Rural Entrepreneurs

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.

The Worcester Business Resource Alliance (WBRA) is a loose network of business professionals, technical assistance providers, lenders, and community development organizations that provide services to entrepreneurs, small business owners and managers in Central Massachusetts. Each month, representatives meet to collaborate and update each other on upcoming events. Current WBRA member organizations are outlined for the convenience of prospective clients at http://wbra.wordpress.com/organizations/.

The latest update of upcoming WBRA business events is found at http://wbra.wordpress.com/upcoming-events/.

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

Oh, how we all wish we knew the secrets to getting your business’s website to the top of search engine results. Yes, you can pay for the right to be on top, and I’m not saying that isn’t worth trying if your budget allows, but that’s getting ahead of myself. Every entrepreneur has his or her own SEO battle story, and the methods that work for one company don’t always work for another. That said, here are some guidelines to get you started:

 

By Rieva Lesonsky

Oh, how we all wish we knew the secrets to getting your business’s website to the top of search engine results. Yes, you can pay for the right to be on top, and I’m not saying that isn’t worth trying if your budget allows, but that’s getting ahead of myself. Every entrepreneur has his or her own SEO battle story, and the methods that work for one company don’t always work for another. That said, here are some guidelines to get you started:

About the Author

Rieva Lesonsky headshotRieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at twitter.com/rieva and visit her blog at SmallBizDaily.com.

Visit her website SmallBizTrendCast to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

SCORE Breathing New Life into Business Counseling - Chelsea Davis

Date
Tue, 2013-05-07 13:04

The south-central Iowa chapter of SCORE, formally known as the Service Corps Of Retired Executives, has existed in Ottumwa since 1977, finding new leadership in the last two years. Gordon Aistrope now chairs the organization and is "putting a different spin on it," said Megan Framke, Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation initiative manager.

Today, approximately one-third of Ottumwa's SCORE board is comprised of those under age 50.

 

       I have a business that sells equestrian supplies both retail and online. I’d like to begin using social media as a marketing tool, but I’m clueless as to how to begin. How do I go about developing a social media strategy?

 

 

About the Author

       This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration.
       Have a question you’d like answered in this column? E-mail it to info@score-manchester.org, with “Ask SCORE” in the subject line.

In the era of information overload, consumers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every day. A logo on a T-shirt, a radio ad, or a TV commercial may not stay in a consumer’s mind very long because the next wave of advertising messages is a few seconds away.

Consumers have adapted to ignore newspaper ads, and they instinctively change the radio station when their music is interrupted by local promotions. The change in the way consumers react to marketing messages has forced brands to reconsider using traditional media.

By Chuck Cohn
 

About the Author

Chuck Cohn is the Founder and CEO of Varsity Tutors, a tutoring company with 1,900 tutors that provides services including ACT tutoring in 19 metro areas. In 2007, while he was a student at Washington University in St. Louis, Cohn recognized that two of his best friends would make perfect tutors: they were brilliant, friendly, and could explain difficult concepts better than any tutor he had ever had. Cohn founded Varsity Tutors and hired his two brilliant friends as the first two tutors. The feedback he received from parents was outstanding and so he began hiring other extremely talented individuals who had the communication and technical skills necessary to be amazing tutors.

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