From a rural New Mexico area to the cocoon of the Santa Fe Business Incubator…NearSea Naturals sang praises of support and told the story of her company’s growth as a result of working with the resources at the incubator.
One client touted his recent growth curve and was interrupted – literally – to take a venture capital call…
We couldn’t do it without the incubator…Bluenergy Solarwind voiced the general feeling of all incubator clients.
At this year’s annual client luncheon for The Santa Fe Business Incubator, Marie Longserre, CEO, fielded dozens of kudos from clients, government officials, peers and interested parties. Her uplifting comments included these facts about incubator businesses:
- Total: 73 businesses to-date
- More than 700 total jobs. (NOTE: Not all businesses get tracked after the fifth year, so the number is likely much higher.)
- Incubator businesses continue to network and spawn other businesses.
- Several examples exist of businesses meeting and forming another business in the incubator.
- Many entrepreneurs start a business and then start another and yet another. One example, Sanctions & Solutions, spawned three new, related companies so far. Then, there’s ApJet, Bluenergy Solar Wind, and more…
Ed Maglisceau, chairman of the Board of Directors for the Incubator, highlighted statistics from the Kauffman Foundation Research Series.
“…from 1980 until 2005, nearly all net job creation in the United States occurred in firms less than five years old. This data set also shows that without startups, net job creation for the American economy would be negative in all but a handful of years.”
Stephanie Spong, who heads the New Mexico office of EPIC Ventures, shared that New Mexico Venture Capital will fund more projects with slightly more money in 2009 than in 2008.
I found myself energized by the crowd, the comments and the possibilities. Twelve years of stories, people, success. Twelve years for the Santa Fe Business Incubator!
How do you get inspired?
“There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”
Texan Jim Hightower made that comment. William C. Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company used it to illustrate the need to be the most of something in his essay.
Get the What Matters Now free ebook coordinated by Seth Godin and read more. Seventy writers. One-word titles for each essay. Prepare to change the way you look at 2010.
All profits from the Squidoo lens go to charity.
Spread the word. Vote for your favorites.
Personally, I liked 1% and More and Excellence and Neoteny.
The Hightower quote caught my eye because a client talked about the middle of the road using a similar illustration from Karate Kid.
We waste so much energy and time thinking about what we “should” do. I’ve already emailed her the link.
Neoteny. What a great theme for 2010.
Your special event takes time to present. You and your staff spend hours on details and coordinate with numerous vendors in the process. All is for naught if you get caught in the squeeze of unforeseen deadlines.
One client planned a formal open house to show new offices after a move earlier in the year. for a postcard invitation for its open house. Construction delays ran longer than expected and the Thanksgiving holiday added a time warp to the schedule. The beautiful postcard had to be tabled. An email invitation (adaptation from the postcard) gave participants less than a week’s notice about the event.
Another local organization announced an annual open house prominently on the cover of its printed newsletter. Problem: the newsletter landed in mailboxes two days AFTER the event.
Annual events sneak up on you. Avoid surprises with these tips:
- Plan your event - calendar it well in advance
- Use different channels for cross-promotion (newsletter, postcard, email, board of directors notice)
- Back-date event deadlines to include time for designing and printing
- Add time for approvals
- Plus - add an extra week or two for deadline safety
- Update mailing lists to include change-of-address notices
- Use zip-plus-four addresses for better efficiency/attention from the post office
No magic formula exists. If you want response, get the word out as many ways as possible, as far in advance as you can.
Plan. Timing issues affect the success or failure as well as the internal stress of your efforts. Eliminate as much drama as possible with well-in-advance planning.
The category “winter clothes” includes everything you need to brave freezing temperatures and wind chill: coat, hat, boots, gloves, scarf. Each of the items in a “winter clothes” category could be a tag.
Making information work for you can be as simple as finding the right analogy.
- You write tags after you write a blog post or an article
- Tags can micro-group postings, helping eliminate clutter
- Tags help search engines catalog your site
- Tags organize related information – for you and for others
- Tags use known names, for the most part
- Short words make the best tags
- Tags are listed at the bottom of posts on a blog
- Tags can also show as browse-able tag clouds
- Tags categorize information
- Tags can be categories
- Categories organize related information on your website or blog into common labels
- Most blogs use 20 or fewer categories
- Categories can be unique names or long phrases chosen by you for your website
- Categories do not necessarily help SEO
- Categories generate a page of posts on a website
- Categories are NOT tags
Those of you who know me and read the ProfitMeister blog know I pride myself on walking my talk. In this case, I started assigning tags yesterday. Yes! Another small victory for the technically challenged. Onward.
In the past month I’ve received dozens of new email newsletters.
I did NOT request information nor give these marketers permission to add me to their list. Yet, because I met them at a function, or worse, happened to be a friend of a friend, I’m now on “the list.”
My friend and marketing troubleshooter, Mary Schmidt, finally put a note on her email signature:
Email marketing tip: Access to addresses isn’t the same as permission to use it.
If you’re looking to build your email list, (and who isn’t?) here are five LEGAL ways to do that offline:
- Ask permission at the time of sale or phone contact. “Thank you for your business. We have a newsletter that highlights our weekly special. Would you like to receive it?”
- Run a contest to get sign-ups for your newsletter. Offer an incentive like an iPod. “Subscribe to our weekly (or monthly or daily) newsletter and get a chance to win… Drawing once monthly.”
- Put your newsletter offer on every piece of printed material: all collateral, including business cards, flyers, brochures and invoices. Mention the benefit of your newsletter. What’s in it for the subscriber?
- Team up with your vendors or request reciprocal promotion for your newsletter from non-competing sources. Put yourself out there. Mention your newsletter and its benefit in an author box at the end of your published articles.
- Invite people to sign up at your exhibit, seminar, workshop, etc. Use a clear, deliverate action permission statement to do this: “Add me to your email list.”
The key ingredient in each of these five elements is getting permission. Building your email list is a process. Even if you have thousands of customers, you must still get permission to email them. Why? It’s the law.
The Can-Spam Act of 2004 can be summarized this way: (Excerpt from Entrepreneur.com article by Gail F. Goodman, “E-Mail Marketing” coach at Entrepreneur.com and CEO of Constant Contact, a web-based e-mail marketing service for small businesses)
CAN-SPAM’s Four Rules
Collect e-mail addresses in a straightforward way, providing a clear notice that people are joining your list. If you’re collecting business cards at a trade show, make sure you’re clear that by giving you their card, that person is subscribing to your e-mail list. If customers buy from you online, ask after the purchase if they want to subscribe. Don’t assume they do. Use a good permission policy to build an opt-in e-mail list.
Do not falsify who you are or what you’re sending. You must send your commercial messages with a “From” and “Reply” address that you own and monitor. Your subject line cannot be misleading, and you cannot alter or falsify your header (routing) information. An advertisement must be identified as an advertisement.
You must have a working unsubscribe mechanism in all your e-mail campaigns. Process opt-out requests promptly, and take them off your list within 10 days.
Include the physical address of your company in all emails.