Competitive Edge
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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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6 Secrets of Radical Productivity, From an Entrepreneur Who Runs 4 Businesses

6 Secrets of Radical Productivity, From an Entrepreneur Who Runs 4 Businesses | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Emergency confetti is more important than you might think.

 

Tina Roth Eisenberg, a Swiss-born designer also known as Swiss Miss, runs four businesses with just 17 employees. And they're not small businesses. The one for which she is probably best-known, an event series called CreativeMornings, hosts monthly events in 100 cities. Tattly, another of her companies, makes temporary tattoos that have been sold by the Tate Modern. Her to-do list app, TeuxDeux, has fans such as Seth Godin and the blog Design Milk. And oh, she runs a co-working space in Brooklyn's Boerum Hill neighborhood, called Friends. (An earlier version of this story said that Eisenberg had five employees. She clarified that CreativeMornings has five employees.)

How does she do it? At a breakfast hosted by podcast series Broadmic and co-working space LMHQ earlier this month, Eisenberg spoke with early-stage investor and startup advisor Kelly Hoey about her journey as an entrepreneur. Depending on your perspective, Eisenberg's keys to success are going to warm your heart or make your eyes roll: Fun. Love. Trust. And, of course, emergency confetti.

Here are a few of the maxims that Eisenberg says she, and her businesses, live by.  Read more: click image or title.

 

 Find or list funding opportunities:

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

 

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

First rule: No complaining. Either fix it or let it go!

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4 Key Marketing Strategies from the Startup World

4 Key Marketing Strategies from the Startup World | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Chicagoland is home to several global powerhouses like Walgreens, Abbott, McDonalds, Kraft, and Wrigley. Simultaneously, Chicago’s exploding tech scene has been garnering a lot of attention in the media. Taking note of this, the Business Marketing Association invited me and fellow Chicago entrepreneurs to talk about marketing lessons from the startup world that apply to all marketers.

Kevin Willer, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, moderated a great group discussion among the following panelists and myself:  Mike McGee, Co-founder of The Starter League, Jack Philbin, CEO of Vibes Media, and Amish Tolia, Founder & Co-CEO of Apparel Media Group.

The following is my spin on the common themes that emerged as we all shared our marketing experiences:

Be purposeful.

In order to establish yourself as a thought leader, be purposeful in your strategy. Don’t do something just to check a box. Before you decide to jump on an initiative, take a step back to evaluate the following:

(1) Does the initiative help establish credibility for your brand?

(2) Will you be reaching influencers and decision makers?

(3) How you will measure success?

This mentality helps to frame future marketing decisions, leading to more successful efforts overall.  Take social media as an example (I see this come up over and over again when talking to marketers). If you want to ‘do’ social media, make sure it serves a purpose for your company. You must select the right channel(s) to focus on—Facebook may not be the optimal channel for your company—and have a unique point of view to share.

New tactics: Make them happen quickly.

If you want to try a new marketing tactic, you must put yourself and your team on an aggressive timeline. This even holds true for those of you that work in an environment that has complex organizational hierarchies and legal processes; it just means that you will need to get your part done even quicker.  New tactics often get pushed to the back burner as one gets absorbed in putting energy and resources behind tried and tested ideas. However, these new tactics are what could change the course and success of your marketing efforts.

Use trial and error, then scale.

When executing new initiatives, embrace the process of trial and error. Carefully watch the results of the initiative, and if it works, double down. If it doesn’t work, tweak it, try again, and drop it if it ultimately doesn’t work. This tactic has been used by many of the panel participants to reach and/or expand their customer base, but it certainly applies to marketing and PR initiatives as well.

Improve what already is working.

This may seem obvious. But when a marketing tactic is working, it’s easy and tempting to say, “don’t fix what’s not broken.” Even when something is working, it’s important to fine tune your approach to ensure you’re putting forth your best possible marketing efforts. You may be weary at first, thinking you might mess up a good thing, but you will likely discover a more efficient, innovative process along the way.

Regardless of whether you’re at a lean startup or a large corporation, you will face limitations as a marketer. Above all, the biggest lesson learned from startups is that you have to be open to trying new and unconventional tactics. We do it every day, and we’re better for it.

Gauri Sharma is the CEO of Lab42, a next generation market research firm that creates and fields surveys among social media users, customizes compelling infographics, and compiles insightful research that helps businesses unclutter and prioritize goals. Lab42 provides quality, accurate results with quick turnaround for small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike. Connect with Gauri on Twitter @gaurisharma.


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Via Chandra Gollapudi
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Makes a lot of sense.

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3 Small Business Sucess Strategies You Can Implement Today

3 Small Business Sucess Strategies You Can Implement Today | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

In a landscape of big business and towering corporations, small business owners have it tough. The Small Business Association reports that only 69 percent of startups survive more than two years, and

just 51 percent make it longer than five. It’s tough running a David LLC in a city of Goliath Inc’s, but you can help prevent your small business from joining the ranks of failed startups. There’s no trade secret; implement these business strategies early, and you can survive the five-year mark and flourish well beyond.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Advice for small businesses in the age of the internet and technology.

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3 Things Men Can Learn From Women That Will Make Their Business More Successful

3 Things Men Can Learn From Women That Will Make Their Business More Successful | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Men could learn a lot from women about building strong customer relationships. Here are three things we learned from women business owners that could help all entrepreneurs increase their success.

Before I founded Web.com, I watched as my wife faced many challenges as she launched and built her own business into a thriving company. The resources she needed to help her business grow online weren't either readily available or didn't exist, and it was a hard path to success. Her experience was a large part of what inspired me to found Web.com because I wanted to provide those resources to help entrepreneurs succeed.

Recently, Web.com commissioned a survey of 3,000 consumers and small business owners about how small businesses are building relationships with customers online and through social media. Forty percent of the small business owners surveyed were women, and it became apparent to me that the popular saying "Men are from Mars; women are from Venus" doesn't just apply to romantic relationships. It also holds true for business relationships, and how male and female business owners have notably different priorities for interacting with their customers online.

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Via Shelley Graves, Deb Bailey
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Definitely, businesses managed by women will be different than men's businesses. It's good for both to see why. Good article.

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17 Small Business Owners Share Their Secret Weapons

17 Small Business Owners Share Their Secret Weapons | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
We surveyed American small business owners to find their "secret weapon" for success.

Running a small business can be exceptionally rewarding, providing the opportunity to be your own boss and create jobs. But it's also incredibly difficult, and success or failure is yours to bear alone.

For a little insight and inspiration, we talked to several successful, highly motivated small business owners to find out how they make it work every day. 

Founders and business owners from around the U.S. shared their "secret weapon" that's helped them succeed. For some, it's a must-have technology. For others, it's a key management technique or a personal productivity hack. In all, it's the thing that sets them apart and gives them an edge.

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Via The Fish Firm
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great insights and ideas from small business owners. If you have the time it's worthwile reading. Click on the 1 page view...

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42 Creative and Inexpensive Ways To Advertise Your Small Business

42 Creative and Inexpensive Ways To Advertise Your Small Business | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Looking for ways to get more attention and interest for your products or business. What we lack in capital as small businesses with small budgets, we have to make up for in creativity, tenacity and effort. We have to hustle harder than everyone else out there. We have to be the champions of our cause - day in and day out. We have to be remarkable.

"In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is his effort. The same applies to business. The only thing an entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort." -Mark Cuban

Instead of spending money to interrupt your audience, focus on building the best possible business and providing massive value. If you're great, people will notice and opportunities will appear.

The following is a list of 42 creative ways to advertise your small business on a small budget, but the possibilities are infinte.

My goal in creating this list is to spark your creative juices so you can make your small business the best it can be and communicate your message to the audience who needs it most. The list is not exhaustive and I can't cover the how-tos in detail here, but I hope this list can be a checklist to help you find clever and creative ways to get your business or product more attention and customers.

- See more at: http://inventorspot.com/articles/42_ways_advertise_your_small_business_small_budget#sthash.tdRUo4EP.dpuf


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Via Daniel Watson, SENAME Interactive
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The basics for your #smallbiz. Lots of good tips.

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Jeremy Barton's curator insight, January 9, 12:27 AM

Some good ideas to start the New Year

 

Rhonda Hunter's curator insight, April 1, 11:53 AM

 

A great list of ways to advertise your business offerings can be very useful when you are too busy to be constantly racking your brain for inspiration. This list offers 42 different ways to creatively and inexpensively advertise your products or services. A handy reference list for when you know you should be doing more.

Rhonda Hunter's curator insight, April 1, 12:01 PM

 

A great list of ways to advertise your business offerings can be very useful when you are too busy to be constantly racking your brain for inspiration. This list offers 42 different ways to creatively and inexpensively advertise your products or services. A handy reference list for when you know you should be doing more.

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17 Unique Business Models Shaking Up the Marketplace

17 Unique Business Models Shaking Up the Marketplace | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

These companies are rethinking revenue streams and creating value for parties on both sides of the transaction.

There are 23 million small businesses in America, and 543,000 more are started every month. So if you've got a business idea and you want to stand out from the crowd and succeed, you better have a unique value proposition, diverse revenue streams and loads of creativity. To inspire you, we've rounded up 17 unique businesses that have proven their model works. From retail apps to fashion upstarts, these companies are rethinking revenue and creating compelling value for parties on both sides of the transaction.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Via Herve Perret, Edouard Estour
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

An explosion of creativity is happening all over the world. Great startups are setting the pace. New business models are there to be copied to other ideas.

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Make Customers Fall in Love with Your Business

Make Customers Fall in Love with Your Business | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

It's time for a reality check. Businesses aren't half as cool as their owners like to think they are.

In fact, some businesses are pretty much universally disliked. Ryanair, for example, has made a good living out of saying "Well, you get what you pay for!", but even they have recently inaugurated a new advertising campaign, headlined (imaginatively...) "We're changing". Cheap'n'nasty is a valid positioning, but a dangerous one to live by.

Most businesses, though, and by 'most' we mean a good 95%, are neither liked or disliked. They are just there.

To read the full article, click on the title.

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Via Daniel Watson
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Especially in small businesses it is very possible to become 'loved' by your customers. Everything is more personalized, you have to work better than your competitor and 'over-deliver'.

Do better than what the expectations are, and create your own image by really catering to what your client is looking for. Go the extra mile. Word-of-mouth will do the rest.

A great example of a business that is love very much is SBI/Sitesell, a company that teaches you how to find your niche, combine that with the right keywords, and set up your website around that. They host, teach, provide forums (very active and friendly), customer service (second to none) and show ways on how to 'monetize' your site. Here is a link: http://www.sitesell.com/welcome23.html


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Fusebill's curator insight, February 13, 2014 10:22 AM

"It's time for a reality check. Businesses aren't half as cool as their owners like to think they are."

Anthony MARTINS de NOBREGA's curator insight, March 4, 2014 3:37 AM

emotions means in motion...

Rich But's curator insight, September 19, 2014 7:37 PM

Right

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Julia Allison - How to Define Your Brand Before Others Do It For You #PersonalBrand

Julia Allison - How to Define Your Brand Before Others Do It For You #PersonalBrand | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Julia Allison, one of the Web's biggest self-promoters, explains how to define your brand before others do it for you.

I was convinced that trying to build a personal brand, especially for the average small-business owner, is a waste of time. And I was admittedly kinda smug about it.

Then Julia Allison put me solidly in my place--in the nicest possible way, mind you.

Here's another in my series in which I pick a topic, connect with someone smarter than me, and we discuss. (There's a list of previous installments at the end of this article.)

This time, I talked to Julia Allison, Elle columnist, speaker on all things branding related, and star of the Bravo series Miss Advised. She was also profiled in Wired a few years ago for her personal branding savvy.

Jeff: If I say the average small-business owner shouldn't worry about personal branding, what would you say?

Julia: I would start by laughing.

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Via Alldens Lane
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Here is something to learn about personal branding, the why and how to...

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