Business Planning and Black Swans
Have you read Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan*? It's a great book. It should be required reading, especially for business planning and management. The black swan is the big event we didn't predict, that we couldn't have predicted, but that we convince ourselves, after the fact, that if we'd only read the signs right, we would have known.
The black swan is 9/11. It's that big crash in 2008 and 2009. It's that huge wave of reality that surprises everybody and changes...
I was reading this story a month or two back about this onerous-sounding census. Apparently, there was this couple that had to travel around 100km (c. 60 miles) just to get counted. Worse, she was at least eight months pregnant and they were traveling on foot or on donkey. Oh, yeah, it was in the Biblical book of Luke*, and it begins: In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his...
Author Laura Fitton describes an
experience typical to many new users of social media:
be candid, Twitter sounds idiotic at first,' she says in
'It's true. But it's also true it's changed my life and career a bazillion
ways. I've gone from homebound mom of two babies under 2 to solidly booked,
traveling around the world and extraordinarily well-networked.' As well as
the author of -- you knew this was inevitable --- the brand new Twitter for
I want to
know: What is the experience like for those who have decided...
Searching for advice from experts across the Web would seem to be a starting point, except that can often mean running into not only plenty of hype but plenty of contradictions as well.
It's all about transparency and openness! The old barriers between professional and private really matter less than ever! Just remember: Never tweet your politics. Or too many weekend details. Or how much you have on the Steelers to cover on Sunday.
It's about developing long-term relationships, not focusing any longer on...
It’s probably a good idea for most business owners to focus on the core of their business, such as selling fishing lures or designing websites, and use experts to help them in financial matters. According to the IRS, more than 80% of small businesses use accountants to prepare their returns, something you may be acutely aware of during tax season. But tax return preparation isn’t the only reason to use an accountant.
Here are five areas to discuss with your accountant:
Cash flowCash flow, which is the cycle of money in and out...
Economic infrastructure. Do you know what it is?
We don't spend very much time talking about it, although there are communities around the web that devote their entire intellectual capital to looking at it and figuring it out — largely because building economic infrastructures needs to be done as a first step toward helping a lot of third world countries to piece together a thriving economy that will end the crushing poverty in so much of the world.
But I digress.
I'm talking about economic infrastructure because I've been thinking...
As a member of the Ohio SBDC team, I don’t work in a silo. I work with an amazing team of people who are true experts in their fields and have an undying passion to help others achieve their business goals. So sometimes I think it’s good to share the wealth; to share the thoughts and experiences of some phenomenal individuals with you and opportunity to be heard with them. Here, be enlightened by Michael Bowers*, Regional Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Columbus State Community College. Michael’s 10...
I’m going to start off this post saying something that may make you want to click away. I’d like to ask you to fight that instinct. Stick with me, and I’ll explain why.
Here goes: “Small Business Set-Asides”.
Are you still with me?
So often, when someone starts talking about small-business set-asides, half the audience either tunes out or leaves the room. Medium and large companies assume they are shut out of this “special” deal the government has worked out for small businesses....
Are you artful in the kitchen? Have your friends praised your delectable tasty treats? Perhaps you’ve been encouraged to turn your culinary skills into a business of your own.
Before you start dreaming about becoming the next Mrs. Field’s, make sure you have the right recipe for success. It’s not as simple as whipping together the flour, sugar, butter and eggs. If you don’t do your homework, you can end up in hot water.
First, just as with any business start-up you must carefully plan your business strategy...
Don’t dismiss business planning just because you don’t need to show a document to anybody. One of the best fringe benefits of a good business planning process is the teamwork and collaboration it can generate.
1. The magic of metrics
Never underestimate the power of metrics: it's about giving people concrete, measurable goals, so they can track their own progress. Money-based metrics like sales and expense budgets are obvious, but a good business planning process gives an organization a chance to develop and manage metrics for...