Our Contributing Authors
Richard San Juan
Richard San Juan is currently pursuing an MBA degree with an emphasis in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago. He is particularly interested in writing about business news and strategies.
Articles written by Richard San Juan
Richard is interested in many topics related to entrepreneurship but has an especially strong interest in business strategy and in evaluating the key enablers that allow successful entrepreneurs to dominate their industries.
- 3 Cs of Branding - A strong brand plays a major role in influencing the purchasing power and cultivating the ownership experience of many consumers. By developing a strong brand, a company demonstrates to consumers that it is committed to producing a superior product in the market.
- Annual Operation Plan - Startups and small business owners should consider having an annual operation plan and all of the benefits of having one.
- Art of Delegation - Being an entrepreneur is very tough. A solo entrepreneur cannot handle all responsibilities. Therefore, he must know how to delegate the other tasks that are needed.
- Avoid Black Hat SEO - Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quantity of traffic to a website from search engines via "natural" search results for targeted keywords. It is a business strategy that has paid dividends for many companies who wish to maximize their online capability. However, as with anything in business, there is potential for abuse. Enter black hat SEO.
- Background Checks on Employees - For startups and small businesses, recruiting and hiring are often done without a thorough hiring process and a background check. In the effort to get help right away to build up the company, entrepreneurs often go through quick hires only to regret it later on. In addition, entrepreneurs should also be worried now about negligent hiring.
- Bartering - Bartering is an exchange of goods or services without the use of monetary exchange. Before currencies came into existence, bartering was the usual means of commerce. It is still being used today, albeit limitedly, by some individuals and small businesses.
- BATNA Negotiation - As an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you will be faced on numerous occasions of having to negotiate various deals and agreements. Negotiation skills are a must and knowing the concept of Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). It will help you in walking away from accepting bad deals.
- Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream - Ice cream has been a long-time favorite of American culture. It is very popular not only with kids, but adults as well. Before, ice cream was usually plain and came in much less flavors. That all changed when Ben & Jerry's entered the ice cream market in 1978. Their brand created unique flavors like Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey.
- Building Credibility Through Online Conferences - An entrepreneur or small business owner is usually on the phone, especially during the early days of the company, in an effort to either gain some exposure, capital, or business deals. They will be constantly talking to potential investors, high-volume clients, or business partners. One method of communication that entrepreneurs have to master is online conferencing.
- Closing the Sale - Getting someone interested in your product or service is usually easy. The hard part is trying to close a sale, especially if it is a big purchase.
- Creating Blue Ocean from Red Ocean - We take a look at Blue Ocean Strategy, a strategic framework developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.
- Creating Tag Lines and Logo Designs - Developing unique and well-done logo designs, along with tag lines, are the first critical steps in establishing brand recognition. Once the brand image is established, it is much easier to use marketing and advertising tools and activities to promote that particular brand.
- Database and Database Marketing - Entrepreneurs and other individuals looking to make the most money at the least amount of time try to employ complex business strategies to sell their product or service. Oftentimes, however, they often overlook a simple strategy that helps them target the largest number of potential customers, especially if the use the Internet as a tool of marketing. Maintaining a solid database can increase your revenues and decrease marketing costs.
- Dell's Direct Model to Success - Dell's Business Plan - What once started in a dorm room has now become a global company that is ranked the 25th-largest company in the Fortune 500 list, as well as among the most admired companies according to Fortune magazine. This is a brief article on how Michael Dell achieved great success utilizing his core concept in setting the foundation for his company.
- Develop a Work Culture that Mentors - Employees are the most important assets that a company can have. This is especially the case in a startup company where the entrepreneur will depend heavily on the small number of employees he or she may have during the early stages of the company.
- Doing Business with China - The increase in globalization has affected both global and domestic companies here in the United States. No one country is as important as China in the globalization movement. Therefore, if your company is seeking to be involved in international business, it would be wise to learn how to do business with China.
- Effective Business Planning - The process of forming a business plan is very important, because it gives the small business or startup a foundation to build upon. This greatly increases the chance for success in the long run. With various software used for business planning available, creating business plans are much easier to do than before.
- E-mail Blasting - The rise of the Internet has fueled a new generation of innovation. Internet has allowed many businesses to become successful without sometimes having to pay for large overhead costs. This created many opportunities for entrepreneurs to emerge, especially online. Many of the new start-up companies did not have the traditional marketing department to drive revenue, so they needed to find alternative ways to give exposure to their products and/or services they were selling. Enter e-mail blasting.
- Establishing Business Credit - As a small business owner or an entrepreneur, obtaining capital is vital to keep your business or organization going. However, to be able to efficiently gain capital, it is important that business credit is established.
- Estimating Startup Costs - Anytime someone wants to start a business, they are usually in the red, because they have to first spend money before they open for business and become fully operational. Estimating startup costs is an essential step, because if done the wrong way, the company might be dead in the water even before opening its doors. Entrepreneurs must understand important of not underestimating costs.
- Facebook Founder: Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook, an online social networking website, started at the college campus of Harvard University in 2004. In just a short time period, it has exploded in popularity among American colleges. With its sudden rise in popularity, none has benefited financially than the founder himself, Mark Zuckerberg.
- For Entrepreneurs: Public Speaking 101 - If you want to be an entrepreneur, overcoming any fear of public speaking will be a priority since you will have to be selling your product/service and yourself to people in order for them to purchase, invest, or support your business.
- Forecasting - Every startup or small business wishes they had a crystal ball or a psychic in their pocket that would tell them what decisions to make to ensure long-term success for the company. Unfortunately, it is not good business to put faith in such things. Rather, there are trends in the marketplace and conducting forecasts can give startups and small businesses a good idea of what decisions to make for their respective companies.
- Fusion Marketing - Sometimes marketing does not always have to be competition-based. It can sometimes also emphasize cooperation between two businesses. This is called fusion marketing and it is a type of marketing that is popular for start-ups or small businesses.
- Getting a Sponsor - While initial funding for startups and small businesses are financed by loans and investment by venture capitalist firms, getting a sponsor is also important for help paying for attendance at trade shows, corporate events, and conferences. This is important, because it adds to the visibility of the product or service that the entrepreneur is trying to sell.
- Getting Over the Fear of Cold Calling - The one thing that strikes fear in most entrepreneurs is the necessary task of cold calling potential clients and customers. Even people most adept at verbal communication have sometimes fallen prey to this fear. However, to get your startup or small business to expand and generate more revenue, it is something that must be done skillfully.
- Globalization: Emerging Global Markets to Watch - The global marketplace is changing dramatically. The rapid modernization of India and China, which make up for about 37% of the world's population, has created a potentially very large consumer base ready and willing to purchase goods and services. Existing companies and entrepreneurs alike seek how to develop their business in these two countries.
- Good Project Manager - In the business world, good project managers are needed to ensure that every element of a specific project is running smoothly. We take a look at the role of project management in entrepreneurship.
- Google -- Entrepreneurial Lessons from Larry Page - Larry Page is an ambitious entrepreneur who co-created Google. What can we entrepreneurs learn Larry Page? Quite a bit, as it turns out.
- Google -- The Masterpiece of Sergey Brin - Two Stanford students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founded Google, which eventually became the world's best search engine and now has become a powerful and seemingly infinitely talented software company. We take a look at the path that brought Sergey Brin to the top of the world.
- Guerilla Marketing - Guerilla Marketing is a type of marketing that was described by Jay Levinson. It is a marketing discipline that is mostly geared towards small business and entrepreneurs, because they only utilize a low budget. Guerilla marketing is known to be aggressive and sometimes unconventional in its practices.
- Hugh Hefner and The Playboy Brand - The Playboy bunny logo is one of the most recognizable logos in the world. Founded in 1953 in Chicago, the Playboy men's magazine was the idea of Hugh Hefner. Currently, Playboy has expanded and diversified selling videos, network TV, online gambling, and clothing. It generates revenue of $338.15 million as of 2005 . All of this would not be possible, if Hugh Hefner did not have the ability to develop the Playboy brand as a powerful one.
- Importance of Market Research - For startups and small businesses, conducting market research should be a priority prior to launching a new product or service. Market research gives an individual the capability to analyze the consumer market as well as potential competitors to determine what strategies to employ in marketing the product.
- IT, Fashion Industry, and Zara - Computers have become an integral aspect of almost all the companies in a wide variety of industries. One industry is the fashion industry. Zara had a lot of success with its organization of its information technology.
- Key to Success - Organizing the Office - How to achieve success? Every startup or small business wants to achieve success. There is no one right answer to that question. Otherwise, all startups and businesses wouldn't have to worry about not being profitable. Some startups employ complex business strategies. However, sometimes it simply involves organizing the office so that your company is functioning efficiently.
- Leadership and the Cynefin Framework - Adaptability is a key characteristic of being a successful leader. A person who seeks to be an entrepreneur cannot just be a follower, but must be a person of authority who will make important decisions to shape the future of the company. Of course, certain leaders are more adept at specific situations. This article is an overview of a case study from the Harvard Business Review by David J. Snowden and Mary E. Moore.
- Local Marketing - Depending on where you want to start your own business, sometimes it is more helpful to market locally first before pursuing broad market strategies. This is especially true in towns that maybe represent more of Main Street than Wall Street and where people tend to know each other more.
- Location, Location, Location - As in searching for your home in real estate, location is a significant factor in determining if that particular location would be a good area to start your business. There are several hypothetical scenarios to consider when choosing location. Ultimately, it will be up to the entrepreneur or small business owner to make a critical decision.
- Mark Cuban - Mark Cuban is probably most famous for being the owner of the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. He has the unique passion for the game that most other owners don't have. He loves to be personally involved in his business. It is this passion that has led him to much success thus far.
- Michael Porter's Five Forces - According to Wikipedia, Porter's 5 forces analysis is a framework for the industry analysis and business strategy development developed by Michael Porter of Harvard Business School in 1979 . It is helpful in particular to small businesses and startups, because it determines how competitive the market already is and how it would respond to a new brand or product entering it.
- Naming Your Company - You have your business idea already set. You have a detailed business plan and initial capital ready to be used. Everything is going according to plan and it seems like you are ready to lay down the foundation for your startup that will become a huge industry empire in a few years time. Wait...you forgot something. You have not named your company!
- Outsourcing Examples - Entrepreneurs wanting to start a small business in today's world must deal with the topic of outsourcing. The outsourcing example in this article deals with the relationship between Xerox and EDS, a global business and technology services company.
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising/Marketing - Over the past decade, the Internet has grown tremendously. How the Internet is utilized has evolved rapidly as more and more businesses depend on it to conduct their everyday business. Selling products and services have now turned to the Internet as another method of trying to reach their potential customers and clients.
- Podcasting in Marketing - Podcasting is a relatively new term being used on the Internet. To put it in simple terms, a podcast is basically a blog in audio format instead of web text format.
- Public Relations for Entrepreneurs - Public relations serve as the voice and public image of your company to the marketplace, media, and most of all, to potential consumers. This is especially important for small businesses and entrepreneurs because it gives them exposure to tell the company's story and what they are trying to market.
- Push-Pull Marketing - Push-pull marketing strategies are two distinct methods of promoting products and services to a target market. There are specific advantages in using each of these two marketing strategies. Being able to know the difference as well as how to use both in conjunction with another is very valuable information to an entrepreneur.
- Qualities of Ethical Leadership - According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word leader is defined as one who guides, is in charge, or is in command of others. While this definition suffices for describing a typical leader, it does not completely characterize how to be an ethical leader.
- RFID Technology - This article mostly talks about radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Recently, stores have begun to adopt such technology, because of all the benefits it provides. Wal-Mart is one of the main stores that have adopted this technology. Startups and small businesses who are in the retail sector or other sectors which might benefit from this new valuable tool, should consider implementing RFID technology.
- Richard Branson - Richard Branson is an English billionaire that is well known for his Virgin brand. He has been involved in several business ventures over the years. Recently, he has made news by establishing Virgin Galactic, which aims to take passengers to space and create a new market for space tourism. Richard Branson, as an entrepreneur, has been gifted with visionary ability.
- Robert Mondavi and The Mondavi Brand - Robert Mondavi was an American winemaker who brought worldwide recognition to wines made in Napa Valley, California. Mondavi used innovative business methods to become a leader in not just the American wine industry but also global wine industry.
- Sam Walton and Wal-Mart - The phrase "everyday low prices" has become synonymous with Wal-Mart as generations of Americans have shopped and still continue to shop at this retail giant. Sam Walton founded the company in 1962 as a discount store in Bentonville, Arkansas. Now, with almost $345 billion in net sales, 6,700 stores worldwide, and 1.8 million employees later, that discount store has now transformed itself to the headquarters of the second-largest company in the world.
- Tax Deductions - Entrepreneurs and small businesses owners should know that the tax code allows you to deduct costs of doing business from your gross income. Therefore, the value that is left after that is what is called your net business profit. This is the amount that gets taxed. Thus, knowing how to maximize the deductible business expenses will definitely lower your taxable profit, which is a good thing for your business.
- Test Marketing - Put yourself in an entrepreneur's shoes. You have a wonderful business idea that you think can be extremely profitable and you have already crafted a solid business plan. Before launching your company full-throttle with many investors pouring in money to your company, conducting a test market would be wise to get a preliminary estimation of demand for your product or service.
- The Force and George Lucas - George Lucas grew up in Modesto, California and he once reflected that he had a different life planned for him. However, he took a chance on a story that he had written and the rest is history. Now, he is one of the most recognizable people in all of Hollywood and is the creator of the legendary Star Wars movies.
- The Starbucks Business Plan - Howard Schultz and Starbucks - Starbucks is a coffee corporation that employs operations in multiple countries around the world. Established in 1971, Starbucks currently has 15,011 stores worldwide and has seemingly become synonymous with the word "coffee." Transforming a coffee shop on a corner in Seattle to what it is today would not have been possible without its strong operations management and innovations.
- Thinking Like an Entrepreneur - The Internet's presence in our society has created many opportunities for individuals seeking to open up a small business. The only thing needed is to develop the entrepreneurial ability to be able to create a profitable business.
- Treat Your Suppliers Well - Small businesses and entrepreneurs need suppliers the most. There must be a good relationship between the small business and suppliers. Otherwise, the entrepreneur and small business will greatly reduce their chance of achieving success.
- Twitter and Business Building - Up until recently, Twitter services were primarily used for personal communication. However, it has expanded greatly now to encompass business communication that has helped entrepreneurs and small business owners greatly.
- Value Proposition and Sony's AIBO - A value proposition is a marketing statement that explains to a consumer the reasons that he or she should purchase a product or service. This often helps galvanize the strategic marketing plan for products of many companies. Such is the case with Sony's AIBO.
- Wayne Huizenga - No one knows if it is actually true, but there seems to always be a story about a person going through garbage and finding either a lottery ticket or some sort of treasure. For Wayne Huizenga, he didn't find any luck searching in garbage; instead he built his wealth through his waste management service company.
- What's in a Domain Name? - The Internet now has become such a vital aspect of marketing your business, and you've got to do it right. In particular, choosing a domain name for a company website is something that must be done with best practices in mind.
- YouTube - YouTube is a video-sharing website where online users can share video clips by uploading and viewing various video clips. It was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim.
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