Veterans, Guards, Reservists

Most small businesses today know about the importance of online reputation and the power of social media to help or hurt that reputation. Dozens of websites and rating services, from the majors such as Yelp, Twitter and Facebook to those serving specific business sectors such as travel, are open for anyone to express an opinion.

By Daniel Kehrer
Founder, BizBest.com
 

Most small businesses today know about the importance of online reputation and the power of social media to help or hurt that reputation. Dozens of websites and rating services, from the majors such as Yelp, Twitter and Facebook to those serving specific business sectors such as travel, are open for anyone to express an opinion.

About the Author

Daniel Kehrer headshotDaniel Kehrer, Founder & Managing Director of BizBest Media Corp., is a nationally-known, award-winning expert on small and local business, start-ups, content marketing, entrepreneurship and social media, with an MBA from UCLA/Anderson. Read more of Daniel's tips at www.BizBest.com, follow him at www.twitter.com/140Main and connect on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/danielkehrer.
BizBest

A quick and easy survey to determine the effectiveness of your business' marketing strategy.

Welcome to the SCORE® Marketing Assessment Tool, presented by The UPS Store®
 
Score Marketing CookbookTake this quick survey, and get specific advice from the SCORE Marketing Cookbook, a collection of simple recipes for marketing success. 
 

Help secure your electronic and mobile devices — and protect your bottom line!

The Internet and mobile technologies have become indispensable for many small businesses. Yet without proper safeguards, they can put your data, your systems, and even your company at risk.

Cyber criminals are increasing their attacks on smaller firms simply because they know many don’t have the resources to stop them:

My Artisano Foods LLC

Eduardo Rodriguez is starting My Artisano Foods LLC as a small retail shop in Sharonville. Within a few years, he hopes to build a national brand

that generates more than $10 million in annual revenue.  The former Procter & Gamble Co. executive spent more than a year planning his new business, which opens Tuesday, Jan. 29 on Reading Road just south of E. Sharon Road.  Rodriguez will use recipes learned in his native Venezuela to make herb-flavored Paisano cheese, Queso de Mano, or hand-stretched cheese and pickled antipasto eggplant. He plans to sell the soft and mild Latin American cheeses to local food lovers, including some 300 potential customers whose contact information he collected at networking and social events.

“Foodies are always looking for new flavors, new ideas, new recipes. I offer all of those,” Rodriguez said. “I have been working hard on this. I assessed the idea a long time to make sure I got the concept right.”

 
Owner/Founder
Eduardo Rodriguez
Revenue
10,000,000
Employees
20
Year Company Formed
2005
My Successes

The concept is “World Flavors Made Locally,” a slogan developed for My Artisano Foods by Brand Shepherd, a Wyoming-based advertising agency. Its founder, Dan Crask, thinks Rodriguez will succeed because he’s launching a new product into “a category where people are already shopping. I’ve looked for products like this at Kroger, Whole Foods. I see nothing in this category.”  The founder’s experience and solid business plan should help My Artisano Foods become a national brand, said Scott Stoelting, a retired Luxottica executive who volunteers as a Cincinnati consultant for the Service Corp. of Retired Executives, or SCORE. That’s a national organization with 13,000 counselors, including about 90 in Cincinnati, that provide advice to small-business startups.

 

“I’ve seen so many business plans, I can almost tell by looking at them whether they’re going to make it or not,” Stoelting said. “It just looks to me like he has every chance.” Rodriguez, 42, spent nine years in P&G’s consumer and market knowledge organization, which looks for the best ways to bring new products to target markets. His wife, Rosa Hernandez, is an R&D associate at P&G. The couple lives in Blue Ash with 8-year-old twin sons, Santiago and Sebastian. Before relocating to Cincinnati, Rodriguez managed a family business in Venezuela that produced artisan cheeses. He also managed his family’s farm in Zaraza, Venezuela.  That background helped him develop several potential markets for the cheese and vegetable products he’ll make in his 1,000-square-foot retail store, at 10965 Reading Road. He will sell specialty cheeses for $7 to $16 per pound to retail customers. He’ll have a catering service and wholesale offerings for local restaurants. He also plans to make regular appearances at food festivals and farmers’ markets. Eventually, he’ll offer his cheese products to retailers regionally, then nationally.  “I want to sell to chains that focus on organic and healthy foods,” he said. 

What's Great About My Mentor?

 

 

How SCORE Helped

Eduardo Rodriguez is starting My Artisano Foods LLC as a small retail shop in Sharonville.

Within a few years, he hopes to build a national brand that generates more than $10 million in annual revenue.

Education

none

Persistent listening is a frequently neglected skill, both in business relationships and personal ones, but it’s crucial for mutual understanding and success. From a business standpoint, persistent listening is empathetically listening to consumers in order to learn about them, understand their sentiments and values, and put that knowledge to productive use. 

By Stephen Monaco

Listening, really listening, is hard. We’re often too preoccupied by our own life situations to devote our full attention to what our spouses, family members, friends, and co-workers have to say, but failing to listen is detrimental to any relationship.

About the Author

Stephen Monaco headshot

Stephen Monaco is an integrated marketing expert, thought leader, innovator, author, and speaker. As a marketing consultant and social business strategist, Monaco advises companies on driving strategies and leveraging digital media to effectively realize business goals. He welcomes anyone to reach out to him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.  

 

A checklist to make sure that your customers can find your business through all the available avenues.

If your customers can't find you then your business will fail. This eGuide from Yext and SCORE will help you make sure that you are doing everything to make it easier for your customers, current and future, to find your business. Ensure you have the correct listing on all the available platforms from Yelp! to social media. Download the Location Information Check List and don't get lost.

Small business owners are a practical bunch. So when it comes to digital marketing – websites, search ads, digital banners, email, mobile ads, and others – they approach it with a decidedly practical bent. “Generating leads and sales is very important to us,” says Jack Groot, owner of JP’s Coffee & Espresso Bar in Holland, MI. "Without real traffic and ultimately profit, there is little or no value for us in digital marketing.”

By Daniel Kehrer
Founder, BizBest.com
 

About the Author

Daniel KehrerDaniel Kehrer, Founder & Managing Director of BizBest Media Corp., is a nationally-known, award-winning expert on small and local business, start-ups, content marketing, entrepreneurship and social media, with an MBA from UCLA/Anderson. Read more of Daniel's tips at www.BizBest.com, follow him at www.twitter.com/140Main and connect on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/danielkehrer.
Biz Best logo

Job growth has been gaining in the private sector for 39 consecutive months. How is that growth is happening? SCORE and Zipcar have put together this infographic to explain exactly how employment and hiring have grown after the recession. Learn how and why businesses are filling new jobs. Find out where companies are looking for quality candidates. Learn the role social media is playing during the hiring process.
Download the 2013 Small Business Employment and Hiring infographic now!

 


About the Author

Zipcar for BusinessZipcar is the world's leading car sharing network with operations in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for smart, simple and convenient solutions to their urban and campus transportation needs. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. Learn more at Zipcar.com.

Culinary Kids: Helping Kids Cook with Help from SCORE

Juggling a full-time career as an emergency helicopter pilot and raising 5 boys between the ages of 1 and 8 is a tall order for any family.  Add buying and growing a new business venture to the mix and only the strong will survive.  Sherri and Larry Hansen have done just that, growing Culinary Kids into a thriving business that truly has a positive impact on its community.  From a simple childhood memory of working together in the kitchen alongside her mother and Grandma, Sherri envisioned a place where family and friends could connect over meals—a place where people of all ages and walks of life could participate in the cooking process and experience the traditional values of family and friendships amidst the face pace world we live in.

www.culinarykidsns.com

See video
Owner/Founder
Sherri and Larry Hansen
My Location
Mandeville LA
United States
Year Company Formed
2012
My Successes

If anyone knows how to effectively engage and influence children and families, it must be a mother of 5. But, Sherri also brings professional experience as an educator and a former manager of a Boys & Girls Club to the business. 

The mission of Culinary Kids is to connect children and families in the community by creating bonding and learning opportunities exploring the art and science of cooking. The programs teach life, social and academic skills while encouraging creative expression and critical thinking.  The culinary school has become a local favorite for school trips, and the events it  provides for children

Culinary Kids reaches out to and collaborates with many other small businesses in the area, creating partnerships and complementary programs including adult cooking classes with local chefs, fitness programs with gyms and trainers, senior programs with area hospitals and many more joint ventures with businesses that support healthy, positive lifestyles. They also dedicate their time and resources to support local non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, ACCESS, SOAR and UP21 (all dedicated to assorted special needs populations in the community) as well as local schools and many other fundraising events in the area.

Culinary Kids was chosen in December 2012 as the recipient of the Sam’s Club Holiday Cheer small business grant and training.  Sherri has been recognized by Sophisticated Woman, a popular magazine in the area, as their Enterprising Woman of the Month for July.

What's Great About My Mentor?

Of mentor Mack Deloney, Sherri says, “Our mentor has taken our passion and anxious energies and given us professional focus, helping us achieve our goals. Our business is fueled by our heart, but our mentor helps us see the clear picture of success based on logical principles that allow us to be financially sustainable, thus allowing our passionate programs to grow with direction and purpose. Neither of us as owners possesses the academic or experiential knowledge needed to run a business, so our mentor has helped define our needs and has provided a wealth of support, and advice. Other specialized mentors have filled in those gaps even further, allowing us to succeed. We have increased our efficiency, defined a more clear business plan, and improved our human resources and hiring strategies. We feel supported, knowing that in those moments of excessive stress, there is someone to call who "gets it" and who will be there to coach us through the rough patches. This business would not exist in its expanding form were it not for our mentor's influence and we can't wait to one day serve others in the same capacity!

As a service-based business, providing customized programs for our community, we needed to learn which of our program ideas would succeed and which would not. Naturally, we believed all of our ideas to be fantastic; however, our mentor helped us streamline those programs by evaluating their feasibility and profitability in a very clear fashion. Doing this allowed us to increase our efficiency, save time in program development and decrease the stress placed on staff in these developmental months. We also experienced human resources and staffing issues as our target employees must meet very specific qualifications. Our mentor suggested a human resources expert (also a SCORE volunteer) to assist us in defining our staffing challenges (retention and payroll predictability) and brainstorm ideas on how to re-structure our program offerings to suit both the community AND the staff we wanted to retain. We changed the offerings, created new job descriptions and the energy of our team shifted immediately and became more stable with a clear direction.”

How SCORE Helped

Of SCORE Sherri says, “We sought SCORE support just as we opened our business, knowing that we needed assistance to make it work, but would not be able to afford a hired coach. SCORE was the answer to our challenges and we truly would not be here without this support. We are dedicated to spreading the word about what SCORE has done for us and we continue to recommend these services to other business owners in our community.”

Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, tells why the "reply all" option on your email may be dangerous and how to use it carefully.

Steve Strauss headshot After going back and forth trying to get an answer about a potential big gig from a very busy guy named James, a good friend of mine decided he needed some help. So he tried to shoot me an email, wanting my feedback as to what he should do next.

But instead of forwarding his correspondence with James to me, my friend mistakenly hit the dreaded “reply all” button:

About the Author

Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed, TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com. © Steven D. Strauss

Syndicate content