Diverse Business Show Blog Talk Radio

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

10 Twitter Tips to help grow your business by Dante Lee

Guest post by Dante Lee (guest on Diverse Business show)

If you don’t know what a tweet is, you are officially behind the curve. But don’t panic—read on and you’ll be back on track in no time. Twitter is an online tool that allows you to communicate and stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: You can already do this through social networking and blogging.

Twitter, often referred to as micro-blogging, distills communication into one or two short sentences—maximum 140-character transmissions. Twitter allows people to follow you and you to follow them. In this context, follow means “to keep up with what other people are doing” or “to stay in the know.”

In January 2010, 73.5 million unique visitors logged on to Twitter and over 1.2 billion tweets were transmitted. Millions use Twitter every day. Some use it for pointless, self-indulgent banter. Others use it to create meaningful dialogue and share content. I’ve been seriously tweeting throughout 2010 and have left my initial skepticism behind. Tweeting is definitely something that all entrepreneurs should seriously consider, If you don’t already have a Twitter account, it’s time to get one. It’s 100 percent free. If you do have a Twitter account, it’s time to start tweeting. For more details or to sign up, click here. To follow me on Twitter, click here. (And follow Diverse Business)

Twitter’s exponential growth makes it a very useful tool for getting and retaining new clients.

It’s also an amazing way to stay in the know. Check out two new sites that can enhance your Twitter experience. Twellow.com helps you easily find relevant people to follow on Twitter. Essentially, it’s a Yellow Book directory for Twitter profiles and is much more extensive than the search feature on Twitter’s website.

I use this site all the time to find people who are connected to the businesses that I’m most interested in. For instance, if I search for relevant key words such as “supplier diversity,” “minority business,” or “diversity recruiting,” I find people and start following and interacting with them. Eventually, these are people who’ll inquire about my services.

Another valuable site that entrepreneurs can benefit from is called TweetBeep.com. It allows you to get e-mail alerts whenever someone twitters about you or your company. You can also specify other key words that may be of interest to you.

10 Twitter Tips to Help Grow Your Business

1. Don’t start automating your tweets. This will only make you look impersonal and faceless. People are following you on Twitter because they want to follow YOU, not some automated script. Avoid services like TwitterFeed.com that will automatically post your blog feeds. Do this yourself manually because not every blog post needs to be tweeted. Keep your tweets meaningful.
2. Be conversational. Don’t just use Twitter to post a bunch of links. Talk in first person, and be you. After all, that’s why people are following you in the first place.
3. Don’t just follow anybody. Twitter is not about random interactions. You want to interact with people and brands that are relevant to you.

4. Ask questions. If you have a question pertaining to your industry, why not post it on Twitter? Many times, the people following you will have the answer and will reply very promptly.

5. Retweet other people’s tweets. If it’s newsworthy and it’s relevant to your followers, retweet it. Not only will you get credit for sharing a resourceful tweet, but you’ll also gain more followers.
6. Reply when people talk to you. Whether it’s a public message or a direct message, always reply when someone communicates with you or mentions you. Remember that the more dialogue you engage in, the more followers you get.

7. Don’t be a salesman. Your followers on Twitter don’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches. Be indirect. Just say resourceful things and eventually people will inquire about your products and services.

8. Use TweetLater.com—a tool that allows you to schedule your tweets for future dates.

9. Try Tweetie, an application for the iPhone that allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts. Not only can you send tweets and retweets, but you can also follow and unfollow people right from your cell phone.

10. Check out TweetDeck.com, an application for the iPhone, the BlackBerry, and other cell phones – that also allows you to manage your Twitter account.

Dante Lee is a respected motivational speaker and diversity consultant. Lee is also the co-founder of Lee Moss Media. He is the author of Black Business Secrets.
Visit: www.dantelee.com. Hear his recent interview on the
Diverse Business show.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Social Media Marketing Workshop with Pam Perry, PR coach

This is the topic of the Diverse Business Show on Monday:

Test Your Googlicious Quotient:

  1. Do you have a Facebook account with at least 1,000 friends in your niche?
  2. Have you set up a “Like” Page for your brand, book or business and connected it to Twitter?
  3. Do you tweet at least 5 times a day by adding value?
  4. Do you use Twitter tools like Tweet Deck or Hoot Suite with your tweets?
  5. Do you have an updated and full and complete Google profile?
  6. Have you set up a Youtube video channel that brands you by name and look?
  7. Have you created at least one video and posted it on your channel with relevant key words to your brand?
  8. Do you have a Linkedin account with recommendations from others proving you to be all you say you are and key words in your “about me” section?
  9. Are you part of any groups in Linkedin and post comments with links (live urls) there often?
  10. Do you blog regularly (at least once a week)? Do you have blogroll on it and RSS feed?
  11. Do you podcast or are featured on Blogtalk Radio frequently?
  12. Do you have photos of yourself tagged on your blog or website with your name as the description?
  13. Have you secured a personal domain of your name at a “dot com?” Have you used NameCheck.com to secure your social media “real estate”?
  14. Do you have a list of the key words people search for in your industry? Do you use them in blogs and in other content-sharing activities?
  15. Have you installed Google Analytics to your blog or website? Do you know where your traffic is coming from and where they are going when they land on your site?
  16. Do you have a FriendFeed account?
  17. Do you Bookmark items in Digg, Stumbleupon or De.lic.ious?
  18. Do you have a professional Flickr account for your photos and videos?
  19. Do you have a Slideshare, Scribd or GoogleDocs account?
  20. Do you have an email marketing program that posts your emails to your social networks?
  21. Do you post articles in article directories and/or do your regularly distribute social media releases?
  22. If an author, do you have an updated bio, your blog and video in your Amazon profile? Do you have an online press kit?
  23. Are you connecting with your core customer in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn by delivering “fremiums” to them and growing your email list an average of 10 per week?
  24. Do you have RSS “chicklets” or “widgets” on your blog or website that gives you backlinks (which is a key SEO rankings)?
  25. Do you have most of the Google products: Google Reader, Google Friend Connect, Gmail, GoogleTalk,Youtube, Google maps, photos, Feedburner and Google Buzz?

If you have 15 or more “yes” answers, you are on you way to being very Googlicious and having your possible customers, potential clients and media find you. Once they find you – that’s where the “Ka-Ching” happens!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Young Entrepreneurs Create Their Own Jobs - NYTimes.com

No Jobs? Young Graduates Make Their Own

“If this were the 1980s, I’d need a corner office,” says Shama Kabani, 25, a Y.E.C. member and founder of Marketing Zen, a digital marketing firm in Dallas, with yearly revenue in the seven figures. “All you need today is a laptop, patience and willingness,” she says. Ms. Kabani hired all of her 24 employees virtually; 15 are in the Philippines. “I’ve never met any of them,” she says.

Open-source software can reduce or eliminate the need for consultants and tech support. When Annie Wang, 21, co-founder of HerCampus.com, wanted the articles on the site to rotate in a slide show, she didn’t hire a Web designer. She found a free online resource and spent a day teaching herself how to create the slide show.

Read the whole post here: Young Entrepreneurs Create Their Own Jobs - NYTimes.com

Thursday, October 14, 2010

DIVERSITY: The Value of Mutual Respect

"Seek to understand before seeking to be understood."

-- Augustine, 4th Century

"A great many people think they are thinking when they
are merely rearranging their prejudices.
-- William James

"Always remember that you're unique.
Just like everybody else.
-- Anonymous

Diversity. Considered by some to be the "D" word! My philosophy in presenting the subject of diversity is best understood when considering an onion with its many layers. Each layer presents another opportunity to discuss the best ways to work together with greater harmony, understanding and mutual respect.
  • Fear of Loss

  • Cultural Competency

  • Professional Status

  • Religious Affiliations

  • Generational Influences

  • Disability Awareness

  • Gender Differences

  • Diversity/Personality Style

Of course there are many more layers in some organizations, like Political Differences, Musical Tastes, etc. I believe that workforce diversity is dealt with through the doorway of each unique personality style. I also believe in presenting the material in an honest, vulnerable manner that doesn't leave people merely tolerating (heartily dislike that word in this context!) each other.

Participants are encouraged to connect with others who can become their cultural guides and/or historical guides as they seek to understand before seeking to be understood. As someone once said, "You can attack my head (I wasn't thinking), but please do not attack my heart (I mean well and truly want to learn)."

The "Egg Shell" Effect: Some diversity initiatives leave the participants in such a state of hyper-awareness about their differences that everyone is left walking on egg shells. On edge. Nervous. Fearful of saying something stupid. Risk-averse or risk-neutral. Very little sense of humor.

Enter the "anti-egg-shell" experience that engages both the head and the heart, encouraging participants to understand the risk/reward ratio. The higher the personal risk of vulnerability, curiosity and openness, the greater the relational payoff. Embracing the spice of life!

It's the wisdom that emerges from the curiosity-driven life -- possessing the potential of transcending the humdrum work environment into a transformational diversity-astute lifestyle (24/7).

The freedom to enjoy the humor (even laughing at ourselves) is one of the side benefits of greater understanding...as we delight in learning about ourselves and others around us. This is the kind of stuff I am passionate about!


Low ------->
Medium --->
High ------->


------> Low
----> Medium
------> High

Everyone approaches workforce diversity in their own style. Some folks are more blustery in their approach while others are more quiet and reserved. It's hard to know what they are really thinking. Attitudes may be strongly felt, but are not as readily accessible to co-workers. Still others deal with diversity as a task to be accomplished. For some their task is completed for that day when they leave to go home -- picking up the next morning with the desire to continue with the completion of the task.

Understanding diversity begins by awakening the understanding our own "hot buttons" and discovering how and perhaps why we behave the way we do. People around us do not respond to our intentions. They respond to our behavior. Regardless of our individual values and convictions, it is paramount that co-workers treat each other with respect, compassion and integrity.

My initial focus is in helping participants take an inward look, understanding more about their own strengths and vulnerabilities. This is done with a certain gentle artistry in which no one has his or her dignity or self-respect stripped in the process. It's a lot of fun.

Then I help participants take an outward look -- how they interact with others around them. Here we show participants how they can, not only understand their co-workers, but also have the skills necessary in exporting this knowledge to their other relationships. People who are happier at home tend to be happier and more productive at work and vice versa.

Working in a diverse workforce stretches and challenges everyone's internal world. Gender, race, generational issues and other layers cause all of us to take a brand new look at personal prejudices and narrow-mindedness. At the same time, each new layer provides another wonderful opportunity to seek to understand before seeking to be understood. (Near the bottom of this page is the difference between a proactive and reactive approach to diversity.)

Training, education and skills determine the "what" we do. Values are the "why" we do things the way we do them. Behavior and emotions are the "how" we do what we do. Co-workers do not respond to intentions, they respond to behavior. That is why we focus upon the "how" and what sponsors it from the inside out.

* HOW: Determine your personal approach to diversity
* PROBLEMS - How you approach the diverse problems and challenges
* PEOPLE - How you interact with and attempt to influence others
* PACE - How you respond to change and activities
* PROCEDURE - How you respond to rules and regulations set by others

Civility in the workplace must be expected and is imposed externally by any organization wishing to remain competitive. But there is higher level of success that emerges from harnessing the power of mutual respect and cross-cultural understanding. Mutual respect must spring from the internal structures of each individual. For this to truly capture the culture of the organization this must cascade down from the senior leadership to every level of the organization -- enhancing creativity, productivity and an emotionally safe environment.

-- by Joel A. Freeman, Ph.D., CEO/President, The Freeman Institute® www.DiversityCrazy.com

Return on Investment (R.O.I.): Some futurists predict that before or by the year 2050 there will be no clearly defined racial/cultural majority in the USA. Demographic changes and shifting attitudes in the nation result in a different face of the workforce. In work environments where differences in gender, race, religion, or other cultural aspects are not addressed, undue tension results. Our diversity training approach moves beyond a basic awareness of differences; we help people learn skills to cope more effectively with the challenges of facing diversity in a responsible and reflective manner. The proactive implementation of the contents of this diversity program can't help but usher in greater productivity and creativity in any organization.

About the author: Joel A. Freeman, Ph.D., President/CEO, Freeman Institute®
"Dealing With People Who Drive You Crazy!"®
www.WorkHardWorkSmart.com -- Freeman's New Book
www.FreemanInstitute.com -- Freeman Institute
www.FreemanStuff.com -- TFI Online Store
www.CIDcoach.com -- Critical Incident Debriefing
www.Black101.com --Black History Collection
www.DiversityCrazy.com -- "Diversity: The Value of Mutual Respect"
www.AngerSeminar.com -- "When Strangling Someone Isn't An Option!"
www.JoelAFreeman.com -- Freeman's Bio

Monday, October 11, 2010

Making Dreams Reality for Minority Businesses

I think one of the most amazing things that we can accomplish in life is to see a vision then a plan become a reality. Whether you are an artist, a builder of houses or businesses, successful completion of the task requires a vision.

Where do these visions come from? I think the answer to this is from somewhere deep within our life experiences.

For the MBE, it may have been the experience of watching a family member struggle and perhaps succeed in their own businesses.

For a corporate representative it could just as easily come from childhood experiences as from academic training. I wonder if you were to close your eyes for 30 seconds, breathe deeply and ask yourself what is my vision now: What would you see?

Dr. Fred McKinney is the President of the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC)

Minority business development — Why now more than ever (see http://www.diversebusinessoppty.posterous.com)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Minority Business, Max Fisher Theatre, Rhonda Walker, Corporate and Minority Award Winners

The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) will host over 700 minority business owners and the nation’s top corporate executives will be present to celebrate the stars that made $12 billion in contract opportunities possible for the members of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC). This Awards Show and Strolling Dinner will take place at the Max Fisher Music Center in Detroit, Michigan starting at 5PM.

The mistress of ceremonies for the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Awards Event is Rhonda Walker, morning anchor on local NBC Affiliate (WDIV Detroit - pictured above)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fifteen Rules for Starting a Business - Minority Business Tribute

Starting a business can allow you to gain freedom in your life and choice in your lifestyle. If you dream of doing work you love, earning more and creating a working environment that meets the needs of you and your family it could be your ideal solution.

Here are 15 rules for starting a business:

  1. It has to be a 'BIG' idea that you, your team and your customers 'get' in one sentence and a matter of seconds.
  2. When determining your price point, aim to provide at least ten times (and more like 1000 times) the value to your customers. Remember value is what your product/service provides to the customer not what it costs to make it.
  3. In the planning phase make sure you have a reason why customers should do business with you and not your competitor. You need to be unique in some way and offer something new to the market.
  4. Ideally get paid before you provide your product or service. And if possible add recurring income to your business model.
  5. Create your new business around your life rather than having your business dictate your life to you. After all, one of the reasons you are starting a business is probably so you have a better life.
  6. Get your idea out there as fast as possible even if it is not quite ready by setting must hit deadlines. Your market will soon tell you ifyou have a winner or not. If it isn't a winner then move on and get the next thing out there and try again.
  7. When finding partners and team members, find people who are strong where you are weak so your skills complement each other
  8. Your reputation is always important. Ensure that you honor your obligations and agreements.
  9. Never ever get paid based on number of hours worked. Always get paid on achieving a goal, completing a task or providing a good.
  10. Know from the outset that you will never have a perfect business and you will never be totally 'done'.
  11. Provide a meaningful guarantee with whatever you are selling. This takes away the risk from your customers and will lead to more sales. If you can't guarantee what you are providing then maybe you should not be selling it in the first place.
  12. Develop and build your business personality that stands out.People want to buy from people not from corporations. Just look at Steve Jobs and Apple.
  13. Go the opposite direction to where your competitors are headed.You will stand out, have something unique and more than likely have more success. If you want average results do what average people (and competitors do). If you want outstanding results do the opposite of what most people (and companies) are doing.
  14. Make your business fun and also doing business with you fun. If you are not enjoying life and your business then stop and do something else.
  15. Above all, make sure you have a life. Business and making money are important but your life is the sum total of your experiences so go out and create experiences. Create adventures. Do something new. Then come back renewed, inspired and ready for the next big thing.

These 15 rules on starting a business are maybe not the typical 'rules' you see around. But do not dismiss them because of their simplistic and general nature. If you already 'knew that rule' are you actually implementing it? Go back and re-read the article. Stop after each rule and actually think about what it is saying and how you can incorporate it into your business. If you do this the results will be profound! If you go to the effort and commitment of starting a business> then make sure it is a success.

Todd Molloy is the founder of http://www.small-biz.com.au - an established website which offers help, advice, tips and resources on starting and running a small business. If you want to start your own business or are already running a small business you can read additional helpful information at:


Minority Business Month: Annual Awards for Supplier Diversity

www.mmbdc.com for details.

Minority business development — Why now more than ever - diversebusinessoppty's posterous

Minority business development — Why now more than ever

Fred McKinney, president and CEO of the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council.

We have to go back to the Civil Rights era in the 1950s through the 1960s to understand fully why we are so concerned with minority business development. People sometimes forget that in the 1950s America suffered from its own unique brand of apartheid in all of the former Confederate states. And in most of the Northern states that had become a refuge for many blacks since the Civil War, the forms of segregation and discrimination existed in a less overt form. The desegregation of public accommodations, the right to vote, the ability to live and work without discrimination based on the color of one’s skin did not occur overnight and without sacrifice. Dedicated people of all races and creeds gave their lives to make America a place where race was not an insuperable impediment to accomplishing your dreams.

While change was progressing in areas of basic civil rights, and in educational and employment opportunities, minority business growth, the key to full participation in American culture, was slow to develop. Most Americans are unaware that Richard Nixon was the first president to push for black business development. He believed that his concept of “Black Capitalism” was a key missing ingredient in the Civil Rights struggle of the late 1960s. Nixon created the Office of Minority Business Enterprise to help blacks and other minorities, but particularly blacks, “get their piece of the action.”

From the very beginning of the federal program to promote minority business development, there were challenges from non-minority businesses that claimed it was unfair for the federal government, or any local or state government for that matter, to ameliorate hundreds of years of discrimination if it hurt a non-minority business. There has been vigorous opposition to change. As a result, legal challenges have narrowed the ability of public sector efforts to bring about racial and ethnic inclusion in American business.

A private sector initiative

Nonetheless, minority entrepreneurs have grown from close to oblivion to where we are today. The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) played a critical role in this development by taking the cause of minority business development to the private sector. Corporate members of the NMSDC pledged to give certified minority businesses opportunities. Certification was important because from the very beginning of the Nixon era programs, non-minority businesses were setting up “fronts” to steal opportunities away from legitimate minority enterprises. This practice continues to this day, and is particularly prevalent within the women’s business community. Despite the legal challenges, progress has been made even though today the federal government does not technically have a minority business procurement program. Federal contractors could meet all of their goals and not buy one dime of services from a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in our Council. This is one of the reasons why minority business development in the private sector is needed now more than ever.

Over the years, the push for racial diversity has increased. Ironically, the emphasis on minority business development in the public sector has waned, even while the push for racial diversity and inclusion elsewhere has grown. Indeed, diversity and inclusion are needed and are desirable. However, racial integration in other areas should not come at the expense of minority business development. This is a lesson that the best corporate members of the NMSDC understand; but unfortunately, that lesson is lost on many corporations.

In a tough economy like we have right now, corporations are not buying as freely as they once did. As a result, minority businesses and minority business development are at risk. The role of supplier diversity leaders is to make sure that minority business development and minority businesses are treated fairly in these difficult times and not just jettisoned from the supply chain. This takes real leadership and leadership takes guts. While there are other corporate goals, this is a corporate goal that is equally as deserving as any other for the long term health and survival of a corporation. Supplier diversity leaders must believe this, and if they do not, minority business development and minority businesses are in trouble.

Today’s challenge

I write much about how MBEs need to do this or they need to do that. Indeed, there are also some requirements for corporate leaders in minority business development. Primary among them is to get out in front of minority business development. They must make the case to internal stakeholders that even if a MBE is a little more expensive to do business with right now, it does not mean over the next few quarters that will be the case if the corporation is willing to “develop” that MBE. In baseball, the Yankees do not expect a Double-A shortstop to come in and replace Derek Jeter tomorrow. They do expect that Double-A shortstop to compete for that position one day. MBEs need to be brought into corporate supply chains so that one day they too will be able to compete for major business. Then they will be able to support the goals and objectives of the organization.

I am afraid that if corporations do not rededicate themselves to minority business development we will lose a generation of minority entrepreneurs who started their businesses with a dream to get their piece of the action. Make no mistake about it, we have much to be proud of in the brief history of minority business development. Now is not the time to rest on our laurels.

Hear Dr. Fred on the Diverse Business show on Oct. 25! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/diversebusiness

Minority business development — Why now more than ever - diversebusinessoppty's posterous

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Career Fair: Revving Up the Motor City ….. Ready. Set. Go! Putting Detroit Back to WORK

Redirect page

Career Fair 2010

Revving Up the Motor City…Ready, Set, Go

Whether you are a job seeker, employer, or potential sponsor—we invite you to participate in the inaugural Revving Up the Motor City…Ready, Set, Go Career Fair—an event sure to help get Detroit back on its feet!


CareerBuilder, Focus: HOPE, Fox 2 News, Kelly Services, and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council are teaming up to host this event, featuring potential job opportunities with employers throughout the Metro Detroit area, as well as key employment tips for attendees.


Thursday, October 7, 2010
7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


The Masonic Temple
Detroit, MI (directions)

Motor City Career Fair 2010


The career fair will be divided into three sections:

  • Ready – Detroit-area organizations will help job seekers become job-ready; covering topics from preparing a resume to dressing for interview success.
  • Set – Job seekers will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with a recruiter, job counselor, or coach to review qualifications for strengths and learn about job opportunities with participating employers on-site.
  • Go – Employers will be talking to job seekers about available jobs—including seasonal, part-time, temporary, or full-time openings.


To help put Detroit back to work!

Career Fair Sign Up Today!
  • Job Seekers – no need to pre-register. Come to the Career Fair ready to make a connection to Detroit’s job opportunities.
  • EmployersReserve your booth space in the Go section of the career fair and connect to Detroit’s workforce.
  • SponsorsLet us know how you would like to participate. Various sponsorship levels are available for your convenience.

We look forward to Revving Up the Motor City and getting Detroit back to work—see you there!

If you have any questions, please contact us at readysetgo@focushope.edu

or Ken Harris at 313.873.2141 (www.mmbdc.com)

Visit ReadySetCareerGo.com for more information on the event.

Monday, September 27, 2010

October is Minority Business Month - MMSDC Celebrates Supplier Diversity at Max Fisher Theatre

An Overview of Minority Business Certifications

And Celebrating the Stars of Supplier Diversity at 27th Annual Awards Program

There are minority business certifications available to assist small businesses in getting more work. Some are from the federal government, others local governments, and even some that are third-party certifiers for the corporate world. Following is a quick overview of some certifications that a minority small business can pursue.

8(a). The 8(a) certification is a designation given by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). The program is for socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses. The economic disadvantage is easily determined measuring business revenues and the owner's net worth. The socially disadvantaged part may be harder to determine as a narrative must be submitted with anecdotal evidence that the business is disadvantaged because of the ownership. There is a predetermined list of ethnic minorities that may have an easier time getting certified than others. Once certified a business and owner has a once in a lifetime span of nine years to leverage the 8(a) certification for government business.

The SBA 8(a) is probably the premier minority certification and can assist in getting other certifications.

[Optimizing resources is key to continued success in today’s diverse marketplace. Now, you can tap into a network of resources to save you time and money. 2010 Recertification]

HUBZone. The SBA HUBZone stands for Historically Underutilized Business Zone. It is a geographic designation and a business is allowed to moved its business primary offices into a designated zone to qualify. A HUBZone is determined by the previous census to find areas with high unemployment and/or high levels of poverty. Then businesses that have their principal office and a certain quota of employees who live in these zones qualify for the certification. This certification can help get federal contracts.

Local. Many states, municipalities, counties, etc. and their agencies have their own certification for their projects and contracts. Many times they accept other certifications in lieu of going through their own certifying process.

Minority Supplier Development Council. The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) has a number of regional councils that certify businesses as being minority owned. This is a private certification that is used by Fortune 500 type companies diversify their vendor base. The regional councils typically have strong relationships with corporations that have a presence in their area, allowing certified minority owned small businesses a chance to get more work.

More information is available for minority business certifications. There is also more information available for specific certifications like the SBA HUBZone certification.

Optimizing resources is key to continued success in today’s diverse marketplace. Now, you can tap into a network of resources to save you time and money. 2010 Recertification

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Business of Running a Business with Melinda Emerson

Meet Melinda Emerson

Melinda Emerson
Listen to internet radio with Diverse Business on Blog Talk Radio

Melinda Emerson, known as "SmallBizLady," is one of America's leading small business experts. She is a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, social media strategist and small business coach and the Start-Up columnist for Small Business Trends.

Melinda has lectured on small business at The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Rosemont College and for clients including: IKEA, Verizon, GlaxoSmithKline, National Association of Women Business Owners, PA Governor's Conference for Women, U.S. Department of Labor, International Association of Business Communicators, the Small Business Administration, and the Center for Women's Business Research. Her areas of expertise include small business start-up, recession-proof marketing and social media strategy.

Melinda Emerson began her professional career in television as a producer. Within five years, inspired by Oprah Winfrey's HARPO Studios, Inc., she left television to pursue her entrepreneurial dream to create an award-winning production company. As the founder and CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda has created productions for clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Comcast and Radio-One. Melinda hosts #Smallbizchat a weekly talk show on Twitter. #Smallbizchat is the trusted resource on Twitter to discuss everything entrepreneurs need to know about launching and running a profitable small business.

Melinda also blogs at Succeed As Your Own Boss. Emerson's first book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works is being released in March 2010 by Adams Media. She has also recorded an audio CD, 10 Things You Must Never Forget in Business.

Melinda has been featured on NBC Nightly News and in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report and Black Enterprise. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech. Melinda Emerson has also won numerous awards including Top 50 Women in Business in Pennsylvania, Top 30 Leaders of the future by Ebony Magazine, and the National Association of Women Business Owners' Woman of Distinction Award. Melinda is a dedicated wife, mother and woman business owner who lives in Philadelphia, PA.

MMSDC Golf Invitational

Friday, August 27, 2010

Get ready for exciting changes and opportunity!

There are a number of exciting changes and opportunities coming to the Diverse Businesses Blog in the next 90 days. We have developed new partnerships that will provide great opportunities for our business partners.

September 1 will be the roll out. Spread the word!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Getting Paid: The Waiting Game

By Rieva Lesonsky

We all need to keep the cash flowing so we can run and grow our businesses. But, for many entrepreneurs, money is still hard to come by. And I don’t mean investment capital; it’s become a waiting game just to collect money that’s due us.

Far too many business owners have receivables they, well, haven’t received. So, how do you collect what you are owed? Call the companies that owe you money and ask when they’re planning to pay. If they can’t pay in full, try creating a payment schedule.

Going forward, try incentivizing companies you do business with to pay on time. Offer a discount if they pay within 30 days. If you want and can afford it, offer a bigger discount if they pay net 15. If you’re often paid with credit cards (and then have to pay the credit card company a few percentage points), it may help your cash flow to collect more of your bills in cash. Again, you’ll need to somehow incentivize the businesses to pay this way. Just make sure whatever you give away in discounts is worth it.

If your situation is more precarious and you need the money now, try factoring. Factors buy your receivables and immediately give you about 80 percent of what’s owed you. They keep the remaining percentage in reserve, then give it to you—minus their fees—when the receivable is paid in full. Fees generally range from 2 to 6 percent (over 30 days), which is higher than traditional loans from banks. If the factor doesn’t receive the money within the month, most charge an additional daily fee. Worst case: If the receivable is never paid you might have to pay the factor back in full. (Check the fine print in your contract with the factor.)

Some factors specialize in specific industries, while others are generalists. Do a search for factors online or check out the International Factoring Association for more information.

BizSuccessTips Editor Rieva Lesonsky is founder and president of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company. A nationally recognized small-business expert, Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs. Read more of her insights at SmallBizDaily.com.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Developing Efficient Systems: Free online workshop

Not having systems in place is one of the top 10 reasons why businesses fail.

Here is a FREE resource from SCORE that will help you.

This free, online business workshop will:

  • give you direction on how to improve your biz through systemizing its operations,

  • help you give you greater control over your business,

  • provide useful downloads for frequently used document templates and cashflow forecast.

Efficient Systems

Why you should take this workshop:
If you can collect the right information during your daily business operations (without getting information overload), then you will be able to make better long-term strategic decisions. Systems help you streamline business activities and also free you up to manage the more important parts of your business, such as planning for growth.

Register (quick & easy) to get started!
If you've already registered, log in to view this workshop.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Special Edition of the The Diverse Business Show with Ken Harris, Detroit Black Expo

Power Panels

Final Schedule for the Detroit Black Expo IV Weekend presented by Caesars Windsor.

July 29, 2010 President Welcome Reception Sponsored by Caesars Windsor, Caracal-Office, and Bank of America
By Invitation Only

HBCU Black Alumni Weekend Hosted by the UNCF, Detroit Black Expo, Detroit Inter-Alumni Council, Detroit HBCU Network

July 30, 2010 Black Expo Marketplace
Lot A of University of Detroit Mercy FREE 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
July 30, 2010 National Town Hall Meeting Sponsored by Wal-Mart, DTE Energy, Comerica Bank and the Urban Financial Services Coalition of Detroit
Student Center Building – Fountain Room FREE WITH RSVP* 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

July 30, 2010 HBCU Black Alumni Leadership Reception Hosted by the UNCF, Detroit Black Expo, Detroit Inter-Alumni Council, Detroit HBCUThey Say LoungeFREE 9:00 pm – 1:30 am

July 31, 2010 Black Expo Marketplace & Sound Stage
Lot A of University of Detroit Mercy FREE 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
July 31, 2010 Leadership NEXT Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank
FREE WITH RSVP Commerce & Finance Building – Room 209 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
July 31, 2010 Bank of America Power Panels and Entrepreneurship Workshop Series
FREE WITH RSVP Life Science Building – Room 113 & 115 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

  • Certification and Procurement Sponsored by Ambassador Bridge 10:00 am to 11:00 am ││Room 113
  • Growing any business in 16 weeks presented by Andrew Morrison, President of Small Business Camp 10:00 am – 11:00 am Room 115
  • The Art of Branding, Advertising, Marketing Your Business by Pam Perry, PR Coach 11:00 am to 12:00 pm Room 113
  • Technology Check-Up Workshop presented by Comcast and Microsoft Workshop 11:00 am to 12:00 pm Room 115
  • Getting Your Business in Order with Legal, Accounting & Insurance Advice 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Room 113
  • Building Our Community: How to Serve on a Nonprofit Board presented by Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW) Workshop 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Room 115
  • Creating the Global Mindset with Trade, Import & Export Oversees 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Room 113
  • Business and Technology with Verizon Wireless 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Room 115
  • Access to Capital through Grants, Sponsorship, Loans and Investors 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Room 113
  • Customer Service Workshop presented by Brazen, Inc. 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Room 115
  • How to Start a Small Business and Manage A Nonprofit 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Room 113
  • “How to Shortsell” How to Reduce Your Mortgage without Ruining Your Credit presented by Herb Strather 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Room 115

Saturday, July 31, 2010 HBCU Black Alumni Block Party & Fish Fry Sponsored by Sam’s Club, Red Bull and Comcast
Lot A of University of Detroit Mercy FREE 2:00 pm –8:00 pm
July 31, 2010 HBCU Black Alumni Party Hosted by the UNCF, Detroit Black Expo, Detroit Inter-Alumni Council, Detroit HBCU Network
Firewater Bar & Grill FREE 9:00 pm – 1:00 am

August 1, 2010 Black Expo Marketplace & Sound Stage
Lot A of University of Detroit Mercy FREE 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

August 1, 2010 Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce Leadership Dinner Sponsored by Greektown Casino and Hotel, Comcast, DTE Energy, and Fifth Third Bank BY INVITATION ONLY

*Call 313-638-2052 or to register visit www.detroitblackexpo.com