Category: Business - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
Twyla Hayes co-owns Edible Arrangements in the Renaissance Center.
Business owners share tips for prospective start-ups
A growing number of people are taking the plunge and making their dreams of owning a small business a reality. Nearly five years ago, Detroit-resident Twyla Hayes and her husband, James, took a risk and decided to join the ranks of small business owners. They own Edible Arrangements®, which is located in Tower 100 of the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. (Edible Arrangements® is the leading supplier of fresh fruit arrangements for everyday occasions and events).
“People often think that owning a business is great because you will have more freedom to make decisions,” said Hayes. “While this is true, business owners must stay focused on their customers and always strive to exceed their expectations.”
Hayes always knew she wanted to own a business. She first learned about Edible Arrangements from her husband who sent her a couple of fresh fruit arrangements. The couple researched the company online and decided that they wanted to open the first Edible Arrangements retail store in Detroit. They did a lot of research up front to find just the right location for their business.
“I liked the idea of having our retail store in the Renaissance Center,” added Hayes. “It was a great decision because we consistently have new people who discover our store. We have a steady flow of customers who work in and around the Renaissance Center as well as visitors.”
They are among seven African-Americans who own Edible Arrangements retail stores in the Metro Detroit area. Along the way, they’ve gained key insight as entrepreneurs and now offer a few tips for those exploring the possibility of owning a business:
• Don’t be afraid to take risks. “Owning a business is a risk,” said Al Robinson, co-owner, Edible Arrangements in Troy. “However, doing your homework and advance planning can go a long way to ensure you are best prepared for the journey to becoming an entrepreneur.”
• Be driven and set goals as a business owner. “You need to have high expectations as a business owner to achieve success,” said Monica Wilks, owner of Edible Arrangements in Dearborn Heights and Wyandotte. “You also need to mentor your team to give them the opportunities to grow.”
• Always be in a constant state of learning. “You’ll learn from your customers as well as other entrepreneurs,” said Vikki Hardy Brown, owner of Edible Arrangements in Farmington and Lake Orion. “Have a vision and always maintain standards of excellence.”
• Persevere during challenging times. “It is easy to give up during challenging times,” said Leslie Robinson, co-owner, Edible Arrangements in Troy. “However, it also presents an opportunity to evaluate your business and implement changes that can positively impact the bottom line.”
• Have a good team in place. “The foundation for a successful business is a solid team of employees,” said William Hardy, co-owner, Edible Arrangements in Lake Orion. “Tell your employees when they are doing a great job. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can go a long way.”
“It’s important to have a good support system in place,” added Hayes. “My husband and I both work hard to ensure our business is successful. We also recognize the need to maintain balance and spend quality time with our family.
“There are so many wonderful benefits to being an entrepreneur,” she said. “A highlight is interacting with our customers and knowing that we are bringing a smile to the faces of recipients of a fresh fruit arrangement.”
Last Updated on Friday, 13 September 2013 09:26
Category: Business - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
Paul A. Glantz, founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment Inc. and CEO of Proctor Financial Inc., this month will speak at Wayne State University about ways start-up businesses can attract investors and protect their financial investments.
Glantz will present “Valley of Death: Surviving the Financial Rut” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at Wayne Law, 471 W. Palmer St. The free workshop is open to the public. Parking is available for $6.50 in the structure across West Palmer Street from the law school.
The event is sponsored by Wayne State’s Blackstone LaunchPad business laboratory, Wayne Law’s Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law, WSU Front Door and Wayne State student venture M-Squared Financial.
“The reference to ‘Valley of Death’ in the title of Glantz’s keynote talk refers to the vulnerable stage of a new business venture that occurs after the owners have made their initial financial investment but before they have generated enough sales to get out of the red,” said Aubrey Agee, a senior program administrator with Blackstone LaunchPad. “Entrepreneurs who lose their focus and momentum during this stage risk devastating consequences, including significant financial losses, harm to their reputation among investors and a blow to their confidence from which many don’t recover. This workshop will give invaluable tips on how to avoid this fate.”
Glantz, a 1980 graduate of Wayne State’s School of Business Administration, was honored by the university as a distinguished alumnus in 2006. He raised $45 million in capital to start the Emagine theater chain, which was the first in the nation to convert all of its screens to high-definition digital. An active community volunteer, he is a member of the Board of Visitors for the School of Business Administration, as well as a member of the WSU Foundation Board of Directors and chairman of its investment committee.
A venture coach for Blackstone LaunchPad’s student entrepreneurs, Glantz in his keynote speech will focus on how startup entrepreneurs can find life-sustaining investors after launching. Also speaking at the workshop will be student entrepreneurs, who will share “leap of faith” stories of investing in their businesses and developing sales strategies to make it out of the “valley of death.”
The event begins with registration and light refreshments at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by short introductions by Detroit entrepreneurs Agee of Blackstone LaunchPad, Nilesh Joshi of Joshi Biochemical, Dom Holmes of Pay-It-Forward, Kelly Guillory of Ashur Collective, and Max Ermakov and JJ Clenik of M-Squared Financial. The keynote talk will begin at 6:15 p.m., and hors d’oeuvres and networking can be enjoyed from 7:15 to 8 p.m.
Funded out of New York City by The Blackstone Group’s Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Blackstone LaunchPad assists WSU student entrepreneurs with business plan development, networking and venture funding. The Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law coordinates Wayne Law’s business law courses, clinics, internships and community engagement activities. The Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law offers early-stage legal assistance to local startups and creates forums for entrepreneurs to receive general legal guidance, access community resources and share their own business experience. The Front Door is Wayne State’s business engagement office, connecting companies of all sizes to university resources. The Front Door was established in 2009 to address industry needs for access to university resources, from recruitment services to world-class researchers and state-of-the-art technologies. M-Squared Financial is a venture that facilitates the efforts of young companies by assisting with their financials.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 September 2013 08:48
Chrysler Group LLC Reports August 2013 U.S. Sales Increased 12 Percent; Best August Sales in Six Years
Category: Business - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 165,552 units, a 12 percent increase compared with sales in August 2012 (148,472 units), and the group’s best August sales since 2007.
The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in August compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 29 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand during the month. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 41-consecutive months in August.
Full release and sales chart: http://media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?id=14816&mid=23
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:44
Category: Business Written by CNN News
A gold, or champagne, iPhone5 could be one of the new products unveiled by Apple on Tuesday.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
While there's still no official confirmation of what Apple plans to show off Tuesday, it's the worst kept secret in tech: we're getting new iPhones.
Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) keeps its lips pretty tight when it comes to future products. But Apple does have to rely on other companies to help make the iPhone, which means leaks are inevitable.
We may not know everything about the new iPhone, but we have a pretty decent idea of what to expect.
As usual, Apple will update its flagship iPhone model, which is expected to be called the iPhone 5S. It's not likely to be a radical redesign, but Apple still might have a few new things to brag about.
For starters, the iPhone 5S is expected to come in a gold - or champagne, depending on who you talk to - color. The first hint of this came from a leaked factory image of an iPhone part, and then another, and another. AllThingsD eventually found trusted sources to confirm the rumor.
It's also possible the 5S will come in a lighter shade of grey, providing a fourth option for iPhone buyers.
The iPhone is also expected to have upgraded hardware, which should come as no surprise. Many believe the iPhone 5S will feature Apple's A7 processor, a dual-core chip promising 31% more computing power.
According to other leaks, the iPhone 5S will have an improved camera and an upgraded, dual-LED flash to make your night shots look less washed out.
Perhaps the most exciting rumor is that the iPhone 5S will have a fingerprint sensor where the home button is traditionally located. Rumors of this first popped up in January, when Ming-Chi Kuo, a KGI Securities analyst with a good record, made mention of it.
Since then, more and more evidence has materialized to lend credibility to this rumor. The most obvious application for the sensor will be for security authentication -- i.e. a replacement for passwords.
But a fingerprint sensor could potentially be used for phone navigation as well. Combined with Apple's new iCloud password manager, logging in to all your sites and services could be as simple as swiping your thumb over your phone.
The iPhone 5S likely won't be the only new phone unveiled on Tuesday. Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5C, which has been dubbed a "low end" iPhone. Many believe this will help Apple expand in China.
The iPhone 5C likely won't cost as much as the iPhone 5S to manufacture, as the rumored plastic shell will be cheaper and easier to manufacture than the glass and aluminum body of the current iPhone 5. But it won't be a bargain bin device.
Morgan Stanley analyst Jasmine Lu has speculated that Apple will sell the iPhone 5C for $400 off contract in an attempt to make moves in international markets where phones are sold unsubsidized. Kuo thinks that Apple will opt for the $400-$500 price point.
Many analysts still believe the iPhone 5C will have the same internals as the iPhone 5, meaning it won't compete with Android's wimpier phones, but other mid-range devices instead.
There has also been rampant speculation that the iPhone 5C will come in multiple colors. The chatter has only grown louder after Apple sent out an invite for Tuesday's event that showed circles in many different hues.
If the iPhone 5S was the original iPod, the iPhone 5C will be the iPod Nano, marketed at a crowd that isn't quite as hardcore about their gadgets as the average tech nerd. Aside from a white iPhone 5C, expect to see models in red, blue, green and yellow.
On the software front, we'll likely see a few new iOS 7 features that were not unveiled back in June. Don't be shocked to see more refinements to the visual design of iOS7, including the much maligned app icons.
Aside from phones, there have been rumors that the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 could make an appearance, along with a refreshed Apple TV. But those in the know say that's not going to happen on Tuesday.
If tradition holds and Apple throws another event in October, chances are we'll see updated iPads and perhaps other new products then. To top of page
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 01:19
Category: Business Written by Michigan Chronicle
The Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project, an initiative of the Citizenship Education Fund, will convene its 14th Annual Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit, October 2-3, at the MGM Grand Detroit Meeting & Events Center in Detroit. This year’s theme, “Economic Parity: Driving The Plan For Success,” addresses the release of the Rainbow PUSH Diversity Automotive Scorecard.
The Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit provides viable solutions in an industry that is still
recovering from significant economic downturns. The Summit’s ultimate goal is to bring inclusive
strategies to the forefront of the global business landscape as an endeavor to identify, sustain and
grow ethnic suppliers, dealers, media outlets, advertising agencies and firms that provide professional
Summit conversations will include community and industry leaders discussing The Assault on Diversity at the Leadership Town Hall Breakfast. As the automotive industry bounces back and reaches
unprecedented growth rates and profitability, African American automotive suppliers and dealers have
dwindled to an alarming rate. Automotive leaders will also Speak on Diversity: The Business Case during the Business & Education Awards Luncheon. The Summit will conclude by recognizing living legends and emerging leaders in the automotive industry.
“We will continue to celebrate diversity within the automotive industry by recognizing companies whose business model embodies inclusion. However, we will also highlight those companies that resist diversity,” said Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., president and founder of Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
“Minority consumers support automotive companies with more than 22 percent of new vehicle purchases, yet some companies’ diversity plans continue to lag woefully. This is unacceptable.”
In January the Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project released an Automotive Diversity Scorecard to provide a snapshot of each manufacturer’s success of building and sustaining diversity and inclusion. The Automotive Diversity Scorecard is the basis for the establishment of unbiased diversity standards that will be presented at this year’s Summit.
The Summit sponsors include (but are not limited to) Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Chrysler Group, Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru and Volkswagen.
For more information about registration for the 14th Annual Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit visit www.rainbowpush.org.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 16:22
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