Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award - Nominations Open

Ernst & Young LLP announced the open nomination period for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year(R) 2010 Awards. The deadline for applications is March 19, 2010.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year(R) Awards program, now in its
24th year, is recognized as one of the most prestigious business award
programs in the country. Award winners are selected by a panel of
independent judges, including local business owners - many of whom have
won the award in the past - as well as area leaders from civic organizations
and academic institutions.

"Ernst & Young has recognized leading entrepreneurs for their contributions
to society for nearly a quarter of a century," said Larry Haynes, Americas
Director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year(R) program. "These
entrepreneurs create jobs, bolster the economy, drive innovation and
revitalize their communities. We are proud to support them."

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year(R) Awards
Last year, approximately 250 entrepreneurs from across the nation were
selected as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year(R) award winners from
more than 1,500 nominations. Past award winners have included Howard
Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, Wayne Huizenga of Huizenga Holdings,
Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc., Jeff Bezos of, and last year's
national winner, Tom Adams of Rosetta Stone Inc.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year(R) program honors entrepreneurs regionally in
June, leading up to the national awards in November. Additionally, venture-
backed companies that win an Entrepreneur Of The Year(R) award regionally
are also eligible for the Venture Capital Award of Excellence on a national
level. The overall national US winner then moves on to compete for the
World Entrepreneur Of The Year title in June. Entrepreneurs are nominated
and evaluated by those in each region, including local business, academic
and community leaders.

All regional honorees are invited to the national Entrepreneur Of The Year(R) gala, hosted by Jay Leno, on November 13, 2010 in Palm Springs, California.

Awards Criteria

  • Awards are given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and
    extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance,
    and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

  • Self-nominations are encouraged, and there is no fee. Application forms must be received by March 19, 2010.

  • Nominee must be an owner/manager of a private or public company.

  • Nominee must be primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company.

  • Nominee must be an active member of top management.

  • Nominee's company must be at least three years old.

  • Information is also available at

    Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year(R)
    Awards are nationally sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Part II: How to Find Great Management Talent With Limited Funds

(This post is a continuation of the previous post.)
So how do you entice someone who makes very good money in Corporate America to join your small company at a fraction of the pay?

You can offer them a higher title. The prospect was a “Director of Logistics”, now he or she can be President or COO or something similar. (You, as the owner, will be the CEO.) Their area of responsibility will expand from just logistics to all the daily operations of the company. They can use what they learned at UPS to help put in processes and procedures in your company. How they do in helping to grow the company will directly impact the employees and enable job creation, thus directly impacting the economy. You can offer a small equity stake (5-10%) based on performance targets. And you can offer a profit-sharing bonus. If you use a PEO (personnel employment organization), you may be able to offer benefits that are not dissimilar from corporate America’s benefits. And you can offer a flexible schedule (i.e., occasional work from home, home by 6 or 7pm,…)

So you can see, if you look at what you have to offer as a total VALUE proposition, not just a SALARY proposition, you will be able to get the management team you seek much sooner than you may have expected. Ask your prospect what they want and you may be able to design an offer that brings them aboard in short order.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Find Great Management Talent With Limited Funds

One complaint I hear a lot about from company owners is the difficulty they have in finding and enticing management talent to join them. Typically when I ask what did they offer when they encountered someone they thought would be a great fit, the said something akin to “I could not afford them”. That was NOT the question I asked. I asked what did they OFFER. I didn’t ask “How much did the potential employee want”? Nor did I ask “What are/were they making at their current/former job?”

Human beings are all motivated by different things. Rarely is money the sole motivator. Actually, employee and management surveys have found other factors play a greater role. For management team members the ability and leeway to actually help guide the ship can be significant. A share in the profits or an equity stake is enticing. Greater involvement with employees is another one. A more flexible schedule allowing more time for friends and family is yet another. A large factor is challenging and rewarding work – the need to grow and contribute in the process. Small businesses can often provide benefits that corporations cannot.

Let’s take an example (similar to an actual case for a former client): You are a $5 million transportation firm. What can you offer that someone making $160,000 as a logistics director at UPS wants? You may only be able to afford to pay them $80,000 – roughly half of what they are making. You first approached them a little over a year ago when you could only pay them $40,000. They turned you down and said, “I need $120,000 minimum”. Now you’ve doubled in size you can double your offer but it’s still $40,000 too low.

(I'll continue this example in the next post.)
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