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

Archive for “Run Your Business Better”

Add This Term to Your Business Vocabulary: API

Yes, another acronym.  API means Application Programming Interface.  Ok, your eyes just rolled back.  Don’t stop reading, I’ll give you some reasons why you need to know this term: 1.  The essence of an API is that it makes it easy for two types of programs to talk to each other. 2.  So when you [...]

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Where can I find ME time?

Last week, I wrote about ME time for the start-up biz person.  Do you take it?  Do you avoid it?  Do you think that you do not have the time to take it?  You get the gist of where I am going with this….. My thoughts were that YOU cannot afford to skip ME time, and [...]

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Is Your SEO Copy Stuffed?

Yay! You are finally done with your search engine optimization (SEO) research and have a great list of keywords to use in your copy. You add all of your coding to your Website and write all of your online copy.   Then, you wait to see your site traffic increase… and you wait…   and you wait. [...]

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Introduction To New Blogger Photographer Steven Kovich

Since I’m new here, I’ll introduce myself and give you a brief discription of what we’ll be talking about. I’ve been working with the creators of StartUpNation since 2001 when I was hired to shoot Rich Sloan doing yoga on the conference room table in the Birmingham Michigan office of the up and coming StartUpNation.  [...]

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Getting Engaged…on Twitter

You have signed up for Twitter, learned about Twitter Etiquette here from me, and NOW WHAT?  You are an emerging brand trying to establish yourself.  You know that Social Media, namely Twitter, plays a role in this process.  BUT, you do not know what to do next?  How do you connect, engage, and share with [...]

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Building Brand Loyalty

A few months ago, I wrote a post here at StartUpNation on what every mom/entrepreneur should have in her bag of tricks.  This was a fun post for me to write because I carry a large (really large) tote everywhere I go.  Please do not ever look inside that tote because it is the most [...]

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Little Book of Twitter Etiquette

As a small business owner and mompreneur, no matter where I turn, I am bombarded with emails, webinars, seminars and blog posts on the importance of being on Twitter. Well, I am on Twitter – Are You? In addition to having your own business website, writing a blog, managing a Facebook page, and participating in [...]

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Selling to Wal-Mart: The Do’s and the Dont’s

o Make sure your product fits Wal-Mart’s mission, demographics and consumer lifestyle.

o You will need to provide the buyer with data on competitors and how your products compare or are better than them. Actual customer marketing research should be presented (not just your opinions on why your product is the next million dollar idea.)

o They don’t want to see prototypes, unfinished samples, or waste time with ideas. You probably would not even get an appointment with an idea.

o Have your pricing and product configuration ready to go. They are interested in selling, not testing new products.

o Have your packaging ready, with bar codes….at the meeting.

o Make sure you are familiar with Wal-Marts buying process, and how they place their products into the stores. (this is not so easy to do, a great agent can assist in this.)

o Conceive every question or comment the buyer might ask you about your product, and be prepared to have the answers for them. Play your devils advocate, and be willing to be in the hot seat.

o Be prepared to take some heat on pricing, and always appear to be educated on the products demographics and competitors pricing. Know, know, know your best pricing going in, you will be drilled about it! Wal-Mart buyers deal everyday with many manufacturers direct, so in their category you better believe they know what something should cost. If you’re pulling the wool over their eyes, you could look silly.

o Be willing to listen to the buyer’s advice and guidance when it comes to the product. They have great insight!

The Dont’s-

o Make sure you don’t take pictures (anywhere in the building). They are very strict, so leave your cell and camera in the car!

o Think your product is the next million dollar idea! Be humble and willing to take criticism.

o Argue with the buyer. If they turn the item down, say thank you!

o Expect the buyers to dictate to you what you need to do to develop the item. They will give general advice, however, you’re presenting to them, you better know what you are selling.

o Waste their time.

Always Dream BIG!

Kim Babjak

Kim Babjak, and her team at KimCo LLC, are a multi-faceted product development company that offers a wide range of consulting in the areas of  “Mind 2 Market” product & business development. With over 20+ years of combined retail experience and sourcing overseas, Kim Babjak and her team of professionals can help create successful product creation and placement. We help companies with product development, prototyping, and manufacturing overseas and. With our vast retail buyer relationships, we can then assist with the product being placed into electronic retail (QVC), and big box retail outlets like Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Costco and many others.

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After returning from Bentonville last week, I realized what I had just done was the most exciting thing an inventor/entrepreneur could ever do. Walk the hallways of the buying office at the headquarters of Wal-Mart…. The blue and gray walls signify America, and the American dream of most product developers; to place their products into [...]

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Are you ready for an electrifying change?

Recently someone asked me about the transition from every day mom to mompreneur.  Did I like my “new life?”  Was it different than before? Better? Or worse?  Was I pleased with my decision? Do I like my new life? Heck ya! The real question is: When is it right to make big changes to your [...]

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Inpex Invention Trade Show

This week, after orchestrating insane childcare arrangements (school is out), I attended The Inventor’s University and The Inpex Invention Trade Show in Pittsburgh, PA.  This was a phenomenal experience for me, and I am so excited to share some of the highlights with you.  I did not have anything ready to exhibit, but I decided [...]

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Do you plan to GROW during the summer?

For my boys, school is out for the summer, and that means “let the fun begin!”  After sitting inside all fall, winter, & spring, they are absolutely ready for a new pace.  Summer brings warm weather and ditching the jackets, longer days, and growth.  I am not talking about just the flowers growing and blooming, [...]

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When rebranding, stay true to YOU!

I hope you had an awesome start to your summer.  As the temperature sky-rocketed over the last week, and I finally ditched my sweaters for tanks I started to think about change & rebranding.  So many people talk about rebranding, including me.  I went from a social worker to a full-time mom to a mompreneur.  [...]

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Be Loyal – Personally & Professionally

I say “Bless You” to my dogs when they sneeze, Do You? Where am I going with this? I say “Bless You” to the dogs because they are loyal to me and I am loyal to them.  We all strive to be Loyal to our loved ones in our personal lives, but Loyalty is also [...]

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Tips for Networking in the Beginning…

I was a little stumped about what to write about this week.  A lot has been going on in my world, but for some reason, I could not pinpoint the one little thing that I wanted to share.  My new website for moms in transition is SLOWLY coming together (not as fast as I would [...]

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Bartering in Small Biz – How does the “Nation” feel?

I love to write fun posts about the exciting life of a mompreneur, managing time better, balancing entrepreneurship & kids, and organizational suggestions, BUT this week, I am too busy for a little fun.  It happens to the best of us, and this week I am GUILTY as charged.  I over-scheduled, over-planned, and over-committed myself.  [...]

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5 Questions to Ask When Hiring An SEO Copywriter

You realize that your site is not showing up in the search engines for your top keywords, and your competition is stealing your sales. It’s time to hire a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist to help you rank higher online. But before you hand out your hard-earned cash for SEO services, beware! There are many [...]

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