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The Biggest Leadership Myth

by Employee ‎03-21-2016 08:53 AM

A Guest Article by Susan Packard

 

“I’m great at brainstorming and getting things started. I’m not so great at follow through. When will I get to be a compete leader?”

 

This was a question a young woman asked of me last fall, when I keynoted a Michigan Entrepreneur’s Day in metro Detroit. It was fascinating to learn about the new business ideas these young, just –out-of-college graduates were cooking up. If you read my bio you might think I’ve been one of those “corporate” types, as I’ve worked in established companies like HBO, NBC and Scripps. But from the time I was out of school I, too, loved to build business ideas. And I was like that young woman who asked the question at the event-- process was not my thing.

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Are you looking for helpful Search Engine Optimization tips to improve your small business' bottom line? Evan Bailyn, our webinar speaker and best-selling author of Outsmarting Google and SEO Made Easy, will walk you through the new opportunities available in 2016 for using SEO to help increase your bottom line in a secure and ethical way.

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Women-Owned Small Businesses Spotlight: Timeline Video

by Employee ‎03-03-2016 03:40 PM - edited ‎03-09-2016 10:34 AM

Twenty-two years ago, Timeline Video started as a home-based business, in Diane Cricchio’s spare bedroom of her rented apartment.   Inspired by other creative women, while working as a video editor, Diane Cricchio, CEO and Creative Director, wanted to give life to stories and share her voice with others.

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An entrepreneur is a professional who discovers opportunities and determines how to leverage those opportunities into greater success for the organization. Entrepreneurs have vision, passion and drive. They see opportunities where others see only risk. They tend to be optimists and believe that they can succeed even when others tell them they cannot. Entrepreneurs develop ideas, sure, but they are also willing to get their hands dirty and do the work necessary to make their vision become a reality.

 

This spirit of entrepreneurship starts with understanding your colleagues and coworkers. Today’s workers want more than just a paycheck; they want to feel a sense of ownership. A true measure of leadership is to create a culture based on dependability and genuineness and a sense of belonging.  Business owners must live the core values of their company’s culture and demonstrate their sincerity by getting really excited about the work they’re doing. Enthusiasm is contagious!

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Finding new customers is, without a doubt, the most difficult and stressful aspect for any business seeking to grow or expand. There are many ways to make prospecting for new clients less like a chore and more like extending your amazing family.

 

Prospecting is more of an attitude than a cumbersome and difficult activity. Since you can’t predict where your next customer lead will develop, it’s good to always have an open mind and spirit for embracing the unknown. You can generate leads almost anywhere, from your child’s basketball game to the grocery line to sitting in the waiting room at the auto shop…or even in the Santa line at the mall. Don’t think of prospecting as quoting product features and service benefits; rather, think about it as relationship-building and giving people a reason to believe in you and your company—and a reason to buy. That’s the magic of any season!

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According to a well-worn business adage, "Customers don't buy products, they buy you." In essence, building strong customer relationships is essential to the long-term health of your business. It’s critical to focus on every aspect of the customer experience to ensure repeat business. From the very first encounter, be sure to show a sincere interest in your customers and remember their preferences.

 

Often customers will both recognize and appreciate that you are paying attention and making a conscious investment in them. Not only does this increase the chances for an immediate sale but it also makes it more likely that your customer will speak highly of you and your business to his or her friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances.

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Small Business Saturday is coming up later this week on November 28th.  Is your small business "tech-ready" to handle all of your customers' needs? 

 

Tell us how your business is using technology to get ready for this big shopping day and you could win up to $1,000 in American Express gift cards. There will be multiple winners and a variety of prize levels.  Click here to enter your contact information and your response, as well as to view the contest rules and eligibility restrictions.  The contest ends this coming Friday, 11/27, at 11:59 pm ET, so enter now before you get too tied up in all the Thanksgiving holiday festivities. 

 

Did we mention that there will lots of winners and prize levels?  There will be lots of winners and prize levels!  Enter here.

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Today’s smart tip is an amazingly cost-effective way to spread the word about your small business. “Partnership Marketing” is a way of developing relationships with other companies that share similar lists of targeted customers.

 

How partnerships develop is malleable and can take many forms. No matter the nature of your partnership, a collaborative arrangement is a great way to do more with less. It can provide new opportunities for growth while preserving valuable capital and resources. You’ll have a greater presence in your traditional market plus your new alliance will open up opportunities with a broader range of customers.

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Rethink, reinvent and relaunch

by Employee ‎11-10-2015 12:17 PM - edited ‎11-10-2015 12:18 PM

The world is changing at a perpetually increasing pace. How well is your business keeping up?

 

Take a look around. Texting, Facebook, Twitter, and the growing plethora of social media offerings have forever changed our mobile communications landscape. According to Nielsen, more people now access the Internet using cell phones instead of PCs.

 

Consumer behaviors are also clearly changing in response to these technological innovations. From Baby Boomers to Millennials, the populace is becoming savvier to online buying and selling. They’re also more willing to share their thoughts about products and services through online reviews. Focusing on new ways to attract and keep customers in a generally lukewarm market will give you a powerful edge over your competitors.

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Join Verizon and Clint Bruce for a free webinar on November 13th

by Employee ‎11-04-2015 10:21 AM - edited ‎11-10-2015 12:19 PM

Please join us on Friday, November 13th at 2:00 pm ET for a free, online webinar featuring Clint Bruce.

 

Mr. Bruce, a former Navy SEAL, possesses three traits that help his small businesses and foundation run smoothly: a military background, a disciplined approach, and a passion for what he does. Hear the story behind his motto, “Hold fast, stay true.”

 

Since leaving the U.S. Navy, Mr. Bruce has founded two companies and one Foundation: TRG -- the trusted advisor in risks to America's best businesses, leaders, and families; HoldFast -- a speakers’ bureau that provides world-class speakers to top-tier companies by coaching and employing both veterans and transitioning professional athletes; and, Carry the Load -- a foundation created to help meet America’s desire to honor their fallen firefighters, law enforcement officers, rescue personnel and military during the month of May.

 

To register for Mr. Bruce's live webinar, brought to you exclusively by Verizon, please click here or visit: http://verizon.com/webinar

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Small Biz Rewards 3-year anniversary sweepstakes: Enter to win up to $3,000.

by Employee ‎10-30-2015 07:43 AM - edited ‎10-30-2015 07:46 AM

Could an extra $300 help your business? How about $3,000? It’s our Small Biz Rewards 3-year anniversary and we’re celebrating with a “set the 3 free” sweepstakes, running October 27th through December 31st, 2015.*

 

You could be one of the lucky winners to take home one of these prizes:

  • One (1) $3,000 grand prize
  • Three (3) $1,000 first-place prizes
  • Ten (10) $300 second-place prizes
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Savvy small business owners consistently search for smart and efficient ways to grow sales. Challenges arise when companies seek a “magic pill” to trigger growth versus well thought-out business solutions. Some business plans focus on extreme promotions, others utilize clichéd practices such as making everything “family” focused, but these practices don’t always lead to success. Valuable customers are out there. But who are they? And how do you reach them?

 

In this blog post you’ll discover four sound strategies that can help your business attract new customers and put your company on a path toward prosperity.

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Did you know that consumers overwhelmingly believe word-of-mouth recommendations, such as those found on social media, over all other types of advertising? Studies, such as Nielsen’s Trust in Advertising, show that prospective customers increasingly rely on word-of-mouth postings of their friends, family, and acquaintances to make purchasing decisions. From which car to drive to which toothpaste best removes tartar, traditional marketing isn’t what entices customers to buy; in fact, overwhelmingly, it’s the court of public opinion that does.  

 

Social media savvy has become a "must-have" in your business development toolbox. With literally dozens of social media sites to choose from, the choices and best practices for promoting your business can be overwhelming. Awareness of the different social media platforms and the unique tools they offer can be enormously beneficial. Previously for personal-use-only, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Yelp! have evolved into powerful business platforms, and they’re all free! Some of these also offer premium services at a cost that is worth considering as your business grows. The key to getting optimal results via social media is determining which vehicles are best for your business.

 

This blog post provides tips for developing a powerful social media strategy for your business. From customer demographics to data tracking, some proven tactics will help maximize your success while staying within budget. By following our 5 Step Process below, you can begin to select the right tools for your business and build a dynamic social media presence for your company.

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Searching for entrepreneurial success in mid-life?

by Employee ‎10-14-2015 11:59 AM - edited ‎11-10-2015 12:41 PM

Starting a new business can be rife with headaches, risks, and pitfalls. But it also can be an incredibly rewarding experience that can change one’s life for the better. Most entrepreneurs who start their businesses in mid-life utilize skills honed through years of experience. Yet, like their younger counterparts, they also face a wide variety of business development and planning challenges that no amount of work experience can mitigate.

 

Today’s blog post focuses on many of the traits, skills and characteristics required for entrepreneurial success, with an emphasis on the mid-life entrepreneur, in particular.

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Show me the money!

by Employee ‎10-08-2015 09:14 AM - edited ‎11-10-2015 12:42 PM

As the saying goes, “Money makes the world go ‘round,” and for an entrepreneur or small business owner, it can be a central part of his or her business world. Money is a requirement for business expansion. There are multiple ways to acquire funding. The more you learn about these options, the easier it will be to make a sound decision. A good place to start is with other business owners you know. Talk with those that have recently gone through an expansion and learn from their experiences.

 

Let’s take a look at a variety of approaches to acquire funds for business expansion...

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Join Verizon and Susan L. Taylor for a free webinar on October 7th

by Employee ‎09-30-2015 12:38 PM - edited ‎11-10-2015 12:43 PM

Please join us on Wednesday, October 7th at 2:00 pm ET for a free, online webinar featuring Susan L. Taylor, founder and CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor Emerita of Essence magazine.

 

Ms. Taylor will explain how to craft a vision for one's life and how to cultivate a leadership style that is both energizing and inspiring. 

 

Drawing on her three decades of visionary leadership, Ms. Taylor also will help you to take stock of your purpose and talents, and she'll demonstrate how even the most challenging business and management issues can be tackled and solved with enthusiasm, patience, and a positive attitude.

 

To register for Ms. Taylor's live webinar, brought to you exclusively by Verizon, please click here or visit: http://verizon.com/webinar

  

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Congratulations to winners of our Million Point Grant Giveaway

by Employee ‎09-18-2015 08:20 AM - edited ‎11-10-2015 12:45 PM

Earlier this year (from Feb. 26 – April 21) the Verizon Small Biz Rewards program launched the Million Point Grant Giveaway.

 

We have the winners: Congratulations to all!

 

Click here to see the list of winners including the Grand Prize and five first prize winners. We will soon announce the winners of the Verizon Small Biz Rewards Midsummer Business Makeover winners soon.

 

Please check back again soon as the Verizon Small Biz Rewards team will launch another sweepstakes to reward our loyal customers.

 

Click here to see if Verizon is available in your area or if you are already a customer, click here to learn more about the benefits of signing up – for free – and joining the Verizon Small Biz Rewards program.

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Customer feedback is key to our success

by Employee ‎09-08-2015 07:46 AM - edited ‎11-10-2015 12:46 PM

Post By Michelle Swittenberg, vice president of small business marketing for Verizon.

 

Like any business, Verizon has a keen interest in how well it’s serving its customers. Customer feedback is invaluable in helping us develop the best solutions to meet their broadband and communications needs.

 

So it’s gratifying that feedback from you, our small business customers, has placed Verizon at the top of two prestigious customer satisfaction studies.

 

Verizon received the “Highest Customer Satisfaction with Very Small Businesses Wireline Service, Two Years in a Row”* in the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction Study. According to J.D. Power, small businesses ranked Verizon the highest among our competitors in customer satisfaction, pricing and service plans leading to customer loyalty.

 

Verizon FiOS Internet received a PC Magazine award in the publication’s first-ever Business Choice Survey. Our FiOS Internet customers ranked it No.1 in reliability, technical support and overall satisfaction.

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Networking is today’s most effective marketing tool for small business

by Employee ‎09-04-2015 01:37 PM - edited ‎11-10-2015 12:47 PM

Maintaining existing customers and finding new customers in an ever-changing market seems to get progressively more challenging. Savvy small business owners have found that smart networking has become one of the most effective tools in their marketing arsenal, providing a level of trust that advertising and marketing cannot deliver.

 

The best business networking groups operate as exchanges of business information, ideas and support. The most important skill for effective business networking is listening; focusing on how you can help the person you are listening to rather than on how he or she can help you is the first step to establishing a mutually beneficial relationship. Make the conversation all about them and not you. People love to talk about themselves. If you allow them the freedom to talk about themselves, you will be remembered as someone who took the time to get to know them. Remember, networking is not about the quantity of business cards you collect. It's about relationships.

 

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Keep your business green throughout the year

by Employee ‎08-27-2015 03:21 PM - edited ‎11-10-2015 12:48 PM


Does your business experience sales peaks and valleys based on either the day or the season? For many seasonal or time-sensitive businesses the peaks are often optimized and the valleys are opportunities. Let’s look at ways to maximize sales, cash flow, and time for a business that experiences such highs and lows.

 

Ideas to expand a seasonal business:

 

A seasonal or time-sensitive business can be extended to other periods. Look to your off-peak periods for ideas. For example, if your store sells Christmas ornaments, consider expanding into décor for other holidays like Halloween or Valentine’s Day and rotate your stock to cover multiple seasons. If you have a coffee shop, you could offer pre-prepared products or meals that could be purchased for other parts of the day (e.g., take-home dinners). If driving incremental sales during non-peak periods is important to you, there are multiple ways to achieve this objective.

 

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How John and Jane Became Successful Entrepreneurs

by Employee ‎08-20-2015 07:57 AM - edited ‎08-20-2015 08:04 AM

Five years ago, John and Jane embarked on their dream of owning a business.

 

They did all the right things to get started, from creating a business plan to hiring the right people. They went to networking meetings, joined their local chamber, placed ads, started using social media and created an impressive website. But their business didn’t take off.

 

Those basic activities just didn’t set them apart from their competition. John and Jane knew they had a great business. But the lackluster results were frustrating and one thing was clear. The business wasn’t growing fast enough and they needed to change what they were doing to get better results.

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There’s Still Time to Enter Verizon’s $5,000 Midsummer Business Makeover Sweepstakes

by Employee on ‎08-19-2015 12:50 PM - last edited on ‎09-04-2015 08:53 PM by Employee

If you won $5,000 how would you use it to improve your business?

 

If you haven’t heard, the Verizon Small Biz Rewards program is running another sweepstakes giving one of our customers the chance to win $5,000* to help makeover their business. Five of Verizon’s small business customers will each win a $1,000 Staples® gift card.

 

The sweepstakes is open to Verizon small business customers who have FiOS Internet or High Speed Internet service, landline phone and/or TV service and who are Small Biz Rewards members. No purchase is necessary and the sweepstakes ends Aug. 31.

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Change: The Power to Grow

by Employee ‎08-13-2015 11:03 AM - edited ‎08-13-2015 11:17 AM

Change. Those six little letters hold great power. Change is the booster engine in a business life cycle. It has the power to create positive results for a business including innovation, growth, cost reductions, improved customer loyalty, and greater employee morale.

 

So, why do business owners sometimes resist change?

 

Sometimes “staying the course” is more comfortable since shifting the course sometimes represents the unknown; however, change is the catalyst for future growth and can create great results.

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Keeping It All in the Family

by Employee ‎08-06-2015 07:36 AM - edited ‎08-06-2015 07:43 AM

Family-owned businesses have historically been the backbone of the American economy, making up approximately 80-90% of all enterprises in North America. With this large of a percentage there are some good reasons why there are a variety of best practices that have grown to support this business model.

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Healthy Businesses Don't Just Happen

by Employee ‎08-03-2015 07:45 AM - edited ‎08-04-2015 10:38 AM

Guest post by Frank Coker, CEO of Corelytics.

 

The health of your business is, in many ways, much like your personal health.

 

Regular check-ups help you understand if anything is going wrong. These routine check-ups include quick checks, like blood pressure, pulse and weight. Others are more detailed and require a lab expert, like blood sugar, for example, or cholesterol. Not only do these visits give you an idea of where your health is in the moment, over time they establish a pattern. If your pattern indicates you’re headed for a problem, you can start working to prevent that problem long before it takes its toll. Preventative measures dramatically reduce the cost of treating a problem, increase your odds of fixing it and decrease the stress that comes along with that fix.

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Many people assume the most significant perk of being a small business owner is being your own boss. While this is often cited at the top of the list, many small business owners identify several other perks they never considered when they started their business, some being lifestyle related and others financial. 

 

Continue reading for other benefits of being your own boss.

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The Rewards of Name-Dropping Might Get You 20,000 Points

by Employee ‎06-16-2015 12:41 PM - edited ‎06-16-2015 12:54 PM

Sure, we can talk about ourselves. But at Verizon, we know the value of you dropping our name to other small businesses like yours. After all, you’re experiencing first-hand the advantages of Verizon solutions, so who better to spread the word about the network with 99.9% reliability?

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NEW YORK – No one wants to worry about online threats or how and where to store their many files. A new solution from Verizon will ease these concerns.

 

The Security, Support & Storage Bundle provides Verizon small-business and residential  customers with comprehensive protection from viruses and malware on many connected devices; premium tech support to help keep customers’ technology running smoothly; and cloud storage for files, videos, photos and more.

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Verizon's third annual Powerful Answers Award program is accepting ideas until June 18. The program offers innovators, developers and entrepreneurs $6 million in cash prizes, plus the opportunity for winners to participate in an Accelerator program designed to help develop their ideas and bring solutions to market faster.
The Verizon Powerful Answers Award program seeks ideas that leverage cutting-edge technology to create solutions that deliver social good. The 2015 program is seeking ideas in three core categories, each with three subcategories: Transportation: How can technology enable better, more efficient ways to reduce the complexities of transportation and distribution in the physical world? o Smarter Driving o Public Transport & Sharing o Logistics and Distribution Emergency Response: How can technology enable first responders and emergency crews to locate and save lives faster; what solutions can improve long-term recovery for survivors? o First Responders o Search and Rescue o Long Term Relief Internet of Things: How can using technology behind the Internet of Things (IoT) enable new intelligent actions that will have wide-scale and beneficial impacts in the following areas? o Connected Health o Smart Cities o Smart Agriculture For more information or to submit your idea visit www.powerfulanswersaward.com. Submissions will be judged by panels of industry experts, and winners will be announced later this year. Verizon will award cash prizes of $1 million to the top winner in each of the three core categories. The second prize winner in each category will receive $500,000 and two third-prize winners in each category will receive $250,000, for a total of $6 million. If you are on Twitter search for #VZPAA for updates and information.
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Starting today and every other Thursday we'll share tips from experts to help you gain an edge in running your business. Today we will focus on better managing your time.

 

As the sayings go, "time is fleeting" and "time is money." No one knows these concepts better than you, the small business owner. Here are seven suggestions to help you manage your most limited resource: time.

Read more...

About Verizon Business Markets
Get news from Verizon about Business Markets services and market trends that affect your bottom line. Here, you'll find tips and commentary from the Verizon Business Markets group and other experts to help keep your business growing.

       




Contact the editor: tumara.r.jordan@verizon.com

About the Authors

Tumara Jordan

Senior Manager: Verizon Business Markets

Photo of Tumara Jordan

Tumara is a contributor to the Business Markets Marketing team and she currently manages Social Media marketing campaigns.


Kelly Boyd

Marketing Analyst, Verizon Business Markets

Photo of Kelly Boyd

Kelly is a member of the OOF Verizon Business Markets Creative & MarCom team where she leads social media marketing.


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