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The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Archive for June, 2008

Is franchise ownership for you?

Good evening Startup Nation visitors! Today we begin a 15-part, five week crash course that will help you decide whether or not franchising is the right thing for you. Starting your own business can be extremely daunting. What is the right business for me? How do I get financing (or do I even need financing)? [...]

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Five mistakes people make with startup businesses

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Whether you’ve established a small business, are in the midst of launching one, or simply considering it for the future, it’s certain you want at least one thing out of this investment: success. Starting and running a small business isn’t a cakewalk. It’s hard to believe, but over 50 percent of small businesses fail in [...]

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The Startup Company 2X Factor

I love to admit it, Rich Sloan is right. Do all of your research diligently, assess the landscape of the market, finely define the project at hand, painstakingly lay out a time schedule, assign specific tasks to specific people, stay on top of the process with regularly scheduled meetings, set deadlines and gather feedback from [...]

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Kroger rejects global warming policy

Kroger Co. shareholders rejected five shareholder-sponsored proposals — all opposed by the board of directors — at the company’s annual meeting Thursday in Cincinnati. Kroger Chairman and CEO David Dillon that the company was already following or moving toward many of the policies promoted by the proposals but that the company disagreed with the methods [...]

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Book Recommendation: Nudge

Similar message to my Fish Sticks post about people’s likelihood to do the right thing, if just given the right information…. WorldChanging book review:   “Authored by two Univeristy of Chicago heavy-hitters, Economist Richard Thaler and Law Professor Cass Sunstein, Nudge explores the policy implications of behavioral economics, a field describing the irrationalities of human [...]

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Using social networking to increase company visibility

With hundreds of millions of registered users across the world, social networking web sites are among the most popular places to communicate and trade information. There are numerous reasons why people use these sites: to find colleagues, friends or classmates, read breaking news, or make new business connections. As social media continues to evolve, how can your business integrate the use of these sites with your email marketing campaigns to increase your company’s visibility?

The first thing you should do is actually visit some of these sites, and scout around for the ones that seem most appealing to you. As an entrepreneur or business owner, there are a few popular sites that are used for business purposes only, such as Linkedin and Plaxo. On these sites, you can post information about your business and build relationships with businesspeople and new clients from your region or from across the world. Other sites like Facebook and Myspace began as simply social networking sites, and have evolved into places to hear new music, play games, or join political causes.

You can create free profiles on most of these sites, which gives your clients and business connections an opportunity to put your face and name with that of your company. One word of caution however: if you do choose to add a profile onto these sites, and you will be using it for business purposes, make sure not to include anything profane, political or controversial on your profile. This can turn a potential customer or relationship into a lost connection.

Once your networking profiles have been created, you can include them in your email messages and encourage your subscribers to connect with you. You can also use your email newsletters as a way to get your customers to share your content on a variety of social networking sites.

For example, if you use iContact as your email marketing service, you can use our email “sharebar” at the bottom of every message you send to encourage your readers to share you messages with the public. Through the sharebar, your subscribers can post your content on sites like Facebook, Digg, and reddit. This can exponentially increase the number of readers who view your content, and get your company’s name out to demographics of people you may have never thought you could reach.

For this reason, it’s increasingly important to include accurate, quality content in your email messages because you never know who is reading at any given moment. I hope you enjoy your weekend, and I’ll be back next time with more email marketing tips and advice.

Cheers,

Ryan Allis

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With hundreds of millions of registered users across the world, social networking web sites are among the most popular places to communicate and trade information. There are numerous reasons why people use these sites: to find colleagues, friends or classmates, read breaking news, or make new business connections. As social media continues to evolve, how [...]

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How to Get on “Oprah”

“Can you get me on Oprah?” That’s the first thing I hear from many new entrepreneurs. And it is possible. But before I give you a few tips for pursuing this popular television show, there is one thing you need to consider: “Oprah” caters to a specific audience. Is this the audience you want to [...]

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Shhh…Three Secrets for Amazing DIY Publicity

Do-it-yourself publicity isn’t for the faint of heart, but it isn’t impossible either.  Over the past couple of years I’ve been able to secure several high profile publicity “hits” on my own and I’ve learned quite a bit in the process.  One of the things that I have learned is that you don’t have to [...]

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What the heck is an S-Corp??

“Sufferin’ succotash! What is the deal with that thing called an S-Corp and how do I get me one?” Yes, in my last blog I told you about the many benefits of an LLC and why most small businesses would benefit from them. But now comes an interesting comparison. The LLC v. the S-Corp. What [...]

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Email marketing makes it easy being green

In the past few years, we have seen a dramatic shift in the way we talk about our environment. From heated debates in Congress about amending our energy policies, to the fervor generated by Al Gore’s award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, to millions of businesses changing their company cultures, “greening” has entered into the discourse [...]

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Why You Need a PR Plan

Summer is finally here, and it’s a great time to review your PR Plan for the busy months ahead. What? You don’t have a plan-of-action for your upcoming publicity activities? I hear this from a lot of entrepreneurs. But it is really worth the time and effort. After all, how are you possibly going to [...]

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eBay Live – So Why Is Everybody So Upset, Anyway?

Hi gang, Ahhhhh, back home in beautiful Charlotte. 95 degrees and raining. Welcome to the South in a prematurely hot summer. I wanted to give my opinion as to why there was so much venom this year at eBay Live. And by venom, I’m talking about this: [youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=IHY0r3Sn9rc[/youtube] And this: [youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=zBX4vRjPHXM[/youtube] Both of these incidents [...]

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Modeling The Way To Green, One House At A Time

If there was an action figure of Shane Petersen (GreenLivingSeattle.com), it would have the following accessories: the proverbial Seattle coffee, his marketing materials (printed on 100% recycled paper) and all the accouterments for an REI hiking emergency. Peterson is your friendly neighborhood Eco-Broker Realtor, educating the public on the benefits of living, building and investing [...]

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Beyond the Launch…feedback from Heather

I’ve received some great feedback and questions from readers after my initial post.  Several of them gave specific information about their business successes and dilemmas.  In the true sense of community, I wanted to share those responses and my suggestions for getting over those hurdles.  I am creating a “Beyond the Launch” series that will be generated solely [...]

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eBay Live – Somebody Get Me A Helmet!

Hi gang, Well,  I’ve got a lot to digest after 3 days of eBay Live here in Chicago.  I’ll be posting thoughts/announcements all week, but here are my overall impressions: 1.  I thought eBay Live Boston last year was too quiet -  until this year.   I would be really surprised if there were more than [...]

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Encouraging better health in employees at a small business

 Wellness in the workplace is not just for big business. As entrepreneurs, you can encourage wellness, too. By implementing a “healthy workplace” you can reap the benefits. They can include increased employee morale and decreased absenteeism. Most importantly, if you offer employees the educational tools and resources to purchase their own individual health insurance, they [...]

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Changes in the CAN-SPAM Act

I’ve spoken in the past about the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and how it affects email marketers. Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) to establish guidelines for those businesses that send out commercial emails, and to cut down the on volume of spam through the U.S. As ethical [...]

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Beat Recession Blues-Do Your Own PR-Part 2

On Tuesday, I gave you the first two steps for doing your own PR. It is possible to get some great publicity on your own, but you need to spend time on research and preparation in order to be successful. And if you missed Tuesday’s entry, you’ll find the first two steps to start your [...]

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