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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

Some Small Business Resources and Tools for 2012

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

It’s only the 3rd week of the new year (can we still call it that?), but it’s time to start thinking of tools you can use for your small business in 2012. There are plenty of tools out there, but we’re only going to talk about a few. (These may be considered resources more than tools.)  These will be useful as a good starting point and then you can find more tips, tools and resources through them.

  1. Twitter chat! To me Twitter almost seems like a chatroom, only with a word limit and hashtags. If you want that chat feel, then you can attend #smallbizchat on Wednesdays at 8pm on Twitter. This is hosted by Tai Goodwin and Melinda Emerson. These one hour long chats are great for getting great guidance from experts about your business.  The hour usually keys on one area that relates to owning, operating or growing a small business and features a fabulous expert that dishes out gems while an audience of participants interacts with the expert and also each other.  Its a fun hour to get a lot of good guidance.
  2. Women Grow Business -yes even if you’re male. Why? This blog offers a different and unique perspective that applies not only to women, but to men as well about being an entrepreneur and dealing with the issues that small business owners face.  Several good contributors and editors on this great blog including the always fabulous Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Shonali Burke and Jill Foster.  And there are so so many more.  They also host tweetchats too (once a month) that are also very valuable to participate in.
  3. Inc. Magazine- this is a great resource and Raj has written a superb post about it. This magazine is geared specifically for Small Businesses and has excellent articles with very practical advice.  This is a must have and should be a mandatory monthly read!  The articles will get you excited and motivated to do great things!
  4. SBA. gov- this site is run by the government and looks a lot cleaner than most government websites. It’s very through and has both general and local resources across a range of issues such as financing, tax, incorporation issues, selling and buying online etc.
  5. Small Business Trends- This site has tons of great resources and information for small businesses. It has guides, sections devoted to Management, Marketing, Funding and even one devoted to Research. Plus, the founder is the amazing Anita Campbell. :)
  6. SME Toolkit- This is a website made by both the IFC and IBM. It’s “designed for Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American and Women-owned businesses” , but it has useful information for everyone.
  7. Small Business CEO-  This is more of a guide to management for small business. If you’re just starting out, then it probably won’t be of much use to you, but if you’re looking to add employees and grow your business, it’s worth a look through.
  8. Small Business Technology- this is a blog that talks about news and technology that’s related to small business. It explains how and why the latest pieces of tech or news can matter to small business. Plus, my father apparently likes it on Google plus so it has to be a good resource!
  9. Constant Contact- Unfortunately, unlike the other links, this one is a paid tool. There is a 60 day trial though. This tool helps you keep in touch with your clients via email marketing and social media marketing.
  10. Business. com- Whatever field you decide to start a small business in, they’ll have resources for you.  There are literally guides on almost anything you can imagine related to a business.  Instead of doing a bunch of Google searches on a subject related to small business, check out this great site first and you likely will save yourself some valuable time.

These are some great resources to start you off with now. From these, you can then branch off using the links that they provide to find even more resources that would fit your needs. There are plenty of resources out there and these are some of the best I have seen lately.

Are there any others you can think of and want to share with us?

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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

Learning from the Past: KikScore’s Top Twelve Blog Posts of 2011 for Small Businesses and Startups

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

It’s been a great year for KikScore! We’ve gained partners, garnered press, interviewed tons of great startups, and released our first white paper. Sounds like a winning year to me. That’s why we put together a list of our top blog posts for 2011. By highlighting some of our beloved posts, we can reflect on what KikScore has accomplished through the year as well as go over some information that we believe is important enough to bear repeating for small business. We hope you enjoy!

#12: 5 Ways to Develop a Killer Brand for Your Small Business and Startup

If you are looking to establish a good brand name for your business, then this post is for you. Although it’s daunting to see big businesses with huge budgets for marketing and advertising, there are cheaper and more effective ways to build your brand. This post goes over the different ways in which you can deal with your customers and make their experiences so great that your brand will practically build itself.

#11: 7 Questions A Small Business or Startup Should Ask Themselves Every Day

It’s critical to ask yourself important questions. Even if it is just to make sure that you know the answer instead of just thinking you know the answer. This post discusses several questions that you need to ask to make sure that your business is headed in the right direction.

#10: The Day in Pictures & Tweets at the 2011 SmallBizSummit

Just as the title says, this post is a compilation of pictures and tweets from the 2011 SmallBizSummit. Here you can find great quotes and images that focus around how all small businesses should act and what they should do. Take a look and feel like you were there yourself.

#9: 5 Reasons that Startups & SmallBiz Must Engage Their Customers

If you think that this list is already beating up the idea of paying attention to customers, then you aren’t thinking like a business should. This next post builds upon the ways to really engage customers and see results. Give it a read and try the advice for yourself. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

#8: Web Design Contracts – Protect Yourself & Your New Business

This guest post, written by Gregg Hand, is of vital importance when preparing to set up a website. We’ve all heard the speech about why we have to read the fine print before signing a contract. However, now that you’re helping to make a contract with a web designer, you must be twice as cautious. If you’ve never had to make this type of contract, this post can help you with a set of helpful advice on what to look out for.

#7: Top Ten Reasons Small Businesses Fail Series

(Procrastination; Competition; Marketing; Clients; Employees; Versatility; Location; Cash Flow (Followup); Closed Mind; Planning)

Here is a series of posts that we’ve worked on throughout the year in an effort to help small businesses understand what they must avoid. Some say that learning from the past is one of the best ways to prevent certain future events. There’s at least some truth to this saying, so we hope that this series will help your business avoid the easily avoidable.

#6: KikScore SmallBiz Interviews’ Greatest Hits & Top Strategy Tips for Entrepreneurs (Part I and Part II)

These posts use quotes from businesses that KikScore has interviewed in the past regarding lessons they’ve learned and challenges they’ve faced. Each quote has years of experience in ingrained in it, so they’re worth the reading.

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

Bringing together two seemingly different dynamics, this post talks about how the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Boston Bruins’ respective teamwork reflect how teams in small businesses must act. Just as in sports teams, the members of your business must be willing to work together and take risks. Take a look and see for yourself just how true this is.

#4: 3 Tools for Boosting Your Business’ Image

This post goes over some tools that all businesses can use, so we think it is worth making the cut. Each tool is free and KikScore utilizes all of them. What are they, you ask? Well there would be no point in referring back to the article if we just said it here, so you’ll just have to look at the post for yourself.

#3: Nonprofit or Going for Broke: Ways to Demonstrate Your Business is Legitimate & Trustworthy

Rather than discussing all small businesses, this post gives advice to nonprofits. Whether for profit or not, all businesses suffer from trust issues. If you are having issues with your nonprofit or even just looking for a way to make it better, this post can help.

#2: #SmallBizChat Highlights – Tips on How to Make Your SmallBiz Website Look Trustworthy and Credible

Here we recap our great experience of being the guest of honor for #SmallBizChat on Twitter. It was a great way for us to take and answer different questions about how small businesses deal with online trust. A slideshow is included in the post, so feel free to check it out.

#1: Shoppers Trust Businesses Who Share More Information – KikScore Online Trust Survey Finds

Another important hallmark of KikScore’s year is the recent issuing of our first white paper, which is discussed in this post. It took a lot of time and a lot of research, but it came out great. If you are interested in online trust and how it impacts small business, take a look at this post and KikScore’s white paper.

We’ve had a great year all-in-all and we anticipate that 2012 will be even better! We appreciate everyone who has worked with us and taken the time to help us this year and we hope you all have a great 2012!

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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

Small Biz interview with Little Duck Organics owner Zak Normandin

Monday, January 25th, 2010

LDO LogoToday’s KikScore interview is with Zak Normandin, owner of Little Duck Organicsa unique and tasty organic snack food for infants and toddlers – and adults too!  We came across Zak and Little Duck Organics on Twitter where Zak and team are actively promoting their yummy organic treats.  Little Duck Organics is relatively new to the online community and shares a passion for the world of small business and bringing a much needed product to the organic conscious community.  I had the pleasure of talking for awhile with Zak and sharing startup ideas and promotional concepts.  Thanks for your insight Zak and for being a KikScore customer!

1. Tell us about Little Duck Organics and who you focus on serving?

Little Duck Organics is a business that I started developing in February of 2009. My wife and I have always been a fan of all natural/organic/locally produced products, and when we went food shopping for our daughters we really didn’t see anything like that available in the baby aisle. Most of the products that were available contained added sugars, artificial flavors, and preservatives which we preferred not to feed to our kids. When we talked to other parents, they agreed that there was definitely a lack of wholesome, nutritious products available for babies. At the time, I was looking for a new venture to invest in, so I started researching what it would take to bring an organic line of baby products to market. It took me about 10 months to design our first line of products and arrange to have it manufactured and packaged. In December of 2009, we formally launched on Amazon.com and at independent grocery stores in New Hampshire.

2. How did you get started with selling online?

One of our first customers was Amazon.com. They started buying products from us in December to sell through their online grocery division. This was the first experience that we had with selling products online. At the beginning of this month (January), we set up our own online store to begin selling Little Duck snacks directly to customers through our website. This allowed us to have a little bit more control over product placement, descriptions, Etc. Overall, the experience has been great. We’re focusing now on increasing our conversion rate and finding new ways to advertise to potential customers.

3. Where will Little Duck Organics focus most of its energy in 2010?

In 2010, our goals will be to expand our retail and online distribution channels and develop the Little Duck Organics brand. One of our main focuses will be to build customer loyalty and awareness within the baby products niche. We will be working closely with the blogging community, and plan to do a lot of traveling to sample our products at retail stores. In addition, we’re planning on introducing two new products later this year that will compliment our current line of products.

4. 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?

The biggest lesson that I have learned so far since we set up our online store is that you need to be very aware and organized with all of the external costs associated with selling a product through a website. Credit card fees, boxes, packing materials & shipping costs all add up with you are selling a product with a low retail price. You need to keep these things in mind and adjust your prices accordingly so that what you are offering to customers is still attractively priced.

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

As far as trending goes in the organic baby sector, I think that there will be more of a shift from the conventional baby food companies to upgrade their product lines to incorporate more natural/organic options. Fortunately for us, Gerber will always be Gerber and Beech-Nut will always be Beech-Nut. No matter how they market their products, they will always have the same brand-association in the mind of most consumers. Our advantage is that we were able to start from ground zero and build a brand around a mindset (Creating delicious organic baby snacks with no preservatives or additives).

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

I’ve always loved the movie “Click” with Adam Sandler. I really relate to his character, and although the movie does not directly relate to Little Duck Organics, I can see a lot of similarities between the story-line and our business. For anyone who has not seen the film, the main character is an architect who has the ability to fast forward his life to critical points of success. Basically, he does not want to have to go through the mundane and only wants to experience the promotions, bonuses, success Etc. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone who has not seen it, but at the end Sandler learns to appreciate his family, friends, and the journey of life more than he previously had. I’m making a big effort to do the same in my life and at Little Duck Organics this year. I need to enjoy the process of building the business and everything that comes along with it. We’re doing something that most people only dream of , and that in itself should be viewed as an accomplishment.

7. If Little Duck Organics could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?

I can’t think of anyone specific off the top of my head, but it would have to be a celebrity or someone famous who has the same mindset as our company. I would prefer a mom who understands the value in feeding wholesome organic foods to their children.

8. How do the folks at Little Duck Organics let loose after a busy day working?

Although most of my time is spent building the business, It is nice to wind down after a long day at work. At home, I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughters. We love trying out new foods and traveling. In the summer, we usually go for a walk every night with our dog. My older daughter loves helping me cook, so I try to do that with her whenever I can. At three years old, she can already make a mean Alfredo sauce :-)

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

Know your competition, Work your butt off, Pray for luck.  Cheers!

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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

Solicit and Listen – Customer Feedback is critical to business success

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Clip noteSocial media was the craze of 2009 and will only continue to gain ground in 2010. Blogging about your product and/or service is an incredible way to promote your business or product. While customers and passersby can comment on blog entries or Tweet their favorites, how do you convert the blog commenter into a devoted and loyal customer for future success?

As a business owner, you need to provide easy to use feedback tools to ensure that you are in touch with your customers (and would-be customers) and frequently and consistently responding to their needs. This entails listening to comments and being able to categorize them and REACT. There are a variety of tools available (some such asCrowdsound, RatePoint, Yelp) but do these sites bring traffic back to your site? Some do, but some are a link off with minimal options to react to comments. In a previouspost by DojoMike:  customers are sometimes reluctant to provide feedback (positive or negative).

To maintain an open dialog with customers and encourage feedback, the comment avenue needs to be easy to use and promote responses from the merchant/business owner. As a business owner, you also need to be able to solicit feedback and react to it, professionally. If a negative comment comes through, don’t ignore it, you need to respond and make changes that address the issue. At a minimum, sending an email to a customer who recently bought an item from your online store is an easy avenue to inquire if the ordering process was seamless and also to ask for website suggested changes or product improvements. The more you ask a customer for their input, the more likely they will become a repeat customer AND tell their friends about your site and excellent customer service.

At KikScore, we have created a feedback tool within the KikScore seal itself. Comments that are posted here are sent directly to merchants to review and respond. These comments are also available for all to see that are reviewing that site’s KikScore Seal.

How do you solicit feedback from customers? What do you do with the feedback you get? Do you have any feedback/suggestions for KikScore? Please share with us!

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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

Your Holiday Gift: 30 Second MBA from Fast Company

Friday, December 25th, 2009

One of the truly creative and ingenious ideas I saw this year to help small, medium and large business was Fast Company’s 30 second MBA.  What is it?  Fast Company gets industry and business leaders from Digg, Accenture, Ford, Pandora and many other companies to give tips and guidance on key areas of business such as Making Better Decisions, How to Change a Company’s Culture, How Should You Think about Failure, How Do You Retain and Nurture Talent, and many other topics.  Its really a top notch faculty covering key business areas in a short period of time!  Each week there is a new subject matter and five leaders speak on the subect Monday through Friday.  Here is just one excellent 30 second clip from the CEO of Digg, Jay Adelson on making better decisions.

So spend your holidays learning with these 30 second clips.  A great gift to all of us from Fast Company.

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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

A Few Good Blogs: Our Go To Small Business Blogs KikScore Likes Part 2

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

This is Part 2 in our series of KikScore’s go to small business blogs. Part 1 is here

There are blogs now for nearly everything under the sun. That translates to a lot of noise out there. So how do small businesses try to figure out which resources they should use online to stay up to date on trends and to get rock solid guidance from experts? The best way is through word of mouth and also getting recommendations from other small businesses. So here is our Part 2 of our list of some really good blogs that we at KikScore read:

1. Duct Tape Marketing- John Jantsch who runs this blog is a master of small business marketing, social media and strategy. His guidance is practical, to the point and is recognized by the small business community as one of the go to resources for small business success.

2. Fresh Inc. – Inc. Magazine is by far my favorite magazine to read. If you are an entrepreneur or a small business enthusiast, Inc. is a must for a number of reasons including its rich stories, wonderfully written profiles of small and medium businesses and its relentless focus on telling the small business story. Fresh Inc. is the blog of the writers of Inc. and it is a fantastic extension of the magazine.

3. CopyBlogger -Brian Clark is the founder of CopyBlogger. We like Brian for a number of reasons including because he calls himself a “recovering lawyer.” We have three of those on the KikScore team. But the interesting thing is he uses that legal background to give great guidance on all types of issues including writing copy for websites, making great sales pitches that stick and delivering killer content. Entrepreneur and Technorati are just some of the folks that have recognized Brian and the CopyBlogger.

4. Small Biz Survival - Becky McCray writes from a unique small business approach. She writes from a small town perspective as she owns a liquor store and cattle ranch in Oklahoma. She might write from a small town perspective, but she knows the ins and outs of small business issues big city, small city, global or local.

5. The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur – Mike Michalowicz runs this fabulously named blog! Mike’s approach to his blog and small business success is to stay away from the media’s over glossy approach to entrepreneurship and instead focus on the incredible hard work that makes entrepreneurship success possible. He does a great job of equating in a very good (and clean!) way entrepreneurship with the bathroom experience.

Check these blogs out, when you get a moment. You will not regret it!

Do you have a go to blog? Let us know which one it is.

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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

E-Tailers: This Holiday Season Use Facebook and Twitter as Your Online Mall

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Most people can’t stand the malls around the holidays. Too many people and too little parking spaces help keep shoppers away from the malls not only on Black Friday but throughout the holiday season.  Increasingly where have some of these shoppers turned for their holiday shopping instead of going to the mall?  Well with the mass of online shopping that gets going now on Cyber Monday and continues through the holidays, online shopping has created a great alternative to those people who want to avoid the crowds.

So what is different this year than previous years when it comes to online shopping and targeting these shoppers for our online store?  Unlike last year, many of the online shoppers now are on Twitter and Facebook and other social media and networking sites.  This creates a great opportunity for e-retailers and their online stores. But you have to have a strategy and be relentless about executing on that strategy to take advantage of this new trend.  Here are some helpful tips to get you going so you can turn all those shoppers that are using Twitter, Facebook and other sites into paying customers.

1. Join and Listen. If you are not already on Twitter and Facebook, join these sites or the social networking sites where your customers and potential customers are at. Once you join, start actively listening to conversations on these sites. The better you listen the more effective this type of social customer research will be for your small business.

2. Use Search Terms. Based on your research, use Twitter and Facebook to try to set up search terms (especially with Twitter) that relate to both your business and products that you sell. TweetDeck is a tool that you can use for your business to set up and track search terms across all conversations that are on Twitter. It is a really powerful tool. So for example, if you sell rugs at PlazaRugs.com like a former colleague of mine Andy Ketter you would want to set up in TweetDeck search columns related to “rugs” and maybe even certain brand name rugs.  This will help you track the conversations that are going on that may relate to your product or service that your business offers.

3. Quickly Act on Mentions.  The key to using Twitter and Facebook effectively here is that when someone mentions one of your search terms (i.e. products/services) during a conversation that occurs in the greater community on Twitter, Facebook or another site, you act quickly to join the conversation and even make contact with that person inquiring about a product you may carry or service you perform. Once you make contact with that person by sending a tweet to them, you can engage in a conversation with someone in the online mall.  You can even try to recommend your product or service if the shopper is inquiring on Twitter or Facebook about who sells a particular product that is similar to yours.

4. How it plays out. The best way to demonstrate this is through an example.  So if your online store sells  any and all types of T-shirts related to beautiful Cleveland, Ohio, you can try search terms that relate to “Cleveland”, T-Shirts”, and “Funny T-Shirts.”  So when someone in a Twitter conversation tweets, “I am looking for a funny t-shirt.” or when someone on Facebook updates their status and says “Wish I could find a funny t-shirt about my dad’s hometown in Cleveland.”, you can join the conversation and casually (now don’t be too pushy) suggest that they check out your store for a t-shirt that has a picture of the year Cleveland Browns won the Super Bowl…..that is funny because it never happened and will likely never happen in any Cleveland fans’ lifetime. Or maybe you sell them a picture of when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire just outside of Cleveland…

So there you have it. Start using Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites this holiday season so you can be in the right place at the right time in the online mall.  In the end the sheer volume of shoppers who are in the online mall on Twitter and Facebook will present a unique sales opportunity this holiday season for your store that did not exist last year.  You just need to have the tools set up so you can a) know where your potential customers are at; b) quickly act when these leads suggest in their online conversations interest in products or services you offer; and c)  turning your interactions with these leads into holiday sales!

Tell us how you plan to use Twitter and Facebook this holiday season for your business.

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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

A Few Good Blogs: Our Go To Small Business Blogs KikScore Likes Part 1

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

There are blogs now for nearly everything under the sun. That translates to a lot of noise out there.  So how do small businesses try to figure out which resources they should use online to stay up to date on trends and to get rock solid guidance from experts?  The best way is through word of mouth and also getting recommendations from other small businesses.  So here is our list of some really good blogs that we at KikScore read:

1) Startup Nation – If you have a startup or a small business, this blog not only has great tips and resources but it also has a great list of contributors that blog about marketing, customer service, financing and all sorts of other items.  The founders even host a great weekly podcast. The site is essentially a portal of all things small business.

2) SmallBizTrends – The owner of this site Anita Campbell is a small business expert and she also has an impressive line up of contributors to her blog.  Another reason I really like her (selfish, I know!)  is because her business and network of small business sites like BizSugar are based right outside of my hometown in beautiful Akron, Ohio. Anita also hosts an assortment of webinars on marketing, financing, social media and other small business focused topics. She plain knows small business!

3) SmallBizTechnology – So this site is a must review for the content but also for its owner Ramon Ray.  Before I had met Ramon, I had heard a lot of great things about him being a hugely energentic, small business evangalist. Unlike others, Ramon is one guy who lives up to the hype and much more!  Ramon’s energy, passion and knowledge of all things small business translates into this blog.  For a quick example of Ramon’s energy, here is a session he was a part of at the GrownSmartBiz Conference that occurred in Washington DC in late Septmeber this year.  His remarks start about half way in to this session.  Check it out (the whole session is worth a review!) and add this blog to your RSS feed.  Its worth it.

4) GetElastic - If you sell anything online, this blog is a must. When you are wondering about what is the latest tool or strategy you should use for your website, what you should do to optimize keyword terms or the latest trend for merchants during the holiday season check out GetElastic.  Merchants that sell online can really use this blog to help with day to day business issues.

5) WomenGrowBusiness – This is a unqiue blog that is run by recently named DC Tech Titan.   Jill Foster has assembled an all-start cast of small business female entrepreneurs that regularly contribute fabulous content on management, HR, financing, ecommerce, consulting, startups, communication and marketing, among many other items.  I also have met Jill and she is another huge small business evangalist.  She is also a fellow Dupont Circle neighbor! Jill literally has CEOs and other entrepreneurs beating down her door to contribute to the WomenGrowBusiness blog.

Do you have a go to blog?  Let us know which one it is.

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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

Diary of a Tech Start-Up: Funding…Dance with the Devil or Not

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

One of the ongoing debates going on with our tech start-up is whether to seek outside investment or not.  The first point that is often made by one of us is that it is too early to be thinking about it.  Heck, we just launched the beta version of this site and are now getting our first customers…isn’t it a bit presumptive to think about asking for $$ from a stranger? 

This scenario reminds me of a scene in the greatest movie of all time — Waiting for Guffman.  Corky St. Clair is charged with directing a play about Blaine, Missourri’s history.  Corky approaches the City Council and states that the ONLY thing he needs to throw the play is “one hundred thousand dollars”.  When informed that the City’s annual budget is $100k and that includes swimming, Corky responds “there won’t be swimming in my play.”  How does this tie into our discussion for asking for outside investment?  Well, maybe it doesn’t but it’s a great movie.  No, my point is that we before we seek out investment, we need to clearly establish a need for our services and that we have a competent management team that will know what to do with the money if/when we do get it.  We can’t go in all Corky St. Clair, not having a clue as to what is a reasonable amount of investment and establish what we are going to do with the money will have a strong likelihood of showing a return on investment.  See Corky asking for money

Now comes a more pressing question.  Assuming the time is right (and we don’t ask for the entire City Council’s budget), do we seek out investment at all?  As Raj pointed out in an earlier post, there are now a lot of tools that exist that make starting and running a business very inexpensive.  To date, we’ve been self-funding KikScore and we’re pretty good at stretching a dollar.  While it would be great to have a swank office and have the ability to throw an awesome holiday party with a DJ, it may not be worth the equity and control we’d have to give up (it really depends on how good the DJ is).  We’re not alone in our thinking.  According to a recent posting on www.rockyradar.com84% of Inc’s Fastest Growing 500 companies never received venture capital (though many did likely get angel financing). 

Several of us on the KikScore team have been part of venture-backed companies previously.  Some of us had good experiences, some of us did not.  So, as we continue to grow our customer base and improve upon our core product, the debate within KikScore will rage — do we continue to self-fund or do we seek professional investment.  We’ll keep you updated (and we’d love to hear your thoughts about it).

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