Monthly Archives: November 2011

How to Make New Media Work for Your Business

No matter what your business is, who you market to or what your product is, chances are that New Media has (or will) make an impact on your business. I personally think it’s one of the latest and greatest ways to reach hundreds of thousands of customers, get your word out and get known, fast! Recently, Matthew Toren of youngentrepreneur.com interviewed Neil Rosen, author or Chatter Marketing where they discuss some great points for and about marketers and the changes we’re living today with New Media.

youngentrepreneur.com-Matthew Toren

New media, which encompasses all aspects of online marketing, such as social media marketing, blogging, comment marketing, and more, is everywhere we look these days. It’s almost impossible to find ads even in traditional media that don’t point to a company’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and the web is replete with blog posts, e-books, websites, you name it, talking about how to market using new media. Still, many business owners are struggling to figure it all out and make new media work for their business.

In Neil Rosen’s new book, Chatter Marketing: Putting the Relationship Back in Customer Relationship Management, he helps to shed light on this important topic and shows entrepreneurs not only the importance of new media marketing, but how to use it effectively.

Read on…

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How to Tap the Power of ‘Thank You’

I don’t know when the last time you sent a thank you note to someone was, but I bet if you did, it was well received. I can hontesly tell you that I’ve had more positive responses from a thank you note than I have from a gift (sometimes an expensive one) that I’ve given a client.

Entrepreneur.com’s Joey Faucette’s offers some great tips for building a habit of saying thanks. Personally, my favorite way to do this: Handwritten notes. Take the time to write a post card, a letter, or a greeting card but do it in writing.

It’s a FACT that handwritten items stay in a recepients possession much, much longer than a typed note or email, etc. It’s remembered longer, and YOU will be remembered longer.

Try it! I guarantee positive feed back.

 

entrepreneur.com – Joey Faucette:

There may be only one day a year devoted to giving thanks. But expressing thanks regularly — year round — and doing it well is one of the most profitable business strategies you can have.

Study after study reveals that when you say “Thank you” to your customers, they both spend more money and tell their friends about the exceptional service and products you deliver, increasing your profits. Volumes chronicle how employee productivity zooms when appreciation is expressed, raising your margins. Vendors go the extra mile to extend credit and deliver “just in time” when they hear gratitude regularly, not just in November, and keep your cash flowing.

Giving thanks works in business. But you’re already doing more with less and the last thing you want is another item on your to-do list. So what are the most effective and efficient ways for you to express gratitude to these important players in your business’ success?

Read on…

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How a 14-Year-Old Kid Shot This Start-up into Stardom

I practically live by a quote I read once by Mark Caine: “The successful always has a number of projects planned, to which he looks forward. Any one of them could change the course of his like overnight.” Granted, I don’t think 14-year old Robert Nay had this in mind at the time, but it goes to show you the potential of ‘makin’ moves’. It’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.

Inc.com-Christina DesMarais

One junior high schooler and his mobile game totally changed the fate of this app development platform.

The circumstances may differ, but for successful startups there’s always a tipping point. Sometimes this happens incrementally, and other times there’s one big rocket-ship-kind-of-event that makes a company take off.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Ansca Mobile is one that rapidly erupted and landed in a very sweet spot, thanks to a 14-year-old kid.

It all started with an app

Robert Nay, a junior high schooler from Spanish Fork, Utah, used Ansca’s mobile app development platform, Corona SDK, to make a wildly successful mobile game called Bubble Ball that back in January became the No. 1 free app in Apple’s iTunes store.

It was downloaded more than 10 million times so, naturally, it raised some eyebrows.

Soon Nay was in the national spotlight, with appearances on Good Morning America and ABC News.

This fortuitous milestone pushed Ansca Mobile onto center stage as well. Less than a year later the company says Corona is the world’s number one mobile app development platform used by everyone from teenagers like Nay, who works out of a public library, all the way up to huge brands such as Warner Brothers, Doritos, and Dannon Yogurt. In fact, this year the number of developers using Corona skyrocketed from 15,000 to more than 100,000.

Read on…

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Richard Branson on How to Avoid Common Startup Mistakes

Entrepreneur.com-Richard Branson

Editor’s Note: Entrepreneur Richard Branson regularly shares his business experience and advice with readers. What follows is the latest edited round of insightful responses. Ask him a question and your query might be the inspiration for a future column.

Q: What are some of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting out? — John Gachiri

A: Making mistakes is part of the process of building a company; quickly recovering from them is what’s most important. It’s all part of the adventure of entrepreneurship, which will require all of your stamina, drive and determination.

But your way forward is not entirely uncharted: When you notice an opportunity that has never occurred to anyone else, there are certain steps to turning your vision into reality. You must formulate an innovative business plan, find funding, hire the right people to carry out the plan, and then step back from your role in the business at exactly the right moment.

Let’s take a look at these steps, and also at ways to avoid some of the most common mistakes new entrepreneurs make.

Read on…

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How Great Entrepreneurs Think

All in all, in the world of entrepreneurship there are some moments of order and organization and many more moments of creative improvisation and resource hunting. Call me crazy, but the idea that anything can change at any given time just does something for me. Something pretty great, because it keeps me coming back for more. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of planning and structure when a project takes off. There are however, a multitude of different things that happen during the entrepreneurs thought process during a new venture that I can’t say happens to anyone else.  It’s as though the more the pressure and the tighter the timeline, the better. Again, it’s not like there is no planning involved…it’s just not first on the priority list. Leigh Buchanan wrote a very awesome article on a study that “set out to determine how expert entrepreneurs think…”

Inc.com-Leigh Buchanan

What distinguishes great entrepreneurs? Discussions of entrepreneurial psychology typically focus on creativity, tolerance for risk, and the desire for achievement—enviable traits that, unfortunately, are not very teachable. So Saras Sarasvathy, a professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, set out to determine how expert entrepreneurs think, with the goal of transferring that knowledge to aspiring founders. While still a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon, Sarasvathy—with the guidance of her thesis supervisor, the Nobel laureate Herbert Simon—embarked on an audacious project: to eavesdrop on the thinking of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs as they grappled with business problems. She required that her subjects have at least 15 years of entrepreneurial experience, have started multiple companies—both successes and failures—and have taken at least one company public.

Read on…

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Lessons From the Launch of Google Music

Sometimes even the biggest of the big, the ones you can’t imagine having much competition come to a point where they too must find ways to stand out amongst giants in their respective markets. You can bet even for Google it’s an intimidating feeling when the decision is made to take a dive into something new. “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious. ” -Vince Lombardi –               Ok,ok. So maybe I’m feeling inspirational today. 🙂

Inc.com-Nicole Carter

Here’s what you can learn from Google Music’s entrance into the music marketplace, and how to make your next product a stand-out in a crowded market.

It seemed inevitable. Google Music’s late arrival into the online music marketplace immediately sparked headlines comparing it to its’ biggest competitors: “Can Google Music unseat Apple’s iTunes, Spotify?;” “Cloud Music Showdown: Amazon vs. Apple vs. Google;”  and “Google, iTunes Turn up the Volume.”

Why does this matter to you? Because even if you’re Google, when your product is late to the game, you’re going to have to fight for the spotlight. While the jury is still out on whether Google Music is a stand-out, it’s a good time for small business owners to look at just how to surface their new products in an already crowded market.

Here, experts reveal key lessons from Google Music’s launch and how to ensure your next launch gets its share of the spotlight.

Read on…

 

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10 Franchises for $20K (Or Less)

Check out some possible franchise opportunities that are doing well and not so hard on the pockets as some of the franchise fees and costs you think of when you the word franchise comes to mind. It’s all about a system someone created that is proven to work. Do some homework and if the numbers work, you can hit the start button on one of these “business systems” and start cashing in sooner than you expected.

Top Franchise Deals
Company Lowest Starting Cost
Candy Bouquet Int’l $10,220
Christmas Decor Inc. $16,650
CompuChild $18,300
Computer Medics of America Inc. $10,300
Disaster Kleenup Int’l (DKI) $17,895
Fiesta Insurance Franchise Corp. $3,400
Travel Leaders $2,845
SuperGlass Windshield Repair $9,910
TGA Premier Junior Golf $13,150
Vanguard Cleaning Systems $8,200

Entrepreneur.com – Jason Daley

Buying into a franchise has always been difficult, but the credit freeze has made it almost impossible for the average would-be small-business owner to get in the game the past three years. Without a fat savings account or 401(k) worth cashing in, the traditional first-time owner-operator who used to define the franchise world has become an endangered species.

But opportunities are still out there for franchisees, and many of them are with strong, time-tested companies. All of the franchisors on our list of $20,000-or-less startups improved their rankings on this year’s Franchise 500®, and one,Vanguard Cleaning Systems, even made it in the Top 10overall.

Running one of these franchises might not be as ambitious as owning a few McDonald’s, but they offer flexibility and scalability. Most can be run out of the home or out of a van by a single owner-operator. Or they can have multiple employees and their own offices. It all depends on the franchisee’s ambition.

Read on…

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Student Entrepreneurs Compete

Portfolio.com – Kent Bernhard, Jr

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards bring together young people from around the world who have juggled studies with the demands of founding and growing companies. To veteran entrepreneur Kevin Langley, the competitors are an inspiration. 
 
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A Five-Step Guide to Reinventing Your Business

So many entrepreneurs and business owners these days find themselves in a never-ending (or never-progressing) beginning. The feeling that marketing, media, advertising, finance and LIFE in general take complete 180 degree turns in what seems like days, can be extremely overwhelming and keeps many of us from actually creating any success or you find yourself stagnant within your current venture.

Entrepreneur.com – Jason Daley:

1. Know When to Make a Change 
The first step is deciding if it’s the right time for a change. Karyn Greenstreet, a Philadelphia-area small-business coach specializing in self-employment and business reinvention, says she sees a pattern with small-business owners. “Most people who come to me have been running their businesses for about seven years,” she says. “They spend the first three years absorbed in getting things started. Then they’re in a growth phase for three or four years. Then they hit a glass ceiling, or don’t find the work challenging anymore and want to try something different.”

Many factors can push a small-business owner toward reinvention–it may be a need to spend more time with family. The market may have changed. The economy may have reshuffled your customer base. You may be bored. All are legitimate reasons for change.

Read on…

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10 Must Watch Business Shows for Entrepreneurs

Under30ceo.com-Matt Wilson:

If you’re going to watch television you might as well learn something or put on something that will get you fired up to make some money. Check out these 10 Must See Television Shows for Entrepreneurs

1. How I Made My Millions

This CNBC show features 12 episodes of everyday people that went from idea to million dollar businesses.  Take Maribeth Sanford for example, who started putting logos on shopping bags with her graphic design skills and now does $40 million per year.  If you want to see the stories of brands like Burt’s Bees and Life Is Good, How I Made My Millions can be seen on a rolling basis on CNBC.

Read Post…

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