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Networking event coming up in Phoenix! 18 Apr

Get your Networking on at NetworkingPhoenix.com

It’s not who YOU know, it’s who YOUR FRIENDS know! That’s the essence of networking.

If you’ve never been to a NetworkingPhoenix.com signature event, you need to check it out! Where else can you be in the same room with over 1000 area business people!

In this video, NetworkingPhoenix.com founder Gelie Akhenblit, explains what a great event this is:

In this video, she explains how NetworkingPhoenix.com service and website works:

The popular NetworkingPhoenix.com Signature Event only takes place twice a year, so don’t miss your chance to attend this prime networking opportunity.

With 1,300+ of Phoenix’s finest entrepreneurs, small business owners, and professionals in attendance, you are bound to make amazing connections!

When: Monday, April 25th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: Chaparral Suites – Conference Center
5001 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Stop by the Greater Phoenix SCORE table & say hi!

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Video: Family Business Succession & Key Employee Retention

Working togetherIf you have a family-owned-and-operated, and you’re a baby boomer, you need to start thinking about who’s going to run the business when you retire. Something to remember: your style of doing business may be different than those of a Gen-Xer or a Millennial.

This videos shows some key points that you need to factor in when planning your family business succession:

You need to:

  1. Identify your high-potential leaders
  2. Understand their motives and goals
  3. Provide executive coaching & training
  4. Partner them with baby-boomer mentors

A SCORE mentor can help with this. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session.

 

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SCORE Success Story: Greg Rudolph, Board Blazers

Board Blazers - SCORE success storyAfter I spotted a student who had duct-taped Christmas lights to his skateboard riding around the Arizona State University campus one night in 2011, I was inspired with the idea for Board Blazers LED Underglow Skateboard, Longboard & Scooter Lighting. I risked most of my personal savings and started the company at 20 years old in March 2012.

Since I had no prior entrepreneurial experience, SCORE mentors have provided invaluable mentorship and guidance, even after the early hurdles of starting the company. Starting your own business can be a lonely exercise – understandably, everyone tires of just ‘bouncing around ideas’ – but SCORE mentors are always willing to brainstorm, offer a connection, and thoughtfully answer your questions in a confidential environment. Most importantly, I’ve found they consider your business challenges as if they were their own.

Thanks to the help of SCORE and a host of other mentors, the company has grown into a surprising success. Board Blazers have become the #1 selling skateboard lighting system on Amazon.com, with lights sold in all 50 U.S. states and 16 countries. Board Blazers has been featured by USA Today, FOX News, KTLA, the Arizona Republic, the OC Register, AZ Tech Beat, and the Phoenix Business Journal, among others. In March 2013, they were featured by rapper Lil Wayne’s TRUKFIT brand at the renowned SXSW festival, sparking a viral YouTube video. I’ve been named one of Arizona’s “Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35,” and in 2014 was profiled by the national FOX TV show “Live Life & Win!” In 2015, Board Blazers was highlighted in Entrepreneur magazine. I’ve also created the Beyond Business Institute to provide leadership and entrepreneurship speaking, consulting, and coaching services, aiming to pass along what I’ve learned from my experiences with the same level of care and consideration that SCORE has always provided me.

You can be the next SCORE success story! Schedule your free business mentoring appointment with a Certified SCORE Mentor today!

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Make or Break Business with Local Reviews

By Jessica Spart, Godaddy

thumbs-up-downHow many times have you been stuck trying to decide between two products or services you know relatively little about? Sure, you need a landscaper, but who will pull your weeds and who will just take a weed whacker to them to let them grow back in a week? Now, imagine someone who has experienced the options is laying out the pros and cons for you. The decision suddenly feels a bit more manageable, doesn’t it?

Customer reviews, good or bad, can make or break a business – as can a lack of reviews. Consumers are indecisive by nature, so being listed on local review sites could be just the confidence boost your customers need to trust you.

But, I don’t want people to say bad things about me. Truth is, you can’t please everyone. It should be assumed that some people might not like you, your product or your services. Yet there is a greater chance that if you do your job right, they will. Haters are going to hate, so why deny your satisfied customers the opportunity to sing your praises?

There is a lot to be said for honest and unfiltered feedback—and your customers know this. If you’re worried about negative reviews, the best thing is to ask for feedback  from your all of your customers, especially the happy ones.

I am bad, and that’s good. As anyone who has ever used Amazon.com® knows, not all negative reviews are bad. While it is true that there are plenty of unhappy consumer responses out there, there are plenty more who had unrealistic expectations, misunderstood the star system, or were unhappy about something else entirely.

When your customers have the chance to review negative reviews along with positive ones, they understand what realistic expectations they should have. One person’s con is another person’s pro. Two stars because the gas-powered weed whacker left a stench in its wake? I give it five stars because that landscaper chose gas over electric. Negative review neutralized.

Make bad reviews work for you. Then again, some people have very legitimate complaints. If you sell a red shirt that instantly dyes everything in the washer pink, then maybe you need to consider not selling that shirt anymore. If a number of customers complain about you or your staff, you should examine which behaviors are causing a problem. Use the negative reviews as coaching opportunities. Ask yourself, “What can I do to rectify this?” It’s important to make sure you give your customers as many reasons as possible to like you and your products or services.

No one ever likes to hear that they’re doing something wrong, but sometimes a little honesty can go a long way in helping us achieve our goals. Negative reviews can help you re-evaluate potential problem areas, while positive reviews help customers relay what you’re doing well.

Hiding to avoid negative reviews at the expense of the positive ones is one of the fastest ways to cause customers to lose faith in you. Honesty is the best policy for a reason. Get connected to local business review sites, lay it all out on the table, and trust that your customers will make better decisions when they can make informed ones.

About the Author:

Jessica SpartJessica Spart is a small business consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance writer based in Arizona. She’s passionate about helping small businesses succeed. Jessica spends her free time reading, running and catching up on her favorite Korean and British TV shows. Connect with Jessica on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business.

 

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Shark Tank’s Daymond John – Lessons from his Worst Mistakes

English: This is a photo of Daymond John, FUBU...
Daymond John, FUBU CEO  (Wikipedia)

When you think of Shark Tank‘s Daymond John, what comes to mind? Successful? Businessman? Entrepreneur? Shark?

After 25 years, Daymond has learned from successes, failures and has had several epiphanies. He started out in Queens, NY, waiting tables and selling t-shirts out of the trunk of his car. He found a need and a niche and he filled it. But it was not without both wins and losses.

“As an entrepreneur, you never stop learning,” he says. “I’ve failed way more than I’ve succeeded.” ~Daymond John

In this interview from Entrepreneur, he answers these questions and more:
How long before you give up if things aren’t going as you planned?
What is an entrepreneur?

He tells of the mistakes he’s made and what’s he’s learned from them.

His books are available on Amazon:

What do you need to learn?

Greater Phoenix SCORE’s retired executives, may not be on Shark Tank, but they’ve been where you are and guess what? You can pick their brains for free! Daymond mentioned one of his mentors. You can have one too! Click here to schedule a meeting with one of the SCORE mentors.

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Own your business? Own your domain.

By Erik Wong, Tech Consultant with GoDaddy

Own your business? Own your domain.

Owning a business is hard. After months of paperwork, planning, and heavy lifting, you have finally opened your doors, and things are going smoothly. What do you do next? There is, of course, the obligatory celebration (you earned it!), but just because you are up and running doesn’t mean you should just sit back and let the customers trickle in. Heck no! Now is the best time to be proactive, maximize your returns, and take your services to your customers.

Now is the time to get a domain name. If you don’t know what a domain name is, check out Domain Name Basics. While the benefits are numerous, there are a few standout reasons why you should seriously consider registering a domain.

Credibility: The most important reason is credibility. We live in the Internet age, and like it or not, the Web plays an integral role in the human experience. You want to ride the wave of the future, not paddle behind it. A domain (with an attached website) gives your business serious street credit with customers. Nowadays, they expect businesses to have an online presence.

Brand Protection: With more than 23 million small businesses in the United States, there is always a strong possibility of overlap. How many other nail salons in the country share the same name as you? How many corner stores, Italian restaurants, or car dealerships have stumbled into the same catchy moniker? It’s critical to protect your brand by registering at least one domain that represents it. That domain then will help guide customers to a business website that reflects your unique brand.

Search Engine Optimization: Speaking of your competitors — do they already have websites? Are they listed on Google® or Bing®? If they are, you need to catch up. If they’re not, congrats, you’ll have a leg up on them. A well-considered domain—especially a name that strikes a balance between brand recognition and target keywords—can help your business rank higher in search engine results. If you don’t already know the importance of getting found through search engines, check out this post about Search Engine Optimization.

Email: Last, but not least, one of the biggest benefits of having your own domain name is the opportunity to have branded email. This is a big one. Anyone in the world can have a Gmail® or Hotmail® account, but you aren’t just anyone. You’re a business owner, and you mean business! Sometimes the smallest details can make the largest difference in people’s impression of you. Would you rather book your anniversary dinner through “chuckyx13@hotmail.com” or “reservations@examplerestaurant.com?” That’s what I thought.

If you are a business owner without an online presence, hopefully now you understand not only the importance of domain names, but also the vast realm of possibilities they’ll offer your company. Register a domain. Own your future.

Erik Wong with GoDaddyErik Wong is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on realclearpolitics.com. Connect with Erik on Google+.

 

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