Timothy C. Francis is Second Vice President for Travelers Bond & Financial Products in Hartford, CT. Francis leads Travelers’ Business Insurance Management and Professional Liability initiatives and serves as Enterprise lead for Cyber Insurance. Reuters spoke with him about what small businesses need to know about cyber crime.
In an FT column today Dave Eggers pines for the days when schools taught metal and woodworking. “It doesn’t all have to be keyboards and screens, does it?” he asks.
It certainly doesn’t.
Many small business in the U.S. are becoming part of a new wave of small-scale and super premium manufacturing. There’s any number of examples to look at, like the plumbing parts manufacturing in Brooklyn, the artisanal chocolate makers and the distillers in Boston.
StartUp Britain’s Emma Jones takes the Reuters taxi challenge to tell us why almost half a million entrepreneurs think now is a great time to be starting a business in the UK.
Ping Fu, co-founder of Geomagic, shares her harrowing personal story with Reuters Editor-at-Large Sir Harold Evans. Fu, author of “Bend, Don’t Break,” talks about growing up during China’s Cultural Revolution and how she came to the United States with next to nothing and managed to build her own software company.
At the most recent Pop Up Flea, a temporary Americana brand and menswear bazaar in New York City, one unexpected vendor stood out. Not only was the sheer size of its crowd impressive, but it wasn’t even a traditional retail store. The popular booth featured the watch blog Hodinkee—pronounced ho-dinkey—founded by former UBS consultant Ben Clymer.
Clymer was there to sell vintage watches, owned by others, as part of a larger marketing effort that he hopes will make Hodinkee the online destination for all things watch. So far, the strategy seems to be working. Clymer says Hodinkee gets about 300,000 unique visitors a month from more than 50 countries. Traffic to the site doubled in 2011 and grew 120 percent in 2012.
In the latest episode of Impact Players, Robert Wolf interviews Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Company, the brewer of Sam Adams beer. The two discuss entrepreneurship, the happiness that comes from owning your own business, and of course… beer.
For some, Hurricane Sandy has meant more work for their small businesses. With some 250,000 cars destroyed by the storm, one auto wrecker is suddenly very busy, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. In this Reuters TV spot Sally Maggio, a New Jersey car garage owner, explains why this boom in business is actually undercutting her profits.
Image: A car is seen in the debris of a home that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in Mantoloking, New Jersey November 12, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
With the so-called fiscal cliff looming, Reuters Small Business interviewed Jeff Stibel, chairman and CEO of small business credit rating agency Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp to ask him a few questions about what small businesses need to know about the government’s self-imposed tax agreement deadline and what small businesses can do in case congress fails to ink a tax agreement plan before the end of the year.
Reuters: First off, can you define fiscal cliff for us?
Jeff Stibel: The U.S. Congress and President Obama created the “fiscal cliff” last year as they negotiated ways to lift the federal debt ceiling. The cliff causes two things to happen at midnight on December 31, 2012. First, a range of temporary tax cuts will expire as the Budget Control Act of 2011 goes into full effect. For American small businesses, this will mean the end of several key tax breaks and the imposition of new taxes. Secondly, mandatory budget cuts will be imposed at the federal level. The result has the U.S. economy – and, with it, U.S. businesses – hurdling towards its own cliff.
In this video, Tom Hulme, Design Director at IDEO and founder of OpenIDEO, introduces a tool that IDEO and HackFWD designed to help founders design and build startups. Although the focus is on tech startups, non-tech entrepreneurs will likely find some applicable lessons from Hulme’s 12-minute talk, including strategies to identify the “backbone of your business,” marketing and how to refine your business model.
Greg Damerow is an athlete and small business owner. Damerow, based in Ohio, is the owner of Personalized Cycling Alternatives, which builds custom adaptive bicycles. He was attracted to handcycling after he became ill with ankylosing spondylitis, a severe form of arthritis that affects the body’s joints. The Hartford recently awarded Damerow with a small business grant, and he spoke with Reuters about competing and running a small business.
First off, can you tell me about your disability?
I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis at 18 years old. It causes inflammation of the major joints. It’s a form of arthritis. It affects knees, ankles, shoulders. It was a very painful time for me. There are two forms that the disease can take. One is chronic and you lose function over years. The second form moves rapidly. This was the form I had and so I lost function over a matter of months. The major part of the disease burned itself out after about two years time. I was spared. I was essentially bedridden for two years time and as the major symptoms of the disease dissipated finally, I didn’t have any movement in my hip sockets and much secondary damage in the spine. I have limited neck rotation. Out of that experience I learned how to walk again using my knees and ankles.