Profit Minded
  • Storytelling

    This is a guest post by Shane Snow, chief content officer at Contently, a New York company that connects freelance journalists with corporate assignments. The article first appeared on the Content Strategist blog.

    In 2012, a pale woman with crazy eyebrows and a keytar strapped to her back made a video of herself, wearing a kimono and holding up hand-Sharpied signs on a street in Melbourne. One by one, the signs flipped, explaining that the woman had spent the last 4 years writing songs. She was a musician, and had parted ways with her record label, which had said the cost of her next album would be a whopping $500,000. She and her band mates were very happy to no longer be with the label, and had worked hard to create some great new music and art. But they couldn’t finish producing the record on their own. She needed people’s help to get it off the ground and to make what was now her business — independent music — work.

    “This is the future of music,” one of her signs read. Another, “I

    Read More »from Why Storytelling Will Be the Biggest Business Skill of the Next 5 Years
  • Secrets from the Scalerator: Incentivizing Crossover Sales

    Part 2 in a 4-part series about businesses that met the AmEx OPEN Scalerator challenge to grow their revenues 15 percent in three months.

    When ScaleUp Milwaukee brought the American Express OPEN Scalerator program to town last fall, Tom Dougherty, owner of Advanced Chemical Systems, was among 12 area business owners and managers who were accepted to enroll to learn how to scale up. Less than four months after completing the intensive two-month workshop, Dougherty has already translated what he learned into impressive results at his 12-person business. He attributes the sale of a $100,000 contract in November, as well as a 16 percent spike in his chemical sales since then, to the growth plan the Scalerator helped him conceive.

    “Every small business is trying to grow,” Dougherty says. “What prompted me to join the Scalerator were the specifics the leaders asked about my business during the interview. The professor did enough homework on us that it was like getting a personalized

    Read More »from Secrets from the Scalerator: Incentivizing Crossover Sales
  • Secrets from the Scalerator: How Three Businesses Scaled Up Fast

    Leaders in Milwaukee began an initiative last year to spur economic growth by helping businesses in the region learn how to scale up. The payoffs are already coming and other metro regions ripe for revival are taking note.

    Yahoo Small Business reported here last year about the Rust Belt city’s “entrepreneurship ecosystem project” called Scale Up Milwaukee. Led by Babson College entrepreneurship professor Daniel Isenberg, the program has support from the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as funding from AmericanExpress OPEN for Enterprise: Coalitions for High-Growth Entrepreneurship. The AmEx program aims to foster high-growth entrepreneurship by giving select communities, starting with Milwaukee, the right resources and tools for a better entrepreneurial environment.

    Among the resources AmEx OPEN brought to Milwaukee last autumn was the Scalerator—a two-month series of two-day workshops

    Read More »from Secrets from the Scalerator: How Three Businesses Scaled Up Fast
  • When most small businesses think about social media, they automatically think Twitter and Facebook.  If your business caters directly to individuals I think it is hard to argue that you should not have a presence on both.  For B2B businesses, however, there is a better option.  In this article I am going to tell you about slideshare, why I think it is the best avenue for generating leads for B2B businesses, and exactly how you should use it to do so.

    Why is slideshare great for marketing your B2B business?

    slideshare is where your audience is

    As I look through the most popular presentations page on slideshare.net I see titles like Productivity Hacks From LinkedIn Influencers, High Performing Firms - Winning Through Culture, and The Most Important Small Business Trends In 2014.  Compare these to the most popular content on social networks like Facebook and Twitter (where Miley Cyrus and pet pictures rule) and it’s not hard to see why slideshare is better for B2B businesses.

    The

    Read More »from Practical guide to marketing a B2B small business using Slideshare
  • Sometimes, Goliath is the underdog: How small innovative businesses can have the upper hand

    Let’s get one thing clear before we begin.  While I’ve lived and breathed the startup world since founding BodeTree in 2010, I’m not your typical startup founder.  First of all, I don’t live in the Bay Area, or New York, or any other hub of excitement.  I grew up in the sprawling metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona and now live in the Mile High (in more ways than one) city of Denver.  Up until recently I always viewed this as a weakness.  After all, all of the hip, wildly intelligent, and dynamic entrepreneurs on the coasts must know something that i don’t, right?

    I’m beginning to find, however, that isn’t exactly the case.  In the rush to prove how disruptive and innovative they are, many entrepreneurs are inadvertently conforming around common assumptions and, as a result, missing a huge opportunity.  I’ve written in the past about my love/hate relationship with business books, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve yet to shake my addiction.  My latest foray into the land of business

    Read More »from Sometimes, Goliath is the underdog: How small innovative businesses can have the upper hand
  • A Valentine’s Shop Pops Up in Manhattan: It’s a Love Story

    New Yorkers have no excuse for coming home tonight with nothing more than bouquets from the bodega for their Valentines. The ever-changing theme boutique STORY is all about love this month, and features dozens of ways to shop small and local for your lover. STORY marketing gurus say their current curated shopping experience explores “love's capacity to inspire a work of art, delight the palette, surprise the nose, and even grow.”

    We reported here last summer about Rachel Shechtman, the retail industry consultant who is on a mission to elevate the consumer experience of the brick and mortar store to what she calls “translational storytelling.” STORY is her 2,000-square-foot shop on 10th Avenue at 19th Street in Manhattan that she says “has the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery, and sells things like a store.”

    Shechtman swaps out the entire inventory and interior design every three to eight weeks, and managed to achieve profitability her first year, generating revenue

    Read More »from A Valentine’s Shop Pops Up in Manhattan: It’s a Love Story
  • Startup

    Most companies fail, and fail fast. The official statistics show that 50% of new companies fail within the first five years. However, I am inclined to believe that the numbers in fact undercount the true failure rate.

    What can new business founders do to increase their chances of success?  They can start a business in a field where they have experience, knowledge, and connections.  If founders don’t have practical experience, they will make many unnecessary mistakes, wasting both time and money during the learning process.  Connections are also equally important. Identifying and establishing credibility with clients takes time if one does not have an existing relationship. Those that start a business in a field where they have experience, have a huge advantage over those that are trying something completely new.

    In 2000, I became the first employee at a forex brokerage firm.  The firm allowed individuals to trade currencies (forex) similar to the way E-Trade allows individuals to

    Read More »from How to increase your odds of business success: Practical advice from founders
  • Sochi

    Unless you've been living under a rock, you've likely heard a lot about American ice dancing pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and deservedly so -- they are equal parts adorable and talented. The Olympics highlight reel has also been dominated by Julia Lipnitskaia, the 15-year-old Russian who skated circles around the competition to warm the heartsof Olympics fans everywhere. And every single day has been marked with new rumors, speculation, or commentary around potential security issues.

    Between those three storylines and Bob Costas's pink eye, it's easy to get inundated by the same old Sochi stories. So below, we've outlined seven stories you might have missed -- but definitely shouldn't -- with narratives ranging from a German underwear company to some seriously tricked out pants worn by Russians on ice.

    1) The Tongan Luger Named After a German Underwear Company

    Bruno Banani is the name of a well-known German undergarment company with a reputation for cheeky (no pun intended)

    Read More »from Marketing the Olympics: Some subtle and effective storylines
  • Taxes, Insurance, Marketing: Brush Up in a Business Webinar

    National Entrepreneurship Week is coming up February 15-22, according to the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education. And with most of the nation in a deep freeze, it’s the perfect time to snuggle up to your computer for some business training. Last month we presented a list of college-level online courses for entrepreneurs. For your February learning, here is a list of workshops being offered online this month that require far less commitment and offer the possibility of a quick payoff for your business.

    Thursday, Feb. 13, 1:00 pm ET
    Score Free Publicity for Your Business
    A one-hour seminar offered by BizLaunch to reveal the power of free publicity and how to get it. Learn how to tell stories the media want to cover, how to target the right media, how to write a media release, interview tips, and how to use free publicity to grow your brand.

    Thursday, Feb. 13, 1:00 pm ET
    Mobile and Website Conversion: Building Your Business for Clients on the Go
    Can potential buyers find your website

    Read More »from Taxes, Insurance, Marketing: Brush Up in a Business Webinar
  • Advance business using one secret strategy

    Do you sometimes get frustrated with offers expressed as seemingly helping you, but in reality do not value your time and experience?

    Secret Strategy

    Do you sometimes get frustrated with offers expressed as seemingly helping you, but in reality do not value your time and experience? Put in this situation, most people will either give away their services far below their worth or will walk away without trying to find a solution to the problem.

    The secret strategy is to ask that together you find a mutually beneficial solution for all.

    Begin by resetting perception and expectations

    Most often people will stand back when you politely but firmly let it be known you value your time and the experience you bring to your work. The sales term is “re-framing” due to putting a brand new perspective on the offer.

    When you stand up for who you are and what you may contribute to helping your peer, they then understand a different conversation needs to take place. And when this occurs, their perspective of your capabilities is reset and their thinking adjusts to focus on how you may work together.

    Does this work 100% of the time? Very little works

    Read More »from Advance business using one secret strategy

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ABOUT PROFIT MINDED

Profit Minded is the Yahoo! Small Business Advisor blog that looks at ideas, trends, commerce, and noteworthy developments that can help small business owners develop and grow their organizations.

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Owen Linderholm

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