August 2007

Branding – Embed Your Business Name

Brand recognition is crucial to success and Business Week [8/6/07], lists “The 100 Top Brands.” David Kiley, in his article “Best Global Brands,” describes how five names in this year’s rankings staged their turnarounds. The top four brands on the list have been the same since 2004: Coco-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, and GE.

Your product or service may not be primed for global name recognition, yet, but the article and the library’s books on product branding may inspire ideas to get your name embedded in the local consciousness.

GreenBiz Leaders

Sonoma County is building a reputation for leadership in sustainable practices in agriculture, energy, building, and business. SCL Biz certainly agrees with Kermit – “it’s good to be green!” Search GreenBiz Leaders for “hundreds of examples of how companies of all sizes and sectors align environmental responsibility with business success, as judged by independent agencies and organizations.”

The site is a program of the National Environmental Education Foundation, sponsored by a partnership between GreenBiz.com and the U.S. EPA.

Getting Ready to Start a Business? Learn from Experts for Free

The Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center offers two free workshops for everyone considering their own business venture:

“Pre-Venture training is a series of training sessions on business fundamentals for people who have developed a business concept, and initiated the planning process to start their business. Upon completion of modules I & II, the attendee will be assigned a core counselor.”

Upcoming dates:

Module 1: Planning and what to consider when starting a business
08/20/2007 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm OR 09/10/2007 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Module 2: Financing Your Business
08/27/2007 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm OR 9/17/2007 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Redwood Empire SBDC Conference Room
421 10th Street; Santa Rosa, CA 95401
1-888-346-SBDC

Online Reservations Reservations Required!

Personalize Your Business Letters & Presentations

bizletters.jpgUse the Ultimate Book of Business Letters: Customize Your Letters, Memos, E-mails and Presentations with the Enclosed CD-ROM, by Cheryl Kimball and Joni van Gelder, Entrepreneur Pr, 2007, to really communicate with your customers.

Learn more about great email and business communication.

Delivering Success – Online Videos

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Postal Service bring you Delivering Success—video interviews with successful entrepreneurs who share the lessons they’ve learned about owning a small business.”

Video Topics:

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit–learn what it takes to turn a passion into a business.
  • Getting Started–how to overcome obstacles when starting a business.
  • Financing–discover how SBA-backed financing helped these entrepreneurs start their businesses.
  • Planning & Research–critical components of success explained by owners who know how.
  • Marketing 101–explore a variety of marketing techniques to build your customer base.
  • Hiring & Developing Employees–these owners let you in on what worked for them.
  • Promoting & Growing Your Business–learn innovative techniques to increase your business.
  • Business Reality Check–be prepared to change course from small business owners who had to do just that. And to recap, check out 10 quick tips to business success. After viewing each video, return to this page for specific links to content covered in each segment.

Small Business Energy Alliance

The Small Business Energy Alliance is funded by California utility ratepayers and administered by Pacific Gas & Electric under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission, through a contract awarded to The Energy Alliance Associates. Services include free energy audits and subsidized energy efficient lighting retrofits, air conditioning and refrigeration system tune-ups, programmable thermostat installations, and package air conditioner system replacements for small businesses in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Marin, Mendocino, and Solano counties.

Visit the website for information and services for small businesses, property managers, wineries and warehouses, and city and local agencies. Schedule your free energy audit online or call (800) 881-7232 for more information and an appointment. Save energy, save money.

Trendwatching

It’s the way to spike your sales – be on the top of a trend. “Trendwatching.com is an independent and opinionated trend firm, scanning the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business ideas. For the latest and greatest, we rely on our network of 8,000+ spotters in more than 70 countries worldwide.”

Monthly ‘briefings’ are fascinating looks into the worlds of pop culture, the latest products, and what people are buying. The August issue features trends in sales to three groups with increasing buying power: baby boomers, the gay community, and women.

This is a very interesting site and may spark some marketing ideas for your own business – you did notice their self-description as an “independent and opinionated trend firm”, didn’t you?

The SCL Biz Guide to Growing A Business has more on marketing, advertising, sales, branding – all the tools you need to expand your business.

7.5 Pounds of Business

ultimate.jpg

The 2nd edition of Business : The Ultimate Resource, Basic Books, 2006, is described as ‘an MBA between two covers, ” and it has it all. Just shy of 2,000 pages and 7� pounds, it covers every aspect of business and management:

  • 50 original essays & interviews
  • Biographies of more than 100 of the world’s most influential business gurus & pioneers
  • Dictionary of 7,000 business terms
  • Summaries of more than 100 of the world’s most important business books
  • 1,500 business quotations

And that’s just the beginning… Visit the SCL Biz Guide to Managing a Business for more.

NxLeveL™ Entrepreneur Course – RESBDC Workshop

From the Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center, this course has it all: “An intensive 12-session training program designed to encourage business expansion and growth. The course focuses on teaching the art of better business practices while producing a comprehensive business plan to guide business expansion decisions and activities.”

There is a free orientation class (recommended, but not required):
08/01/2007 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
08/08/2007 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The course:
12 consecutive Wednesday night Sessions, August 29 through November 14, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Redwood Empire SBDC Conference Room
421 10th Street; Santa Rosa, CA 95401
1-888-346-SBDC

Information & online reservations

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