• 4 Things Most Successful Entrepreneurs Have in Common

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    Starting a business is always risky, and success is never guaranteed. Yet, entrepreneurs thrive every day. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, successful entrepreneurs seem to share several traits that the rest of the pack lacks.

    SCORE, a nonprofit organization aimed at helping small businesses, recently released their infographic on what makes today’s entrepreneurs successful. To thrive, entrepreneurs need professional experience, a business plan, the right personality and mentors, SCORE found.

    Professional experience

    Professional experience gives entrepreneurs the edge they need to make wise business decisions. Entrepreneurs with a track record of success are two-and-a-half times more likely to raise more money, 3.6 times more likely to see better user growth, and 52 percent less likely to scale prematurely, the infographic revealed.

    A business plan

    Taking the time to write a business plan not only gives your business direction; it also improves your odds: companies with a business plan see nearly twice the success as those without a business plan, SCORE found. Those companies who create business plans also see higher business growth and are more likely to secure capital and loans.

    Positive personality

    Think you can succeed as an entrepreneur just by being you? If you’re overly aggressive and unapproachable, think again. The most successful entrepreneurs are beaming with positive traits, such as openness and agreeableness. The least desirable traits include narcissism, making excuses and emotional instability. Also, while being aggressive can often work to your advantage, entrepreneurs need to kick the bad habit of predatory aggressiveness if they want to be successful, SCORE found.

    A Mentor

    New businesses shouldn’t have to go at it alone. The most successful business owners have relied on some form of mentorship to provide guidance and keep them on the right track. Entrepreneurs who work with mentors are three times more likely to start a business, seven times more likely to raise investment money and three and a half times more likely to grow demand for their product, the infographic shows. They are also more likely to thrive; although many businesses fail within their first year, 84 percent of ventures that work with mentors are still in business after one to two years.

     

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  • Six business success stories from the last ten years

    Starting a business from scratch is hard work and there are times when it can seem like the rewards aren’t worth it.But if you hit on a winning formula, the payback can set you up for life.

    Here are a number of entrepreneurs who took the seed of an idea and built successful businesses over a relatively short period.

    1. Innocent

    In 1998 three Cambridge graduates tried out their idea at a London music festival. They bought £500 worth of fruit and sold smoothies all weekend. They asked customers to put their empty bottle in a ‘yes’ bin if they thought they should give up their City jobs. As the ‘yes’ bin was full they resigned the next day.

    They named the company ‘Innocent’ because they wanted a product that was ‘pure, fresh and unadulterated’. The company now sells two million smoothies a week to over 7,000 shops and has a turnover of £100 million.

     

    2. Tyrells Potato Chips

    William Chase made a success out of a farming failure by tickling the nation’s tastebuds. He bought his father’s farm, Tyrells Court in Herefordshire in 1984 when he was 20. But the business went the way of most farms in the 1990s and he was declared bankrupt.

    A decade later he borrowed an old fryer from a fish and chip shop to see if he could make crisps. In 2003 he sank £1.5m into the venture and began to woo customers with promises of no pesticides and fully traceable ingredients.

    Today annual turnover is £10 million and upmarket shops sell 500,000 bags a week with flavours such as ‘cider vinegar and sea salt’ and ‘Ludlow sausage with wholegrain mustard’. Chase even saw off mighty Tesco’s when they tried to sell the crisps without his permission.

     

    3. Moneysupermarket.com

    The company is the biggest player in price comparison websites and helps customers to find the best deals on a range of products from home insurance to credit cards, mortgages and flights. Revenue comes from suppliers who pay on a ‘per click’ basis.

    Founder Simon Nixon dropped out of his accounting and finance degree at Nottingham University 20 years ago to set up his first business to help mortgage brokers compare loans.

    In 1999 he launched Moneysupermarket.com which joined the stock market this July. Despite difficult trading conditions Nixon scooped £102.5 million from the sale of 60.3 million shares.

     

    4. www.1e.com

    Nightwatchman, a tool which lets office managers shut down and restart PCs from a central control point if users forget to turn them off, is good for the environment and for its parent company, 1E. The software automatically saves open files before shutting down the PC.

    Sumir Karayi helped to set up 1E in 1997 with two colleagues from Microsoft. They each put in £500 and started work from the spare room of Karayi’s flat in west London.

    Initially they ran the business as a commune but when this didn’t work Karayi became boss. Nightwatchman, which is now in its fourth version, helped to boost turnover at 1E to an expected £15m this year.

     

    5. SpinVox

    The idea for SpinVox grew out of its chief executive’s exasperation. When Christina Domecq tried to scribble down 14 voicemails from her mobile phone she realised there was a market for a text version of messages.

    She set up SpinVox in 2003 to do exactly that. It now employs 300 people and has contracts worth £150 million.

    Although her father started Domecq’s North American drinks division she insists she hasn’t used family money to set up her business. She runs the business with another famous name – Daniel Doulton, a descendant of the pottery dynasty, whom she met through his paragliding company.

     

    6. Texperts

    City highflyers Sarah McVittie and Thomas Roberts met on a graduate training programme run by merchant bank UBS. They launched what was originally called 82Ask in 2003.

    Customers text a question to a team of researchers who promise to answer within five minutes. Users are charged £1 per question only if the inquiry is fully completed. Questions range from the result of a football match to how to get to a restaurant.

    The company hopes to join the stock market next year and was recently valued at around £7 million.

    Of course, for every start-up that succeeds several fall by the wayside. Being an entrepreneur, though, means not being afraid to try.

     

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  • The 10 Fastest-Growing Industries for Small Business

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    Past performance is no guarantee of future results, as the old business truism says. But you also may have heard that you can’t know where you’re going without knowing where you have been.

    To get a sense of which industries small businesses are growing in, the analysts at Raleigh, N.C.-headquartered private-company financial-information company Sageworks ran some numbers for Entrepreneur.com. Here’s a look at the industries where U.S. companies with $10 million or less in annual sales have shown the highest and lowest percentage change from Jan. 1 to Dec 31, 2012. As a benchmark, the average growth rate across all U.S. small businesses in the time period was 8 percent, says Libby Bierman, an analyst at Sageworks.

    Fastest-Growth Industries for U.S. Small Businesses in 2012

    1. Residential building construction: 14.77 percent
    2. Building custom software and servers for businesses: 14.29 percent
    3. Machinery, equipment, and supplies merchant wholesalers: 13.75 percent
    4. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: 12.31 percent
    5. Architectural, engineering, and related services: 11.40 percent
    6. Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors: 11.37 percent
    7. Building finishing contractors who make additions, alterations, maintenance and repairs: 11.32 percent
    8. General freight trucking: 10.41 percent
    9. Services to buildings and dwellings, including pest exterminators, janitorial services, and landscaping: 10.11 percent

    10. Other specialty trade contractors, including site preparation activities and other specialized trades: 10.04 percent

    Slowest-Growth Industries for U.S. Small Businesses in 2012

    1. Skilled nursing care facilities: -3.29 percent
    2. Printing and related support activities: 1.86 percent
    3. Automotive repair and maintenance: 2.81 percent
    4. Offices of physicians: 3.00 percent
    5. Highway, street, and bridge construction: 4.24 percent
    6. Insurance agencies, brokerages, and other insurance-related activities: 4.32 percent
    7. Lessors of real estate: 5.07 percent
    8. Other miscellaneous manufacturing including jewelry and silverware, sporting and athletic goods, dolls, toys, and games, office supplies other than paper, and signs: 5.55 percent
    9. Offices of health practitioners other than physicians and dentists, including chiropractors, optometrists, mental health practitioners, speech and occupational therapists: 5.98 percent

    10. Other amusement and recreation services including bowling centers, golf courses, and recreational centers: 6.03 percent

    The good news for entrepreneurs is that much of the fastest growth is in service businesses, which can be started without a lot of money to buy equipment and inventory, says Bierman. Software development, management consulting and architecture firms have been frontrunners have been for a few years now, says Bierman.

    Not all of the businesses on the fastest-growing list are service based. In particular, the residential housing market has just started to recover, and that is supporting businesses related to the construction industry, including foundation and exterior construction and specialty contractors. A lot of construction projects were abandoned during the recession and so part of the bounce in construction is businesses and individuals picking back up old half-finished projects.

    Business services and construction are looking strong in the coming years. “They provide services that are, maybe not critical, but very much needed by other businesses and people who are trying to even grow their homes,” Bierman says. “I don’t see these industries going anywhere. Maybe their growth rate won’t be as high as it has been, but I don’t think it will be a decline anytime soon.”

    A list of the fastest-growing industries for all businesses would include manufacturing, says Bierman, but most successful manufacturers have more than $10 million in annual revenue. “Manufacturing as a whole has been something that has pretty positive news lately,” she says. “If those manufacturers are having pull, the middlemen, or the wholesalers that are transacting those sales, will continue to see growth, too.”

    During the depths of the recession, many industries were contracting. Now, almost all industries are growing, albeit some at more sluggish rates. The slower-growth companies are not seeing impressive growth rates because they are entrenched in technology that is becoming obsolete, such as printing. But some of those industries are seeing slower growth simply because they have relatively inelastic demand. For example, an economic recession does not change the fact that sick people need to go to the doctor. The growth rate for physician’s offices does not typically change drastically.

    Overall, the home health-care industry has seen positive growth rates in revenue over the past year as consumers look for an alternative to moving into a nursing care facility, says Bierman. Skilled nursing care facilities come up on this list as a shrinking, but that’s partly because of the restrictions placed on the data. For this research, Sageworks included only those businesses with less than $10 million in annual revenue. The decline in skilled nursing care facilities may be an indication that smaller facilities are losing ground to their larger competitors or home health care alternatives, she says.

    If you thinking about starting your own business, what industry are you considering and why? Leave a note below and let us know.

     

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  • The 7 Most Profitable Businesses You Could Start

    Most profitable businesses: In today’s economy, starting your own business might not be the easiest of tasks. Apart from determination, willpower, and a sound business plan, a successful venture also depends on the particular industry or sector in which it operates. We would like to present you with a list of the 7 most profitable businesses you could start, based on the net profit margin of their respective industries. More simply put, the net profit margin is the most reliable indicator you could use in trying to determine whether you will actually make money from your venture or not. The figures used in the making of this countdown were taken from the statistics released by Sageworks, a financial information corporation. Looking to set up your own business, but don’t know where to start? This is the countdown for you, and it’s similar to our recap of the best business schools money can buy. Let’s take a look at the most profitable businesses you could start:

    No. 7: Offices of dentists

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    Net profit margin: 16.5% Dental offices have the advantage of being a business that is always profitable, regardless of the economic status of the country. If you haven’t graduated from Dental school, you can still make a profit in this industry by opening a dental office and renting the space to practitioners.

    No. 6: Lessors of real estate

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    Net profit margin: 16.5% Following the financial crisis of the previous decade, the real estate has made a steady and strong comeback. As rental rates continue to increase, this industry is going to become more and more profitable.

    No. 5: Outpatient care centers

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    Net profit margin: 17.8% The outpatient care sector has significantly grown over the past years to the point that it is nowadays one of the most profitable industries in the country. The main reason for this substantial growth is the fact that medical procedures are a lot cheaper to perform in an outpatient type environment rather than in a hospital.

    No. 4: Commercial & industrial machinery & equipment rental and leasing

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    Net profit margin: 18.5% Thanks to technical advances, most operations nowadays are based on industrial machinery and equipment. Given this situation, anyone looking to start a rental or leasing business in this sector would make a substantial and decent profit. Nonetheless, for starting entrepreneurs lacking adequate capital and resources, it might not be the best option.

    No. 3: Legal services

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    Net profit margin: 19.6% The legal services sector has always been profitable, even in times of financial crisis. With a net profit margin of almost 20%, it is one of the best types of businesses you could start.

    No. 2: Accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation, and payroll services

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    Net profit margin: 21.2% Once again, accounting is a sector that has been on the most profitable list for years on end. Bookkeeping and accounting represent sectors of the economy which manage to thrive even in times of downturn or recession, making it one of the best industries in which you could start your own business.

    No. 1: Oil and gas extraction

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    Net profit margin: 24.1% Currently, the oil and gas extraction industry is the most profitable sector in which you can start a business. Unfortunately, it might not exactly be a feasible option for independent entrepreneurs without hefty financial resources that could help them get started.
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  • The top 20 companies on the Fortune Global 500

    1. Royal Dutch Shell - Rev $481.7b – $26.6b profit
    2. Wal-Mart - Rev $469.2b – $17b profit
    3. Exxon Mobil - Rev $449.9b – $44.9b profit
    4. Sinopec - Rev $428.2b – $8.2b profit
    5. China National Petroleum - Rev $408.6b – $18.2b profit
    6. British Petroleum - Rev $388.3b – $11.6b profit
    7. State Grid - Rev $298.4b – $12.3b profit
    8. Toyota - Rev $265.7b – $11.6b profit
    9. Volkswagen - Rev $247.6b – $27.9b profit
    10. Total - Rev $234.3b – $13.7b profit
    11. Chevron - Rev $233.9b – $26.2b profit
    12. Glencore Xstrata - Rev $214.4b – $1b profit
    13. Japan Post - Rev $190.9b – $6.8b profit
    14. Samsung - Rev $178.6b – $20.6b profit
    15. E.ON - Rev $169.8b – $2.8b profit
    16. Phillips 66 - Rev $169.6 – $4.1b profit
    17. ENI - Rev $167.9b – $10b profit
    18. Berkshire Hathaway - Rev $162.5b – $14.8b profit
    19. Apple - Rev $156.5b – $41.7b profit
    20. AXA - Rev $154.6b – $5.3b profit

     

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  • 20 amazing facts about the world of business

    1)    Today, Amazon sells 158 items per second
    2 ) Volkswagen owns Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Audi, Ducati and Porsche
    3) In 1997, Yahoo rejected an offer to acquire Google for $ 1 million today Google is worth $ 250 billion
    4) About 92 % of all pop songs – about sex
    5 ) The words “face”, “book”, “wall”, “poke” and “like” registered with Facebook, as brands
    6) For every person on Earth Lego company has created more than 50 detalek
    7 ) «Gangnam Style» – the first video ever scored a billion views on Youtube
    8) British hair stylists using bovine semen as hair conditioner
    9 ) McDonald’s in 2010, fired 155 employees just because they were handing out food remains homeless .
    10) Steve Jobs was the executive producer of the animated film ” Toy Story ”
    11) Facebook about 25 million accounts already dead people
    12) In Finland, the penalty for exceeding the speed is determined by annual revenue driver. One day, a man received a $ 200,000 fine
    13 ) This year , Thanksgiving was the lowest rating of viewing porn
    14 ) Louis Vuitton can not buy a discount . Not sold goods company simply burns
    15) Leo Fender guitar maker Fender, never knew how to play the guitar
    16) the statistical average worker is productive about 3.5 hours on Monday
    17) The money that was spent on Black Friday could feed starving children around the world for years, then 2
    18) Bill Gates every second earns $ 250
    19) John D. Rockefeller was 4-5 times richer than the current richest man in the world
    20) Cube Rubik ‘s best selling product at all times. In second place iPhone

     

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  • Interesting Business Fun Facts

    1. The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer.

    2. Dell Computers was started by a 19 year old with only $1,000.

    3. In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch or clock is usually 10:10.

    4. Colgate’s first toothpaste came in a jar.

    5. The founder of McDonald’s has a Bachelor degree in Hamburgerology.

    6. The retail price for the iPad would be $1,140 if it were built by American workers instead of Chinese.

    7. The Gmail logo was designed the night before it was launched.

    8. Amazon sells more e-books than printed books.

    9. Steve Jobs’ annual salary was $1, just enough to keep company health benefits.

    10. All 3 founders of Apple worked at Atari before forming Apple.

    11. Dell’s first advertisement was made on the back of a pizza box.

     

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  • SMALL BUSINESS FACTS

    1. There are almost 21.5 million (90%) small businesses in the United States

     

    1. Small businesses are responsible for 39 percent of GNP.

     

    1. Small businesses are responsible for 52 percent of the all U.S. sales and contribute about 21 percent of all manufactured U.S. exports.

     

    1. Small businesses contribute 44 percent of all sales in the country.

     

    1. Small businesses employ 54.4 million people, about 57.3 percent of the private workforce.

     

    1. Between December 1992 and December 1993, small-business-dominated industries (those in which at least 60 percent of the work force is employed in firms with fewer than 500 employees) increased employment by 13 million workers (3.2 percent).

     

    1. During 1990, employment in small businesses grew by 1.1 percent, while employment in large businesses fell by 0.6 percent.

     

    1. From 1982 to 1987, the number of women-owned businesses increased by nearly 58 percent, from 2.6 million to about 4.1 million.

     

    1. From 1982 to 1987, the number of black-owned businesses increased by 38 percent, from 308,000 to 424,000.

     

    1. From 1982 to 1987, the number of hispanic-owned businesses increased by 81 percent, from 233,975 to 422,373.

     

    1. From 1982 to 1987, the number of asian-owned businesses increased by 89 percent 187,691 to 355,331.

     

    1. Small businesses are responsible for more than half of innovations developed during the 20th Century, including the zipper, the helicopter, the personal computer and important advances in the medical world such as insulin, the artificial heart valve and the pacemaker.

     

    1. The number of small businesses in the United States has increased 54 percent since 1980. These include corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. About half of the 20 million businesses operate full-time, the rest part-time.

     

    1. Small firms have also led employment gains and expansion. Between September 1989 and September 1990, employment in small business-dominated industries has increased 2.1 percent, generating 1.1 million new jobs.

     

    1. Studies show that small firms produce twice as many innovations as large firms relative to the number of persons employed, for the “most significant” as well as the “less significant” innovations, and including the employment of firms that do not innovate.

     

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  • 10 Interesting Business Facts

    1. Steve Jobs’ annual salary was $1, just enough to keep company health benefits.
    2. The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer.
    3. The most productive day of the working week is Tuesday.
    4. Yahoo! was originally called ‘Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web’.
    5. Warner Chappel Music owns the copyright to the song ‘Happy Birthday’. They make over $1 million in royalties every year from the commercial use of the song.
    6. The creator of the NIKE Swoosh symbol was paid only $35 for the design.
    7. Originally, Nintendo was a playing card manufacturer.
    8. It takes six months to build a Rolls Royce…and 13 hours to build a Toyota.
    9. Henry Ford produced the model T only in black because the black paint available at the time was the fastest to dry.
    10. Energy is being wasted if a toaster is left plugged in after use

     

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  • 18 Amazing Facts About Small Businesses In America

    1. There are 28 million small businesses in the U.S. — which outnumber corporations 1162 to 1

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    2. 70% of small businesses are owned and operated by a single person

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    3. Small businesses employ 57% of the country’s private workforce

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    4. Small businesses pay 44% of U.S. payroll

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    5. Northwestern states like Montana & Wyoming rely more heavily on small businesses

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    6. The 77 million people that make up the US small business workforce would rank as the 17th most populous country in the world, just ahead of Iran

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    7. It takes just 6 days to start a business in the US, compared to a whopping 38 days in China

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    8. And it costs 6x as much to start a business in India than in the US

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    9. Only 50% of businesses survive five years — though most (70%) hit the two-year mark

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    10. Immigrants make up 12.5% of small business owners nationwide

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    11. If a small business can’t resume operations within 10 days following a natural disaster, it probably won’t survive

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    12. Small businesses create 13x more patents per employee than large patenting companies

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    13. A small business went bankrupt every 8 minutes in 2009

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    14. Small business bankruptcies (in red) peaked in ’09, but are now lower than consumer bankruptcies (grey) on the Equifax index

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    15. One third of small businesses rely on credit for financing

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    16. Only 2% of small businesses are franchises — most (54%) are home-based

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    17. 60 to 80% of all new jobs come from small businesses

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    18. In New York City, immigrants make up 46% of the incorporated self-employed

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