Diverse Business Show Blog Talk Radio

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Minority Business Enterprise Quarterly Meeting: Eric Hardy, President an...

Newly Formed Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce Introduces its Board of Directors and Statewide Business Drive

Organization will be the advocate for the economic empowerment and sustainability of African American businesses in Michigan.

Detroit, MI – Michigan black business leaders have come together to combat the challenged Michigan economy for African American businesses by establishing the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC).

The new board was sworn-in on February 9, 20011 by the Honorable Craig Strong, Judge of Wayne County 3rd District Court. The new board members are William Brooks (Chairman), Charlie Beckham (Chairman Elect), Ken Harris (President/CEO), Pamela Rodgers (Vice President), Wayne Phillips (Treasurer), Reuben Munday (Secretary), Louis Green (State Advisor), Rod Rickman (National Advisor), Douglas Diggs, Natalie King, Mark Douglas, Dennis Archer, Jr., Dr. Geneva Williams, Cheryl Richardson, Hiram Jackson, Robert Chavis, Andrew G. McLemore, Jr., T. A. El Amin, Rumia Burbank, Eric Hardy and David Burnley.

The MBCC is Michigan’s first statewide black chamber of commerce. The black chamber’s creation is the culmination of efforts by a network of business organizations called the African American Business Alliance. In 2010, the Alliance refocused its advocacy efforts to establish and transition into the first African American statewide business organization -The Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce.

According to Ken Harris, the chamber’s president and CEO, “The Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce will aggressively advocate for the economic gardening, growth and capacity building of Michigan black-owned businesses. As a mission-based member driven organization, the black chamber will provide quality resources, benefits, services and access needed to help stimulate economic viability throughout Michigan. Our efforts will nurture an environment of economic parity helping black businesses to expand and create jobs, jobs, jobs in the community."

A report of findings on the state of black business will be presented during the MBCC’s State of Black Business Convention to be held on Thursday, June 23, 2011 at the Fort Shelby Hotel Double Tree Suites.

During 2011 and 2012, the MBCC will launch local black chambers of commerce throughout many urban cities including Detroit, Lansing, Flint, Grand Rapids, Southfield, Oak Park, Pontiac, Ann Arbor, Benton Harbor, Kalamazoo, Ypsilanti, Jackson, Birmingham, Battle Creek, Idle Wild, Royal Oak and Muskegon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tips for Incorporating Value Sustainability and Growth for the minority business community

1. Stay relevant
– your business must provide the goods and services that are needed by your customers. Your focus should be to meet the needs of the customer. Are you staying current with their mission, objectives, strategies, buying process. How do you incorporate the current trends into your business model? Are you aware of the current trends?
2. Traditional marketing methods are now enhanced by the use of new online communication technologies. Are you in the mix? Are you sharing your expertise through email marketing or informing prospects and customers/clients about your firm’s new initiatives, services, products or even sales? Perhaps blogging is a better solution for your type of business. Do you have a Facebook Fan page; are you using your brand on your fan page? There are small businesses that don’t have a web page; however, they are maximizing the use of fan pages on Facebook. Are you tweeting – a great way to expose your knowledge and expertise to the public.
3. Have a listening campaign – find out what your competitors are doing; find them online. Not only can you check their websites but now you can look them up on LinkedIn; check to see what others are saying about them on Yelp; watch their tweets on Twitter or see if they have a YouTube site. There are a vast amount of social websites today; to narrow it down; check the competitor’s websites to see where they are posting.
4. Follow your clients and prospects - Are your clients/prospects using social media? If so, be sure to follow them; it’s a great way to keep current with their new initiatives and direction; they’re priorities; any changes taking place. Get to know more about the companies you are selling to and those you wish to sell to. Learn how they want you to do business with them. The federal government has a heavy online presence; be sure to follow them; oh by the way, their websites are chock full of information on how to do business with them, what they are buying and their contracting process.
5. Take advantage of the various preference contracting programs that corporations and the federal government sector have in place; e.g. 8A Business Development; HUB Zone; MBE/WBE/DBE/SBE programs; WOSB; EDWOSB and more. Okay what does all of that mean – need help; that’s where I come in. There’s plenty of help available to you – look up your local Small Business Development Centers - go to http://www.asbdc-us.org/index.html ; or contact economic development corporation in your state. Reach out the local Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC):

6. Networking - Be sure to join your trade associations; become certified by Minority Supplier Development Council in your state; join the Chamber of Commerce. Do the homework first to be sure it is a good fit for you; and once you’ve joined – be active. Learn how to effectively network; create, build, maintain and sustain relationships; it is the crux to sustainable businesses. Remember networking is about what you give; the receiving will come from when and where you least expect it.

“Your Business Begins in Spirit” so stay connected to it. Stephanie D. Burroughs | StephanieSpeaking LLC| http://stephaniespeaking.com/ | https://profiles.google.com/StephanieSpeakingLLC#StephanieSpeakingLLC/about

Hear the interview with Stephanie Burroughs on Diverse Business Show:
"How to Deliver Value Create Sustainability and Exp..." hosted by Diverse Business on #BlogTalkRadio http://tobtr.com/s/1619643

Sunday, March 6, 2011

You Ought to Know Inbound Marketing

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Diverse Business with Louis Green

HubSpot, Inc. provides Internet marketing software that helps businesses get found online, generate more inbound leads and convert a higher percentage of those leads into paying customers. HubSpot's software platform includes tools that allow professional marketers and small business owners to manage search engine optimization, blogging and social media, as well as landing pages, lead intelligence and marketing analytics. Based in Cambridge, MA, HubSpot can be found at http://www.hubspot.com.

HubSpot offers free marketing tools at http://www.grader.com and hosts a free marketing community at http://inboundmarketing.com