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Posts Tagged ‘business’

Invention Corner – http://www.kickstarter.com/

07/21/2012 Leave a comment

1) Why doesn’t someone invent refrigerated lockers? If people rent out gym lockers for >$40 per month. I am sure they would spend plenty of mula to have their own individual cooled cubby.

2) As an after school, juvenile delinquency, or truancy program, why don’t we clean up less taken care of neighborhoods?  If we had kids team up to earn money by picking up trash, mowing lawns, weed-eating, and hauling trash from deteriorating neighborhoods we would be teaching entrepreneurship and hard work, keeping kids out of trouble, and cleaning up neighborhoods for cheap.  Since many of these kids come from these busy, lower income neighborhoods, we’d also be giving them some supplemental income.

Google: The Prince of Search Engines?

02/24/2010 3 comments

“But the difficulties are in the new principality… men willingly change their lord if they believe they will be better off,” translated from Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince.  Machiavelli has long been revered as a business, strategy, and management genius centuries before his time.  Previously hated for what many judged as the advocating of ruthless tactics, it is interesting to see how this century has embraced many of his concepts.  Companies and individuals alike have recognized the value of his thoughts in the pursuit of market takeovers and economic success respectively.  As I delve into the first few chapters of Machiavelli, the book is beginning to read like a manual for Google’s struggle operating in China.

Last month, Google claimed, “Free expression and security are important issues for governments everywhere, and at Google we are obviously great believers in the value to society of unfettered access to information. We’re excited about continuing our work with governments, human rights organizations, and bloggers, to promote free expression and increased access to information in the years ahead.”  The statement reads like a perfect political platform to start winning over a nation with.  Falling in line with Machiavelli’s basic recommendations, the company has attempted to win over the populous so the search engine is welcomed into the market rather than resisted.

But the execs at Google need a refresh on their realist friend, Machiavelli.  The company went so far as to threaten to shut down all Google operations in the country if they were not granted the free expression takeover they insisted on.  With a backlash from China matching Google’s doggedness,  a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Google’s actions are ”harmful to China-U.S. relations.”  China’s opposition could have been predicted by Machiavelli.  The opening quote of this blog goes on to say, “[The same belief] makes them take up arms against [the prince].”  Google may have over-stepped and now the country is fighting back against Google’s bullying.

Google executives should be careful because Machiavelli was clear that taking over an area, while not living in the area, is bound to be met with challenges that may not be overcome.  Google should recognize the need to be on good terms with China so the company can make sure they continue operating in the country.   This will help to secure the market they are focused on because as Machiavelli wrote, “if the lord lives there he can lose it only with very great difficulty.”

Rewarding Relationships for the Cost of Coffee

02/23/2010 Leave a comment

“Did you really want him to propose after the first coffee date?” Charlene St. Jean of the Purple Diamond exclaimed as the attendees at last week’s seminar laughed. Several veteran Beverly Chamber of Commerce members, including Charlene, presented “Using the Chamber Successfully”, especially targeted for all the recent additions to the Chamber’s membership since Sheila Field’s arrival as the Executive Director. Charlene was making a point about the emphasis that small businesses need to put on real relationship building in order to prosper. The Chamber can help this process along for about the cost of a coffee every week.

Beyond the number of people a business owner has the opportunity to meet, the Chamber hosts events as often as twice per week. Regular attendance to events and some follow-up give a member the chance to make memorable connections. Patricia Beckwith said, “The most relevant resource is to attend the Coffee connections, Ribbon cuttings and other networking events offered by the Chamber to market Constitution Financial Partners and keep it in front of my audience, the business community of greater Beverly.” Patricia knows the importance of keeping her presence alive in the community.

The other side effect of regular attendance is building cooperative liaisons. As rapport is built amongst members, referrals from other members encourage new customers to choose and trust another member’s company over competitors. Bringing business cards to every event is crucial so other members can pass along the card later for an easy referral. Chamber members can also depend on each other to give perspective on industries and potential customers another member might be trying to reach out to, giving that member an edge in an industry they have no experience in.

It is not just the connections members make with each other. The Beverly Chamber staff is there during normal business hours to support members through common challenges. Making an appointment with them gives them an opportunity to provide relevant educational materials and to help facilitate cooperative liaisons by getting to know a member’s business. They excel at connecting business owners with other business owners that will result in a mutually beneficial relationship. The seminar was after all just another example of members helping other members succeed. And connections are not just limited to the Beverly Chamber. This week there is an After Hours event with the Peabody Chamber of Commerce. Be sure to check it out at R&L Associates in Beverly from 5:30 to 7:30 on Thursday! Join the Chamber this week to take the first step towards becoming part of a rewarding network.

Other tips covered at the seminar were making sure your website link is in the directory and on the Chamber website, doing a direct mail piece easily with Chamber provided mailing labels, getting time on BevCam, event sponsorship, and joining a subcommittee. Checkout benefits of membership on www.beverlychamber.com.

A Lawyer, an HR Expert, and an IT Guy…

02/23/2010 2 comments

…walk into a seminar.

Okay.  So our punch line is weak, but the message was strong.  Last week the BCOC hosted another invaluable educational seminar at the Cummings Center.  The seminar was to introduce the new Data Security laws that require compliance by Jan. 1st, 2010.  Don’t put off compliance though because when the New Year rolls around businesses can be subject to a fine up to $50,000 for every violation.

So you are sure the Attorney General will come down hard if you don’t comply, but what are these new Data Security laws in the first place?  The laws were enacted to protect Massachusetts residents from the loss of their personal information.

The first law requires MA business owners to notify the AG, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, and the resident(s) affected of any unauthorized acquisition or use of an MA resident’s personal information.  That’s right.  It’s not longer an internal affair.  Don’t worry about letting the media know, they’ll be ready todispense bad PR at a moment’s notice.

The second law requires that businesses develop, implement, maintain, and monitor a comprehensive, written information security program (WISP).

According to our HR expert, you should get started now by developing your business’ Data Security Policy and setting aside time to begin informing and training employees and managers on the laws.  Everyone will need to be informed to implement compliance effectively.  God forbid there is a breach, make sure you have an Incident Response Team ready for reaction.

The real meat of the matter will be your hardware and software.  Don’t forget your shredder might not be compliant and you’ll need up-to-date firewall protection, operating system patches, and system security software like McAfee.

According to Consumer Affairs, TJX is paying $9.75 million as a result of their security breach.  So if you need more information to get started, the BCOC will be happy to point you in the right direction so we can help you prevent a crisis.

The OCABR has complied a checklist to assist you.  Check it out:

OCABR Compliance Checklist