Tap Small Business Resources To Improve Success

ALT="Work In Progress, Jayme Soulati"A long time ago, I had an idea for a small-business website. It would be oriented to the backbone of the business, the inside. Much like a blog’s backend, a business has one, too. It’s the toughest thing about being an entrepreneur; yet, it’s the most important.

By now, I’ve been out of the actual formal workforce longer than I’ve been employed inside a company. That trend is happening more and more with the onset of more small businesses vying for self-employment and successful companies. How you ensure that success depends greatly on the resources you tap for the how-to knowledge you need.

I’m going to share a few of those resources in this sponsored post for Cox Blue. It has published a bevy of small-business essentials to keep your SMB growing. I hadn’t known how in-depth Cox Media Group was with its helpfulness for SMBs until I started perusing its site and blog.  Its website functions much like a walking encyclopedia of business resources. You can access any of those right here at Cox Blue. [Read more...]

May Is For Small Business, Soldiers And Graduation

The grad kissed the pig! via soulati

The grad kissed the pig! via soulati

May is the month for Memorial Day, graduation from school, and a week to commemorate small businesses. What’s the common thread among these three?

Everyone knows someone in school. Every American knows someone protecting our country. Small business owners are so prolific and growing daily by the minute.

Entrepreneurs Are A Necessity

So often we small business owners get short shrift for what we accomplish as the engines of prosperity in America. There are days I feel that way, too, alongside the 600 brothers and sisters in small businesses surveyed and reported by Cox Media in the 2014 Small Business Barometer.

Cox Blue is a proponent of small businesses; you can see that theme throughout its website. In this sponsored post, I want to share some results of its study that hit home with me.

Cox Blue 2014 Small Business Barometer

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Why Get @GiniDietrich Spin Sucks And @Soulati Message Mapping Books

ALT="Message Mapping book by Soulati"ALT="Spin Sucks Book"Look at that headline for name dropping, eh? Well, you can’t exactly call me a butter–upper because Gini Dietrich happens to be a really good friend who has starred in my videos and I in hers.

Now that we have that out of the way, here’s what this blog post is about:

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The Business Of Happy Birthday

Just how many people are born in February, anyway? It seems like there are 3-5 people daily with birthdays I know within my little network. How about yours?

Since the snail mail snafus with postage increases galore (who knows the price of a postage stamp right now?), the volume of personal mail has subsided to a dull meow. When it’s your birthday, the tried-and-true BFFs from college send a greeting alongside mom, but everyone now sends global greetings the easy way — prompted by Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype and Google+.

Jayme-Soulati-Martini.jpg

Credit: Jayme Soulati

BTW, thank you EVERYONE for my birthday greetings! I remember about three years ago when I sat in front of my social channels until noon thanking every single person for my birthday wishes; it was a grand feeling for the whole day. About three years ago, it was a huge novelty to say happy birthday to everyone online. Now, you can even send gifts, and my goodness, I got one to NOT Dumb Starbucks (watch Steamfeed for the post I just uploaded on that topic!!).

Several weeks ago, I began to get birthday cards and I knew from the tell-tale envelope it was a personal greeting. Alas, not until I more closely looked at the marketing promo did I see that my birthday cards were from Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Sunglass Hut, and my financial adviser (who always sends the best home-made cards, BTW.

Inside the retail cards were discounts on goods and services in honor of my special day. I could come on in and spend some money while getting $10 off that $75.

The business of happy birthday has gotten wayyyyy out of hand, but is it smart marketing? Do you rush to the retailer to cash in on the little discount they’re sending, or do you file the coupon? I did manage to use a Chico’s coupon for $10 off only because I was shopping for a business trip — see, still business!

Do you use birthday databases in your business? Tell me if you’ve had success with that and whether you recommend it as a good marketing strategy. I’ve never been a good birthday-rememberer, so I know already it wouldn’t be a strategy I implement, but I sure do enjoy saying happies to everyone else online!

(Please do note the very interesting compilation of blog posts from folks I don’t know writing about anyone’s birthday.)

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Your Blog, You and 2014

Confidence-Thermometer.jpgBet you didn’t notice this blog had nearly a two-week hiatus, or maybe you did. There wasn’t a day that went by I wasn’t guilty to not be writing despite the lowest-trafficked periods of the year.

What I continued to tell myself is that this holiday break was critical for my need to rejuvenate and refresh my moxie while getting inspired to write about a whole bunch of new topics.

You see, blogging becomes part of you; it gets under your skin, and courses through your blood. There’s never a conversation or interaction in which I don’t identify a topic or two to write on. It makes me a better listener; it’s inherent now with easy thought to add to the endless stream of ideas.

How about you?

If you’ve been blogging on nigh a year, perhaps this sort of topical instinct isn’t happening yet; no worries! Trust me when I tell you it will!

If you’ve been blogging three years, you should absolutely have blog topics written all over the place on scraps of paper. Maybe you’re truly an electronic wizard (which means you use the other side of your brain a tad more than creatives), and you can organize your thoughts into a list. Does List.ly have private list-building?

It’s A New Year

What I’m trying to say is that a new year is always psychologically, well, new. You know? The ball drops at midnight, and the pressure is on to be more…you know, more.

Let me try to explain.

As the years go by and blogging becomes part of your inner psyche, you want to grow. Your blog has to change with the times and become more exciting in parallel to your own growth journey.

As you transform, so, too, does your blog.

This morning, I just read a friend’s post about taking a huge hiatus and coming back to find fewer folks who’ve stayed the course, fewer comments, and fewer success stories with nil banter. Indeed. Bill Dorman is right; it’s a tough road blogging. That’s why you need goals and aspirations.

Have you thought about how you want your blog to grow and what you’d like to see happen in your house? Do that; it’s time.

Used to be we blogged more for the fun of it and to have a party in the comments; maybe a good old Team Blog Jack, too. Now, though, that’s pretty much dried up; you’re gonna need to reach deep within and find the divining rod into your heart. Then? Let the floodgates open and turn it up a notch; pour out your passion like never before aligned so closely with your business goals. You need your blog to make that happen; it’s the only steady you have on the social sphere.

Blowing Up Your Business

In 2013, I successfully blew up my business. I’m told that’s what entrepreneurs do; they reach a brick wall and rather than go over, they dynamite. Perhaps they get to the other side, or perhaps they drown in TNT. I’m the latter, and here’s the good news. I KNOW IT. I know I blew up my business (and only I can define internally what that means), and I also know that 2014 is critical to regroup and rebuild.

What that also means is the blog is part of the larger plan, too.

Want to know something really simple? There’s nothing like blogging to showcase smarts, expertise, personality, and to give gifts.

Soulati-‘TUDE! Is Turning Four!

My blogging birthday is coming up; we’re gonna be FOUR! That is HUGE! It’s so #RockHot I can’t even tell you.

I’m seeking ideas for how to celebrate Soulati-‘TUDE! IS FOUR.

Perhaps I’ll plan a virtual party; perhaps I’ll launch 4 guest posts on the same day, perhaps I’ll donate to four charities, or…what? What shall I do to celebrate?

My journey has been so rewarding, and here’s a secret. Without this blog and you, I never would’ve made it (I am not kidding).

 

 

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