2012-2013 Mobile Blogging: New Era of Mobile blogging is on The Cutting Edge

Mobile blogging is an exciting phenomenon that is

sweeping the blogosphere. One of the reasons why a lot

of bloggers are attracted to the medium of blogging in

the first place is that they enjoy being able to make

frequent updates and posts that keep all of their visitors

up to speed with current situations. Mobile blogs, or

“moblogs,” take this to the extreme by allowing users to

post things literally as they happen. This new wave of

moblogs and mobloggers keep web surfers up to date

with good and bad events of importance as they occur

all over the world, helping to make international

communication faster and more accurate.

Many people feel that the limitations of blogging have a

lot to do with geography. After all, there is only so

current that a blog can be when you need to run home

and boot up in order to update it. However, mobile

blogging marks the beginning of an thrilling new era

when web-based communication can happen

spontaneously from any location. Moblogging devices

mean that there is almost nowhere on the planet that

remains off-limits for bloggers.

Mobile blogging is still in its infancy because the

technology that makes it possible has only recently hit

the global market. The first moblog technology became

available over a decade ago, but it is only the past two

or three years that mobile web devices have become

user-friendly enough to appeal to most consumers. As

camera phones and other mobile technology become

more popular, more and more bloggers are getting away

from their desks and are hitting the streets. Moblogging

is becoming much more widespread that it was even a

few months ago, and mobloggers are quickly attracting

a lot of attention with the blogging community. It is not

yet clear whether moblogs will become the dominant

kinds of blogs in the years to come, but the current

trend seems to imply that moblogs are here to stay.

Mobile devices make it possible to blog from the sites

where current events are unfolding, which is one of the

reasons why mobile blogging has so much thrilling

potential to revolutionize the blogosphere. A moblogger

with a camera phone can post blog entries from, say, the

foot of the podium at a presidential speech, or from the

stands during the final moments of the world series.

This enables bloggers to experience the same real time

thrills that live television coverage provides, but in a

more democratic medium. The combination of mobility

and individual control that moblogging provides

certainly places mobloggers on the cutting edge of

today’s communications technology, and it is hard to

imagine that the number and prestige of moblogs will

not continue to grow in the coming years.

Simple, Yet Effective Ways to Make Your Small Business a Success

Are you a small business owner? If you are, you likely already know that you have to compete with a large number of other businesses, many of which may be larger than your business or have more money to “toss,” around. While you may think that your size automatically puts you at a disadvantage, it doesn’t have to. There are a number of ways that you can go about making sure that your small business is a successful, profitable one; ways that actually require little or no work on your part.

One of the simplest, yet most effective ways that you can turn your small business into a success and keep it as one is by smiling. Yes, smiling. Many people, possibly even you, do not actually realize just how far a smile really goes. When it comes to buying a product or a service, from both large and small business owners, many customers want to feel appreciated or at least like they are being noticed. After all, without the customer, you and your small business employees wouldn’t even have jobs. That is why it is important that you and your employees always smile at your customers and always put on a happy front.

Small talk is another simple, yet effective way to make your small business a success. Small talk can be something as simple as asking any of your customers if they need help finding anything, if you run a retail store, or asking them about the weather outside. Small talk makes your customers feel important. It makes many consumers feel good that there is assistance available if it is needed, as well as the fact that some actually values their opinion or insight, even if it is only about the weather. That is why you and your employees are always advised to strike up a conversation with your customers. This conversation is what will likely keep them coming back for more.

As stated above, there are many people who tend to forget how much a smile can brighten up a person’s day. In addition to smiling, it seems as if some customer service workers have forgotten the importance of a simple thank you. When running a small business, your customers have the options of shopping with you or with a larger company, a larger company that have more products for sale, at lower prices. What often sets you and your competitors apart is your customer service. That is why it is advised that you and all of your employers thank all of your customers for their business and ask them to come again soon. Your customers do not have to shop at your store, but they do chose to do so; therefore, make sure you thank them for it.

Another way that you can help to ensure that your small business is a successful one, one that consumers love doing business with, is being polite on the phone to all callers. While this may seem like common sense, there are times when it can easily be forgotten. Sometimes it seems is if potential customers call with questions about store hours or a product at the worst possible time, often a time when you are busy. Although this may be frustrating to you, you are advised to stay calm, cool, and collective. If you need to, ask the caller to please hold on for a minute, but try not to keep them on hold for too long. Your actions or the actions of your employees on the phone will have a significant impact on whether or not the caller decides to become a paying customer later on.

As outlined above, being friendly, patient, and pleasant to deal with are simple, yet effective ways for you and your business to make a name for yourself; a positive name. That positive name is what may help to keep your business running strong and profitable for years to come.

What You Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing

Well you have finally done it. You have packed in the rubbish job and told your boss exactly what you think. You have taken the plunge and made the decision to begin your own affiliate marketing business. Affiliate marketing can be very lucrative. It provides people with the opportunity to work for themselves with very little risk to them. Those that are sales savvy, good at marketing and are not afraid of a little hard work can often do incredibly well with an affiliate marketing program.

Affiliate marketing sounds easy but you do need to exercise some caution. You want to avoid the affiliate marketing pitfalls that can ruin your business and worse, have you crawling on your hands and knees back to that boss that now knows how you truly feel.

People tend to get excited when they start a new venture. Unfortunately this excitement and eagerness can cause them to miss key things in their agreement. Whenever you sign up for an affiliate marketing program, you will be expected to sign an agreement. The terms and conditions of the agreement for both sides should be outlined. However, if they want to hide something this is where they will put it. It will either be in the small print, so get your magnifying glass out, or they will baffle you with legal language. Either way, you need to read and understand your agreement thoroughly to avoid disappointment and lost earnings.

If you are signing up for a commission based affiliate marketing program then you need to understand how the term revenue is defined. This is one of the biggest pitfalls of the contracts. They may advertise 5-10% commissions but it all fall on how they define revenue. Most affiliate marketing programs will calculate commission on the gross value of the sale. In other words, the amount of money the site will get at the completion of the sale. You may think that this sounds great. However, you need to read this part of the agreement very carfully. The amount of the sale almost always excludes credit card or debit card payment surcharges. They also are likely to exclude payment and delivery charges as well as any gift wrapping or other surcharges. What sounded like a nice commission is soon shrinking before your eyes. Ask these questions specifically before you sign an agreement.

Some affiliate programs are even stricter in their definition of revenue. Your commission may be based on the profit margin of the sold product. For example, if you help sell a book for 20 dollars but the company only makes 10 dollars profit, you’ll receive a percentage of 10 dollars not 20. This can make a substantial difference in your earnings. Again, make sure you understand these things and ask specifically what your commission will be based upon. Read your agreement and look out for odd sounding clauses. These could come back to haunt you later.

Something else to beware of when you work on commission is returns. Many affiliate marketing companies only pay commission out on completed sales and then only if the customer keeps the item. If they return the items your commission could be cancelled. To really rub salt in the wounds, you could be billed for the outstanding commission if you do not have sufficient commission credit built up. Make sure you understand this before signing on. You cannot expect a company to pay you a commission on an item that is returned but make sure you understand their return policy. Find out your rights in this situation.

Affiliate marketing can be a great way to earn money. If you have good sales and marketing skills then it can give you the opportunity to out them to good use. You’ll be able to work for yourself and not someone who undervalues and does not appreciate them. One needs to consider affiliate marketing carefully. Make sure you understand your agreement and exactly what you will be paid for. You don’t want to have to go crawling back to your boss begging for your old job back.

Facts about entrepreneurship

An entrepreneur is someone who creates a new business in the face of risks and uncertainty for the purpose of achieving profits and growth by identifying significant opportunities and assembling the necessary resources to capitalize on them.

Entrepreneurship is therefore an act in which an entrepreneur undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods.It starts from an opportunity which is often associated with advanced technology and it impacts economic development, innovation, job growth, knowledge spillovers, increasing competition, encouraging firm diversity, (Zoltan Acs & Varga, 2006).

Types of entrepreneurs

  • Craft entrepreneurs

This entrepreneur utilizes personal skills without expanding his business. As a result, the business can expand as far as the owner can control it. Usually, the skills are learned from a technical training institute or through an apprenticeship system.

  • Opportunistic entrepreneurs

This type of an entrepreneur is more of a coordinator. He is interested in having the business grow and expand. He delegates responsibilities to others thus increasing the number of employees. He is opprtunity oriented thus he grabs opportunities before having the resources in place. Profit is therefore secondary to sales.

  • Ego-oriented entrepreneurs

These are entrepreneurs who are in business to be recognized, be seen driving big cars, live in posh areas and want to feel very superior.

Nature of Entrepreneurship

The phenomenon of entrepreneurship is intertwined with a complex set of overlapping concepts such as management of change, innovation, technological and environmental turbulence, new product development, small business management and industry revolution.Furthermore, entrepreneurship can be investigated from various desciplines as varied as economics, sociology, psychology history and anthropology.

The factors that are most commonly cited for entrepreneurship to take place are as follows;

An individual – this is the person identifies an opportunity and gathers the necessary resources to transform it into profits.

An act – It involves taking the right action to move from on stage to another.

An organization – This about having the right structures in place to assist in managing an enterprise.

Innovation – The are activities that will add value to the existing products and also development of new products which give the business an edge over the competitors.

Entrepreneurial Process

Entrepreneurship has had a series of ideas of what processes it can have. For instance, the process of entrepreneurship for Schumpeter was the act of creative destruction. For Kirzner, the process of entrepreneurship was having the alertness to recognize opportunities in the environment. Scott Shane (2003) developed an entrepreneurial process framework based on entrepreneurial opportunities. In this article I will focus on Shane’s entrepreneurial process framework for four reasons: first, it is the most comprehensive that the field has, second, it creates awareness that entrepreneurship is a process embedded in time, third, it implicitly acknowledges that each phase requires different skills, actions and contexts, and fourth, it is a recursive process reflecting the true learning and actions ofentrepreneurs practicing their craft. The stages according to Shane are as follows;

  • Stage 1 – Existence of opportunity
  • Stage 2 – Discovery of opportunity
  • Stage 3 – Decision to exploit opportunity
  • Stage 4 – Resource acquisition
  • Stage 5 – Entrepreneurial strategy
  • Stage 6 – Organizing process

Each stage in the entrepreneurial growth has a set of triggers that move entrepreneurial actions through the process. According to Schumpeter (Schumpeter 1986), the existence of opportunity is driven by technological, political/legal, and socio-cultural changes. The process of discovering opportunity and exploiting opportunity is an endeavor of the individual entrepreneur which depends on their psychological and capability attributes.

The decision to exploit an opportunity is also affected by the industrial, economic, political and socio-cultural situation. What initiates the resource acquisition process is need and it involves the collecting and recombination of resources which requires financing. In the majority of the cases, business founders finance out of their own savings (Aldrich, 1999). How the resource acquisition process is carried out depends on contractual mechanisms, social ties, venture capital, business angels, self-financing, persuasive communication strategies, business plans, founder attributes.However care must be taken not to underestimate the amount of variety of resources needed.

Some conditions of entrepreneurial strategy involve two issues: First, how is competitive advantage protected from competition once when it is made public? Second, how does the entrepreneur manage information asymmetry and uncertainty in the exploitation of the opportunity? The organizing process is the last stage of entrepreneurial action it is caused by the need for routines and structures.

So what is involved in the process of entrepreneurship? Reconsidering the 6 stages, the involvement of the individual entrepreneur with his environment is a constant throughout the stages. Every stage is an arena where the individual’s psychology, experiences and capabilities meet the opportunities in the industry, economy and society. Of great importance is the entrepreneurs ability to manage the enterprise he creates. The operational problems of the growing venture must also be scrutinized. This entails implementing a management style and structure, as well as determining the key variables for success. A control system must be established, so that any problem areas can be quickly identified and resolved.

Innovations, Entrepreneurship and Profit: How They Are Tied Together

By Christopher J Howells.

What is Entrepreneurship? When we think of entrepreneurship, what immediately comes to mind are businessmen, and small scale enterprise or businesses. Actually, the definition of entrepreneurship varies depending on the perspective used. It may be a field in business or it may be an activity in which people engage in. Describing the processes involved within it defines what entrepreneurship is. Understanding and seeking innovations, like improving an existing product line, is one of the processes in entrepreneurship. But is not merely innovating, this process should be taken a step further for it to be considered as part of entrepreneurship.

The step further would be to transform the innovation into economic goods, something that will generate income. In entrepreneurship, an individual or a group of individuals identify a business opportunity by finding a prospective or valuable item, product or activity that can be utilized for business and generate sustainable profit. When the market value generated by the business opportunity or innovation is greater than the value of the value of the combination of resources used to create the opportunity or innovation, then there is profit. Profit occurs when the value of the resources used to create a product is increased through innovation.

The definition of entrepreneurship lies in a single but most important concept: discovery. Without discovery and innovation, there will be a stagnation in the market economy as there will be no improvement. Entrepreneurship paves way for economic growth, as it supports economic growth through its discoveries and innovation. Through entrepreneurship, new and better things, processes and systems are created, recreated and uncovered. The creation or discovery does not need to be isolated to new product lines or existing product lines. It can also be applied to methods of production, market, resources or an organization or even an industry. Entrepreneurship can provide solutions for economic stability as it continuously seeks improvement and development of our resources to give them a greater value.

Let’s take the following situations as example of understanding what entrepreneurship is. Check out the following situations:

� A stay at home mom who knows how to cook delicious Indian cuisine starts to sell them to the teachers and staff of the nearby school.

� A downsized employee found another use for old vehicles, designs and fixes them, and made a playground for her pet day care center.

� A scientist discovers a new element but does not attempt to identify practical uses for it.

All of the situations except for that of the scientist show entrepreneurship. Remember that entrepreneurship is discovering or improving new product lines, market, processes, resources or organization. The stay at home mom found a new market in her neighborhood, the nearby school, and she took advantage of it to generate income. The downsized employee developed a new use for old vehicles. The situation with the scientist cannot be considered as entrepreneurship. There was no attempt to generate a market value for the new element as the scientist did not attempt to identify its practical uses. If he created a product with the use of the new element, then that could be identified as entrepreneurship.

If your looking for an honest, ethical and legitimate opportunity to generate a full time income from home, click here.

For free training, free education and a free income generating website, visit today.

Article Source: Innovations, Entrepreneurship and Profit: How They Are Tied Together

Entrepreneurship: What does it REALLY mean?

By Alvin Chan

In a world where ideas drive economies, it is no wonder that innovation and entrepreneurship are often seen as inseparable bedfellows. The governments around the world are starting to realize that in order to sustain progress and improve a country’s economy, the people have to be encouraged and trained to think out-of-the-box and be constantly developing innovative products and services. The once feasible ways of doing business are no longer guarantees for future economic success!

In response to this inevitable change, some governments are rethinking the way the young are educated by infusing creative thinking and innovation in their nation’s educational curriculum. In the same vein, they are putting much emphasis on the need to train future entrepreneurs through infusing entrepreneurship components within the educational system, especially at the tertiary level.

Some countries have taken this initiative to a higher level by introducing entrepreneurship education at elementary schools and encouraging them to be future entrepreneurs when they are of age. In a series of survey funded by Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, it was found that nearly seven out of 10 youths (aged 14-19) were interested in becoming entrepreneurs.

Being an entrepreneur is now the choice of the new generation as compared to the preferred career choices of yesteryears such as being a doctor, lawyer or a fighter pilot. In a recent visit to the bustling city of Shanghai in China, an informal survey was carried out among Chinese youths by the author. The results of the survey showed that being an entrepreneur, especially in the field of computer and e-commerce, is perceived as a ‘cool’ career and is an aspiration for many Chinese youths Prior to the ‘opening up’ of modern China, being an entrepreneur was perceived as the outcome of one’s inability to hold a good government job and those who dared to venture, were often scorned at by their peers. Times have indeed changed.

With this change in mindset and the relative knowledge that entrepreneurs bring forth increased job creations, the awareness and academic studies of entrepreneurship have also heightened. In many tertiary institutes, many courses of entrepreneurship and innovation are being developed and offered to cater to the increasing demand. The term “entrepreneurship” has also evolved with numerous variations. The proliferation of jargons such as netpreneur, biotechpreneur, technopreneur and multipreneur are coined to keep up with the ever-changing times and business conditions that surround us.

In view of these changes, it is important that the definition of entrepreneurship be refined or redefined to enable its application in this 21st century. To put it succinctly, “Good science has to begin with good definitions (Bygrave & Hofer, 1991, p13).” Without the proper definition, it will be laborious for policymakers to develop successful programs to inculcate entrepreneurial qualities in their people and organizations within their country.

The paper will provide a summary of the definitions of entrepreneurship provided by scholars in this subject area. The author will also expand on one of the definitions by Joseph Schumpeter to create a better understanding of the definition of the term “entrepreneurship” as applied in today’s business world.

Entrepreneurship through the Years:

It was discovered that the term ‘entrepreneurship’ could be found from the French verb ‘entreprende’ in the twelfth century though the meaning may not be that applicable today. This meaning of the word then was to do something without any link to economic profits, which is the antithesis of what entrepreneurship is all about today. It was only in the early 1700’s, when French economist, Richard Cantillon, described an entrepreneur as one who bears risks by buying at certain prices and selling at uncertain prices (Barreto, 1989, Casson 1982) which is probably closer to the term as applied today.

In the 1776 thought-provoking book ‘The Wealth of Nations’, Adam Smith explained clearly that it was not the benevolence of the baker but self-interest that motivated him to provide bread. From Smith’s standpoint, entrepreneurs were the economic agents who transformed demand into supply for profits.

In 1848, the famous economist John Stuart Mill described entrepreneurship as the founding of a private enterprise. This encompassed the risk takers, the decision makers, and the individuals who desire wealth by managing limited resources to create new business ventures.

One of the definitions that the author feels best exemplifies entrepreneurship was coined by Joseph Schumpeter (1934). He stated that the entrepreneur is one who applies “innovation” within the context of the business to satisfy unfulfilled market demand (Liebenstein, 1995). In elaboration, he saw an entrepreneur as an innovator who implements change within markets through the carrying out of new combinations. The carrying out of new combinations can take several forms:

  • The introduction of a new good or standard of quality;
  • The introduction of a novel method of production;
  • The opening of a new market;
  • The acquisition of a new source of new materials supply; and
  • The carrying out of the new organization in any industry.

Though the term ‘innovation’ has different meanings to different people, several writers tended to see “innovation” in the form of entrepreneurship as one not of incremental change but quantum change in the new business start-ups and the goods/services that they provide (egs, Bygrave, 1995; Bygrave & Hofer, 1991).

In the view of Drucker (1985), he perceived entrepreneurship as the creation of a new organization, regardless of its ability to sustain itself, let alone make a profit. The notion of an individual who starts a new business venture would be sufficient for him/her to be labeled as an entrepreneur. It is this characteristic that distinguishes entrepreneurship from the routine management tasks of allocating resources in an already established business organization. Though the definition tends to be somewhat simplistic in nature, it firmly attaches the nature of entrepreneurial action with risk-taking and the bearing of uncertainty by the individual (Swoboda, 1983)

In a Delphi study, Gartner (1990) found eight themes expressed by the participants that constitute the nature of entrepreneurship. They were the entrepreneur, innovation, organization creation, creating value, profit or non-profit, growth, uniqueness, and the owner-manager. The themes could be seen as a derivative and expansion of Schumpter’s earlier concept.

Expanding on Schumpeter’s Definition:

After digesting the numerous definitions of entrepreneurship, one would tend to see a strong link between these two terms: entrepreneurship and innovation. In retrospect, most of the definitions tended to be, to some extent, a re-work and expansion of Schumpeter’s definition of entrepreneurship (which is that of innovation being applied in a business context).

As defining the term of ‘innovation’ is highly debatable and would merit a paper on its own, the author has thus, for convenience, summarised the definition of innovation. Innovation can be perceived simply as the transformation of creative ideas into useful applications by combining resources in new or unusual ways to provide value to society for or improved products, technology, or services.

In the author’s opinion, the difficulties of defining “innovation” could be the reason for the quandary one finds in attempting to arrive at a clear-cut definition of the term ” Entrepreneurship”.

Take for example, if someone starts another run-of-the-mill hot dog stand in the streets of New York, will he termed as an entrepreneur? According to Drucker’s definition, he will be seen as one. However, if the above definition by Schumpeter was used as a guideline, the answer is probably ‘NO’.

Why? The core of the matter lies in what is so innovative about setting up another hot-dog stand which are in abundance in New York. On the contrary, if he is the first one to start a stand selling hot-dogs with Oriental Sweet and Sour sauce topping; he could be termed as an entrepreneur (even based on Schumpeter’s requirement) as he has done what others have not done before. In the context of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation are key points in the whole scheme of things.

In this manner, by adding “innovative” features to a product or services and setting up a business based on these additional features to compete in the existing market, new entrants may be able to gain this competitive advantage over existing market players.

In the case of the hot-dog seller, it may be argued that his addition of Oriental Sweet and Sour sauce toppings may be seen as nondescript. This runs in contrary to some scholars’ definition of entrepreneurship as requiring quantum changes in the products/ services to be justified as being entrepreneurial (Bygrave, 1985; Bygrave & Hofer, 1991).

Consistent with creating new products for sale, someone who starts a business by providing a totally new way of serving his customers/ clients is considered to be entrepreneurial too. Though, it is often argued that there are no real new products or services in a case where one does not look to the past products and services for ideas for improvements. Thus, the notion of incremental improvements should be accepted as being innovative too.

Innovation in the business sense may not necessarily involve, in the physical sense, the introduction of a new product or service. It can be in the form of what is commonly known as creative imitations. For example, if an individual starts selling a product that is already common in his area or country, he will not be seen as being entrepreneurial. However, if he is the first to sell the same product in a virgin locale or to an untouched market segment, he will be seen as an entrepreneur in his own rights.

Take Muhammad Yunus, for example. Yunus became an entrepreneur when he started a micro-loan program for the poor villagers in a rural part of Bangladesh named Grameen, with only US$26. The loan was divided among 42 villagers to assist them to buy small items such as combs, scissors, needles and other necessities to start their own home businesses. In the past 22 years, Grameen Bank has grown with over $2 billion loans granted. It has now become a model for several micro-loan facilities.

>From the following example, Yunus created banking and lending facilities in Grameen specifically for the poor villagers. Banking and lending money activities are not new but Yunus was the first to provide such facilities in a rural part of Bangladesh and that is definitely innovation and risk-bearing on his part as a social entrepreneur. In short, innovation need not arise mainly from a new product or service but it could be an old product or service finding a new market for penetration.

An individual could be termed as an entrepreneur if he or she sells a product or service using new systems and/ or mediums of marketing, distribution or production methods as a basis for a new business venture. A good example will be Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, the successful Web-based bookstore. He was one of the first to sell books on a large scale using an online store and also patented the one-click system for online buying. Though selling books is not an innovation in itself, Jeff Bezos was innovative in the use of the Internet then as a viable marketing and sales channel for selling books.

Another example from the field of e-commerce is Stuart Skorman, the founder of Reel.com [http://Reel.com]. Reel.com [http://Reel.com] is essentially one of the first cyber movie store with a very large inventory of over a 100 000 videos. Though setting a movie store was revolutionary then, Reel.com [http://Reel.com] main distinction was being known as the first online store to expand by opening an offline store. The founder felt that by doing so, the online store could be an advertisement for the offline store and vice versa, thus strengthening this click and mortar business venture- an example of creativity and innovation applied in a profitable business context.

Conclusion:

This paper has started as an attempt to redefine the term of entrepreneurship but ended up ‘updating’ the wheel, based on the definition as proposed by Schumpeter. The paper expanded on this influential work by giving examples to illustrate what innovation in entrepreneurship was and hope that along the way, new insights were unearthed in the study of defining entrepreneurship.

In summary, the author hopes that this paper would further encourage the infusion of creative thinking and innovation within the educational system to nurture future entrepreneurs with a competitive edge. In the author’s view, the characteristics and capabilities to set up a new business venture based on doing things that have not done before should be encouraged. Innovation needs to be the cornerstone of entrepreneurship as opposed to the mere setting up of another new enterprise without implementing changes or adding features of improvements to the products and services provided and/ or its business processes.

Dr. Alvin Chan is a Senior Research Consultant at First Quatermain Centre of Collaborative Innovation (www.firstquatermain.com).

For reprints permission, please contact.
Article Source: