No health care reform, say most entrepreneurs in Congress. The New York Times has the breakdown, showing that eight of 11 entrepreneurs in Congress voted against the recently-passed health care reform bill. Four of those who voted against the bill? Democrats, all of whom represent districts won by John McCain in last year's presidential race. Here are the stories of the most recent entrepreneurs to reach Capitol Hill, as well as the CEO of last year's No. 1 Inc. 500 company on how to fix health care.
How to market on Facebook. Building online communities of fans, and capitalizing on demographical information are just a few of the ways that more and more businesses are finding Facebook to be an indispensable marketing tool, The New York Times reports. Creating a web presence for your company with Facebook can be a piece of cake, by using features such as fan pages, which allow you to build a deeper relationship with current customers while targeting potential new ones.
CEOs miffed by lack of VC operating experience. A new survey conducted by VentureSource shows that while most start-up CEOs are happy with their VC board members, a common sentiment was that less experienced VCs, or the "investment banker types," are a burden to have on a board (hat tip to The Wall Street Journal). One anonymous respondent phrased it bluntly in response to an open-ended question at the conclusion of the survey. "Two things kill companies the fastest, bad management and bad boards. We have too many VC board members who have never run a company and have no idea how to help management." Want to avoid this kind of problem? Check out our resources for advice on building a great board.
Love yogurt, win a franchise. Well, it's a little more difficult than that. But the TCBY yogurt chain is indeed giving away a franchise to an aspiring entrepreneur, 21 years of age and older. Click on the link above, fill out the entry form, and create a two-minute video that makes the case for you being the chosen one. Twenty-five semifinalists will be notified by the first week of January.
Obama stepping up broadband stimulus funds. The good news for small business owners, especially those in the hinterlands, is that the government is speeding up plans to dole out broadband stimulus cash. Many small businesses are being stifled by the current broadband arrangement and to that end, $4 billion in funding will be dispersed, though seven times that amount has been requested by 2,200 grant applicants, according to Ars Technica. Here's one company that's trying to make it easier for customers to find a broadband service that works for them.
Nine states with money trouble, California-style. Entrepreneurs need to be attuned to the financial health of the states where they set up shop and a new study by the Pew Center on the States charts all 50 states according to their "fiscal peril." States were scored on six factors: "high foreclosure rates; increasing joblessness; loss of state revenues; the relative size of budget gaps; legal obstacles to balanced budgets," and bad money-management. After the Golden State, Arizona, Rhode Island, and Michigan were closest to the brink. As we wrote the other day, though, a floundering government can be a golden opportunity for entrepreneurship. Just look at some members of the Pew's endangered list that were Inc. 500 hotspots.
How to deal with your boss's negative feedback. While everyone reacts differently to criticism in the office, there are ways to respond calmly, without flying off the handle and becoming argumentative. The Associated Press offers several suggestions on how to take the criticism in stride, such as putting your emotions on hold, first and foremost. Then, you can approach the situation with more positivity, and work to improve the feedback for next time.
JASON DEL REY was a senior reporter covering technology, branding, and company culture for Inc. magazine. Before joining Inc., his work appeared in Newsday, The (Newark) Star-Ledger, and the Staten Island Advance, and on ESPN.com. He lives in New Jersey. @DelRey