Mobile Devices and Safety/Security: It’s Crucial

We are a mobile world. Our lives are filed with mobile devices. They are so easy to carry around with us.

The ease of carrying the devices with you makes it just as easy for someone else to carry them away.

But there are many ways that you can protect your device and your data as well as your customer information.

Connie Hancock, University of Nebraska Extension Educator, guides you through some basic steps to keep your data and your devices secure. Take a couple of minutes to watch the video and download the quick-read tips.

Security is crucial. Take action today.


Throw a Twitter Party, Have Fun and Grow Your Business!

Yes, it is possible to grow your business while having fun.  One way to do it? Throw a Twitter Party!

A Twitter Party creates an experience to engage your clients and prospective customers. Twitter Parties can build your online presence, market your enterprise and expand your brand.

Use Twitter Parties to connect with your audience, discuss timely topics and present information about your products and services

Join Alyssa Dye, Nebraska Extension Intern and entrepreneur, as she discusses setting up a Twitter Party while providing strategies designed to make your Twitter Party a success!

To learn more about Alyssa, go to

Register for the Twitter Party event at:

Missed previous events?
Check out the Power of Business YouTube channel
or the “Friday 15 tab at Power of Business.

While you are on the site, sign up to receive reminders for monthly chats and a newsletter designed to grow your business!

“See you” on later today at 11:15 AM CT!


Taking the Leap

Are you thinking of taking the leap and turning your hobby into a business? Then listen to Becky Mannon, Bears-n-Woods, discuss her journey in doing so. Listen to her passion and what helped her decide she was ready and it was time to make the move.

As the conversation notes, she worked on her idea for 15 years developing a unique, quality product. This also allowed her to build a customer base who were willing to spread the word, some of the best marketing you can get.

Becky discusses how developing a business plan made her think about the steps she would need to take. It also was a reference and a reminder of her eventual goal. An audience was identified and she could begin to consider things like pricing, production, etc. She now is looking forward to adding to her first initial product line with another complementary item.

Additional resources are available for the aspiring and existing small business owner at Power of Business. Get access to additional conversations with other business owners and more tips. And make sure to tune in on the first Friday of every month at 12:15 ET. Click here to register.

Are you thinking of “taking the leap?” Is it time?  Becky encourages people to consider it and comments, “there is nothing like it.”

Marketing, Branding, and Small Business: The Bartlett Farm Example

Bartlett Farm Merry Christmas – Used with Permission – Click here to go to video

Merry Christmas video

Merry Christmas from the Bartlett Farm – Used with permission

Small-business owners, like all other business owners, want people to know about their business. They also want to establish a reputation regarding their business and to build a brand.

There are many tools that owners can use to get this done. One such tool, the use of video, has been seeing increased use and is being encouraged by those who work with and support these owners.

Getting into video production is a scary idea though. When suggested, owners think of cameras, editing rooms, putting together a script, and, of course, cost.

Yet more and more often, owners are finding that they can do great video on their own without fancy tools.

An example of the latest video from the Bartlett Farm from northern North Dakota shows how one small business uses video in their marketing and branding campaign. Part of establishing your brand is providing some background of the people involved in the business. They also show that you can have some fun when making them. And they include a visual reference to one of their products.

To see more on how they use images and video, check out their website – Notice they even have a link to take you directly to their media page.

As you make plans for your next marketing campaign, think about all of the marketing tools you have available. Know where your audience is and how best to reach them.

Video is effective and growing in popularity and is something you can do it yourself. It can put a personality on your business, let your clients be your advocate, and tell your story.

Happy Holidays from Power of Business

Marketing is More Than Sales

Grand Opening by BJMcCray on Flickr

Grand Opening by BJMcCray on Flickr

You have opened the door to your new business.  What a great day.

Of course as a small business owner, you have lots of things yet to do but the shelves are stocked, everything is gleaming, and you even remembered to get change for the cash drawer (Yes, some people still use real money to make transactions. I rarely fit into that category but I have heard stories).

Some time passes and someone walks into your business. It’s the business owner from next door and she just wants to wish you good luck.

Some more time passes and some friends and neighbors have also dropped by.  Some of them actually bought something but you don’t really count that as a sale. No, they were just being polite.

Some more time passes and a stranger walks in, looks around some and leaves.

Some more time passes and a group of people walk in. They look around and then begin to ask questions about one of your products. They ask about a discount if they buy several of the same item. As they make the offer, you are mentally wondering just how to respond. You tell them you will get back to them on their offer.

Some more time passes. Another person comes in. He comments he didn’t know that your store was even here. He is from out of town. He had researched his opportunities, didn’t see what he wanted but had another reason to come over to your town and just happened to see your temporary sign.  You have several items he wants and makes a purchase. YOUR FIRST SALE! You feel like your business is officially open.

The day continues. Sales are slow. At the end of the day, you look at what you sold and get a little discouraged. This isn’t what you expected.

While a fictitious story, it fits the experience shared with me by several owners.

What happened? As you consider the results, the common theme seems to be following the myth, “build it and they will come.” Marketing is much bigger than sales. Marketing must happen early, be ongoing, and use a variety of tools.

So what marketing should have happened?

1. Marketing starts well before the doors are even open. It includes understanding who the customer is and what they want.

2. Marketing also means getting the word out. In the above scenario, nothing was mentioned about pre-opening publicity. Nor was there mention of a ribbon-cutting (free PR + creating awareness among other business owners). And while the inside of the store looked good, the outside had a temporary sign only plus there is no mention of inside signage that can answer questions and even increase sales.

3. Nothing was mentioned about traditional marketing that may have been done. There also could have been pre-opening networking to develop community awareness.

4. Also there was no mention about online marketing. It is important to claim your bubble on the various services such as Google, Yelp, Yahoo, and others. Also you need some web presence of your own – a website or a blog. This must something you own. The phonebook still has a place but remember that it may be nearly two years before your listing ever makes it into print. Online it can happen nearly instantly.

5. And there are so many other parts of marketing. Just a partial list would include pricing, packaging, store location, social media efforts, image, visual efforts, etc. The list goes on and on. Remember also that marketing is not a one-and-done effort. It must be consistent, build on a regular theme, and help develop your brand.

So while sales are the lifeblood of a business, marketing is the heart that keeps things flowing.

Bottom line – The day you think of a business idea is the day you start your marketing efforts.