Welcome to OPEN Forum’s new Small Business Snapshot feature. Monday through Friday, I will deliver top small business stories so you can stay up to date and informed. Enjoy!
Today’s line-up starts with a request to end President Barack Obama’s healthcare law and includes stories about lessons from the Netflix mess, Seth Godin’s take on the recession and Google’s on-bus Egypt initiative.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses is up in arms about President Obama’s healthcare reform law. As the Wall Street Journal’s Mark Sherman blogs, yesterday the group appealed to the Supreme Court to strike down the law as soon as possible—partly because of the uncertainty it is causing small business owners and also the perceived unconstitutionality of the legislation.
No doubt Netflix is in damage control mode after the mess of the last few months (raising prices, breaking off into another company). Entrepreneur’s Carol Tice takes a look at small business lessons learned from the company’s slipups—from paying attention to social media to being upfront with customers.
Are you a wannabe entrepreneur in Egypt? If so, put your game face on! Google is investing in the economic future of the Middle East by asking Egyptian entrepreneurs to participate in a competition for $200,000 in seed money. Sara Hamdan of The New York Times writes that a bus with a Google logo is now traveling across Egypt looking for the founders of the next big tech startup. The winner will be chosen in May based on a variety of factors including innovation and potential job creation.
Thinking of going public but don’t have the money for an internal audit? You may be in luck. The Wall Street Journal’s Angus Loten reports that a recently proposed bill would allow small companies (valuations under $1 billion) a post-IPO 10-year grace period to execute internal control audits, as prescribed by Sarbanes-Oxley. Time to start filing your paperwork.
While everyone is waiting for the recession to end, Seth Godin has another thought. In his blog, he writes that there are two recessions: one that is cyclical and one that is the loss of mechanizable jobs—something that is never coming back. He says the industrial age is coming to an end and that a revolution of digital work is upon us. In the future, successful businesses will be run from laptops and everyone will have the ability to be a business owner. He doesn’t predict exactly what the future will look like, but he gives business owners some food for thought.
The magic bullet to today’s lagging economy is an easy one—more women need to start high-growth companies. E.B. Boyd of Fast Company writes on a paper released this week which says women are less likely to start such companies, but that trend can change if they begin sitting on scientific advisory boards and increasing the publicity of patents and ideas to possible investors.
Business models come in various shapes and sizes, often causing confusion on the part of the small business owner. Cynthia Kocialski breaks down a few successful model ideas in her Start-up Entrepreneurs’ Blog—from how to price your products/services to how to look at your competitor’s model with a new—and possibly profitable—perspective.
Instead of scouring Internet boards for their next job, members of the Millennial generation are launching companies and working for themselves. Andrea Williams of CNNMoney writes on seven young people who’ve succeeded at selling everything from Web videos to engagement rings.