Category Archives: Business Development

If you are a business owner, this is for you.

by Ken Sethney, Kitsap SCORE Branch Manager

I was a business owner myself for many years. Now, I’m a volunteer business mentor with the Kitsap branch of SCORE.

SCORE is a non-profit organization that’s been around for many years. We have more than 10,000 volunteers nationwide, and we’re committed to helping people start, grow, and successfully exit their businesses.

In Kitsap County, we have 7 volunteers who meet with people from Kingston to Port Orchard, Bainbridge Island to Silverdale.

In the last 4 years, we’ve focused on face-to-face mentoring. Most of the people we’ve met with have been thinking about starting a new business.

Since meeting with us, many of them have. And their businesses range from food trucks to restaurants. Healthcare providers to general contractors. Retail shops online or right here in your town.

In 2018, our start-up mentoring services will continue, but we are starting a new program designed to help people who own businesses that are up-and-running.  Continue reading

Ask SCORE: How can I improve my selling skills?

As the owner of a small business, you may be struggling with a frustrating reality. You are confident that you have excellent products and services, but people aren’t just lining up to buy them.

You know that you can solve problems for your customers and deliver significant value for a reasonable price. All you have to do is convince them to place an order.

Unfortunately, sales skills don’t come naturally to everyone, but they are essential if you want to build relationships with potential customers and generate orders for your products and services.  Continue reading

In search of the minimum viable audience.

by Seth Godin

Of course everyone wants to reach the maximum audience. To be seen by millions, to maximize return on investment, to have a huge impact.

And so we fall all over ourselves to dumb it down, average it out, pleasing everyone and anyone.

You can see the problem.

When you seek to engage with everyone, you rarely delight anyone. And if you’re not the irreplaceable, essential, one-of-a-kind changemaker, you never get a chance to engage with the market.

The solution is simple but counterintuitive: Stake out the smallest market you can imagine. The smallest market that can sustain you, the smallest market you can adequately serve. This goes against everything you learned in capitalism school, but in fact, it’s the simplest way to matter.

Continue reading on Seth’s Blog

How to make Facebook work for your business.

According to Facebook, there are more than 50 million active business Pages, and most likely you have one as well.

Here are six ways to maximize the bene ts of a Facebook business page and help to engage with, and possibly increase, your customer base:

1. Link your Facebook page to your website, or make Facebook your main online presence

No website yet? No problem. Many businesses use Facebook as their primary online presence. But remember, you want to build your brand, not the social media site’s brand. The solution: register a domain name (or web address) and redirect it to your Facebook page. Also known as web forwarding, you create a rule that all visitors to your domain name be directed to a web location of your choice (in this case your Facebook page). Redirecting gives you a memorable and permanent company web address to use for marketing and is becoming increasingly popular. From the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, redirects to a Facebook page have increased by 21 percent.

If you already have a website, make sure to include social sharing buttons on prominent pages and content. That way people who nd something of interest on your site can easily like and share that content on their social media channels.  Continue reading

Sometimes, old school marketing really works.

Direct mail has faded dramatically as a way to reach out to new customers. That said, you can stand out in the recipient’s mail box if you keep things simple and do it right. Here’s an example of a postcard that might work for you, and it can be really cost effective.

Post card example

If you want to give it a try, go for a 5 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch format with a dramatic color on one side. You can use a photo to grab people’s attention but the right “grab line” will do a better job.


A little help from Ken Sethney, volunteer business mentor at Kitsap SCORE and former marketing coach for the CEOs of mid-size companies. 

The who, what, when and why of non-disclosure agreements.

businessman signing contractYou put a lot of time, energy and effort into your business. With so much invested, doesn’t it make sense to protect what you worked so hard to build?

Various ways exist to do that, such as choosing the right legal structure for your business, installing security software on your computer, getting business insurance, etc.

And don’t forget having an NDA!  Continue reading