Friday, March 27, 2015

Initiative Based Writing Can Change Your Biz

Why is great writing and content marketing so important to the small business owner? Stefanie Frank explains how initiative based writing can have a dramatic impact on your business during my chat with her on Accelerate Your Business Growth. This same conversation, along with others, can be found in the new book, Expert Insights

As you work on your company's content marketing strategy, take some time to explore what Stefanie has to say about the subject. Her expertise will help you master writing for your business success.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Driving The Conversation

The Bernie Moreno Companies and Smart Business have partnered to bring critical conversations that matter to the business community of Northeast Ohio. I had the pleasure of attending the first of these discussions on March 19, 2015. The premise is that there are crucial topics that require honest, open, nonthreatening conversation with a goal of finding solutions to some of the community’s challenges.

The topic that was tackled was The Impact of Raising Minimum Wages and the panelists were Steve Millard, Executive Director of COSE and John Corlett, President and Executive Director of The Center for Community Solutions. Dustin Klein, the publisher of Smart Business was the moderator.

I arrived with a belief that allowing the government to dictate  minimum wage rates can have a negative impact on small business. My belief was that there are many small businesses that don’t have the margins to pay anything more than what they do currently.

As I listened to the discussion a couple of things dawned on me.
1.    Nothing happens in a vacuum. So to talk about minimum wage alone fails to address all of the issues that impact it. For example, part of the discussion was around the importance of education when dealing with wages. We should be talking about these issues together, not separately.
2.    All business owners should want to be paying ALL of their employees as much as possible because it would mean that they are succeeding while positively impacting their community. Wages, prices, expenses, margins – all of these things should be considered when growing a business. I realize that if we look at our businesses from a different angle we could actually pay a premium for premium talent and our businesses would benefit. It possibly means turning our viewpoint around and not seeing employees as an expense.
3.  We owe it to our companies, our employees, our clients, and our communities to work on the disease while considering the symptoms. Low wages and income inequality are symptoms of other problems - like poor education and inadequate training for today's jobs.

I think it’s a great idea to engage in these discussions and then to take action. As the saying goes – talk is cheap. Employees need the tools to be successful, and employers need the resources to be able to grow their businesses in a way that everyone wins. And we can talk all we want. But until we start taking action, nothing will change.

It’s all in how we look at it, and talk about it. If we can eliminate the vitriol and speak openly we can put solutions in motion. If we approach these subjects with an eye toward first understanding where the other person is coming from instead of deciding they are just plain wrong, we can affect great change.

I’m looking forward to future discussions and the changes that will come. I hope you’ll join me!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Great Ideas for Your Small Biz

Jane Applegate is an award-winning writer and producer. For more than 20 years, she has created original web and video content for clients including: Bloomberg LP, CNN, NBC, American Express, Microsoft, Verizon Wireless, Pitney Bowes and Sprint. She is currently working on some incredible video projects and is the author of the best-selling 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business.

She joined me on Accelerate Your Business Growth to share some of the ideas from her book. You can listen to that interview here.

That conversation along with nine other dynamic expert interviews are available in my new
book Expert Insights. Grab a copy or three today! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sales Performance Sales Summit

The Sales Performance Sales Summit is an executive-level event, being simulcast live from Toronto the morning of April 6.  Designed for sales leaders invested in success—leaders who understand that their sales culture, as reflected by their sales teams at all levels, is the key to out-thinking and out-selling their competitors.

Performance is no longer an individual measure. It is a mission critical strategy. According to the STAR Results 2015 Sales Manager Survey™, in the new sales reality, characterized by increasingly knowledgeable and discriminating buyers, performance and performance management are the burning issues for sales leaders around the world.

With 4 world-class speakers Tim HursonTibor ShantoBill Baldasti and Steven Rosen this is a conference you want to attend.

If you want to attend or find out more, please visit Sales Performance Summit.

Friday, March 6, 2015

High Tech And High Touch Marketing

When I took my coaching certification course we learned about all kinds of marketing avenues. Some were high tech and some were high touch. I’ve implemented a couple of each and over time have come to realize that they aren’t mutually exclusive.

I submit that high tech marketing should always be paired with touch. In other words, don’t leave it to digital marketing alone. You have to connect directly with people to build the relationships necessary to move your business forward.

The great thing about high tech marketing is that it enhances and can accelerate the process. It just shouldn't work alone, in my opinion. Humans are social animals. We like to look someone in the eye to get a read on them. And we like the personal touch. Remember that people want to know that you want to do business with them specifically – not just with anyone. If you rely solely on high tech you’ll send the message that you are fishing and will take anyone who responds. I submit that the wrong message.

Prospects want to know that you have a solution for THEM, not everyone. So, use your high tech marketing to start the conversation. And then go to high touch. Connect, engage, build. It’s the best road to sales success.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Small Business Rules in This New Economy

Small business isn’t too stupid to be big. They aren’t just waiting to grow up. This is a good thing. Small, lean, smart, complex businesses are the most financially viable in today’s post recession economy. Hear from Marilyn Landis on this critical small business topic from her interview on Accelerate Your Business Growth Radio.

This and other valuable business expertise is shared in the upcoming book, Expert Insights.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The State of Small Business in the U.S.

NSBA frequently conducts surveys with small business owners to keep their finger on the pulse of how they view the economy and how their company will fare. According to the most recent survey, the majority of small firms (60% anticipate increases in revenue and profits. These are the highest they've been since NSBA began asking the questions 7 years ago, This is great news for the US economy moving forward. According to Rob Fowler of the Small Business Assocation of Michigan, Detroit now ranks 2nd in small business job creation. It is on the rise. While there are still challenges facing small businesses the trendlines are positive. NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization. It reaches more than 150,000 small businesses across the country and is proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. Learn more at and discover ways you can be involved with advocating for small business. #SmallBizCongress @nsbaadvocate