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What do a father and an entrepreneur have in common? Add to ...

What do a father and an entrepreneur have in common?

Just in time for Father's Day, Nick Balletta, chief executive officer of TalkPoint, a webcasting company based in New York, reflects on the parallels of being a father and a founder in this Entrepreneur.com piece.

In both roles, he says, you have  to admit when you're wrong, lead by example and, more often than not, pick up the cheque.

 A perk to being an entrepreneur? "I very rarely have to remind an employee to brush their teeth or wash their hands," Mr. Balletta writes.

While we're on the topic, think as well about the marketing opportunities that the day dedicated to dad could provide to  your business,  says Washington Post blogger Shrita D. Sterlin.

 Even if you're not in the tie-design field, there might be an angle for you. Can you swing a deal for dads and kids? Join forces with another business to offer a Father’s Day package? The key lies in learning how to work your marketing strategy to attract moms and kids shopping for this Sunday, he writes.

Faux meat is something to tweet about

Veggie dogs are a regular presence on street corners, and sometimes you can even order a side of veggie bacon at your local diner. The fake meat industry has grown so much that Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone decided they wanted a piece -- of fake chicken strips. They invested in vegan start-up Beyond Meat through their business incubator, Obvious Corp., according to a Huffington Post article.

It looks, feels, tastes and, yeah, even acts like meat, says the Beyond Meat website, but it’s also cheaper and better for the environment than the real deal. New York Times columnist Mark Bittman wasn’t impressed with the product, but it was enough to get the the Twitter team to deviate from investments in web-centric areas.

Mr. Stone himself has been vegan for 10  years, but stressed that it was Beyond Meat’s business vision of “getting into the multibillion-dollar meat industry with a plant-based meat" that impressed his team, he said in an interview with Co.Exist.

Slapping a patent on cocktail hour

Who doesn’t like a cold one after a long, hard day?

After-work happy hour specials draw in nine-to-fivers who need to unwind. Happy hour is such a great marketing tool that U.S. tech investor Bill Lee and team decided to patent it in the United States.

But don’t worry -- pub crawlers  are still allowed to belly up to  the bar. Mr. Lee's business isn't at all about bars in fact; rather, he was recently granted a virtual happy hour patent, which will mean discounts on social networking and gaming sites. Instead of two-for-one drinks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., you’re looking at two-for-one Farmville apples.

“I went to a ton of happy hours in college and always liked the happy-hour concept,” said the 41-year-old Mr. Lee in an interview with Business Week. “I thought it would be a great way to meet girls.”

The patent application was filed back in 2007, the same article says.

Launch a business with no capital?

This article says you can. Taking a cue from Jason Baptiste’s recent book The Ultralight Startup, Australian business experts give five tips for launching a startup with little to no capital. They include taking advantage of free platforms to build your own website, and conducting market research with Google.


Marketing 101

How to get the biggest bang for your marketing buck is the subject of a workshop being held by the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development in Halifax. The workshop will explore various marketing tools, broaden understanding of marketing and help develop marketing plans specifically for your business. It takes place June 19. For more information, click here.

Customer service strategies

The most cost-effective way to differentiate your business is through customer service, says customer service strategist Jeff Mowatt. He is offering a half-day seminar on the art of customer service that will occur in several places throughout the rest of the month. For a schedule, registration and other information, click here.


Work with what you've got

 Enterpreneurs are always on the lookout for the next big marketing thing, writes marketing expert Ryan Caligiuri, who argues that finding it isn’t as important as milking what you already have for better results. The secret lies in testing, he says. Read more from Friday’s live discussion with Mr. Caligiuri here.


More on starting up without a cash pool

Doug Steiner says the combination of no cash, no job but a good idea is enough to start up a business. The key is to find a way to save people money, and to be productive with your time. For the rest of the tips, click here.


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