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The HBS Blog


The HBS Blog offers insight on Delaware corporations and LLCs as well as information about entrepreneurship, start-ups and general business topics.

At Harvard, Hablamos Español!
By HBS Thursday, September 3, 2009

At Harvard Business Services, Inc., we understand that in the United States, Hispanic-owned businesses are growing at nearly twice the rate of all U.S. firms. We are proud to be able to support this growth by assisting Hispanic entrepreneurs at a local, national and worldwide level. Harvard Business Services, Inc. is becoming a recognized name as a Spanish-language service provider through our participation in local Hispanic community events. We currently have a large client base of Spanish-speaking business owners throughout the United States, Latin America and Spain. We have created easy accessibility for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs looking to form their business entities.

Harvard Business Services, Inc. is known for its stellar customer service, so of course our transition to include Spanish services started there. We have dedicated representatives who are standing by to answer questions from Spanish speakers by phone. A Spanish option has been added to our phone line in order to provide fast accessibility to a Spanish-speaking representative. We have found that our clients appreciate this option, and we are thrilled to provide it so they are comfortable and happy.

The phone is not the only way to find Spanish-language services at Harvard Business Services, Inc. Our Hispanic clients can find help online through our live chat on our home page. With one click of the mouse, clients can ask for assistance with a live representative. Earlier today, I chatted with an attorney from Venezuela. He spoke and understood English perfectly, but he was happy to have the option to chat in his native language in order to understand all the concepts more thoroughly. We want our clients to feel comfortable before, during and after forming their business entities. With our Spanish services, we are able to provide that comfort level to more people, worldwide.

If the communication options via phone or live chat are not the best options for a Spanish speaker, we also provide an email option. Our customer service representatives are able to respond to any email inquiry, whether in English or Spanish, generally on a same-day basis. All email inquiries can be sent to info@delawareinc.com and a representative will promptly respond in the corresponding language.

These options, along with our superior customer service, set us apart from the rest of our competitors. We are here at your convenience and to make incorporating easy for you.

We are also pleased to offer our Insider’s Guide in Spanish. This printed brochure is extremely helpful in the formation process of a new business entity. 

Harvard Business Services, Inc. está muy orgulloso de ofrecer servicios ahora en español. Entendemos que la necesidad de estar disponibles para asistir a la comunidad Hispana existe no nada más en Estados Unidos pero también al nivel mundial. Tenemos más de 25 años constituyendo entidades y ahora contamos con  servicio en español para servirle en su idioma de forma más efectiva. Para ver La Guía Privilegiada: Todo lo que debe saber antes durante y después de la constitución de una entidad comercial, visita http://www.delawareinc.com/brochure/insiders_guide_spanish.pdf Si tiene preguntas, le invitamos a llamarnos y oprimir el número 7 por servicio en español o mandaros un email al info@delawareinc.com. Estamos aquí para servirle!

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101 Tips from Small Business Bloggers
By Carleigh Lowe Monday, August 31, 2009

American Express OPEN Forum has a fantastic list of tips they compiled from small business bloggers.Below is an excerpt.

On the Small Business Advantage

1. "Respond. This is the single biggest advantage you have over the big guys. Not only are you in charge, you also answer the phone and read your email and man the desk and set the prices. So, don't pretend you have a policy. Just be human."
Seth Godin,
Seth's Blog

2. "As a small business owner, you have the advantages of speed and flexibility. Use them to your advantage. Like Wayne Gretzky, skate to where the puck is GOING to be, and chances are that you'll get there faster than your larger, more bureaucratic competitors."
Chuck Frey,
Innovation Tools

3. "Show your passion for helping your customers solve problems - and talk to them like you talk to your friends. A real, enthusiastic, human voice is every small business's edge"
Andy Wibbels,
AndyWibbels.com

4. "One simple social business policy might be: Be invested. Be human. Be helpful as if the whole company depends on what you say and do, because customer service is the advantage of small business brands."
Liz Strauss,
Successful Blog

5. "Smaller scale businesses should take advantage of how easy it can be to maintain closer, more intimate ties with their now very values-based end consumers (who have high expectations about brand interaction)."
Andrea Learned,
Learned on Women

 

On Motivation, Persistence, and Resiliency

6. "Outlast the competition. I was amazed at all the empty storefronts I saw in LA on my last visit. On one particular block, three or four of the ten lunch places were shut down. And the others? Doing great. That's because the remaining office workers who used to eat lunch at the shuttered places had to eat somewhere, and so the survivors watched their business grow. A war of attrition is never pretty, but if you're smart about overhead and scale, you'll win it."
— Seth Godin,
Seth's Blog

7. "Don't give up. Most people who are self-employed went through a time when they had no money. And they worried they would lose everything they own, and their career. And they kept going. The people who succeed are people who refuse to quit. If you keep trying to make money from your business, you will eventually succeed so that you don't starve. Really. Just don't quit."
— Penelope Trunk,
Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist

8. "Count up your successes regularly. One person I know put a marble in a fishbowl each time she got a compliment or a bit of good press for her business or a nice note from a customer or a big order. Then every time she looked at the fishbowl she was reminded of all the good things in her business. Her employees could see it, too. This is invaluable on days when everything seems to go wrong. It keeps self-doubt from building up – and tearing you down. It also helps employees feel good."
— Anita Campbell,
Small Business Trends

9. "If you find yourself in a rut, try thinking back on the reasons you initially wanted to start your own business and don’t lose sight of them. If you need to, write them down."
— Megan Dorn,
The Startup Blog

10. "If you do not enjoy what you are doing, try something else."
— Anthony Cerminaro,
BizzBangBuzz

11. "Do not be afraid of hard work, learn to multi-task, be flexible and patient."
— Harish Keshwani,
BusinessWorks, Inc.

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Noteworthy Quotes from the Business World
By George Merlis Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Here is a collection of noteworthy quotes from recent business stories. I’ve collected mostly good quotes along with a few examples of not-so-good quotes.

You would expect that media types to excel at soundbites and pull quotes, since it’s the grist for their daily mills. The Los Angeles Times ran a story on August 21 about Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp trying to take the lead in creating a revenue stream for mainstream media’s online efforts. In the story, Times reporter Dawn C. Chmielewski used some effective quotes from media executives:

William Dean Singleton, chairman of the AP and chief executive of MediaNews Group Inc. has been waging a campaign against the unauthorized use of AP content on the Internet by search engines and other news aggregators. Chmielewski quoted him as saying: "We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories. We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it anymore." (A quote is an effective “grabber,” and this quote is particularly telling  if you remember the source: it was the rant of the unhinged network anchorman, Howard Beale, in the 1976 movie “Network.”)

Chmielewski came up with a partial quote from Wall Street Journal Editor Robert Thomson who called internet news aggregators, “parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the Internet.” (Clearly he’s mad as hell, too, and came up with a terrific, vivid word picture in service of his rage.)
There appears a lot to be mad about. According the the Times story, newspaper advertising revenue fell 28 percent in 2008 and although online readership of papers has grown, internet advertising has not kept pace, accounting for only 12 percent of their revenue.  So here’s a final quote from the article, by newspaper analyst John Morton: “The only positive thing to be said for online revenue for newspapers is it’s going down less rapidly.” Ouch!

Sticking with the online world, our other examples involve Yahoo’s decision to turn its internet searches over to Microsoft’s Bing.
From Darren Chervitz, who co-manages a fund which owns about 100,000 shares of Yahoo, came this very graphic word picture: “It feels kind of like a stab in the chest. It certainly feels like Yahoo is giving away their strong and hard-fought share of the search market for really a modest price.” (I teach the 30-10-3 rule: the ideal soundbite or pull quote should be no more than 30 words long, take no longer than 10 seconds to speak and be composed of no more than 3 sentences. Mr. Chervitz’ quote was only two sentences long and took me under ten seconds to speak aloud. Depending upon whether you count “hard-fought” as one or two words, it is either 32 or 33 words -- certainly close enough for an A minus grade.)

The CEOs of Yahoo and Microsoft weighed in with these comments:

Carol Bartz, of Yahoo: “This deal allows Yahoo to invest in what we should be investing in for the future — audience properties, display advertising and the mobile Internet experience. Our vision is to be the center of people’s lives online.” Her last sentence -- which would have been more effective had it been her first sentence -- was the strong part. The rest was near-jargon (can anyone tell me in ten words or less what “audience properties” are and why mobile internet had to be followed by “experience?”)

Steven A. Ballmer, of Microsoft:  “Look, she got 88 percent of the revenue and none of the cost. I got an opportunity to swing for the fences in search.” (Twenty-four words and a nice word picture at the end. Although it raises the question of just how comfortable a marriage this is going to be since you can just sense the resentment about the 88 percent/none of the cost part.)

And here’s a quote that didn’t work too well. It’s from Chris Lien, chief executive of a software company whose products help advertisers manage search budgets: "Right now it looks like a camel designed by committee, which is never pretty. I predict within a year or two they will restructure this to make it more streamlined." If you’re going to reference a phrase everyone’s familiar with, get it right! The expression is, “A camel is a racehorse designed by committee.” Perhaps what Mr. Lien was driving at was that this was an even more egregious case of committee design. If so, it would have been more effective if he’d phrased it:  “You know the expression, a camel is a racehorse designed by committee? Well this is even worse, it’s a CAMEL designed by committee.” (Two sentences, 23 words and -- absent Paul Harvey-like pauses -- easily spoken in seven to eight seconds.)

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Your Story: Napster Inc. & Netcapital Inc.
By Carleigh Lowe Monday, August 24, 2009

Your name: John Fanning
Name of your business: Napster Inc. , Netcapital Inc.
Your background: Founding Chairman and CEO of Napster
Your chief characteristic: Driven
Your regular reads: Slashdot: Science, Digg, TechCrunch, Valley Wag, Fortune
Clients, customers, and constituents: Everyone
How long have you been in business? 1979
Where do you do business? Earth. Based in Boston
Your concrete inspiration: Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Getty, JD Rockefeller, Henry Ford,W K Kellogg, William Hewlett, Gordon Moore, Bill Gates
Your big dreams: 100B.
Your first success: Over 1B in assets Jan 2000
The status of your current business: Private
The future of your business: Global
Your greatest challenge in business: Growth and Capital
Business pet peeve: Failure to follow up
Your favorite entrepreneurs, pioneers, mavericks, artists, and heros from real life and history: Ghandi, Michael Dell, Rupert Murdoch, Vinod Khosla, Yosi Amram
The greatest rewards of your entrepreneurship: Creating Value
Your idea of happiness in business: From idea to execution instantly
Your present state of mind: Frantic
Your business advice: NEVER GIVE UP
Your favorite motto: NEVER GIVE UP
Your favorite business book: Dale Carnegie books
Your one sentence business story: Powerful ideas with simple execution

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8 Networking Websites for Business Owners
By Carleigh Lowe Thursday, August 20, 2009

Entrepreneur.com has a helpful list of 8 networking websites specifically for business owners. These tools are really helpful when getting your business off the ground. I am sure you already know, a business owner can never network enough!

Below are their picks:

APSense.com

Biznik.co

Entrepreneur Connect

ProSkore

GoBigNetwork.com

Konnects.com

Marzar.com

Xing.com

Read the full article here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/savingscenter/article200142.html

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