Tired of the daily bumper-to-bumper commute; tired of the nine to five grind; tired of a wretched boss not understanding your abilities and needs; tired of having a day off only to have rotten weather?
If the answer to any of those above is yes, consider relocating your career to paradise. What is paradise? Everyone has their own definition. Discover your perspective and start a business plan for that life-altering move.
What is your career? It might be the same as your current career or it might be, by choice or necessity, a totally different path. It could be becoming a bartender or owning the bar.
Personally, I was tired of the commute, the rotten weather, the sixty plus hour work weeks and what I call “corporate chaos.” The direct boss was okay, because that was me. However, I worked for non-profits meaning the indirect bosses were many – boards and committees. All were wonderful people one-on-one, but together different agendas could emerge. I had the good fortune of growing each organization I was with. The thought always crossed my mind – could I find a business for myself and similarly grow that?
When it comes to corporate social responsibility initiatives, Randstad Canada encourages employers and employees to give back – on company time
TORONTO, July 24, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ – Within most companies, it’s not just the leaders of the organization who support the local community, but the employees as well. And Randstad Canada, the country’s leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services recommends employers, large and small, strengthen their corporate social responsibility initiatives by encouraging employees to give back – on the company’s time.
Stacy Parker, EVP of marketing for Randstad Canada says time scarcity is a significant barrier to volunteering. “Finding time to devote to volunteering can be a difficult task. While many employed Canadians do manage to find the time to volunteer, the fact is, many struggle to strike a balance between their work and private lives. As employees assume more responsibilities in both their work and family spheres (such as child care, elder care, single parenting, or working longer hours), employers should do their part to encourage their employees to volunteer during working hours,” she says.
According to a recently released Statistics Canada study entitled Employer Support of Volunteering, in 2010, 57% of employees in Canada who did volunteer work reported that they had received one or more formal means of support to do so from their employer.
In a previous post, I listed my major hesitations that I often share with founders these days who ask me about starting businesses.
Ultimately, I really believe that founding a business isn’t for everyone. It probably is a good fit for many at some point in their careers, but not necessarily immediately.
So, the question then is, what is a smart thing to do other that starting a company if you think that an entrepreneurial career path is in your future?
It’s pretty simple – I think you should join a startup. And on balance, the earlier you are in your career, the more you should prioritize joining a screaming winner. I mean this at the expense of finding the ideal role, ideal seniority, and ideal stage. Join the winningest company you can find in a sector you care about with people you like.
During the next three years, ministers will put £82m into the StartUp programme, which will offer loans worth on average £2,500 to people aged 18 to 24 who can show that they have a robust business plan.
The launch coincides with the publication of a report from Lord Young, the Prime Minister’s enterprise advisor, saying that there would be 900,000 more businesses in Britain if it had the same culture of entrepreneurship as the US. He said small businesses are “the engines of any healthy economy”.
Lord Young was appointed as enterprise tsar in 2010, but had resigned within a month after claiming that British people had “never had it so good”. He quietly returned to his role last October in an unpaid capacity.
Many of us have dreamed of launching our own businesses. And metro Phoenix residents hoping to start their own businesses will find there are various resources to help them gain the knowledge they’ll need to launch their ventures.
The Maricopa Community Colleges Small Business Development Center offers two relatively new tools to help budding entrepreneurs or those contemplating starting their own small business.
The first, developed by Hewlett Packard, is called “LIFE — Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs.” The second program, TechEDge, is a partnership with the city of Chandler.
HP LIFE classes, which are free, began in January, and more will be added as people request them, says SBDC Director Mark Engle.
“People really like the approach,” he says. “It’s not the typical training of a sage on the stage, but more about solving problems, such as getting customers or managing inventory.”
The classes offer five training levels, from hopeful entrepreneurs with an idea to those who’ve been in business and are hitting brick walls, Engle says. The participants use open-source software, typically free and widely available so they can use it after classes end.
It is no longer necessary to wait until you have grown your business enough to hire “real employees.” By tapping into the global talent pool of virtual professional services, you can build a team of skilled professionals who choose to work from home at little risk and great reward.
It is Monday morning. In a Denver office, the phone rings – a client is calling from Osaka. The phone is answered promptly and courteously by a virtual assistant working from her home in Manchester, England. Not a faceless call center employee, but a dedicated team member, who just happens to be half a world away.
Small businesses like this one are busting down the walls and going global in sales and in their workforce. Smart businesses of all sizes are finding and hiring the exact skillset they need for a project, for ongoing work, or even a few hours without having to worry about overhead, payroll taxes, benefits or future layoffs. And they have good company. This year Elance, the world’s largest online platform for freelance work, topped $500 million in online work.
Auckland’s entrepreneurs will be able to develop their ideas in a weekend startup high intensity event on 15-17th June. Building on the successful international Startup Weekend model, Startup Weekend Auckland gives the Auckland’s innovators the chance to develop business ideas that could fuel the city’s future.
The third Auckland Startup Weekend is being held on Auckland’s North Shore at ecentre. ecentre is looking to enable the winner of the next Startup Weekend to take their business from garage to global. The winning team of the October 2011 Startup Weekend Auckland has come a long way from their 60 second pitch on a Friday night, to pitching in Singapore at DEMO Asia.
Ticket sales are now open via the website http://auckland.startupweekend.org/.
Startup Weekends are aimed at entrepreneurs and anyone thinking about business ideas. The process allows people to rapidly build and test ways of bringing the idea to market. Developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come along to form teams which will work on start-up ideas, building products, and launching. This leads to prizes, publicity and tangible outcomes.
The crowdsourcing site Kickstarter just turned three years old, and the New York Times has a niceprofile that explores how the company has evolved and how its changed the way entrepreneurs, artists, and anyone else with an idea can raise capital online.
Much as the introduction of cheap Web services lowered the barrier to entry for people seeking to create a start-up, and as offshore manufacturing gave entrepreneurs a chance to make products without having to build a factory, Kickstarter offers budding entrepreneurs a way to float ideas and see if there’s a market for them before they trade ownership of their company for money from venture capitalists.
Tapping into the wisdom of the crowd is nothing new. And now that Kickstarter has beaten the path, there are a few similar, and niche-focused, alternatives to Kickstarter. One interesting development to consider, though, when thinking about the online fundraising space, is the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, also known as the JOBS Act. As Talking Points Memoreports:
Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites are also facing something of a watershed moment in the wake of passage of new bipartisan legislation, the JOBS Act, that would specifically allow for private startup companies to solicit investors with stock options offered online, something previously not allowed under Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.
According to a new poll, the Manta SMB Wellness Index, small business owners were planning to hire at this time last year, but the majority (80 percent) haven’t added a single employee through the first quarter of 2012.
The survey found that more than half of small businesses (53%) say they are not taking advantage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) healthcare tax credit, which became available in 2010 for small businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees. In fact, education may be needed in the business community as one in three small business owners say that don’t understand the law and its requirements.
(In fact, I have a vested interest here as I run Idea Alive – startup accelerator in Manchester, Liverpool and the NW of England.)
The doubt of whether accelerators work or not is beyond dispute in the US – where Y Combinators leads the way. However, doubts have been raised in the UK (and equally Europe) about whether this startup accelerator format can be transferred out of the USA.
The answer to which, I believe, is yes – but not in the same format!
Firstly, Y Combinators is a silicon valley based accelerator and as such is coloured by the nature of its local investor community.
After all, accelerators do exist because of – and for – their investor community whilst also being of great value to the local entrepreneurs.
The investor community in San Francisco might be contrasted with the business angel or early VC community in (say) Manchester, England. In Manchester, the business angel and early stage VC community wants to see revenue before investment.
Compare this to West Coast USA where hot ideas are backed with large sums of money before revenue. In the north England, it just isn’t like this.
Hence, entrepreneurs – based in Manchester – should move to Silicon Valley or Boston (or perhaps now London) if they want their project backed – pre-revenue.
The consequence of this difference is significant. Firstly, the scope of ambition in a pre-revenue startup in Silicon Valley – can be global or enormous – especially when the point of the business paying its way gets put back – such as Twitter – because additional funds can be raised on high levels of user growth.
Equally, the need to prove revenue early on typically means that the revenue driven business – found in UK regions and across Europe – will focus on a niche and then specialise.