How to Subscribe to Mine Your Own Business

If you’re new to blogs, you may be wondering if there’s an easy way to keep up with "Mine Your Own Business" posts without checking the web site every day.  Yes, there is.  In fact, there are several.

Blogs use something called "RSS Feeds" to let you know when something new has been posted.  To receive one of these feeds, you need something called a blog reader. 

If you scroll down the right side of this page, just below the
"Categories", you’ll see a link that says "Subscribe to my feed."
Click it and you’ll see several choices.  You’ll also see a link that
says, "Learn more about syndication and FeedBurner…"  This link will give you more information.  But, in a nutshell, here’s how it works.

If you plan on following just a few blogs, then your best bet is to have the feeds delivered to your "My Yahoo", "My Google", or "My AOL" page.  Just click on the appropriate icon and "MYOB" will be added.  That’s all there is to it.

If you want to subscribe to a lot of blogs, then you’ll probably want to sign up with one of the "blog aggregators".  Personally, I like Bloglines.  If you haven’t already, go to Bloglines home page to set up an account.  It’s simple and it’s free.  Then come back to our "subscribe" page, click on the "Bloglines icon, and you’re done.

Through Bloglines, you can search for other blogs that interest you, subscribe, and get their feeds on your personal page.  You even have options for categories, if you plan to subscribe to a lot of feeds.

If you scroll down the right side of this page, just below the "Categories", you’ll see a link that says "Subscribe to my feed."  Click it and you’ll see several choices.  You’ll also see a link that says, "Learn more about syndication and FeedBurner…"  This link will give you more information.

More Shameless Self-Promotion

For those of you new to blogging, a blog carnival is a weekly presentation of posts from various blogs, on a single topic, hosted on a new blog each week.  The host chooses the entries which he/she thinks will be most interesting to the carnival’s readers.

Carnival of the Capitalists features articles on business and economics.  Last week (July 10) one of our recent posts, "Say Goodbye to the Mass Market" was listed number one on COTC.  Thanks to host Fat Pitch Financials for choosing us for their top spot.

There are some excellent posts featured each week, well worth your time.  The July 17 edition of Carnival of the Capitalists can be found here.

Penny Wise Travel Part 3

From Forbes.com comes the third of four installments on saving money on business travel.  This time the subject is incidental expenses.  Some things are pretty basic, some are more exotic.  For example the writer suggests shipping clothing to yourself via FedEx, rather than carrying a lot of clothes that are going to get wrinkled in transit.  You’ll save money by receiving a package of clean, pressed shirts half way through your trip, rather than having to pay for laundry service at the hotel.

Taking the bus or subway, rather than a taxi, may be a good idea, depending on where you are.  Make sure you check with the local to make sure you’re not venturing off into dangerous territory.  Don’t forget to inquire about the hotel’s car service.  Some will take you to and from your destination at no charge.  It never hurts to ask.

One thing to watch out for is the suggestion to have business cards printed at one of the cheap, on-line web sites.  The prices are great, but many of these "services" subsidize their low prices by selling your information to mass mailers.

Why Family-Owned Businesses Succeed

Geoff Lewis writes for Small Business Review on the advantages of family owned businesses.  The information is based on a study by Professor Jim Lee of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.  His findings show that a family-owned business in which the family remains involved in management will outperform a public company with professional management.

Prof. Lee found that :  "Families have a longer time horizon than other investors, because they
are building wealth to pass on to succeeding generations. Family-owned
firms are more stable; they’re less likely to make radical cutbacks in
a recession. They tend to have a high level of trust and
commitment—both to employees and to customers—because how the company
behaves reflects the family’s personal integrity."   

Of course, we knew that all along. 

As the professor points out, Microsoft, Wal Mart, and even Ford Motor Company started out as family companies.  While the study was limited to companies in the S&P 500, Professor Lee is planning a further study on smaller firms, where he expects to see the same results.

Who REALLY Drives the Economy

Here are some interesting facts from the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy:  (Small business is defined as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees.)

Small firms:

Represent 99.7% of all employer firms.

Pay more than 45% of the total U.S. private payroll.

Create more than 50% of nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).

Produce 13 to 14 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.

Made up 97 percent of all identified exporters and produced 28.6% of the known export value in fiscal year 2004.

So called "small business" is really big business.

More Penny-wise Travel

Here’s part 2 of Forbes.com’s series on budget-wise travel.  This installment focuses on overnight accomodations.  Just like part 1, there is a slide show with 15 tips on curbing lodging expenses. 

Again, there are some good tips that just might save you a few dollars.

Doing What’s Right

Two stories in the news this week bring to mind the difference in how some people live their lives, and the effect ethical behavior can have on a business.  First was the death of Kenneth Lay. The man whose name has become synonymous with unethical practices passed away at a resort in Colorado awaiting sentencing on his conviction for business fraud.  He was scheduled for sentencing in October.

The other story also involves business fraud.  It concerns three employees of the Coca Cola Company who have been charged with fraud after stealing secret documents and a sample of a new beverage from Coke and trying to sell them to Pepsi.

What I hope doesn’t get lost in this story is that the three were caught when they attempted to sell the secrets to Pepsi and the company reported them to the authorities.

I can’t imagine a business that’s much more competitive than the soft drink industry.  Coke and PepsiPepsi_cola_canjpg_3
have been battling it out for the top spot for years.  Any competitive edge is potentially worth
millions of dollars.  But, when they were approached by the three thieves, Pepsi said "No, thank you." 

Pepsi spokesman Dave DeCecco
said,  "Competition
can sometimes be fierce, but also must be fair and legal.  We’re pleased the authorities and the FBI have identified the
people responsible for this."

Enron’s unethical, illegal business practices eventually led to it’s downfall and serious financial
hardship for thousands of stockholders.  As a result, every business is under more scrutiny today than ever before.  But, ethics are something you either have, or you don’t and there will always be people who are tempted by the almighty dollar.  Bravo for PepsiCo management for doing the right thing.

I think I’ll go have a Pepsi.