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Is the Election Killing Small Businesses?

how politics affects small business | BIGG SuccessWe were chatting with a media executive recently who made an unsurprising observation: Business is great, thanks to the election.

Since we’re always trying to gauge the state of the entrepreneurial economy, we asked: Are small businesses advertising?

We found the answer to be both intriguing and sad: For the most part, they can’t afford to.

Ads are selling at a premium due to demand. Most small businesses can’t afford the current rates.

Promoting one job or many?

The political process is squeezing them out. That may not make much of a difference in an economy experiencing slow growth, but what about elections during boom times?

Political ads help one person get a job – be it a local, state or national office. When a small business promotes, it may lead to tens, hundreds or thousands of them.

Should it affect the timing of your startup?

More importantly, this conversation also made us think about a common question. We’re often asked: When is the best time to start a business?

Our answer has been: There really isn’t one. You can make the case for starting up in just about any market.

Some of the biggest success stories were started in a recession. Others started in a boom. Still others started in between the two.

However, this conversation made us think about something we had never given much thought to before:

If you rely on major media to get the word out for your product or service, you may want to start in a year with no elections. And you may especially want to avoid a Presidential election year.

What do you think? Is the political process killing small businesses? Should you consider this when starting up?

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Can You Believe How This Billionaire Got His Small Business Idea

a billionaire and his BIGG ideaWhere do the best business opportunities come from? Think about how Don Fisher found his.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 3:38)


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[haiku url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00829-092712.mp3″ title=”The BIGG Success Show #829″]
He was a typical 41-year old guy. He’d had some career successes and some failures.

But shopping changed his life.

He bought some jeans. But they didn’t fit. So his wife, Doris, went on a mission – find a pair of jeans for Don.

She went to several stores. All she found was limited assortments and nothing in Don’s size. Plus, the mess! They weren’t displayed nicely or set up to be easy to find what you were looking for.

As Don and Doris discussed it, they realized they had stumbled upon a great small business idea:

They would open a store which stocked all sizes, styles and colors of Levi’s.

It was the beginning of The Gap.

Their net worth climbed to $3 billion as they built their empire into over 3,000 stores serving over 134,000 customers in over 90 countries.

What can we all learn from the Fishers?

Opportunity is subtle

It often comes inadvertently, when you aren’t really looking. So stay alert all the time, even when you’re shopping.

And realize that your great small business idea may not come from a single experience. It’s more likely to present itself in a series.

As ideas float, concepts emerge. You have to connect the dots.

Innovation can be low tech

Yes, you need to bring something unique to the market. But don’t think that means you have to invent something or that innovation is only in the realm of the techie entrepreneurs.

As the Fishers demonstrate, it may be as simple as offering a broader assortment.

This is the real opportunity for small businesses. Large companies are often shallow and narrow in their offerings. For example, a big-box store may only stock the fastest selling items.

You may find your opportunity by offering a complete assortment in a given niche. Then you can expand out from there once you get traction.

Look for gaps

We couldn’t resist! But seriously, this is a great way to find your best business opportunity.

Look for gaps between what you want and what’s available. When you find one, chances are you’re not the only one looking for it.

You may be staring your BIGG opportunity in the face. You’ve discovered an unserved or under-served market. And that’s where you’ll find BIGG success!

How did you find your BIGG idea?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00829-092712.mp3

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5 Reasons for Starting Up a Small Business

startup your small business for BIGG SuccessIt’s National Small Business Week here in the United States. It has us thinking about the state of small business.

According to an article on Portfolio.com, small businesses failed at record rates from 2008 – 2010. Interestingly though, startup rates have been climbing since 2006. In fact, the number of new businesses hit highs not seen for a decade in 2009 and 2010.

It’s an interesting paradox. Why would so many people start a business when so many others are failing?

Many people get stuck. They want to start their own business. But the key word is “start” – they just can’t seem to do it.

You need a reason to start and it has to be one that will push you over the edge. So let’s look at five reasons for starting up a small business.

1) You’re driven by a dream

You know what you want to do. You’ve thought about it and thought about it. You’re tired of just thinking about it. You have to do it. If you vision is compelling enough, it will push you off the fence.

2) You want to take control

We live in a tumultuous world. Companies hire…Companies fire. Your fate may be in the hands of someone hundreds or thousands of miles away who doesn’t even know you. Your desire for control may help you make the leap.

3) You know you have so much more potential

You feel stagnant. You know you’re stuck. You’ve gone as far as you can with your company and in your industry. But it’s beyond that – it’s not just about career advancement. It’s also about personal growth. You know you could do so much more. It’s time to show the world your true potential.

4) You have a cause

A vision is one thing. A mission is another. You have a compelling “why”. You feel it with every ounce and inch of your being. It’s ingrained in your soul.

You have a cause and you’re afraid that if you don’t work for it, no one will. So you must start today to do the good work you were born to do.

5) You have “winner’s fear”

Losers are afraid to fail. So they can’t bring themselves to risk being embarrassed or hearing “I told you so.” On the other hand, winners are afraid of not trying. They just can’t accept not knowing if they could have done something more and been something greater. This winner’s fear drives them to move forward.

These are a just a few of the reasons for starting a business. What’s yours?

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Les McKeown on The Synergist – Part 3

The Synergist | Les McKeown | The BIGG Success Show PodcastOn The BIGG Success Show today, we wrapped up our conversation with Les McKeown about his new fantastic new book, The Synergist. Les started over 40 companies before launching Predictable Success, a business education and consulting company that helps organizations of all sizes – from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies.

Last time, we talked about why you need to adopt the Synergist style in your business and why everyone needs to take a synergistic approach when dealing with their co-workers.

Click a player to hear Les talk with George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.


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[haiku url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00776-012612.mp3″ title=”The BIGG Success Show #776″]
Listen to this podcast to discover:

  • what it means if you’re a combination of personalities
  • the dominant and secondary type which is very rare
  • why many people with this combo become consultants
  • how to tell if you are a natural Synergist
  • why the Synergist helps you make decisions more efficiently
  • how to learn to adopt the Synergist style in your organization
  • the mechanical issues that each personality type needs to address
  • why some businesses only need two of the four personality types

Are you a Visionary, an Operator, a Processor, or a Synergist? Les has a free personality quiz to help you find out. Check it out today!

We thank Les for the generous gift of his time and wisdom. And thank you for listening to this series.

Until next time, here’s to your BIGG success!

Hear more in this series
Les McKeown on The Synergist – Part 1
Les McKeown on The Synergist – Part 2

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00776-012612.mp3

Les McKeown on The Synergist – Part 2

The Synergist | Les McKeown | The BIGG Success Show PodcastWe continued our discussion on The BIGG Success Show with Les McKeown about his new book The Synergist. Les started over 40 companies before launching Predictable Success, a business education and consulting company that helps organizations of all sizes – from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies.

Last time, Les told us about three of the four business personalities, and how they work together in an organization to create stability and success.

Click a player to hear Les talk with George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.


iPhone/iPad/Mobile Podcast Player

[haiku url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00775-012512.mp3″ title=”The BIGG Success Show #775″]
In this podcast, you’ll hear:

  • why the three main personality types form an unstable triangle
  • common conflicts between the personalities
  • how these conflicts can hold a business back
  • how highly successful businesses punch through this stranglehold
  • why the Synergist is the stabilizing force
  • how to become the Synergist

Hear more in this series
Les McKeown on The Synergist – Part 1
Les McKeown on The Synergist – Part 3

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00775-012512.mp3