Category Archives: inspiring entrepreneur

The Future of Entrepreneurial Businesses

Stewart Borie, a entrepreneurial management consultant and colleague of mine, posed a question on LinkedIn and my answer is below.  His question reads:

What is the trend in entreprenership? Will it explode or will it stay level?

I have been an Entrepreneur and Advisor for over two decades, with a passion for Entrepreneurship and an MBA from Wharton in Entrepreneurial Management. I believe there is the potential for a “perfect storm” of Entrepreneurship in the coming decade. The recession, coupled with an aging population with little savings, a new generation of social networking and new generations of technology enhancing the “flattening” of the world and business, emerging economies such as China and India; all point to a new frontier of entrepreneurship, with waves of new entrepreneurs emerging of all ages. Is it coming? Where will it come from? What will it look like?

His original question can be found here:

http://www.linkedin.com/answers?viewQuestion=&answerLevel=fullAnswer&questionID=542670&askerID=5459625&goback=.hom.mid_1409998237

And here is my answer…

Stewart, I do agree with you that a perfect storm COULD be created. The trends do seem to be going in that direction. And, while the last comment about “consultants drowning people” may be a bit overly pessimistic, the other comment about the percentage of failures and stiff competition is quite accurate.

What I feel we need to remember as we look to the future is the larger cycles that we are experiencing on earth. Check out the DVD called The Great Year, as it talks about the 24,000 year cycles on this planet.

We are, according to the ancient sages and current wise people, on an upward cycle in general. However, what they also say is that we are just out of one of the lower periods.

So, we have a long way to go before our entire planetary consciousness is made up of largely good people helping one another. The entrepreneurial spirit that can and does help people is what I am working to support. Those that see a need and set up a system to fulfill that need can succeed, especially when their deepest motive is to truly be of service, to LOVE others and receive thanks in doing so.

I do believe that you are right, Stewart, there will be an upward growth in entrepreneurial business ATTEMPTS. The main question is, are these entrepreneurs aware of their need to get as much support as possible to beat the odds and approach their market with strength.

And, as we know, there is strength in numbers. As Keith Ferrazzi says, you need a team, a few people who you can trust completely and who “have your back,” and you need a network of advisors who you meet with regularly. You don’t want to go it alone. In fact, it’s almost impossible to succeed by yourself. Micro enterprises do have advantages over big businesses that allow them to change faster.

And, certainly we are experiencing a LOT of changes, faster than ever before, as fewer and fewer people are trusting traditional forms of advertising. Neilsen did a Global Online Consumer Survey in July of 2009 that shows that people are most likely to trust the advice of people they know, and secondarily trust the opinion of consumers who post comments online, especially negative ones.

So, relationship marketing, one-to-one advice, social media, and word of mouth marketing are going to dominate the most successful company’s marketing strategy in the next decade no doubt. Any relationship based on loving service will ultimately grow the brand reputation and thus the revenue. Love conquers all… including prospective clients/customers!

I think, on the flipside, there is in general more FEAR dominant in the world consciousness as a result of the financial melting we are seeing at all levels. It is this fear that could freeze the individuals who would normally take risks and invest money and time.

So, if there is going to be an explosion in entrepreneurship that is SUCCESSFULLY creating new business growth, it will be a sign that love and not fear is dominant in the majority of people’s consciousness.

And, I feel there will be a growth in social entrepreneurship, where people focus on those activities that are most in harmony with other people and the planet, recognizing the divinity within the human heart as well as in nature.  Those businesses that are in line with our upward evolution in consciousness will be those that are led by and have operating principles that are also in harmony.

Creativity Can Launch a New Business!

Hi again. I have an inspiring story for you.

It was 1982, and a young man named Kenneth Cole wanted to launch a shoe company.

But, like many entrepreneurs, he had no money. He thought about going to U.S. banks and factories for capital, but feared that this was a long shot for him.

So, instead, he found a small Italian shoe production facility that had been hit hard by the 80s economy and desperately needed more clients. The company offered Kenneth a line of credit, and they immediately started manufacturing shoes.

But now, he had to figure out how to sell them.

So here’s what he did (in his own words):

“At the time, a shoe company had two options. You could get a room at the Hilton [during the NY Shoe Expo] and become 1 of about 1100 shoe companies selling their goods. This didn’t provide the identity or image I felt necessary for a new company, and it cost a lot more money than I had to spend. The other way was to do what the big companies do and get a fancy showroom in Midtown Manhattan not far from the Hilton. More identity, much more money too.

I had an idea.

I called a friend in the trucking business and asked to borrow one of his trucks to park in Midtown Manhattan. He said sure, but good luck getting permission. I went to the Mayor’s office, Koch at the time, and asked how one gets permission to park a 40 foot trailer truck in Midtown Manhattan. He said one doesn’t. The only people the city gives parking permits to are production companies shooting full length motion pictures and utility companies like Con Ed or AT&T. So that day I went to the stationery store and changed our company letterhead from Kenneth Cole, Inc. to Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. and the next day I applied for a permit to shoot a full length film entitled “The Birth of a Shoe Company.”

With Kenneth Cole Productions painted on the side of the truck, we parked at 1370 6th Avenue, across from the New York Hilton, the day of shoe show. We opened for business with a fully furnished 40 ft trailer, a director (Sometimes there was film in the camera, sometimes there wasn’t), models as actresses, and two of New York’s finest, compliments of Mayor Koch, as our doormen. We sold 40 thousand pairs of shoes in two and a half days (the entire available production) and we were off and running.

To this day the company is still named Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. and serves as a reminder to the importance of resourcefulness and innovative problem solving.”

Creativity enabled Kenneth Cole to gain financing and massive sales. Without these creative ideas, we wouldn’t know the name Kenneth Cole today.

As an entrepreneur, you are most likely blessed with lots of creative energy. Keep a notebook handy and write down all your ideas. Don’t only think of ideas for great products and services, but for financing, marketing, sales, operations, etc.

There are no limits to what you can achieve when you come up with ideas and execute on them.

To join a very creative mastermind, visit http://www.AndrewBarden.com and click on my button to connect with me on LinkedIn