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Posts Tagged ‘Ecommerce Trends’

KikScore SmallBiz Interviews’ Greatest Hits & Top Strategy Tips for Entrepreneurs: Part I

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

KikScore has had the pleasure of interviewing many small business owners over the past few years, asking these entrepreneurs about all areas of their businesses and what has spurred their growth, while also throwing in light-hearted pop-culture related questions.

In Part I of this two-part Greatest Hits series, I will highlight the top five lessons learned from these interviews with regards to establishing a successful small business. Many of these innovative and impressive business owners shared related advice and acknowledged similar trends in the e-commerce field. So without further ado, here are the Top 5 Things You Should Do When Starting a Small Business:

5. Keep your website simple and easy to navigate

– “My advice to people about an online presence is to keep it simple and clean and VERY easy to navigate AND to have a Content Management System (CMS) so you can update your site yourself.” (Whitney Zimet, owner of I Am The Maven)

– “Spend the money to get a good website.  We went with a woman who did “websites for small businesses” but she really wasn’t experienced in sites with a retail/shopping cart component.  So, the site looked okay on the surface, but I later learned that she had used very amateur programming on the back end, making it enormously difficult for another web programmer to make changes.  This also limited our SEO.” (Kimberley Stewart from OnBoard Outfitters)

4. Have a flexible business model, being able to adjust quickly to a changing environment

– “Never think what you’re doing today is what you’ll be doing 10 years from today. Markets change and products evolve. Learn to adapt quickly.” (Michael Alter, President of SurePayroll)

– “Be willing to change.  Always look at your business in a new way.” (Rick Shoop, owner of Oregon Seafoods)

3. Utilize social media outlets

-“Another trend is tapping into more social media platforms and applications.  Combining sites such as Facebook with applications developed by Wildfire you are very quickly able to promote coupons, contests, and/or sweepstakes.” (Brian Esposito, CEO of Avenue You Beauty Store)

– “Take full advantage of all social network and free Internet advertising. 50% of our sales come from social networking sites, the chain reaction you can achieve from them is priceless.” (S.J. Trotter, owner of www.exclusiveclothingretail.com)

2. Establish a safe and secure online presence

– “Apart from that, customer’s satisfaction is also of utmost importance to online business. Exceptional customer service results in greater customer retention, which in turn results in higher profitability. We therefore strongly believe that customer loyalty is one of the most crucial and major contributors to sustainable profit growth. Over 60% of our profits are from customers who came back and made their purchases more than once within the 3-month period.” (Margaret Chan, owner of Cherry’s Brandname Gallery)

– “In 2010, much of our energy will be focused on improving the website and making sure our customers have confidence in shopping with us. KikScore is a great tool that helps us demonstrate that trust online.” (Madalyn Duerr, owner of Tufted Topper)

1. Keep the long-term goal in perspective and never give up

– “Most importantly: Don’t let anyone tell you no. You are your own best advocate and no one is going to do the work for you. Don’t let obstacles prevent your idea from ever being tested – you have to go out and do it.” (Andrew Shelton from Trackpack Coolers)

– “In my opinion the most important ingredient in a business’s success is the passion of the person or people running it.” (Mark Sarpa, CEO of Frecklebox)

– “Stay far from timid, Only make moves when your heart’s in it, And live the phrase ‘sky’s the limit'” (The Notorious B.I.G.)

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Posts Tagged ‘Ecommerce Trends’

Advertising Evolves to Become More Effective and Relevant Amidst Privacy Concerns

Monday, January 17th, 2011

If you own a house in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area or any state where door-to-door soliciting is legal, there’s a good chance you’ve had your fair share of canvassers come knock on your door. If the canvasser introduced himself as Mike and tried to say something about a free estimate for windows before you told him to get lost, we’ve probably already met. Like myself years ago, most canvassers are teenagers in high-school, attracted by the commission-based pay and opportunity to work outside. A backlash against door-to-door marketing has grown as disenchanted workers and homeowners accused companies of exploiting unskilled youth labor and invading personal privacy. Minors are barred from canvassing and telemarketing in many states, according to the US Department of Labor

Since beginning college at American University, I’ve left the unfortunate trade of canvassing in favor of unpaid internships that do not induce ego rot caused by constant rejection by cold-call leads. The state of advertising has evolved since, becoming more personalized by utilizing the personal information that most Americans make available online. Cold call marketing, such as through telemarketing and canvassing, is being replaced by personalized ads on the internet. Business owners are no longer left to shoot in the dark. Facebook has pioneered this front by allowing businesses to create ads (using this simple form) that appear to users based on personal information posted in their profiles. Although I’ve discovered a few good bands through these ads, aimed specifically toward me because I like 50+ artists, most are no more relevant than anything I’d expect to hear from a telemarketer. Despite Facebook’s efforts to deliver relevant ads, promotions for Methadone treatment and Doom Metal bands still make their way to bewildered consumers.

Those who have seen Steven Speilberg’s film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report remember a scene where Tom Cruise is immediately identified by ubiquitous retina scanners when walking into a mall, and bombarded with personal advertisements. “Hey, Tom, you really look like you could use a Guinness.”

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Video

With the consistently growing presence of advertisements in our culture, this dystopia may be an accurate prediction of the future for consumers. Is Facebook already crossing the line by utilizing users’ personal information to direct advertisements? Or is this a better alternative to being harassed by telemarketers and canvassers?

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Posts Tagged ‘Ecommerce Trends’

How the NFL Draft Can Help You With Online Trust

Friday, April 23rd, 2010


This is one of my favorite times of the year for sports.  The time of hope, promise and turnaround.  That means it is time for the NFL Draft!  My team, the Cleveland Browns, always enters this part of the year and the draft with hopes of getting the amazing college football prospect that will revitalize the team, give us a winning season for once and hopefully (yeah right) a trip to the Super Bowl.  The issue is that you never know if a player your team picks in the draft is going to turn out like you hoped and will deliver on all of the expectations you have built up for them or turn out to be a bust.  Or worse yet, that player ends up breaking the law and not only is he a bust, but he then becomes a shame to the team and the city.  In many ways this is similar to the issue of figuring out who you can trust online for doing business and for online shopping.

In the NFL Draft process, the teams that do the best job are the ones that do the most diligence on the college football prospects.  These are just some of the things that NFL teams and scouts do in the diligence and research process before selecting a player in the draft:

1) Conduct extensive background checks;

2) Put players through multiple interviews and give them tests;

3) Review, analyze and dissect a player’s past performances in college games and;

4) Talk to their coaches, teachers and other experts.

That is all done before draft day and before a player is selected.  And its all done on hundreds of players.  The interesting thing is what NFL teams are looking for in college players is very  similar to what shoppers look for before buying online: 1) a track record of success; 2) good character; 3) reliability and trustworthiness; 4) the ability to deliver and meet expectations and 5) someone you can depend on and that can be your “go to” person.

All of these traits are exactly what people look for for in businesses that operate online as indications of whether you can trust that business.  The commonality between the NFL teams that put players through these tests and online shoppers is: Information!  Information is king.  It is not only having access to that information but it is also having the right information about trustworthiness and reliability to make an informed decision about buying from an online store or selecting a contractor or consultant online that you have come across online.

So next time you are out looking to buy online or select a contractor, be like an NFL scout and look for these types of information. That will help you stay safe when you are shopping online.  Also businesses that have a KikScore seal certainly help shoppers get much of this trust and reliability information.  But just make sure you end up selecting the next Tom Brady and not Ryan Leaf when you decide to do business online!

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Posts Tagged ‘Ecommerce Trends’

Contemporary Furniture Expert, SmallBiz Owner & Blogger, Rebecca Malik, Talks to KikScore

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Today’s small business interview is with the President of DC-based, 17thandRiggs.com’s Rebecca Malik.  Rebecca holds a dear place in KikScore’s hearts for a number of reasons besides the fact that she is just a very cool person, but she is also one of KikScore’s very first customers late last year when we launched.  Lucky for us she is very happy with KikScore.  Well, enough about us…..Rebecca comes from a family of a long line of entrepreneurs.  She has recently been tapping into that entrepreneurial lineage by working on a line of shoes, getting 17thandRiggs.com designed, developed and launched and blogging for two woman’s based small business and lifestyle community websites.  From these experiences and especially from her work that she has put in at building an ecommerce site from the ground up, she has some excellent guidance for our small business readers.

1. Tell us about 17thandRiggs.com and who you focus on serving?

17thandRiggs.com features contemporary furniture, lighting and home décor.  We focus on carrying pieces that have sleek, simple lines and evoke a sense of space.  The pieces are also chosen because they work well in many types of décor – they are not hyper-modern or too formal.  I feel that our customers are people who love a sophisticated, modern look, and focus on the overall picture.  They realize that an accent piece is as important as a focal point.  Also, I may be biased, but I think our careful selection of furnishings ensures that prestigious interior designers turn to us for their furniture and lighting needs.

2. How did you get your started selling online?

I’ve shopped online almost exclusively for years and know how hard I would look for items that fit my aesthetic and that I knew were of high quality at a good price.  This site is truly a way for me to pick and choose items that I love and make them accessible to others.  Beyond that, my father actually started selling handmade fireplace mantels online years ago.  His ability to reach customers across the country from his small shop in Florida was eye-opening.  After I left my last job at an interior design firm, I decided to take my interest and passion for design, contemporary furniture, lighting and decor and launch an online store.  That is the way 17thandRiggs.com was born.

3. Where will 17thandRiggs focus most of its energy in 2010?

We will be honing our product lines to ensure we carry our favorite designs.  These are furniture and décor pieces that are high-quality, beautiful and a great value.  We will also be steering our efforts to create an even more specialized lighting category.  Our lamps and pendants are consistently some of our biggest sellers and with their broad spectrum of designs they are always such fun items to handle.

I will also be continually reviewing my business and my marketing plan.  I feel like that is something that every business needs to do on a regular basis.  Otherwise you run the risk of not being focused and not having an underlying theme to everything that you are doing as a business.

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

I would say to start out simply – don’t try to offer everything but pick items that make the most sense from an inventory/availability perspective and that are cohesive with your vision for your site.  That and SEO is key.  Integrate your keywords as you go along.  Small businesses like mine can spend forever trying to keep the product information on your site up to date let alone trying to update SEO information so my suggestion would be to do it well the first time around. Here is a post I wrote on the subject titled: How To: An Entrepreneur Improves SEO For Her Ecommerce Site.

5.  What are 2 new trends in your business this year?

Of course, anything eco-friendly is as popular as ever.  As far as new trends, I see people getting more and more adventurous with their lighting choices.  Fun pendants and table lamps are great ways to push the envelope in your décor without making a huge purchase.

For an overall business trend, I would say that outsourcing from a small business perspective.  But it would not be outsourcing as the “four letter” word we know it as.  This would be focusing your small business on your core skills.  Then getting experts, freelancers, consultants, and virtual assistants to fill out the rest of your business and support you as you grow your business.  I now source resources and support for website design, virtual assistants and marketing support from places like Craigslist and Elance.  But you have to be careful and rigorously interview these folks before they are hiredbecause they will never care about your business and your customers like you do.

6. How have you used social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and your blog to help 17thandRiggs?

For me, Twitter has been a great way to learn about other organizations and companies out there with similar or complementary businesses.  It has also been a great place to get leads and also converse with other small businesses. My blog  (http://blog.17thandRiggs.com) has been a unique way for me to process things and continually think big picture regarding my business and the 17thandRiggs.com brand.  Sometimes having to hone into choosing a topic for an article forces you to think about the direction you are heading in and evaluating whether it fits your overall vision of my website, the business and my brand.  That can be very beneficial, especially when your business is at a crossroads.

I have also had the honor of being a guest contributor at the woman’s entrepreneur, startup and small business community site called  Women Grow Business that has been run by the super awesome Jill Foster and Shonali Burke (though I have been on a short hiatus lately since my lovely daughter, Asha, was born at the end of December!)  I recently started contributing to LVC Mag, a woman’s lifestyle community. Guest blogging has been a great experience for me and a nice way to connect and network with other entrepreneurs.  I recommend it for small businesses, especially those that are just starting out.

7. Do you have any parting thoughts?

As this is an interview for KikScore, it makes sense to touch upon my thoughts on the KikScore seal here.  I appreciate that it is a centralized way for customers to share thoughts about my business.  I also think the information they compile provides a fair and verified representation of my business to visitors of 17thandRiggs.com.  As a regular online shopper, I feel that combining financial and management information, website history and polices coupled with interactive customers’ reviews is a genius way to prove that you are a reputable company to deal with and give shoppers a good idea of what they can expect from the experience.  I also think the level of transparency it provides is invaluable in instilling confidence in visitors to our site and helping us convert them into customers.



We want to thank Rebecca for this interview. If you have any specific questions for Rebecca, please leave a comment and we will make sure we get them answered.  Also just for full disclosure, Rebecca somehow married one of my partner’s in KikScore, Raj.  My wife and I wonder every time we see Raj & Rebecca, what was Rebecca thinking!!!

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Posts Tagged ‘Ecommerce Trends’

How you respond to customer issues is important… anyone can be reading!

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

While researching a couple of issues from a recent KikScore customer signup,  the importance of a quick and informative response to current and would be customers became critically evident.  As a small business, you need to educate your customers so they have confidence in the product you are providing, and also share information in layman’s terms to alleviate confusion and not tech-speak your customers into oblivion.

I struggle with this balance while straddling the technical and marketing role at KikScore (and in my day job too).   Your customer base doesn’t share the in-depth knowledge that your team has on the inner-workings of your system, and thus you need to take a step back when responding to a customer inquiry/issue and put yourself in the customer’s shoes.   This entails not only empathizing with the issue at hand, but also providing deeper context surrounding the potential resolution/fix to the customer’s concern and conveying that back to them in a timely and informative manner.

In the world of social media today, any response you share with customers (and prospects) can (and most likely will) be posted or passed along the internet waves and will have an impact on not only the legitimacy of your business/product but also on its future branding potential.

SocialSmallBiz is doing a series on customer support and social media and the intertwining of each.  A fantastic quote to live by, for ANY small business owner “It Takes Months to Find a Customer… seconds to lose one”

How do you handle your customer inquiries and responses?  Please share your best practices and lessons learned with us.

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Posts Tagged ‘Ecommerce Trends’

KikScore Interviews Name.com – Local Denver Domain Registration Company

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

I stumbled upon Name.com about a month ago while researching local small businesses.  They are a close knit team that is very active in the Denver community and show a strong passion for small business and teamwork.  Lesley Yarbrough, the Community Manager of Name.com shares with us their exciting story.

1. Tell us about Name.com and who you focus on serving?

Name.com was founded in 2003 by Bill Mushkin, who previously founded Mushkin Enhanced. Our office is located in gorgeous Denver, CO in an old building that was part of Lowry Air Force Base.   Name.comis comprised of an awesome  and diverse group of people working hard to create innovative tools and provide our customers with the best service possible.

Really we focus on serving three different groups:

  • Retail customers
  • Small to medium sized business and startups
  • Domain investors or “domainers”

2. There are a lot of domain sites out there.  How does Name.com differentiate from the competition?

We try to provide the best search tools we can to help our customers find the right name for their needs. For instance, our Domain Suggestion tool  is very unique in that it not only provides our keyword suggestions, but also Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) translations and Google Keyword suggestions. We also offer over 50 extensions for registration and awesome, personal support for all of our customers.

3. Where will Name.com focus most of its energy in 2010?

A lot of our energy in 2010 is going to be focused on reaching out to our community and establishing more of a local/regional presence here in Colorado. We’ve recently hired a Community Manager to help us with this effort. We also want to focus on improving our search capabilities and providing more value-added products to our customers.

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

Try new ideas and act on them quickly, because if you don’t someone will beat you to the punch. Also we’re working to create more strategic partnerships and “acting quickly” can be applied to that as well.

5. As 2010 begins, what do you see as 2 new trends in your business this year?

IDNs are pretty popular in the investor community and we see those becoming more mainstream this year. We think we’ll also start to see a higher adoption rate of alternative extensions (.TV, .MOBI, .IM, .TEL, etc.) as fewer .COM and .NET domains are available.

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

Honestly, the first thing that came to mind was The Big Lebowski .  We’re genuine, laid back, and we can get the job done. The Dude abides.

7. If Name.com could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?

Why Gary Vaynerchuk of course! We’re huge fans of Gary in our office, we love his passion, his hard work, and his honesty.  We take what he has to say to heart and try to crush it every day. He actually did a personalized video for us recently when we ordered a bunch of his books for a promotion.

8. How do the folks at Name.com let loose after a busy day working?

We’re a diverse bunch, so we let loose a few different ways. Being located in Colorado we have access to great biking, hiking, skiing, and all that fun stuff. We have a ping pong table in our office and sometimes we’ll have tournaments, so there’s a bit of friendly competition going on. We also do a weekly web show called Beer Fridays.

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

Work hard, show your customers you care, and keep on rockin’!

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Posts Tagged ‘Ecommerce Trends’

Social Commerce Camp DC Wrap-Up, Summary and Presentation Slides

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Social Media Assassins at KikScore's Social Commerce Camp DCSwami Shashi B taking pictures and chatting at a packed house at Social Commerce Camp DC sponsored by KikScore and Network Solutions

Shashi B talking social media at KikScore's and Network Solutions sold out Social Commerce Camp DC

Shashi B talking social media at KikScore's and Network Solutions Social Commerce Camp DC

Social Commerce Camp DC speakers and Sponsors Network Solutions, KikScore and MyBusinessAssistant

Social Commerce Camp DC speakers and Sponsors Network Solutions, KikScore and MyBusinessAssistant

Last Saturday morning, KikScore, Network Solutions, and MyBusinessAssistant.com put on the first ever Social Commerce Camp DC at the downtown offices of Mayer Brown.  The event actually sold out after receiving considerable coverage in a number of places like  Techcocktail the Washington ExaminerWomenGrowBusinessand GrowSmartBusiness. More than 70 small businesses, social media enthusiasts and online sellers showed up for networking and learning.  The event featured three sessions from social media experts that included practical tips for using various social media tools, a real case study of social commerce success and great PR tips for small business. Pictures of the event, including the post-SCCDC Chipolte run, can be found here.

The morning got kicked off with some early networking, a great breakfast provided by the sponsors and everyone’s excitement about being in the absolutely gorgeous town hall conference room overlooking 19th Street.  After some introductory remarks, Network Solutions’ Shashi B got Social Commerce Camp DC going with his rousing, often funny and super useful Social Media 101 for Small Business. Check out Shashi’s slides below that cover a range of subjects on social media including the basics of a small business social media plan which are: 1) Set up Google Alerts about your business, industry and your own name; 2) Start participating in conversations; 3) Become a content publisher via Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, podcasts, Facebook etc 4) Claim you business on Yelp; 5) Encourage customers to review you and 6) Start using videos.

After a quick networking break, Steve Fisher and Mike Doughtery began the second session with an energetic and highly informative case study presentation on Creating a Killer Social Commerce Website Experience.  It featured the very interesting discussion of their launch and promotion of the movie Browncoats: Redemption. Steve and Mike got the audience engaged as they walked through the basic components of building a successful social commerce experience which are: 1) Social Shopping; 2) Ratings & Reviews; 3) Recommendations & Referrals; 4) Forums & Communities; 5) Social Media; and 6) Social advertising.

After setting the baseline for the audience of the basics of the social commerce experience, Mike highlighted how the Browncoats: Redemption experience used a 6 step strategy to create awareness and buzz around the movie.  The 6 steps were: 1)   Establish your goals; 2) Build the community; 3) Give them good content; 4) Get them involved; 5) Get them investing and 6) Share the success.  Check out their slides and the embedded video clips in them for more on the highly anticipated movie, their case study and these 6 steps:

The final session of the day featured the very highly regarded PR and social media specialist, Shonali Burke, who gave the attendees a great hands-on tutorial on PR Best Practices for Small Business. Shonali stressed that so much of PR today for small business is about relationships, presenting yourself in a consistent and presentable manner through your various online and offline channels.  The audience got great tips on tools to use to get to know their customers better with survey tools like Survey Monkey along with good press release tools like Pitch Engine.  Here are Shonali’s highly informative slides:

Some quick final thoughts.  We think it was a great first event and thank all of the participants and speakers.   Check out the hastag #sccdc on Twitter for the stream and conversation about the Social Commerce DC.  Lastly, look out as the next Social Commerce Camp will be in Denver later this spring.  In the meantime, we encourage all participants to keep up the good vibes and connect with each other! Also please check out the KikScore (SCCDC’s sponsor!) website out. We would love comments/feedback/thoughts on our new look and feel.  We encourage you to sign up for our service if you have a business online. Its completely free.  Try us out.

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Posts Tagged ‘Ecommerce Trends’

Has the Bad Economy Driven Social Media Growth By Small Businesses?

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

As you all know, we at KikScore are passionate about small business.  We take every opportunity to hype small business as much as we can.  Well a very interesting study was released last week about the state of American small businesses.   The very informative  Small Business Success Index (SBSI), sponsored by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business had some interesting findings  (The SBSI can be found at www.growsmartbusiness.com).  In particular, there are some very informative findings in the study about the growth of social media use and adoption by small businesses over the last year and especially during the time of our rough economy.  Here are just a few of the key findings in that area:

  • Social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24% in the last year.
  • 75% surveyed have a company page on a social networking site
  • 61% use social media for identifying and attracting new customers
  • 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
  • 45% expect social media to be profitable in the next twelve months

What may this mean?  One theory is that as we went through the rough economic times over the last 18 months, small business may have decided to slow down traditional spending on marketing and focused on devoting more time and resources on using free marketing tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.  While we know that these are not really “free”, because there is a precious value that is associated with the time that small businesses spent using these tools, nevertheless the low cost marketing alternatives that these tools offer may have really proved to be great options during leaner times.  And that is could very well be why we are seeing this growth in small business social media adoption.

I can tell you this, at KikScore as we have described in some previous posts social media has really been the core driving force of our marketing efforts and it will continue to be in the future. As an example, everyone of the links to the tools mentioned above actually goes to a KikScore social media property.  In fact, just yesterday we set up a Flickr page.  We have used each of these tools instead of spending our precious cash on traditional marketing efforts.  The SBSI findings seem to indicate that we are part of a growing group of businesses that are doing just that.

I do wonder whether these trends will continue as the economy hopefully starts to pick up.  What do you think is the reasons behind this growth in social media that was found in the study?

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Posts Tagged ‘Ecommerce Trends’

Why you need to Build the Right Team for small business success

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

On Sundays, my husband and I usually try to plan out our week… which in turn yields discussions of when I have KikScore conference calls to when he can go have some beers with his buds, while juggling our 2-year old daughter’s bedtime schedule.   The KikScore conference calls change in frequency week to week, depending on the next big item we are working to push through or brainstorm on.  And I realized that having a key team and truly enjoying the people you do business with is crucial to not only its success, but your own sanity.  I was reading in Business Week about Hunch, and Caterina Fake brings up a very critical component of small business success — Building the Right Team.

Anyone can come up with a business idea, but taking that idea and making it a viable venture that can grow and prosper requires more brain power than one can share.  Creating a team of that nature isn’t easy by any means.  When I explain the KikScore story (at least since my involvement) to family and friends… it’s best summarized as: KikScore is the side-business I’ve been working on with a group of talented friends – ranging from development, project management, business development and lawyers… a few from previous jobs/lives and combination thereof.  The thing is, I wasn’t the one with the big idea, but when the core founders Mike, Raj and Joel approached me to jump in and help streamline the KikScore scoring algorithm,  I was honored and ecstatic to be part of an entrepreneurial journey.

The team continued to build from there as we quickly found that off-shoring all of our development was not only costly and time-consuming, but left us with little control over the integrity of the code.  So we searched (again from previous jobs/lives) to find an in-house development resource that could oversee the coding efforts and allow us to piecemeal items off-shore as needed, but not as a 100% solution.

Since we are still a night/weekend business, we have many conference calls and e-mails flying about daily.  Another key component to a strong team is keeping the communication open and being able to speak your mind — we argue, which in turn generates new ideas and challenges each of us to listen with respect.  This re-iterates the need for a strong team focus.  Each member has their primary role (albeit marketing, development, design, etc) but we all wear multiple hats when it comes to driving the KikScore business forward and setting priorities. In a start-up environment, flexibility is vital – what was a hot priority last week, can take a complete 180 turn the following week based upon customer feedback or some unforeseen influence.  The team needs to be able to react, respond and regroup —  effectively.

If you are working on a new business idea, who will you pull into your inner circle to make it happen?  Be selective… you’ll be spending way more time (on late night conference calls, etc.) with them, than with your family.

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Small Businesses and Online Stores, Social Commerce Camp DC is for You

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Have you been looking for a FREE educational  grassroots event for small businesses, online store owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses? Look no further because on Saturday, February 20, 2010 KikScore, MyBusinessAssistant.com, Network Solutions and Mayer Brown will be putting on a first of its kind event in Washington DC.

Introducing Social Commerce Camp DC! This event is especially geared for small businesses, online merchants and entrepreneurs who want to get online and grow their business.  The morning long session will be moderated by Network Solutions Social Media Swami, Shashi Bellamkonda and will feature speakers that will focus on discussing real and practical ways of building and growing a small business.  During the Social Commerce Camp DC, we will be engaging in an interactive discussion of new and effective ways that online stores and small businesses can use social media, marketing, and PR to succeed online, build your brand,  get more customers and manage your business reputation.  The event will also feature quality time to network with other owners of online stores, small businesses, social media strategists and overall just some good people trying to avoid watching cartoons on a Saturday morning!

Here is the agenda for Social Commerce Camp DC on February 20, 2010:

8 a.m to 9 a.m:  Continental breakfast, registration and networking

9 a.m to 9.45 :  Session 1 – Social Media 101 for small business and discussion of real success stories

10.00 to 10.45 :  Session 2 – Starting and growing your online store/business

10.45 to 11.15 :  Check your Twitter account/ blogging time

11.15 to Noon :  Session 3 – PR tips and best practices for small business

Mayer Brown’s offices located at 1999 K Street NW, Washington DC 20006 will be hosting Social Commerce Camp DC.

We look forward to you joining us.  Registration details for Social Commerce DC can be found here. Also because Social Commerce Camp DC is a grassroots event that is serving ecommerce merchants and small businesses, let us know your thoughts on subject matter, topics or questions you would like answered at Social Commerce Camp DC. We will work to get them addressed that morning.

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