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When to Shut Up About Your Small Business

November 24th, 2009 | Small Business,Small Business Tips,Social Media | 1 Comment »


shut upThis post may seem a bit counter-intuitive, since we’ve been evangelizing about the need to promote your business on social media.  We’ve talked about how this blog, and our tweets, and facebook have led to good things for KikScore.  But there are times when you should stop sharing.

Keeping Your Competitive Advantage:  No matter what business you have, there are certain things that you do, or mistakes that you have learned from, that your competitors would love to know.  When we thought up the KikScore service, we took the time, prior to launching, to file a couple of patents.  But patents don’t completely protect your business.  To file a patent, you must disclose exactly what your competitive advantage is — prior to knowing if you’ll get the patent granted. That’s why Coke has never filed a patent on its secret formula…because they’d have to disclose the exact formula.  Same thing goes for your business.  If you do something better than your competitors, it’s a valuable trade secret.  And it’s not just your competitors you have to worry about…you also have to worry about people interested in investing in your business.  This article describes a recent example of a potential investor that, after learning about a business, deciding to forego the investment and just start a similar business.

Going From Enthusiasm to Annoyance:  We’re all excited about our businesses.  And we love to talk about to our family, friends, followers on Twitter, the guy at the bus-stop, and the deranged homeless man asking for money.  Generally, our enthusiasm is viewed in  a positive light.  But what is the fine line between our enthusiasm and becoming a spammer?  The other night, I was having dinner with friends and letting them know how easy it is to automate updates on my facebook page.  My good friend than said “If you go overboard, I’ll do what I’ve done with my other friends and just turn off your updates.”  I realized that I’ve got to make sure not to abuse my friends and over-promote our business, as it will hurt my brand and I will start losing friends.

Feel free to share other instances when you shouldn’t over-share about your business.

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