Tag Archive: entrepreneur


We are at the final day of voting in the Mission Small Business event.  DKemp Designs needs more votes to be in the final running.  Please note; you may vote for more than one business.  Each business must have 250 votes to be reviewed, the votes do not determine the winners.

Please show support for DKemp Designs and any businesses that have less than 250 votes.  We are looking to leverage the power of Social Media for something fantastic.  Up to 12 businesses will have the opportunity to buy goods and services from you and hire some of the great talent currently languishing untapped.  If you want to improve the economy, go vote now.

Login with Facebook, put in the business name and vote.  Please share on your page to get others to vote also.

Thanks to everyone.

Social Media can be a daunting maze for the new small business owner.  With all the details of starting a business and actually providing service to customers, who has time to learn how to connect on the myriad platforms?

To simplify things, Techsnoop has gathered some basic steps to go over when deciding when, how and how much to jump into the social media pool.

First, develop a social strategy by deciding where your target market will spend the most time.  You can find out general demographic information on the various platforms here

Next, decide what you are willing or able to offer your audience.  People need a compelling reason to follow you.  Great expert content is one reason, but you may not have the time to put this together.  Instead, maybe offer discount codes for newsletter signups or Facebook likes.  Be sure to put an expiration date or time limit on any coupons or discounts.  Also, have an online privacy policy in place with website security.  Whatever you offer, make sure your audience will want it.

Finally, remember that social media is about socializing.  If you don’t interact with followers, they won’t interact with you.  They may not drop you, but they may ignore your content.  Having 200,000 followers or friends is useless if only 3 of them actually read what you are offering.  Ask questions, request feedback and give shout outs to those who help you or provide great content.

It used to be enough to just have a Social Media presence, now you must engage your followers and offer them something they want.  If this post helps your small business, leave a comment.

Stay tuned to Techsnoop for great social media tools to keep you organized.

Now get social!

Techsnoop is a comic geek among other things.  Justice League, Superman, Iron Man and Avengers are among my very favorites.  So, you may imagine that this is a bonzai summer for me and other comic, sci-fi, and action geeks.  With the advent of Avengers, Prometheus, Battleship, Spiderman, Batman, and MIB3, this will be one busy box office season.  Techsnoop cautions to go easy on the popcorn, pop and nachos so as not to end the summer with “movie gut”.

Tony-AvengersAvengers not only set some box office milestones, but one of the lead characters has proven to be a great story of rising from the ashes.  Mr. Downey is a classic case of learning life lessons from comic characters.  Robert Downey, Jr. was once an unemployable has been.  But due to hard work and taking necessary small steps toward success, he became not only a superstar, but a great ensemble actor.  He works well alone and in teams.

How many designers and developers can say that?  Achieving such versatility brings success in any field and requires the incorporation of many “soft” skills that technical experts often do not value.  Teamwork (Justice League, Avengers), attention to detail (Batman) and ability to meet deadlines are critical skills for entrepreneurs.  Being able to network and describe in non-tech language (Spiderman) what you can bring to a client is what brings in cash for your business.  Techsnoop is convinced that the great effects and artwork achieved in Avengers movie did not happen with designers and techs coming in “whenever” and zoning out in meetings.

Design is hard work and continuous education on the latest technology and techniques.  One small image can take days to create with the right mood, lighting and effects to fit the scope of the project.  This is not done by slackers.  Designers may be creatives, but we are creatives on a deadline and with tight budgets.  The trade off for flexible hours and working in jeans is being able to deliver high-quality product on demand and in budget.

Anyone who doesn’t take designers seriously should take a moment and try to create just one of the thousands of images from any hit movie.  Let me know how easy that is for you.

Designers and comic geeks unite, our superheros have taught us well so let’s “Assemble”.

Small BusinessFollowing up on supporting Small Business for 2012, I would like to give a shout out to my friend J Gary Dewberry at My Cyber Talk.  If you haven’t taken a look at this blog, go now and read through some of his posts.  Thoughtful and written in near poetry form, mycybermap ranges on multiple topics, but focuses on small business and economic and personal growth.

Keep the love going and give a shout out to someone you follow or someone new you find on your social networks.

small businessThose of you who follow Techsnoop’s Helper know we have been pushing support for Small Business in America.  Today’s post is about a town who turned out to do just that.  Chagrin Falls, Ohio has a hardware store that has been family owned and operated for 72 years.

One resident started an e-mail that was forwarded to friends until nearly the entire town turned out to make purchases at the hardware store.  Out of town friends even made phone orders.  The message challenged friends to spend at least $21 at the store.  Well, as Techsnoop stated in an earlier post, $20 may not seem much, but when added up over a community, it can keep a small business open and hiring.

This story highlights the power of social media leveraged for good and how true community is defined.

Kudos to Chagrin Falls, Ohio and all who supported Chagrin Hardware.

small businessEntrepreneurship is a great way to increase lifestyle flexibility, stabilize or supplement your income or just change careers.  There are many ways to get started in your own business and it is best to try a home based business or a cubicle rental if you are short of start up funds.

Be ready to work long hours to get started so prepare some frozen meals ahead of time so you won’t waste money on fast food or get run down from eating junk food.  If you are choosing a field where you have little experience but lots of interest, go back to school first.  A one or two year certificate program and an internship can gain you experience, credentials and contacts.

Networking is key in starting a business.  New businesses will have a small marketing budget so key in on trade shows and other events where you can hand out materials face to face.  People will be more likely to utilize a new business from someone they have met and liked.  Use Social Media.  Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can all be great free marketing essentials.  If you don’t understand how to use them, network with those who can show you.

Here are some top business markets for up and coming entrepreneurs.  Some may offer franchise opportunities if you have some money to invest.  Only put your money into well investigated franchises.  Also, make sure your market area is not saturated with this particular business type.

Finally, get ready to succeed.  This is harder than it seems.  Many business owners don’t know what to do when the money starts rolling in.  Have a reinvestment plan, a growth structure and, if you plan to retire from this business, a sell out or phase out plan so that you don’t leave your loyal customers high and dry.

2012 The Year of #SmallBusiness

chartAccording to Get Busy Media, there are over 27 million small businesses in America and they account for 60 to 80% of all employment.   These figures suggest strongly that the only way out of economic malaise is for entrepreneurs to keep plugging away and for all of us to utilize Small Businesses in our buying activities.  Small businesses hire faster, engage with customers better and innovate more than large firms.

Small businesses also barter, deal and discount more than big box stores.  Because their prices tend to be slightly higher, small businesses offer more value and customer service.  Most importantly, small businesses stabilize neighborhoods by renting properties not attractive to larger businesses.  This keeps their services close to your home and negates the need to burn extra gas driving miles to the mall or super center.

Small business owners are your neighbors, friends and relatives.  Give them your business if you want to see economic turn around.  A $20 purchase to you may mean nothing.  But to the small business owner, it may mean making payroll or not.

There are many resolutions being made today, most doomed before the end of the month.  But try to make and keep this resolution; shop small business once a month this year.  You may keep someone employed, find a new best store and make some lifelong friends.

Well worth the price difference isn’t it?

Have a safe, blessed, prosperous and productive 2012 and pass it along.

For more statistics on Small Business, see Entrepreneur.com.

No matter what business area you are in, you need a website.  Web presence makes your business larger and global immediately, for a relatively small cost.  Factors to consider are cost to build and set up, hosting fees and maintenance of the site.  Maintenance is the area least considered by small businesses.  Everyone knows that Google analytics exist, but few understand that fresh and updated content factor into your search rankings.

If your business is very small and service oriented, you may make do with one of the free template sites until you can afford a web designer.  Keep in mind that you won’t be able to develop a “brand” look with this, but it can quickly get you up and running so that you can market yourself.

Next, learn how to use social media for your business exposure.  If y0u have a Facebook page, you will need a new one for your business with only business related p0sts and commentary.  Invite your friends and family to “like” your page, but hide their posts unless they are responding to your business comments.

Find meaningful tips and content to share on Facebook and Twitter.  There is a wealth of information on optimizing your social media.  Google “how to use Twitter” and see how many listings come up.  Search the Twitter listings by tag or topic and find specialists in your business area.  Follow them, converse with them and mention them.  You will gain knowledge and followers.

Part 3 coming soon.  Missed part one?  Find it here.

techsnoopThe true economic jobs plan is for those with the drive and skills to start their own business.  Many businesses can be started and run from any location and with low start up costs.  Laptops, netbooks, tablets and smartphones all keep business owners connected and productive.  24/7 technology and the Internet also make it possible to do business worldwide no matter where you are.

The first thing to consider when starting a business is if you really love what you will be doing.  Running a business is not for those who like to punch out at the end of 6 or 8 hours.  Reducing your personal expenses to the bare bones and dropping any cash sucking distractions can further make starting your own business a reachable venture.  A business will consume almost all your time and take creative planning just to fit in family obligations.  If you don’t absolutely love your business, you will not be successful.

Next, do you have the skills or resources to start and run a business?  You may love to bake and make the best pound cake in the world, but if you cannot make your kitchen meet food service code, no successful bakery can be produced from home.  Renting or leasing an existing building will make this dream out of reach.

Can you make enough to support yourself and/or your family while the business gets going?  This is critical as every business takes some funds to operate, even without the overhead of office space.  Make a strict budget for 3 months at a time.  Every 3 months, treat yourself to something that was cut out of the budget.  This gives enough breathing room and reward to keep you on track.

Come back next week for more start up tips.

With the daily release of new gadgets and software, how do you wade through the pool to choose what to spend your limited entrepreneur dollars on?

First, know that any items purchased must suit your personal and business needs.  As an entrepreneur,  you don’t have the luxury of separating work and family.  Particularly with freelance or start up businesses, you are always at work.  There is no “off” time.  Either you are working, meeting clients, marketing or thinking up ideas.  If you don’t spend time on all these activities, you won’t be successful.

So your tech has to be a multi-tasking as you are.  At the same time, you don’t have time to get a degree in how to use your tablet.  Quick tip; Sprint will tutor you on your new device and set it up for your specific needs.  Just make a set up appointment when you purchase and you can cut your learning curve to nearly zero.

Second, know what you can give up comfortably.  If the idea of using a touch screen is not appealing, stick with a laptop, netbook and traditional style phone.  Most smartphones and tablets are optimized for touch use only, you can add third-party keyboards, but you may give up some functionality of the device.

Third, consider price.  This is usually the first thing people consider, but if you have a business, buy the best, most up to date tech you can afford.  The upgrade cycle is usually two to three years so you will be stuck with this device for a while.  If the capabilities are already being phased out, no price break will make this a good idea.

Finally, do your foot work.  Don’t just rely on on-line reviews.  Instead, use on-line references to narrow your list then go out to the stores and actually play with the device for a while.  You may end up purchasing on line for a good deal, but make sure you are going to love the item you are entrusting your profitability to.