Focus and attitude

When times are tough, even the most successful retail business can have some trouble.  Making the right business decisions is paramount when the margin for error is slim. “Fear can be a motivator, but it can also lead you into bad decisions, particularly in times like these,” says Norm Brodsky, small business writer for Inc. … More Focus and attitude

Home grown business

Think the talk of “green jobs” is malarkey?  This article on provides an example of how targeted incentives help promote growth in designated industries, such as home solar power, especially in the early stages of an industry’s growth when the economies of scale have not yet kicked in. Another article from The News Leader reviews the growth of the … More Home grown business

Economic gardening: part II

Last week we discussed the first step of “Economic Gardening,” preparing your community for entrepreneurial success. Now lets focus on the next steps: planting the seeds and nurturing the sprouts. One of the primary ways that a community can foster home-grown businesses is to offer a business incubator. Business incubators take many forms, the most … More Economic gardening: part II

New media

Question: What took 89 years for the telephone; 38 years for the television; and 14 years for the cell phone?  The answer? How long it took for each of these communication devices to be adopted by 150 million users. In only five years Facebook has attracted more than 175 millon users – and it’s not … More New media

Economic gardening: Part I

Over the past two decades, communities across the country have begun fostering economic growth from within using a technique called economic gardening.  This technique is a response designed to reduce dependence on the traditional targets of economic development – large industry. The benefits of an entreprenuerial society are immense.  Number one among them – profits from … More Economic gardening: Part I

23 ideas for tough times

Helping the downtown merchants is one of the most important functions of a Main Street organization.  At the recent Virginia Main Street (VMS) Designated Community Managers’ Retreat, several VMS communities reported that their retailers had a successful 2008 holiday season with increases in sales over 2007.  While much of the increase was because the downtown merchants … More 23 ideas for tough times