We at The WIN Companies are pleased that our “Small Business Town Hall Open Forums” have brought about solutions for owners, entrepreneurs, and CEOs of small business about which they were previously unaware. Many of the participants were concerned with increasing current sales, the rising costs of doing business (especially health insurance), effective use of resources, business structure for tax purposes, increasing the value of their business for future sale and more.
It was a pleasure to be able to introduce successful strategies to help these professional get solutions. One solution that has been well received is WINs Business Acceleration program. WIN Business Acceleration, Inc. (found under our Services tab) offers premium, affordable and comprehensive payroll, workers’ compensation, medical, dental, vision, supplemental and commercial insurance coverage to those employers of one or more who have previously been able to only obtain the poorest coverage at the highest rates. By working collaborative to mitigate the risk for insurers and negotiating economies of scale with large volume and premium partners WIN has been able to create this program to level the playing field for small businesses with their larger competitors.
If you have already attended a Town Hall and would like more information, a downloadable .pdf, or to learn about the affiliates program, visit us at WINcompanies.com/Services/WIN Business Accelerator or call us at 949.502.4200. If you would like to attend a Town Hall and find solutions for your business, register at WINcompanies.com or eventbrite.com. Due to popular demand, additional dates will be added at lunchtime and specifically for referral partners.
So you’re an Orange County Entrepreneur and you’ve got the next Pet Rock! When do you starting talking about it such that you don’t interfere with any potential intellectual property (IP) protection that you’re going to need? When you’re ready, where do you go to get the ball rolling – after all, there are hundreds of networking events happening in your area every day: morning, noon and night?
First, I’m not an intellectual property (IP) attorney and you should seek a referral to an expert in your product type and in your local area if that’s not the OC. Don’t look for the biggest name – ask a trusted partner (like your general business attorney, CPA, or a trusted business advisor) who they would recommend. Get a couple of names and meet with one or more until you find a good fit. Then, don’t give out any details that they suggest against until you have your protections in place. I know common sense sometimes may be uncommon.
Then, where to network? For Orange County Entrepreneurs, we have great options. There are the local incubators: WIN Business Acceleration, The Digital Media Center (DMC), and University of California Irvine’s (UCI) Innovation Center. There are also groups that cater to those that will ultimately need funding: Tech Coast Venture Network (TCVN), South Coast Venture Network (SCVN), Tech Coast Angels (TCA), Social Media Marketing Orange County (SMMOC), Chambers of Commerce (who have entrepreneurs groups), et al. Here is my recommendation – go and date the groups. Find out where you have chemistry and where your personality and your product are a fit. Don’t expect to be a fit everywhere (plus who has that much time to network) and build a networking plan.
If you are an entrepreneur, please share your experiences with others by commenting on this blog. Let’s help others learn from our experiences and pay it forward.
Last Night I went to TechBizConnections “Real Life Social Media Success Stories” here in Orange County, California. There were four talented panelists and a superb moderator (Sven Johnston of Giga Savvy). Each of the experts discussed their strategies which included some superb tips. Here are my top 10 from the evening:
1. Remember “social media is SOCIAL” and requires your personal interaction.
2. It is critical to ingratiate yourself in the social media communities you join by being the helpful expert, not just asking or taking.
3. Utilize twitter searches for common interest & begin a dialog with folks with common business and personal interests. (www.onefourty.com lists all twitter applications available to filter data)
4. Tweets & Facebook updates can be scheduled for most read times.
5. Be a consistent presence: Panelists recommended 1-2 Facebook day and 3-4 Tweets/day (max)
6. Use Google alerts on your clients, your business and yourself to be the first “in the know.”
7. If you blog, post your blog on your social media sites.
8. Always make your posts interactive: ask questions, elicit feedback.
9. Use key words (with the #sign in front) in Twitter to be most searchable.
10. Explore Facebook’s Insights tool.
All that being said, the one topic no one broached was – How do we monetize the time and money we spend on social media? As a CPA, I believe like all networking, it needs to pay for itself. It would seem though, that social media does more to generate “goodwill,” create brand awareness and keep in contact with an existing client base. The question I ask is; Does social media generate new business?
For my business, I am going to begin tracking my efforts and returns. Look forward to future updates!
We, as business men and women; C-level executives, business owners, and providers know that we must continue to build our networks. Each day I receive dozens of invitations for opportunities to expand my network. Many offer “valuable” content, others are just opportunities to “mix and mingle” (albeit often awkwardly). Each month at my corporate offices in Irvine, California, WIN hosts a mixer as well, covering a topic relevant to us – harried and overworked professionals.
Then I realized something…even I am tired of the same old networking. I have hit NETWORKING OVERLOAD! Yes we are adults and sometimes have to do things that we would rather not for business, but does networking need to be one of them? Well, here at WIN, we have decided that the answer to that question is NO.
So, beginning Wednesday, April 20th we will have our first event designed to build those new relationships in a different way. Our first event will be Strategic Gaming. Playing games is proven to reduce stress, improve memory, and problem solving abilities. It also hones those all too important critical thinking skills: multi-tasking, planning, estimation, strategic and quick thinking! Most importantly, we can build new business connections and make new brain connections while having fun!
Future events will involve PLAY! Perhaps geo-caching (similar to treasure hunting for those of you who are unfamiliar), building contests (with Legos?), line or salsa dancing lessons – the sky is the limit. Please let me know what your thoughts are, we certainly hope to see you at our next fun raiser!