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I love this. I just wrote a post recommending people evaluate their skill sets and make sure they have the right experience before launching out on their own.
Important tip...Cash Flow is kind of important.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Experience: The One Business Regret I Have
You are right on relating to marathon training although I once ran a marathon as a training run for a marathon but that is another story.
Patience is tough for a lot of small businesses because they want results right away. Until they expand their time horizon they will not be able to create the momentum to carry their message.
I dig your medal too.
11 months, 3 weeks ago on The Branding Marathon: How to Use the Web to Grow Your Business
This post is right on. I like that you share what is involved in doing media relations.
I have often said that people open a small business because they like what they do. They didn't get into business because they like the business stuff. Because they aren't as knowledgeable about the business part they don't know what to do and they do it wrong. I get so many small business owners bringing me press releases about a new product or that they are launching their business and my response to them is "so what". Beyond the lack of appeal they have done NO prep work. I ask them what they plan do do with the press release and they really don't know. At that point I hold out my trash can.
I realize that many small businesses are cash strapped but often times they really aren't. If they looked at how they are spending their money and what other areas might be a better place to spend their money they could potentially bring in a PR professional to help them out. This "investment" in their business would certainly create a better result than the press release sitting in the bottom of my trash can.
1 year ago on Media Relations: How to Do it On Your Own
@DavidJackson3 Absolutely correct. There are certainly times where you need Non-disclosures and non-competes but if what you have is that at risk of being stolen you may need to rethink your entire intellectual property strategy.
1 year, 1 month ago on How To Pitch Your Business Opportunity
A critical success factor is doing what you are doing for a reason. Making a conscious decision to a course of action that will bring you the results you seek will more than likely lead to success.
It makes sense that your reduced activity is leading to better results. You have put in a lot of hard work over the past several years to build relationships both on-line and in person. These relationships are now turning in to business that requires your time. It isn't like you are totally pulling the plug you are simply reallocating your time.
Finally, I would never bristle at having you speak at my events. You are very much worth whatever the cost.
1 year, 1 month ago on Online Habits: Is Less Really More?
The objective in sales is either to get a "Yes" or a "No". Yes means a sale and No means you can move on to the next prospect. "Maybe" or silence will kill you because you keep putting time into something that probably won't materialize.
I also think that another reason people fear No is desperation. They don't have enough activity in their sales funnel so they count on every prospect turning into a sale or they can't pay their bills. In these cases people fear No because No can have pretty dire consequences to their bottom line.
If people put in the time, understand their market, their offerings and their customers they will hear Yes a lot more often.
1 year, 1 month ago on Overcoming the Fear of Rejection: ‘No’ is Better than Silence.
Start-ups need to get out of the "Build" mindset and into a "Business" mindset soon rather than later. Your post speaks to well to this. I always tell people not to get into a hurry to get started. They need to plan and prep to have a successful launch. I recently had a person come to me who wanted to launch in 20 days that had not started their marketing, PR and outreach. They were completely shocked when I told them they should have started their marketing, PR and outreach months earlier. I did slow them down a little but they are trying to play catch up on the marketing while starting a business. That is a lot of pressure.
1 year, 1 month ago on Startup PR: Tips for Getting Started
@blfarris @GraceFagbohun I agree with this. Many people I deal with project their business to where they want to be rather than where they are. If your goal is to have 10 clients and you currently have one then getting your first client is the most critical thing you have to have one before you can have two and two before three, etc.
1 year, 2 months ago on Starting a Public Relations Firm: The Business Side of Things
You are wise Gini.
Another Super Post! This is valuable to most business operations especially those that bill by the hour. Agree, most people get into business for themselves because they are passionate about what they do not because they like accounting and billing and collections (all of the business stuff). However, you won't be in business long if you don't master these things. I have seen both points, controlling hours and firing clients, come up with people I work with. These are huge and are a must handle.
I have a friend that is struggling with the client firing question. A bad client will not only zap your cash and time but they can be toxic to the energy of the team. Firing clients is not fun, well maybe sometimes it is, but better to do it sooner rather than later with it is to late.
Thanks as always for sharing your business experience. It is very helpful.
Obviously I'm a little biased since this is what I do but it really is about entrepreneurship and job creation. It is the entrepreneurs and those in small businesses that will make economic growth happen. I found a few stats recently that supports this.
Between 1993 and 2011 small businesses accounted for 64% of the net new jobs created in the US
Small businesses employ half of the private sector workforce in the United States.
More than 7.8 million businesses are owned by women.
The challenge is that government doesn't recognize this. They either want to support the large corporations that are not creating jobs or they want to bet on the few that may have potential for high growth (if they get a few million in venture capital) and also have the potential for a great flame out. What everyone needs to understand is that is businesses like yours that will make sales, create wealth in the community and add a few jobs, that will stick, that will make a difference. There are 27 million small businesses in America. If each one of these created only one new job we would be in a much different position than we are today.
1 year, 2 months ago on Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs are America’s Future
Nice post Ken. I write a lot of small business content that isn't time sensitive and is a relevant today as when I wrote it. I usually use it as content to direct people in classes I teach but it is good stuff so I want to send it our again on social channels. The problem is when it has a 2009 date on it people may think it looks a little odd. I guess the question is how old it so old before you republish it?
1 year, 2 months ago on 6 Ways to Breathe New Life Into Old Blog Posts
Great post and information. I like to play with my phone taking pictures but this helps me think about why I should take the photos in a certain way. It is also helpful to understand how to create your own photos instead of using someone else's. By using your own photo for a post you can create something that goes with what you have written. This completes the experience of your post.
1 year, 2 months ago on Four Tips to Take Photos for Your Content
Great post Amy. As you could tell the point of the Ohio Growth Summit was to get small business owners to take responsibility for their business success. The business owner is the best sales person for a business because they are the most passionate about the product or service. Unfortunately to many people are in the mindset that they are not sales people so they need someone else to sell their product. That is wrong and is a recipe for business failure especially in an early stage business. What the business owner needs to realize is that sales is not about knowing the "tie down closing technique" it is about sharing the value that is in your product with your prospect. For a small business owner that should be easy.
1 year, 2 months ago on We’re All in Sales :: Greatest #OGS13 Takeaway [VIDEO]
@ginidietrich @MichaelBowers I guess I've taken 11 years to get to this place in my work so I can wait until Friday
1 year, 2 months ago on Scale-Up Entrepreneur: Do You Have What it Takes?
Thanks for this post. You know I love to hear of your entrepreneurial exploits.
I got a 9 probably because I underestimate my sales skills especially in the space I work.
For me #7 and #12 are the most important drivers. I think there are a lot of opportunities to take our Center private. Given the public funding environment for stuff like I do it is important to take control and create something we see is needed in the market and not be restrained by the priorities of another organization.
I am excited to see Amber, Cheryl and Jess also (and of course it is always a joy to get to see you). When I selected speakers for this year's Ohio Growth Summit I thought "What are typical questions I get from small business owners and how do we help address the questions". Clearly these three speakers hit the mark when it comes to helping small business owners reach higher levels of success.
1 year, 3 months ago on 4 Faces You Must See at Ohio Growth Summit
Great post Gini. It is really tough following and staying true to your compass. There are so many societal pressures to keep climbing the ladder of success but when you realize that the ladder is leaning on the wrong wall you have to be willing to jump off. I recently declined to apply for a high level position with the State of Ohio. Sure I had a lot of support and I could have done the job but it wasn't a fit for me. I know that had I chased that next position I would have missed so many other things with my family and my local community here in Columbus that I would have been miserable. It is important to make decisions based on what you want not based on other's perception of success.
1 year, 3 months ago on The Success Trap and Regrets of the Dying
Hang in there kiddo. My dogs can hear and there don't pay attention so it's kind of the same thing. As far as not sleeping I haven't slept for years and it's all fine.
1 year, 10 months ago on Lucy's Deaf and I Have Anxiety [VIDEO]
Congratulations Patti on the anniversary and a very happy birthday. I so appreciated all of your efforts to help me get everything together to make things great for Gini so she could make things great for those attending our conference. You were wonderful to work with and really made things easy for me (that doesn't always happen when dealing with speakers). All the best to you.
2 years, 1 month ago on #FollowFriday: Work Wife, Patti Knight
As someone that puts on conferences I appreciate when the speaker brings things that allow them to use their own equipment if that is what they want to do. I am always afraid that someone will show up with a Mac, want to use it and not bring the DVI Adapter (it happens all the time). Then I end up scrambling asking other speakers or people in the audience if they have one.
I also appreciate that you bring your Gini approved book signing pens. You are a PRO!
2 years, 1 month ago on Travel Essentials for Speakers, Authors, and MarComm Pros
Great post! What I like about this for businesses is that the activities are much more like a traditional sales strategy. It should be easier to get buy in from higher levels in the organization because it is a familiar process. Plus it would be easier to come up with ROI as you will be able to see the leads and see the results from those leads.
2 years, 2 months ago on Six Steps to Creating Content that Generate Leads
@jasonkonopinski @ginidietrich Exactly
2 years, 2 months ago on How to Pitch a Story Like a Pro and Get Results Every Time
I think you hit it on the head when you called it "lazy". People have replaced quality with quantity because of the ease of reaching people on the internet. Unfortunately, in many cases this has become a number's game.
I totally agree with this recommendation. I think one of Nate's first presentations was at the Ohio Growth Summit in 2009. When he was done the keynote for that year, Chris Brogan, told me that I didn't need to bring him into speak because Nate had it all. Since then Nate has been an integral part of the Summit and a go to person for me any time I am looking for advice social media and content marketing. He is an absolute MUST follow!!!
2 years, 2 months ago on #FollowFriday: Nate Riggs
Probably one the best posts I've read in a long time. Happy birthday to Kelly and congratulations to you both.
2 years, 4 months ago on #FollowFriday: Kelly Dietrich
Good information here. A lot of this kind of information is what we deliver in our SBDC BizStartNow programs. Hopefully we can bring people up to speed on the business side of being in business before they make mistakes that can hurt them down the road.
2 years, 4 months ago on 5 Things I Learned About Self-Employment Taxes
Great post heather and I am excited to have you carrying the Columbus banner as you travel the county. I've heard this story, and experienced it, since I started in the business development space in the late '90's. While it is difficult to believe things are so much better now than they were even five years ago it is amazing. Having said that we are no where close to where we need to be.
First things first, People in Silicon Valley are going to thing the sun rises and sets on them and pretty much regardless of who they are talking to. They think Austin is a cow town. Having said that there is a huge perception issue about Columbus and the Midwest in general. I think that typically we are more modest when we discuss our accomplishments.
Here are a few things that I know are happening:
Columbus 2020 is aggressively traveling the county talking up Columbus and Central Ohio both on the business attraction side and the business creation side.
The First Customer initiative of Columbus 2020 is getting promising Columbus medical and IT Start-ups introductions and engagements with some of Columbus' largest companies such as the Limited, Nationwide and Ohio Health.
The Third Frontier funding in TechColumbus has helped many companies launch that five years ago would not have had a shot at getting seed level funding.
The Ohio Tech Angel Fund is one of the largest, in terms of number of participants, in the country.
Trust me, Les Wexner is writing a lot of checks that end up in companies and that help build companies, you just don't know it.
The next steps:
The lack of A round and later funding is a major obstacle to the growth of Midwest companies. Obviously Brian would know better than me but Toobla's inability to attract follow-on funding eventually suffocated the company. Until VC's come here to and establish a presence they will continue to think of Columbus as a fly over area.
The great thing about Columbus is that we have a strong base of young, smart people at our local educational institutions like Ohio State. Most places have nothing like OSU to generate talent. It is critical that we support these young entrepreneurs because they are the one's that will build the companies that you will talk about at the next SXSW. They have the luxury of indulging their passion and we need to foster that passion. We need more investors and advisors to provide experience in company building that will augment the domain expertise of the young entrepreneur. We need more serial entrepreneurs that have been there done that who can help the young start-up scale. The value of Wake Up Start Up to an early stage company is in the ability to possibly connect with someone that has sat in the big meeting before and sold products.
2 years, 4 months ago on Embrace Risk. Stop Being So Humble.
Point five will be the key for Facebook. Other than the fact that your stock is now liquid I haven't heard a lot of positive things about going public from the management side. I once had a friend of mine that had gone through this a few times tell me that once you go public the analysts make your life a living hell with their focus on quarterly results. This is going to be especially true given the high profile of Facebook.
2 years, 4 months ago on Five Things to Watch Out for as Facebook Goes Public
I agree that is is critical to get the week off on the right foot by getting organized early on Monday. Looking forward helps you make the best decisions on how to spend your time. I also agree with your email take. Get in and get it cleaned up them move on. Don't stay in the email box forever,,,act, delete, move on.
2 years, 5 months ago on A 10 Step Checklist to Start Your Week Right
I agree 100% with this post however what is missed is that email campaigns are only as strong as the email list they are being sent to. It is important to develop and execute a strategy to build a strong email list of people that are interested in what you do. By building a strong opt-in list you will dramatically improve your open rate and your opportunity to get their attention and potentially make a sale.
2 years, 5 months ago on 5 Reasons E-mail Rocks
This is a great recommendation, as usual. By really understanding your market and customers changes may be warranted. This doesn't mean you have to blow everything up and start over. Making a shift will allow you to maintain your current talent and still attack the market more effectively.
2 years, 7 months ago on Stuck In a Rut? Pivot Your Business.
Great blog post to kick off the year. Helps me get moving too after a couple of down weeks. I love your story and can't wait to see you and get the book in May.
2 years, 7 months ago on Welcome to the New Year!
Great post. I don't live in Chicago but have seen several tweets from friends about how great Chicago Cabbie is to customers. It is great to see someone that is thinking out of the box and using the tools available to him to improve his business as opposed to hoping that things will work out for the business.
2 years, 8 months ago on How Chicago Cabbie Grows Business Using Social Media
I think you are absolutely correct. The fact that you don't own the Facebook page is huge. Also, I like the point that Facebook is great for engagement but not conducive to conversion and revenues.
2 years, 9 months ago on Pros and Cons of Facebook As Your Website
I was concerned as I read the first third of this post but I knew you had to be going somewhere. You were and it is a good place. I think businesses need to understand that social media is marketing, getting prospects to a conversion point is sales and that is where the money is made.
3 years ago on The Right Way To Approach Social Media ROI
I thought you talked fast when you presented at #OGS11 but this is amazing. The content is very powerful too!
3 years, 1 month ago on Haiti … Ignite Style