Tips for Dealing With a Temp Agency

"I was downsized from a large corporation a couple of months ago.

"I'm excited about starting my own solo consulting practice. I've had some business cards and stationery printed out and have already lined up a couple of interviews for consulting work.

"I've also been approached by a local temporary employment agency that wants to place me ...Read more

Report from the 2015 EBay Radio Party and Conference

Last week, over 200 top-level eBay sellers attended the 12th annual eBay Radio Party and Conference in Las Vegas. This event, sponsored by the eBay Radio podcast, has become the must-attend national meetup for people who sell on eBay.

I always look forward to this event each year (my talk this year was on "Social Media Marketing and the Law")...Read more

The Graduation Speech Your Kids Really, Really Need to Hear

This column, which originally appeared in May 2009, is one of the most requested and reprinted "Succeeding in Your Business" columns, especially during graduation season.

Members of the Class of 2015:

I was sorry to hear that the reality TV star who was to have been your commencement speaker today had to bow out at the last minute. I was ...Read more

When Somebody Else Is Ghostwriting Your Social Media

"I am a social media marketing consultant. Basically, I help small businesses and others build a marketing presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media websites.

"Normally, I just set up the client's pages on these sites and post content to them whenever the client sends me material to post. For example, a ...Read more

A Laughing Jury Never Convicts [Part 2 of 2]

We live these days in a world of "infotainment," "marketainment" and "edutainment."

It isn't enough anymore to just give out information. Your listeners need to have their emotions manipulated -- to laugh, cry or get angry -- even though you're talking about recent developments in sales taxation.

It isn't enough anymore to just sell ...Read more

A Laughing Jury Never Convicts: Part 1 of 2

"I had the privilege of hearing you speak at last year's eBay Radio Party, and again this year at the Sellers' Conference of Online Entrepreneurs conference in Philadelphia.

"You seem like a pretty smart lawyer, and you've got lots of good information, but the best thing about you is your ability to make the audience laugh. Seriously, until I...Read more

Does Your Company Need a Policy for Transgender Employees?

The 24/7 media circus surrounding former U.S. Olympian Bruce Jenner's transition from male to female has raised several questions in employers' minds: Do we have transgender employees in our organization? If so, what are our legal obligations to them, if any?

If you are a small employer with employees in only a single state, the answer is ...Read more

When Selling on, Success Is Spelled 'SCOE'

Over two million Americans make a full-time or part-time living selling merchandise on

Roughly 200 of them attended last week's Sellers' Conference of Online Entrepreneurs (SCOE) in Philadelphia, a semi-annual trade show focused entirely on the do's and don'ts of selling on Amazon, eBay, Etsy and other popular online retail ...Read more

Seeking an Entrepreneurial Solution to a Smelly Problem

For the past year, I have taught an MBA-level online class on entrepreneurship and small business management for a local university.

Rather than give students a traditional final exam, with multiple choice and true/false questions, I have adopted a Zen exam approach. Each question is a real-world entrepreneurial challenge that not only tests ...Read more

Getting First Place in a Business Plan Competition

As my readers know, twice a year I judge the Connecticut Business Plan Competition (, where students from business schools and undergraduate business programs throughout Connecticut compete for cash prizes and mentoring from leading business experts, in a format very similar to the popular "...Read more

The New, Improved (But Still Problematic) Regulation A

When last week's column, "Equity Crowdfunding, A Year Later" was released last week, a number of sharp-eyed readers sent emails saying, "Hey, Cliff, great column, but didn't the SEC do something about this last month?"

Be assured, dear readers, I look at the website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission several times a week looking ...Read more

Equity Crowdfunding, a Year Later

In October 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued proposed regulations to implement the provisions of Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012. Under Title III, startup companies would be allowed to use crowdfunding websites (such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo) to raise money for their companies from ...Read more

Dealing with Competition: Knowing Your Competitive Advantage (part 2 of 2)

Once you have identified the four different types of competitor (identified in last week's column), you now have to develop a strategy for crushing each and every one of them.

No matter what business you are in, your success will come to some extent from the failures of others. And you can't just sit around and wait for them to make mistakes....Read more


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