“Model Mash”, the Improved Method to Grow, Start Your Business


Our prior entry below from the Florida Small Business Leadership Conference, first paragraph, introduced many to the notion of “Model Mash”.  Many want a further explanation, and we aim to please:

Summary of Concept

Combining the Business Model Canvas (BMC Circa 2010) with the SWOT (reversed = TOWS, Circa 1960s) improves entrepreneurship creation planning.  Each of the nine components in the BMC goes much deeper, and its use of growing a new business doubles or triples the outcome.

Dr. Randy Blass, Ex. Director of the Jim Moran Institute (JMI) at Florida State brought this idea to ERI-Clint Day in a breakout session at the 2021 Florida Small Business Leadership Conference in Orlando.  Having struggled to use the BMC for 2nd stage growth, it hit this editor like a ton of bricks.  Huge impact on the usefulness of the BMC.

Models help us simplify complexity.  Decisions inside the “front side”of the canvas (or the customer interface on the right), the “backside” (infrastructure on the left side), and the cost and revenues at bottom are easier and better made by adding TOWS analysis to the process.  Not to mention the all-important VP or Value Proposition, which with the CS or Customer Segment make-up the critical product-market it.

As example consider analysis of that part of the value proposition from the standpoint of threats, how easy will it be for competitors to duplicate the value idea?  Can the product or service satisfy the needs of the customer or are there other opportunities to expand the idea for more product fits?

Together these two tools focus an entrepreneur or his team on the WHY that defines new businesses and frames missions.  Components delineated using TOWS create an operating model from strategic plans to use the critical difference upon which the BMC is based, validation.  Only the end-user who will actually pay for the product or service can input weakness and threats discovered through questioning.   The same can be said for strengths and opportunities inside each component of the canvas (can costs be predicted, are there backup providers for key resources, etc.)?

Dr. Blass uses this “Model Mash” practice in JMI advisory roles helping Florida businesses grow and thrive.  He is also kind enough to offer details on Dropbox at the link below and to give credit to Alexander Osterwalder (Strategzer.com) for the concept.

Business Model Canvas






 By Clinton E. Day, MBA Editor of Current in Entrepreneurship on clintoneday.com.         Dropbox link for tools & details =            https://www.dropbox.com/sh/79htxt4x1xarhed/AADw-6XIY-      1tw6tTcHK87Ausa?dl=0.



Florida Small Business Leadership Conference

After a year off for COVID-19, the best state conference for small businesses and entrepreneurs came roaring back last week in Orlando at the J. W. Marriott Grande Lakes resort.  Sponsored by the Jim Moran Institute (JMI) and the Florida SBDCs (Small Business Development Centers),  it always provides the most useful information.  This year was no exception with topics like Cyber Risk in a Small Business World, 5 Key Elements in Marketing, Agility in a Time of Pandemic, Communications in a Virtual Environment, Data Analytics for Business Leaders, Post-COVID-19 Marketing Survival, Design Thinking, Business Resiliency, Digital Marketing for a Changing World, Marketing to the Government, Profit Mastery, Access to Capital, Mitigating Risk, Five C’s of Storytelling, Nonprofit Consultation, and two sessions on the BMC, business model canvas.  One of the latter taught by Dr. Randy Blass, chair of the JIM, Jim Moran Institute, was titled “Model Mash” and blew the lid off your editor.  It combines the well worn SWOT with the BMC in the sense each component of the BMC is broken into threats, opportunities, strengths and opportunities.  This combination technique is super powerful, increasing the innovation of each model component.  Case in point, under VP or Value Proposition, threats include analysis of substitute product or services available in the market, do competitors offer better prices or value; under the VP opportunity, are recurring revenues possible by converting products into services?  Using SWOT inside the BMC adds a dynamic dimension to improve the design of a needed product or solve a problem more effectively.

Besides powerful breakout sessions, the stage provided keynotes from the likes of Amanda Brinkman from the Hulu smash hit “Small Business Revolution” (left) whose show illustrates the importance of communicating with your customers.  Scott Price, founder of A-LIGN, a cybersecurity and privacy expert, provided insights from 2,500 clients across the globe for  SME’s (small to medium sized enterprises) to avoid or mitigate risk. Wayan Vota, a Digital Development Entrepreneur helped explain the importance of failure in eventual success. He espouses failure as a mark of leadership and innovation in pushing the boundaries of what is possible and profitable.  There is value in examining our mistakes and learning from failure.

The Jim Moran Institute in itself is a wonderful story.  Jim Moran, now deceased, was a successful auto dealer who started in Chicago with a Hudson dealership.  After growing into the largest Ford dealer in the U. S., he retired in the 60’s and opened a dealership in South Florida.   An old friend from Chicago told him Toyota Motors was looking for a way to break into U. S. and needed a network of dealerships in the Southeast using Jacksonville Port.  They arranged a territory including five S. E. states, and he sold twenty percent of all Toyotas in the U.S. his first year.  About 1984 Jim began philanthropic pursuits beginning with a Heart and Vascular Center, and then, using his passion for entrepreneurship in 1995, he gave Florida State University a gift to provide free services to entrepreneurs.  It was a such a successful concept that he solidified it in 2015 with the largest gift in FSU history ($100 million).  The gift included the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and a degree-granting school of entrepreneurship.

Jim Moran’s vision to help small businesses grow lives on through the JMI, and the annual JMI-SBDC Leadership Conference is just one benefactor.  I would encourage out-of-state small businesses to attend as well.  We are indeed fortunate to have this activity in Florida, another strong reason to base startups in the Sunshine State!

by Editor Clint Day, who tries to attend each year.

(Last photo includes three authors from NACCE’s new bookImpact ED.  Closest is the CEO of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, Dr. Becky Corbin, and two professors from the successful entrepreneurship program at the InLab, Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Professors Beth Kerly and Dr. Andy Gold.)





Lean Innovation Educators Summit June 2021

The fourth summit of global lean entrepreneurship educators was held virtually from UC Berkeley on June 3rd.  Hosted by Haas School adjunct emeritus Jerry Engel, there were over 300 lean innovation educators online.

Following their productive format, the keynote speaker, Dr. Laura Tyson, Distinguished Haas Business School Graduate Professor and former Obama and Clinton administrations economic advisor, gave a talk centered on the pandemic impact and the end of real interest rates.  Her lasting changes from COVID-19 are a hybrid from work-from-home, e-commerce “blowning-away” real commerce, and A. I. (artificial intelligence) as a business model going forward.  She also thought some of the coming increases in productivity could be mirrored and adapted by small business.

As host Engel wrote, “it was in the summer of 2019 when Steve Blank and I agreed to create the Lean Innovation Educators Summit. We had simple goals. We knew that the Lean Innovation movement created a revolution in how entrepreneurship education took place. Having been at the forefront of this revolution, we knew there were few guidelines and limited resources for those creating and leading these programs. And we knew that the best resource was the community of educators—each facing their own challenges, running their own experiments, and adapting and evolving their educational approaches. The challenge was how to capture and share these learnings. The opportunity was to build a resilient community of educators with the proverbial positive feedback loop. Thus, the first Lean Innovation Educators Summit was born.”  Each successive summit has expanded the reach of evidenced-based entrepreneurship.

After the Tyson keynote, there were lean educator leaders (many of whom were original I-Corps program founders) impressions for the current landscape including:

Pete Newell and Steve Weinstein reported on the Common Mission growth, now including use of lean launch for the environment (oceans) as well as Hacking for Defense Hacking (H4D®) a university course sponsored by the Department of Defense.

Finally, educators were broken-out into smaller rooms which reported back conclusions -lean is now a truly international community, new disciplines have been created like more student-centric modes, more specific than general each with its own set of solutions.

Here is the full recording -keynote first  37 minutes, the panel of 7 at 45 minutes, discussion groups wrap at 1 hr:12 minutes (valuable). Hope you  can join the group at their next summit on Dec. 2nd.   Editor


Pandemic Iteration, “On the Bayou”.

Janice Johnson of On the Bayou

Janice Johnson is the founder and chef at On the Bayou, a prime location for great food, entertainment, special events, and banquets.  On the Bayou brings the flavor New Orleans and the skill of a 5-star chef.  They offer a variety of dishes that are sure to keep you coming back for more.  Whether it’s uniquely battered catfish or the succulent lamp chops, you are sure to find the dish perfect for your taste.

Janet’s entrepreneurial inspiration comes from “Having the freedom to create my own destiny, believing in a product that I know that people would enjoy, and knowing that both my successes and failures are direct results of ME and by ME.”  She also says the best part of being a business owner is “seeing people leave with a smile on their face and being recognized as the owner of a business that God appointed me to take care of.”

When COVID hit, it forced Janice to think outside the box and come up with new creative solutions.  She was able to restructure her business to make I more successful.  Earlier this month, On the Bayou was featured on the Food Network show Restaurant Impossible with Robert Irvine.  Janice’s hard work and entrepreneurial spirit led her to enroll in the BizStarts Institute https://bizstarts.com/ bizstarts-institute/) which she graduated from in May.  BizStarts is excited to work with Janice and the other Institute entrepreneurs by providing them with resources for them to make their business thrive!

On The Bayou is in the heart of Milwaukee. Story courtesy of  BizStarts of Wisconsin who has help start, mentor and promote over 1,000 entrepreneurs.

Nation’s Workforce Crisis

Executive Summary and Key Findings

The most critical and widespread challenge facing businesses right now is the inability to hire the qualified workers they need. When businesses do not have enough employees, they are forced to turn down jobs, reduce hours, scale down their operations, and in the worst cases, permanently close. The latest data and surveys reveal a national economic crisis that is getting steadily worse.

  • There were 8.1 million vacant job openings in the United States—a record high—in March 2021, the latest month for which data is available. That’s up more than 600,000 from February.
  • There are approximately half as many available workers for every open job (1.4 available workers/opening) across the country as there have been on average over the past 20 years (2.8 historical average)—and the ratio continues to fall.
  • In several states and several industries, including hard-hit sectors like education and health services as well as professional and business services, there are currently fewer available workers than the total number of jobs open.
  • More than 90 percent of state and local chambers of commerce say worker shortages are holding back their economies, and more than 90 percent of industry association economists say employers in their sectors are struggling to find qualified workers for open jobs.

Macroeconomic Insights

In April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs report fell well below expectations.  Businesses only created 266,000 jobs when most analysts expected more than 1 million. Even with 9.7 million unemployed at the beginning of April, workers’ reluctance to return to work and fill open positions was one reason for the lackluster job creation. Another could be that employees know just how easy it is to get a new job – the percent voluntarily leaving their current job is now above pre-pandemic levels.

BLS also reported that there were 8.1 million job openings in the economy as of the end of March — an all-time high. That is more than 600,000 higher than at the end of February and the fastest growth rate since July 2020. So far, in 2021, employers have added 1.4 million. Clearly, businesses are hiring – if only there were workers ready, able, and willing to fill their open positions.

The Worker Availability Ratio measures the number of available workers divided by job openings. More specifically, it compares (1) “available Workers” (persons who want a job and are available to work now) as reported in the monthly BLS Employment Situation Report household survey of individuals to (2)  employers’ job openings as reported in the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

The national Worker Availability Ratio and has fallen precipitously in recent months. There are now approximately half as many available workers (1.4) for every open job across the country as there have been on average over the past 20 years (2.8 historical average).

In several industries, including hard-hit sectors like education and health services as well as professional and business services—there are currently fewer job seekers than the total number of jobs open.  The circumstances are most challenging for employers in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Vermont, where the total jobs available outnumber the total available workers to fill them.

Ninety percent reported “lack of available workers” as the main factor slowing the economy in their area—with two-thirds reporting it was “very difficult” for employers in their community or state to hire workers. Respondents were twice as likely to say that lack of workers is holding back the economy as they are to say that COVID is holding it back.  Less than 1% said it was easy to fill open jobs.  While the pandemic has certainly impacted the labor market, the lack of workers to fill open jobs isn’t a new problem. In late 2019, there were more open jobs than unemployed individuals. Keeping our economy growing requires that we fill these jobs. To do so, we need to remove barriers that prevent people from entering the workforce, get individuals the skills they need for the open positions, and enact sensible immigration policy.

Two Recent Activities of Note

Ignite the Entrepreneur e-Book

Truly, a unique experience.  One incredibly dynamic lady from Alberta Canada has give the world a big chunk of self-improvement by publishing over a dozen Ignite books, the latest titled as above and highly recommended.  It contains thirty individual stories of entrepreneurship from people all over the globe -Finland, Romania, Morocco and more, and your editor has one on page 240.  Go to this link to download an e-Kindle copy –http://mybook.to/ignitetheentrepreneur.

Owners are J. B. Owen, the dynamic lady, and Peter Giesin. If you have a hankering to write in one of her books, go to their website –https://igniteyou.life/contact/.  It is a first class experience with instruction sessions in writing, social media and  guest speakers the like of Les Brown, motivational guru.  Here’s quote from my chapter as a taste of prose:

“Just like that, completely impetuously, we made the decision, and it was an “ah-ha” moment for both of us. That day, we stayed home, brainstormed goals, came up with a list of criteria, and visited a library to do research. The only location meeting all yardsticks was Jacksonville, Florida, which I had never visited and my wife only once.  It had large healthcare and insurance industries, and we each wanted to be self-employed in those fields. Florida law said an insurance agent had to work for another broker before licensing. In the interim I was looking for a niche product to match a target market.

Moving to a strange city across the country was a bold experiment.  We were a bit idealistic and heavy into goal setting. When we first met, we had both been reading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.  His book said, “whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve” and we wanted to give it a shot. We checked into a low-budget motel, hand-wrote resumes, and went cold calling. I had a letter of introduction to a surety producer, and Donna went to work for a self-employed PT to learn that side of rehab while I served a required year working for a large insurance broker. Synchronicity again came to the rescue!

The south has many “EMCs” or electric member cooperatives established during the New Deal to provide electricity to rural America. I was chosen to train as the rep for a national rural electric insurance program. One competitor came into clear focus. My boss heard of an impossible bond (surety for construction projects) issued by a small company across town called… Cotton States (CS).  Then, a month later I could not “close” (an order for insurance) at a rural electric in Georgia. The competition was again Cotton States, the same regional company based in Atlanta.  My curiosity was piqued, and I thought of Abraham Lincoln’s quote, “I will prepare and someday my chance will come.”  ~ Editor Clint Day.

Bodacity Unleashed Workshop

One of the Ignite authors from above (different book) is Jannette Anderson who teaches a life purpose workshop called Bodacity Unleashed.  I took it 14-16 May, and can tell you if you do not have a firm and satisfying purpose, you should too.  Her Faster Mind Group works you progressively through your “Why” basing tools on neuroscience starting using your own 3-5 significant experiences during your life.

I did it, and quickly discovered three of my five  meaningful occurrences centered around service in the Army during the Vietnam War.  Not only did I learn leadership in some hairy circumstances, but I also met my wife from the Army medical corps and later grew a pituitary tumor probably from exposure to Agent Orange.  So my impactful experience determining future values, goals, and viewpoints turns out from combat service.  Once uncovered from there a participant can design a roadmap to purpose and profit.  One identifies gaps and needs to address going forward.

Bodacity’s action steps are carefully thought out, and they can change a person’s life.  Jannette Anderson can be contacted and followed at https://www.bodacity.ca/about-us.  ~ Editor Clint Day.

Asset Management: Get Started With These Easy Tips

As a small business owner just getting started in your industry, you know you need to be good at managing your assets so you can improve your finances and make enough money to justify the hard work you’ve put into your business. But how do you get started? What things do you need to remember as you embark on your asset management journey? Let’s take a look at what you need to know as you move forward.

First thing’s first: What is asset management?

Asset management is a critical part of running a successful business. Basically, you need to know what you have, where it is, and what its value is — especially when it comes to running audits of your inventory. Especially now that mobile devices, cloud technologies, automated software tools, and other technologies are being used every day in business, it’s imperative that you track what you’re using. These systems can track both software and hardwareassets.

The benefits of asset management systems are folded into how you run your company. You can see where your assets are and collect data on them in one centralized system, eliminate the need for complex spreadsheets, and improve data collection by automating it. Not to mention that knowing the location of your assets can save you time and money when it comes time for maintenance and tax auditing.

Go from here: Steps for getting started

Now that you know what asset management entails, let’s go over what you need to do to get ready for your new system.

Figure out whether you need asset management software. List out all the devices, tools, and documents that you need to keep track of. Do you have a lot of convoluted spreadsheets, but you can’t seem to find the right one when you need it? That’s a sign.

  1. Find an asset management system that allows you to automate processes and keep track of your inventory and devices, but make sure that it’s within budget.
  2. Consider applying for a loan to get started with asset management software. There are myriad loans and grants available to small businesses.
  3. Partner with the right company or consultant so you know exactly how the asset management system works and how to use it to its full advantage. It won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use it.

Important reminder about cybersecurity

As you mature in your asset management practices and get a handle on what devices, products, and tools you have at your disposal, don’t forget to consider cybersecurity. Especially as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more prevalent in the business world, small-business owners want to make sure their networks are safe and that malicious actors can’t gain access to your resources. Therefore, the assets you’re tracking need to be secure.

One way to ensure your networks and assets are as impenetrable as possible, you could consider ethical hacker recruitment. These professionals, who can be found on online job platforms that display reviews, delivery time, and cost, can test your network’s security by lobbying a cyberattack against it — for your benefit. (This is commonly referred to as a penetration test.) When they find vulnerabilities, they let you know, so you can patch them.

Partner with the right people

Now that you know how to get started with asset management software, it’s time to take the next step: making sure you implement your solution accurately so your company can take advantage of the efficiencies coming your way.

Article courtesy of Marissa Perez, who has spent the last 10 years honing her marketing skills and now shares her knowledge with entrepreneurs. She co-created Business Pop to provide insight and advice to those who aspire to succeed in owning a business.  

SBA Public-Private Strategies for Small Business.

https://www.publicprivatestrategies.com/back-on-track?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery           SEVERAL WEBINARS DURING JUNE

  • Hear about what steps you can take now to learn and take advantage of new and existing programs that are available at the SBA
  • Get an update regarding programs and recent policy announcements made by the Biden-Harris Administration
  • Have your questions answered by SBA leadership and small business experts
  • Learn how you can become a vaccine leader in your community
  • Discover tools and resources you can use to take your business digital

Entrepreneurship Going Forward


It’s never been easier to start a business, says Loren Padelford, vice president and general manager of revenue at Shopify (SHOP), which powers digital storefronts for over 1.7 million businesses across 175 countries.

As existing business owners had to close their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans found themselves out of work. This created increased appetite for an already ballooning market for entrepreneurs creating companies online.

Indeed, the number of people applying to start a business in 2020 eclipsed 2019’s total by mid-October. As a one-stop shop to set up a store, facilitate customer support and payment processing, Shopify has become a crucial tool for small businesses.

“We do think it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur; more businesses are being started now than have been in the last decade. That is a signal to the world that the barriers to entry are no longer as big as they used to be. And you can be a big brand and create a big story relatively quickly,” Padelford said during Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit: Small Business Recovery, which aired Thursday.

During Shopify’s first-quarter earnings report, the company announced it made $988.6 million in revenue, more than doubling from a year ago. Gross merchandise volume was also up 114% year-over-year hitting $37.3 billion in the quarter.

“It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur,” Padelford said. “It’s a great time to start something and we see that accelerating, not slowing down.”

Eunice Byun built her business on Shopify and has seen it flourish during the pandemic. As co-founder and CEO of Material, a 4-year-old kitchenware line, she saw 100% growth between 2019 to 2020, and a repeat customer rate as high as 64% year-over-year.

“We saw early on in the pandemic our sales up 350% just immediately because people recognized that they may not have the goods and the equipment that they needed,” she told Yahoo Finance.

As families were stuck at home, many turned to upgrading their daily staples. The ultra popular Always Pan by Our Place (a brand that’s also hosted on Shopify) is a prime example of a runaway winner fueled by Instagram ads and influencer marketing.

When asked whether the market for direct-to-consumer shopping is too saturated, Padelford said he doesn’t think it’s “anywhere close to peak.”

“I think we’re at the beginning, I think we’re seeing now the potential of entrepreneurs. And when you look at it from a macroeconomic perspective, the growth rate of entrepreneurial businesses is eclipsing the growth rate of big box,” he said. “And that shows you that we as consumers want to shop local, 50% of consumers want to shop at a local store. We want to shop from brands that have a good story.”

Story Courtesy of Yahoo Finance, written by Melody Hahm.  Follow her on Twitter @MelodyHahm.