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

Archive for “Define Your Business Model”

We’re learning that free is a good price.

Just got a newsletter from the School of Visual Concepts, a Seattle-based org providing classes in several disciplines, giving small businesses that needed vitamin B shot of knowledge to immediately apply in their environments. “If you were thinking of attending our free “Get a Job in Tough Times” presentation tonight at the School of Visual [...]

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Interview with Peter Ross, CEO of Senior Helpers

I often get asked, “what is the hottest franchise?” or “what sort of business should I buy?” and my response is typically the same … Often is depends on your interests, skills, work ethic, location, and several other factors. But when pressed, I urge people to look at changing demographics, sites or other factors that [...]

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How to make money….when you’re not busy!

Boy, it sure does sound like that is a silly thing to say? How do you make money when you do not have work? Well, it isn’t easy…but you can do it. My husband lost his job two months ago, after 25 years in aerospace…..now who has issues? He is OK though because: 1) He [...]

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Do it…because it feels good.

Do it once a year. Do it once a month. Do it twice a week.   Pro Bono, I mean…what were you thinking?   Especially in this time, when things are tight for everyone, time is valuable. Give it freely. Find a way to connect with those in your community. I’ve noticed messages being targeted [...]

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Some Laid Off Workers Turn to Franchising

The past 18 – 24 months have been tough on corporate America. I’m based in Charlotte (home of Bank of America and Wachovia/Wells Fargo) and many of my friends that work for the bank are always nervous. A lot of these people were also able to store up a nest egg and once they get [...]

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America’s Most Promising Social Entreprenuers

From Business Week: America’s Most Promising Social Entreprenuers “Social entrepreneurs—enterprising individuals who apply business practices to solving societal problems such as pollution, poor nutrition, and poverty—are now 30,000 strong and growing, according to B Lab, a nonprofit organization that certifies these purpose-driven companies. Together, they represent some $40 billion in revenue. Not surprising, then, that [...]

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Franchises Offer Start Up Discounts to Veterans

As a way to to honor those men and women who have served in the U.S. military, the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, known as “VetFran,” was developed to help veterans of the armed forces transition to civilian life and go into business for themselves. VetFran is a voluntary effort of International Franchise Association member-companies that [...]

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GoToBilling.com’s Mom Entrepreneur Offers Success Tips

On Tuesday, we talked to super Mom entrepreneur, Stacy Roderick. Stacy helped create the one-stop resource for paperless invoicing, marketing and electronic billing atGoToBilling, www.gotobilling.com.Today, Stacy shares more of her work-life balance success tips. What advice do you have for other couples who work together?   Separation of duties and plenty of communication. Try not to step [...]

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The New-New Store Front

Interesting article in this Sunday’s NYTimes about vanishing store fronts. …[Store fronts signs] are artifacts of consumer culture before commercial branding and environmental signage (as signs are now called) became so self-conscious — when sign painters plied their craft without pretense. A store sign had to be bold, eye-catching and immediately recognizable, so that customers [...]

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Innovative Business Idea: Looking for one?

In this economy, people are selling everything. Ebay, Etsy and other such retail hubs are increasingly popular. But let’s step outside the overstuffed box of old sports cards, second hand coach bags, and retro 70s clothing we are trying to get rid of and think of what else we can make money on. In this [...]

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GoToBilling.com’s Mom Entrepreneur Gives Tips

If you are a mother pursuing your small business dreams, check out this interview with Stacy Roderick of www.GoToBilling.com. Stacy manages to take care of her family, cook healthy meals, stay in shape, and help run a successful business all at the same time. Here’s what Stacy had to say: How did you get started [...]

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Customer Love: No Love Like Free Love

FREE LOVE, or the art of giving away your stuff to consumers, is an enduring trend. Now, more than ever, FREE = GOODNESS.  From airline tickets to Wikipedia, and from laundry detergent to music downloads there is an all-out war for consumers’ ever-scarcer attention and resulting new business models and marketing techniques. There are also benefits [...]

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No Time For Social Media? Hire a Mom.

The rise of social media is undoubtedly one of the biggest changes to happen to marketing since the birth of the internet.  According to a Universal McCann 2008 study, 272 million people are using social media.  Of those 272 million, 77% are reading blogs and approximately 34% of them are posting opinions about companies and brands on their profiles/blogs.  With those kinds of numbers, chances are they are talking about you, your competitors, and your industry.  Why not join the conversation?

Time constraints.  Steep learning curve.  Lack of “social” skills. These are just a few of the excuses I’ve heard for not implementing a social media strategy.  They are all legitimate and worth consideration.  After all, first impressions count.  I would never suggest jumping into social media when you know you won’t have the time or resources to make the strategy successful.  It will not only fail, but could tarnish your brand as well.  However, as with most things, there is a way to outsource your social media efforts.  With the right partner, this type of relationship can give your brand a presence in social media, help you overcome the learning curve, and even teach you a thing or two about being “social.”  One possible partner for your journey into social media is MomForce.com.

MomForce.com was founded in late 2008 as a partnership between Jessica Smith and Care.com. Jessica saw the partnership as an opportunity to blend her personal brand as Chief Mom Officer for Wishpot.com and popular blog JessicaKnows.com with Care.com’s professional brand of being a leader in the care provider referral industry.  The goal of MomForce is to help entrepreneurs and companies enter social media by matching them with social media savvy moms that often have previous career experience with marketing.  Jessica explains further, “While our tagline is ‘Reach Moms. With Moms.’ I think companies will find a lot of these moms have impressive experience that reaches beyond the mom market.”  The process behind MomForce is designed to be simple and painless for both the companies and the moms looking for virtual work opportunities.  Once moms submit their profiles, complete with resumes outlining previous marketing experience, companies are then able to search the database for candidates that fit their desired skill set.  The moms are then hired as independent contractors which save companies the expense of additional overhead and employee costs.   This creates the perfect win/win situation, flexible hours for moms and lower costs for companies.

MomForce is a good example of the many creative options available for time-strapped entrepreneurs to join in on the social media bandwagon.  While I feel that social media is done best in-house, I do think alternatives like this are better than nothing.  Social media marketing is here to stay and will only get bigger and better in the years to come.  Entrepreneurs have two choices, to either get on the bus or get run over.

Want more?  Follow me at www.twitter.com/glamajama and be sure to visit www.glamajama.com .

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The rise of social media is undoubtedly one of the biggest changes to happen to marketing since the birth of the internet.  According to a Universal McCann 2008 study, 272 million people are using social media.  Of those 272 million, 77% are reading blogs and approximately 34% of them are posting opinions about companies and [...]

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Innovative Idea: Give Tours

I sign up for a lot of newsletters because I like to know what’s going on, what people I used to work with are up to, and it helps spark the Idea Mill. I worked with Jerry Shereshewsky back in ’97 at Yoyodyne and (among other interesting andecdotes) I remember then he mentioned a desire [...]

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Innovative Idea: Big Companies Get Creative, Are You?

William Sonoma and Pottery Barn are offering in store classes. Everyone gets the main need to do these: move product off the shelves. However, there is another reason why ideas like this are important. They are experiences, they make the shopping moment feel person, local and more communal. According to Joseph Pine and James Gilmore [...]

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SXSW Marketing Ideas: 3 Tips on Market Research

We all think we have much bigger, deeper insight into our users than we actually do. If you think you understand your users you run the risk of overestimating what they want, you carry on bad habits, miss opportunities, don’t learn anything new or consider new ways to design.  There are very few companies that [...]

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Show Customer Love: Be Eco Positive

Part of a series in showing customer love… Eco Positive| When companies move from merely neutralizing and offsetting their undesirable eco-effects to actually boosting the environment by going the extra mile. London-based Ecoigo, a ‘green’ car service, aims to be carbon positive, offsetting double the emissions from every trip as well as from energy used [...]

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Interactive Marketing Tips from SXSW

I’m attending the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas this week. The show is known for its cult following for all things interactive, from business leaders to designers, gamers to artists, film makers and musicians- they are all here (at least virtually.) I came to SXSW to be the eyes and ears for new [...]

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Lineage2, Aion, Blade And Soul