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Business Development

Developing a Competitive Advantage: Networking, Affiliations, Alliances, Collaborations and Partnerships

Networking affords us the opportunity to meet people, seek to be of service, by building a relationship based on credibility, trust, likability, and performance.



As we continue to operate businesses in a time of uncertainty and unprecedented deceit in the White House from the 45th inhabitant, there is no better time to grow your network, affiliations, alliances, collaborations, and partnerships to solidify and expand your position economically and politically.

I would submit that by default, and an inadequate plan, we have come to suffer our current economic and political malaise after President Obama and Gods saving grace. This circumstance begs and commands that we solidify our position and scale up.

Becoming scalable means that we grow business to a point of being connected and qualifying for greater resources, credit, grants, contracts, certifications, affiliations and more. We’re in a period of time when we can take advantage of the circumstances, or allow our- selves to be taken advantage of. Scalability is characteristic of a system, model, or function that describes its capability to cope and perform under an increased or expanding workload.

A system that scales well will be able to maintain or even increase its level of performance or efficiency when tested by larger operational demands. In the corporate market, a scalable company is one that can maintain and improve profit margins while sales volume increases without being hampered by its structure or available resources. Scalability has been a missing ingredient in many small and minority businesses.

This is indicative of the network and relationships that we have not built or have not utilized. We are in a time when we must increase our network, to increase our net worth! “Business is based on relationships, if we don’t have relationships, we don’t have a business. “ George Fraser – Networking Guru.

Networking affords us the opportunity to meet people, seek to be of service, by building a relationship based on credibility, trust, likability, and performance. We are able to do this at events like the Greater Summit Business Conference and Expo and the Power Networking Conference.

These event opportunities allow us to create affiliations. Affiliated is defined as a person or organization officially attached to a larger body. This is the very reason why many entrepreneurs become franchisees and align with larger organizations that have a much larger perceived footprint and market presence.

Alliances are relationships based on an affinity in interest, nature, or qualities, creating a state of be- ing joined or associated and they are formed for mutual benefit between countries and organizations. Some examples would be trade associations and unions as well as buying groups. All members benefit from the network of affiliation, and alliances, as they collaborate. Collaboration defined, the action of working with someone to produce or create something.

An example of a collaboration that resulted in an acquisition would be Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods to capture data and solidify a future position in the food marketplace that is unequaled. This acquisition/merger/partnership/ is a superb example of scaling-up and market positioning, for market dominance of the future.

The question that I pose to Small Business and the Minority business community would be: if three or four regional or national competitors aligned, affiliated, and collaborated to scale one combined business entity with an agreed-upon plan, what would the likely result be? We hope that it would be a successfully scaled business that has the economies of scale and utilized little or no additional resources because the infrastructure and platforms already existed when combined.

This concept is not foreign to our community and has been demonstrated in years past when minority businesses were more prominent in communities across the country around the turn-of-the-century. We will endeavor to provide our findings of history in an article to come in the near future.

Opportunities to network and create affiliations and alliances exist on a local, regional, and national scale. It is our belief that we need to actively seek and plan for developing these relationships into mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships. Many abiding influences in our area: Ilene Shapiro – Summit County Executive, Cleveland Mayor – Frank G. Jackson, and Ohio State Governor-John R. Kasich have issued initiatives and efforts to assist minority and small businesses to gain momentum in scaling up.

Finding and working with like-minded people that share our past and desire for the future can provide a sense of great hope, education, affiliation, and potential alliances. It is the hope of our community that we can turn these alliances into partnerships which yield a platform to scale up regionally, nationally, and globally.

What is your plan to scale up, network, align, and create partnerships in the coming days ahead? All the best for your success, until next time. The Business Doctor, LLC. Specializes in Marketing, Management, and Motivation for Small and Medium- size businesses. We offer Consulting, Coaching, Business Boot Camps, Executive Retreats and provide Speakers for weekly and keynote events. In addition, we provide support services which include printing, graphic design, legal services, accounting, telemarketing, etc.

We are your one-stop shop for most of your business needs. Contact us at 330. 836. 2937 or 330. 283.0158 for your free branding or coaching session on executing your plan to scale-up.

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Business Development

Social Media Advertising – Making Your Ad Spend Count

Social media is a two-way communication medium and hence you need to allow your users to be heard.



Social Media has brought in a paradigm shift in the way brands promote themselves and reach out to their target audience. Social media advertising has broken the walls that existed between large businesses and start-ups in the way they advertised their products and services.

Traditional forms of advertising in print, electronic and even Internet were factored around the financial spending power of the business. In social media, online creativity rules and even with a meager budget small startups are able to create the most powerful campaigns and earn maximum mileage for their brands.

Social media sharing sites allow you to take your message to the larger audience in the most cost-effective manner. You can retain prospects, discover and develop new leads and offer your loyal customers and users valuable pre-sale and after-sale services.

The beauty of social media advertising lies in the fact that it can be used to complement other forms of advertising campaigns or solo promotions. When you are undertaking a marketing campaign using social media you need to make each penny count. This calls for the perfect synergy between market research, creativity, and timing.

Know Where To Target – Just because you can afford to place your ad everywhere doesn’t mean you would be able to generate tons of leads. You need to know where your customers are, how they respond to ads and the best way to reach them. Before you spend a single penny on your social media ads, you need to carry out a detailed market research. This would help you in increasing your reach and also earning a high share of leads for every dollar spent.

Control The Content – You need to have full control of the content being published. The message needs to inform the audience about your products and services and also engage them actively. Even if you are outsourcing content creation to a firm review it. Quality content catches attention easily and hence offers you better conversion rate.

Two-Way Communication Model – If you are using social media just to disseminate information to your customers you are missing out on the core philosophy of this media. You are not likely to see high yield from your advertising campaign as you are forcing your customers to listen to you and turning a deaf ear to them.

Social media is a two-way communication medium and hence you need to allow your users to be heard. Post questions and surveys related to your products and services as this allows you to gather quality feedback. Listen to their queries and reply them in the same thread as this allows you to build your brand image.

Measure Performance – You need to measure your performance periodically and these should be in facts and figures such as addition in the number of followers, number of leads generated, number of sales etc. This will help you set goals for the future and achieve them.

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Business Development

Turning Trials and Tribulation into Triumph

“What is life worth without trials and tribulations which are the salt of life.” – Mahatma Gandhi



With the close of the year approaching quickly, we start looking back and we also look forward considering the things that have happened, and those that we want to happen. This has been a tumultuous year of change for the country, the economy, my company, and my life. The one constant that we can always count on is, that change is inevitable. Our mindset and our perspective are our greatest assets to maintain sanity, march forward, and achieve our goals.

We all will experience some of life’s greatest challenges in the course of running a business and living our lives: death in the family, divorce, separation in relationships, moving and changing location, health challenges and illness, our children’s trauma or drama, being terminated from a major account or career, financial loss, etc. No one wins all the time, if it seems as if they do, it is more than likely that they have had their share of hard knocks and obstacles to overcome, and achieve the appearance of winning most of the time and achieve what they have.

I have encountered many trials, and witnessed tribulations, which have caused me and clients to appear and feel as victims, to ourselves and others, rather than victors. Whether it be multiple deaths in the family, probate challenges, and family alienation, disrupted focus and poor productivity, poor asset management and deployment, the challenges and obstacles of life remain ever present in the background, until they rise to the forefront. It is in these times that our character, habits, and traits are tested, and we find out we can definitely make improvements. We shine the light, focus, rise and evolve to become more benevolent. As one author says “we fall forward, get up, and become better people, …if we choose to.” “The size of the challenge determines the size of the hero.” “We are all “children of the most high,” when it comes to the mastery of life. We will win, the question is when?

My own challenges and working with clients have caused us to find some helpful steps to go from victim to victor, turning trials and tribulations into triumph. They are:

1Define the Problem/challenge In Writing

Without a clearly defined problem we are not likely to find a definitive answer. Looking at what it is, and learning what it is not, is the work that we must do to gain the confi dence of at least knowing what we are facing and being able to describe it to others and think of avenues of relief ourselves.

2 Find the Coach and Gather the Data

Finding someone that has overcome this problem themselves or helped other people overcome specific similar problems is a great beginning for the recipe of winning. You still have to do the work. However if you’re coachable and the strategy is sound you will be able to achieve your desired result in a lot less time without having to endure so much trial and error. Gathering the data of those that have encountered the trauma, obstacles, defeat and wins, will forearm you to know what you’re facing so that hopefully you will not make some of the same mistakes.

3 Discern your Options

There are many times in life we think we don’t have options or choices, however hindsight is 20/20 and most times after-the-fact, we realize that we did. Even if the options or choices are simple, or incomplete, getting a mental picture aids our clarity in our seeing the beginning or necessary steps to achieve the goal.

4 Prayer, Meditation, and Contemplation

In the Western Hemisphere these three practices tend to be run together and almost defined as one. In the East, they are three separate practices which are the prerequisites of manifestation, transmutation and precipitation. It is usually in this step of practices that we get answers that have not been yielded in the other aforementioned steps.

5 Envision the Results

Visualize the desired result. See it, feel it, smell it, act with it and be part of your vision. It is your vision and you are allowed to be part of it, project yourself into the scene. All of life is the projection of a thought, or the lack of it by default.

6 “Believe In Order to Know”

This is a profound saying that twist our minds until we begin to comprehend it. In most circumstances the greatest obstacle to achieve a goal is you. People we consider wiser than ourselves usually have the wisdom and experience from their own achievement and that of others. When we don’t have wisdom, we have to learn that practice makes things possible and confidence and believability come from practice. Most of us must practice believing what we know to be possible, and then we can make it possible!

7 Gratitude

Be grateful for what you do have and the opportunity to achieve more because of the trials and tribulations that inspire you… to: do more, be more, have more, live more, give more, and serve more!

All the best for your success! We are going digital, call or contact us online-Internet! www.TheBusiness- Arrange your free coaching/branding session by calling 330. 283. 0158.

***Marketing, Management & Motivation***

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Business Development

Building an Effective Website for Your Business

Anyone that aspires to do well on the Internet needs to have a website that is well designed and performs for them every day.



It is not possible to have an online business with a website that does not convert. Finding out how to improve your website is essential, and instant feedback can help you accomplish this.

More than likely you will have a high bounce rate (people leaving within seconds) if your site is poorly designed. Many times, when your website visitors arrive, you will want them to do many things. Also, there is the idea of the most desired action, MDA, you want your visitors to do.

Becoming more familiar with a call to action statement is how you can change this for the better. It is important that you make everything as easy to understand as possible. Make sure visitors are able to find your contact information easily if they have questions. Depending on what you’re selling, you may also want to include your terms of service, or even a privacy policy if you expect people to leave information on your site. People are also naturally curious about who the person behind the website really is. Let them know who you are and what you do on a separate ‘About Us’ page.

These are very basic things anyone can do, but they will have a positive effect on increasing trust for your business. The more invigorating your content is, the more likely it will be that your readers will come back to read what else you have to say. Perhaps there are other ways that you could share content with your visitors, something that does not have to be read at all? You can use a variety of options in your testing, such as adding video with your text.

Your readers will be the best judge of what you have done, and you can modify based upon their reactions. People can produce podcasts, which many like to download and listen to at their leisure. And if you have a newsletter, you can fill it with old newsletters and podcasts for them to download.

If you are able to create a plan of action, and execute it the right way, you will have a successful web business on your hands. 

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