What does the girl who rejected me at a dance when I was thirteen years old have to do with your ability to raise capital for your business? Well, it all has to do with psychology, human nature, and how you can leverage the two to attract capital. Watch the 4-minute video below to learn more:
Yesterday, I received an interesting package in the mail. I opened it up and inside was a shoebox. And inside the shoebox was "The Dogball." The Dogball, as I found out, is a new toy for dogs, and the founder, based in France, was trying to get me to distribute it here in the United States.
There are actually several important lessons from The Dogball as it relates to your business plan and raising capital. So, I documented them in a video since I had to make sure each of you could actually see exactly what the Dogball is:
All stereotypes aside, I’ve never heard an Australian utter the above words with the exception of the highly-paid voice over artist for Outback Steakhouse. And possibly Paul Hogan in his notable performance as "Crocodile Dundee" (only the first movie, of course – the sequels aren’t worth mentioning).
No matter where said stereotype originated, what I do hear emanating from Down Under is a keen series of statements reflecting how happy our Australian friends are to be doing business in America. After two weeks traveling and attending events, all – oddly – involving Australians, I had to wonder why entrepreneurs from south of the equator were more positive about the investment environment than we are: the ones who live, work, and dream in a Country where anything is possible. Whatever the reason, I’m inclined to eat a bloomin’ onion for dinner.
The companies with which I’ve been meeting span the industry spectrum, from consumer electronics to video games, multi-media, and entertainment. In each reside a spirited CEO and management team, all of whom endeavor to make their places in the States. For many, it will be their first foray into the American investor market; for others, who’ve been building a life here for several years, it is their third or fourth company after several successful prior exits. And yet, in what we all know is a recessionary economy, all are seeking or continuing to seek opportunities here.
Nowhere else. HERE. Why?
Because they want the same thing every domestic entrepreneur wants: the chance to fulfill a dream, to create a successful business, and to retire to a large, beautiful island. Wait… the Aussies already have one.
Nevertheless, my idea-generating friends, the point is that we need to again find our spirit, our confidence, and our joie de vivre. Entrepreneurs from all over the world know that the United States is the place to come to cultivate relationships and to secure growth capital. The current economic “ebb” has an effect on the entire planet, yet those who wish to prosper still look to us for guidance. Perhaps we should not lose sight of that very basic fact.
I think actress Rachel Griffiths said it best, with comedic proportion, when being honored at the G’Day LA gala dinner last week (I do not quote verbatim, since I was wielding flatware in lieu of a pen): “I never thought I would do American TV; now I’m doing a Network series. I never thought I’d live in America, now I’m married to an American. I never thought I’d have children in America, now I’m breeding Americans. And I have to say: I will always be Australian but I’m PROUD to be breeding Americans!”
What does it really mean? I wasn’t entirely sure at first, but it made us laugh. And as I sat there, surrounded by her Countrymen, it hit me: as much as I jest above about barbequing shellfish, Ms. Griffiths was jesting as well. Stereotype or not, Hollywood provided her the opportunity to expand her career. She seized upon it and is ultimately thankful for what it provided her.
Many follow the same path – rising star or layman – to this land where those who seek their good fortune have a chance to be thusly rewarded. It may not be easy, but it IS and will ALWAYS be possible for people with ideas, talent, tenacity, and enough hope to see the light at the end of this tunnel we call a recession.
Happy Holidays! In celebration of the season, and the entrepreneurial spirit, Growthink has created a video holiday card which you can view below:
Every now and then, a commercial comes along that really makes you stop and take notice. This year we saw a good amount of those, and entertaining ads from companies like Geico and Dove made us smile, laugh, and think about our culture at large. Then there were the commercials that annoyed us. Badly.
Some of the following ad spots were a good laugh the first 400 times we saw them, but then we began to pick them apart. Some of them just stunk from the beginning. Regardless of the reasons, here are the commercials we'll be glad to forget about in the new year.
12) Burger King - Whopper Freakout
If there is one thing old men, housewives, and emo kids can agree on, it's that the whopper freakin' rocks. This fact, however, didn't stop Burger King from having a little "fun" at the evangelists' expense.
Apparently, their game plan was:
If that doesn't say "we love our customers," what does?
Want to avoid these types of mistakes? Speak with a professional business plan writer today.
Leslie Feist was one of our favorite indie musicians in 2007. For those of you who've been out of the loop, indie songs are supposed to be approximately 50% cool and 50% catchy. That is the balance Apple was looking for when they enlisted "1, 2, 3, 4" to help hawk their new iPod line. Unfortunately, this tune ended up being too catchy, and then, painfully annoying. Now, Feist's microscopic-yet-highly-choreographed prance in tight Canadian spandex is the lone redeeming value to these commercials.
10) Volkswagen - Eos
This is when the otherwise-pleasant Wilco-scored Volkswagen ads jumped the shark. No dude, you are NOT the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Are you starting a new business or seeking to grow an existing business? Contact a Growthink business plan consultant for complimentary consultation.
9) Astelin - Doo Wop Allergens
"Don't let allergens or irritants do you in..." Gee, thanks docs! Oh wait, you're not doctors. You're a barbershop quartet that sings about allergy medication! Hmm, well you do have the Astelin logo unevenly dispersed across your sweaters, so you must know what you're talking about...
8) Coke -
How dare they emasculate
7) Axe - Bom Chika Wah Wah
There were a handful of similar ads from Axe this year, but this one was especially heinous. This girl's mother must be so proud.
Growthink's business plan consultants can help you avoid these mistakes with a professional business and marketing plan.
6) Target - Hello, Good Buy
Target's commercial featuring the Beatles song "Hello, Goodbye," which repositions the song as "Hello, Good Buy," is the worst thing to happen to John Lennon's music since Yoko Ono. On the other hand, McCartney probably had to make a move to prepare for those gargantuan alimony checks that'll be fueling Heather Mills' checking account: And honestly, who has time to write a song called, "Hello corporate ignorance Licensing Fees, Goodbye Artistic Integrity!"
5) I Know Who Killed Me (Movie)
Um, What? Not only do we not know what's happening in this commercial, we don't want to know what's happening in this movie. Fortunately, neither did the rest of America.
4) Snickers - Super Bowl Commercial
While the goal of a Super Bowl commercial is to grab the attention of the masses, this spot is just slightly less controversial than: "Don't Be Gay. Eat a Snickers."
The agency that put this commercial together did wonders for the Snickers brand, which will now and forever be associated with chest hair antics and mild homophobia. Good job, gang!
3) HP - The Hands of a Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld is an American Treasure. There is no amount of celebrity, however, that makes it ok for him to repeatedly drench us in a river of shameless self promotion. Ok, we get it: You're wife has a cookbook and you made an animated movie about bees. You're life is awesome.
All we're saying is, next time Seinfeld is on screen for more than a minute, it better be as part of a Seinfeld reunion show.
Growthink's professional business plan writers can help you avoid these types of mistakes.
2) Redenbacher - Orville returns?
Really? A dead guy with an mp3 player... selling popcorn? That it seemed like a good idea to anyone, let alone a team of people is the surprise of the year. We got chills every time we saw this creepy, creepy ad. To say that it was in poor taste is a gross understatement.
1) Cingular - IDK, My BFF Jill?
Cingular's commercial was pretty funny for a week or two. If we hear one more person say "OMG", "INBD", or "IDK my BFF Jill," though, we just don't know what might happen.
As 2007 draws to a close, we can only hope to say farewell to the Astelins, Whopper withdrawal, and overhyped bodysprays. Who knows what the New Year will hold for us in commercial land? There will undoubtedly be branding faux-paus, moments of poor taste, and scantily-clad attempts to seperate us from our hard earned dollars. Just remember advertisers: we'll be watching.
Over the past several weeks and months, we've put together some entertaining "Just For Fun" articles related to business planning, marketing, and general business topics.
Here are links to those articles -- Enjoy!