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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

Making Businesses Bigger, Better, Faster: An Interview with Ed Carrick

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Today’s small business interview is with Ed Carrick, the founder of Performance Analysis. Carrick works as a consultant for small businesses, mainly manufacturing companies, helping them maximize their business productivity through lean management techniques. He stimulates efficiency among these companies and drives their success. We had the privilege of speaking to Ed and he talked about both his company and the small business community.

Tell us about Performance Analysis and who you focus on serving?

Performance Analysis is a very small consulting firm. Our main focus is on small manufacturers, many being local but we also have nationwide services that we reach out through the internet. The nature of our business is to help other businesses learn and implement various techniques for process improvement and increased productivity.  One of the major concepts we follow is lean management; the outcome is typically lower cost, greater output, and a greater quality product.

What prompted the launch of Performance Analysis?

Performance Analysis is an offspring from my past job at one of the universities here. I loved the consulting work, really saw the value in it, and saw what it can do for manufacturers in this country. The situation I was in did not work very well and I knew I had the ability of making it on my own, so it was just all about timing and gaining the confidence to eventually launch my own business.

What is a recent trend that you have been focusing on to increase your sales and business?

One of the big things that we have been focusing on quite a lot over the last 6 months is trying to develop and improve upon inbound marketing techniques. Sites such as HARO, Twitter, and Facebook are effective for getting your name out there to the public. I have also been posting a lot of articles on my website’s blog. We’re trying to drive people to our site and build our company as industry experts.

If you had 1 lesson that you learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what would it be?

Our business is not 100% online and in fact, many of my services include in-person consulting and engineering efforts. Our online courses are the part of the business that is bought and sold online, but I think that inbound marketing is a very important tool to look at and to bring to one’s business. It’s a relatively new term, but it’s the way online businesses are going these days. I would suggest that people trying to increase their internet sales should get involved with HubSpot, possibly the worldwide expert in inbound marketing and software techniques.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for small businesses in today’s society and economy and how do you focus on overcoming them?
One of the biggest challenges, as it was for us, is not appearing as a small mom-and-pop company that clients may not want to work with. It’s very important to portray your business as a professional, growing company in your field. A lot of people start off as solopreneurs like myself, but it is important to build onto that and grow as a company.

From your experience, what are the best ways to advertise yourself?

I haven’t really figured that one out yet, though I have found that blogging and participating in social media has been the most successful for us so far. We’ve also listed Performance Analysis with online business listing services, and some of the better ones have increased our SEO and brought our URLs higher up on Google searches. In general, it all boils down to using a combination of inbound marketing techniques.

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

The Fighter. The main character is actually representative of some of our clients. Like Mark Wahlberg’s character in the movie being a boxer who has sort of plateaued, many of our clients are manufacturers that have peaked and are not sure what to do to get better. They find inspiration on how to increase their sales and business by using our service and working with knowledgeable people.

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

One of the main things about start-ups is that if you are thinking about doing it and it’s really in your heart to do it, you can do it and you can’t doubt yourself. You must realize that once you get out there and jump into your own business, there are going to be some struggles but it is all going to be worth it and it’s not going to be as scary and difficult as you think it might be. Don’t keep waiting like I did and just follow your heart.

Thanks to Ed Carrick for a great interview and taking time out of his busy schedule. If anyone has any questions or comments for Ed, please leave them in the comments.

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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

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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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

Vote KikScore for 2011 Small Business Influencer Award!

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Small Business Influencer Nominee

“A small business influencer is a person, company or other organization that has made a meaningful and lasting impact on the North American small business market.”

Here at KikScore, we are honored to have recently been nominated for the 2011 Small Business Influencer award in the “Corporations” category. Above is the definition behind the Small Business Trends and Small Biz Technology’s “Small Business Influencer” award and we are glad to have been one of the 520 businesses nominated, along with other influential people and businesses, such as David Nilssen and NEXTIVA. Their goal is to honor those companies that have made the most significant contributions and impacts to the North American small business market and we’re thrilled to have made the cut!

We’d like to extend a special thanks to our friends Anita Campbell and Ramon Ray who have done a great job, along with the help of their team and associates, of putting this entire competition together and supporting the small business community! We’d also like to thank Anita for swinging by last week and participating in the #SmallBizChat (In case you missed the chat, you can view our recap presentation on How to Make Your Business Look Credible and Trustworthy Online). And  thanks to Ramon for the great write up on Business Insider that he did about KikScore last month. This competition is a great way to promote small businesses and reward those who are the most influential towards them.

The awards recognize the top 100 influencers,  being decided 40% by community votes and 60% judge votes. Voting by the community is currently underway and ends on August 9th, so we hope you can vote for us by clicking here or the icon below! The top 100 receive the recognition that comes with being named a winner, including general publicity and the right to display Winners insignias on books, websites, brochures, etc. You can vote once per nominee per 24 hours so don’t hesitate to check back and vote everyday!

Small Business Influencer Vote

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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

#SmallBizChat Highlights – Tips on How to Make Your SmallBiz Website Look Trustworthy & Credible

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Tonight we were honored to have been the guest on the #SmallBizChat! We would like to thank everyone for participating and sharing their opinions  on the chat and would like to especially give a special thanks to Tai Goodwin and Melinda Emerson for providing us with this great opportunity. Hope you all enjoyed the chat and benefited from learning all about how to make your small business trustworthy online! To find out more information about online trust and the KikScore solution, check out our presentation regarding the topic by clicking the link below:

After reading about the importance of trust seals, we would like to offer you a 90 day free trial at KikScore. When signing up  with KikScore, use the promotional code SMALLBIZCHAT to start the free trial and publicly demonstrate your trust on your homepage!

Thanks again!

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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

Putting the “Social” in Social Media: A KikScore Interview with Chris Visco

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Visco, the owner of both TheBestOfFood.com and PJ’s and Coffee Social Media Marketing. With PJ’s and Coffee, her team doesn’t only market your business on the internet; they build and maintain client relationships for your business. According to a recent HubSpot study, nearly 2/3 of US internet users regularly use a social network and that number isn’t falling anytime soon. This makes Visco’s business ever more important and beneficial to the small business community. She discusses her business and gives tips for the future of small businesses in our KikScore interview of her.

1. Tell us about PJ’s and Coffee and who you focus on serving?

PJ’s and Coffee is a full service social media marketing agency. We manage the social media accounts for all sorts of businesses. PJ’s and Coffee is the blog for and social media management branch of our main website, TheBestofFood.com. We used to focus mainly on restaurants in the Philly area, but as more businesses sought our service, we expanded into helping small and medium businesses in a variety of different industries.

2. How did you get the idea for PJ’s and Coffee?

Essentially, we promote local restaurants by providing them with reliable and candid reviews on our site. This assists locals and travelers visiting the Philadelphia area with dining recommendations. This was the idea behind TheBestOfFood.com.

After using social media to promote these restaurants, we realized the value of social media and the cost savings involved with it. With the emergence of Twitter, we talked to restaurants, explaining our desire to promote them. They also saw the benefit of using social media outlets and asked us to manage their Facebook and other accounts. We started out by operating Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare accounts. After engaging many clients using these sites, others approached us about our service, including mortgage companies, dispatch providers, dentists, and others, expanding well beyond the food industry.

Being the food blog for TheBestOfFood.com, the name behind PJ’s and Coffee came from the idea that people want to sit and relax at home in their pajamas with their coffee in hand, and have the intimate feeling of reading and talking about food. We then took the name and rebranded it to the social media division, envisioning people sitting at home in the PJ’s and interacting with others through social media outlets on their computers and phones. Thirty-one percent of people between the ages of 18-35 check social media sites before getting out of bed in the morning so PJ’s and Coffee seemed like a fitting, more casual name. We put the “social” in social media. Many businesses fail because they don’t understand that it’s about people, not products. We engage their target audience and promote them using our research media. Companies that engage their target audience have a higher success than those who “talk AT” people online.

3. What is PJ’s and Coffee focusing most of its energy on this year?

Obviously with the recent release of Google+, we are going to see how successful it is and how to best use it from a marketing standpoint. We will continue focusing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. though it depends on the business model and which company represents the brand the best. We look for where we can reach the most people and make the most valuable connections. For example, we represent a collision repair company that is equally successful on both Facebook and Twitter, though not as much on LinkedIn and Foursquare. For B2Bs, Twitter and LinkedIn are most successful, while Facebook and Twitter are best for C2Bs. Also, for companies that are targeting women and mothers, mommy bloggers are really influential and we try to engage with them.

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

First, engagement is critical. Businesses that don’t engage with their target audience become white noise. Secondly, practice makes perfect and not all strategies work for all business so you have to be ready to adapt and change. When we first started, we were very Facebook driven but then we started expanding when we saw other outlets were more beneficial. Some strategies aren’t as successful so you should learn and read as much as you can and if one doesn’t work, move onto the next.

5. Based on your experience as social media strategist, what do you see as 2 new trends for small business?

One new trend is the increased use of video marketing. Fifty six percent of online users are likely to view videos through social media websites, and we’ve seen the success of Youtube videos over the years. Talk Fusion is a new service for email media marketing and allows you to send video emails directly to your client’s inbox.

Another trend will be the redevelopment of websites for social media use. Many websites get more hits and visitors through social media outlets than web searches so because social media sites are driving web traffic, websites are becoming more social media friendly. It’s not easy to facilitate with many current websites and they will be redeveloped, allowing you to login through Facebook and Twitter accounts and shooting out business-related alerts, similar to the news feed of Facebook. In addition, they must become more photo rich to draw attention to their sites on social media outlets.

6. What is the biggest challenge that PJ’s and Coffee faces as a small business and how do you work to overcome that challenge??

Quite honestly, the number one challenge is finding people that are able to engage others online. It seems easy to just go on social media sites and chat, but finding quality marketing professionals to actually engage people is difficult. The instinct to promote online is to just shout out your business promotions. For example, by just shooting out listings and links to your website, businesses and their posts become white noise which consumers will tune out quickly. The key is taking your ego out and making it less about you and more about the customer, which takes a lot of discipline and training. I’ve engaged in a business (social media marketing) that requires a lot of time. It takes 20-30 hours per month per social media outlet, so my challenge is balancing profitability while also bringing in people who take a lot of time to train and learn.

Also, another challenge is dealing with businesses that need to adapt their methods for the long term. While there will be no immediate result, those companies need to realize that they have to be in it now to be profitable in the longer run.

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

The Social Network for obvious reasons.

8. How do the folks at PJ’s and Coffee let loose after a busy day working?

With a glass of wine at a favorite local restaurant. The thing about what we do is that anything can happen at any point during the day. It is 24/7 work because consumers are online at all times, whether it be 1am, 6am, or 11pm, and there are no afterhours, social media sites are being visited every second.

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

I believe all businesses should have a social media presence. Businesses need to learn that it’s not just about promotion, but it’s also a customer service tool. If someone has a complaint or a raving review about your business, they’re most likely to go online and post about it somewhere on the internet. You need to be on these sites to immediately address your customers and their issues regarding your business.

I’d like to thank Chris Visco again for a great interview! If anyone has any questions or comments for Chris, please leave them in the comments.

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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

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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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

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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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

Small Business Community – Remember to Celebrate Your Freedom This Weekend!

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Every Fourth of July, millions of Americans celebrate Independence Day with picnics, parades, barbecues, concerts, carnivals, and other extravagant public and private events, all being capped off with fireworks. While everyone loves the holiday, enjoying their time off from work and spending time with family and friends, we should not forget the importance of the holiday and our freedom.

On the historic date of July 4, 1776, the United States Congress officially approved and adopted the Declaration of Independence, the document that our founding fathers used to declare their colonies’ independence from Great Britain. In doing so, the Declaration listed the grievances against King George III, justifying the independence of the United States, and furthermore, explained that everyone is endowed with certain unalienable human rights, most specifically those of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Our freedom was worth fighting for, and all Americans, especially entrepreneurs that started their own small businesses such as ourselves here at KikScore, should be thankful to still have all of the liberties that we were promised in that document. Without our freedom, no small businesses could be in existence; instead, we are allowed to pursue our dreams and make them come true. For small businesses, it is just a matter of taking the risk of beginning a start-up and then putting in the time and effort to make it succeed and prosper.

Have a great Independence Day weekend, enjoy the fireworks, and celebrate your pursuit of entrepreneurial happiness!

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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

Championship Sports Teams… What Do They Teach Us for the Small Business & Startup Arena

Friday, June 24th, 2011

In the past month, we experienced two of the most exciting Finals’ in recent history in both the NBA and NHL. In the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks destroyed the three-headed monster called the Miami Heat in a thrilling upset, winning the series 4-2. Meanwhile in the NHL’s Stanley Cup, the Boston Bruins came back from being down 3-2 and defeated the Vancouver Canucks on the road in Game 7, concluding an electrifying series (USA!!).

Both the Mavericks and Bruins exemplified great team work which strongly contributed to their respective championships, while the Heat and Canucks both had their weaknesses and choke-artists. In retrospect, certain characteristics of these teams can translate into the business world with regards to small business teams’ and their respective success.

First and foremost, small business teams need to be dedicated to their success while not being afraid of taking risks, committed to doing whatever will benefit their team or business the most.

Before this season, 33 year old veteran Jason Terry of the Mavs had gotten a tattoo of the Larry O’Brien Trophy, given to the winner of the NBA Championship, on his right bicep.  The tattoo of the trophy he yearned so deeply for but had never yet received was a huge gamble, being placed there to motivate himself and his fellow teammates. As a veteran and captain on the team, along with their star Dirk Nowitzki, Terry made the bold move prior to the season and sealing the deal at the end brands it one of the most epic tattoos in history.

However, Daniel Sedin didn’t have the same boldness and confidence in the Stanley Cup Finals, but rather destined his team for failure. Like former New York greats Joe Namath and Mark Messier have done in the past, Sedin staunchly guaranteed a Canucks Game 7 victory on their home ice. While being an extremely daring move, the guarantee demonstrated his trust in his team and motivated them all to perform better. In the business world, every associate must trust and help his/her co-workers, whether it be in group projects or in learning new strategies, in order to maintain an efficient organization. Yet hours before game-time, Sedin rescinded his guarantee, saying that it was the excitement after his team’s 5-2 loss, and the “words came wrong out of my mouth.” WHAT!? After hearing that, I knew the Bruins had the game, and therefore the series, in the bag. Successful teams have good chemistry and are adept to taking risks, doing whatever is the most beneficial. Once teams lose faith in themselves like Sedin had, they lose faith in their product and talent, and therefore I “guarantee” the business will then collapse as a whole.

Another common trait of winning teams and successful businesses is having players stepping up at opportune times and others performing well under pressure, leading to an overall positive team chemistry.

This was most evidenced by the play of the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award winner Dirk Nowitzki. Throughout the entire playoffs, Dirk had stepped up his game and nothing says clutch more than Dirk’s winning baskets in both Games 2 and 4. Down 15 in the 4th quarter in Game 2, Dirk revitalized the Mavs offense and scored his team’s final 9 points, making the game-winning layup with 3.6 seconds left. Similarly, while fighting through a 102 degree fever, he again sealed the game with 14.3 seconds remaining in Game 4. Nothing is more important to a business than its major player stepping up in times of need and doing whatever it takes to succeed. This year’s playoffs solidified Dirk’s ranking as one of the all-time greats in the league, and he finally capped it off with the championship. However, every member of the team contributed to and played a significant role in the winning effort, from aging point guard Jason Kidd, to big man Tyson Chandler, and even to The Janitor, Brian Cardinal.

At least Goldberg came through clutch at the end

On the losing front, the Lebron James collapse (for the second time, see here) is probably the most shocking and talked about story of the entire NBA Finals. We have all been witnesses to possibly the best player of our generation, yet he has continued to fail to do what matters most: WIN. After disparagingly taking his “talents to South Beach” (more info here), the best player in the world still managed to breakdown in the fourth quarters of the game. When his team needed him the most, he was inept at hitting his stride, often taking the challenging jumper as opposed to his usual forcing his way towards the basket. He was more hesitant to shoot than Goldberg at the end of D3: The Mighty Ducks, and instead of using his talent and coming through clutch like Goldberg, he often chose to pass to his wingman Wade in the shadows of defeat. Businesses should not aspire to be like Lebron, executing flawless planning and strategizing of your product, but actually failing when it matters and comes down to attracting customers and selling your product. Instead, be like Mike.

In the Stanley Cup Finals, the Bruins managed to win the Cup by relying on the stellar performance of its goaltender, Tim Thomas (we’ll get to him later), while playing physical, unselfish, fast-paced hockey and getting contributions from both their stars and young talents. The Bruins weren’t the more talented team in this series, going up against the likes of the Sedin twins and other offensive stars such as Ryan Kesler and Alexandre Burrows. But they played with more intensity and far greater chemistry than the Canucks, bringing Boston their first Cup victory in 39 years. Their most valuable player excluding their goaltender was rookie Brad Marchand, a quick, energetic spark who always made his presence known when he was on the ice despite his 5′ 9″ stature.

In the small business world, teams with greater chemistry and positive morale are more likely to prosper. Similar to the Mavs and Bruins, businesses rely on all of its members as each employee plays an important role. Whether it is the star player like Dirk or the role specialist like Marchand, each complements one another and the entire team cannot function without all of its pieces.

Finally, small business teams must have a stronghold on its safekeeping and security. Companies need to be secure from external threats, such as thieves and online hackers, against their businesses and customers’ personal information and must demonstrate their trustworthiness to their clienteles.

Tim Thomas kissing what is rightfully his

In hockey, the goaltender is considered to be the security for the team, preventing the pucks from going into the net. And nobody has ever done that better than how Tim Thomas did in this year’s NHL Playoffs. Not only did his legendary performance earn him a spot among Boston’s all-time sports greats, but it also landed him in the record books. At age 37, he became the oldest player to win MVP and he recorded the most saves in a Finals with 238 and the most saves in a playoff run with 798, playing every minute of the postseason for the Bruins. All small business teams need their Tim Thomas’s, blankets of security to rely on, something to demonstrate their integrity and creditworthiness. The closest thing to that for online small businesses are trust seals placed on websites, providing assurance that consumer personal information is safe with the companies they are doing business with.

Now we are entering the toughest and worst months of the year… for sports that is. Small businesses come and go regularly, though aren’t as damaging to the population as the conclusion of these two sports are. Of the four major professional sports, we have the dog days of the MLB ahead, with our teams playing games that are often dull and meaningless in the end. And that’s the highlight. We also have the NASCAR Cup Race, Wimbledon for a few weeks until another Rafa-Federer showdown (which is actually very entertaining), and the PGA Tour, but honestly, what’s golf without Tiger? I’m already looking forward to the football season. Oh wait… oh no.

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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

Sealing the Deal (Part II of II): Earning Reputation

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

As I discussed in Part I of this post, service seals are a great way to help ensure your business’ legitimacy through your non-ecommerce website. However, while I have explained how service seals are helpful, I have yet to explain how your business can utilize and benefit from KikScore’s particular service seal.

Show ’em Who’s Boss

Ever lost business to a bigger company in your industry? It’s not unlikely that many (if not all) of us have at some point. To be honest, increasing website visitors and getting more clients is about more than just proving that you’re trustworthy; it’s about providing great service and showing others that you can compete with the “big dogs.” Every business, regardless of size, has its edge. Maybe your business is made of highly reputable people with past experience in the field. Maybe your customer base is more loyal than those of bigger businesses. Whatever the perk, it’s essential that potential and current customers know it.

KikScore’s service seal aims to highlight what makes your business stand out through several factors, such as:

  • Financial and public records
  • Security
  • Visitor Traffic
  • And more

Let’s face it, you’re stronger than you think. Isn’t it time to let your business show it? Through our service seal, we intend to help you fight that good fight and highlight any aspects of your business that website visitors want to know.

Power to the People, Power to You

At this point, it definitely goes without saying that KikScore’s service seal focuses on proving to potential customers that your business can be trusted. The data that goes into creating your business’ unique service seal can say a lot, but why stop there? After all, referrals are the best way to get more business. That’s where our service seal’s feedback platform comes in handy.

Your service seal will not only be a place to show off your business’ information; it will also be an open environment in which previous and current customers can discuss their experiences of working with you. By doing this, website visitors can see a testimonial page that is ever-expanding. One happy customer’s praise goes pretty far, but the feedback platform is there to do wonders.

KikScore’s service seal is thorough for one reason: educated people make educated decisions. If you can prove both your business’ trustworthiness as well as its competitive advantage(s), you won’t have trouble earning your reputation.

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