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Smbizforward mag august

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Tips and techniques for the small biz.

Tips and techniques for the small biz.

Published in: Business, News & Politics

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  • 1. Small Biz Forward Small Biz ForwardSmall Biz ForwardSmall Biz ForwardSmall Biz Forward Exploring the Entrepreneurial World of TodayExploring the Entrepreneurial World of TodayExploring the Entrepreneurial World of TodayExploring the Entrepreneurial World of Today DONDONDONDON’’’’T WAITT WAITT WAITT WAIT ‘‘‘‘TILTILTILTIL PIGS FLY TOPIGS FLY TOPIGS FLY TOPIGS FLY TO GROW YOURGROW YOURGROW YOURGROW YOUR BUSINESS!BUSINESS!BUSINESS!BUSINESS! THE PLACE WHERE BUSITHE PLACE WHERE BUSITHE PLACE WHERE BUSITHE PLACE WHERE BUSINESSES COME TONESSES COME TONESSES COME TONESSES COME TO CONNECT, COLLABORATECONNECT, COLLABORATECONNECT, COLLABORATECONNECT, COLLABORATE AND SUCCEEDAND SUCCEEDAND SUCCEEDAND SUCCEED Vol. 20. N0. 7 August Issue
  • 2. 2 Small Biz Forward From the Home OfficeFrom the Home OfficeFrom the Home OfficeFrom the Home Office ———————————————————————————— Summer is moving quickly ahead, with only a month left until Labor Day when the business world’s traditional Fall starts anew. Have you been taking time out to relax and renew this summer? Good. But I hope you’ve also been thinking about what you want to see happen with your business come this fall. Do you have goals? What about your vision? Are you ready to make those sales and get shifted into high gear? You need to be thinking about those things now, as they are right around the corner, and if you want this to be the best year ever so far, those are things you need to think about! Good luck. Nancy Becher, Chief Everything Officer Business Success UnlimitedBusiness Success UnlimitedBusiness Success UnlimitedBusiness Success Unlimited and Celebrate Business Publishing.Celebrate Business Publishing.Celebrate Business Publishing.Celebrate Business Publishing. August 2013 Celebrating the success of entrepreneurs everywhere. Editor: Nancy Becher Advertising and feature inquiries send to:Advertising and feature inquiries send to:Advertising and feature inquiries send to:Advertising and feature inquiries send to: publish@celebratebusinesspublishing.com Subscriptions can be directed to:Subscriptions can be directed to:Subscriptions can be directed to:Subscriptions can be directed to: info@celebratebusinesspublishing.com 701 N. Prairie Street Sturgis, MI 49091 269-651-3555 http://celebratebusinesspublishing.com info@celebratebusinesspublishing.com Small Biz Forward is published by Celebrate Business Publishing Small Biz Forward receives unsolicited materials (including leƩers to the editor, press releases, promoƟonal items and images) from Ɵme to Ɵme. Small Biz Forward magazine, its affiliates and assignees may use, reproduce, publish, republish, distribute, store and archive such submissions in whole or in part in any form or medium whatsoever, without compensaƟon of any sort. This statement does not apply to materials/pitches submiƩed by free- lancers in accordance with known industry pracƟces. Statements and opinions expressed in feature arƟcles are those of the corresponding business owner. While every care has been taken in the compilaƟon of this informaƟon and every aƩempt made to present up-to-date and accurate informaƟon, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Celebrate Business Publishing will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any informaƟon within these pages or any informaƟon accessed through their web site. Printing by Sturgis PostNet, Sturgis, MI, 269-651-2670 Bill Martindale TABLE OF CONTENTSTABLE OF CONTENTSTABLE OF CONTENTSTABLE OF CONTENTS Networking Etiquette 5 Being Connective — Here It Comes 7 Are You An Entrepreneur? 9 Keep Your Business Safe 12 Do You Have a Passion For Your Business? 16 Are You LinkedIn? 18 Awareness is the Key 20 Customer Retention 23 3 Reasons Your Biz Website is Failing 26 Business—Ain’t Nobody Perfect 28 Think Global...Go Mobile 30 Need Help? Ask 3 Membership Directory 35
  • 3. 3 Small Biz Forward CONTRIBUTORSCONTRIBUTORSCONTRIBUTORSCONTRIBUTORS Jason Barr, founder of ValenƟne Web Services. We don't just build websites; we deliver fully-opƟmized campaigns centered around your important business objecƟves to put the Web to work for you! Located in South Bend, IN. He’s there for all your website needs. Ed Becher, (Ret.) US Marine and Former Chief Instructor, US Dept. of State, Uniformed Branch, DiplomaƟc Security Service. Owner, The Bodyguard Academy, Sturgis, Michigan. Nancy Becher, Passionate about supporƟng “mom and pop” businesses, Nancy is the Chief Everything Officer of Business Success Unlimited, an educaƟonal training program and success mentor for entrepreneurs and small business owners. She is the author of many short arƟcles and published pieces in various magazines and online. An entrepreneur since age 12, she is known for her knowledge of running small businesses and caring about the people she works with. Liz LaClair is the owner of Virtually Helps, a virtual assistant company. She is PASSIONATE about helping her clients with any and all of their office administraƟve work and is a specialist in her knowledge of MicrosoŌ Office products. Kenneth Nichols is a lifelong entrepreneur and the owner of Urban Appeal Mobile MarkeƟng. Kenneth started his first business at the age of 12, cuƫng grass around the small West Michigan town of Baldwin, Michigan. AŌer graduaƟng from Baldwin High School, Kenneth aƩended Western Michigan University where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies and a Masters in Public AdministraƟon. Kenneth has 10 years of markeƟng experience in the non-profit sector along with a wealth of experience in customer service, direct and business to business sales.
  • 4. 4 Small Biz Forward CONTRIBUTORSCONTRIBUTORSCONTRIBUTORSCONTRIBUTORS Barbara Nicastro is a problem solver, strategist and business execuƟve highly experienced in analysis of complex document or factual situaƟons. Uses a pragmaƟc business approach to prevent or resolve issues. Extensive leadership, public speaking, negoƟaƟon, media and moƟvaƟonal training experience. You can reach Barb at www.linkedin.com/in/bnicastro Jerry Sarno is a Strategic Partner with Schooley Mitchell Telecom consultants, North America’s largest independent telecom consulƟng company. Jerry. Sarno@schooleymitchell.com 269-408-8679 Sherry Lynn works with Small and Home-Based Entrepreneurs to build a thriving business through the right markeƟng methods as well as website design, blog training & design and social media training and management. She runs two networking groups (Women of Today and Business Builders InternaƟonal) and provides free training to members each month on a different aspect of markeƟng their business. Gail Turluck is the President of ConnecƟve MarkeƟng of Richland, Michigan. ConnecƟve MarkeƟng offers communicaƟons services including wriƟng, e- newsleƩers, newsleƩers, web site content, ediƟng, proofreading, and more. She can be reached at gail@connecƟvemarkeƟngllc.com. Greg Olsen is a business coach and markeƟng consultant that founded Delightability, LLC. where they believe if you delight customers – success will follow. He helps nonprofit and for-profit leaders to deliver more remarkable experience, tell beƩer stories, and build community. Reach him at gregolson@delightability.com or 206.356.8811 or on social media at:hƩp:// www.twiƩer.com/fordoers, hƩp://www.linkedin.com/in/olsong; hƩp:// www.facebook.com/thebigideatoolkit, and hƩp://www.facebook.com/ delightability
  • 5. 5 Small Biz Forward Networking Etiquette You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. - Dale Carnegie Nancy Becher, Chief Everything Officer, Business Success Unlimited “Don’t wait ‘til pigs fly to grow your business. Hi, I’m Nancy Becher and I help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses as a business owner, so that you can move successfully ahead with your company, getting you safely to the next level.” That’s my new elevator speech; something I say when I’m asked what I do. The elevator speech in and of itself is something that needs attention. However, this article is about networking in general. Networking often occurs at events where a group of people walk around a room, shake hands, share business cards, and generally feel nervous or even scared because they’re meeting people they don’t know, and have no idea what they do. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years and you’d think I’d have it down, wouldn’t you. But I’ll let you in on a little secret – I don’t. I still would rather stand in the corner, drinking my glass of ice tea and watching everyone else laughing and mingling. I
  • 6. 6 Small Biz Forward don’t meet strangers well. However, if I want to start making relationships with others who I might be able to help, or who might help me, I’ve got to get out there and mingle too. There’s a couple of things I need to remember when I’m doing this (and I suggest that this is something you need to think about as well). Networking is really NOT about selling. It’s not all about WhatWhatWhatWhat’’’’s In It For Mes In It For Mes In It For Mes In It For Me. It’s more about building relationships with others in a way that is beneficial for everyone involved. The old saying we all know so well…”People buy from those they know, like and trust” is really true. For example, I’m going through this right now. My parents are elderly and may need some help in the future. Things like cooking, cleaning, doctor visits and more if I’m not around to do these things. I have been talking with a variety of people recently who run senior care companies, trying to find someone that I trust with my parents. They have to be kind, knowledgeable, efficient, cost effective and SAFE. I’m not going to know this by looking at an ad, or checking on Angie’s List. I need to “KNOW” them and “LIKE” them, before I can TRUST them with my parents. The only way that is going to happen is if I sit down and talk with them. Listen to what they have to say — perhaps visit their facilities. In other words, start a relationship with them. They’re not going to get me to be their client just like that. It will take time. They need to understand that and be patient. I know we all are looking for income and business, but for most people any exchange of money takes time, certainly none more so than in a serious transaction. All too often I have seen people at networking events that pass from person to person, stuffing a business card in the other’s face as they walk on to the next. They are only interested in getting as many business cards out there as possible, hoping that this shotgun approach will work for them. After all, someone’s got to need them, right? The next time you see someone doing this at an event, watch what happens to the business card after the person leaves. I’ll bet it goes in the trash. Not a good impression to make or money spent is it? Instead, I suggest you go up to someone you don’t know, say Hi! I’m XXX. What do you do? And let that person tell you about him or herself. Ask questions, and show you’re interested. Look them in the eyes – not around the room for the next “victim”. Be genuinely a part of the conversation. Think about who you might know that could use their service or product. Perhaps share an idea with them. And then, when it’s your turn, let them offer ideas to you. Don’t be in a hurry to move on. I sometimes take 10 minutes or so with an individual. At the end of our conversation, I will often tell them that I’m going to think about who they need as clients, go through my Rolodex and see if I can’t provide them with a name or two. And then, of course, I do what I said I would. I will look through my contacts, see if there’s anyone I think might be a good fit. I then call or email that person asking them if it’s okay to put them together with the new contact. If they say yes, I then facilitate a “meeting” between the two so that another NEW relationship can get started. It’s really exciting when I see this process working and people starting to connect, Collaborate and SUCCEED. What do you think?
  • 7. 7 Small Biz Forward by Gail M. Turluck, Connective Marketingby Gail M. Turluck, Connective Marketingby Gail M. Turluck, Connective Marketingby Gail M. Turluck, Connective Marketing While summer is barely over a month old, the calendar is about to flip to August which should trigger the entrepreneur to dust off that business plan and marketing plan and see where things stand. Before we know it, year-end will rear its ugly head and it's critical to make sure your work is in alignment with the goals and tasks you made high priority for 2013. Take an hour this week to update your personal calendar for all the absolutely must-attend events to ensure you miss none. Make sure you block out time—at least 15 minutes a day—to make out your daily plan and following that plan to keep on track for your current needs. Some prefer to do this first thing in the morning, others at the end of the work day; either is fine but be consistent! While Michigan schools don't start up until after Labor Day, in some states school starts in a week or two. The school calendar changes everything for families and businesses alike. Make sure you are prepared for a little less flexibility in business meeting scheduling as customers and associates adjust to the new schedule. Maybe make the "First Day of School" a special day with a celebratory lunch or office decorations. Connect your business to the education process in this way and those you work with and for will remember you for the support. Review your plans for the coming holiday season. Make sure you have an event planned to bring a personal touch to your clients, prospects and associates to build a powerful bond. The event can be something as simple as a thank you breakfast buffet at your office or a cocktail party at your home. It needs to reflect you: who you are and what makes you tick outside of work, too. Keep it simple; a couple hours long, and make sure you
  • 8. 8 Small Biz Forward shake the hand of every guest. This personal touch and thank you will cement your relationship for the long term. Consider having it in mid-November before the real craziness sets in. Year-end should be embraced as a period during which we may make great achievement and lock in the year's success. With consistent planning and re- checking, you'll find when the Ball Drops that 2013 was a great year. Gail M. Turluck is the President of ConnecƟve MarkeƟng of Richland, Michigan. ConnecƟve MarkeƟng offers communicaƟons services including wriƟng, e- newsleƩers, newsleƩers, web site content, ediƟng, proofreading, and more. She can be reached at gail@connecƟvemarkeƟngllc.com. ItItItIt’’’’s working for me, Its working for me, Its working for me, Its working for me, It’’’’ll work for you tooll work for you tooll work for you tooll work for you too! www.plexusslim.com/kimgreenindywww.plexusslim.com/kimgreenindywww.plexusslim.com/kimgreenindywww.plexusslim.com/kimgreenindy
  • 9. 9 Small Biz Forward Greg Olson, Delightability, LLC Reprinted with permission from Greg Olson at Delightability, LLC. Visit www.delightability.com/blog for the original post. Are you an Entrepreneur or one of the otherAre you an Entrepreneur or one of the otherAre you an Entrepreneur or one of the otherAre you an Entrepreneur or one of the other 12 types of12 types of12 types of12 types of ----preneurs?preneurs?preneurs?preneurs? Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone but, are you aware of the other types of ‘preneurs? Perhaps you fall into one of the other types, or you will at some point in your life. EntrepreneurEntrepreneurEntrepreneurEntrepreneur ---- this is the traditional risk taker that sees the path they are forging as less risky than working for somebody else doing something that isn’t interesting, isn’t rewarding, or may conflict with their values. They often see what’s next and can’t imagine not pursuing it. SolopreneurSolopreneurSolopreneurSolopreneur ---- an entrepreneur acting in isolation without the support of others in the same organization. MultipreneurMultipreneurMultipreneurMultipreneur ---- an entrepreneur that is pursuing multiple interests simultaneously either because they have to, in order to make ends meet, or because it is part of a portfolio strategy to see which plays out the best. Or, they may simply have the capacity to do more than one venture. IntrapreneurIntrapreneurIntrapreneurIntrapreneur ---- an employee acting as an internal entrepreneur inside the organization that has many of the risk elements of a classic entrepreneur but, is insulated from the brutal reality of having to manufacturer their own paycheck. WannapreneurWannapreneurWannapreneurWannapreneur ---- this person wants to start something but doesn’t know what. They are more constructive that the complainapreneur below but may lack ideas or a clear path forward. IdeapreneurIdeapreneurIdeapreneurIdeapreneur ---- this is the person who is stricken with ideas, suddenly and often but they don’t take action. They don’t have to jump on “this” idea because another possible better idea is right around the corner.
  • 10. 10 Small Biz Forward OlderpreneurOlderpreneurOlderpreneurOlderpreneur ---- this is an older experienced person—the age can vary of course—but this person has decided to take their wealth of experience, network, skills, and package it up into a credible “what’s next” story told with the authority and credibility that may be lacking in a younger entrepreneur. Often they are motivated by pursuing an interest, addressing a nagging problem, leaving a legacy, or designing a venture around a lifestyle. ComplainapreneurComplainapreneurComplainapreneurComplainapreneur ---- individuals that are stuck in the grind and don’t have the courage or clarity to escape. Instead they bemoan their situation, wishing things would change, and eventually they usually do. DreamapreneurDreamapreneurDreamapreneurDreamapreneur ---- those individuals that dream of pursuing a new passion but really never will commit to action. It is simply more fun and much more safe to fantasize about it while enjoying the security of a paycheck, limited working hours, and the familiar. AdventurepreneurAdventurepreneurAdventurepreneurAdventurepreneur ---- this person works only to play; these folks might literally have a sign on their door or online profile, “Gone Fishing” or “Kayaking” or “Climbing.” LoyalpreneurLoyalpreneurLoyalpreneurLoyalpreneur ---- these are those dedicated employees dutifully carrying out the orders of those they work for in exchange for a paycheck. PhilanthropreneurPhilanthropreneurPhilanthropreneurPhilanthropreneur ---- a generous, thoughtful person that supports other people’s projects, initiatives, and ventures often times without concern for any payback. LuckypreneurLuckypreneurLuckypreneurLuckypreneur ---- somebody who has a job that allows them to make a big impact, make a good living, and also make a difference in the world. Have another type of ’preneur to add to the list? Contact me or comment below. Whether you are on your own or in the walls of a larger organization surrounded by colleagues, you’ll need to be mindful of the customer and continuously improve your organization. A sure path to do this is to read and follow the recipes in my book: TheTheTheThe Experience Design BLUEPRINT: Recipes forExperience Design BLUEPRINT: Recipes forExperience Design BLUEPRINT: Recipes forExperience Design BLUEPRINT: Recipes for Happier Customers and Healthier Organizations.Happier Customers and Healthier Organizations.Happier Customers and Healthier Organizations.Happier Customers and Healthier Organizations. Sign up to be notified of its release. - See more at: http:// www.delightability.com/2013/06/26/are-you-an- entrepreneur-or-one-of-the-other-12-types-of- preneurs/#sthash.Swm9pseB.dpuf YBNF Tip: Ask a Question Best way to increase the number of people who are seeing your page in their newsfeed is to get oth- ers to comment on your posts. Why not write your post in the form of a question - a question with an easy answer to get people started. Even "Yes" or "No" questions often get comments. Also, re- member the value of inviting people to visit your page in your post. For example: Do you have a Facebook Business page? Yes or No? Please comment and let all our YBNF frineds know about your page. Also, please feel free to visit our page, click on the NOTES tab to find more tips to help you with your Facebook Business page at: www.facebook.com/YourBusinessNeedsFans
  • 11. 11 Small Biz Forward Looking for a place to hold a meeting? Check us out at 701 Prairie Street, Sturgis, MI • Office space at $10 a day or $150/month full time • FREE Internet • FREE Coffee • Collaboration • Private Conference Room • Copier, Fax and office supplies hƩp://success4biz.biz * hƩp://facebook.com/bsuconnector
  • 12. 12 Small Biz Forward Keep Your Business Safe Last month we discussed the disgruntled customer, how about that employee who you are having issues with. You feel it is time to terminate them but how do you so without an incident? This person has made comments to others that if they get fired they will hurt someone or other types of threats. Other members of your staff are concerned and have come to you asking how you are going to handle this. Remember now, “You are the boss.” Over the years of working in security, I have been involved in numerous employee terminations, everything from just sitting in the hallway during the termination to walking the employee and their property out the door. I was also involved in a long term security assignment because the terminated employee made threats against management and had come back to the former place of work a few times after his termination. Management was so concerned about this former employee that not only did the facility get 24 hour security, so did some of the senior management. Is this a normal occurrence? No, it’s not—it is a rare occurrence that we have these issues arise. For many of us, who own a business we may never have Security and the Entrepreneur — Ed Becher PPS, The Bodyguard Academy
  • 13. 13 Small Biz Forward this occur because we are the ONLY employee and I doubt many of us will fire ourselves, even though we may have considered it. Employees become disgruntled for many reasons, low wages, long hours, not happy in what they are doing. Some will just resign from employment while others will complain and gripe every day and bring down the morale of others, you included. We then make the decision that something has to be done and that decision is to terminate the employee. From a security side, things you need to consider during termination are: will this employee become hostile during the termination meeting process or after? If you feel that he/she may become hostile, DO NOT do the termination alone, but have others present. Sit the employee down and handle the termination process. Ensure that all company property: keys, ID cards, etc; are returned, turn off any inter/intranet access the employee may have had as well. Have someone that the employee feels comfortable with walk them back to their work site or office and give them time to remove personal items. With the terminated employee present, look around the office and see if anything has been missed. Ask them if they have any other company property at home they wish to bring back at a later date. If there is fear that the employee may become hostile, site security or a contracted Personal Protection Specialist may be required to be present during the termination process. They can remain outside the office as a precaution for safety reasons and can act as the escort during the process. If a contracted Personal Protection Specialist is used, they will not be dressed in a uniform and their identity as security does not need to be revealed unless necessary. They are just a representative of management. With the ones you have a fear of becoming hostile and either security or a Personal Protection Specialist is used, it is highly recommended that they remain on site throughout the day in case the terminated employee comes back. In the cases where violence has occurred after termination, the former employee left the work site and came back the same day at a later time. If the former employee has made threats during the termination process it is highly recommended that these threats be documented and considered real unless they can be, without a doubt, considered no threat at all. It is always best to rule on the side of safety. Ed Becher PPS is the Owner and Director of Training for The BodyGuard Academy located in Sturgis, MI. He can be contacted at ed@thebodyguardacademy.com or by calling his office at 269-651-3355 to discuss your security concerns. Even if you fall on your face,Even if you fall on your face,Even if you fall on your face,Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forwardyou’re still moving forwardyou’re still moving forwardyou’re still moving forward ———— Victor KiamVictor KiamVictor KiamVictor Kiam
  • 14. 14 Small Biz Forward The BodyGuard Academy Sturgis, MI Upcoming Training Events: ExecuƟve ProtecƟon Basic and Personal ProtecƟon Specialist August 9 @8am Women's Personal Safety Seminar August 21 @7pm Bail FugiƟve Recovery Agent September 14 @8am Bail Industry Training Summit September 17 @9am The BodyGuard Academy is a provider of training programs to the security and bail industry. We also provide training programs for Human Resource professionals on ‘Handling Stalkers and Harassers’; Active Shooter Response in the Office”, and Women’s Personal Safety Programs. If interested in more informaƟon on how we at The BodyGuard Academy can help you, feel free to contact us at: Office: 269-651-3355 Email: ed@thebodyguardacademy.com
  • 15. 15 Small Biz Forward What Can You Do at BSU?What Can You Do at BSU?What Can You Do at BSU?What Can You Do at BSU? BANG (Business Abundance Networking Group)BANG (Business Abundance Networking Group)BANG (Business Abundance Networking Group)BANG (Business Abundance Networking Group) –––– meets 8:00meets 8:00meets 8:00meets 8:00 –––– 9:30am every Tuesday9:30am every Tuesday9:30am every Tuesday9:30am every Tuesday This group is the core of SSBI – new members start here with weekly meetings in which they get to know other members of the group, both personally and professionally. Each week, the focus is on exploring a different member’s business. Through support and interaction, members gain increased confidence while building relationships with other business owners. You’re not alone, come share your story with us! Entrepreneurial ForumEntrepreneurial ForumEntrepreneurial ForumEntrepreneurial Forum –––– meets 4:00 to 6:00pm the secondmeets 4:00 to 6:00pm the secondmeets 4:00 to 6:00pm the secondmeets 4:00 to 6:00pm the second Tuesday of every monthTuesday of every monthTuesday of every monthTuesday of every month This once a month meeting will give you the opportunity to hear what the experts say and interact with other business owners in a relaxed learning environment. Members will gain valuable insight on what it means to be “in business”. This group focuses on the one thing that is common to all of our businesses….sales. Once a month we discuss the issues that help us all find more clients. Topics such as “Networking 101, getting to know each other”, “Now that you’ve got all those business cards, what do you do with them?”, and “Social media dos and don’ts” are examples of recent discussions. Your business education starts here, at the next Entrepreneurial Forum! TIGER GroupTIGER GroupTIGER GroupTIGER Group –––– tbdtbdtbdtbd World War II saw the creation of small groups whose function was to bring people together for small challeng- es and then disband once the “project” was complete. Tiger Groups have a similar mission: Members work together building key pieces of their business with the help and support of others in the group. An example is our latest 6-week series on marketing plans. From establishing a target market, to identifying strengths, weak- nesses, opportunities and threats (S.W.O.T. analysis), this group will help you apply the fundamentals of busi- ness to your particular situation. It’s hands-on, and it’s real world… Peer Advisory GroupPeer Advisory GroupPeer Advisory GroupPeer Advisory Group –––– Next meeting starts September 9Next meeting starts September 9Next meeting starts September 9Next meeting starts September 9thththth , 8:00 to 10:00am, Niles Four Flags Area Chamber, 8:00 to 10:00am, Niles Four Flags Area Chamber, 8:00 to 10:00am, Niles Four Flags Area Chamber, 8:00 to 10:00am, Niles Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce, Niles, MIof Commerce, Niles, MIof Commerce, Niles, MIof Commerce, Niles, MI The idea is that when you have several people focused on one thought, question or idea, you find solutions as a group that you would not have found alone. BSU believes the same…it’s the power of brainstorming, ac- countability, support and education all rolled into one…it’s your very own personal Board of Advisors! Apply now - groups are hand-picked based on length of time in business, type of business and your individual person- ality style. You will thank us later…. Lunchtime LearnersLunchtime LearnersLunchtime LearnersLunchtime Learners———— Conducted online, this group meets the 3rd Thursday of the month from 12:00 toConducted online, this group meets the 3rd Thursday of the month from 12:00 toConducted online, this group meets the 3rd Thursday of the month from 12:00 toConducted online, this group meets the 3rd Thursday of the month from 12:00 to 1:00pm.1:00pm.1:00pm.1:00pm. Read any interesting business books lately? This group chooses a book each month to discuss and learn from. TGIFTGIFTGIFTGIF –––– meets 5:00meets 5:00meets 5:00meets 5:00 –––– 7:00pm the last Friday of the month7:00pm the last Friday of the month7:00pm the last Friday of the month7:00pm the last Friday of the month This monthly open networking is for fun and relaxation as well as a quick and easy way to get to meet other business owners in the community. Come and hang out with us!
  • 16. 16 Small Biz Forward Lately I've been thinking about the differences in small businesses around the country and the state and how there are different personalities for different businesses and business owners. It seems that there are a couple of different types of business -- those that are content to have a product or a service and "sell" that commodity, and those that are passionate about what they do and how to make that business grow. For this second group it's all about putting the time and energy into making this a BUSINESS, not just a way to make money. I was doing some surfing and came across this website: http://www.passioninbusiness.co.uk. The front page says exactly what I'm trying to state here -- "Passion in business is about you jumping out of bed in the morning enthusiastic about the day ahead. It’s about your team coming to work every day with ideas about how to make a difference. It’s also about your customers having a smile on their face when they think about your business and coming back for more." Nancy Becher, Chief Everything Officer, Business Success UnlimitedNancy Becher, Chief Everything Officer, Business Success UnlimitedNancy Becher, Chief Everything Officer, Business Success UnlimitedNancy Becher, Chief Everything Officer, Business Success Unlimited Do You Have a Passion for Your Success? "Chase your passion, not your pension." ———— Denis Waitley
  • 17. 17 Small Biz Forward Now granted, it's summer and time to take things a bit more slowly, but all too often I see business people saying, “Oh yeah, I'll get around to that.” Or, “I know you have a good meeting planned, but I've got friends coming over. I want to hang out with them.” Sure, you need to take time for yourself; that's really important. But if you are passionate about your business, you find time to do things that will help your business grow. Time for friends later per- haps. Now's the time for business growth—that is, if you really want your business to grow past the I just want to make some money stage. Think about it, and ask yourself (I've got news for you -- the IRS asks this question, too): am I truly in this to be a business, or is this a hobby (a part- time income)? It’s not only about the ability to run a business, though. Something I’ve seen a lot of lately is a belief that when you go into business for yourself, you be- come the “boss”. You set the hours—there’ll be lots of free time, you only answer to yourself—no more bosses yelling at you to get things done, or watching over your shoulder to see that you do it right. You can set your own pay check, giving yourself a raise. But, I’m sorry to say, that’s just not the case. Many entrepreneurs have never worked so hard in their lives. They are up at the crack of dawn and fall in bed in the deep, dark hours of the night. Unlike an employee where you work a certain number of hours and at the end of a set time period get a paycheck, small business people work and work and work and pray and hope to get a financial reward SOMETIME in the FUTURE. A person who starts his or her own business needs to be aware that they are going to work very, very hard without seeing any sort of in- come for quite awhile. If you “get” that, and are willing to work hard to move towards the SUCCESS level, then I say — GO FOR IT. Show your passion and you will find success.
  • 18. 18 Small Biz Forward An increasing amount of our business is done online, so it only makes sense that professionals are flocking to social networks to connect over the Internet. Though there are a handful of prominent platforms out there, LinkedIn is by far the largest and most popular business resource. It has established itself as the premier networking site for business people. So is establishing a profile on LinkedIn worthwhile? Absolutely. With over 225 million users encompassing virtually all industries, there is an endless list of people to connect with which can open doors to new opportunities and help build your brand. Let’s look at a few ways we can harness the power of LinkedIn for our benefit. Optimize Your ProfileOptimize Your ProfileOptimize Your ProfileOptimize Your Profile Your LinkedIn profile is so much more than an online resume, though we should approach it with the same care and diligence. Complete all sections of Are YOU LinkedIn?Are YOU LinkedIn?Are YOU LinkedIn?Are YOU LinkedIn? by Jerry Sarno, Schooley Mitchellby Jerry Sarno, Schooley Mitchellby Jerry Sarno, Schooley Mitchellby Jerry Sarno, Schooley Mitchell
  • 19. 19 Small Biz Forward your profile, making sure to include a well-crafted profile headline and summary. It is more advantageous to describe what you do or what product or service you deliver as your headline than it is to simply put your title. There are lots of Presidents and lots of CEOs but very few purple widget suppliers to NW U.S. hospitals. Expand Your NetworkExpand Your NetworkExpand Your NetworkExpand Your Network LinkedIn allows you to make connections, much like you would add friends on Facebook. It is a great way to keep in touch with others including potential clients. Update your status frequently with business tips, or share content from legitimate news sources that offers value to your connections. Doing this is a great way to keep yourself, and your products or services, front of mind. Just make sure it’s valuable content to your audience and not just nonsense. Get Active in GroupsGet Active in GroupsGet Active in GroupsGet Active in Groups A great LinkedIn feature is its groups. No matter what type of group you join, it is essential to get in on the conversation. Ask plenty of questions, share articles and other information sources, and be sure to participate in discussions. Your participation in groups can forge new relationships with other individuals and companies, especially if you contribute valuable information and answers to questions. Establish a Company PageEstablish a Company PageEstablish a Company PageEstablish a Company Page If your company itself does not have a presence yet on LinkedIn, consider establishing one. A company page is a great place to share information about products and services, and can be used to recruit new talent. Search engines give authority to large, prominent websites and search results for your company will include postings and pages from LinkedIn. There are many active users already benefitting from their participation on LinkedIn, but too often those who don’t realize its potential write it off as nothing more than a place to shop around a resume. It is a site that allows you to keep in touch with connections, grow your network and help build your business. It is a powerful, free tool that we can all use to our professional advantage by investing just a few minutes of our time each day. Schooley Mitchell Telecom Consultants To save companies and organizaƟons Ɵme, money, and gain peace of mind that their telecom expense is always opƟmized for performance and price. Jerry Sarno, Business OpƟmizaƟon Specialist 269-408-8679 (o) 269-235-2497 (m) jerry.sarno@schooleymitchell.com
  • 20. 20 Small Biz Forward Awareness is Often the Key Ed Becher PPS, The Bodyguard Academy One of the programs The BodyGuard Academy offers is a two hour Women’s Personal Safety Seminar. During this seminar one of the key points we make is staying aware of your surroundings both day and night. How many of us have had to make that midnight store run for something either we or someone else just had to have right now? Many of us have, haven’t we? And when we do, where is our focus? It’s on getting that item, not who is watching us, following us or even where we park in the store lot. As we all are aware, most violent criminal acts take place at night. This period of darkness offers the criminal element great opportunities for hiding and surprise. The other advantage we grant them is that our level of awareness is also decreased. Our thoughts are on getting into the store, picking up those few items we have to get and getting home to watch the rest of that movie we were watching. Some of the key elements we need to remember when we do have to make these late night store runs, or we are out to the movies, dinner or any other activity that will put us out in public at night is to not drop our situational awareness. When we drop our awareness level it is like putting a neon sign on our back telling the criminals to pick me, pick me—something we do not want to happen.
  • 21. 21 Small Biz Forward Here are some ways to stay safe (other than not doing that midnight store run): • Carry a small flashlight • Park in well lit spots, as close to the store as possible • Be observant to who else is in the parking lot • Do not leave the store with both hands full of groceries or packages. Use a cart if you have more than one bag • Have your cell phone charged • Ensure others know of your plans and what store (s) you are going to • If you see something suspicious, report it There have been stories of criminals purposely breaking out lights in parking lots so as to give themselves an advantage. Along with that have been the reports of women, and men, walking up to their cars with both arms full of packages and being confronted by criminals. Not only do they steal your car and wallet, they take your packages and leave you injured on the ground. One of the things to remember is do not resist, the items you have are not worth you getting injured or killed over, they are replaceable. Stay aware and stay safe!
  • 22. 22 Small Biz Forward Need a Business Mentor to help you grow your business? Call for info on FREE INTRODUCTORY BUSINESS MENTORING SESSION Call Karen 574.344.8895Call Karen 574.344.8895Call Karen 574.344.8895Call Karen 574.344.8895 (no obligaƟon - just a free one-hour session) January, April, August & NovemberJanuary, April, August & NovemberJanuary, April, August & NovemberJanuary, April, August & November BusinessBusinessBusinessBusiness----totototo----Business Get TogetherBusiness Get TogetherBusiness Get TogetherBusiness Get Together Trine UniversityTrine UniversityTrine UniversityTrine University 4101 Edison Lakes Parkway4101 Edison Lakes Parkway4101 Edison Lakes Parkway4101 Edison Lakes Parkway Mishawaka, INMishawaka, INMishawaka, INMishawaka, IN 1st & 3rd Monday each month1st & 3rd Monday each month1st & 3rd Monday each month1st & 3rd Monday each month Success Team Mastermind GroupSuccess Team Mastermind GroupSuccess Team Mastermind GroupSuccess Team Mastermind Group 8:308:308:308:30----9:45am OR 12:009:45am OR 12:009:45am OR 12:009:45am OR 12:00----1:15pm1:15pm1:15pm1:15pm Old NaƟonal Bank, Heritage Square, Granger, INOld NaƟonal Bank, Heritage Square, Granger, INOld NaƟonal Bank, Heritage Square, Granger, INOld NaƟonal Bank, Heritage Square, Granger, IN Call KarenCall KarenCall KarenCall Karen for more info 574.344.8895for more info 574.344.8895for more info 574.344.8895for more info 574.344.8895
  • 23. 23 Small Biz Forward Sherry Lynn Simoes — MarkeƟng AcƟon Coach Many marketing plans are so focused on customer acquisition that they largely ignore customer retention. Did you knowDid you knowDid you knowDid you know…?…?…?…? •It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. •You are 4 times more likely to close business with an existing customer than you are with a new prospect. •The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% (from Marketing Metrics). Research also shows that a 10% increase in customer retention results in a 30% increase in the value of the company (from Bain and Co.) SoSoSoSo…………how can you make sure your clients stay ahow can you make sure your clients stay ahow can you make sure your clients stay ahow can you make sure your clients stay a loyal client?loyal client?loyal client?loyal client? Follow Up!Follow Up!Follow Up!Follow Up! There are lots of ways you can follow up and the best ones will be dependent upon the type of product or service you offer. Pick Up the Phone If you are a service oriented business pick up the phone and call them to check up. Email Them You may wish to send an email follow-up instead of a phone call and that is ok but it is not as personal as a caring voice on the phone. Send a Card How do you feel when someone takes the time to send you a card? This should not be self-serving – just a note that says Thanks! Get them on Your List Right AwayGet them on Your List Right AwayGet them on Your List Right AwayGet them on Your List Right Away One of the most important things you can do that will allow you to communicate with your clients on a regular basis is to have an Opt-in Email list. Connect with them OnlineConnect with them OnlineConnect with them OnlineConnect with them Online Whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn or other online places, search them out and connect and then watch them online and interact with them! Communicate with Customized Content andCommunicate with Customized Content andCommunicate with Customized Content andCommunicate with Customized Content and Special OffersSpecial OffersSpecial OffersSpecial Offers Just for Current CustomersJust for Current CustomersJust for Current CustomersJust for Current Customers Most companies communicate with their list but fewer are actively making offers to their current customer base. Check in On ThemCheck in On ThemCheck in On ThemCheck in On Them The overwhelming majority of unhappy customers will never communicate their
  • 24. 24 Small Biz Forward dissatisfaction with you. Regularly checking in on customers will help you to see signs of an impending departure while there’s still time to fix problems. Ask them how you are doing! Thank Them!Thank Them!Thank Them!Thank Them! If someone referred you (even if you did not get business) Thank them! I try and remember to send a card to each one and I know it is appreciated! Create Loyalty Programs and/or and Customer Referral Programs Rewarding customers for referring you new business or for repeat buys is always a good idea. You can always just thank them but having a program in place encourages referrals. Bring Your Customers TogetherBring Your Customers TogetherBring Your Customers TogetherBring Your Customers Together Is it time for an Open House? Maybe a Festive Gathering at Christmas time? Show them you care by taking the time to appreciate and reward them! Campaign to your Lost CustomersCampaign to your Lost CustomersCampaign to your Lost CustomersCampaign to your Lost Customers You are twice as likely to close business with a lost customer as you are with a new prospect. Remember their Special DaysRemember their Special DaysRemember their Special DaysRemember their Special Days Sending a Birthday Card or wish is such a small but special gesture. You may want to think about collecting Birthdays when you have people sign up for you list. Facebook has a Birthday reminder and I personally send everyone of my connections a special wish on their Birthday. Again, show them you took the time to care! Be CreativeBe CreativeBe CreativeBe Creative What Other things can you do to increase customer retention? These tasks are time consuming, overwhelming and sometimes hard to put in front of paying work but I promise, it will pay off! Pick the ones that resonate with you and do them on a regular basis – not just when you can. Make them an important part of your marketing plan. If you are in the stage of growth in your business where you simply just cannot do it all hire an assistant or VA to do this for you. These tasks are crucial to your success! FREE Want a FREE ad in the magazine? Join Business Success Unlimited.
  • 25. 25 Small Biz Forward Do you need to work out a strategic plan? Launch a project? Create goals for the upcoming year? Would you like support in gaining clarity and focus for your business goals? Are you ready to stop playing small? Do you need space and time for quiet reflection to work on those goals? Are you interested in learning new ways to work, manifest and prosper? Want to showcase your products as a vendor? Then plan on attending the Michiana Dream the Work Retreat October 22, 2013 Michiana Christian Service Camp 8am—6pm Call for info on prices Topics include: Marketing on a Shoestring Budget Creating Your Business Vision Live Networking—Deconstructed Steps to a Perfect Elevator Speech And more
  • 26. 26 Small Biz Forward Three Reasons Your Business Website is Failing Jason Barr, Valentine Web Services It happens all the time: a business owner spends thousands of dollars to have a brand new website built. But then launch day comes and goes, and nothing happens. There’s no flood of visitors, no new sales--nothing! Everyone gets discouraged, afraid the whole thing was just a big waste of time and money—and it’s possible they’re right! If you don’t know what you’re doing with your website, there’s a good chance it’s going to be a flop. Here are three reasons why your website’s design might be hurting your business. ItItItIt’’’’s Not Clear What You Want Viewers to Dos Not Clear What You Want Viewers to Dos Not Clear What You Want Viewers to Dos Not Clear What You Want Viewers to Do Most business websites suffer from what I call clutter-itis; they have too much going on. There isn’t a single, clear action for viewers to take! Instead they have social media icons, email forms, product listings, pictures, and all kinds of links that are confusing and generate anxiety for their visitors. When you build a website for your business you have to make sure each page has one thingone thingone thingone thing your viewers are clearlyclearlyclearlyclearly meant to do. Too many options will kill your conversion rates. For e-commerce sites this can be tricky! You will have things like catalog pages that list multiple products. That’s ok! The clear action can simply be something to move further in the purchase process. But why not make it easy? You should definitely have “buy now” buttons on the product listings to reduce friction. And you reallyreallyreallyreally shouldn’t depend on random site visits to make sales; instead, use smart marketing to lead people straight to the products they’re most likely to buy. Your Content Is Too Hard to ReadYour Content Is Too Hard to ReadYour Content Is Too Hard to ReadYour Content Is Too Hard to Read Another problem many websites have is the design doesn’t draw viewers’ attention to the content and make it easy to read. Design clutter plays a part in that, but other problems include • breaking up left margins with images • having long blocks of text with no breaks, subheadings, formatting, or lists
  • 27. 27 Small Biz Forward • text that’s too-small with poor spacing and line- height All these problems increase user difficulty and decrease the chance they will become your next customer. Focus on readability, both in design and the text copy itself, to get more prospects and sales. You Fail at MobileYou Fail at MobileYou Fail at MobileYou Fail at Mobile The third major problem is becoming more and more important every year: their design doesn’t work on mobile! Mobile internet use has explodedexplodedexplodedexploded over the past few years thanks to the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets. Over halfhalfhalfhalf of all internet users under 40 use mobile as their primaryprimaryprimaryprimary means of web access, and most regular mobile users immediately close theimmediately close theimmediately close theimmediately close the pagepagepagepage if it’s not mobile-friendly. If you want your business to survive into the future, having a website that works on mobile is incredibly importantincredibly importantincredibly importantincredibly important. There are dozens of other website problems that could be hurting your business, but tackling these three will go a long way toward making it better. Jason Barr is a Digital Media Consultant for Valentine Web Services in South Bend, Indiana. Get more great tips for your business website at http://valentinewebs.com Create Custom designs forCreate Custom designs forCreate Custom designs forCreate Custom designs for most any occasion withmost any occasion withmost any occasion withmost any occasion with Simply Said designs!Simply Said designs!Simply Said designs!Simply Said designs! Consultations availableConsultations availableConsultations availableConsultations available upon request.upon request.upon request.upon request. Website: hƩp://www.mysimplysaiddesigns.com/604 Email: simplysaid604@yahoo.com Phone: (574) 850-6627 Get in touch with Kathleen today for those wonderful Back To School specials. It’s not long now before classes are again in session!
  • 28. 28 Small Biz Forward We all strive for perfection in our business, sometimes to the point of obsession. We don’t (always) listen to the advice of others. Believing so strongly in something that we wear blinders—this way of thinking can backfire. I’m a “Motor City” girl, so the story of the Edsel and the Tucker is always around. The 1957-60 Edsel Sedan had some interesting ideas but really no planning involved. Ford’s planning issues went from design flaws on up to no dedicated factory line to build the car. The issues with manufacturing included putting “extra” parts in the trunk with instructions to the dealership mechanics on how to finish the build. Had an interesting idea with placement of shifting – in the steering wheel hub, Business: AinBusiness: AinBusiness: AinBusiness: Ain’’’’t Nobody Perfectt Nobody Perfectt Nobody Perfectt Nobody Perfect Liz LaClair, Virtually Helps, LLC
  • 29. 29 Small Biz Forward where everyone was accustomed to finding the horn. Not to mention it had a strange design, it’s a shame they didn’t stick with the Roadster – it was slick, although it’s double grille design wasn’t exactly a complimentary look either, the second grille was where you’d expect to find the bumper. Then there’s the 1948 Tucker Sedan. It had all kinds of features, making it a car ahead of it’s time and some of the features should have been available in cars all along. The most well-known was the directional third headlight. But at the time 17 states had laws against more than two headlights. It was a rear-engine and rear wheel drive marvel. With a perimeter frame for crash protection and a roll bar built into the roof. The steering box was behind the front axel – designed to protect the driver in case of front-end accident damage. And like cars are now, the instrument panel and all controls were within easy reach of the steering wheel. The parking brake had a separate key so it could be locked in place to prevent theft. The rear end had a very strange look and confused its lines. What was the problem with this car? Mr. Tucker didn’t get investors and (possibly because he wasn’t with any of the Big Three) was blackballed from getting the materials needed to build. Where am I going with this? Both examples show what happens with poor planning (whether it’s directly their fault or not). Ford didn’t properly test market the car – they said they did but marketing failed – along with that assembly line issue. Tucker so strongly believed in his designs – which were amazing – that he didn’t want big investors involved, wanted to do it all himself. Ford and Tucker were being themselves. Believing in their product – never a bad thing – but using tunnel vision to see it through. They didn’t listen to their advisors. They thought, believed, they had perfection and knew all would be as they envisioned. Having a dream is wonderful. Having the drive to see it through is what is needed in business. You could have the perfect idea/innovation. However, if you don’t listen to those trusted people around you, you could fail. Just remember, no one is perfect – that 40 in WD 40 is the number of attempts to get it right. Don’t give up. Besides, it was the Edsel that was the frame for the Batmobile.
  • 30. 30 Small Biz Forward Businesses must have a global perspective when it comes to selling goods and services. However, mobile technology has made our world much smaller. Each mobile device represents a growing market and a 1-on-1 connection with the customer as well as potential customers. Smaller businesses can be just as competitive, if not better, by adopting a mobile marketing strategy that says ‘Think Global, Buy Local, Go Mobile!’ What does this mean? Small businesses are forced to compete with global behemoths with huge budgets. When a lot of small businesses are forced to do more with less and be more competitive with larger businesses they must be very creative. A lot of small businesses may not have the money or the time to wait for circulated newspapers with ads to reach customers. However, a smart mobile marketing strategy can be VERY effective in smaller markets where they rely on close connections and repeat business in order to thrive. ‘Buy Local Initiatives’ are becoming more common in smaller cities with small businesses that thrive off of each other, prosper from jobs, and related economic activity. The following mobile marketing strategy could be adopted and implemented by a City, a Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Development Authority, or a private party. These are examples of industry related mobile marketing strategies that give people options and can be engaging: • Gyms and health food stores • Stores and boutiques • Restaurants and nightlife People are able to market, advertise, and communicate through various mobile channels. A text messaging campaign can help attract new customers, engage current customers and help with a ‘call to action’ in a short amount of time. A mobile optimized website allows for customers to find your small business or to go to other search sites. A mobile app adds some of the same features in calls to action, mobile optimization. However much more details about your customer can be derived from when they download your company’s mobile app. (i.e. How, many downloads, which pages people spend more time on, and what ads they are clicking on, etc.) How can your company benefit from a ‘Think Global, Buy Local, Go Mobile Strategy?’ Think Global, Buy Local, Go Mobile!!! Kenneth Nichols, Urban Appeal
  • 31. 31 Small Biz Forward Entrepreneurial based business is looking for an apprentice interested in supporting company in developing and implementing marketing strategies, while learning entrepreneur skills. This person should be prepared to work in a fast-paced team environment, and will finish the apprenticeship having gained experience in various aspects of marketing a successful business, as well as working with a team to achieve expected end results. Some of the responsibilities will include (this position will be shared with 1 - 2 others, so one applicant is not responsible for ALL the tasks on this list and for this position): • Research & reach out to organizations within target market for speaking & sales opportunities • Implement social media marketing plan • Write & submit press releases • Assist with creating any presentation materials for speaking engagements • Follow up with presentation attendees after event and enter new leads into the main database, as well as follow up with attendees to give them more information about the products/services they expressed interest in • Draft sales pages and messages and post to web site Qualifications:Qualifications:Qualifications:Qualifications: • High to advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint (Publisher & Adobe Photoshop a bonus) • Social Media marketing experience • WordPress experience a bonus • Interest in collaborating ideas & making decisions while recommending and implementing courses of action It's essential that applicants be creative, self-directed, and comfortable in taking initiative in creating and implementing ideas, as well as have the ability and desire to think outside the box and come up with new solutions towards overall company objectives and find new results-oriented solutions. JOBS, APPRENTICESHIPS and MORE … If you have a job you’d like to list here, send us a Word doc for possible inclusion in an upcoming edition.
  • 32. 32 Small Biz Forward Apprentice must be articulate, dependable and committed with an entrepreneurial spirit. Hours:Hours:Hours:Hours: Flexible with 15 - 20 hours per week Length/Availability:Length/Availability:Length/Availability:Length/Availability: 6 months Benefits:Benefits:Benefits:Benefits: • Mastermind Business Building Membership • Knowledge, experience, and practice in a supportive team environment • Working with a team of highly skilled and motivated professionals • Ability to discover and learn new resources in a supportive learning environment • Feedback and suggestions to improve personal skill level • Testimonials and recommendations as earned Details:Details:Details:Details: • Primary role will be to support company in developing and implementing marketing strategies. • Apprentices are required to work a minimum of 15 hours/week, and some weeks during launches may work 20+ hours with a minimum 6-month commitment to role • Access to own desk, high-speed internet, and additional equipment and software necessary to complete all assigned tasks • Weekly Team meetings (1 hour) • Monthly Apprentice meetings (to learn and discover from one another, 1 hour)
  • 33. 33 Small Biz Forward Barbara Nicastro is a self-described “business woman with a law degree” who guides business and executives in their legal, business and personal lives. Her twenty-plus years as an entrepreneur and manager provide the basis of her practical yet intuitive style. Needing Help as a Sign of StrengthNeeding Help as a Sign of StrengthNeeding Help as a Sign of StrengthNeeding Help as a Sign of Strength Many of my clients are entrepreneurs who are excellent at what they do, but who hate to, or are not particularly good at, running a business. As a business owner, I understand how we all worry about failing or appearing weak. But the best sign of strength is knowing when to reach out for help and who can best help you. Barbara Nicastro
  • 34. 34 Small Biz Forward 1. Team BuildingTeam BuildingTeam BuildingTeam Building. Business owners know the real value of networking and promotion. I’m thinking you probably allocate a portion of your time and budget to networking. Have you given sufficient attention to creating your advisory “team”: an attorney, accountant, insurance person, banker and one brutally honest person who will be your sounding board? Creating this group when you start your business, or before you have serious issues, is the smart move. 2. Agreements/ContractsAgreements/ContractsAgreements/ContractsAgreements/Contracts. Simply put: any agreement/contract/proposal you are presented or you wish to present should be in writing and should be drafted or reviewed by your attorney. While a document may seem quite simple and without dangerous language, often what is not included may create problems in the future. Don’t rely on the other side’s attorney, don’t presume that review isn’t necessary when dealing with a trusted colleague or friend, and don’t be lulled by verbal comments on how things will actually be handled. Spoken words vanish into the air and from memory; written ones are what will save or sink your business. 3. Delegate Your Weaknesses.Delegate Your Weaknesses.Delegate Your Weaknesses.Delegate Your Weaknesses. I would never trust myself to repair my car, absolutely hate doing housework, and am a killer gardener in the bad sense. I also like to tinker with, but can be dangerous around, my computer, my taxes and my investments. Plus, the older I get, the more important time becomes to me. A frazzled me does no one any good. So, I farm those duties out to talented people who take care of me and leave my head, body, home and business in peace. From a time management and even a cost perspective, it’s often the wiser choice to outsource tasks such as payroll, bookkeeping, IT, employee benefits or graphic design functions. Even if your business is large enough to support an in-house person for one or more of these jobs, calculate the “real cost”, i.e., employer taxes, benefits, management duties and potential employee issues of hiring rather than contracting. 4. Do Not Fear FeedbackDo Not Fear FeedbackDo Not Fear FeedbackDo Not Fear Feedback. Who wants to hear criticism? The smart business owner does! Don’t be afraid to ask your clients, managers, advisory team or even your family what you are doing wrong or could do better/differently. Be creative and ask your peers or colleagues what mistakes they wish they had avoided in their business careers. If you don’t get or lose an account or client, ask for feedback on what would have made you more competitive. You may not get an answer, or the response may be a serious wake-up call, but not asking the tough question makes you competitively weaker. Being totally self-reliant only works when nothing is going on or everything is going well. And how can you be sure either is the case? For all the other times, reaching out for help is the best move you can make.
  • 35. 35 Small Biz Forward MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY AVAS, LLCAVAS, LLCAVAS, LLCAVAS, LLC AVAS provides photo scanning, photo montages, social media consulting, and project assistance. hƩp://www.AVASLLC.NET | Cell: (574) 514-5193 Connective MarketingConnective MarketingConnective MarketingConnective Marketing provides communications services to small businesses: • Print and e-newsletters • Handbooks, Yearbooks and Directories • Web site content • Organization membership management • Editing and Proofreading • Event management Connective Marketing offers non-profit management and consulting services. Connective Marketing has a particu- lar focus on sailing and sailboat racing organizations and events. Be confident you can drop your dock lines and sail away knowing your needs will be met. Connective Marketing /)/)/)/) 1245 West Gull Lake Drive (((( Richland, Michigan 49083 269.203.7130 T | 786.358.3605 F gail@connecƟvemarkeƟngllc.com | www.connecƟvemarkeƟngllc.com Heartwood Renaissance AcademyHeartwood Renaissance AcademyHeartwood Renaissance AcademyHeartwood Renaissance Academy A private school dedicated to helping students succeed. We teach students to SOAR TO NEW HEIGHTS. The staff and teachers help DESIGN, BUILD, and TEST each child's skills, confidence, and self-esteem to fly with cour- age into their adult futures with the ability to overcome obstacles and accept challenges. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heartwood- Renaissance-Academy | (269) 273-0160 Kerri’s Avenue SalonKerri’s Avenue SalonKerri’s Avenue SalonKerri’s Avenue Salon We are stylist-owned and operated, we care about our customers and would love you to be one too! Whether it's hair extensions, eyelash extensions, a Japanese straightener or some kick-butt color, give us a call and see what we can do for you. MI Security Training/Bodyguard AcademyMI Security Training/Bodyguard AcademyMI Security Training/Bodyguard AcademyMI Security Training/Bodyguard Academy Providing quality training for those working in the private security industry. http://thebodyguardacademy.com | (269) 651-3355 Niles Four Flags Area Chamber of CommerceNiles Four Flags Area Chamber of CommerceNiles Four Flags Area Chamber of CommerceNiles Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce The Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to serving the needs of Businesses and the Community. For further information about Business opportunities in our area or information on joining the Chamber please call (269)683-3720, or chamber@nilesmi.com or write to us at 321 E. Main St., P.O. Box 10 Niles, MI 49120.
  • 36. 36 Small Biz Forward Follow us on TwiƩer @ http://www.twitter.com/smallbizjunkie Like us on Facebook @ hƩp://www.facebook.com/bsuconnector Join us on LinkedIn @ http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancybecher Ways to Connect Premier Women’s NetworkPremier Women’s NetworkPremier Women’s NetworkPremier Women’s Network To Uplift, Encourage, and Inspire all Women in Business and Career Seekers to Achieve their Highest Capabilities through Networking and Education https://www.facebook.com/PremierWomensNetwork/ info | (260) 747-5202 River Country JournalRiver Country JournalRiver Country JournalRiver Country Journal Celebrating and nurturing life in Southwest Michigan river country. http://www.rivercountryjournal.com | (269) 279-8000 Schooley MitchellSchooley MitchellSchooley MitchellSchooley Mitchell Jerry Sarno and Schooley Mitchell will save your business or organization; 1) Time; we do the work so you concen- trate on your core business. 2) Money; we save $$$ on your telecom spend, if we don't, there is no fee. 3) Peace of mind. 269-408-8679 http://www.schooleymitchell.com/jsarno Your Business Needs FansYour Business Needs FansYour Business Needs FansYour Business Needs Fans Encouraging businesses create and maintain their online presence by teaching best-practice Facebook marketing and so much more. https://www.facebook.com/YourBusinessNeedsFans (574) 344-8895 Membership Directory Continued ….
  • 37. 37 Small Biz Forward Want to run an ad here? Sign up now and get 3 months for the price of one! This offer won’t last long, so contact us today at info@celebratebusinesspublishing.com or call 269-651-3555 for more information. Hurry before the offer expires!
  • 38. 38 Small Biz Forward Don’t wait ‘til ...… to grow your business You can sit there and do nothing, or you can get out, network, learn new techniques, brush up on the old but trusted ones, and grow your business NOW! Visit our web page at http://success4biz.biz and click on http://success4biz.biz/Our_Programs.html to get more information on these programs and get signed up today! Business Success Unlimited is at 701 Prairie Street, Sturgis, MI 49091. Our telephone number is 269-651- 3555 and our email is nancy@success4biz.biz. For 53 cents a day, you can have a group of business professionals by your side, guiding you, supporting you, helping you to create the best business you could ever dream of. But you can’t wait ‘til pigs fly to do it. Act TODAY!!!!
  • 39. 39 Small Biz Forward Success Club Where businesses go to connect | Collaborate | SUCCEED Purchase a Platinum Membership with Business Success Unlimited and become a member of the Success Club, which gives you access to several different types of programs. BENEFITS: (For only $195 a year)BENEFITS: (For only $195 a year)BENEFITS: (For only $195 a year)BENEFITS: (For only $195 a year) • You get listings on the Business Success Unlimited website. • You get the opportunity to submit an article to the magazine Small Business Forward for possible inclusion. • A monthly FULL COLOR, quarter page ad in Small Biz Forward • You may participate in: Mentoring Projects, Entrepreneurial Forums,Talk Radio, BusinessAbundance Networking:Mentoring Projects, Entrepreneurial Forums,Talk Radio, BusinessAbundance Networking:Mentoring Projects, Entrepreneurial Forums,Talk Radio, BusinessAbundance Networking:Mentoring Projects, Entrepreneurial Forums,Talk Radio, BusinessAbundance Networking: —— — Lunchtime Learners Book Club (FREE); Mentoring Project [Mastermind] ($75 for 3 months); Entrepreneurial Forums ($20 per event);Talk Radio (FREE) and you may be asked to be a guest; Abundance Networking (FREE). • Member to Member Discounts (at least 10%) • Job Listings, Referrals,Authors & Publishers, Events • Tradeshows and EXPOs (Annual conference in October.Vendors booth will be $75 or just attendance will be $50). • Other events as they come up • Plus, other highly customized programs If you’re ready to build a strong referral network, then JOINTHE CLUB!We’re here to support you and help make your connections count! As our community grows, we will add valuable enhancements to this site with new features and benefits for all our members. This business club creates unique opportunities to connect with other professionals. JOIN NOW
  • 40. 420 West Cleveland Road Granger IN 46530 574-243-3901 ∗ Color ∗ Cuƫng ∗ Styling ∗ Nail Services ∗ Skin Care ∗ Hair Extensions ∗ Eyelash Extensions ∗ Waxing ∗ Massage ∗ Body Wraps ∗ Teeth Whitening ∗ Spray Tans hƩp://www.youtube.com/user/kerriblairsalon Since 1987, Kerri Spencer has been a licensed cosmetologist and instructor. She serves as a master colorist and regional instruc- tor for It&ly Hairfashions. She is also the owner/operator of Kerri’s Avenue Salon. Prior to opening her own shop in 2005, Kerri was the lead instructor at Premier College of Cosmetology. Her professional accomplishments include working “on set” with various theatrical producƟons, television commercials, print photo shoots and fashion shows. She was even hired to create “period looks” for a Hollywood movie producƟon. She prides herself on offering a high level of service at an afford- able price. She has a true passion for the art and science of hair design, and loves to bring that passion to her clients. Kerri belongs to numerous business networking groups and oŌen emcees speed networking events for these various groups. Kerri’s Philosophy: As a wellness advocate, Kerri believes that nutriƟon is key to outer beauty. As such, she also provides whole-food nutriƟon consolaƟon and total body care products with It Works Global. Kerri will be a featured speaker at the “Dream the Work Re- treat”, focusing on the importance of first impressions in your work environment, for men and women. Come find out what your best look is! hƩps://www.facebook.com/KerrisAvenueSalon