Weekly business rail, with tips for entrepreneurs, a look at the most valuable NHL teams and more.
Tip of the Week
Phil Siegel, a successful serial entrepreneur and teacher at the Acton School of Business, suggests that the normal do's and don'ts of entrepreneurs seeking funding are magnified in this kind of economic environment. Siegel urges entrepreneurs to:
- Have a plan. "Come up with a business plan that is clear, concise, internally consistent and reasonable for the market opportunity."
- Know your customer. "Understand your customer and know why they would buy your product or service instead of what they buy today. Do market research, and have customer 'pilots,' if necessary, to prove that your product has value."
- Seek out experts. "Bring experts to your aid; they can help increase your credibility. In good times, people tend to believe your story, but in bad times, they're more skeptical.
- Prepare for profits. "Having done your business planning and preparation, ask yourself how you're going to spend the money you are seeking. Who do you want to invest in your venture? What milestones are you going to reach in this round of investment capital? What will you need in terms of financing after you achieve your initial goals to get cash flows to break even?" (ARA)
Wondering which NHL teams are the most valuable? Here are the teams in order of value, according to Forbes.com’s annual report:
1. Toronto Maple Leafs
2. New York Rangers
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Philadelphia Flyers
6. Dallas Stars
7. Boston Bruins
8. Vancouver Canucks
9. Colorado Avalanche
10. New Jersey Devils
11. Minnesota Wild
12. Los Angeles Kings
13. Ottawa Senators
14. Chicago Blackhawks
15. Calgary Flames
16. Anaheim Ducks
17. Tampa Bay Lightning
18. Pittsburgh Penguins
19. San Jose Sharks
20. Edmonton Oilers
21. Buffalo Sabres
22. Carolina Hurricanes
23. Nashville Predators
24. Florida Panthers
25. St Louis Blues
26. Washington Capitals
27. Atlanta Thrashers
28. Columbus Blue Jackets
29. New York Islanders
30. Phoenix Coyotes
Number to Know
$183,000: Median sales price of homes last month, down 11.3 percent from 2007, the largest drop from one year to the next since 1968.
Quote of Note
"The economy is likely to get worse before it gets better."
President-elect Barack Obama in a blunt assessment of the economy during a news conference Monday. Obama is moving quickly to get his financial team in place and to present a plan to Congress as soon as possible.
Many people will be traveling this holiday season and will bring with their laptops, and thieves are ready to capitalize on the increase in air travel during the holidays and the chaos of the holiday season. At airports alone, 12,000 laptops a week are lost or stolen, according to a survey by the Ponemon Institute. Here are some tips from Absolute Software, a firm specializing in computer theft recovery, data protection and IT asset management:
- While traveling, back up your data as frequently as possible to minimize the risk of data loss in the event that your laptop is stolen.
- Use laptop recovery and data protection software.
- Keep your technical gear with you; checking your tech gear with your luggage is a big gamble.
- Clearly label your laptop to distinguish it from others at security checkpoints. Make sure to put your name, contact information and address on the label, as most airport lost-and-founds won't power up the computer to find out whom it belongs to.
- Ask to put your laptop and technical gear in the hotel safe when you're not using it. When making a reservation, ask whether the hotel offers this service. If they do not, stow your laptop in a secure cabinet in the room.
- Avoid accessing financial or banking records while traveling, especially on public wireless networks.
GateHouse News Service