How to Utilize Trends for Small Businesses

Few things hold a more prominent place in the American imagination than small businesses. Even with behemoth international mega-corporations such as Disney and Microsoft ruling the roost, we like to think that small businesses are the symbol of the American economy. There is a certain magic around the idea that the little business you and your family begin today can grow into one of those mega-corporations some day.

That being said, it can be hard to be a small business today. As many as a third of all restaurants and new businesses fail within the first year. There’s always the existential threat of being beaten out by one of those mega-corporations. Even if you build your business up over the first few years into something sustainable, there’s still the risk of hitting a wall and having to sell it off to those major competitors. As a small business, you need every bit of help you can get, and that means figuring out how to make trends work to your advantage.

Appearance Is Everything

You can’t become a successful company if you don’t look the part. Make sure that your company is imbued with an aura of professionalism and chic stylishness wherever possible. You want clients and employees alike to think that your company is a great place to work for.

Networking Is Key

In business, it’s all about who you know. We’re all busy, but finding the time to network and build relationships within your industry is key.

Read, Read, Read

How will you know what trends to capitalize on if you don’t know what’s trending in the first place? Tracking and reacting to marketplace trends is crucial for transforming a small company into a force to be reckoned with. From social media to industry papers to the financial news and beyond, always make sure you’re up on the latest trends and events in your field.

Have a Filter

No one can shoulder the whole workload of their company day in and day out. Know what trends and ideas need to be acted upon now, and which can be filtered out to be acted upon later or cast aside.

With these tips, you’ll be on the right track for riding these trends to success.

Tips for Young Aspiring Entrepreneurs

To say that the world of business has been seeing some changing of the guard of late is an understatement. The past couple of decades has seen a tech book, unlike anything else in modern history. One of the distinguishing features of the online revolution led by platforms and apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Uber, and Google is the fact that the CEOs and driving forces behind these giants are all young.

More than ever, our most brilliant aspiring entrepreneurs are some of our youngest businesspeople. Entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s are changing the game. If you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to follow in the footsteps of Mark Zuckerberg and the guys behind YouTube, you’ll want to follow these tips.

There’s No Such Thing as Too Young

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s never too early to get started. As stated, many of our leading entrepreneurs today are in their 20s and 30s. 

Play to Your Strengths

This is true for all entrepreneurs, and it’s especially true for young entrants. When you are young, it can be understandably hard to market yourself based on an extensive resumé. Instead, you’ll want to promote tangible in-demand skills. Being able to speak another language, having technical, computer, or app-creating skills, or other strengths which you can use to set yourself apart and build your career.

Seek Expert Help

Don’t be overly proud and assume you know and can do everything by yourself. Even the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world can’t do it alone. That’s why it is vital that you get expert help on board to shore up any weaknesses or blind spots you may have. 

Embody Values

If you have worked for a boss you didn’t care for before, you’ll want to avoid making their mistakes. Be sure to preach what you teach and follow through on acting upon and embodying the values you want to see present among the workforce in your company.

With these tips, you’ll be a few steps closer to being able to put your entrepreneurial plans into action.

Book Review: "His Bloody Project" by Greame Macrae Burnet

Book Review: "His Bloody Project" by Greame Macrae Burnet

Loosely based on real events, this novel about a gruesome triple murder and the subsequent trial of the perpetrator is set in the Scottish highlands in the mid-19th century. By Adam Quirk

Book Review - The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martínez

Book Review - The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martínez

A serial killer appears to be on the loose in the historic university city of Oxford, England, but who is he (or she) and what is his (or her) motive?  These are the central questions of The Oxford Murders, a murder mystery novel written by the Argentinean author, Guillermo Martínez, and translated into English by Sonia Soto. By Adam Quirk.

Reviewing Gil Reavill’s Masterpiece- Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up after CSI Goes Home

Gill Reavill’s keen eye for morbid and gruesome details, his grip on forensics, his true empathy, and his gripping style of story-telling will not let you close this book before you’re done with it. By Adam Quirk

5 Books Every Criminal Justice Student Should Read

Criminal Justice Books to read
Criminal Justice Books to read

As universities and high schools have gone back into session these past few weeks, students pursuing a criminal justice degree or those interested in doing so after high school should always stay up to date on the latest research, theories and popular themes found within CJ literature. In fact, reading outside of your required courses is only going to help you and will give you the freedom of reading books that you want, not just books that you are required to read. Plus, it gives you something extra to add to classroom discussions and something extra in the discussions can go a long way when it comes to grading for many professors.

So, if you are not too busy with classwork, as we all once were, here is a list of 5 Criminal Justice related books to consider adding on to your growing reading list:

1. Cops Don’t Cry (Vali Stone, 1999)

For many students studying criminal justice, their plans may include a career within a local, state or federal law enforcement body. Without a doubt, this path is highly rewarding on a personal level. As a law enforcement professional, the ability to help others and to keep the community safe are motivations and the primary reason why many of you will go down this path. But it should be noted that it is not an easy path, for you or for your loved ones. Vali Stone’s Cops Don’t Cry, a must read for those looking to go into law enforcement, was written with the idea of helping police officers and their families cope with the realities of such a career. Mrs. Stone herself was the wife of a police officer. The challenges that police officers and other law enforcement agents come across are misunderstood by those closest to them, and often times it isn’t for a lack of trying to understand.

2. You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader (Mark Sanborn, 2006)

Although not exactly aimed at criminal justice students, Mark Sanborn’s You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader, can still be applicable. Whether it's currently while as an undergrad or graduate student, or even within a forthcoming career, anyone can strive to be a leader. Using relevant examples of individuals who have stood out for their leadership, Sanborn details how an actual title doesn’t make one a leader. Instead, the ability to properly lead is demonstrated by actions and how those actions influence those around us. In the criminal justice field, leadership is always needed and particularly in situations where the safety of others is dependent on how well we can execute our duties.

3. Inside the Criminal Mind(Dr. Stanton Samenow, 1984, 2004)

Inside the Criminal Mind is a fascinating book and one that many students may be familiar with as it is often used by criminology professors. Dr. Stanton Samenow presents a rather controversial view on crime, one that rejects the long standing theory on certain environmental factors being the motive for criminal behavior,  but nonetheless he backs his position with over 30 years of research. Dr. Stanton Samenow has argued that criminality is not due to those outside factors but that future criminals all possess a certain mind-set that is evident even in childhood. His work has lead to many states adopting new ways of treating criminals, revamping their rehabilitation programs to accommodate for Dr. Samenow’s methods.

4. Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation (Charles E. O’Hara, 2003)

If you already work in law enforcement, I wouldn’t be surprised if you know about this book or if you have a copy already. And if you are just a student, on the odd chance that none of your professors will require this reading, then you should get your hands on a copy of O’Hara’s Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation. In fact, many seasoned veterans within the field have credited this book with giving them the necessary skills to continue propelling their careers forward.

5. The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (Philip Zimbardo, 2007)

The name Philip Zimbardo should sound familiar. Professor Zimbardo of Stanford University is the creator of the Stanford prison experiment, which showed a relationship between an individual’s behavior and the situation he or she may find themselves in. In the well known experiment, the subjects who played the role of guards were given authority over those playing the role of prisoners and the researchers observed, much to their shock, how far the “guards” went in using the authority they now found themselves in possession of.

The Lucifer Effect is Zimbardo’s response to those findings, which seem to challenge the book listed above by Professor O’Hara. Zimbardo rejects the idea that people can be classified as either good or bad, because we can act in either form depending on the situation. Zimbardo goes on to explain that although personal characteristics can influence criminal behavior, “Good” people can still be influenced into such heinous behavior by outside forces.

Adam Quirk

Adam Quirk

Adam Quirk, MCJ & MBA, has nearly two decades professional experience in the criminal justice field, as well as advanced degrees in Criminology (MCJ) and Business Administration (MBA).