Davinci Virtual Blog



‘Rich Dad’ Author Offers Entrepreneurs Unfair Advantage

I’m an avid book reader, and Robert Kiyosaki’s book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” is one of my favorites. So when I heard that Kiyosaki was offering a book that promises entrepreneurs an unfair advantage, I just had to share it with you.

As Kiyosaki sees it, jobs are no longer stable—so the only think you can really control is yourself. That’s why he wrote his latest title, “Unfair Advantage.” The book challenges people to stop being time card punchers and start becoming owners and investors; to reinvent career paths.

Unfair Advantage outlines Kiyosaki’s five insider tips to encourage entrepreneurs to build positive cash flow businesses through (1) knowledge, (2) taxes, (3) debt, (4) risk and (5) compensation. Kiyosaki is well aware of the Small Business Administration statistic that says half of new businesses fail within the first five years. He says, “I write this because I believe we need real financial education before the world economy can truly recover.”

Going against the flow, Kiyosaki speaks to all segments of the workforce, including the thousands of college graduates coming into the world work this year. He questions the wisdom that says, “get a job, work hard, get a 401k, and invest in a diversified portfolio of mutual funds.” Instead, Kiyosaki recommends becoming a business owner who generates jobs.

Whether you are graduating college or in your retirement years, Kiyosaki stresses that it’s never too late. Kiyosaki points to Colonel Sanders, who sold his recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 66 after getting 1,000 rejections. Need some ideas? Unfair Advantage offers a few. Kiyosaki cites entrepreneurial examples like leasing a luxury car, and then offering limo service a few nights a month to earn back the payment and generate a positive cash flow.

Drawing from the wisdom of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki says entrepreneurs can win by:

1. Learning to sell
2. Learning to invest via market trends, and
3. Learning to invest in real estate trends.

“The ability to sell is the most important skill of any entrepreneur,” Kiyosaki says. “The most important job of an entrepreneur is to raise money. I believe it is better to teach people to fish than to give people fish.”

Check out this video on the book:

Small Business Branding With Customer Service

If your brand is a promise you make, then the customer experience is the fulfillment of that promise. So says Scott Glatstein, President of Imperatives, LLC, a marketing consultancy in Minnetonka, Minnesota

Customers encounter your brand in numerous ways, including products, price, advertising and marketing, sales and customer service personnel. Glatstein argues that each of these contacts, or touch points, molds the customer’s impression of the brand. Customer service is where the brand promise is executed.

“Some of these touch points are obvious, like product performance, advertising, and sales staff. Other touch points, like billing practices, may be subtler in its brand affects. The organization must design a holistic customer experience that aligns with the brand promise,” Glatstein says.

The key to activating brand strategies is taking “what” an organization wants to do and defining “how” it is going to do it. Activating a brand, he says, ensures that every employee drives the promises made to the marketplace across every customer touch point every day.

You want your customers to have the best experience possible and walk away with a good feeling. How employees project themselves by their professionalism, attitude, and even what they wear represent the company is branding. The smile on the employees faces are just as important as the logo on the front door.

To be sure, small businesses need a great value proposition that depicts the value a consumer gets from renting from them, says Drew Stevens, PhD, author of Split Second Customer Service. That value proposition, he says, must be visible through corporate collateral and customer service techniques.

“Operators must constantly network and create techniques that attract customers to their business. Do not leave this to advertising,” Stevens says. “Referrals are wonderful for building a brand. Use the 25X30X50 rule to create referrals. Contact your 25 best clients once every 30 days and do not spend more than 50 dollars to connect and thank them.”

Baby Boomers Drive Entrepreneur Boom

Cause Marketing 101: How Your Small Business Can Build a Compassionate Brand

At a time when disasters are striking close to home—in the past year we’ve seen major trauma from the Gulf Oil Spill, tornadoes across the Southeast, and snow disasters in the Northeast, among others—cause marketing is become almost a must for brands that want to show they care about what is going on in their communities.

But where do you start? By understanding what cause marketing is and how it best fits in with your small business marketing plans. I can help you with the first part. Also known as cause-related marketing, cause marketing is a strategic positioning and marketing discipline that links a company and its products and services to a social cause or issue.

A Cone/Roper study on cause marketing offers three key reasons for small businesses to get involved. First, when price and quality are equal, 76 percent of consumers say they would be likely to switch brand or retailer associated with a good cause. Next, more than 80 percent of Americans consumers say that they have a more positive opinion of a company that is doing something to make the world a better place. Finally, the primary reason companies engage in cause marketing is to build deeper relationships and trusts with consumers and to enhance the company's image.

Ventureneer is offering small businesses a leg up on launching a cause marketing campaign with a free webinar called “Cause Marketing: A Win-Win for Small Businesses and Nonprofits.” As Ventureneer sees it, the key to success is finding the right partner. That means small business owners should ask themselves three key questions:

  1. What cause meshes with your target market?

  2. What business represents the values of your organization?

  3. How can each partner ensure that the partnership will enhance its support and visibility?

You can catch the free hour-long webinar on Wednesday, May 18 at noon. You can expect to learn plenty, including:

  • The buy-in needed within an organization before undertaking a cause marketing partnership

  • How to decide if this partner represents the nonprofit's values

  • How to decide if this partner matters to the client base of the business

  • What motivates businesses to partner with a nonprofit

  • How to determine the value of a nonprofit to the small business and vice versa

  • The benefits of partnerships for small businesses and for nonprofits

  • How to insure that both the nonprofit and the small business are satisfied with the outcome of the partnership

So whether this is the first time you’ve heard the term ‘cause marketing’ or you’ve been venturing into this realm without a fully understanding how to leverage your charitable work for branding purposes, be sure to check out this free webinar for some strategic insights that can help you help more people—and help you build your brand in a light that’s even more attractive to consumers.

If you can't make the webinar, check out this YouTube video for some a unique perspective on cause marketing:


Need Inspiration? Read About This 9/11 Entrepreneurial Dream Chaser

Debbie Rosenfeld is a World Trade Center survivor. She nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning when terrorists attacked the building in 1993. That didn’t stop her from working for companies in the buildings. She kept working there for the next eight years. She might have died on 9/11, except she had Tuesdays off.

Rosenfeld watched in horror as the World Trade Center Towers collapsed. "We're outta here," were the first words out of her husband's mouth when he finally reached his wife by phone late in the afternoon of September 11. Rosenfeld was understandably traumatized and no longer able to work in the city, so she telecommuted. Eventually, her husband got a job in Columbus, Ohio and the couple moved there.

Rosenfeld continued telecommuting for her New York-based company until the firm decided to bring all employees in-house. She lost her job—but found a true love in photography. In fact, her “therapy” developed into her very own photography business she started in Ohio. Now, Rosenfeld is a full-time artist.

"This was the silver lining in the dark cloud of September 11," she says. "If I was still working in New York, I would not have been able to take the risk to start my own business."

Shortly after their move to Ohio, Rosenfeld submitted some of her work to the Columbus Metropolitan Library through a call for photography/art submissions. Two pieces got accepted and one piece sold within a day.

"It was a pivotal moment in my life," says Rosenfeld. "My husband said this is your chance to pursue your dreams, take it!" Now, you can see  in her photographic portfolio on display at Debbie Rosenfeld Fine Art Photography and various galleries across the United States.

Rosenfeld's goal is to grow her photography business enough to earn a salary and hire several employees. Understanding the importance of work-life balance is what Rosenfeld calls her biggest life lesson. Most of her life, she's lived and worked in what she calls the "rat race."

"When we lived in New Jersey, we went to four Broadway shows in 25 years,” says Rosenfeld.  “We never had the time or money for life outside of work. You need a full-time job just to pay New Jersey property taxes.”

The events of 9/11 changed her world and her outlook forever.  "After September 11, I asked myself, why am I doing this when it could be over in a minute? You could wake up one beautiful morning and it can all be snatched away from you," says Rosenfeld.

So while you are chasing your entrepreneurial dreams, remember to stop and smell the roses. Work-life balance is a must, whether you live in New York or Ohio or somewhere in between.
Check out this video on work-life balance: