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The GrowSmartBiz Conference wants to hear from YOU! Cast your vote today!

by Steve Fisher on July 31, 2009

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The GrowSmartBiz Conference needs your help! Do you have ideas or topics such as green business or how to secure government contracts that you’d like to discuss with other small business owners? Now’s your chance! We’re leaving one panel discussion at September 29’s conference up to you. The topic winner will be announced on August 10, so make your suggestion/cast your vote today!

The selected panel suggestion will be accompanied by the following planned topics:

  • Driving Small Business Performance with Marketing & Innovation
  • Raising Capital with Effective Finance Strategies
  • Getting Ahead in the Current Economy
  • Integrating Traditional Marketing with Social Media

For more information, or to add your topic suggestion or vote, visit: http://growsmartbiz.ideascale.com/.

Read more about the GrowSmartBiz Conference here and register by August 7 to receive $100 off registration.  See you there!

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    • nikita_irmal

      Small businesses are crucial to our economy.

      Small and Medium businesses (SMBs) are an important source of job growth. Small businesses account for a large majority of jobs in start-ups, a key source of innovation and economic growth.

      Here my tricks and tips to receission proof your small business and prepare it for todays economic environment—stay lean, talk to your customers, and don't stop hiring and marketing

      To keep your company lean, you should set and measure inventory targets and keep in daily or weekly communication with your sales and operations staffs. You may also want to weed out unprofitable customers (Read this BusinessWeek article for more details: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07…). Every company has customers that cost more than they add to the bottom line. Identify them, evaluate how to make them profitable customers, and if that's not possible, politely hand them to your competition.

      To keep from losing business, keep in close touch with your customers. Show that you care. Understand how their business is being affected and look for ways you can help. Lasting relationships are built in hard times. And look for new market opportunities, recognizing that when the business climate changes, customer needs will change as well. That may mean new markets will open up for you.

      Develop strategies to land more customers. I counsel my small business clients that if they want to make their companies grow they will have to steal customers from their competitors, period. The pie is shrinking. For the auto repair shops, cars are more reliable and need less frequent service. In the restaurant world there's been overbuilding and the average number of meals eaten out has declined for the first time in a number of years. The successful small business is going to have to win a bigger share of that shrinking pie.

      The way to do that, particularly for small businesses, is to use effective small business marketing and lead generation solutions such as Tradeseam (can be found at http://www.tradeseam.com ) to connect with new customers, partners and suppliers and create a positive experience. Make sure you give every customer the best experience you can. That means clean restrooms, courteous staff, eye contact, handshakes. You've got to do this better than the other people out there. Another good option for local businesses is community involvement. Join a online small business community such as http://www.tradeseam.com/smallbusiness/small-bu… or the Chamber of Commerce. Sponsor a Little League team. Let the Girl Scouts do a car wash in your parking lot. This is part of bonding with your community and becoming an established part of it.

    • nikita_irmal

      Small businesses are crucial to our economy.

      Small and Medium businesses (SMBs) are an important source of job growth. Small businesses account for a large majority of jobs in start-ups, a key source of innovation and economic growth.

      Here my tricks and tips to receission proof your small business and prepare it for todays economic environment—stay lean, talk to your customers, and don't stop hiring and marketing

      To keep your company lean, you should set and measure inventory targets and keep in daily or weekly communication with your sales and operations staffs. You may also want to weed out unprofitable customers (Read this BusinessWeek article for more details: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07…). Every company has customers that cost more than they add to the bottom line. Identify them, evaluate how to make them profitable customers, and if that's not possible, politely hand them to your competition.

      To keep from losing business, keep in close touch with your customers. Show that you care. Understand how their business is being affected and look for ways you can help. Lasting relationships are built in hard times. And look for new market opportunities, recognizing that when the business climate changes, customer needs will change as well. That may mean new markets will open up for you.

      Develop strategies to land more customers. I counsel my small business clients that if they want to make their companies grow they will have to steal customers from their competitors, period. The pie is shrinking. For the auto repair shops, cars are more reliable and need less frequent service. In the restaurant world there's been overbuilding and the average number of meals eaten out has declined for the first time in a number of years. The successful small business is going to have to win a bigger share of that shrinking pie.

      The way to do that, particularly for small businesses, is to use effective small business marketing and lead generation solutions such as Tradeseam (can be found at http://www.tradeseam.com ) to connect with new customers, partners and suppliers and create a positive experience. Make sure you give every customer the best experience you can. That means clean restrooms, courteous staff, eye contact, handshakes. You've got to do this better than the other people out there. Another good option for local businesses is community involvement. Join a online small business community such as http://www.tradeseam.com/smallbusiness/small-bu… or the Chamber of Commerce. Sponsor a Little League team. Let the Girl Scouts do a car wash in your parking lot. This is part of bonding with your community and becoming an established part of it.