Tag Archives: Startups

SURFING THE TRUMP DISRUPTION: 4 Keys to Success as America Changes in 2017

Whatever your opinion on Donald Trump, everyone can agree that there are huge changes coming to America and the world, starting January 20.

How can a business person or any other citizen adapt and prosper in this volatile time? Since the election November 8, I have come up with a few ideas. None of them involve Tweeting after awards shows.

KEY MOVE #1

BE READY TO LAUNCH NEW BUSINESSES TO PROFIT FROM BIG CHANGES

The US government is the largest organization in our nation. It is about to drastically transform. A multitude of new businesses will spring up to manage the intentional and unintentional results of this disruption. I believe people are going to prosper in new  enterprises arising to exploit or even to oppose this radical shift in government.

It’s not simply that we’ve moved from a Democratic to Republican administration. Mr. Trump seems determined to disrupt the way governing has been done for decades, just as he broke all the rules of campaigning. Whether you love or loath the incoming President, it’s obvious that the next four years will not be business as usual. Is Donald Trump the Amazon of politics, a profound game changer? Or is he closer to Bitcoin or Google Glass, a passing sideshow oddity? Either way there are big changes in store starting right away.

Some of the sectors where the new administration and Congress will make drastic changes include health care, national security, energy policy, international relations, tax rules, business regulations, laws over individuals, and conservation. As these changes are instituted, businesses and jobs will be created to manage new challenges and exploit new opportunities. I expect an explosion of innovation as our nation grapples with the new Administration’s game-changing approach to government.

These opportunities will not be for business owners only. If you don’t own your own company, be on the lookout for openings your employer can exploit, and suggest new moves. You could end up leading a new division of your company! And look for part time side business ideas as well.

There will be opportunities for Republicans and Democrats alike. Innovative enterprises aimed at fighting Mr. Trump and Republican control of government are already emerging.

The Trump Disruption will have no borders. There will be opportunities not only for Americans but people the world over. As America is disrupted from within, other nations will have new chances to excel and challenges to overcome. You could write a book about Russia alone.

I advise everyone to look at every upcoming change, and ask the question: “what’s my opportunity to help?” Particularly focus on areas relating to your experience and expertise. There will be many ways to add value, through businesses, government and non-profit civic causes. Opportunities are there whether you favor or oppose the Trump Administration.

KEY MOVE #2

BEWARE OF SCAMS

Government regulations of businesses are going to be loosened. That’s a sure thing with the new power structure. For my own businesses (hospitality, retail beverage marketing and event services), fewer regulations will be a catalyst for growth, innovation and profits. But while a more permissive regulatory environment will present opportunities, it also creates more openings for fraudulent operators. As regulations fall, new scams are sure to crop up. It will be increasingly important to read the fine print and do due diligence on every personal and business deal. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

KEY MOVE #3

DON’T IMITATE DONALD TRUMP!

The blunt, unfiltered approach that works for Mr. Trump is 99% likely to backfire for the rest of us in our daily lives. Even if you are a Trump fan, it’s important to avoid insulting, arrogant, thoughtless behavior in business and personal interactions. You are not a billionaire TV star.

The satirical magazine The Onion was on point with this spoof:

REPORT: It Is Still Nowhere Near OK to Act Like Donald Trump

ITHACA, NY—In the hours since the Republican nominee’s stunning election to the nation’s highest office, reports have confirmed that, regardless of circumstance, it is not even remotely close to okay to act like Donald Trump. “Just to be perfectly clear, speaking or behaving in a manner similar to President-elect Trump is just as unacceptable now as it has ever been,” the reports stated, adding that in zero percent of cases is it even borderline permissible to conduct oneself either personally or professionally in a fashion akin to Trump, and that has not changed in the past two days. “In fact, acting like Mr. Trump does for even a moment will result in a wide range of negative social—and in some cases, criminal—consequences for you personally.” – THE ONION satirical media site

KEY MOVE #4

FOLLOW THE MONEY (AS ALWAYS) ON ITS NEW PATHS

Eight years of divided government are over. Republicans are in control of all Federal branches and the majority of State Houses. Similar to the first term of President George W Bush in 2000, there will be a huge shift of resources toward Republican-preferred programs and away from those seen to benefit Democratic constituencies.

This shift will create two new sets of opportunities:

First and most obviously, Republican favored programs flush with new funds will offer new jobs and contract opportunities for businesses.
But also, Democratic favored programs losing funding will be searching for creative ways to continue their endeavors. This too is an opening for entrepreneurial minded people to step up with creative solutions.

Just don’t expect the government to shrink in total size and spending. Even Mr. Trump is not that radical. Rhetoric always comes in second to self interest, regardless of who rules! So count on plenty of ways to profit working with the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Our Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel famously said “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Whether you think Trump will “make America great” or be a “disaster,” unprecedented opportunities are on the way with the “huuuuuge” changes we’ll all be experiencing. Welcome to the uncharted territory of Trump’s America.

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How Samuel Adams Founder Jim Koch Pays It Forward

I am proud to be a part of this great program to support food and beverage startups, Brewing the American Dream. It was founded and is operated by Jim Koch, a great guy and the founder of Boston Brewing Company, maker of America’s favorite macro/micro craft brew, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, as well as the breakout hit of 2014 Angry Orchard Cider.
If you are not familiar with his wonderful program of micro loans and mentorship to F&B startups, read about it here, and for an update on this year’s National Finals, Time Magazine blogged a story 2 days ago.
It has been great to work with Jim and the Boston Brewing team over the years and I look forward to doing much more great business with them, as well as supporting BTAD in any way I am able.
Cheers! — TimTheBarGuy

P.S. – Jim also has a secret to avoid getting tipsy when drinking beer, which he shared with me and also explained in an Esquire Magazine interview.  You can read about it and get the Esquire link here.

The Surprising Truth About Who Creates New Jobs

We often think of small business as the employment engine of the economy and in many ways that is true.  The restaurant/bar/hospitality business is a big mover in job creation.  But when it comes to job-creating power, new research indicates it is not the size of the business that matters as much as it is the age.

New and young companies are the primary source of job creation in the American economy. Not only that, but these firms also contribute to economic dynamism by injecting competition into markets and spurring innovation.

Representing 95 percent of all U.S. companies, businesses with fewer than fifty employees are undoubtedly important to overall economic strength. So too are the relatively few large companies, which employ millions of Americans.

Yet, neither group contributes to new job creation in the way young, entrepreneurial firms do. In fact, between 1988 and 2011, companies more than five years old destroyed more jobs than they created in all but eight of those years.

Read the research and conclusions here from the Kauffman Foundation, which shows how Start Ups are a prime job driver, how there’s a dangerous trend toward fewer new enterprises, and what can be done to encourage new businesses that drive more jobs.

netjobcreation
Click on this graphic to see larger version.

Here’s some more info on what’s needed to enable entrepreneurial firms to drive innovation and prosperity.

Please remember it is important to job growth and local economic health to support small businesses, local companies and start ups whenever possible!

How to Pitch Your Business, by Richard Branson

Richard Branson excellently explains how to Pitch your idea, product or business in Entrepreneur Magazine. It comes down to 5 simple steps:

(1) Explain how your new business will make a difference, but do it in an entertaining fashion.
(2) Show off your expertise in a personable way, highlight your experience and your team’s strengths.
(3) Ground your idea with simple, realistic messages.
(4) Do not use jargon.
(5) Most importantly, pitch quickly.

My bonus reminder: Any meaningful business idea can be expressed in less than 2 minutes!

It’s worth reading the complete Branson interview in Entrepreneur Magazine, including a couple of entertaining pitch stories from Sir Richard.

Cheers! — TTBG

Here’s a Restaurant Reality Show I can love

“Restaurant Startup” on CNBC – very cool story and interview with the stars of the show – Joe and Tim – who put their own money behind start-ups who can convince them to invest.

Now that’s reality.

So is this:

“So, listen, this is what you need to know about the restaurant business: Thirty percent of your cost is your food. Thirty percent is your labor. Twenty percent is miscellaneous shit like rent, bug spray, and insurance. Twenty percent needs to be left for you. Your rent should be what you gross on your slowest day of the week, and if you’re not making double what you made in the job that you gave up to open your restaurant, then you just bought yourself a job, and you’re not really in the restaurant business,” Joe Bastianich says. “That’s what everyone needs to know.”

Yup – Love it.

restaurant startup

Thanks to Christine  Champagne and Fast Company that published the piece.