from pickett&associates … exploring PR, social media and entrepreneurship

Harvest of the Idea Garden July 28, 2010

Filed under: Charitable Endeavors,Entrepreneurial Tales,Social Media — pickettwrites @ 12:09 pm

Goods from the Garden

This blog reminds me of harvesting my garden … a little of this and a little of that … I have found the most interesting bunch of snippets for a blog during the course of the last 24 hours, that I’m just going to throw them all in one and call it the “Wednesday basket of goodies.”

Quote of the day from the Governor of New Jersey to Matt Lauer on this morning’s Today Show: “An $11 billion deficit, and I have to worry about Snooki and The Situation. There’s only so much a man can take.” This in reference to the “reality show” Jersey Shore … The Garden State is NOT amused evidently. And the governor is perfectly okay to find some other way to encourage tourism.

From NPR yesterday, “A Novel Approach: Free Books for Donations”  provided a fascinating concept from Concord Press. They print books, give them away for “free” with one caveat, according to Stona Fitch, founder:  “We just ask people, one, make a voluntary donation to a charity or person in need; two, chart your donation on our website,” Fitch says. “And three, pass the book along to someone else so that this project keeps going.” In the last two years, Fitch says readers have donated more than $142,000 to charity. A FASCINATING thought and an “out of the box” approach to fundraising.

FedEx has reached out to the Gulf Coast in a unique way. They have enlisted a convoy of their temperature controlled trucks and dubbed them the “Gulf Coast Turtle Rescue Team.” It is a GREAT example of how being a good community citizen FIRST fans the positive word-of-mouth effects of social media SECOND that ends up in the TRADITIONAL MEDIA (NBC Nightly News) THIRD. In that order. FedEx didn’t do it to “get in the news” … they did it for all the right reasons. Check out the links — good stuff!!

For those who do “sneaky reconnaissance” via Facebook, you are still safe: A new “app” was all the rage yesterday touting “See Who Viewed Your Facebook Profile!” As I suspected, it’s been taken off the Facebook apps by this a.m. and warnings abound. Do NOT download this …

And finally, apologies for a broken link on Pickett&Associates yesterday (btw, thanks to all who have “liked” me 😉 )that lent a big icing salute to CUPCAKES. I LOVE cupcakes (who doesn’t?) like millions of other Americans. They are all the rage and even the subject of a reality show on TLC. This post from DailyWorth (an awesome eNews re: women’s financial health) had GREAT advice about launching one’s own business.

Cupcake Empire on Fire

Lines around the block! A new tell-all TV series! Is Snooki dumping her poof? Did Lindsay make parole?

No, but Georgetown Cupcakes—the hot bake shop started by two sisters in Washington—just hit the big time with

DC Cupcakes“, a six-part series on TLC this month.

DailyWorth asked entrepreneurs Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis to share their thoughts on making sure your business has the right ingredients.

Flex your plans.
“Don’t start with some 30-page business plan—it’ll be extinct in the first year,” says Sophie. “Map out the critical stuff, like your financial model. But let accidents happen. We opened on Valentine’s Day 2008, with pink boxes. When we tried to switch to white boxes—which were a lot cheaper—our customers wanted the pink boxes back. So it became part of our signature.”

Start small, think big.
“We had a dream of opening a bake shop, but we started out with what we could afford, not this huge space,” says Katherine. “But we were also prepared to grow quickly, if we had to. I think you have to be conservative in your forecasting, but be able to scale up quickly and take advantage of momentum.”

Prepare to fail.
“We knew that half of all restaurants and food businesses fail in the first year. You have to ask yourself, Would you be OK starting over? You have to feel emotionally and financially secure with the level of risk you’re taking.”

Work it.
“Running your own business is 24-7, it’s nothing like the amount the work you do in a job. It’s always on your mind. Be prepared to work hard.”

Bottom line
“It’s worth it,” both sisters say. “If you have a dream of starting your own business, we say, Do it! You don’t want to spend your life wondering, What if…?”

Check out “DC Cupcakes” on TLC this Friday, July 30.

That’s all folks … stay shady today (in a “cool” way, not a “sinister” way!)


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