Customers’ Needs should Trump Owners’ Desires

Comments (4) Posted By Joe on November 29, 2012 in Business Basics

As he grudgingly mans his cash register, Randall Graves — a character in Kevin Smith’s classic 1994 comedy “Clerks” — muses: “This job would be great if it wasn’t for the [expletive] customers.”

It’s a silly thing to say — as it’s surely meant to be — but reflects an attitude that’s all too common among business owners. Too many design their businesses around indulging their own passions and showing off their own skills rather than catering to their customers’ needs.


A Different Way of Lending Money

Comments (9) Posted By Joe on November 21, 2012 in About Us

Photo by Luis De La Hoz

When small-business owners think about applying for loans, they often picture an intimidating scene: a loan officer grimacing from across a polished desk, skeptically poring over documents.

At the Intersect Fund, we do it a little differently: instead of insisting applicants trek down to our offices to submit their documents, we come to them.


Can You Make your Dull Industry Exciting?

Comments (2) Posted By Joe on November 20, 2012 in Business Basics

Before Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded their company, home-computers had little cachet beyond the realm of hobbyists. Now, Apple — one of the world’s most valuable companies — commands a large and devoted following.

In an earlier post, I extolled the virtues of dull industries; I proposed that because unsexy fields attract relatively few competitors, entrepreneurs willing to build businesses within them stand to profit handsomely.

This week, I feel the need to highlight another benefit of building a firm in an obscure or boring field: you might just end up making that field fun and exciting.


Coaches offer Helping Hands

Comments (6) Posted By Joe on November 8, 2012 in Business Basics, Partners in Empowerment

It’s common to picture entrepreneurs as lone visionaries, tinkering in obscurity until their ideas take the market by storm.

But Lorraine Allen, regional director of the Small Business Development Center at the College of New Jersey, said she urges entrepreneurs to take the opposite approach.

Of the businesses she works with, she said, “We encourage them not to be lone rangers…we try and educate our businesses on how to maximize resources, to create deeper advisory boards.”

The Center Allen leads is one of several groups throughout Central New Jersey – some public and some private – that offer services to small-business owners seeking to increase sales, streamline their operations or just refine an idea.


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