I want to thank Rosa for the chance to share with you today. Rosa has been a real inspiration and to be a part of her Ho’ohana Community is a real privilege. I discovered a powerful learning tool earlier this year in the form of Audio books. I find I can learn while driving, walking, and exercising. Since these activities are usually non-productive learning times, the addition of an iPod and headphones has been wonderful. I have listened to over 120 hours of audio books in the last 9 months. This would be the equivalent of reading for three, 40 hour work weeks.
Most of the audio books I’ve listened to are part of Josh Kaufman’s, Personal MBA program. The idea behind this program is to get the equivalent of an MBA education by reading 42 different business books. I’ve taken the general principle of the program and modified it to use Audio books and an iPod. My book list is somewhat different and geared towards popular business audio titles. I started a new blog earlier this year called MBA on the Run to document my progress. This personal study curriculum has led me through many aspects of business analysis including marketing, branding, and small business entrepreneurship.
Since this is a masters program I decided I needed a thesis to focus my studies. I decided to focus on small businesses in downtown and old town business areas. In my studies on the different aspects of these small businesses I noticed that some businesses were very successful while others struggled. My thesis question has emerged…
Why do certain small businesses do better than others?
After listening to some of the best business authors on my iPod, I came up with five things that I think have a direct bearing on success. They are…
- Product or Service
- Key Values
These Five things allow us to judge the merits of a company and subjectively rate their effectiveness. The five areas form an acrostic that spells out SPARK. Let’s take the five areas one by one and see how they tie in with the average small business.