Category Archives: Grow Your Business

Create an emotionally engaging customer experience.

It seems somewhat contradictory, but the more technologically savvy buyers become (and the less time they spend visiting stores or talking to services providers on the phone) the more they want a personal, emotionally gratifying experience with businesses.

Entrepreneurs must find ways to not only appeal to customers’ desire for quality products or services, but also to their hearts.

In a Harvard Business Review article by consumer intelligence experts Alan Zorfass and Daniel Leemon, “Our research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows that the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level.”

What does this mean for you? Instead of just transactions, your business must make memorable interactions. To gain a competitive edge and win customer loyalty, you must make an emotional connection with buyers. Continue reading

4 Tips for Adding a Partner to Your Business

handshakeFinding and adding a business partner to an existing company is about more than going into business with a friend or family member. How you add a partner typically hinges on your business entity. Depending on how you incorporated your business, entrepreneurs will need to conduct a bit of due diligence in order to properly bring on a business partner.

From an LLC to a general partnership, let’s break down what you need to do now to prepare to add a partner to your business. Continue reading

The Megaphone of Main Street: Startups, Fall 2019

The first year of operations is a critical time for any small business, with decisions made about market focus, finding financing and hiring a team that will have a significant impact on the business’s success or failure in the future.

SCORE’s fall 2019 “Megaphone of Main Street” data report focuses on the challenges facing startups, which are companies in operation for less than one year.

This latest installment of the Megaphone of Main Street is the fourth in a data report series that presents a snapshot of the current American small business landscape. This particular report delves into the world of startup entrepreneurship, sourcing both qualitative and quantitative data directly from a diverse group of roughly 1,000 startup small business owners across the nation. Continue reading

10 Free Social Media Marketing Tools Every Business Owner Should Use

social media on tablet

Just about anyone can get into social media marketing with a smartphone and little to no extra cost. But as you keep doing it, you’ll want to find ways to make it more efficient, especially as a business owner.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available online to make social media marketing easier and less tedious. A lot of the best tools have paywalls, which is not ideal for small business owners looking to up their game.

 

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We can help you become a government contractor.

If you have a successful business and would like to expand into federal government contracting, SCORE is here to help. SCORE is America’s premier source of free, confidential small business advice. It was founded in 1964 as a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Kitsap Branch of SCORE has volunteers who are experienced in government contracting. They are available to help you achieve your goals without charge. Our Subject Matter Experts have more than 29 years of government contracting experience.

They can help you get registered and certified to receive government contracts. They can assist you in understanding the pre-award requirements and steps you must take. When you have been awarded a contract, they can help you make sure you are meeting the contract’s requirements. And, at the end of the day, their goal is to help you get a great performance evaluation and more government contracts.

Meet our government contracting subject matter experts:

Terry Homburg
Paul Park

11 Changes to Make Your Business Better

same old thinking same old results

How often do you make changes in your business?
Like most entrepreneurs, I love “shaking things up.”

Here are 11 changes you can make in your life and your business for a more exciting, enriching and profitable future.

1. Update your business technology.

Tech tools enable small businesses to run as productively as big ones. Are you taking full advantage of them? Assess which technologies would help you do business more effectively in the coming year, whether that’s new computer hardware, switching to more sophisticated business apps, or using cloud storage and collaboration tools to streamline your workload.

2. Get organized.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, lighten the load by cleaning out your office. You’ve probably gone digital in many aspects of your business, but you might still have old folders or file cabinets full of paper documents. Purging those piles and files of paper will make you feel more focused. Shred what you no longer need; scan important documents you still need to save and store them in the cloud instead. If they contain sensitive financial or personal data, make sure they’re encrypted and protected from access except by employees who need them.

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In 2012, I had an $87 Aha!! Moment.

Valarie Harris from Varris Marketing

by Valarie Harris, Varris Marketing

This story is all about my $87 Aha!! Moment.  I have been in Marketing since 2011, with an official launch of Varris Marketing in 2012. Things started off slow, but headed in the right direction, so I thought.  Year-end profit numbers came in and I only made $87.  I chalked it up to first year jitters. So, with the brand-new year here, I made some changes, thinking, hoping, and praying that my year end results would be better, I mean, they had to be right? To my surprise and amazement, my year ended making the exact same amount as the previous year, $87. Unbelievable right? I suddenly became frustrated and discouraged.

I decided to take the next year off to figure out what the heck was going on, what was I doing wrong and how to fix it, because not only was my business tanking, so was my personal life. I thought offering rock bottom prices would get me more clients and it did, but way too many.  I also thought that doing everything that operating a business entails would keep cost down and save money, wrong again, that just kept me working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, neglecting my clients, my home, my kids, my husband and myself. I had more money leaving my bank account than was coming in, and that’s when my AHA moment happened.

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