants have hung holiday lights on their buildings this winter after a test program last year produced pronounced results.

“It is just a great opportunity to increase the street presence,” McDevitt told BusinessNewsDaily.

During the test program last year, six restaurants hired professional decorators to hang lights along the rooflines and trees leading up to each location. The lights were kept up from the week before Thanksgiving through the end of the year, and the restaurants saw an average 5 percent increase in sales and a 4 percent increase in meal count. All six saw an increase in sales.

McDevitt said he came up with the idea in 2011, when he was visiting a location in California that had hung lights outside. As soon as he turned onto the restaurant’s street, he was struck by how great it looked.

“It was lit up like a Christmas tree,”

The Reason of People Quit Their Jobs

Some of this analytical work is generating fresh insights about what impels employees to quit. In general, people leave their jobs because they don’t like their boss, don’t see opportunities for promotion or growth, or are offered a better gig (and often higher pay); these reasons have held steady for years. New research conducted by CEB, a Washington-based best-practice insight and technology company, looks not just at why workers quit but also at when. “We’ve learned that what really affects people is their sense of how they’re doing compared with other people in their peer group, or with where they thought they would be at a certain point in life,” says Brian Kropp, who heads CEB’s HR practice. “We’ve learned to focus on moments that allow people to make these comparisons.”

Some of the discoveries are unsurprising. Work anniversaries (whether of joining the company or of moving into one’s current role) are natural times for reflection, and job-hunting activity jumps by 6% and 9%, respectively, at those points. But other data reveals factors that have nothing directly to do with work. For instance, birthdays—particularly midlife milestones such as turning 40 or 50—can prompt employees to assess their

The Reason of Troublemaker Kids Make Great Entrepreneurs

The psychologists who came up with this theory examined a Swedish study that followed approximately 1,000 children from one Swedish town over a 40-year period. What they found was that the children who ended up being entrepreneurs as adults were often the ones who got into trouble as kids.

“We analyzed this data regarding the entrepreneurship the participants were showing later on in their professional careers. We wanted to know what kind of social behavior they showed,” Martin Obschonka from the Center for Applied Developmental Science at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Sweden said. What they found was that those entrepreneurs were more likely to show anti-social tendencies in adolescence. They also noted a higher rate of criminal offenses (but mostly misdemeanors)among those who ended up becoming entrepreneurs.

Researchers said the data showed more frequent disregard of parental orders, more frequent cheating at school, more incidents of truancy, and  more regular drug consumption and shoplifting, the researchers report. These results were particularly applicable to male participants.

The good news is that, over time, these future business owners seem to have shed their wayward ways.

By the time the participants reached adulthood, the entrepreneurial

What is The Element of Value

When customers evaluate a product or service, they weigh its perceived value against the asking price. Marketers have generally focused much of their time and energy on managing the price side of that equation, since raising prices can immediately boost profits. But that’s the easy part: Pricing usually consists of managing a relatively small set of numbers, and pricing analytics and tactics are highly evolved.

What consumers truly value, however, can be difficult to pin down and psychologically complicated. How can leadership teams actively manage value or devise ways to deliver more of it, whether functional (saving time, reducing cost) or emotional (reducing anxiety, providing entertainment)? Discrete choice analysis—which simulates demand for different combinations of product features, pricing, and other components—and similar research techniques are powerful and useful tools, but they are designed to test consumer reactions to preconceived concepts of value—the concepts that managers are accustomed to judging. Coming up with new concepts requires anticipating what else people might consider valuable.

The amount and nature of value in a particular product or service always lie in the eye of the beholder, of course. Yet universal building blocks of value do exist, creating opportunities for companies

You’ll Have to Sell It

Most of the time, the best decisions respect or reinforce the norms and values of your organization. That gets you buy-in and commitment. But how do you raise the odds of doing this? One approach is to run through a simple mental exercise – before you actually make a decision that will affect many parts of your organization. It’s basically testing your options for resonance.

Imagine you are making a presentation. Your audience consists of people who will be affected by your decision. Go through each of your options and imagine how you would justify choosing that option – in terms of the values and norms they really care about.

What specifically would you say about each option? What could you say with genuine conviction, which is often critical to persuasion? What might ring hollow, raise eyebrows, or elicit resistance? Which options seem likely to get your audience smiling or nodding yes? In short, which option seems to be the right next paragraph in the ongoing story of your organization and what it stands for?

What does this mean in practice? Here is an example you may recall, if you read some of the many

How to Businesses from Pokemon Go

Since the launch of the augmented-reality game Pokémon Go, there’s been a lot of buzz about how small businesses can use the game to their advantage. Now, after more than a month since Pokémon Go first launched in the U.S., market research shows that the hype is real: Pokémon Go really is bringing in more customers and boosting sales for many small businesses.

The first survey that demonstrates the bump given to businesses by Pokémon trainers comes from Revel Systems, which builds mobile point-of-sale systems for iPads. The data Revel collected comes from the company’s clients that have PokéStops nearby, and it demonstrates an increase in foot traffic, gross sales and total customers. Here’s what Revel found: Eighty-two percent of businesses with nearby PokéStops reported an average 9 percent increase in weekly foot traffic. Sixty-three percent of businesses with nearby PokéStops increased their weekly sales by an average of 12 percent. The average increase in weekly gross sales totaled more than $2,000 per business. Those businesses also reported an average increase of 265 weekly customers. The mantra “gotta catch ’em all” has helped small business owners capture more customers and boost revenue, according to Revel’s research.

“If I were a store

What is The Elements of Value

When customers evaluate a product or service, they weigh its perceived value against the asking price. Marketers have generally focused much of their time and energy on managing the price side of that equation, since raising prices can immediately boost profits. But that’s the easy part: Pricing usually consists of managing a relatively small set of numbers, and pricing analytics and tactics are highly evolved.

What consumers truly value, however, can be difficult to pin down and psychologically complicated. How can leadership teams actively manage value or devise ways to deliver more of it, whether functional (saving time, reducing cost) or emotional (reducing anxiety, providing entertainment)? Discrete choice analysis—which simulates demand for different combinations of product features, pricing, and other components—and similar research techniques are powerful and useful tools, but they are designed to test consumer reactions to preconceived concepts of value—the concepts that managers are accustomed to judging. Coming up with new concepts requires anticipating what else people might consider valuable.

The amount and nature of value in a particular product or service always lie in the eye of the beholder, of course. Yet universal building blocks of value do exist, creating opportunities for companies

How to Boost Your Career

Your relationship with your boss is critical to your success. But there’s another person who often has just as much influence over your career: your boss’s boss. What should your relationship with that person look like? How often should you interact with her? What should you say? And how do you foster a connection without undermining your direct manager?

What the Experts Say
“The more you are known and respected by people above you, the better off you are from a career standpoint,” says Priscilla Claman, the president of Career Strategies, a Boston-based consulting firm and a contributor to the HBR Guide to Getting the Right Job. And your boss’s boss — a person who “knows the scoop, knows the vision of the organization, and is helping set the strategy” — is a good person to get to know, she adds. The stronger your relationship, the more insight you’ll have into your company’s future. Moreover, having your boss’s boss on your side gives you professional leverage, says Karen Dillon, coauthor of How Will You Measure Your Life? “Having that person as your champion increases the likelihood that your promotion will be approved, your raise will go through, and