Friday, July 18, 2008

How I help small towns and small businesses

Interested in what I do? I help small towns and small businesses.

Small Towns - Getting things funded and getting things done

Every small town feels the pinch of trying to do more within the budget. Grant funding can help bridge the gap, but it takes time, writing skill, and coordination to develop grant proposals that get funded. Once a project is funded, who will take on the project? Existing staff members already have more than enough to do without chasing down the details of one more big thing.

I help small towns to prioritize needs, consider the budget ramifications, and put together applications. Then I help carry out projects by doing the calling, writing and emailing and other work to see it through to completion. I've worked with towns ranging in population from 25 to 12,000 and projects up to $1.3 million.

Tourism Businesses - Getting connected

Tourism businesses need connections to survive. When customers are far away, maybe even around the world, how can small businesses connect to them? Developing an effective internet presence requires a clear business position, good writing, and careful layering of information. It also requires up to date knowledge of the constantly changing internet tools. Who has time to add that into running a business?

I help small business people to define their business, tell engaging stories, and develop connections with customers through the internet. I help them to translate their own ideas into the right words to target exactly the right customers and paint a picture in their mind of their ideal experience. I keep up with technology and make it easy for people to use these tools in their business, without chasing all the latest shiny technology toys. Small business people from Oklahoma to Africa have chosen to work with me to reach new people and build their businesses.

Small Businesses - Getting feedback

Every business runs into problems. From the idea, through every stage of business life, problems and opportunities abound. For small business people immersed in day to day business, there is little time for reflection or idea generation. Sometimes, a short conversation or a long-term relationship with an outside person can make a huge difference in a business.

I help people think clearly about their business, evaluate options, and start building action plans. I help make connections with other resources and with a network of smart people. The experience I've gained working with retail, service, manufacturing, media and nonprofit organizations helps me to think differently, ask questions and generate useful ideas.

Meetings and Conferences - Getting the Message

Has there ever been a harder time for conferences? Between the price of gas and the expanding technology of distance meetings, you have to provide exceptional value to even get people to turn out. And for conferences focused on rural and small town issues, it's twice as challenging because of the distances involved. Plus, it's tough to find speakers who really understand small town and small business realities. And most techie speakers have trouble translating new technology into plain language.

I help conference organizers provide useful information to audiences, especially small business people, small town and rural residents. My successes and my failures help me connect deeply with people, and share some of the ways that small businesses can survive and grow in small towns. Because I use new technologies in my business, I speak from experience. In the past, I've spoken to Entrepreneur Days, Legislative Days, business Groups, tourism associations, and chambers of commerce, with audiences ranging from 3 to 1000. My topics have included
social media and new technologies, business planning, marketing, and frequently I serve as event MC or panel moderator.

Getting Started

Call me at 580-430-6173 or email to get started, together.

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