Startups being launched out of Silicon Valley may get all the press, but it is the small businesses across the country that create the jobs. Everything from coffee shops to florists and restaurants, help keep our economy spinning. Indeed, Main Street businesses represent two-thirds of companies across this country and employ 24 million workers, according to the Kauffman Center. But being a local mom-and-pop shop isn't easy. From starting a company on the ground floor to getting the word out to the community and keeping busy during slow times, running a small business is no easy feat.
Fortunately, we have Mike Glauser, an experienced entrepreneur who has also consulted his fair share of small business owners.
As the co-founder and chairman of My New Enterprise, an online training and development company for aspiring entrepreneurs, Glauser has helped hundreds of founders go from just a business plan to a successful venture.
Glauser got into the entrepreneurship world in the '90s when he founded two companies: Northern Lights Frozen Desserts and Golden Swirl Management Companies. Both were in the frozen dessert space and both sold to CoolBrands.
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"Building companies from concept to cash flow to a sale has been one of the most exciting things I have done in my career," he says, adding that he loves "helping aspiring entrepreneurs do the same thing I have done."
Glauser then went to the other side of the table, acting as a consultant to small and large businesses, with some big-name clients including Boeing, Syntek Global and Max International.
Besides currently running My New Enterprise, Glauser is also the executive director of entrepreneurial programs at Utah State University and a professor of management.
Having been in the throes of the entrepreneurial world and having consulted with various small businesses, Glauser, and his son, Jay, decided to do a cross-country bike trip last year, interviewing more than 100 entrepreneurs in 100 cities. Out of it came the 2016 book Main Street Entrepreneur, which features not only tales of these founders but also lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs. Glauser is hoping to offer up some of his learnings to aspiring entrepreneurs.
"Many people mentored me during my entrepreneurial journey," Glauser says. "These mentors provided great advice, introduced additional advisers and kept me from making major mistakes. I want to do the same for young entrepreneurs."
For the month of October, Glauser is looking to take your questions on all things entrepreneurship, with a focus on helping small businesses succeed. Think: starting a company, validating an idea, creating a strong brand, building a team, marketing and sales. He can do it all.
Got a question you would like answered? Submit your questions by tweeting us, using the hashtag #ENTexpert. One topic will be selected by the editors of Entrepreneur and addressed by Glauser in a weekly write up.