Category Archives: small business

Happy Birthday, #SBBuzz!

When we started the #sbbuzz chat 2 years ago today, our primary goal was to connect with other tech savvy small business owners and work together to tackle the myriad challenges that the onset of social media, cloud computing, mobile technology and virtual collaboration present to small businesses.  We never anticipated that this effort would result in such amazing conversations, so many new friends and business opportunities, and even a few new employees.  We count this project as a HUGE success.

Though we recently discontinued the regularly scheduled #sbbuzz chats, we continue to work with the wonderful #sbbuzz community members on myriad different projects, collaborations and even businesses. And we continue to explore opportunities to take this conversation in a new direction. Staying true to our original intent, we are not here to tinker with the latest social media gadget, or self-promote our products and businesses, but rather continue looking for ways to create useful and meaningful interactions for entrepreneurs, like ourselves, with very little time and very many questions.

To commemorate the anniversary, we will be hosting our first #sbbuzz chat of 2011 this Tuesday, February 8th from 8:00 – 10:00 PM EST. Please join us for a fun look at where we as a small business community have come and where we are going.

And to celebrate the successes we have had thus far, I thought I would share with you some comments from participants of the #sbbuzz chats about their experiences with #sbbuzz and what it has meant to them.  I was overwhelmed by the responses and thrilled to hear about the many opportunities that the #sbbuzz program brought to so many of the participants.  I am including a few of the stories below.

Neal Rohrbach (@nrohrbach) was one of the first #sbbuzz participants and a fixture at the chat each week. I had the great pleasure to follow Neal through his and fellow #sbbuzz participant Brad Shimp (@bradfordshimp) build a new business largely through their own Twitter community. Neal is now the host of his own Outdoor Channel TV show, and talks a little about the part #sbbuzz played in his journey.

First and foremost, I want to thank the entire crew that put together #sbbuzz and kept it going for nearly two years. It certainly played a crucial role in changing my career path and helped me to find my niche and passions in the business world. To call #sbbuzz anything other than phenomenal would be a gross understatement. Through the weekly chats that I was able to be a part of early on, I met and made several friends, and even a business partner. Idea Anglers was founded because of #sbbuzz, which merited coverage on Businessweek’s website and landed me on center stage in Hollywood at the Kodak Theater for the first Los Angeles 140 Characters Conference. Unfortunately, Brad Shimp and I grew so quickly in our professional careers, that we didn’t have the time to continue moving Idea Anglers forward. This was much due to the networking, technology and practices learned through #sbbuzz. When I first started participating in #sbbuzz, I was working two jobs and running a home based marketing and graphics business. The practices, technology and people I met through #sbbuzz soon led to my home based business growing to the point that I could quit one of my part time jobs. The next thing I knew, I had offers on the table for my side business to be purchased by two of my competitors who worked on their businesses full time. Now that’s saying something. #sbbuzz quickly made me into a household name, especially in my community, as I started traveling to conferences and tweetups, sharing my marketing and entrepreneurship models, as well as the Idea Anglers story. The next thing I knew, I was hired by Outdoor Channel Outfitters and quickly moved up the chain from Art Director to Chief Creative Officer and now sit as the President of Marketing and Sales and will be hosting the Outdoor Channel Outfitters television show for 2011. I’d like to think that’s a pretty good testament to how the #sbbuzz chat helped me. As far as my business, well, taking what I learned from #sbbuzz, it went from a part time, home based business to a full time job, just before selling it with residual income. I can see small business collaboration continuing to grow in the social media realm, and soon be an integral part of each and every business model.

Scott Blitstein (@scoblitz) is another lifer at #sbbuzz. Scott is a writer for Web Worker Daily, a small business owner and now part of our own BatchBlue team. He is also the man with all the answers to your small business questions.

#sbbuzz was integral for me in turning Twitter in to the collaborative community experience that it should be. Having the opportunity to meet and chat with wonderful and smart people was inspiring.  I found that just participating gave me the chance to share my knowledge and be a resource to folks, all the while being able to learn from them as well.

I also think it did wonders to strengthen my relationship with the participants, including the BatchBlue team. Frequent interactions with you and Michelle gave me the opportunity to let you get to know more about me and I believe was an integral part of my joining the team there.

Participating in #sbbuzz was a very useful way to promote my business and while I have made the decision to discontinue eSeMBe, it’s only because other opportunities arose which were more appealing – the chance to work with the wonderful folks at BatchBlue.

Gina Blitstein (@ginabee) joined in the chats later in our history after hearing so much about our empowering ways from her husband, Scott. I’ll let her explain the role #sbbuzz played in helping her establish her own entrepreneurial ways.

The #sbbuzz helped me to more easily adopt the role as a web-using business owner. While my business lives on and off the Internet, there is no denying that it wouldn’t exist without it. I am not a techie (though I do live with one) and yet I was welcomed with open keyboards by the existing members of the group, which was incredibly empowering in the first few months of my content creation business.

From the networking exposure within the #sbbuzz community, I got an outstanding client with whom I have an ongoing business relationship. I don’t believe we’d ever have come across one another if not for #sbbuzz. My business is growing steadily – as is my confidence – and that is due in no small part to what I learned and who I met on our Tuesday night dates.

I learned a tremendous amount from the expertise of the group and I was happy to be able to provide some insight myself once in a while. The act of reaching out beyond my computer to have contact with such smart and savvy folks was inspirational as well as educational.

Desiree Scales (@desireescales) was an early leader in the crowd with her quick wit and shining personality. She and the other regulars really helped us set the non-promotional, frank and open tone that helped the chats them become so successful. Desiree also introduced me to podcasting when she interviewed me for her Bella Buzz podcast early on. Desiree also introduced us to our wonderful virtual assistant, Dawn Skowronnek (@charmedbydawn)

The #sbbuzz introduced me to many people I still call friends after 2 years. I will continue to follow their careers and businesses as they will my own. Twitter Chat is a great idea and will continue to catch on eventually or evolve into something else. I think the #sbbuzz showed us all how hungry entrepreneurs are to connect with one another. I hope something will eventually take it’s place. It was a great way to learn about people who are in the same shoes with the same ideas and issues every week. I’ll miss it!

And very long-time contributor and enthusiast Susan Barr (@selahsynergy). I had the pleasure of speaking with Susan when she interviewed me for her (coming soon) book. And I will always value the parenting advice she gave as one mother of an asthmatic child to another.

Although I have not been online much in the past few months, #sbbuzz is one of the first places I wanted to re-join as my personal life has finally settled down. For me, #sbbuzz was the anchor in my Twitter interactions, the first and most meaningful community to which I belonged on Twitter. For the past 2 years, I have been working on a book for small business owners about leveraging the internet to grow and manage their businesses. I met and interviewed several #sbbuzz members including yourself, whose contributions have been essential to the book. The generosity of every member of #sbbuzz, whether in giving of time, expertise, support, encouragement, referrals, or friendship has been a tremendous resource  – I know #sbbuzz will live on as these relationships remain important to my life and business. I thank you for initiating such a tremendous community.

We are extremely grateful for these extraordinary members of the #sbbuzz community, as well as every one of the participants and followers of the #sbbuzz chat. We look forward to working with the forward thinking entrepreneurs who have joined this group to continue to find ways to grow and evolve ourselves and our businesses.

Starting your own business is a wonderful, overwhelming journey that should be shared and explored with other adventurous souls. We would not have it any other way.

1 Comment

Filed under business start-up, small business, social media, Uncategorized

Open Format DIscussion: Chat Summary from 9/14/2010

Open mic night on sbbuzz. Our participants asked their own small business questions.

  • We’re on every Tuesday from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on September 21, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Hi. I?m a web designr/developr @chaostoclarity. I show small biz & freelancers how 2 take advantage of the web. #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Hi – I’m Scott and I work on the @batchblue Customer Experience Team. I also blog about tech and music at various places. #sbbuzz
stellel: Hi, I’m Christelle… Another @batchblue staffer. Looking forward to the open mic format this evening! #sbbuzz
pmohara: Hi folks. It’s the same me it is every week. Intimate crowd tonight. Will make the karaoke portion more fun. :D #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight is open mic night at #sbbuzz, so anyone can ask a question of the crowd.
sbbuzz: I’ll start us off with one from the archives – QUESTION: Where do you typically hear about new tech services and solutions? #sbbuzz
My_WebEvent: This is Steph with @My_WebEvent! Sorry I’m late! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I consume Mashable for new SM tools, it is my goto source. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A1: mainly blogs. mashable.com is a great one. #sbbuzz
stellel: I often hear about new things on the twitters… :) #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @mentormarketing Great minds think alike. I also like lifehacker.com #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q1) Twitter, PR folks, and of course @webworkerdaily ;-) #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q1: I hear about the latest tech from the folks in my offuice. But I work with mostly geeks. #sbbuzz
stellel: Oh, and @scoblitz, of course… ;) #sbbuzz
pmohara: For blogs – @webworkerdaily, @techcrunch and @thesmallbusinessweb #sbbuzz
pmohara: What she said RT @stellel: Oh, and @scoblitz, of course… ;) #sbbuzz
My_WebEvent: @mentormarketing Good Evening! Nice to see you here! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @My_WebEvent Evening Steph how has the summer and the rebranding gone? #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Since no one is stepping up to the #sbbuzz mic, I am handing it over to @scoblitz Scott, any questions/thoughts for the crowd?
Zimana_: @smallbiztrends and @RamonRay are my first two sources, followed by @Mashable for social media #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz thanks so much for that ;-) #sbbuzz
stellel: @scoblitz Well, you are our go-to guy… ;) #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz One of my challenges right now is sheer volume of incoming messages. Even with gmail filtering I spend too much time there. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: RT @scoblitz: @sbbuzz One of my challenges right now is sheer volume of incoming messages. Even with gmail filtering I spend too much time there. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz So my question is how do you manage incoming information overload? #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I don’t I drown, sink to the bottom, and them push up for a breathe RT @scoblitz: Info Overload #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A2: I’ve started using gmail’s priority inbox. It helps some. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @TraceyHolinka me too – I think it will help a lot but I need to trust it first to know that I’m not missing important items. #sbbuzz
pmohara: #sbbuzz I recently got to inbox 50 & now won’t go to bed at night unless below that. I’m 2 days into this policy, so we’ll see if it lasts.
pmohara: @scoblitz @tracyholinka yes, I’m scared to try it. That’s what motivated me to do it manually, though #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @pmohara 2 days is good – they say it takes either 21, 23 or 30 days to make a habit (you know, depending on who you ask) #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Another problem is multiple email accounts & multiple people monitoring them. I need a Hootsuite for email. #sbbuzz
Zimana_: @scoblitz @sbbuzz I use email to help confirm conversations — following threads reinforces follow up with people #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Anyone else with a topic they’d like discussed? If not, I’m going RIcky Lake again and pulling someone out of their seat. :) #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @scoblitz Well at least we can switch back to a regular inbox. #sbbuzz
stellel: Pick me! Pick me! #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Yeah, pick @stellel #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @TraceyHolinka For shared email something like Mailroom might be a good option – http://www.sproutit.com/ #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @stellel Microphone flying through the air into your talented hands – hit it Lady C! :) #sbbuzz
stellel: I was reading this http://bit.ly/buk5Oi and I wonder how people handle being virtual or working outside of the office? Tips? #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @scoblitz Thanks. Mailroom looks promising. #sbbuzz
Zimana_: @sbbuzz A question I have is to what degree data security impacted your sales or client relationships #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: RT @stellel: I was reading this http://bit.ly/buk5Oi and I wonder how people handle being virtual or working outside of the office? Tips? #sbbuzz
My_WebEvent: @stellel Our service was built for people to be able to meet virtually, collaborate, interact & not pay a fortune! We use us! #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: I’m one of those that prefer my home office w/ my Mac Pro. Until I get an iPad (I really need one @JoGolden) that’s where I’ll be. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz It’s a challenge – I’m going to start going in to the office a few days a week I think. #sbbuzz
My_WebEvent: @TraceyHolinka MacBook Pro anywhere is perfect! LOL #sbbuzz
pmohara: I found working entirely virtually too hard. Flexible time is a necessity, but I need the non-verbal communication, too. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q3) We use Skype a lot which helps. So much happens in those spare moments you aren’t privy too though. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Great question, though. Maybe more video would help? Or more people tweeting from the water cooler? #sbbuzz
pmohara: Have to check out @my_webevent, too! :) #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Final question – RT @Zimana_: @sbbuzz A question I have is to what degree data security impacted your sales or client relationships #sbbuzz
My_WebEvent: @pmohara Thanks! #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @TraceyHolinka I usually work from the home office but sometimes I can’t get myself there and just stay at home on the couch. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q4(or 5…) Data security is important. I think being clear and honest with your policy is key. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @scoblitz I do some of my best thinking on the couch. I have a PC laptop that I’m not so found of but I use it. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q5 I agree w/scoblitz that data security is important & esp if you’re working with client data. Check your vendor’s policies! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks for trying out the new format tonight, folks. It is now Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @chaostoclarity helps small biz & freelancers use social networking/media & the Web to grow their biz #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
My_WebEvent: We provide Audio/Video Broadcasting, Desktop Share, Webinar, Affiliate Program, more! Check us out! http://www.MyWebEvent.com #sbbuzz
pmohara: Thanks all! Pamela here from @batchblue @traceyholinka – sorry we ran out of time for your solo! :) #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
My_WebEvent: Nice chatting with you all! #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Thanks everyone – nice chat tonight! #sbbuzz

1 Comment

Filed under small business, summary

Innovation for Small Businesses: Chat Summary from 8/31/2010

How do small businesses work “outside the box”? What are the approaches small businesses take to innovation? Our chat focused on new ways to innovate and get the job done.

  • We’re on alternate Tuesdays (in the summer) from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on September 14, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
BeckyMcCray: Right now, you can join in on #sbbuzz and/or #agchat !
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
VR4SmallBiz: Hi, I’m Poppy the Social Media Manager at VerticalResponse, an email marketing service for small and medium sized business. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight we’re talking about best practices for small biz innovation. Let me know what you want included. #sbbuzz
stellel: Hi! I’m Christelle, part of the @batchblue innovation team… ;) What’s the buzz? #sbbuzz
ruxtermobi: Hi, I’m Mike from Ruxter. We’re a self-service mobile marketing application for SMBs #sbbuzz
KitBook: Hello everyone, I’m David, co-founder of Edamar. We make and market the innovative KitBook for K-12 science classrooms. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Hi all! Pamela here from @batchblue and the hostess of #sbbuzz @mriggen brought us some pumkin beer for some extra innovationiveness :)
mriggen: @sbbuzz Hello all – I’m Michelle Riggen-Ransom from @BatchBlue. We make software for small businesses. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: And hello to #sbbuzz, I write about small town business at SmallBizSurvival.com
bradfordshimp: Hi – Bradford here, trying to keep one eye on the chat tonight. Nice to see familiar and new faces. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @pmohara I innovate better with delicious ales ;D #sbbuzz
KitBook: Hey, Bradford. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @BeckyMcCray Hi Becky! Nice to see you here. Will have to check out #agchat at some point! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q1 What does innovation mean for small businesses? #sbbuzz
JoeCascio: #sbbuzz Good evening. Joe Cascio, software developer. Lately, I’m interested in independent restaurants as small businesses.
KitBook: Q1 Often innovation means differentiation. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @agchat @beckymccray – She’s two-timing you ;)! #agchat #sbbuzz
willdogs: #sbbuzz This is Will – former small business marketer, future Social Marketing Manager (9/1/10!). Sorta lurking in the chat this evening :)
bradfordshimp: @KitBook Hey David, nice to see you! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q1 – Innovation can equal survival. #sbbuzz
JoeCascio: @sbbuzz Small businesses can innovate better than big biz because they’re agile and not so damned risk-averse. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q1 For us, innovation has meant creativity, flexibility and trying cool new things we’re not sure will be successful. #sbbuzz
EddieMill: #sbbuzz Q1 Man, does the established hierarchy of business bother me. Small and social businesses really have the advantage in innovation!
stiggy1: testing, exploring, evolving and never settling for good enough. #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @sbbuzz Q1 I think @bradfordshimp got it right: Innovation means the future for small businesses. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q1 (cont.) Coming from a big corp., I LOVE how owning a small business gives you the freedom to try exciting new things. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @EddieMill I agree! Used to hate getting ideas approved by Legal, who half the time never even wrote back. Where’s the fun in that?! #sbbuzz
ruxtermobi: Re: Q1: It means SMBs leveraging tools in a way that has been previously unavailable to them. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 Do you think small businesses have an advantage in innovating? Why? #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I think in general terms SMB are more agile #sbbuzz
ruxtermobi: Re Q2: Faster decision making. Fewer voices. Usually less risk. Certainly less legal. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – Yes, in that they have more flexibility and are closer to the pulse of their customer. No in that they have smaller budgets. #sbbuzz
willdogs: @sbbuzz Q2: Small businesses have the advantage of not having to struggle with red tape and stiff hierarchies. High Flexibility. #sbbuzz
JoeCrockett: @bradfordshimp Those smaller budgets can drive some very inventive solutions #sbbuzz
EddieMill: Happening on twitter: #barackobama speech on Iraq, #agchat weekly farm SM talk, #sbbuzz for small business. Meanwhile, I’m fixing a bike.. E
CathyWebSavvyPR: Sorry 2 b late – 20 yr PR pro who let her inner geek girl ou of closet to helpother small biz owners; just started @ChatHelp #sbbuzz
willdogs: @JoeCrockett Sort of a “starving artist” effect. Having no marketing budget turned me on to social media. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Q2. Small businesses may have an advantage in listening that leads to innovation, as well as speed of execution. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: A1 Innovation 4 small biz means that you can take new %26 creative approaches to solving problems #sbbuzz
pmohara: I think small budgets are the root of much innovation. You have to do next thing before mainstream catches on. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q2 I think so, but also means higher risk. Good to be conservative with spending until proven to help you meet goals. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Q2 RT @JoeCrockett: Those smaller budgets can drive some very inventive solutions #sbbuzz
EddieMill: #sbbuzz I worked for a few small business bosses that don’t listen to suggestions. If they are open to new power then yes definitely. Q2
jamesdalman: Smaller businesses also have a better mindset to listen, change, adapt. #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
JoeCrockett: Small biz owners have to listen, brainstorm, work hard in ways that large co’s often don’t feel the need to #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: A2 -in this market a small biz can adapt %26 innovate like a sports car vs big co which is like turning a cruise ship #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: A1 – however in thsi economy – smll biz can be close to the edge,if you inovate 2 far ahead, may lose custmer base #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 What is the most innovative thing you have done in your business? #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I am a bit late tonight, What is the Q and topic? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @JoeCrockett That is true. Creativity thrives on a budget. #sbbuzz
kimatkmh: Smaller businesses have less politics and red tape to get things moving faster. #sbbuzz
ruxtermobi: Q3: Launched! #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: A2 Innovation %26 small business are an exploration of balance – forging ahead %26 keeping true 2 customer #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: @sbbuzz The most innovative thing I have done is to focus on really taking care of client’s needs. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @kimatkmh I hear that #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @mentormarketing Q3 What is the most innovative thing you have done in your business? #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q3 Well…we started a chat for small business owners on this thing called Twitter :) #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: I think when you put your client or customer first, it builds your brand. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @mentormarketing RT @sbbuzz: Tonight we’re talking about best practices for small biz innovation. Let me know what you want included #sbbuzz
mriggen: @jamesdalman In new ways? Or do you just feel that that is rare? #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: Hi @CathyWebSavvyPR, @bradfordshimp, @sbbuzz #sbbuzz
pmohara: Hi @mentormarketing! Topic tonight is Innovation. Current ? is asking for the most innovative things you’ve done in your business? #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Q3. I have no idea what the most innovative thing I’ve done in my businesses is. Is that good or bad?? #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: A1 – help a client start a twitter chat, (@smallbizchat Weds notes) %26 really connect w/ clients #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: Innovation, I am writing a press release on my 1st innovation It has to do with hands on marketing training in a production site. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @jamesdalman I agree – too many small biz start from “what is trength of founder” not what do clients need/want #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: @mriggen I believe that some people have just forgotten that your customer is the reason for your business. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @BeckyMcCray From seeing your tweets over time, I’m sure that you have done some innovating things! no question #sbbuzz
KitBook: There are two kinds of innovation 1. Product (or Service) and 2. Process. Process innovation is generally internal. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @BeckyMcCray Hmm, I think it warrants some thought. Maybe help see what’s worked, what hasn’t, what else you can do going forward… #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: We can talk innovation or technology, but what often gets forgotten is solid principles that have stood the test of time. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @pmohara Hey TY for the update #sbbuzz
EddieMill: #sbbuzz talking innovation and networking, take some time to meet some local food policy folk meet #futureoflocal is another hash tag check^
BeckyMcCray: @mriggen That may be my new review question. What have we done that’s innovative? #sbbuzz
BrandDynamite: back in the day, we took a 360 virtual tour panoramic of one of our newsrooms. it was one of a kind to our viewers. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: 1of my biz peeps is making a biz out of innovating – how 2 creatively connect brands w/ bloggers – not in same old same old ways #sbbuzz
pmohara: @jamesdalman we’ll make “solid principles” topic of the next discussion. :) #sbbuzz
mriggen: @jamesdalman Agree – although I would say “some companies” rather than people… #sbbuzz
mriggen: @BeckyMcCray I like that – would add “Was it successful? Why or why not?” I’m ready for my review :) ! #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: My innovation is to focus on what seems to have been lost. True customer service, relationships, pride in our work, etc. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @JulieDiazAsper Hi there – glad to see you here! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @mriggen We want to hear your answers, too! #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: A great read – Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @jamesdalman That’s a small town attitude, isn’t it? ;) #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q4 As a small business, do you focus on product or process innovation? (per @kitbook‘s point) #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: .@jamesdalman @ComcastCares has been a pioneer of that one – Twitter 4 custmer service = innovation #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: @BeckyMcCray Amen! That’s one reason we should learn from small towns and communities. :) #sbbuzz
BrandDynamite: @sbbuzz isn’t each situation different though? #sbbuzz
mriggen: @BeckyMcCray I think our most successful innovation has been to co-found thesmallbusinessweb.com because of the great partnerships. #sbbuzz
ruxtermobi: Q4: Product, always product. Process changes can come later. Sorry Mr. Deming. #sbbuzz
JulieDiazAsper: Done work around involving the customer in product development. Making them the co-creator. SM offers a gr8 opt to do this! #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: @CathyWebSavvyPR I think one should focus on improving their product and their process innovation equally. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: A4 ideally both – but product innovation often comes 1st – when u see oppty/bizlandscape shifting #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @mriggen I think thesmallbusinessweb.com may be one of the biggest things ever. It’s a game changer. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @JulieDiazAsper don’t forget the question #! :) #sbbuzz
BrandDynamite: @ruxtermobi But often it is processes that modify products. #sbbuzz
JulieDiazAsper: @ruxtermobi sometimes your product is a process change. its what drives your value #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: @ruxtermobi But if you have a great product and your process is horrible, you may not keep customers for very long. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q4 We focus mainly on product to respond to customer needs. Would love more process innovation as well to tighten things up. #sbbuzz
BrandDynamite: #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q4 part of my job as a consultant is to help my clients be innovative in their approach. that’s the fun part! #sbbuzz
EddieMill: A hashtag is a way to categorize twitter updates try #agchat #sbbuzz or #futureoflocal – what’s #barackobama up to? -EM
JulieDiazAsper: @CathyWebSavvyPR will do. nice to ssee you here too! #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 Innovation is a mindset not an exercise. We try to look at everything creatively – from product features to office furiture. #sbbuzz
BrandDynamite: @CathyWebSavvyPR isn’t that such a fun discovery phase ? seeking seeds of innovation is such a thrill regardless the product. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @BrandDynamite that’sa ni intriguing idea – developing an innovative way to – innovate sm biz process #sbbuzz
ruxtermobi: @JulieDiazAsper putting my past consultant hat on, most definitely. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A4: We try to focus on product deliver process, for example creating a new way to deliver marketing training. #sbbuzz
BrandDynamite: Every company big and small should have an innovation hall…a chamber of limitless innovation, brainstorm and no biases. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q4 – for service based biz, the product is often the process. They are at least tied very closely. Fun area to innovate. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q5 what can we do as small biz owners to foster more innovation within our companies & with each other? #sbbuzz
JulieDiazAsper: @ruxtermobi ex-consultant too. like being a more hands-on small biz gal now #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Q5. I have to go with @pmohara ‘s point about mindset: you want more innovation? Make it a part of everything. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @sbbuzz Q5 I think forum’s like the more than 170%2B Twitter chats http://bit.ly/chatlist are a great way 2 foster innovation #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: A5 Honest and open communication can help us to foster more innovation for biz – as well as listening to our community. #sbbuzz
BrandDynamite: @rotolo thx for the RT. #sbbuzz
ruxtermobi: @JulieDiazAsper absolutely! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A5: Innovation as a primary goal, Ask yourself at every step, is there a way to turn this upside down w/o slowing the process. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q5 Share your stories w/others, communicate in different places, support & encourage others who are trying something new. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q5 management needs to listen to front office staff as well as dept heads. Often the front line knows customer’s needs #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q5 – Communicate. With each other (employees, network) and with customers. Blog, tweet, go to events, etc. Get out of your head. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @BeckyMcCray Exactly. Everything you do is innovative, Becky. Its like asking you to pick your favorite cow. :) #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: And now I must run! Thanks both #agchat and #sbbuzz for letting me chime in!
jamesdalman: See you later Becky! #sbbuzz
JulieDiazAsper: Q5: look at relevant models from other industries. adapt them for ur biz. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q5 If you want to be innovative, hang around w/@mriggen & @beckymccray. They set the standard. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @BeckyMcCray Good to see you! great info as always #sbbuzz
pmohara: Ooh – I also like @bradfordshimp‘s “get out of your head”!! #sbbuzz
JulieDiazAsper: Q5: Talk to new people to get new ideas. Meet up w/ local biz contacts to swap ideas. Someone totaly not in ur biz ! #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @pmohara Another example of innovation – @Peterhankman %26 @HAROhttp://www.HelpaReporter.com – new biz model worked #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And now it is what we affectionately call Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @pmohara I agree – #sbbuzz
mriggen: @CathyWebSavvyPR Totally agree, @haro is brilliant! #sbbuzz
EddieMill: #sbbuzz my new industry is- sheep and goats for homeowners! Do you have a fenced in backyard and a need for family food security? @eddiemill
sbbuzz: Thanks to everyone for all the great discussion! We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://sbbuzz.biz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
mriggen: @pmohara Thanks!! @Beckymccray, we’ll have to toast the Bee at #140confsmalltown #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: I provide advice and ideas for savvy small biz owners over at http://allbizanswers.com – Check it out. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz I’m going to promote two very innovative young Providencian filmmakers: Flick & Flack! http://bit.ly/bGTS0F #sbbuzz
KitBook: KitBooks are innovative, award-winning, hands-on science products for K-12 classrooms http://www.KitBook.com #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Pitch: New site %26 Twitter acct @ChatHelp – hosts: send topics/date/time 4 RTing; peeps – send newbie chatters %26 find a new chat! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: Need Personal Attention? Jump-start your online business? We work with you 1on1 http://bit.ly/eMentorMrktg #sbbuzz
mriggen: @bradfordshimp I’m a big fan of your work ;) ! #sbbuzz
ruxtermobi: The 140 Pitch: Ruxter makes mobile marketing available to any budget with free mobile optimized websites %26 low-cost texting. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Thanks all – I love this topic. Great to hear everyone’s creative ideas! Please come again next week! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @CathyWebSavvyPR Wow Your service sounds like it will be super useful. #sbbuzz
jamesdalman: I write the songs that make the whole world sing! LOL #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @sbbuzz @pmohara: – have you listed @SBBuzz / #SBBuzz on the big chat list – if so I missed it: http://bit.ly/chatlist #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz will be resuming the weekly schedule next week. Goodbye summer, our old friend.
jamesdalman: Great ideas, people, and input here! Thank you for letting me be a part. #sbbuzz
willdogs: @pmohara It was certainly interesting! I’ll try to keep up. Next week, I’ll be further south and at my new job. Thanks! #sbbuzz
UTMfgExt: KitBooks are innovative, award-winning, hands-on science products for K-12 classrooms http://www.KitBook.com #sbbuzz /via @KitBook
sbbuzz: @CathyWebSavvyPR No – thanks for the tip! #sbbuzz
ruxtermobi: @sbbuzz Goodbye summer, but thanks for another great chat! #sbbuzz
gardenofwords: RT @mentormarketing: Need Personal Attention? Jump-start your online business? We work with you 1on1 http://bit.ly/eMentorMrktg #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @pmohara %26 @SBBuzz thanks for a great chat – innovation %26 small biz – a great fall warm up… #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
CathyWebSavvyPR: @sbbuzz no problem – the big chat list was created by @spkrinteractive @twchat – I’m trying 2 gather more info 4 it #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: Yeah! @batchblue, A solid platform. I should do an interview with you all, Look me up this week. #sbbuzz
BrandDynamite: I provide niche Brand You storytelling and writing for clients. Over already? I thought it went to 10PM Eastern. #sbbuzz

Leave a comment

Filed under innovation, small business, summary

Innovation Nation

We’ve had a short hiatus the past few weeks as the @batchblue crew took some time off for wilderness travel and new baby welcoming.  But we are are back at it with our creative juices flowing ready to talk about the approaches small businesses take to innovation.  From product development to marketing efforts, innovative approaches to running your business can mean niche differentiation, cost savings, and increased publicity.  Plus trying new things tends to be much more fun.  So join us tonight as we brainstorm ways to think, act and live outside the environmentally unfriendly, constrictive and boring old BOX.

Please join us tonight from 8:00 – 9:00 PM EDT to discuss creative ways to get innovative with your small business.

Leave a comment

Filed under business start-up, Leadership, small business

Vacation Strategies for Small Business Owners: Chat Summary from 8/10/2010

How do small small business owners take vacation time? How do you enjoy it and keep the business running while you are gone?

  • We’re on alternate Tuesdays (in the summer) from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on August 24, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: from ContentMasteryGuide.com and author of the upcoming Write Your Way to More Clients Online (Sept 2010) –> intro for #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Hello, all! Long time no talk! My name is Rob Zazueta and I handle partner developer relations at VerticalResponse. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Hi all – Pamela here from @batchblue and the hostess of #sbbuzz. Returning from fabulous vacation in last week in Maine!
ginabee: Good evening, All! Gina here from WriteyTidy.com creative content creation. I’m glad to join in the festivities tonight! #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Hi all hope to jump in for a bit. #sbbuzz. Jeff here from @edupros. I’m the technology guy.
stellel: Hi, I’m Christelle, Customer Experience for @batchblue. I hope everyone has been enjoying their vacations! #sbbuzz
samuraivt: #sbbuzz I’m Anthony owner of Samurai Virtual Tours we help businesses be more successful by capturing, creating, and communicating.
mentormarketing: I have no pitch tonight, the site is down, but you all shuld follow me, I have 8 new blog posts ready to publish this week. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight we’re talking about small biz owner’s vacation time – how to enjoy it & keep the biz running while you are gone . #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Hi everyone – Scott from the Customer Experience team @batchblue #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @sbbuzz perfect I am doing a post on keeping your biz running while you are on vacation for later this month #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Please send me any questions you would like included in the discussion. #sbbuzz
RevAngela: Hi everyone @RevAngela of Blessings All Around (Mobile Officiant) in Long Beach #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I am hoping that my mrktg associate will be up to speed in time for my vacation. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And now, on with the show. Q1 How often do you take vacation? Do you make it a priority to get away from your work? #sbbuzz
RevAngela: Is there a way to post to more than 1 twitter account at once? I want to post to my personal, biz & church account at the same time #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q1: When I was independent, we broke our vacations down into weekends. Also all we could afford. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @RevAngela One choice to post to multiple social medial places is to use Ping.fm #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @RevAngela you can post from more than one Twitter account at a time using Tweetdeck. See, it’s like seeing double! :) #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I take 2 weeks in April, I take 2 weeks in Sept or October and I take 2 weeks at year end. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @RevAngela you can post from more than one Twitter account at a time using Tweetdeck. See, it’s like seeing double! :) #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I lose my mojo if I don’t step away. #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A1 #sbbuzz Don’t vacation as often as we’d like. We make it a priority to get a least one day per week away from work.
RisingStarIdeas: Q1 I haven’t had a “real” vacation in 3 years. Really meaning no laptop or mobile phone , just plain ole relaxing #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q1 – I think you have to if at all possible. We used to be pretty consistent but not as much lately. #sbbuzz
RevAngela: @pmohara Yes, I’ve been using Tweetdeck. Didn’t know if there was something else out there. Looks like I’m on the right track. Thx! #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q1- Back when I was a daycare provider, no workey meant no $. Now that I’m a freelancer, I have more freedom, but no time! #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @mentormarketing I love your vacation schedule. #sbbuzz
RevAngela: Going on vacation next week. I promised myself to only check my mail once a day. Twitter – cant keep away fr too long…LOL #sbbuzz
pmohara: I take 5/6 weeks per year & require staff to. I think it is hugely important to take a break – and set the precedence for my team #sbbuzz
RevAngela: @risingstarideas Thanks for that idea. I will look into it. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Getting away helps me regroup & helps the company cope w/o me. Same for the team – we appreciate people more when they are gone. #sbbuzz
RevAngela: @samuraivt Me too. I feel it helps me appreacite both work and away time. #sbbuzz
rzazueta: It’s SO easy to get burned out on your own. The long term value of a vacation is probably more than if you had worked the week. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 from @risingstarideas Do you delagate tasks (like answering email, tweeting, answering phones) to a VA or other team? #sbbuzz
gardenofwords: I’ve started taking Saturdays off. Makes a HUGE difference to my quality of life. #sbbuzz
gardenofwords: I’m dreaming of a trip to Peru, Mexico or Costa Rica WITHOUT INTERNET to REALLY get away from it all. #sbbuzz
BlakeGroup: Jumping in hello! I do long weekends or go away Weds to Weds–then not gone a complete work week. #sbbuzz
rongraham1: There’s really only one thing that takes precedence for me over work: time with my kids. Which I don’t get enough of, because… #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @BlakeGroup What do you like better about going away from Wednesday-to-Wednesday? #sbbuzz
pmohara: Tough for service business- not working means not billing. So charge double the week you’re back since work will be much better :) #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q2: I don;t, but I’m interested in the idea of a VA. Never sure I can afford one, though… #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @BlakeGroup Nice, I see! #sbbuzz
rzazueta: (bring on the @ replies from the VAs in the audience ;-) ) #sbbuzz
BlakeGroup: Q2 With iPhone + laptop, usually little need to delegate. But if in middle of big project, hire back-up so clients feel secure. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q2 Vacation never meant getting away from those things. They could sometimes be delayed but never avoided entirely. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q2 Rather than auto-replies, I ask our CS team to monitor my incoming messages from customers So they still get personal response. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I am a master delegater #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @scoblitz but are you really on vacation if you don’t get away from the email, phone, internet, etc? #sbbuzz
pmohara: @scoblitz I agree – and have been known to check in from afar just to prevent a huge backlog. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @RisingStarIdeas I was just typing the same thing! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 When on vacation, do you completely disengage? If not, does it count as vacation? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @RisingStarIdeas It depends if we’re doing it because we enjoy the connection (e.g., Twitter) or out of anxiety (email piling up). #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @RisingStarIdeas maybe not as much as I always would have liked to have been – but it was unavoidable. Things couldn’t just stop. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz Some days, Twitter IS my vacation! #sbbuzz
BlakeGroup: Q3 As an indie, I’m rarely out of contact for more than a day. Price I pay for much more day-to-day freedom + worth it! #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q3 – I’ve done both. Depends on what is going on at work & my connectedness. If I do check in, it is very limited. #sbbuzz
rongraham1: @rzazueta, I know what @iTaskVirtually charges. But I’m not sure I’m allowed to say openly. You could check her out… :-) #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q3: I do my darnedest, but there are things that need my immediate attention no matter where I am. Amen for “smart” phones. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I usually check in 1x a day to make sure I have everything delegated. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @BlakeGroup Maybe sad, but true :) #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q3 – When my biz was at home & I wasn’t, there was nothing to miss. Haven’t had a vacation yet as a freelancer when biz continues… #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @lindadessau great minds think alike? I say it doesn’t count as a vacation if you do work. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @JodyPadarCPA Hey Jody! Yeah, I guess I am! #sbbuzz
ryankuder: @sbbuzz We call it a “work-cation”. #sbbuzz #q3
lindadessau: @RisingStarIdeas Then there’s the whole “a change is as good as a rest” theory. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ryankuder Sounds too much like work to me ;) #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: A3 the problem is we are so connected now. Smartphones are both a blessing and a curse. How do you disengage with a smartphone? #sbbuzz
BlakeGroup: Q3 Yes, we all need to refresh mentally but if U love what U do, working isn’t punishment so OK to work a bit on vacation. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @RisingStarIdeas I made a point not to have a smartphone, all i can do on my phone is talk. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: A3 BTW, I just purchased a Droid. What does that say about me, I want to be more connected or better connected? LOL #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @RisingStarIdeas That’s why I didn’t get a smartphone. I got a netbook for when I truly have to work remotely, but NOT in transit. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @BlakeGroup Nice, yes! #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q4: Anything that can be scheduled ahead of time (email campaigns, tweets, etc.) should be set up before you go. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @mentormarketing Hey, me too! I even made them shut off the text messaging – phone neanderthals unite! #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q4: Tweetdeck makes this easy for social media stuff. VerticalResponse *ahem* can do it for email campaigns. #sbbuzz
BlakeGroup: Totally agree! Rt @lindadessau @RisingStarIdeas Then there’s the whole “a change is as good as a rest” theory. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: But there are times when you are away its nice to do a little work. Like at US Open watching tennis ( my annual treat) not a vaca #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @BlakeGroup I like to vacation a bit while at work – is that the same? #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 My Droid Incredible & the cloud. Hmm, I guess I only need 2 things. :) #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @lindadessau @mentormarketing WOW I can’t imagine being that cut off. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I don’t even have cell service at home RT @RisingStarIdeas: @lindadessau @mentormarketing WOW I can’t imagine being that cut off. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @RisingStarIdeas @mentormarketing Well, I don’t get out all that much, so it’s okay ;) When I do, I’ll be back soon enough. #sbbuzz
stellel: @sbbuzz: Q4 from @risingstarideas What are the top 3 tools solo/small biz need to keep things running while away? #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: well Guys it was good touching base this week, but I am going to jmp off early to work on the site. Ciao #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q5 What are your tricks for catching up after a vacation? How do you get back up to speed quickly? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4: I like HootSuite for pre-scheduling. #sbbuzz
BlakeGroup: Q4 smartphone, laptop or flash drives, good person for backup just in case (can even trade this w/ another indie)! #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q5: Accept your limitations – you’re not going to get it all done in a day. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz Q5 I use the Email Triage technique from @CharlieGilkey – I used it tonight to quickly clear 50+ emails before the chat. #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Q5: Block out a couple of hours first thing in the morning to do nothing but return calls an plow through email. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Excellent point! RT @rzazueta: Q5: Accept your limitations – you’re not going to get it all done in a day. #sbbuzz
BlakeGroup: Q5 If I’ve kept up w/ email, not a bad re-entry. Go thru snail mail, contact clients + suggest meeting (to emphasize I’m around). #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q5 – I list my transition plans & ease back in as gracefully as possible. It’s all about the lists & prioritizing what’s on them. #sbbuzz
stellel: RT @lindadessau: what’s the Email Triage technique ? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @rzazueta Yes, I think it’s key to block out time the first day back – no appointments, gentle expectations. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q5 I use Gmail stars to first read through ALL my messages and then prioritize. Helps me tackle urgent stuff first. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q5 I’d rather spend a little time on vacation keeping up than face this upon return. Much less stressful overall. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @stellel It’s a four-step process to get through a ton of email when it stacks up on you (http://ht.ly/2nQFX). #sbbuzz
rzazueta: @lindadessau Exactly – try to save the vacation buzz for as long as you can. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Believe it or not, we are at the end of our chat – what we call Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
ginabee: @rzazueta ooh…vacation buzz! I smell a new twitter chat coming on! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Need to create more masterful content for your newsletter or blog? http://www.contentmasteryguide.com (pitch time on #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: A5 Outlook rules to seperate emails & a different email for personal stuff & other alerts. This way no pressure to review everything #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Wow, all good things come to an end… #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz Thanks for having us, this was another great chat. Good night, everyone! #sbbuzz
BlakeGroup: Amy here–I provide creative services (design, writing, soc med etc) for clients in utilities, healthcare, high tech, education. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: A5 sometimes we (espeically women) forget “Just because it has to get done, doesn’t mean you have to do it!” Delegate- no catchup #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Sorry there was no #sbbuzz blog post/e-mail reminder today – one of the things that did not make my post-vacation top priority list. :)
sbbuzz: Thanks to everyone for all the great discussion! We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://sbbuzz.biz
RisingStarIdeas: My biz.. show you how to spend less and make more online for your small biz #sbbuzz
rzazueta: Pitch: Provide email marketing services to your clients? Check out the VerticalResponse partner Program! http://bit.ly/dcRI3T #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
lindadessau: @sbbuzz Good example of prioritizing – more important that we had YOU here! #sbbuzz
stellel: Great chat everyone! Good night! #sbbuzz
BlakeGroup: TY to @Sbbuzz + @pmohara for great #sbbuzz! Thanks to @lindadessau @scoblitz + everyone for super convo!
pmohara: Thanks all – hope you enjoyed this Twitter vacation tonight! :) #sbbuzz
ginabee: Content creativity can be yours! http://www.writeytidy.com/ I use my words to tell your story! #sbbuzz
rzazueta: G’Night, everyone! Great Chat!!! #sbbuzz

Leave a comment

Filed under small business, social media

Small Business Sales Best Practices: Chat Summary from 7/27/2010

What are the best practices for a small business sales effort? How do you get the best results? Read some new ideas in the chat transcript from our discussion.

  • We’re on alternate Tuesdays (in the summer) from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on August 10, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Hello everyone! Happy to join the chat. Gina w/ your content creativity solutions here! Tonight I learn. http://www.writeytidy.com #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Hi folks! I help small biz owners write masterful content for their newsletters and blogs http://ht.ly/1Z0o0 (Intro for #sbbuzz)
pmohara: Hi & welcome to all! Pamela here from @batchblue and hostess of #sbbuzz. Having network probs, so rebooting. Hope I come out the other side
TraceyHolinka: I?m a web designr/developr @chaostoclarity. I show small biz & freelancers how 2 take advantage of the web. #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: Hi there! Liz J here, Partner Marketing Manager @VR4SmallBiz – I work on the BusDev team & I support our partner sales team #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Hello, all! I’m an entrepreneur in Oklahoma. Long time no #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: hello everyone I need more info abou sales. You can follow me for T.I.P.S. Tools for Improved Profit and Success #sbbuzz
PreciseAgency: We an advertising, PR company influencing pop culture through advertising. #sbbuzz
stellel: Hi, I’m Christelle, Customer Experience for @batchblue #sbbuzz
PintopPro: Hello everybody! Arelthia of @PintopPro, wordpress designer/developer/teacher. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Scott Blitstein – Customer Experience at @batchblue – prepared to be all salesy and stuff tonight. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I am Chief Mentor and Bottle washer at emenotrmarketing.com, looking forward to tonights chat. #sbbuzz
ryankuder: Nice to meet you #sbbuzz. My name’s Ryan and I’m VP of Marketing for @Bizzy. First time here, so I’ll probably do a lot of listening.
JoeCascio: #sbbuzz Does anyone use Personalized URLs for marketing? These are essential personalized landing pages.
mentormarketing: New Customers, trick 1 find out where they hang out, trick 2 fill a need. #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: re: Q1 – referrals are most valuable. 1 Happy customer is better than 500 cold-call numbers (sorry for all the typos) #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @JoeCascio define “personalized URLs”? I create specific urls for specific landing pages, but not sure what else you mean? #sbbuzz
ginabee: @foodiegrl I love referrals too! In their absence, I resort to networking with fellow writers. Amazing what they can provide! #sbbuzz
JoeCascio: Q1 Everything comes to me via Twitter and my social networking connections. #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: @ginabee “The Referral Engine” is a must-read – by @ducttape #sbbuzz
ryankuder: For the new guy–what kinds of small businesses are here? I imagine there are different needs based on type of business. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @foodiegrl Thanks – I’ll track it down! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1: I pick pocket new customers for my consulting gig, by finding projects in distress and hijaking them, My #1 lead to close ratio #sbbuzz
JoeCascio: @BeckyMcCray Per-customer urls like: http://mysmallbiz.com/beckymccray #agchat #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: @joecascio – agreed re Q1 – Happy customers are the seed, but social networks are the soil (and the water and the sun)! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 What is your process for educating prospective clients about your product or service? #sbbuzz
JoeCascio: @foodiegrl Great analogy. You can’t expect overnight results. You’re planting seeds and good thing come to you in time. #sbbuzz
stellel: @sbbuzz Screencasts, webinars, super friendly Customer Service peeps… ;) #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: Q2 Lots of up-front data online if desired, coupled with quick response path if they just want to talk to someone. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 Talking their ear off. Letting them see the value of what I can provide and how I can help them. #sbbuzz
pmohara: #sbbuzz Q2 our process is largely educational. IE, best way to teach our customers advantages of Twitter is to host a weekly chat #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q2) Nothing better than experience. Provide a positive result in every interaction. #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: Q2 Also, a super-awesome education site with extensive videos and new webinars every week #sbbuzz
JoeCascio: Q2 Give them a little free advice or help without any expectation or sense of obligation. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 How do you communicate with existing customers? How do you encourage their help in “word of mouthing”? #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: Q2 – archive everything – educational materials (whitepapers, recorded webinars, etc) are durable and scalable #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: Q3 Twitter for main corporate identity, but also empowering employees to do it on their own (hence why “@foodiegrl” is here) #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Sorry for technical difficulties earlier – didn’t get a chance to mention topic is sales efforts best practices – send me any ?s #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Please stick around after #sbbuzz tonight to catch my live Twintrview at #twtv or http://twintrview.com (9-10 PM ET)
aptuscollab: @JoeCascio We do use PURLs in several companies. #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: Q3 also, enable viral at every turn- social share ur email contents, package tweets 2 b optimized 4 RTs, FB links in signature, etc #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: Q3 communicate with customers newsletter and social networking #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: Q3 my fave is to embed a “tweet this newsletter” link in my content and prepopulate the text for the reader-it’s a pretty easy hack #sbbuzz
stellel: @foodiegrl Good idea! #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @RisingStarIdeas Newsletters are a great way to inform and get eyes on your content #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q4 Do you communicate with ex-customers? #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A4: yes, they even do a decent job of sending referrals. #sbbuzz
prestonode: @sbbuzz Q2: Yes, I am partners with an ex-customer after 20 years #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @prestonode wow – that is an awesome story #sbbuzz
prestonode: Oops I mean Q4: not 2: #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 who’s to say just because you were not the right for someone once, you won’t be next time. We get a LOT of returners #sbbuzz
ginabee: @mentormarketing Great point – who else knows the quality of your work better than those you’ve served before? #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: Q4 – what better way to learn for next time? We do periodic “churn surveys” – some have even resulted in “win-backs” #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: All – we are coming to a close soon. Sorry again for Twitter challenges, but thanks to everyone who stuck with us tonight! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And now it is what we affectionately call Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
ryankuder: They’re not “ex-customers.” They’re just customers who haven’t come back yet. #A4 #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Don’t forget to come see my my live Twintrview at #twtv or http://twintrview.com starting soon #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I provide a comprehensive resource for business pros who want to learn about online marketing – My newish video http://bit.ly/cP2EaO #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
scoblitz: @foodiegrl of course not – was great to get your insights! #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: The Web Tools Wizard–Small biz tools guaranteed to save time & money. Gets, ideas, tips & reviews to grow your biz like magic! #sbbuzz
ryankuder: At @Bizzy, people create a list of their favorite businesses and get updates on deals, offers, tips, etc. Video at http://bizzy.com. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Thanks all for coming tonight! Come see me get Twintrviewed at #twtv or http://twintrview.com starting soon #sbbuzz
foodiegrl: @VR4SmallBiz provides award-winning direct marketing for SMB’s. We also partner w/ Salesforce, Intuit + others http://bit.ly/dBYAy3 #sbbuzz
ryankuder: Thanks for my first #sbbuzz chat. See you all again next Tuesday night. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Pitch: http://www.writeytidy.com I use my words to tell your story. Creative content creation for web, newsletters and much more! #sbbuzz
ginabee: @ryankuder I believe we are on an every other week summer schedule, so next one is in 2 weeks. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Yes – that’s right! RT @ginabee: @ryankuder I believe we are on an every other week summer schedule, so next one is in 2 weeks. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @ryankuder You asked what types of Biz we run, I run a handful. ecom consult, biz strategy, ORM, @MentorMarketing, menu consultant #sbbuzz
stellel: Night all! #sbbuzz

Leave a comment

Filed under customers, sales, small business, summary, Uncategorized

Focusing on the Big Picture Chat Summary from 6/29/2010

We’re talking about the Big Picture. Take a step back and to focus on the big ideas that often get overlooked because of our daily todos.

  • We’re on every Tuesday from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on July 13, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Hi! I help coaches and other small biz owners write masterful content for their newsletters and blogs http://ht.ly/1Z0o0 (Intro for #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Hi. I?m a web designr/developr @chaostoclarity. I show small biz & freelancers how 2 take advantage of the web. #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Hi everyone! Scott from the @batchblue customer experience team here. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Good evening, Friends! Gina w/ http://www.writeytidy.com. Content creation’s my game. I’m glad to join the chat tonight! #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: Hello! Steph from @MyScreenShare joining #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: Hi I blog about free small business tools guaranteed to save time & money (T.I.P.S) Tools for Improved Profit and Success newsletter #sbbuzz
stellel: Hi! I’m Christelle. I work for BatchBlue customer experience, too! #sbbuzz
pmohara: Hi ho Pamela the @batchblue prez here and the hostess of the #sbbuzz chat. Welcome one and all!
myscreenshare: We provide Audio/Video Broadcasting, Desktop Share, Webinar, Lucrative Affiliate Program and more! http://www.myscreenshare.com #sbbuzz
ginabee: @mentormarketing I saw that & wondered if you were just being incredibly clever… #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @RisingStarIdeas Hello! Good to see you here! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Howdy! I am an entrepreneur from small town Oklahoma. :) #sbbuzz
stellel: @mentormarketing That was the funniest typo ever! ;) #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @ginabee Nope, Not clever today, dog gone tired. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @mentormarketing WOW! What a resume! You’ve got to be busy:) #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @mentormarketing ;-) #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @myscreenshare And I owe you stuff, and here I am not working. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight we’re spending a little time focusing on the BIG picture. Send me any ?s you want included. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @mentormarketing You’re networking! That counts! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q1 Are you able to step away from the daily routine and focus on the big picture? How? When? #sbbuzz
ginabee: @mentormarketing No comment. I can’t imagine anyone goofing off to join this crazy bunch when there are deliverables due soon! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q1 – It is hard to do. I think the best bet is to make looking at the big picture PART of the daily routine. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: Howdy @bradfordshimp great to see you here! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q1 My conversations with @charliegilkey help me step out of the daily stuff and into the big picture. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: The “big picture”, after all, should inform the daily routine. Business should be a path, not a set of random tasks. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: Q1 I find it important to take time to focus on the BIG picture. It keeps motivation high, day to day details can be slow process! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: A1 I try to take time out each weekend to plan the upcoming week with the Big Picture. And I look for larger chunks of time off, too #sbbuzz
Patrysha: @sbbuzz A1 It’s something I am working on as the pieces come together for me, weekly review and pondering ATM #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @bradfordshimp evening to you. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A1 We often get caught up in daily tasks but try 2 regularly revisit the big picture when we take on new projects. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @BeckyMcCray I think taking those larger chunks is important.Just like you need a personal vacation, you need time for big stuff. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1 the big picture for me is to be Better Faster and Smarter than those following me. #sbbuzz
pmohara: I love the big picture, but my Inbox and to-do list are insanely jealous and resort to guerilla tactics sometimes #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @bradfordshimp I took 3 full days of retreat this May. HUGELY beneficial to “big picture” thinking. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: The big pic is like climbing a mountain. Sometimes you lose sight of it, but it the peak is always on your mind. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q1 – I try – mostly I tend to forget, though & forge ahead on the to-dos du jour. Seems like a luxury to focus on big picture. #sbbuzz
lyceum: @sbbuzz I am doing that during my weekly review. I will start with a brainstorming session on a regular basis, using mindmaps. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: I meet up with @bigbrightbulb annually in dec to plan for the next year. We follow up with quarterly check-in meetings #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @rongraham1 Well, knowing where you are going makes the tasks a lot less random. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q1 – Usually takes a crisis of confidence to get me to slow down & focus on big picture. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 from @mentormarketing Are there tricks to converting Desire into Experience? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @BeckyMcCray Nice. Do you do that regularly? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @mentormarketing Same to you, nice to see you. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @ginabee Very interesting. #sbbuzz
rongraham1: @sbbuzz, desire for what? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara I hear you! The day-to-day stuff can be very noisy and demanding. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @wildheart4vr Welcome! We’re talking about the “Big Picture” and how to make time to focus on it. See @sbbuzz for the ?s #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 – I was recently advised to “just do it” if I have pieces I want to write just because I want to. Kind of a “if I build it…idea #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1, I would say desire for success how ever you define it. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1, I would say desire for success how ever you define it. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @mentormarketing Could you further define that question, not sure I understand it. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @pmohara thank you #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Q2 from desire to experience? Reminds me of positioning yourself as an expert as a way to learn: http://su.pr/43zOx7 #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @sbbuzz U mean making what you want 2 do a reality? #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @bradfordshimp That was my first BIG retreat, but it will not be the last. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Yeah, big picture thinking helps me focus rather rather than wallow. A way to look forward if you will… #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: Q2:I think if you have the desire to learn then gaining experience will follow #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @BeckyMcCray Well, this talk of retreats and mtns makes me want to take a long weekend in the Adirondacks. Sounds worthwhile. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @TraceyHolinka That’s how I interpreted it. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @ginabee Great advice. I bet the trick is to get thinking about the big pic stuff quickly, when you start to lose focus. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I mean tips on how to take big picture Desire, Health Weath or Wise and translate that into your everyday experience. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: Q1: I have a hard time breaking the big picture into small chunks I just shoot from the hip most days #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Yes, that is the best way. Not always what I do, but what I would suggest as most effective… #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @mentormarketing I think it’s like @bradfordshimp said, about making your day-to-day actions stem from your big picture desires. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – You can turn a lot of desires into reality. Start thinking of the goal as an inevitable thing, then lay the groundwork. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @wildheart4vr Shooting from the hip-we’ve been there, but it never seems 2 get us were we want 2 B #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – The only thing that stands in your way is time. So start working on those desires as soon as possible, even in little chunks. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @bradfordshimp Nice! I like your idea of “thinking of the goal as an inevitable thing.” And why shouldn’t it be? #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @bradfordshimp Agree! The Desire is what keeps you going through the ebbs & flows of sm biz life! Keep eye on the prize:) #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 clarifiication: I mean tips on how to take big picture Desire, Health Weath or Wise & translate into your everyday experience. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @bradfordshimp It was certainly worth it for me. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @TraceyHolinka I think I agree with you on that. It can take you in big circles when you could be walking a straight line. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @BeckyMcCray Sounds like a dream! I would love to take a retreat. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @bradfordshimp And the headache from those circles! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @lindadessau Why indeed. We rob ourselves of possibilities with our mindsets sometimes. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @TraceyHolinka LOL! For me it’s the glare from the “bright, shiny objects” that distract me from the goal I’ve been working towards. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @lindadessau Do it! Even if it’s just one day. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @TraceyHolinka Indeed. I have personal experience with that. And it is a struggle to stop doing it!! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @mentormarketing Sounds good. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @BeckyMcCray Is that a prescription? Can I get a note for my clients? LOL. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @mentormarketing That sounds great. The mapping would spell out each step along the way & before you know it, the journey’s done. #sbbuzz
pmohara: I find best way to get Big Picture into daily routine is to communicate it to others. Whether a mentor or the team, sharing works. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: if you can’t afford to go to a retreat you can always do one at home if you can get rid of the kids #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @lindadessau I’ll write you a prescription! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara Right on. That way it becomes inevitable as well as refined. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 from @risingstarideas What tools (online or offline) do you use to help you focus on the big picture? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @BeckyMcCray Awesome! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @RisingStarIdeas Love it! I think I can, I think I can, I KNOW I can, I KNOW I can! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q3 – Whiteboard – or a blank piece of paper. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Old school! I love it!!! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A3: post-its, and basecamp #sbbuzz
stellel: Does anyone use mind mapping software? Or other types of apps? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @ginabee I just need the possibility of the blank page sometimes!! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @stellel I love mind mapping but I haven’t found a program I like. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @stellel I have. Sometimes I get distracted by the technology. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: We use google docs so the team can all share, post, edit, etc. It’s great to see items checked as completed! #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @mentormarketing We love basecamp. Couldn’t live without it. #sbbuzz
ImAfterdotcom: sbbuzz: #sbbuzz chat in 30 minutes. Wondering what a Twitter chat is or how to participate? See our instructions at … http://ht.ly/17W7eg
wildheart4vr: @stellel Q3: I have a few I should use them :/ #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @stellel Yes I use mindmaps, helps me focus. I created detailed outlines, with dates and checklist too! #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q3 Don’t tell anyone, but I use a notebook. Yes, I sacrifice trees for the betterment of my business. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @stellel I have used mind map software, I have 1 thing from hlding me back – it is that I wish the boxes could look like index cards #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q3 – I make copious lists & outlines…yes, for my life & career as well as my articles. On paper or in a google doc…whatever. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @pmohara Your secret is safe with me! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara No, that is trees put to good use. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @lindadessau We use Mindjet Manager. There is also Inspiration. And for Mac OmniGraffle #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @pmohara I tried the notebook route then I end up with scraps of paper around or can’t remember which book I wrote it in. Mindmaps! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Q3 I also have a notebook with sticky notes outlining my big 4 goals. (way low tech) #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: Q3: I have Personal Brain mind map software #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: One thing that has been helpful is backward planning. Start at a goal and write your steps backward, until you get to today. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @TraceyHolinka I think I’ve looked at that one, can’t remember. @bradfordshimp, I also get distracted by the technology, I think. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @wildheart4vr I have that. Not actively using it, though. #sbbuzz
flabastida: If only there was an easy way for an ADHD person to use mindmaps, or other organizational & planning methods #sbbuzz
stellel: @mentormarketing I like the business card idea! #sbbuzz
kcolaco: Q3 I live by a whiteboard and Action Method by Behance. i also have begun to depend on Adobe Ideas on my ipad #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @stellel I keep mentioning it every time a mind map discussion happens, but no one has designed it yet. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: Q3: I also have Free Mind #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q3) I’ve been using Yojimbo to store everything. With tagging I can group things together and highlight what is important. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @flabastida ADHD is a job requirement for an entrepreneur. You are not alone! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @flabastida Haha, know what you mean. It would be better if there was just one way to do it. But I want to try them all. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Ohh…I like that! Backwards planning…hmmm… #sbbuzz
flabastida: @BeckyMcCray I like your methods, low tech but physical…you can touch, feel and see it #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @kcolaco I use Action Method, though I need to improve my use of it. It is very good. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @scoblitz My problem is remembering what tags to use. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @scoblitz Yojimbo that’s a new one to me. I use mindmiester #sbbuzz
flabastida: @RisingStarIdeas @bradfordshimp yeah but once I try something I always seem to lose interest after a while, and that’s not good #sbbuzz
Patrysha: @wildheart4vr I have free mind too…but it just sits…foam core bulletin stuff is all I really use…everything else sits #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @bradfordshimp What is Action Method? Like GTD? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @flabastida Me too. Big problem. Haven’t figured out a solution yet. #sbbuzz
flabastida: @BeckyMcCray would love to get more detail on your notepad with sticky notes #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @bradfordshimp I should use it, looks interesting.. combines web and mind mapping #sbbuzz
lindadessau: I use free planners from http://www.productiveflourishing.com for my weekly and monthly planning #sbbuzz
flabastida: Anybody use the “In Place” system? Bought these clear organizing folders from Staples and it seems interesting #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @bradfordshimp I keep them simple – but they sort of define themselves. The important ones get used most often. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @bradfordshimp Similar. It is by Scott Belsky and Behance. It treats projects as actions, references, and backburners. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @flabastida It may almost be too embarrassingly low-tech! #sbbuzz
flabastida: @bradfordshimp for a while I was using Google Docs and putting goals and action plans in Google Docs folders #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @flabastida @bradfordshimp me too I get bored with repetition and routine. I like to set things up then walk away to the next thing #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @flabastida mmm never heard of it #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @RisingStarIdeas for a PC use OneNote – its the best thing out there. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @flabastida My problem is often going back to something. That is why I like a notebook, I can thumb back through it easily. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @RisingStarIdeas I think that is the problem with free. We stick to things we have to pay for a little better. At least I do. #sbbuzz
stellel: @scoblitz I like Yojimbo, too! #sbbuzz
flabastida: @RisingStarIdeas ha ha ha, so it ain’t just me! cc: @bradfordshimp #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @scoblitz Do you use One note, It just sites on my task bar doing nothing, Do you have a tip to make it productive? #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q4 What do you consider your most important “big picture” ideas/tasks? #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @scoblitz thanks I have OneNote but never tried it #sbbuzz
flabastida: @bradfordshimp and you don’t have to be at a computer…good point #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A4 My most important Big Picture Task is to maintain a balance between business and personal endeavors. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q4 – I could tell ya – but then I’d have to kill ya. #sbbuzz
lizstrauss: @BeckyMcCray I was afraid you were going to say that … #ienvyyoureally #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 Using positive language to describe things in terms of what I want and/or as if I am already doing them – affirmations. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @scoblitz Do you ever collect too much stuff? My brain serves as a natural filter (forgetting things). #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee LOL! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @ginabee World Domination is not a secret! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @lizstrauss Come around on Wednesday afternoon; we’re rounding up calves for the sale. :) #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @sbbuzz Q4 For me I think it’s talking/painting the BIG picture for the team. Like a long drive, easier if you know where ur going! #sbbuzz
stellel: @ginabee ;) #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Maybe I can make a post out of my low-tech folder system. #sbbuzz
flabastida: Q4: create a content marketing strategy for my current company (@kpionline) to create content that mid-sized biz want to consume #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q4 – My big goal is to get better at doing medium sized projects to get me to my big goals. Too much time spent on little things. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @mentormarketing I’ll send you some resources I’ve collected via email. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @BeckyMcCray oh you definitely should I would so read it #sbbuzz
stellel: @BeckyMcCray Sounds interesting! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @pmohara You are so cool. :) #sbbuzz
flabastida: @mentormarketing @ginabee lol! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q4 – For instance, taking four hour chunks to work on writing longer material. #sbbuzz
lizstrauss: @BeckyMcCray Send me a proposal … I’ll see if I can make it. heh heh #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 Misread the question – we’re talking specifics, are we? Now I see what Gina meant ;) #sbbuzz
pmohara: I love that we’re herding cattle on #sbbuzz tonight! #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @bradfordshimp I am taking the “Just In Time” approach to collecting info. Only for immediately usage otherwise its clutter #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @lizstrauss Drat. I was afraid you’d say that. ;) #sbbuzz
stellel: @pmohara I’ve got a rather large (empty) notebook collection, too… #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @bradfordshimp At the end of some days I’m exhausted but I’m not really sure what I’ve done. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 Most important “big picture” item for me is to spend time looking at what we’re accomplishing to see if it aligns w/our goals #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara If I ever need inspiration, I can always flip back through the notebook. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 … the book will be the foundation of my next round of service offerings, events, content, everything! #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @TraceyHolinka creating a list will help you feel like you have done somthing 3 to 5 things only do what’s on the list nothing else #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @bradfordshimp I don’t trust my brain to make those decisions – too much else goes in to forgetting something. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @RisingStarIdeas That’s Action Method meets Toyota – love it!! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @BeckyMcCray Only when I hang out with you! #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q4 – But seriously folks…My big, big picture goal is to work toward doing more of the work I want for those I want to work with. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: in retrospect tho I know I need to start breaking down the business plan in to daily action tasks to make it a reality #sbbuzz
flabastida: @lindadessau maybe I missed something…what book? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 I see that this book is going to bring everything together – even though it wasn’t in the original 2010 biz plan. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @ginabee the way you said that reminded me of the book Do More Great Work. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @bradfordshimp @stellel I keep a personal journal mixed in w/the work notes/tasks. It’s really fun to look back through. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @flabastida My first post got dropped from TweetChat window http://twitter.com/lindadessau/status/17375337993 #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: Q4 most import task is to Get out of my own way! Be more like Nike and just do it. You think long you think wrong :-) #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @wildheart4vr try @bradfordshimp Backwards Planning idea from your target launch date #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @lindadessau Sounds like you’re committed! Can’t wait to read it:) #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q4) Right now I’m enjoying focusing on the details and letting myself figure out what my next big picture will be. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara Interesting. I don’t personal journal. My dad does, especially spiritual notes, and he can look back over the past years. #sbbuzz
flabastida: @lindadessau ok, I think I need an advance copy of your book…similar to @juntajoe‘s book? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara Being able to look back is pretty cool, and probably pretty enlightening. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @myscreenshare Thanks a lot :) I can’t wait to read it either – it’s been a bit of a difficult labour, LOL :) #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Wow – the time got away from me tonight! We’re nearing the end of the chat. THanks all for joining in! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And now it is what we affectionately call Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
flabastida: @scoblitz that seems a little backwards…I’m still trying to figure out how to convert big picture goals to daily activities #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @mentormarketing well that is the problem I am not sure on a launch date yet #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @mentormarketing Only the wildest ones. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @scoblitz Sometimes you just gotta let things figure themselves out. No amount of planning or trying will facilitate the process… #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
americare: @pmohara agree, if it isn’t working we determine why and adjust or drop it. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @lindadessau I can only imagine! Picture yourself holding the final draft, that’s inspiration right there! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @flabastida Haven’t read it – but I hope mine will be helpful! #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Great chat. @chaostoclarity helps small biz & freelancers use social networking/media & the Web to grow their biz #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @myscreenshare Thanks :) #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @wildheart4vr The backwards plan will help you figure out when you will be ready to launch. #sbbuzz
americare: @BeckyMcCray Maybe make it a video post so you can demo the low tech, ease of use #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @ginabee, @scoblitz Sometimes the best part of the journey happens on the detour, right?! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: Pitch: I provide a comprehensive resource for business professionals who want to learn more about strategic online marketing #sbbuzz
lindadessau: How to write a top 10 article that will demonstrate your expertise to prospective customers http://ht.ly/1Z0mN (pitch time on #sbbuzz
flabastida: @lindadessau anything about content marketing I devour..like Copyblogger, Junta42, etc. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @americare I might do that. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks to everyone for the BIG ideas! We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://sbbuzz.biz
ginabee: http://www.writeytidy.com Content creativity for websites, newsletters, social media & more! I use my words to tell your story. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: I run a blog Wildheart’s Web 2.0 http://wildheartsweb20.com #sbbuzz
flabastida: I provide marketing communications to Latin American companies wanting to enter US mkt..current project: @kpionline #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Thanks for a great chat, everyone! Thanks for hosting @sbbuzz and @pmohara! #sbbuzz
Patrysha: @sbbuzz what it’s been an hour already?? how is that possible?? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: PITCHEROO: Check out my small business website – http://allbizanswers.com. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @flabastida if you know what your goals are that is a good approach. Sometimes you need to let the goals define themselves. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Pamela here from @batchblue Social CRM and the makers of a fine #sbbuzz chat near you
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
myscreenshare: We provide Audio/Video Broadcasting, Desktop Share, Webinar, Affiliate Program, more! Check us out! http://www.myscreenshare.com #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @scoblitz I see what you are saying. Goals do change, I know mine have. #sbbuzz
flabastida: @americare @beckymccray yes yes! Do the video post! #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: . Looking for online tools to grow your biz? T.I.P.S. (Tools for Improved Profit and Success) newsletter http://101freetools.com #sbbuzz
Patrysha: @sbbuzz My pitch…I specialize in small businesses serving a local market…full service on a bite size budget :-) #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @flabastida @americare see what I’ve gotten myself into? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: I miss the 12 question chats. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @Patrysha Great pitch! LOVE it! #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: that @Patrysha is a smart cookie too ;) #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: Thanks for the great tweetchat tonight! I learned so much! Can’t wait for the next one! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @bradfordshimp I was never a journal person, but small biz is such a roller coaster I decided to record some highs & lows. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Anyone wanting to try out discount value cards – like Groupon – check out the offer on this post – tp://ow.ly/250UW #sbbuzz
flabastida: @sbbuzz Thanks to you and the good folks at @batchblue for the wonderful chat! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @bradfordshimp is that a hint you want to host again? :) #sbbuzz
flabastida: @scoblitz @bradfordshimp I’m trying to get into visualization….visualizing my day beforehand #sbbuzz
Patrysha: @MyScreenShare thanks :-) I’ve been working on honing it…I know what I do, but hard to put it few words! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau @flatbastida you’re welcome! Thanks for being so involved! #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @flabastida actually visualization works great I did it to survive college still not done yet but it worked #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @flabastida Getting good results? We used to do that running cross country. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara My pleasure! It’s always a great time :) The extra week in between makes the chats even sweeter. #sbbuzz

Leave a comment

Filed under small business, summary, tools

Finding Your Niche Chat Summary from 6/15/2010

Continuing our month long discussion of marketing your small business. How do you find and define the right niche for your product or services? When should you expand your niche? Follow along with our discussion.

  • We’re on every Tuesday from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on June 22, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://bit.ly/zb9dA
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Hi folks! I help coaches and others write masterful content for their newsletters and blogs http://ht.ly/1Z0o0 (Intro for #sbbuzz
ginabee: Hello everyone! Gina here from WriteyTidy writing & content creation. I’m so happy to be here to discuss niches tonight! #sbbuzz
leoraw: Hi all! I build websites, esp. WordPress or Drupal. Sometimes I write at http://biz.leoraw.com/ about web building or social media. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Hi All – I’m Scott and I work @batchblue on the Customer Experience team. I help folks do cool and productive stuff. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Hi everyone – Pamela here from @batchblue and the host of #sbbuzz. Excited for the chat tonight!
selahsynergy: Hi everyone. Susan here from Selah Synergy, small biz consultant and coach looking forward to another chat. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Uh oh – one of those nights! Trying again – Pamela here from @batchblue and the host of #sbbuzz. Excited for the chat tonight!
TraceyHolinka: Hi. I?m a web designr/developr @chaostoclarity. I show small biz & freelancers how 2 take advantage of the web. #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara That’s okay, we recognized you in the bee suit :) #sbbuzz
stellel: Hi, I’m Christelle and I work @batchblue, too! #sbbuzz
stellel: @sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://bit.ly/zb9dA #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight we’re discussing how to find the right niche for your business. Send me any ?s you want included. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q1 Are you targeting a specific niche? How did you narrow your market? #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Hi folks Jeff – Technology guy for @edupros. Hopping on for a few. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q1 Re: niche – it was natural for me to work with coaches because I’m a certified coach and I’ve been in the field since 2002. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A1 We noticed a pattern of who our clients were and explicitly started target that group. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q1 – I started out as a generalist to learn where my talents & interests were. Looking to zero in on passions soon, though. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q1) Have to understand your core prospects, who they are, what they do and what they buy! #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q1 wish I could say my niche was well defined up front but it evolved over time as my exec clients became biz owners #sbbuzz
leoraw: Q1 – My niche is small to med. biz or orgs in NJ – my clients’ niches tend to be New Jersey people as well. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q1) Niche – Yes existing client profiles help. Need to revisit and categorize. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @selahsynergy I think that’s preferable because it’s so much more realistic, based upon your real world experiences #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Q1a. My niche market can be from fine dining lovers to families, golfers, runners, weddings, honeymoons. #sbbuzz
dothewoo: Good question RT @sbbuzz: Q1 Are you targeting a specific niche? How did you narrow your market? #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @ginabee I am lucky – the organic approach worked for me but it’s easier with a service business #sbbuzz
dothewoo: It takes research & analysis to identify the market and discipline & bravery to stick to it #sbbuzz Q1
leoraw: Q How did you narrow your market? A – even though 1can do online, nice to be able to meet ppl in person or to know geographical area #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q1) I target non-profits and small biz, plus some solopreneur coaching & blog set up. many have similar needs, so the targeting #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q1) Narrowing your market, u can use of Google adwords. Great tools to understand markets and keyword searches. Test too! #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I get a lot of help from Disney about target markets. #sbbuzz
leoraw: @smitty1966 Can you be more specific about “Test too”? Thanks. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q1) I guess I narrowed my niche by creating content that interests my potential prospects & clients. It helps right client’s find me #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I made the mistake of targeting a market that I really had no passion for – - BACKFIRE. #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A1 No very specific niche. When we started we thought it would be RE agents but bad market and other B2B success changed us. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Our niche is WIMs – wired, innovative, mobile small biz. Rather than go for verticals we want the cream of all industries’ crops #sbbuzz
smitty1966: With Adwords you can set up Test ads that can follow a certain demographic and then track conversions. Geography a strong feature. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @DiSnEyTRAVELmum There’s a lot to be said about where your passions lead you – hopefully the $ is there too or… #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 How are you making your niche public – letting customers know who IS and IS NOT supposed to buy your product/service? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara Can you say more about vertical niche versus — (how you would describe yours)? #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @DiSnEyTRAVELmum I was in a similar situation when I fell out of love with the whole corp thing so dropped exec coaching #sbbuzz
smitty1966: If the ad is not working – change parameters or just pause it or delete. #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @ginabee I thought “Hey! I’ll target Golfing at Disney market” I don’t golf so I didn’t have passion to move forward with it. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz Q2 I put their name in the title of my book ;) #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Q2a. Example: I don’t market to teachers in the middle of the school year, but I’m a presence a couple months b4 Cmas/Summer #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A2 We do lots of in person networking. We build relationships, always try to educate, seek to refer and be referred not just sell. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Q2 We blog about topics that our target market is interested in. Also give lots of talks at related organizations. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q2) I’m in the process of defining customers a little etter on my site – been drafting it on paper, time 2 take it 2 the screen #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CathyWebSavvyPR Thanks :) Not too subtle, eh? #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q2) something is working though, I get clients who find me on one SN site, read my blog, check me out & call 2 discuss proj #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q2) But when I better define who my audience is, and further match content 2 their needs equals a fuller sales pipeline #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau Rather than targeting certain biz type (hotels, schools, etc) we target 1% of any industry that’s innovating first. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @lindadessau what is your book title? if I may ask? #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 – I hate to keep harping on the passion thing, but when you do what you love, you are advertising it in every interaction. #sbbuzz
dothewoo: A2 To make sure that customers know if I am targeting them: Content that is relevant to them; offers that will work for them plus… #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 Q Is it possible to be too focused? Has anyone needed to expand their niche?#sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CathyWebSavvyPR The Customizable Style Guide for Coaches Who Write http://ht.ly/1Z1ip #sbbuzz
dothewoo: A2 ….cont….A page on my website that describes “you”, what u are going through, what u need…So folk will recognise themselves #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @sbbuzz yeppers #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara So would you say you focus on “psychographics” (innovative, creative) versus demographics? #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @dothewoo Seriously, loooove your biz name! #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q3) I am not too focused, but I have just added a reasonably-priced hourly coaching option 4 solopreneurs – it’s been working #sbbuzz
m4bmarketing: Q3 Yes if there are not enough customers who will buy on a regular basis or market too crowded #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A3 If your don’t have enough business that might be a sign Ur to focus. Tricky 2 know. #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A3 We began focused on the real estate industry just before things got tough there. Not good timing to depend on work there. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee Absolutely, Gina – passion shines through every word, spoken or written. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @sbbuzz Sorry …I guess my answer to Q2 was more about expandins services than expanding the niche – butI focused on solopreneurs? #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I need to feel personally connect with my market [hence the bomb w/the golfing at disney idea] so I started a Weigh Loss Vlog cont’ #sbbuzz
dothewoo: @selahsynergy Thank you Susan. One of the ways of identifying my niche is the folk who ‘get it’ and can connect to it. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Just an aside – who knew – I just got my Chico’s catalog & they’re on Twitter @LoveChicos…have 2 chk em out #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I will connect with others who share my need to loss weight. Building relationships for mutual benefits and support. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q3 Yes, my niche expanded as biz cut consult/coach budgets. Lower price point content sells to different markets #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @DiSnEyTRAVELmum Agreed. Personal connection makes it more natural & more enjoyable. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @lindadessau Psychographics are now my new most favorite thing. Thanks! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @scoblitz You’re welcome! Just trying to get my head around it all :) #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q3 – It occurs to me that a philosophy of “focused yet nimble” might be prudent. Must have something more to offer than the core. #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @TraceyHolinka I feel like a fake if I don’t feel a personal connection. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau That’s what we’ve done – works well for our biz. I wouldn’t do it if I was selling Amish furniture supplies, tho #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @KevinLyons YIKES that’s a lot of chats! #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @selahsynergy Yes, I did that 2. cosulting or coaching w solopreneurs – wish I’d done it sooner. less time intensive, lower cost #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @ginabee Amen! Flexibility, resourcefulness are essential for biz. Ford couldn’t sell black cars forever and survive #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q4 What type of criteria do you use to define your niche – geographic, demographic, industry, psychographics, what? #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A3 We expanded services as we discovered new passions and also in response to difficult economic times. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @samuraivt Nice to remember the reason we’re entrepreneurs – we get to choose who we work with – we’re never trapped! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @samuraivt DId you expand services to the same target market? Or expand your market? #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Q4a. My niche is all over the place. Most of my business is word of mouth. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @CathyWebSavvyPR Wish I had changed sooner. But, it keeps me learning – new techniques to market products rather than services #sbbuzz
ImAfterdotcom: sbbuzz: #sbbuzz chat in 30 minutes. Wondering what a Twitter chat is or how to participate? See our instructions at … http://ht.ly/17KOBD
m4bmarketing: Q4 All plus attitudes and behaviour #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A3 We expanded how we delivered R services but R target audience is the same. Allows us to provide services 2 more people. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 So far I’ve been focused on industry to define my niche (coaches) – but I’ve been doing some thinking… #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @selahsynergy I’m working to add the prouct part of my biz 2, but I enjoy the one on one thing too #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Wondering what a Twitter chat is or how to participate? See our instructions at … http://ht.ly/17KOBD #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: RT @sbbuzz: Q4 What type of criteria do you use to define your niche – geographic, demographic, industry, psychographics, what? #sbbuzz
dothewoo: Vertical or horizontal markets.Can help 2define. RT @pmohara: @samuraivt expand services 2 same target market? Or expand ur market? #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A4 With the reach of the Internet we don’t target geography but over 50% of R clients are local. Go figure. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 I’ve already answered this one, so I’ll just hum a little tune now. Hmm hmm hmm hm hm hm. :) #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @TraceyHolinka Yeah, the longer I’ve been online, the more I seem to come up in local searches also. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @pmohara Can’t get that tune out of my head… #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q4) something inbetween? I uses demographics & research to find where they “hang out” then develop content 2 meet their needs #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @CathyWebSavvyPR Same here. I am a people person so that’s where my energy comes from. #sbbuzz
americare: Q4: we are able to focus based on our service – home-based non-medical caregiving – for anyone in need, senior, new mom, etc. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @sbbuzz Q4) online geography with a demographic & phsychographic twist …2 id my audience #sbbuzz
samuraivt: @pmohara We refined our product and targeted new markets. In addition we added mew services. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q4 – Is good ol’ supply & demand a viable way to define? I have an ability that others don’t & I can supply that. There’s my niche. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 About 30% of our business is international. Was not a target or niche – but we are adapting (updating currencies, legalese, etc.) #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee I can relate to what you just said – “I (we) have an ability that others don’t and we can supply that. There’s our niche.” #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q5 Can you target more than one niche market at a time? #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @pmohara My market accidentally expanded out of country! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @TraceyHolinka Sorry – I’m evil. :) #sbbuzz
samuraivt: @lindadessau Agreed, remembering those things is important. Doing what you love is one of the keys to success. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @pmohara Yes, I just had an author from Australia approach me – after following on Twitter & readig my blog. Need 2 see if it’ a fit #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz The risk when trying to target more than one niche at a time is that one or both of them will get confused or lost. #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Q5a. yep. my business counts on multi-markets #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q5 You bet. Of course, it may cost you to create and deliver a different message to a different target. #sbbuzz
leoraw: With social media 1 can address 1 niche in one place and another in another place – so it is possibility to market in multiple ways #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @sbbuzz Q5) It ‘s probably not ideal, but in this economy, you kinda have 2. Putting all yr eggs in 1 basket is scarier now #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz You want your business/website to feel like HOME for your target niche – so if more than one, it may not feel that way. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @lindadessau Q5) I know several biz owners who have multiple websites, OR several sites under one umbrella site see @TimBerry‘s site #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @leoraw Yes, exactly! That seems the way to address that – a different home base for each niche – but it complicates things a bit. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q5 – I think if they are somewhat related it is possible. Some similar skills can be generalized for different audiences & purposes. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CathyWebSavvyPR Yes, it certainly can be done if it’s done well :) #sbbuzz
ginabee: @samuraivt I agree – it would be nice to be a “purist” but we may not always have that luxury! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @CathyWebSavvyPR I think international markets are challenging , which can make it more fun. And boy can they innovate. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @samuraivt, @DiSnEyTRAVELmum, & @TraceyHolinka thankfor RT’s #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @pmohara would love to chat briefly if you have a moment sometime – follow & DM contact info? #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And now it is what we never call Celtics Time (but it is Pitch TIme). Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://bit.ly/dlxk9u #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: I?m a web designr/developr @chaostoclarity. I show small biz & freelancers how 2 take advantage of the web. #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I am a travel agent specializing in Disney. http://www.clickTHEMOUSE.ca & just started a Weight Loss Vlog to keep me accountable. Sandra #sbbuzz
lindadessau: How to write a top 10 article that will demonstrate your expertise to prospective customers http://ht.ly/1Z0mN (pitch time on #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And another chat has FLOWN by – how does this always happen?? We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://bit.ly/1PxPjA
samuraivt: A3 like the idea some of you are mentioning re: dif online places for dif markets. Landing pages, FB pages, websites. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks so much to everyone for contributing to the conversation. What a great way to learn. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Thanks for another great chat everyone! Good night and thanks to our bee-autiful hostess! #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I also write for http://www.play2podium.com a magizine for families who have children with disabilities like me. Support, Resource. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Pitch: 20 yr PR pro who let her inner geek girl out of the closet in 2007. I help non-profits & #smallbiz w Strategy & How 2 #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Thank you everyone! It was nice meeting you all! Sandra #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau Awes shucks – you’re making this bee blush. :) Thanks! #sbbuzz
leoraw: Thanks everyone for another great chat – I learn more so I can teach my clients. Love the conversation and ideas. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Also, if any one is in DC, I’ll be there 6/17 pm 4 @LifeTuner‘s (client) Social Media & Money panel 2 @themotleyfool & @Feedthepig + #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @pmohara thanks #sbbuzz
samuraivt: We’re Samurai Virtual Tours: virtual tours, websites, inbound marketing. We capture, create, communicate for your success. #sbbuzz
ginabee: http://www.writeytidy.com Content creativity for websites, newsletters, social media & more! I use my words to tell your story. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Thanks everyone for the great chat! Pamela here from @batchblue psychographic CRM for small biz #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted Tuesday nights 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!

Leave a comment

Filed under marketing, small business, summary

Small Business Marketing Chat Summary from June 1, 2010

Kicking off this month topic of Small Business marketing. Tonight’s discussion covered ideas about how small businesses can identify, understand and communicate with their customers.

  • We’re on every Tuesday from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on June 8, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Hi folks! I help coaches and other small biz owners write masterful content for newsletters and blogs http://ht.ly/1SMaF (Intro for #sbbuzz
ginabee: Hi, All! Gina w/ writeytidy.com, content creator to the stars…& everyone else! Happy to discuss & learn marketing w/ everyone. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: I?m a web designr/developr @chaostoclarity. I show small biz & freelancers how 2 take advantage of the web. #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Howdy hey! I am a writer, publishing useful information for savvy small business owners. #sbbuzz
decker_chris: I’m a technology professional specializing in web development, social media, and helping people communicate. #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: I’m a search engine optimizer (SEO) running my own small business. First time on this chat. :) #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Hi all – Scott from the Customer Experience team @batchblue. Looking forward to learning a lot from everyone tonight. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I provide a comprehensive resource for business professionals who want to learn more about online marketing channels #sbbuzz
stellel: Hi! I’m Christelle, Customer Experience @batchblue software. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: Michael Boys, cloud integrator for SMBs #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Hi all, I’m Michelle Riggen-Ransoms and I’m with @BatchBlue, makers of software for small businesses. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Jeff Smith – technology director for @edupros – we help businesses and orgs with teaching and training. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Welcome everyone! I’m Pamela with @batchblue and the hostess of the #sbbuzz chat (iow the one wearing the bee costume)
Zimana_: I am a web analytics marketer, helping small businesses update their websites and online marketing #sbbuzz
smitty1966: We use @BatchBlue at @edupros. Love it! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight we’re kicking off a month long discussion of small business marketing. Let me know what you want included. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q1 What is the most challenging part of marketing your business? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q1 – Defining the right niche is way up there for me. Until you do, it is hard to market correctly. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @Zimana_ Hi Pierre! Welcome! #sbbuzz
Zimana_: for Q1 @sbbuzz Processing new marketing information and tools not just for me but for helping clients as well. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: new customers other than referrals are VERY expensive to find – turning that marketing into sales #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @bradfordshimp Q1. Agreed. It took us some time to figure out our niche. Things were smoother after we figured it out. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q1 #sbbuzz Staying focused is hard. Our communications team has so many brilliant ideas, but not enough elves to do them all.
ginabee: Q1 – Defining my market & finding them. Once they’re identified, it’s easier to explain how I can help them. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q1 – For me it was deciding where to best focus my efforts (time and money) until I could get measurable results. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q1 Coming up with new ideas that will translate into new customers is always a challenge. And balancing resources… #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1: Focusing on Trends vs. getting stuck on a Fad, is and area I always have to force on my self. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Q1 – Finding inexpensive ways outside of the Internet to reach our target market. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @scoblitz I second that. There are so many new options without enuf track record to know what works. So little time. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @TraceyHolinka there are things outside of the internet?? :) #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1: Social Media Technology is alsoa pain point for me right now. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 What are you doing to find your niche? What would you like to learn more about? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q1 – Be sure to know that you actually want to work with the customers that you are trying so desperately to reach. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q1 – Another challenge is finding the time to do any marketing at all when you’re busy actually working your biz. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – Finding your niche is part self-discovery, part-trial-and-error, and perhaps a dash of luck sprinkled on for good measure. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q1-value for $. Focus is key, fostering referals and chosing right channels helps with results. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – I am personally just trying things, seeing what fits. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A2: I am defining my niche based on the audience(s) that need my products and services. W/O customers a product is only an idea. #sbbuzz
Chris_Hendricks: @sbbuzz Q2 What are you doing to find your niche? A2 I ask myself…what am I passionate about #sbbuzz
JoeCascio: @mriggen I know there are many people who need my help. The problem is connecting with them when they’re looking for help. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz We’re kicking off a series of small, in-person events this summer. Enjoy mixing IRL events w/online marketing efforts. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @mentormarketing Amen to that! “W/O customers a product is only an idea.” #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q2 My niche came out of my own professional journey – I started out as a coach, writing my own coaching articles. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 – When everything began fitting together into a bigger picture.That’s *my* niche. Found it by taking work I’m passionate about. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – With my blog, I am able to see which articles are more popular with my readers. Working on turning those into products. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @bradfordshimp Excellent! You’re really responding to your market by doing it that way. Not creating out a vacuum. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 How do you measure results? Do those results drive your marketing strategy? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q3 – I have a new way of measuring marketing results – it is called sales. A good result for marketing is new sales. #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: A3 Depends on the tactic, but ultimately, we tie tactics back to customer records so we can see true ROI. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q3 It’s sometimes tough to know when to tweak and when to stay with a plan and ride out natural ebbs and flows. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q3 Results are measured against objectives whether its sales, traffic, subscriptions. Strategy &tactics change in response #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A3: We measure client satisfaction, Return engagements, and New Sales. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q3 results are striaghtfoward since we are so close to our marketing. Lead conversion means we adapt to what works #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q3 – Good ol’ fashioned testimonials r my results – that & repeat business.Best marketing I can do is referring to satisfied clients #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee Yes, repeat business and referrals are GREAT measurements of success. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @ginabee Great to measure satisfaction. Were you satisfied with the prod/service? Would you tell a friend? #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q3 There are some efforts we measure against sales (new promotions) and some we know are immeasurable (like #sbbuzz)
sbbuzz: Q3 What is your most effective marketing effort? #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q3 – Yes, some results are a definable result of an effort and others are just from putting yourself & your biz out there. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara Great point about some efforts being immeasurable, or slower (like a newsletter subscriber hiring me after a year!). #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: A3 Word of mouth is by far our best marketing tactic. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz My most effective marketing effort? Consistently producing masterful content, of course ;) #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q4 – For what I do, the Internet has served me well for marketing. My biz coach still encourages me to do face-to-face too, though. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A4: @janetdmiller I agree WOM is like being handed a sale that is already closed. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q3- Getting out in front of potential clients. Conferences, shows and workshops. #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: @mentormarketing Absolutely! And I find networking to be key to word of mouth. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @mentormarketing Ain’t it the truth. Ain’t it the truth! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau Exactly.. You can’t put a number on community, good will, collaboration, idea sharing and friendship. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: @bradfordshimp how do you systematically tie the sales to specific marketing campaigns #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q5 What marketing tools & techniques would you like to learn more about? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @MHBoys Depends. For some, you can track via code. Others, you just ask. Also, you can set up individual web landing pages. #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: A5 I find ad retargeting fascinating. Would like to learn more about mobile and TV as they evolve too (like with Google TV). #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q5 – I would like to learn how to better use Facebook and LinkedIn to bring in sales. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @janetdmiller Good one. Mobile is going to be huge (going to be??) so this is an area we can all learn more about. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A5: I think it would be good to learn about email platform advanced features, FB pages, Linkedin Q&A these are on my short list. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q5 – I want to learn more about Apps as marketing. #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: @bradfordshimp I think mobile has amazing potential for local-based businesses too. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @bradfordshimp Google Apps? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @bradfordshimp Agreed. I’d be interested in learning more about mobile marketing, also. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @janetdmiller I agree. I have a friend who just released a local tourism app that points to all the best places. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara No, just apps in general (yes, google apps as well). Providing bite sized tools that point the way to a bigger sale. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks for the ideas, folks. We’ll dig in to these more the next few chats. So be sure to COME BACK! :) #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: I’d also love to learn more about Android apps for marketing. RT @pmohara: @bradfordshimp Google Apps? #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A5: Article marketing best practices, and a deep dive into picking your content distribution sites. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Where did that hour just go? #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And somehow it is already what we affectionately call Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: think of mobile as an extension of the internet in the short term – make sure all material (and website) are accessible via mobile #sbbuzz
lindadessau: I’m taking a stand for the quality of your content! Read my manifesto at http://bit.ly/content-creation-manifesto (pitch time on #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @chaostoclarity helps small biz & freelancers use social networking/media & the Web to grow their biz #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Pitch: Releasing my first e-book soon (next week?). I will be giving it away free to email subscribers of http://allbizanswers.com #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: It is on the value of the customer after the sale, testimonials, referrals, second sales, having a follow up plan … #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks to everyone for great new topic ideas! We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://sbbuzz.biz
ginabee: Those who do, do. Those who need it put into just the right words contact me: http://www.writeytidy.com #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @bradfordshimp Looking forward to your ebook #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
scoblitz: @sbbuzz I’m going to pitch http://freelancecampchicago.org/ on June 26th – would love to connect with folks there if you’re close. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Learning made easy. We can be found here @edupros. Great chat tonight. Cheers. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @scoblitz Thinking about heading out that way some time, have a brother in law roaming around out there. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @bradfordshimp Congrats on the upcoming book! I just subscribed so I’ll get my copy! http://ht.ly/1SN6V #sbbuzz
mriggen: @scoblitz Yes, what you said! @batchblue will be at http://freelancecampchicago.org/, come say hello! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @lindadessau Cool, thanks! #sbbuzz
pmohara: #sbbuzz Pitch – Pamela here from & @batchblue makers of BatchBook Social CRM (when not busy sbbuzzing)

Leave a comment

Filed under marketing, small business, summary

Customer Service Chat Summary from May 25, 2010

We discussed small business customer service. The tools you can use, empowering your team, and strengthening your relationships with your customers.

  • We’re on every Tuesday from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on June 1, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
scoblitz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
scoblitz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun! #sbbuzz
scoblitz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: Hello Sbbuzz friends. Susan here from Selah Synergy ready to chat about small business. Oooops, did I forget my hat? #sbbuzz
scoblitz: I’m Scott Blitstein – Customer Experience with @batchblue and we’re going to talk all about Customer Service tonight. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Hello all! Gina from writeytidy.com writing & content creation. So happy to be here tonight with the sbbuzz gang once again! #sbbuzz
scoblitz: Co-hosting tonight is friend and co-worker @stellel #sbbuzz
ginabee: @scoblitz So you’re wearing your Customer Service hat tonight… #sbbuzz
stellel: I’m Christelle Lachapelle Customer Experience with @batchblue and trusty hat-wearing side-kick to @scoblitz #sbbuzz
southrngurl6489: Hi. I’m Jenn, an aspiring business woman and full time student. Nice to meet you all. #sbbuzz
mikestenger: I’m late, I’m late, I’m late…for a very important #sbbuzz
scoblitz: Our Bee is busy attending an event tonight so we’re jumping in with our Bee Hats to keep the conversation going. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @stellel Awesome Customer Service hats! Looking good for wrocking Customer Service!!! #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Mike here. Social media consultant with an ass-kicking passion. Expert or guru not in my vocabulary. #sbbuzz
icebluebanana: I am mark, and I write for icebluebanana.com. Also, I work as a consultant, which is very customer service intensive. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: OK – let’s jump right in and talk Customer Service. #sbbuzz
BlueDelivered: Hi I’m Dawn… didn’t know we were supposed to wear a hat to this party! #sbbuzz
scoblitz: Q1) How do you know when you need a dedicated customer service person? #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q1: When u can’t handle all the interaction ur currently getting. Customers are getting left behind. #sbbuzz
icebluebanana: Q1 – great question – likely when that is one think that you can’t keep up with – risky hiring someone you don’t know though. #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: A1. When customer service is suffering due to growth — time to add someone new. #sbbuzz
southrngurl6489: Q1) How do you know when you need a dedicated customer service person? When you are just keeping up with the CS and other tasks #sbbuzz
BlueDelivered: Q1: when you can’t meet the needs of your customers right away #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q1: Also, if ur current CS staff is overloaded. Time to hire. #sbbuzz
icebluebanana: @mikestenger Hey Mike. Nice to be here. Seems like a good group – tough subject, which is nice. #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q1: If ur staff is overloaded, not good. Customers are neglected, really not good! #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Our business is two people right now — we both do everything — however, there r times I have to slow down b/c 2 busy. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @mikestenger Great – how do you monitor that effectively? #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @mikestenger I never want to neglect clients — CS is key in my biz. #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Up for a GR8 discussion? Get in & join us here at #sbbuzz
stellel: @DiSnEyTRAVELmum Do you have customer service staff in your business? #sbbuzz
mikestenger: @scoblitz Pay attention to their workload & any concerns via staff. Many having same issue? Make changes. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: Q2) How do you stay in the customer service loop when you are no longer the one doing it? #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @stellel My partner and myself do CS, PR, Marketing, Booking, Writing, Itineraries EVERYTHING. #sbbuzz
southrngurl6489: Q2) You periodically check in with customers, customer satisfaction surveys #sbbuzz
AboutWDW: #sbbuzz Q1: If you are that busy, it may be time to reevaluate your prices — raising them may increase profit and keep you from going nuts.
BlueDelivered: Q2: I think this is the biggest challenge… finding staff that will care as much as you do (or close to it) #sbbuzz
icebluebanana: monitoring is difficult, and the reason you need at least one person you can trust (unless you have money for phone monitoring..) . #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q2: Keep in close touch with staff on a consistent basis. Don’t wanna get behind if any problems. #sbbuzz
icebluebanana: and @southrngurl6489 Q2) You periodically check in with customers, customer satisfaction surveys #sbbuzz (great!)
scoblitz: Q3) Follow up from @ginabee – How do you find people who will care as much as you do to help your customers? #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Im just going to retweet all your A2 since I don’t delicate yet. Sandra #sbbuzz
bostonmarketer: @mikestenger What’s #sbbuzz?
mikestenger: Q2: Regarding customers themselves, every once in a while reach out to them & ask questions. #sbbuzz
stellel: Surveys are a great idea! #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @bostonmarketer Small Business Buzz #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: We just hired a P/T sales person — she started with enthusiasm — but not much now. sigh. #sbbuzz
BlueDelivered: Anyone else having tweetdeck issues?#sbbuzz
BlueDelivered: @southrngurl6489 @scoblitz thanks for the info on tweetdeck #sbbuzz
scoblitz: Lets try again – Q4 -What specific tools do you use to provide customer service? #sbbuzz
southrngurl6489: Q4- I’d love to know….research for future needs :) #sbbuzz
mikestenger: Q4: I don’t know…email, phone, Skype, those tools :-) #sbbuzz
icebluebanana: Q4 – face to face always best – tools = phone, then chat, then email – old fashioned, I guess #sbbuzz
scoblitz: Q5: How do you empower your employees to provide excellent customer service? #sbbuzz
icebluebanana: Q5 – listen to what they think about improving the service & use suggestions if they are good #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @scoblitz Q5: Essential! The sooner every employee realizes they are empowered to create a customer experience, the better. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q5 – Seems to me that communication from the inner sanctum of the co. & great listening on both sides will arm cs w/ tools they need #sbbuzz
southrngurl6489: Q5: Give them guidelines to make decision calls, and stand by them if they make appropriate calls #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @selahsynergy I agree! #sbbuzz
stellel: @selahsynergy Great way to put it! #sbbuzz
scoblitz: Feels like we got cut short but now it is what we affectionately call Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @stellel @scoblitz Thanks.I think it’s more about creating a customer-focused culture than procedures (tho procedures help growth) #sbbuzz
scoblitz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
scoblitz: Thanks to everyone for the great but brief discussion! We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://sbbuzz.biz #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @scoblitz Thanks for the chat. Fun and informative as always. #sbbuzz
icebluebanana: lots of great ideas in here #sbbuzz
stellel: Thanks everyone! Great chatting with you all! #sbbuzz
scoblitz: Thanks to all – especially to @stellel for co-hosting and for the nifty Bee Party Hat! #sbbuzz
ginabee: Pitch: You know your business inside & out but can you write about it? I put your brilliance into words! http://www.writeytidy.com #sbbuzz
ginabee: Yes, thanks to @scoblitz & @stellel for fantabulous moderation despite the technical difficulties. Your hats were niftylicious! #sbbuzz

Leave a comment

Filed under customer service, customers, small business, summary