BY BRYCE COVERT ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2013
After a bill to raise California’s minimum wage to $9 per hour as of July 2014 and  then $10 by January 2016 was approved by both houses of the California state  legislature on Thursday, it now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) desk for  signature. Brown voiced his support earlier  in the week in a press release, saying, “This legislation is overdue and will  help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.”

Other  places have 
recently raised their minimum wages. Voters in Albuquerque, NM raised the wage from  $7.50 to $8.50 an hour on election night last year, which will automatically keep pace with the cost of living. Two other cities in California also raised the wage, with Long Beach increasing it to $13 an hour as well as guaranteeing hotel workers five paid sick days a year. When voters are asked to vote on whether to raise the minimum wage, they almost always approve it with substantial majorities, as was the case in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, and Ohio in past years. Eighty percent of Americans support a national raise to $10.10 an hour, including two-thirds of Republicans.
 
 
By Rieva Lesonsky

To start a successful business you need to create a founding team with complementary skills and off-the-charts passion for your idea.
AUGUST 12, 2013 Back in the 1990s, when small-business ownership metamorphosed into its sexier version—entrepreneurship—entrepreneurs were thought to be lone wolves, the antithesis of team players.

And while there are plenty of solo entrepreneurs today, truthfully that concept is not very entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurs today understand that it's important to have a solid team in place to build a successful startup.

It’s also important, says Steve Blank, a serial entrepreneur and associate professor at Stanford University who created the concept of the "Lean Startup," to understand not all startups have the same goals:

  1. Lifestyle business owners work so they can live. The goal is to survive, and by starting a business, they’ve essentially bought themselves a job.
  2. Small-business owners don’t want to (or can’t) work for someone else. Their goals are to feed their families. These folks are historically what we think of as small-business owners (many are immigrants). These businesses are not designed to scale.
  3. Entrepreneurs are those folks we think of today as the Silicon Valley types—those who start scalable, high-growth companies with the idea of “taking over the universe.” The goal is to “go public and make billions.”
And although there are exceptions—people who start out to feed their families and end up ruling the world—Blank says business founders need to be realistic about their skills and limitations. “It requires insight and self-awareness,” Blank says. “You can beat your chest and say ‘it’s all mine,’ but then you’ll always have a small business.”

 
 
Below is a very interesting article by James Caan, which I believe everybody should at least peruse.
By 
James Caan, CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw Ltd 

I have said in the past that there is no magic formula when it comes to being successful in business but there are certain guiding principles that I have followed throughout the course of my career. Not everyone gets what they want in life but if you work hard and keep trying then some measure of success is bound to come your way. Here are a few of the personal rules I have stuck with throughout my career in business and still follow to this day.

1. Application
No matter what people say true success does not come easily. Like everything in life, if you really want something you are going to have to work for it and put in the time and effort. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of hard work and everyone who has gone into business for themselves will tell you it is one of the toughest things they have ever done in life.
2. Believe in yourself
There is no point in going into business for yourself if you do not have any confidence or self-belief. When you set up your own company the only person you have to answer to is yourself - which means confidence is vital. If you do not believe in yourself and your product or service, then how can you get others to put their faith in you?
3. Be creative
If you want to be truly successful then you have to be prepared to stand out from the crowd. Although I have always believed that an idea doesn't have to be brand new, the best businesses will still have a strong USP that sets them apart from competitors. Creativity is one of the most valuable qualities any person in the business world can have.
4. Be there first
It is a competitive world out there those who are not out of the traps quickly are the ones who are going to get left behind. I have always believed in striking first. Once you have established what the best course of action is, there is no point in being cautious because it will give your competitors the chance to get in there before you and win that vital piece of work or contract.
5. Build a brand
When I set up my first firm, the first thing I did was to go out and rent an office in the best part of London, as an address in Mayfair is great to put on a business card. The actual room itself was tiny and windowless, but nobody knew this as I arranged for meetings to take place away from the office. When it comes to doing business, building a brand and a good reputation is vital. Once you have done this, you will find things a lot easier, as most of us prefer to deal with people or companies that are recognised and trusted.
6. Seek advice
It is impossible to be an expert in every field and there is nothing wrong with seeking advice when you are struggling. When you are starting out in business it can be great to speak to someone who has years of experience behind them. If you ask for help you will usually find that people are more than happy to give their time and their expertise.
7. Get organised
Running a successful business can be very stressful and demanding and one of the most important resources you will have is your time. If you want to get the most out of your working day then you need to be properly organised and you also need to make sure you are not wasting precious time on tasks that can always be delegated to someone else.
8. Don’t run before you can walk
When you first start in business there is a tendency to grab every piece of work which comes your way, which can be a potentially fatal mistake. First of all you need to make sure that when you negotiate a contract there is a decent margin. Although you want to make your mark, there is no point in taking on work that does not yield a worthwhile profit. More importantly don’t take on more work than you can manage. It is one of the most common mistakes in business and can prove to be very costly.


 
 
 
 
Creating a food or drink product to sell to the mass market can be quite challenging but it can also be extremely rewarding and potentially very lucrative. It takes passion, desire and an almost obsessive interest in all things food or drink to succeed in the industry. That is why Clip Creative a London and Nottingham based creative and PR agency have brought together all of their food and drink marketing secrets and experience to create an innovative infographic that explains step by step how the world of food and drink marketing really works. The first stage of the infographic explains that once you have refined your food or drink product you need to let people know about it. Your target audience will vary from consumers, foodies, buyers from the multiples to industry chefs and many more depending on your objectives. Branding, packaging design, marketing and PR is essential in the creation of a successful food or beverage company as this will elevate the brand image and ensure you generate sales and stay ahead of your competitors.
 
 
 
 
Screwing up from time to time is part of the entrepreneurial process--but not all mistakes are created equal.
By Ilya Pozin July 11, 2013

Entrepreneurship, at its best, is synonymous with learning. Don’t let the overnight success stories fool you. The more common story looks like this: test a product, fail, retest, and improve. Mistakes are a crucial part of this process.

Of course, not all mistakes are productive. Throughout my years in the start-up community, I’ve witnessed entrepreneurs make some of the same counterproductive mistakes again and again. And hey, I’ve made my share of them too.

Here are nine of the most common–and easiest to avoid:

1. Trusting your gut, rather than getting validation for your idea.

Your business idea may seem like a profitable game-changer, but without validation you may be setting yourself up for failure. Before you invest any time or money into your idea, spend time testing it. Consult with experts from the start-up community and get your product idea in front of potential customers so that you can learn–and adapt–based on their feedback.

2. Not getting your business to market fast enough.

Far too many business ideas fail due to a slow launch, which needs to be both stealthy and strategic to be successful. Don’t spend ages building out your idea and features. Instead, build out your most valuable product, release it, and see how people react to it. In the end, it’s important not to overbuild, because features alone don’t make start-ups successful.

3. Not knowing when to pivot.

Through your early validation efforts, you’re likely to gain feedback that you didn’t anticipate. Rather than throwing in the towel or ignoring what you’ve learned altogether, this should inspire you to change your business model to prevent failure. Many successful business ventures have come through calculating a new route.

 
 
If you are wonder how to start advertising your business using Google AdWords, the below infographic could show you how. This information can help you to make right decisions while arranging the first steps in your advertising campaign. It shows the first issues you will face and provide decisions.
 
 
 
 
By Susie Madrak

If only politicians would stop blathering about the middle class and do something for those who are now poorer than ever. If only people could get full-time jobs. Feel all that freedom trickling down:

The economic "recovery" just keeps getting worse for the average worker: U.S. employers squeezed their employees even harder than usual in the first quarter, leading to the biggest drop in hourly pay on record.

Hourly pay for nonfarm workers fell at a 3.8 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Wednesday. This was the biggest quarterly decline since the BLS started keeping track in 1947. Some of the drop was payback for a 9.9 percent surge in hourly pay in the fourth quarter of 2012, as employers shoveled money out the door to avoid tax changes they expected to take place in 2013.

But there have been plenty of such quarterly pay increases in the past. Many were even bigger. Some went on for several quarters at a time. And never has there been such a steep pay drop in response as there was in the first quarter of this year.

Smoothing out the quarterly ups and downs doesn't make the picture look any better. Hourly worker pay rose just 1.9 percent in 2012, a pitiful increase that barely kept up with the 1.8 percent gain in the consumer price index. That was the third-weakest annual increase in hourly pay since 1947, topping only the 1.4 percent gain in 2009 and a 1.8-percent gain in 1994.


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