Here’s a list of “big thinkers” from 2013. Who would still make the list?

The-biggest-thinks-of-2013-infographic (1)Check out this infographic (might be better to just view in the link: http://bit.ly/1wzFF1n) of Big Thinkers who were “Shaping The Way We All Think And Work” all the way back in 2013.

Would you recommend anyone else for this list in 2015?

 

 

 

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Companies tend to die, Cities don’t

zapposheadquartersTony Hsieh has led Zappos to the business stratosphere, with unique approaches that resonate with its customers.

Inc. Magazine tells of 10 Steps to Zappos Success

US News & World Report lays out the unique reasons that Zappos “… went from a struggling start-up in 2000 to getting acquired by Amazon in a deal valued at $1.2 billion in 2009.”

Legend has it that:

  • 75% of its sales come from returning customers
  • …who also spend 2 1/2 times more time on the website than first-time visitors
  • the longest customer service call took almost six hours.
  • Another rep helped a caller locate a nearby pizza place that would deliver after midnight.

Some say that Zappos’ success is proof that Customer Service is the new Marketing.

Now we hear that Zappos is creating an “entrepreneurial utopia” in Las Vegas (Zappos’ offices are now housed in the old Vegas City Hall), and has changed the corporate structure to a “Holoacracy“, because “Look at companies that existed 50 years ago in the Fortune 500—most don’t exist today. Companies tend to die and cities don’t.”

 

~ If you have a unique concept for your small business need funding to get it going, please contact Norris Lozano or Stephanie Bitters at BusinessUS about an SBA loan. We’d like to support you on the road to Zappos-dom.

16 Hot Startups that Launched in 2014

Logo_Business_InsiderBusiness Insider has issued its Best Startups of 2014 List, and it’s worth the read.

As should be expected from a media source whose CEO is Henry Blodgett, there’s a whole lotta technology on the list, analyzed by factors like

  • funding
  • revenue
  • growth, and
  • investor interest.

Here’s the article:

Here’s the list:

  1. glamsquad-brings-hair-salon-quality-blowouts-to-your-apartmentGLAMSQUAD brings hair salon-quality blowouts to your apartment.
  2. Spring is the Instagram for shopping.
  3. DWNLD makes apps easy to make, customize and get published in the App Store
  4. Ello is the ad-free, anti-Facebook social network.

  5. Curbside lets you order stuff on your phone and pick it up at the store without leaving your car.

  6. Reserve takes all the pain out of making restaurant reservations.

  7. Shyp sends your packages for you, so you never have to step foot in the post office
  8. Jet.com is Marc Lore’s mysterious “Amazon-killer” e-commerce website.
  9. More …

~ For more information about using an SBA Loan as part of your startup capital, please contact Norris Lozano at BusinessUS

Small business time-saver: automate your social media posting

Logo_IFTTTSmall business owners rejoice (happy feet under the desk will suffice) – there’s an easy way to save yourself from a major social media time-suck.

Scene: You’re a big believer in developing new marketing content, and then sharing it across your social media.

(Excellent, you’re right on-trend!)

The deal: You write the piece, and post it on your blog (and you only post with pictures, right? … Of course you do)

The problem: You have to then post on Facebook, and Twitter, and LinkedIn, and Google+…. Half an hour… times 2 times a day… 5 times a week…

Srsly?

Our good friends (BFFs, really) over at Talent Zoo turned us on to an app called IFTTT – – If This, Then That.

With IFTTT, you can automate all the re-posting, and save yourself a ton of time.

The solution: Read all about it here

~ Christopher Smith, BusinessUS

For small business, a lot of lending is moving online

Logo_Harvard_Business_ReviewWe’ve read multiple stories recently (here are just a few one, two, three, four…) about small business lenders accomplishing astonishing numbers with online lending platforms. In our research we’re finding that this new money appears easy to get (the online applications and due diligence are relatively simple), but the price is steep (annualized interest rates of up to 70%).

Problem is, small businesses have fewer financing options now then in the last decade. Indeed, small businesses have suffered 3 ways when it comes to acquiring capital they need to grow. According to the Harvard Business Review:

  1. “A decades-long trend toward consolidation of banking assets into fewer institutions is eliminating a key source of capital for small firms….”
  2. “…collateral owned by small businesses lost value during the financial crisis, potentially making small business borrowers less creditworthy today…”
  3. “In the recent recession, small-business sales were hit hard and may still be soft, undermining their demand for loan capital…”
  4. “…. tightening on loan terms, including the Federal Reserve Senior Loan Officer Survey, for small businesses increased at double-digit rates during the recession and recovery, and have eased at just single-digit rates over the past several quarters. Loosening has been much slower and more tentative for small firms than for large firms…” (italics added)

Despite the low barriers to lending, these expensive online lenders are not a sustainable solution to small business borrowing needs. What’s often overlooked in this discussion of small business loans are SBA loans. SBA loans are available from banks and non-bank lenders to American small businesses that “can not get credit elsewhere” (small businesses that are underserved by traditional lenders) at competitive rates (about 6%) with an SBA guarantee.

~ Norris Lozano

CEO of BusinessUS

American Dream: Former Denny’s Waitress now owns 75 locations

dennys-dawn-lafreedaLike many young people, Dawn Lafreeda started her working life at age 16. Her first job was as a hostess at a local Denny’s restaurant.

But this determined woman’s life quickly took a turn that would be instrumental in defining her success: “During college, she took on a second job at a software company, where she learned about accounting and managing personnel.” At 23, she was able to leverage her skills and burning desire to succeed to acquire a Denny’s store in Globe, Arizona. (It’s 87 miles east of Phoenix, in case you’d like to look it up).

18 months later, she was offered 4 more stores in Texas. Now, “Lafreeda has increased her empire to 75 Denny’s locations in six states, becoming the largest single-owner franchisee in the system.”

Read more

jamalmashburn_D_20130911152954Here’s another great franchise-building story, about NBA star Jamal Mashburn.

 

~ This story is posted by Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS.

He’s Back: Al Gore, “The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate”

gore-600-1403097332Al Gore is back with an even stronger message on climate change and a low-carbon economy necessity. His article in Rolling Stone is detailed, stark, and ultimatelty, optimistic:

“Is there enough time? Yes. Damage has been done, and the period of consequences will continue for some time to come, but there is still time to avoid the catastrophes that most threaten our future. Each of the trends described above – in technology, business, economics and politics – represents a break from the past. Taken together, they add up to genuine and realistic hope that we are finally putting ourselves on a path to solve the climate crisis.”

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

Programming expert Chris Serra joins BusinessUS technology team

DeathtoStock_Wired2PRESS RELEASE: “We are extremely fortunate to have a programmer of Chris Serra’s stature join our technology team,” says Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS. “Chris’ deep knowledge and 16 years’ experience in solving complex technology issues will help us develop the best-in-class technology platform we need to compete.”

Read the full release here

Pavlik ranked 5th on AVP, in today’s final round at St. Petersburg Open

Pavlik_at_St_Petersburg_Open_2014Check out Whitney Pavlik’s AVP page: http://www.avp.com/player/whitney-pavlik – currently ranked 5th by the AVP!

Our photogenic superstar is featured by CBS: http://www.avp.com/news/watch-the-avp-st-petersburg-open-finals-live-on-cbs-sports-network

The team of Pavlik and Jennifer Forma is seeded 3rd at the St. Petersburg Open on the AVP Tour.

Final round today!

Here’s the rankings: http://www.avp.com/stats/st-petersburg-open-14-w

Good luck today Whitney!!

 

(Posted by Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS)

WSJ Video: Robert Irvine’s Advice for Aspiring Restauranteurs

Robert_Irvine_Video_on_WSJMany of our small business borrowers are likely to own restaurants.

We think it’s a good idea to watch the video here: “Robert Irvine’s Advice for Aspiring Restauranteurs”.

In the video (and the show), the host of “Restaurant: Impossible” on the Food Network explains his method for turning failing restaurants into a success.

See the video here: http://on.wsj.com/RpgG3E

~Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a California-based small business lender

We’re Sponsoring Olympic Hopeful Whitney Pavlik


p1160807430-3BusinessUS is super proud to announce our sponsorship of Olympic-hopeful women’s volleyball player Whitney Pavlik (@WhitneyPavlik)
!

She’s a superstar athlete, (note the skywalker on the left of this awesome Allen Szto photo – and she’s not even the hitter on her team!).

Whitney’s strength and hard work really inspire us.

She’s in China for the first tournaments of the 2014 FIVB season, and sporting some fine BusinessUS gear – – Bring back some hardware, Whitney!

 

‘Why I Hire Veterans’ – special from the Open Forum

“Providing opportunity for returning military veterans is a core pursuit of BusinessUS.” – Norris Lozano, CEO

This article demonstrates a true commitment to hiring veterans:

choices-knight2-dahl-openforum-embed
Kevin Knight of Knight Solutions

“Kevin Knight planned to use the U.S. Army as a way to escape the troubled Hampton, Virginia, neighborhood where he grew up. But when a training accident—he was hit in the head with a training stick—detached both his retinas, causing blindness in one eye, his military career was over. That forced him to change gears and find his future in the world of business.”

Read the rest of the article here

 

7 Powerful Business Women to Watch This Year

Women Rock Stars collage

“These seven innovators are having a major influence on technology, healthcare and the government. Their ideas are changing the ways we do business and are addressing broader issues of national security, gender bias, world poverty and the state of the startup community at large. We’ve got our eye on these powerful women. You should, too.”

Read the article here

~ Norris Lozano, BusinessUS