Welcome to this week's edition of the Carnival of Entrepreneurship. Unlike the CotC, for instance, this carnival is limited to seven posts. Unfortunately, there were far more than seven submitted and I've had the hard dull of picking the seven most relevant, both to the the theme of the Carnival of Entrepreneurship and to this blog's theme of small business ideas and opportunities.
So, without further ado, here's the Carnival:
- Adnan from Blogtrepreneur snuck in two entries this week by disguising them as one. How I make money on the Internet Part 1: eBay and Part 2: Google Adsense. Both essays contain excellent tips and suggestions for the new online entrepreneurs.
- It's too late for this year, but Kay Bell at Don't Mess With Taxes, offers a link (in the very last paragraph of her post) to some great tips about writing off vehicle expenses in Historic Texas dance hall tour, Part 3. It's never to early to start planning ahead for April 15, 2007.
- With his post Bizarre Auction Action, Chuck Huckaby of the Work at Home Business Opportunities Blog explores the topsy-turvy world of viral marketing:
Here’s a bizarre auction. If you were looking to go slumming on ebay, you’ve found it here.
He’s selling his left lug nut, except, of course he never gets around to mentioning that it’s not actually a piece of his anatomy.
But this is all about viral marketing and the more outrageous, the more traffic, good taste notwithstanding.
I've had some experience with viral marketing myself. Unlike every other kind of marketing, trying to create a viral success is the most extreme marketing example of "throwing mud against a wall to see what sticks" I've ever done. Honestly, no matter how well crafted your program, it's difficult to predict success or failure in advance. Some efforts resonate and become viral and some don't.
- In Where's the Product? David Daniel of Business & Technology Reinvention offers some helpful advice on running a quality seminars:
- Always show your product or service. Even having unplugged gear or CD's on a table in the back of the room is way better than just PowerPoint presentations
- Have a client deliver part of the content. Or even better - rent a bus and take your seminar attendees to client site to see your product/service/technology in live operation
- Take advantage of breaks by having information, brochures or qualified people available to answer your client's questions
- In a full day or half day morning seminar, schedule an optional lunch for a more in depth discussion or sales presentation for those attendees that need it.
The only thing worse than a dull or unproductive seminar is a mind-numbing meeting. I don't know about you, but the mind-numbing meetings I was forced to sit through as an employee were some of the biggest motivators to become an entrepreneur and go my own way.
- Are Business Cards Worth the Money? by Chris Brunner of The Small Business Buzz excellently refutes Bob Bly's case against using business cards for networking and marketing:
I believe this is the best way to market with business cards. Do something to add value to your business card, either by making it an appointment card or a coupon redeemable for a gift or discount.
A list of products or services, while not as effective as the former, is a ‘better than nothing’ marketing strategy.
- David Lorenzo, author of Career Intensity and the blog by the same name, explains that re-arrangers are the most successful entrepreneurs, in Re-arrange Your Way to Success:
They take existing solutions (sometimes from other industries) and they apply them in new ways/scenarios to create value.
If I were forced to pick one quality that is indicative of success in business it would be this ability to find new uses for existing solutions. Far too many people believe that you need to have the next big idea in order to start your own business. That is not true. It is equally effective to apply an old idea to the next big problem.
To often, potential entrepreneurs spend their time planning and over planning for their first venture. The preparation becomes and end to itself as they rack their brain, desperately trying to come up with their big idea, when what really sets entrepreneurs apart is their ability to "just do it".
- Ty Tribble of the MLM Business Opportunities Weblog attended Microsoft's Small Business Summit and heard Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, give the final keynote. In his post, he offers some highlights from the speech:
- There should be no distinction between personal and business relationships.
- Make business human. You’ve got to be human to be trusted.
- Skip the small talk and talk with people about passion, dreams and the future.
That's it for this issue of the Carnival of Entrepreneurship. Next week will be hosted at Jeff Cornwall's The Entrepreneurial Mind.