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Kim Kardashian, left, and Kourtney Kardashian arrive at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles Aug. 7, 2011. (DANNY MOLOSHOK/DANNY MOLOSHOK/REUTERS)
Kim Kardashian, left, and Kourtney Kardashian arrive at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles Aug. 7, 2011. (DANNY MOLOSHOK/DANNY MOLOSHOK/REUTERS)

Small Business Briefing

Let the Kardashian touch rub off Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

The Kardashian touch

With days to go until Kim Kardashian's wedding and ...surprise...another television appearance as the nuptials will be aired in a two-part special, comes yet another reminder of how well the Kardashians have done in front of the camera.

Laugh if you will, but the Kardashian family has lots to teach small business about success, says this posting on American Express Open Forum.

If you've blinked and somehow missed the socialite Kardashians in reality-TV action, know, according to this piece, that licensing partnerships netted Kardashian Inc. $65-million in 2010 -- more than Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock combined, it said.

Their popular TV show (with spinoffs and another in the works) are only part of the action; as the piece says, matriarch Kris Jenner has "monetized everything from her daughter Kim's famed sex tape, to diet pills, fragrances and clothing lines."

So what can small business take away from them? Five lessons are to be gleaned, the posting says.

First, be relatable: They may be rich and they may be famous, but people can relate to them.

Second, extend your brand -- and then extend it some more.

Third, make use of social media. They're not on Twitter and Facebook for nothing. Altogether, they have about 13 million Twitter followers, according to this piece.

Fourth, collaborate with winners. They've partnered with other successful brands, and both have benefited.

Finally, make the most out of the good and bad. Sex tapes, weight gains, facelifts: we've heard it all from them. But as one professional quoted in the piece says, "They cover a large demographic of people who aspire to their kind of imperfection, and will buy anything related to it.”

The "sputtering engine of entrepreneurship"

Using the imagery of small aircraft crashing into a growing heap, the Wall Street Journal paints a picture of the toll of the recession on U.S. small businesses, where "beneath the wreckage of failed companies lies a collection of would-be entrepreneurs."

It blames a host of factors -- "economic funk, poor sales, tight credit, competition from new entrepreneurs abroad" -- for having "either choked existing businesses or caused aspiring entrepreneurs to hunker down and not take the leap."

Even more sobering, it questions whether the damage the economy has inflicted will have lasting effects, discouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The piece notes that the number of "births" of new businesses during and after the recession dropped sharply from previous years, according to data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics And it reports that the number of people employed by businesses under a year old has also declined.

Sure, entrepreneurship is still hot in technology, but what it calls the "realm of meat and potatoes" isn't faring as well.

"If this persists -- the sputtering engine of entrepreneurship -- it will discourage future generations of entrepreneurs," the piece quotes Robert LItan of the Kauffman Foundation.

What kind of entrepreneur are you?

Hoping for a visionary venture? Or are you a solo sustainer?

Whether you want to be your own boss, turn a hobby into a business or have come up with the idea you are convinced is worth millions, wanna-be entrepreneurs may have very different concepts in mind when they say, "I want to start my own business," writes Rhonda Abrams, president of The Planning Shop and publisher of books for entrepreneurs, at USAToday.com.

Ms. Abrams comes up with four alliterative titles (the other two are balanced business and actualizing activity) to differentiate her classifications of entrepreneurs to help find the right kind of business to suit needs, desires and lifestyle.


Ad contest

Centrsource, a new online marketing platform, is trying to get the word out about itself, and in so doing, has launched a contest on Facebook to Canadian small businesses offering prize money and free advertising.

Its contest is open to any small business in Canada that registers on its site and creates an ad for consumers to vote on; the ad that gets the most votes by Aug. 31, it says, will get $15,000 in prize money and six months of free advertising on CentrSource's network.

Searching for a business hero

It's the last day to enter a nomination for Web hosting company 1&1 Internet Inc.'s "My Business Hero" contest. It aims to recognize Canadian businesses making a positive impact on their local communities. The winner will receive a website makeover and free hosting for life; nine runners-up will get a year of free hosting. Details can be found here.


A collector crazy for canines

In our latest Splurge, meet doggie diehard Marlene Cook, the president of Woofstock who has amassed about 8,000 pieces of dog memorabilia in a collection she estimates is worth $200,000.


You can take all sorts of lessons from those Kardashians. Last month, we brought you 10 YouTube tips for small business. Among them was the suggestion to cater to popular trends. And Kim Kardashian provided inspiration for one of them. For more on that and all 10 tips, click here.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

Join The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeSmallBiz


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