Archive | Inc RSS for this section

Wonder Why Gogo’s Stock is Down 35 Percent This Year? Do You Really Have to Ask?

inclogo

(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

I’m writing this column on a flight and would love to upload it to Inc.com. But unfortunately, I’m unable right now. Why? Because Gogo.

I’m a very frequent traveler and a heavy internet user. Like many business people, I like to bring work to do on a plane. Gone are the days of cross-country flights where we can sip G&Ts and watch a movie. Today, we’re expected to get things done, and we rely on technology to do that.

Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to rely on Gogo’s inflight Internet service. In fact — and this is the truth — when I know the work I’m doing on the next day’s flight will require internet research, I literally do that research the night before and copy and paste dozens of web pages into a local Word document so I can access it on the plane. Why? Because there’s a very low probability I can rely on Gogo’s service. It’s up! Oh darn, it froze. Rats, it’s still frozen. Wait! I think it’s up again! Quick! Start typing! Oh… rats.

Read More…

Advertisements

That Time An 11-Year-Old Spent The Night In Jail For Keeping A Foul Ball

inclogo

(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

One of the greatest thrills for any kid (and let’s face it, many adults) is catching a foul ball at a baseball game. Believe it or not, it’s not impossible. Show up at the park early enough for batting practice or beg loud enough to a player warming up before the game, between innings or in the bullpen and there’s a chance you too could get a lucky souvenir to take home.

Unless, you’re Robert Cotter.

The 11-year-old Cotter caught a foul ball one day at a Philadelphia Phillies game and, like any fan, refused to give it back – even when team officials demanded. The consequences were severe. The team had the boy arrested, not only for keeping the property but also after accusing him of sneaking in to the game without paying for his ticket. Cotter was forced to spend an entire night in jail until being freed the next day when a sympathetic judge found that it was “entirely reasonable” that a kid could keep a foul ball at a baseball game. And besides, the judge noted, he made a really good catch.

Read More…

Are There Storm Clouds Approaching For SMBs?

inclogo

(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

For months we’ve seen small and medium sized business confidence rise. Survey after survey have reported a growing optimism that has underscored increasing sales and profits for many businesses from main street merchants to industrial manufacturers. But have we reached a peak? Are there storm clouds on the horizon?

Earlier this month, the National Federation of Independent Businesses Small Business Optimism Index – while still very strong – retreated back from its 45-year high. This week Capital One’s Small Business Growth Index, a biannual survey of 500 small business owners that gauges sentiment related to the economy, business conditions and plans for growth – while at its peak – also revealed growing concerns among many SMBs. (Capital One is a client of my company, The Marks Group PC. However, I have not been compensated to write this).

Read More…

A New Study Finds That Optimistic Entrepreneurs Make Worse Decisions

inclogo

(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Do you know one of those super-positive, happy, outgoing persons who always “looks at the bright side” and “finds a silver lining” no matter how bad things are? Annoying aren’t they?

But admit it: if you’re like me, you’re probably envious of those personality traits. Who wouldn’t be? In this world of partisan politics, social media trolls, economic uncertainties and senseless acts of violence it’s pretty easy to be negative. So when I meet someone that’s positive and optimistic I always think to myself “why can’t I be more like that guy?”

Well it turns out that those optimistic people do have a flaw. A big one actually.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Bath, Cardiff University and the London School of Economics and Political Science positive people – particularly startup business owners –  tend to make…well…lousier decisions.

Read More…

The One Significant Reason Why ESOPs Go Bad

inclogo

(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Should your company consider an employee stock ownership plan? Perhaps.

They’re certainly popular. So much so that, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership, there are roughly 6,500 employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) covering more than 14 million participants. The lion’s share of these plans provide a great benefit for both owners and employees.  It’s all good…for the most part.

ESOPS make a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. For some business owners – particularly baby boomers and older persons that have a difficult time finding buyers because they’re maybe located in rural geographic areas or are operating in industries that aren’t the most…well…sexy, an ESOP may be a ticket out. Employees, not wanting to lose their jobs if things get shut down could be open to buying the company, particularly if there’s financing. For sure, there are tax advantages to doing this.

Read More…

Microsoft Just Announced Four New Reasons Why It’s Already 2028

inclogo

(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

First, let me get the disclosures out of the way: My company is a Microsoft partner specializing in some of their Dynamics applications. I’m not being paid to write this, and I love Google and Apple. But I admit that my point of view may be a bit Microsoft-skewed.

We’re also users of Office 365 and other apps from Microsoft. However, we’re using these applications like it’s 2018. I bet you are too. Meanwhile, Microsoft is already in 2028. How so?

Based on announcements made in advance of the company’s annual developer conference this week, the software giant is planning (and, in some cases, has already released) a bunch of new features to its various offerings that–with the right amount of investment and training–could make a huge difference to the way your employees get their jobs done. Here are the four biggest.

Read More…

Amazon May Open 3,000 Cashier-Less Stores by 2021

inclogo

(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

The grocery and supermarket store industry is big. According to one research report, the industry is made up of more than 65,000 stores that employ more than 2.7 million people and generates about $633 in annual revenue. Convenience stores alone, according to another industry association, total more than 155,000 outlets.

Now Amazon may want in…and the ecommerce giant’s entry could be a huge disruption for anyone in the retail business. Bloomberg reports that the company is thinking of opening as many as 3,000 grocery stores in just the next three years, which would make it one of the biggest grocery chains in the country. If you run a convenience or grocery store, are you ready? Wait…if you run any kind of retail store, are you ready? You better be.

Read More…