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All Blog Posts (297)

Going Green: The Simple Stuff

'Going Green' needn't be complicated or labor intensive. Here are just a few ways to Green your office and engage employees in reaching your Eco-Goals.

1.) Track your footprints: Carbon and water audits help track usage (footprints) and are the first steps in reducing your business’s ecological impact.

2.) Eliminate… Continue

Added by Sara Rampersaud on September 22, 2008 at 1:25pm — 1 Comment

How Do You Socialize Your Business Ideas

I Have An Idea - Now What?

I'm full of business ideas, some make it to the napkin, others are worthy of PowerPoint, and others get the full business plan treatment. This post is just my process for working through, and documenting the ideas before I socializing them with peers, partners, and influencers.

DanStorm - A Brainstorming Session With Me, Myself, and I

DanStorming is essential for me. The ideas fill my head, consume my thoughts and keep me… Continue

Added by Dan Harris on September 20, 2008 at 11:39am — No Comments

Going Green: A Competitive Edge

‘Going Green’ is more than a fad; it’s the new way of doing business and essential for maintaining a competitive edge. Trimming carbon emissions, paper output and energy consumption are just a few examples of how businesses are setting themselves apart and attracting new customers concerned about the impact products and services they purchase are having on the environment. But this isn’t just a point of ethics-it’s a multi-billion dollar industry with the potential to change the face of your… Continue

Added by Sara Rampersaud on September 19, 2008 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

How-To: Shop for a Merchant Account Provider- Part I

Finding it hard to know where to start when it comes to shopping for a merchant service company? You aren’t alone. That is why we are going to start what will become a very long series—if not an entire book—of detailed information on how to shop for a credit card processor.

Remember, the whole goal of What Every Merchant Should Know is to educate you. We want you to shop and process smart.

So the first part of shopping for a merchant account is knowing where to get one;… Continue

Added by Evan Metelko on September 18, 2008 at 9:47am — 1 Comment

Where's the scale in the business model?

Lessons learned from Wil Schroter, Columbus based serial entrepreneur, on building a scalable… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on September 17, 2008 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

13 Deadly Sins That Will Wreck a Business

Oh my - Oh great! This is my first-ever blog and I choose a title using three words that bring worry, fear and concern to the hearts of many...."13", "deadly" and "sins". Some people will do just about anything to avoid these words being in their lives. And for all intents and purposes when it comes to this blog...that's a good thing for all the business owners and budding entrepreneurs who may be reading it!

These 13 deadly sins should definitely be avoided. Be aware of them for you… Continue

Added by Nancy Stoll on September 16, 2008 at 4:58pm — 3 Comments

Social Networking for Fun and Profit

We recently launched this social network to help entrepreneurs build connections that can support business development. We launched this based on recommendations from people we have worked with (specifically Sara Rampersaud) to provide connections and assistance to those launching/growing small businesses in Ohio.

In the spirit of Guy Kawasaki here are my top 10 basics on how to benefit from using social networking sites....note...I'm along way from being an expert at this so I hope… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on September 15, 2008 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Still need to set up a merchant account to accept credit cards? You won't want to miss this.

Not sure what to expect from your first merchant account? Want to know your liabilities regrading credit card fraud? Struggling with your current processor and not sure where to turn? Or just curious about something you’ve heard? Well, you’ve made it to the right place! www.wemsk.com is dedicated to educating business owners and starting discussions about the payment services industry.

Our Learning Center will provide you… Continue

Added by Evan Metelko on September 11, 2008 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

What Business Plan???

If that's your answer when asked 'where is your business plan,' you may have a problem.

How long has it been since you updated your business plan. If your answer is, “I don’t have a business plan,” then your business is really only coasting along aimlessly. We have all heard that failing to plan, by default, means you are planning to fail, rather than planning for success. Whether you are a new venture or existing business, you need a plan.

Without a roadmap for your… Continue

Added by Kevin Hammond on September 9, 2008 at 8:11pm — No Comments

Social Networking...The New Word of Mouth

With many small businesses one of the key challenges is marketing. How do you get the word out with minimal dollars for marketing or advertising? By far, the biggest response from small business owners when asked what is their marketing strategy is..."word of mouth". This takes a variety of forms but it usually involves meeting people and sharing information on your business with them and hoping they share this information with others. Word of mouth is inexpensive and if you strike a cord with… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on September 5, 2008 at 12:21pm — 2 Comments

Sharpening the Saw

I have had a busy summer! I attended two very enlightening conferences this summer. I was asked to present a workshop at Insight's "Good for Communities-Good for Business" conference held in Kansas City, Missouri in July. One important note on that conference: In a study commissioned by the Ford Foundation and conducted by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development of all 50 states, Ohio has one of the best, most comprehensive minority business programs in the country! I left that… Continue

Added by Sharon A. Smith on September 4, 2008 at 12:39pm — No Comments

Shopping for a Business Loan?

Anyone who's been around the Business-Banking-World, will tell you that things have really tightened up recently. Many of the "Big Boys" on the block are sitting back and protecting their current portfolios and minimizing new risks, such as small business loans.

During these economic times, I've found that many banks are sending out notices such as: suspending further advances to existing credit lines, decreasing home equity lines of credit or cancelling them, due to home values… Continue

Added by Randy Morgan on September 2, 2008 at 8:10pm — 1 Comment

Can I At Least Get A Feasibility Plan?

As an SBDC business consultant I meet with people all the time that have ideas for building a grand and glorious business. They are excited, energized and of course they need money. Now I know people don't like to write business plans but at least before you ask for money can you develop some sort of feasibility plan? It is important that you have an idea of whether the business will work for YOU not just work...there is a difference. A business idea may have legs but until you have determined… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on August 21, 2008 at 9:28am — No Comments

Building a viral marketing program from within...

I just found this video on the Sync website. This is Stacey Elicker of Sync discussing how to start a viral campaign from the inside at a recent TechColumbus session. Stacy discusses a campaign she worked on to develop an on-line community by developing a viral outreach strategy reaching internal stakeholders first, then letting it grow. For a small business Web 2.0 or social networking can be a great way to build evangelists for your product (see the previous post) and get your word out. As a… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on August 4, 2008 at 8:00am — No Comments

Rules for Revolutionaries

I was first introduced to Guy Kawasaki in 2001 when I attended one of the Garage.com Entrepreneur Bootcamps in New York City. This was during the final days of the internet bubble (actually it had already burst) so there was a lot of talk about holding on and surviving but Guy was still talking about building revolutionary products and companies. While I've read it several times I decided to get Rules for Revolutionaries out today and look it over for inspiration. As usual it did not… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on August 1, 2008 at 3:18pm — No Comments

Brand Thunder

I wanted to promote another company here in Columbus that is really taking off...Brand Thunder. Brand Thunder creates a customized browser for Mozilla Foxfire. Patrick Murphy is the founder and has created a very exciting business. Many companies are jumping in with Brand Thunder and creating browser themes that the user can download and experience the company's brand every time they log into the internet. Also, as you get ready for Ohio State football now is the time to download the Coach… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on July 21, 2008 at 1:42pm — No Comments

You want money? Get Noticed!

How do you get funding to start a business? How do you differentiate your business so as to get noticed by investors? Investors look at a a lot deals before they find one to fund. You need to position yourself as a hot company. To do this you to need to show visibility in the market, create a buzz in the community and show your business has momentum.


Visibility is about having a presence in the market. Your ability to show that you are serving an unserved… Continue

Added by Tonya Wilson, SBDC on July 21, 2008 at 1:27pm — 4 Comments

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