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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Small Business Tips & Guidance from Moooh’s Carlo Trotta – Selling from China, Serving the World

Monday, April 30th, 2012

I had the opportunity to interview Carlo Trotta from Moooh!! and he had a lot of interesting things to say in the interview below.

1. Tell us about your business and who you focus on serving?

Moooh!! is the first social luxury commerce website. We design, handcraft and sell custom made jewelry, apparels, shoes, fashion accessories, ethnic home decor, gifts idea. At moment we sell only jewelry and few accessories, but in the next months we will add many other products. Almost all the products sold on Moooh!! are proudly Made in China. I don’t understand why many luxury brands producing in China, often don’t disclose to their customers the origin place of their products. Moooh!! serve a wide target of customers, people who loves beautiful things, made with good material, good quality manufacturing , elegant, fashionable, unique. Everything sold at very competitive price.

2. How did you get started selling online?

I started to sell on Ebay. Being power seller on different accounts and then I left because of the increasing Ebay commission fees, harassment policy for the sellers and low seller protection given by Paypal.

3. What inspires you to grow your business?

Give to people the possibility to access to beautiful and fashionable quality items at very competitive prices. I want to create a community of shoppers and small businesses through Reward Programs, Promotions, Sweepstakes, Affiliate Programs and other strategic initiatives that we will take during the year.

4. If you had 2 lessons learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what are those?

Total dedication to the customers.  You must create and offer what the customer is looking for, customize and personalize for your customers, then reward them for their purchases. Finally, invest your time more than money.

5. Where has your business focused most of its energy this year?

I will invest in inbound and online marketing. Also I will be really focusing on spread my social media presence so I can create a community of shoppers and small businesses around Moooh!!

6. What do you see as 2 new trends for small businesses and in your business?

I can “predict” a much deeper use of social media and blogging.  It is almost a must these days!  I’m also quite sure also that many small businesses will start to consider developing some type of mobile applications for their business.  Mobile is really taking off and small businesses need to focus on what is their mobile strategy!

7. If your business/store could be any movie or movie character, what movie/movie character would it be and why?

Rocky. Starting from less than zero, exercise, learn, fight, fall down and stand up until the victory. I hope I can make my own movie.

8. If your business could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?

Actually no one, but myself, my customers, my affiliates and small businesses than are around Moooh!! That’s very social and also my dream spokepersons!

9. What is the biggest challenge that your business faces as a small business and how do you work to overcome that challenge?

Raising money to develop and grow the business. I cannot see any other challenge considering that I live in China and there’s no better place than here to have a business and catch the huge opportunities that this wonderful country offers.  That being said raising capital and having enough capital is the biggest challenge.  That capital will make or break making small businesses in China that are serving the world market like me.

10. Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers and the small business community?

Concentrate your effort on your customers, make the product they need, make them love the product they buy and then they will purchase more from you and spread the word. Also relentlessly focus on reduce expenses, cut the unnecessary costs so you can invest your time and dedication to your business. But don’t forget also to dedicate time to your family and friends:) That will keep you truly happy.

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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Thanks Fox Business For Covering KikScore As Their Featured Business of the Day

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

We were really excited that our friends on Twitter nominated us to Fox Business Channel to be featured as their Business of the Day last week.  Special thanks to Kate Rogers the fantastic Fox Business Network Online, Small Business reporter that interviewed and then featured KikScore.  Here is her article: Grading Small Businesses to Close Sales.  Fox Small Business is doing a great job profiling small businesses.  Just follow the hashtag #mysbc on Twitter to see other great businesses that they are profiling and nominate your favorite ones.  We nominated a bunch last week!

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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Top Five Tech Tools You’re Probably Not Using – but SHOULD BE: part one

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Instant Messaging

If you’re like most Small Business owners or operators “of a certain age”, your view of Instant Messaging, if you have one, may be similar to one of the following statements:

  1. Instant Messaging is for kids
  2. I have an email account – what do I need messaging for?
  3. It’s too complicated
  4. I don’t have time for that nonsense
  5. What good could this messaging stuff do for my Small Business?


I’m sure most of you reading this can relate to at least one of the statements above; the last one asks the question is, in fact, the topic of today’s post.

Business, as I’ve mentioned in the previous series, is about relationships. Relationships, in turn, are about communication. I’m sure it’s no secret that email is an essential Small Business tool — if nothing else, it has allowed Small Businesses to save on postage and shipping costs once required to provide instant communication. Where it once took a special delivery or overnight package delivery (and still took at least a day) to ship critical documents to a business partner, vendor or client, we can now attach a PDF or word processor file to an email, and the relevant party receives it almost instantly.

Thus the “instant” in instant messaging — “IM“, as it is commonly known, combines the quickness of a phone conversation with the permanence of text. This second component is not to be overlooked, or taken lightly. How many times have you spoken with someone about a previous conversation, struggling to recall an important detail that neither of you can remember now, because you weren’t recording the call or taking notes?

IM-ing is nothing but taking notes, real-time, as you engage in conversation. Even with a stenographer on hand, you would still probably miss much, and usually only capture your side of the call. With IM, the transcription IS the conversation and, in addition, you have the benefit of:

  1. Including links to relevant websites
  2. Transferring electronic documents and digital images
  3. Copy-and-pasting information from emails and existing documents
  4. Creating a “paper trail” for reference and auditing purposes


In addition to these benefits, IM helps reduce the occurrence of  ”foot-in-mouth disease“: since you type your responses before you transmit them, you have a few seconds before you click “Send” to decide if you want to forward what may amount to an emotional outburst, rather than a well-chosen response.

Google and Yahoo! have standalone chat clients and clients built into their emails; Facebook and MySpace accounts have built-in chat as well. Blackberry, Android and iPhone smartphones all have apps that aggregate all your chat clients into a single location, allowing you to appear online to all your various chat partners.

In addition, there are stand-alone chat tools such as MeeboCitron and ICQ that do the same thing from your desktop. Being able to communicate with your Small Business clients, partners and vendors as quickly as a phone call, with the permanence of text, the ability to embed web links and transfer files may be a novel concept to you, but you must certainly appreciate the possibilities it presents.

Consider it from the perspective of business objectives, not just technology. The strategic business advantages should be quite obvious — if you’re getting the message.


Cornell Green is Your Solopreneur IT Expert, guest blogger for KikScore. Visit him at http://opensourcecio.blogspot.com

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The Speech AND the Pen are Mightier than the Sword: A KikScore Interview with Jill Foster

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the amazing Jill Foster, founder of the speech coaching service liveyourtalk. Writing and giving speeches can be a trying task for some, and Jill is definitely the one to go to when that person is you. From my interview alone, I can safely say that Jill is a fun, energetic, and all-around great person who has a lot of wisdom to share with all of us.

Tell me a little about liveyourtalk.

The whole point of liveyourtalk is to provide coaching services in the social tech industry. I help these people improve their written content and social abilities when delivering speeches and other public speaking situations. I love doing what I do and I’m happy to be living out my dream job.

When and why did you decide to create liveyourtalk?

For years I’ve been teaching and doing various projects in the sales and social media circles. Through this time, I’ve seen a lot of fantastic people who could express their brands online and get into an offstage dynamic. However, I also saw a lot of these same people struggle once they got onto the stage. That’s when I decided it was time to start my business.

My business has been going for about a year and a half. I’ve been able to build on two loves: my love of social tech and my love for really thoughtful presentation and speech writing. The way I see it, creating liveyourtalk has been a great chance to bring more truth and fun into this world in terms of presenting and speech writing.

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced and overcame in launching liveyourtalk?

I would say that the biggest challenge has been learning how my customers think. This meant studying what the market wants from a speaking coach. In the first year of starting liveyourtalk, I discovered that what I wanted to provide wasn’t necessarily what people in the tech industry wanted from a speech writer. It was also pretty difficult to figure out what language they used when creating content for live audiences. It took a while for me to realize that writing is very much grouped in the world of speech coaching. There are certain content needs that must be made easier.

How do you advertise yourself to get more clients?

Actually, I’d say that 90% of my business comes from word-of-mouth. A lot of that business came from participation in my career before starting liveyourtalk. However, I do participate in Facebook and Twitter; more the former than the latter. In both of these, I participate in specific groups to keep within my target audience. My focus is mainly on media and socially centric clients.

Have you had any trouble proving your business’ credibility and legitimacy to potential customers and website visitors?

Not particularly, but there’s always room for improvement. One thing that I know I could always try to do is find ways to make liveyourtalk more socially accessible. What I mean to say is that, although I haven’t really encountered any problems, I’m fully aware that my site could be improved.

When you’re not working on liveyourtalk, what do you do to relax?

I love to exercise. I also have a lot of fun going out somewhere with my husband or friends. Participating in the social tech community is really enjoyable. In fact, I even have some fun video side-projects.

Based on your expertise, what two or three things do you think small businesses should be doing concerning marketing?

Frankly, there are so many different social marketing and social media opportunities that it can sometimes be daunting. One piece of advice I’d give is to look at your overall goals and choose two media platforms to use. But keep in mind that, even though there are so many different ways to use social media, you don’t have to use them all.

Another important thing is to make sure that your business culture is personalized. Give people a feel for your services and show them how you handle yourself in your industry. Again, there are tons of ways to do this. A good way to do this, in my opinion, is to make a 30 second to 1 minute video that goes over your business. It helps to create an image in people’s minds that they can really understand.

What tools would you recommend in the small business world?

A helpful tool that I use is the search function in Twitter. Even if you don’t participate on Twitter, using it to search for certain keywords can give you a lot of information. It’s really helpful when searching for clients and competitors. You can see if they’re on Twitter and, if they are, what they’re doing.

For businesses that feel more comfortable on social networks, I would also recommend HootSuite. It can help you organize your social media conversations, like those in Facebook and Twitter, as well as set up ongoing feeds for what you search. It also has measuring tools for tracking how much someone is looked at on social media sites.

If you had to pick two lessons that you’ve learned from launching and maintaining liveyourtalk, what would they be?

The greatest lesson I’ve learned in getting liveyourtalk off the ground is that you must develop working systems for your business. It’s important to be fun, clear and artistic when you’re on the stage. Therefore, you need to figure out a system for how to create this feeling while conveying it with good content.

In addition to this, I’ve learned that it is essential to remind yourself to pull back for a minute and look at your business as its own entity. By doing this, you can get an objective view of your business and see how you can make it successful.

Thanks to Jill Foster for an incredible interview! I hope that everyone can learn as much from her expertise and enthusiasm as I have!

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Five $5 Dollar Marketing Strategies with Fiverr

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Efficient marketing has been and will always be a key function of business, especially when dealing with small businesses. Most small businesses do not have the financial capital to support a full-fledged ad campaign and have to find other, relatively cheaper marketing tools and techniques to find their target market and attract customers. In this day and age, the internet provides many cheap and free marketing tools, such as blogging, e-mailing, and operating social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. These are great tools to exploit when marketing, but another trending site to utilize is www.fiverr.com.

Fiverr is a social marketplace website that allows for the purchasing and selling of a magnitude of services for only $5. Yes, you read it right: only $5! This website is an excellent source for inexpensive outsourcing of a wide variety of different services. The services provided on the site, called “gigs”, range from video marketing to advice to SEO building. While you may find some offbeat and bizarre services offered, such as “I will cry and put any text on a paper” or “I will be your girlfriend/wife or anything else on facebook for one week”, this website is actually does offer many great opportunities for small businesses. Here are five marketing tactics that you can implement through fiverr:

1. Video Marketing

Making videos is extremely time consuming and requires a lot of technical work for your company; instead, for only $5, you can outsource this work to a freelancer on fiverr and with your vision and guidance, he/she will make you a commercial within 2 weeks! In fact, it was too great of a deal to pass up so we at KikScore capitalized on a fiverr “gig” and had a professional video made. All we needed to do was provide the freelancer with the text and photos we wanted to use, and they put the entire video together. Check it out below!

embedded by Embedded Video

2. Writing

In addition to have a video made of virtually anything, whether it is a professional commercial or an animated cartoon, there are also a bunch of talented writers on fiverr, both business and song writers. There are many people offering to write jingles or raps on your company and what it provides and those funny and creative tunes can definitely bring in new customers! In addition to song writing though, there are also many “gigs” offering to write press releases or just articles on any topic.

3. Market Research

While I wouldn’t solely rely on fiverr freelancers for an extensive market research report, I would use their service for some basic research. For only $5, you can pay someone to conduct brief research for your business while you focus on more productive business tasks.

4. Graphics, Banners, and Logos

Similar to making videos, oftentimes designing new banners or graphics for your business’ website requires expensive graphic design work. Instead, you can outsource that work to the fiverr community, where there are a good amount of awesome, professional graphic designers.

5. Search Engine Optimization

SEO optimization is extremely crucial for all small online businesses. All businesses strive to be on the first pages of search engines like Google and Yahoo!, and employing effective SEO optimization techniques is necessary. On fiverr, many sellers offer “gigs” that will improve your business’ SEO, whether it is by social bookmarking, promoting your links on social media outlets or different directories, or helping you build a LinkedIn following.

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False Positives: The Problem of Fake Customer Reviews

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Psst..hey have you heard? Someone’s putting fake positive reviews for companies. There’s a black market for people who are willing to write fake positive reviews of products, places or services. Since more and more people are looking online for reviews of products, places and services, the demand for good reviews is growing.  As more and more positive reviews are being written, the demand for more positive reviews increases. It’s a positive feedback cycle.

How to tell if a review is fake or not

So what about these fake reviews? Well most of them are hard to spot. Luckily for businesses, a team of researchers have come up with an algorithm to determine if that review you got on Yelp is fake or not.  So, how did they determine the algorithm? Well the long answer’s in the link I gave you. The short answer is this. The fake reviews tend to be more narrative, have vauge descriptions about whatever they are reviewing and tend to use the words “I”‘ and “me”‘ often.

So why need an algorithm at all? Well take a look at this. Don’t read the descriptions and ignore the highlighted words for a minute. Just read the review. Could you tell it wasn’t real? No? Well neither could I. The Cornell researchers have an explanation for this. Since humans have been communicating face to face for about 60,000 years, it’s much harder for us to pick up clues about deception in things such as reviews. You know this to be true, if you’ve ever had a misunderstanding over email.

So how do you prevent fake reviews? You can try setting up a review guideline. Try asking your customers to put the name of the person who helped them, describe the product or service in detail and point out the parts that they liked the best or had some problem with. If the review has passion, chances are it’s a real review.

A brief bit about negative reviews

Then there’s the flip-side, negative reviews. These are often posted by competitors or people who really don’t like the business. Surprisingly,  the trend is more towards writing positive reviews. But, that’s not to say that negative reviews aren’t important too.  Negative reviews can help you figure out what went wrong with that new pasta recipe you were trying out last Friday night. So keep an eye on those too. Also, if you answer negative reviews really quickly and fix/compensate for the problem, your bad review might just change to a good one!

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What Small Businesses can learn from India

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Last month, I was away on vacation to India. It was great. I spent time with family and traveled a bit. One thing I did notice is that in India, the presence of Social Media is not as apparent as it is here. Here, there are Twitter and Facebook icons plastered all over the place. There…well I didn’t see any.

Taking advantage of Facebook and Twitter So one thing to take advantage of, if you’re a small business here is the large presence of Facebook and Twitter. So get a Facebook page and start tweeting those deals that your company may be offering. Another reason why companies should utilize Facebook and Twitter, is that Facebook and Twitter have made it easy to integrate users with a small business. For example, a user could use a Facebook account to sign up for coupons or newsletters, while Twitter accounts can be used to get instant updates. In India, in the city I stayed in, I noticed that the celebrities talked about in the paper, did not have Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. Now celebrities are usually the trendsetters, so since they didn’t have those, I didn’t think that a large segment of the population would either.Another thing about India is that internet access is spotty and in most places, there isn’t any. There are internet cafes, but those are expensive. So, small business in India use billboards, fliers and posters to advertise.

Reasons for Being Online So, the best thing for companies here to do, which they are already doings, is to take advantage of the nice, almost widespread network in the US. Almost everyone has access to a computer at any given time, meaning that small businesses can reach a large audience and can work in various time-zones. Plus, you save on ink and paper with online advertising. Another good thing about your customers being online is the almost instantaneous feedback you get. Soon after using your product or service, customers can comment on it online on your Facebook page or on sites like Yelp. So, monitor those sites and that Facebook page of yours and if you reply to customers almost immediately after they post the comment, you’ll probably get brownie points with ‘em.

Take advantage of new technology For example, one of my uncles has his own eye clinic. He also has the latest Apple gadgets available in India. I’ve never seen him with a camera, except for the one on his iPad. Once when I was looking through his pictures, I noticed that he had a lot of pictures of eye aliments. Instead of writing down a detailed description of the problem, he just uses the pictures as notes instead. So, if you small business owners have any technology, new or old(as long as it’s not a cassette tape or anything similar) take advantage of what it can do. It can’t hurt and might even help.

So, if you’re a small business take advantage of the Social Media opportunities around you and the technology you have or will get sometime soon. Preferably sometime today.

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Top Ten Reasons Small Businesses Fail, part seven: Location

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Location

You may be familiar with the age-old expression that the three keys to success in Real Estate are “Location, location and location“. Clearly building family housing in the middle of an industrial zone is not likely to attract buyers.

Similarly, Your Small Business must be located, well… as close as possible to prospective customers. A tattoo parlor in a retirement village might attract curious onlookers, but probably not enough buyers to keep you in business. A shop specializing in infant and toddler wear in a location populated by childless professionals is likewise doomed to failure.

The strategic importance of location in the physical world may be somewhat obvious, but what about in the virtual world of online business? “Location?” you might ask. “Isn’t online everywhere??” Well, yes and no. In the case of launching an online business, location applies to the likelihood of your website being seen and visited by your prospective customer or client.

If you build it, they will come” applies only to that baseball movie starring Kevin Costner. Many online Small Business owners and operators make the mistake of believing that once they’ve built their shiny, “Web 2.0″ site, their work is done. The stark reality is that merely having a website, however well-designed, simply isn’t enough to guarantee a steady stream of paying customers. A website in the forest of the Internet that has no traffic makes no money.

There are more active registered websites than there are human beings walking the planet. That’s “billions“, with a “B“. This means that many websites languish in obscurity, receiving no traffic whatever. Clearly, steps must be taken to increase the likelihood of attracting potential clients to your site.

Here’s a short list, by no means exhaustive, of traffic building tips:

  1. Register your site with the major search engines (you can do this yourself – don’t wait to be noticed)
  2. Use “meta tags” and keywords properly (click the links for guidance)
  3. Create a Google Places listing (this is the equivalent of a listing in the local phone book white pages)


Just as you cannot take your existing clients or customers for granted, you can’t take your potential clients for granted either. Businesses, Small and large, depend on the steady flow of activity from clients old and new to survive.

The Internet, fast, interactive and virtual, allows Small Businesses to compete at a level that may be impossible if they are required to maintain a physical facility. But even a virtual storefront must be properly maintained, or it will soon display the digital equivalent of a “Going out of Business” sign.


Series inspired by “Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail” by: Connie Holt, E.A. cholt@henssler.com
The Henssler Financial Group Position Paper
© 2004 The Henssler Financial Group | www.henssler.com


Cornell Green is Your Open Source CIO, guest blogger for KikScore. Visit him at http://opensourcecio.blogspot.com

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A Conversation with Candice Cabe of “Day2Night Convertible Heels”: Venturing Into the World of Start-Ups

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I had the pleasure of talking to Candice Cabe, who is the CEO of an innovative startup called “Day2Night Convertible Heels.”  Her company focuses on simplifying life for women who want to be both practical and stylish.  Her business targeting women-on-the-go, and is quickly plunging into the entrepreneurial world.  We spoke briefly about her ventures, as well as what it’s like to be a small-business owner in today’s quickly-changing world of business.  Thank you, Candice for speaking to me and sharing your experiences with our readers.  We wish you the best of luck in the future!

Tell us a little bit about your business and what makes it unique.

We invented a high heel shoe that converts from high heels down to lower heels.  It is a new kind of technology.  The shoes have interchangeable heels so that women can wear the same pair of shoes but adjust the heel height.  It’ll be the first time that women can wear fashionable and much more comfortable shoes at the same time.

What prompted you to start this business?  Was there a problem you aimed on solving?

The main problem is that women love to wear high heels, but usually after a few hours of wearing them, their feet really start to hurt. They’re usually forced to carry extra shoes with them in their bag to wear to work in the morning or to go out at night.

One of the stories that I tell a lot is that I was packing for a trip – I had to go on a corporate trip down to Miami for a few days and I was told to pack lightly and not check baggage.  I was trying to fit all of these shoes into my little tiny suitcase and I noticed that I ended having three pairs of shoes that looked similar but all had different heel heights, depending on what I was going to be doing.  I knew that immediately when I was getting off the plane, we were going to be chartering a boat and going on that for a few hours, so I was going to need small heels.  Later, we were going to be walking around the tradeshow for a few hours.  I needed to look appropriate in my suit and wear medium-height heels.  Then we were going to go out for a fancier dinner at night so I needed to have high stiletto shoes.  All my shoes looked the same but had different heel heights.  Also, they were taking up so much room in my suitcase.  I thought that it would be so nice to have a travel shoe – one shoe that you can wear to multiple occasions.

What are your short-term goals for the next year?  What kind of things is your business focusing on?

Right now we’re working on refunding and financing.  We’re trying to get some money in the door to finish prototyping.  We are also going to have to invest in getting a mold made.  Once we have a mold, we’ll be able to mass-produce the shoes in China.  We’re also looking for a shoe designer and a shoe manufacturer.  We already have one, but we’re looking for an alternative one.  We’re also trying to close some deals – we’re hoping to do a licensing deal with an existing shoe company.  We’re talking to companies like Steve Madden and zappos.com.  It would be great to get a licensing deal with a larger shoe company.

What do you see as the biggest challenges for small businesses in today’s society and economy?  What do you see as the best solutions to these challenges?

Funding, for sure, is number one.  Another one is building a team and getting people to work for straight equity instead of money is difficult – so getting people to either quit their jobs or to work for you full time.

The biggest thing that I’ve done is just talk to everybody I know or everybody I can think of.  I go to a lot of networking events and tell people what I’m trying to do and what I’m struggling with.  People always want to help, especially if you specifically tell them what you’re struggling with, which makes it easy for people to introduce you to other people.

From your experience, what are the best ways to advertise yourself?  Do you make use of tools like social media?

We have been using a lot of social media tools.  We use Facebook and Twitter and we have our own website.  We’re working on search engine optimization, for example Google keywords.

Where do you go to find advice or to get information that is relevant to your business?  Where would you recommend that other small businesses in the community go?  How do you connect with other businesses?

There’s a book that I’d like to recommend to people.  It’s called The Four Steps to the Epiphany.  That’s a book that is helpful for this kind of business that can help business owners get some customers and prove that people want things in the way that you’re doing them.  It’s a good way to get information to people.

Have you had any problems with demonstrating trust to your potential clients or customers?

People seem to be pretty good with trust.  Sometimes people have issues with our particular product.  They are reluctant to believe that the product will hold up well and be sturdy enough and strong enough.  What we’ve done to reassure customers is have a couple of videos on our website demonstrating the shoes, how they’re worn, and how they work.  In the future, we’re hoping to get a lot of customer reviews, feedback, and testimonials from people.  Communication is very important.  We’re trying to put ourselves out there so that people can better understand what we’re doing.

If you could choose a dream spokesperson to represent your business, who would it be?

My dream spokesperson would be Carrie Underwood because we would love to have a celebrity that would be able to wear our shoes.  I think that a lot of people would follow suit.  She’s a rising star and an American Idol and holds a lot of credibility for young women in America.

What do you see as the future for small businesses like yours?  Are you seeing any trends or changes developing?

I’m in the startup world of Boston, which is a really big startup community and city.  It seems that more and more young folks are starting businesses right out of college.  Instead of graduating college and immediately trying to find a job, people are thinking creatively and taking entrepreneurial courses or looking up to other young startups.

Do you have any parting comments or words of advice to our readers and the small business community?

If you have an idea, you should act on it.  Ideas can be a dime in a dozen, but it’s really about execution.  I think that if people put all of their effort into starting a business…if they’re passionate about it and tell everybody they know about it, then almost anyone can start their own business.  I encourage people to start their own businesses and try to ground themselves with people who have done so and been successful.  It’s good to have mentorship from people who know how things work.

I hope you enjoyed reading this interview and I hope you gained something from Candice’s words of wisdom and many insights into what it’s like to own a start-up.  What do you think of her ideas?

Feel free to leave feedback here or contact Candice through her site: http://www.convertible-heels.com/Day2Night.html

Support her business here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2072356942/day2night-convertible-high-heel-shoes

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3 Tools for Boosting Your Business’ Image

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

When businesses are in the startup phase, how and where to advertise is an important matter. In many cases, the internet is an excellent way to kick off the process. There’s a ton of different ways to hang up your “open for business” sign in the online world. These places can range anywhere from your own website to getting a shout out from one of your buddies who has a strong online presence. Let’s face it, though: no one has the time to take advantage of every opportunity. Founders and employees have far too much to do when starting a business, which causes certain opportunities to be neglected. It’s for this very reason that prioritizing where to advertise yourself is key.

Prioritizing, however, is no different than anything else, meaning that help from others is never a bad idea. In this case, help can come in the form of a few suggestions. In this spirit, we feel the need to mention three places that we use in the hopes that you can find new openings for advertisement and help your business grow.

#1: paper.li

If you want to augment your blog with something a little different, this is the place. Paper.li allows you to create your own online newspaper. Put articles up about what you want and have them connect to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Another great thing about this site is that you don’t need to come up with some way to find a staff of writers and editors. You’re free to link to articles about whatever you want and from wherever you want. In a sense, paper.li is an open newspaper company with a stash of unused articles. Pick out the ones you want and share them with your followers. For an example of Paper.li, check out The KikScore Startup & Small Biz Daily.

#2: CrunchBase

CrunchBase is a unique part of the ever popular TechCrunch. However, instead of news, CrunchBase provides an environment in which different technology-based companies, people, and investors can come together and market themselves.

Every company and person in this directory is editable and all changes are moderated for accuracy before going live. This helps to foster a sense of trust in what you are reading when looking through different information. Since TechCrunch is in itself a reputable site for technology information, you can bet the businesses on CrunchBase will be taken just as seriously.

#3: VentureBeat Profiles

TradeVibes, having been acquired by VentureBeat, is now VentureBeat Profiles. Similar in its setup to CrunchBase, VentureBeat Profiles contains useful information from a large list of businesses.

Ever a source for innovation news, VentureBeat aims to gather the information contained in VentureBeat Profiles to provide interesting stories while promoting businesses. In addition, news such as company press releases will be used to gather more information and help hype followers up for any upcoming events. Not all functions may be up for VentureBeat Profiles at the moment since they are continuously developing new ways to incorporate this newly acquired site, but that just means there is even more reason to keep an eye on it.

Hopefully these three sites will come in handy for you, just as they have for us. For another good source of suggested sites, take a look at this list that was compiled by Focus. As I’ve stated above, advertisement is all about where to market yourself. It’s not always the “cakewalk” we’d like it to be, but hey…what is? At the very least, we can help you get off on a good start!

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