So, You Want To Be the Next Big Thing?

5 tips for launching a successful product

Sometimes, a real no-brainer, problem-solver of a product can crash and burn spectacularly upon entering the market. This isn’t limited to the Pepsi Clears of the world, where sheer ridiculousness doomed the idea from the start: According to Nielsen data, 85 percent of new consumer packaged goods will fail within two years. Marketing snafus, bad luck and timing aside, pitfalls in the process of product design are often to blame. Catching oneself before blundering into them takes a conscious effort, as several local designers and makers illustrate.

Dec 8, 2015 Andy Galloway

Startup of the Month: New Wallet

Folsom startup creates 3-in-1 gadget for those on the go

Karen Crawford hasn’t carried a purse in three years. Instead, she uses a prototype wallet, which holds her driver’s license, credit cards, cash and a gym membership card, but also serves as an iPhone case and has a Bluetooth-enabled key tracker. As CEO of New Wallet a Folsom-based startup, Crawford led the development of this design after she couldn’t find a product on the market to meet her needs.

Nov 9, 2015 Russell Nichols
(Shutterstock)

Start Smart by Starting Small

ShopSmart nurtures small retailers, one square foot at a time

When Faiz Saif got his electrical engineering degree from Sacramento State in 2010, he never dreamt his business card would say “Owner, Clothes For Bros” just a few short years later. But thanks to a downturned economy and the presence of a unique store in south Sacramento, Saif isn’t looking for an electrical engineering job anymore. Instead, he’s looking to expand his growing business into a retail empire.

Oct 7, 2015 Robin Epley
Photos courtesy of William Glen

The Gift Shop That Keeps On Giving

After years in limbo, William Glen returns with the old spirit for a new generation

For most people, William Glen was an enduring symbol of simpler times, a homegrown survivor of bad economies and big department chains. For Mark Snyder, the store was a family treasure. His father, Bill Snyder, co-founded the original store more than 50 years ago. But in 2010, the William Glen story became a tragedy, closing down after Bill passed away from lung cancer. 

Sep 11, 2015 Russell Nichols
(Shutterstock)

The Many Shades of Structure

What legal structure is best for my business?

For many years, I have been making furniture that I sell to friends and family, and at local fairs and boutiques. It has become so successful that I’d like to work toward officially starting my own business. I know there are many ways I could set up my company; how do I know what will be best for me?

Sep 9, 2015 Coral Henning

Polish that Message

10 strategies for creating a diversified ad campaign

Super Bowl ads aren’t for everyone. If you’re a multi-billion-dollar global brand, shelling out $4.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime may be perfectly reasonable. For the rest of us, there are a few, slightly more affordable options for spending those marketing dollars. And spend them you should. A solid advertising strategy is essential to growing your business.

Aug 27, 2015 Gordon Fowler
(Shutterstock)

Book Review: The Business of Time, Money and Significance

‘Making Money Is Killing Your Business' asks us to rethink how we define success

Time, money and significance: These are the three desires that every entrepreneur strives for in a business. Unfortunately, most find themselves caught in the never-ending pursuit of money, squelching the essence of true business ownership and personal freedom. As a result, the enterprise never delivers time back for the things we enjoy doing or the opportunity to make a significant impact on the world around us.

Aug 7, 2015 Michael Scott