Policy Effects on Small Business -Part 2

President Obama attempted to help our financial crisis in 2009 with his stimulus package, ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). Unfortunately only 0.899 percent of these “relief funds” were targeted toward small businesses. Of course this ended up looking decent on paper in the short run, but it limited our potential for growth in the years to come.

Kicking the can has seemed to be a theme of our government over the last decade; it seems that rather than allowing us to hit bottom and construct long-term goals, we continue to provide failing banks and corporations “packages” to keep them on their feet. Rather than using tax money to keep these corporations from going bankrupt, why don’t we allow them to fail naturally and allow other corporations to grow?

What are your stances on these topics and how do you think the government can best fix our current economic issues?

-Mike Wilkinson

Policy Effects on Small Business -Part 1

Small businesses have long been known to be a main economic driver and source of growth. Sixty-five percent of new jobs in the last 15 years have been generated by small business. Why then are our president and government hindering the growth of small business?

A poll taken by CNBC found that 41 percent of the small businesses surveyed have frozen hiring because of Obama Care. The poll also found that 19 percent of owners answered “yes” when asked if they needed to reduce the number of employees they have due to the Affordable Health Care Act.

When you leave college, are you looking to be placed into a large corporation where you may only receive small wages and have little opportunity to prove yourself? Are you looking to be just another piece of someone’s puzzle?

Current tax rates and Obama Care are preventing small businesses to have the freedom to grow. Small businesses are being forced to cut staff and throttle back rather than expand. Capitalism is what has made our country the wealthiest in the world, centering our economy around a few gigantic corporations is not feeding that sense of capitalism.

-Mike Wilkinson

A Curvy Road – Part 2

It seems hard to imagine that after completely failing in a certain business and losing everything that you had to that business, you would want to try again down the same path. Before Gary had opened up his first Curves Fitness Center, he met his wife, Diane. In an interview with CBN.com Diane stated, “We had to start from probably worse than scratch, a brand-new start”.

Gary and Diane each had complete faith in God’s strength and leaned on him in these tough times. In the same interview, Gary states “Even today I talk about those biblical principles that I had placed as the foundation of my business and can attribute those principles as the key to our success”. He is referring to principles he got from the book The Secret Kingdom. Gary went on to say that they are now meeting the needs of over 2 million women. I am sure that Gary’s mother would be proud to know that there is now a Curves Fitness Center for every 2 McDonalds in America.

-Mike Wilkinson

A Curvy Road – Part 1

Gary Heavin is the founder of Curves International, the largest fitness center franchise in the world. I’m sure that he would be the first to tell you that there was no straight and clear path in getting there.

At age 13 Gary woke up to find that his mother had died in her sleep, and he had to tell his younger brothers that their mom had died and went to heaven. She had been suffering from depression and high blood pressure. After living with his father and stepmother who didn’t really want him as a teenager, Gary left home at an early age.

By the age of 26 Gary had owned 6 health clubs and a million dollar investment. 4 years later he had lost it all. He was forced to sell everything and lost his home with his children. Gary says that this is when he turned to God and let God work his plan for him.

Phone Calls

The first contact that a business makes with its customers, partners, and suppliers is more often than not over the phone. If you are starting your own business of any size or field, you want to be honest with your customers but also sound like you are the best. This summer I worked as a salesman at my dad’s roofing company. I especially needed to be confident with my customers because I was selling thousands of dollars of work even though I was no roofing expert. I had the privilege of having my dad’s top salesman as my mentor. I think that what he taught me about talking to customers on the phone was one of the most valuable lessons I learned from working there. When I came upon this article, I felt obligated to share it on my blog.

www.entrepreneur.com/article/229678 <—- Click here to go to article

Much like the article I shared in my previous post, this article is excellent in simplifying the most important aspects of speaking over the phone in business. My mentor stressed the strategies mentioned in this article such as: confidence, stating a reason for the call, and even the four P’s. The author, Grant Cardone, does a great job using real life examples to to illustrate these ways of taking the chill out of cold calling. Credibility is important everywhere, but in business it is essential to have with your clients. It takes experience to master the skill of saying that your service is the best without sounding phony or cocky, and it is a skill that any aspiring business person should work on.

-Mike Wilkinson

Attitude

The link below is to an Article on entrepreneurs.com by Lindsay Lavine.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229565

This article speaks to the importance of maintaining a resilient attitude in the business world. There is nothing safe and cozy about investing all of your own recourses into an idea. New businesses are not the only thing that we can invest in, we have opportunities everyday to invest our time money and thoughts into different things. This article does a great job simplifying all of these small decisions into more general strategies. I think that the author does a great job connecting the story of one CEO to a couple of the strategies in order to prove her point. Please give the 1-page article a quick read and let me know what you think. I think that these 4 strategies can be used in many different scenarios, we all perform better when we have the right attitude.

-Mike Wilkinson

Success After Failure

Where do these millionaires learn to be so wise with their money? How do they know how to manage a business so well?

Usually the best answer is that they had the balls to go out and try something without being afraid of failure. College can certainly help people grasp business ideas and prepare them to face financial difficulties before they enter the brutally competitive market. Although memorizing the ideas of others often does not prepare us to fend for ourselves. When reading about hundreds of different entrepreneurs we can find that most successful ones learned how to build on their OWN ideas and learned valuable lessons from trying different theories. I plan to share examples of this common theme amongst successful entrepreneurs in my posts to come.

-Mike Wilkinson

Fly Fishing

People come from all around the world to fly fish on the San Juan River and visit the classic town of Durango. The first time that I fished on the San Juan was this summer when I visited Fort Lewis with my dad. The attached picture is a beautiful 22 inch Rainbow Trout that I battled for ten minutes that day.

It would not make sense to encourage folks to act on their business ideas if I weren’t planning on doing so myself. I plan on taking advantage of the opportunity that this area offers between many tourists and many incredible fishing holes. Tuesday I gained my first experience as a fly fishing guide when I took my friend’s 13-year-old cousin and his friend down to the San Juan. This summer I plan on legitimizing myself as a fly fishing guide through a 6 week program at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, CO. I would like to get a business license in the next couple of years and get connected with local guides and shops. Although this blog may focus mainly on other entrepreneurs like you, I will keep you updated on how I am furthering my knowledge in fly fishing and I would appreciate your feedback. What would you like to specialize in? And who is stopping you from being the best?

Have a great weekend!

-Mike Wilkinson