How to buy a domain name — Vol. II. On Tim Ferriss' blog, PhoneTag founder James Siminoff offers up 10 great tips on thow to acquire a domain name. For more on Siminoff's rebranding saga, check out our story here.
Leveraging a unique skill to switch careers. When police officer Brook Schaub decided to enter the public sector, he realized he had a valuable skill with crossover potential: computer forensics, which he now uses to help accounting and business-service clients. If you're contemplating jumping into another field, advises the WSJ, the first step is to figure out what your special skill is worth and how you have put it to work in previous jobs. Using something called the Challenges-Actions-Results formula, you should list challenges you've faced, actions you've taken, and the corresponding results. To find potential employers in need of your talents, the Journal recommends starting with Google to research related keywords and then networking with groups and individuals with a direct relation to that particular skill. Then revamp your resume using the functional resume format, which will highlight the skill rather than the fact that you're changing careers.
Consumers spending increases slightly, savings rate also up. In January, consumers spending was up a paltry .6 percent, reports the AP. (As the AP points out, this increase follows perhaps the worst holiday retail season in four decades). The government also reported that personal savings rate hit a 14-year high.
How to size up applicants at a job fair. Crowded job fairs, with hundreds of applicants jockeying for a handful of positions are par for the course of the recession, reports NPR's Morning Edition. At a fair in Greensboro, North Carolina, Jonathan Cole, who was searching for insurance sales candidates, said the key is to quickly assess job seekers who stop by. "It's really all about the first 30 seconds at the table. We just stare at them and wait for them to talk first. And if they're bold enough to take the conversation over, then they probably have a good chance of making it in sales. And if they're not, then they may not be suited for us."
Study shows black-owned startups have less access to capital. A new study surveyed 5,000 businesses founded in 2004 and finds that black-owned businesses rely much more on owner equity than do white-owned businesses—56 percent compared to only 34 percent in white-owned businesses. The study also found that that white businesses have an average of $80,000 of initial capital, compared with $30,000 for black-owned start-ups. The study, Patterns of Financing: A Comparison between White- and African-American Young Firms, is part of a series by the Kauffman Foundation, and will be followed up with more results in Spring 2009.
Slow and steady. Entrepreneurs like Delilah Snell are using their passion and caution to survive the recession. The L.A. Times reports on the Road Less Traveled, a Santa Ana eco-boutique, which sells $47-a-gallon soy-based wall paints, biodegradable cutlery and native California seeds. Snell is shelving expansion plans after a flat year, but hopes to invest more in her business to fuel growth. A big part of Snell's business is a store calendar full of passion projects, including workshops on topics such as green interiors, vegan baking and beekeeping. Snell plans to increase those to keep her customers involved. A consultant the Times talked with advises Snell to broaden her audience, apply for awards, and create one of her own, a "Green Hero" award for local businesses, groups or people.
Pick a fight with your co-workers day. Forbes says now is as good a time as any to stir up some healthy conflict in your company. Entrepreneurship coach Steven Berglas writes about why disagreement and conflict are necessary for evolving businesses. "Embracing that friction is essential to spurring creativity and boosting morale," he writes. While it may create some uncomfortable moments, it can prevent latent discontent from building up over time. Consensus, as it turns out, can be a dangerous thing.
Rollin' On. The Washington Post's local business blog zooms in on how the downturn is affecting one local bike shop. The owner says he is still making money by keeping things simple. To cut down on payroll, he works alone one day a week and does repair work himself instead of hiring mechanics.