Business, Career, Life

Tag: Small Business

Columbus Funds ~ Understand How To Fund Your Small Business or Social Enterprise In Columbus, Ohio

For the past 25 years I have worked with entrepreneurs to get their businesses funded. I have seen the frustration on the faces of many business owners as they pitch and apply for funding only to be turned down over and over again. The challenge many people face is really self inflicted. Many times they are seeking the wrong capital for their type of business and/or stage of business. People really need to understand that there is a funding continuum and if you want to succeed in funding your business you need to make sure that your type of business, the timing of your request and the funding source all match up.

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The Secret To Your Business Standing Out


I remember a couple of years ago judging a local business plan competition.

There were five competitors. The company that won was the pretty obvious choice and the company in last was also pretty obvious.

So the winning team won $1,500 dollars, support services and many offers of assistance. They were clearly the best and deserved to win.

The second place through fourth place teams got a hardy handshake for participating but that was about it.

The last place team was clearly the worst. However instead of running them out of the room everyone wanted to help them. They won free admission to the local Start-up Weekend, 10 hours of advising by one of the competition’s partners and many offers of assistance.

What gives? The winner was great (in the context of th competition), the middle three were OK and the last place team’s business idea was really bad. The lesson here is that the winner and the last place team stood out. They got the attention of the judges and attendees. This led to them to both receive rewards. To be honest I don’t even remember what the other three companies did.

Being good is the worst thing you can do. People remember the great and the bad but not the good. If you are providing a good service and doing good work you will be lumped in with everyone else.

To succeed you need to be STAND OUT!

Standing out is absolutely critical if your marketing is to be successful.  If you are average and similar to your competitors you will get lost in the noise. When you stand out people notice what you are doing and what you are all about. You create fans and a community that are really into what you are doing. You become “Remarkable”. When I talk about remarkable I mean taking it to a level where your customers are willing to tell other about your amazing business. It is that “Word Of Mouth” marketing that everyone talks about but rarely achieves.

I was first exposed to this when I watched an amazing Ted Talk by Seth Godin, “How To Get Your Ideas To Spread” where he dives into this concept of being Remarkable. Go check it out.

So what are your next steps?

  • Review what your business is doing? Look at your competitors. Are you standing out?
  • Are you really delivering what your customers want or what you think they want? Find out. Get out and talk to your customers.
  • Decide what Standing Out would look like for your business. What specifically should you be doing to stand out?
  • Put together a plan for what you will be doing, when you will be doing it and how you will be doing what it takes to stand out.
  • Work the plan
  • STAND OUT!!!
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Public Speaking Tips to Build Your Small Business

Once you begin to reach a level of success as a business owner you will start to get calls asking you to be a speaker. This can be a great way to get the word out on your business. It can position you as an expert. Think of public speaking as “one to many” networking.  Having said that most people can’t just show up and be an effective speaker. As a matter of fact if you aren’t careful you might hurt your business or at least your personal reputation. As much as I try to avoid it there are times where I find myself sitting in an audience listening to a presentation that is just terrible. This can be due to a number of factors, some that are out of the control of the speaker , but to be honest it’s usually the speaker.

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