2018 was a challenging year for businesses in the Catonsville and Ellicott City area. A weekend of rain left businesses devastated, many of whom are still feeling the affects of the Memorial Day flood.
But entrepreneurs are tough! Many of them have decided to continue in business despite the challenges. They are rebuilding and remaining in the community. However, it has not been easy.
As a small business consultant, I have been helping these businesses regrow their customer base. Amazon and other online companies make it difficult to compete.
So why support a small businesses?
- They offer unique, one-of-a-kind gifts and personalized service.
- If there is a problem, you know who to call and you talk to a real person.
- They are willing to customize.
- They will go out of their way to help you find what you are looking for.
- They employ individuals in the community.
- They keep their dollars local.
- They often give back to the community with time and money.
No one is telling you to abandon your online shopping, but this season, reconnect with your community. Shop Small on Saturday and other days throughout the holiday season. It’s a great way to make your holiday special while helping those in your community.
I heard this phrase awhile ago when I was reading something by Steven Covey. The concept is pretty simple and yet very powerful. At every moment, you are either moving closer to your goals or farther away.
Goals are not achieved solely by huge actions and big risks, but in the day to day decisions you make.
I used this concept when I was teaching Weight Watchers. When your trying to lose weight, your decision not to eat that extra cookie or to get up off the sofa and go to the gym will move you closer to your goal. Eating that cookie, moves you farther away. It’s not that a single cookie will cause weight gain, it’s more that making many small decisions to eat cookies or doughnuts, etc. moves you away from where you want to be.
Even a non-decision can move you anyway from your goal. If you stay put on the sofa, you are deciding to move away from your goal.
How does this apply to business? Think about it. Did you make any decisions today that moved you closer or farther away from your goals?
Maybe you made the decision to take five minutes to follow up with that contact you made at a recent networking event. Or maybe you decided to sleep in instead.
Maybe you decided to stay up and finish your blog rather than going to bed early. There’s a possibility that no one will read it, but then again, maybe they will.
Sometimes we give up on ourselves before we even try. We think, that the small actions don’t matter, but they do.
Today, think about that one action you can take to move you closer to your goal. Something that you have been putting off because it didn’t seem important. Those actions, put together, could set you on your path to success.
Don’t forget, if you one of your goals is to increase your social media presence, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was reading an article yesterday entitled, “Why Tim Cook Should Hire Your Grandmother?” It was an interesting read about how young the tech world works and how they just don’t understand the needs of the aging population.
Some of you might not even know who Tim Cook is. He’s the new Steve Jobs at Apple and has lead the company to be the first Trillion dollar company. But Tim, there’ still room to grow.
I’m not a grandmother, although I am technically old enough to be one. But I have many other qualities besides my age that make me a great hire for Apple. If you know Tim Cook, have him give me a call.
1.I love Apple. I have an iPhone, iPad, a MAC and AirPods. I own Apple stock. I even have a t-shirt from the headquarters. I am the company’s biggest cheerleader.
2. I am a teacher. I have spent my life teaching multiple subjects from public speaking to weight loss to social media marketing. I am good at learning things well enough so I can explain them to others.
3. I am good at figuring things out. I am not afraid of pushing buttons until I find a solution. And if there is a way to break something, I’m find it.
4. I have an Internet following and a social media presence so I will be able to promote new products and push out information.
5. I am a tech interpreter. I can decode the information that the techies are distributing and break it down into language that my fellow Boomers can understand.
So Tim Cook if you’re reading this, I’m ready to negotiate.
Let me know if there’s anyone out there what wants to join me at Apple headquarters. Maybe we can give him a discount for bundling.
Just in case Tim doesn’t call, I am available to help you with your social media needs whether you want one time consulting or ongoing social media management. Contact me at: email@example.com.
Your business needs a little push and you think a contest may be just the ticket to get you noticed, Facebook has strict rules concerning contests and violating them could cause your page to be suspended or shut down.
While contests can be fun, it’s best to have a quick review of the rules:
- Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.
- If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
- The official rules;
- Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
- Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).
- Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).
This is the most common violation I see on Facebook. In addition, while you can ask people to like your page, you cannot require it as part of the contest.
For more information about Facebook contest rules, go to:
If you need more help with Facebook or other social media, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growing up, my family often used the expression, “I’m busier than a one-armed paper hanger. ” Maybe that’s because I come from a family of wallpaper hangers. I’m not sure. I never truly understood that expression until I broke my left arm a couple ofmonths ago. Being a lefty and having a broken arm has taught me many lessons that I was just too stubborn to learn any other way.
As a self-professed control freak, I’ve had relinquish control of many things and ask for assistance with even the simplest of tasks. For example, one day I was in my house and I couldn’t get a pickle jar open. It may sound ridiculous, but not being able to do these minor tasks has been very frustrating.
But I have learned several lessons that I think will serve me well, even after I get my cast off.
1) Where there’s a will there’s a way — Although I was never able to fully figure out how to open a pickle jar by myself, I have learned how to do many other every day tasks in unique ways that I never would have thought of otherwise. For example, I’ve learned how to use dictation on my laptop so I can write blogs, Facebook posts etc.
2) Sometimes you need to ask for help — After a number of mishaps including a broken bottle of wine, I learned that it’s ok to ask for help. In fact, sometimes it necessary. I try to do as much as I can, but I’ve learned it’s ok to ask for help. However, if you do, you have to do #3.
3) Sometimes you can’t be in charge — I have a had to allow other people to drive me while I calmly sit in the passenger seat trying not to tell them how to drive. This might sound easy for some of you, but for me this has been a challenging tasks that has taught me to relinquish control and to be patient. AI have also learned that other people have ways of doing things that are not necessarily wrong, they’re just different from your way.
4) Slow down — Putting on my shoes and tying the laces can take upwards of 20 minutes. Getting dressed and brushing my hair, 45 minutes to an hour. Everything takes so much longer than I want it to. I have had to become a student in the art of patience. This lesson has been the most difficult.
My cast is coming off in a few weeks and I know there will be many months of physical therapy. I can’t say I have enjoyed the experience; however, the lessons I learned have been invaluable and will make a difference in my life moving forward.
The other day I got a referral for a local business. Like many others, I googled the business and found its web page. Of course, I always like to check out a business’ Facebook page, so I clicked on the icon. The last time there had been a post was 2012.
Many businesses make this mistake. They start a page and then abandon it. Unfortunately, it’s linked to their Website. When was the last time you posted?
So why should you keep your Facebook and other social media current?
1. People notice. When people are looking for a business. The first thing they do is google it. Then they check out your website and social media. If you’re not keeping it up to date, it looks as though you don’t care about your professional reputation..
2. The old saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” It’s true. What kind of impression are you making if your social media is not up-to-date? It looks like you can’t manage your own workload.
3. Social media is a great place to keep your customers up-to-date in real time. It’s much more flexible than a website. Not using it is really causing you to lose business.
4. Maybe one of your social media sites is up-to-date, but not all of them. Make a decision to only keep the ones that work for you and that you’re willing to keep up-to-date. Otherwise it looks as if you have difficulty balancing your priorities.
5. Everyone is on social media today. If you’re not, you’re losing an opportunity to connect with the community and your customers.
I always say, “Social media is like having a pet.” It needs to be attended to every day. If you make the decision to have a social media site or multiple sites, make sure you have the time to take care of them.
If you need help keeping up with your social media sites, contact me: Kparis@itsallgeektome.org or call 410-746-5801.
Being a small business owner definitely can have it’s ups and downs. Those who speak of being your own boss have probably never owned a business. True, you make your own decisions, but every customer is your boss and every decision has consequences.
It’s easy to doubt yourself and worry as to whether or not your making the right decisions. So when I was working out at the YMCA I was surprised at how a trainer’s words rang true for me.
A young man was working with the trainer. The trainer loaded the barbells and the boy said. “I can’t lift that.”
The trainer looked at him and said, “You haven’t even tried. How do you know you can’t do it?”
The boy began to complain that the trainer had loaded too much weight on the barbell and he could never lift it.
The trainer said, “Trust me. Just try.”
Reluctantly, the boy laid down on the bench and with the trainer spotting him, lifted the weight 12 times.
“I told you you could do it,”the trainer said. The boy still looked amazed.
I’ve been in that same place. Wondering if I should go after a contract. Could I really fulfill the terms of a particular project? And I didn’t have any spotter helping me.
But every time I accomplish another goal or finish another project, I flex my muscle and say, I did it.
Being a small business owner is about doing the heavy lifting and whenever I have doubts, I just hear the trainer’s words. “How do you know you can’t do it if a