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Spotlight: Entrepreneurs share business-building tips

For many small business owners, getting back to work after a long summer can be energizing. Much like making New Year's resolutions each January first, many entrepreneurs and small business owners are planning to jump-start their businesses now that they've had a few months to plan for the busy fall season.

Several Boston area business owners recently discussed their business development plans with me. Here are some of the strategies they are now putting into action.

Curry College Professor Katherine E. Morrison, Ph.D., spent her summer designing her web site, MoxyWoman.com for her West Roxbury-based business, Moxy. During the next few months she plans to launch and promote this site with vigor. A professional speaker and trainer, Dr. Morrison provides women who have hopes, dreams and ambition with the necessary tools and inspiration they need to achieve their goals. She is using a variety of techniques to promote her business, including the use of social media, video and network marketing platforms.

Dr. Morrison is currently writing a book to complement her popular interactive workshop, Revolution Rising: How Woman Can Go from Feeling Powerless to Powerful.

MICHAEL BARBARITA

For Michael Barbarita, a long-time Dedham-based serial entrepreneur and owner of  Next Step CFO, the fall months will find him aggressively promoting his firms's CFO services. His firm provides comprehensive professional financial management services to small businesses -- from cash flow forecasting and business planning to financing alternatives and exit strategies.

Barbarita will be stepping up his networking activities and Internet marketing. It's been his experience that networking is "one of the least expensive and most effective forms of advertising. Getting a referral from a colleague, friend or business associate is invaluable," he says. Instead of attending a lot of events this season, he will focus on building one-on-one relationships with bankers, CPAs and attorneys. His participation in a networking referral group, BNI, is one part of this strategy.

In addition, he is building an email database of prospects through capture pages and article marketing. Although time intensive, he says, "these activities are cost effective and have long term benefits."

JACKI ROSE

Professional speaker, author of "11 Steps to Powerful Speaking," and presentations skills coach Jacki Rose will be promoting her Milford-based business, Top Performance, with direct marketing over the coming months.

"I am marketing my business in the Greater Boston area with a dramatic and targeted increase in marketing," she says. Along with a direct mailing campaign, Rose is using social networking platforms to further her reach. She constantly adds to her site with video uploads, new content and fresh articles.

When delivering a keynote address or presentation, she captures the contact information from audience members and adds to her database. Rose also makes use of networking activities, as she participates in many trade and community based organizations and events.

It's interesting to note that social media platforms will be used by all three business owners, but not surprising as social media is poised to dominate small business marketing within a year.

With the summer of 2009 behind us, now is the time to put your thoughts into action.

"Life takes on meaning when you become motivated,

set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner."

--Les Brown, motivational speaker.

What's stopping you?

Got a question, comment or need help getting started with your business plans? Would you like to be included in a Business Owner Spotlight article or share some of your business development tips?  Email me at patti@patricia-abbate.com

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