When you think of the great inventors, you probably think of people such as Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell and even Steve Jobs — people who have brought entirely new concepts to the market. But great ideas and innovations don’t have to change the world. Sometimes the best new product opportunities start with small improvements in existing concepts. For example, Pam Moore improved on the standard ice tray after trying to get ice cubes into narrow openings of sport bottles for her son’s soccer games. So Moore enhanced ice trays with a cylinder design creating “Ice Tubes” to fit perfectly into most bottles! Millions of Ice Tubes are now in kitchens around the world.
It’s tough out there. No doubt about it. Just when small business owners were starting to regain some hope that the economy might pick up before the end of the year, the bottom fell out from under us again. The stock market swings are as wild as a theme park roller-coaster ride. Consumer sentiment is down. And many experts predict that the remainder of the year could be even worse than expected.
It’s Earth Day. Think smart phones. Smart phones can do almost anything these days, from tracking your caloric intake and monitoring your tax return to entertaining you with a game of Scrabble. They can even help you go green.
As small businesses have struggled to survive during the recession, it has been difficult to reward employees with raises and/or bonuses. In fact, many small firms found it necessary to cut employee salaries, perks and benefits in order to survive financially. As we approach the end of 2010, the picture doesn’t appear to be appear to be getting any better. Only a small percentage of small businesses say they’ll be offering salary increases this year. And those who do, plan for the increases to be very small.
A television appearance. A radio interview. A magazine article or a mention in a popular blog. Every business owner understands the value of positive media coverage. There’s no better way to build your brand. Media coverage is significantly more credible than paid advertising because the content is developed by an unbiased, third-party source. That’s why companies spend a lot of time and effort trying to capture the media’s attention