Month in Review: September 2020

 

From powerful content marketing tactics to dealing with COVID stress, check out some of the stand-out articles from the blog in September. 

How Ya Doin'? A COVID Check-in
If you haven't already done so, it's time to check in with your constituents, including your staff, colleagues and clients, about how they are doing during this time of crisis. Doing so can have a big impact on your constituents and your business. Here are tips to follow when it comes to approaching these COVID check-ins.

3 Powerful Types of Content Marketing Effective in 2020
Content marketing has been a trendy concept recently and can be a powerful addition to any marketing plan. But exactly why should you consider making the investment in content marketing and how do you go about using it effectively? Read on to find out.

Six Tips to Dealing with COVID Stress
As a small business owner, it probably feels a little overwhelming dealing with the stress coming at you as a result of the pandemic. Here are six tips you can follow to take care of yourself and stay healthy during these uncertain times.

3 Things to Know: Continuing to Support Small Businesses During COVID
We are several months into the pandemic and while people are becoming more mobile, many businesses—especially small businesses—are still struggling. Help support and promote your favorite local businesses and small business owners with these three steps.

What was your favorite Mind Your Business article from September? Let us know on Twitter!

 
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  • Next up: Be Heard: National Regulatory Fairness Hearing

    Be Heard: National Regulatory Fairness Hearing

    The Small Business Administration’s National Ombudsman Office is a resource for entrepreneurs, trade associations, nonprofits and small government entities who are facing unfair enforcement actions, excessive penalties, fines and other regulatory issues with federal agencies. The Regulatory Fairness Board is strictly non-partisan and it aims to:

    -Resolve regulatory disputes with federal agencies
    -Reduce unfair penalties and fines
    -Seek remedies when regulations are inconsistently applied

    The Regulatory Fairness Board is seeking your input via an upcoming public hearing where small businesses can amplify their concerns.  Organizations or small business owners wishing to be allotted time to testify must submit written testimony in advance to ombudsman@sba.gov no later than Monday, August 5, 2019.

    A Greater Cleveland Partnership volunteer leader, Keith Ashmus, serves as a representative on the Regulatory Fairness Board for Region V, which covers Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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  • Next up: National Women's Small Business Month Spotlight: Monika Moss-Gransberry

    National Women's Small Business Month Spotlight: Monika Moss-Gransberry

     

    October is National Women’s Small Business Month. COSE is fortunate to have so many inspiring women entrepreneurs within our membership. Today we are highlighting Monika Moss-Gransberry, founder of MKM Management Consulting.

    MYB: What are some ways you would suggest people celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month and recognize women who run their own businesses?

    Monika: The best thing you can do to honor a woman business owner is to patronize her business and make referrals. It is so important to support women-owned businesses. Women still make about 79 cents to the dollar compared to white men—and it is about 56 cents for women of color.

    Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 sought to address barriers for women and women of color to business ownership. For instance, until 1988 women could not get a business loan at a bank without a male family member cosigning on their behalf, even if that male was the woman’s son. Last year, the National Association of Women Business Owners celebrated its contribution to the formation of the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 as part of the 30-year anniversary. I started my business in 1987 and bootstrapped all the start-up costs. As an unmarried woman at the time, I would not have been able to get a business loan without a male cosigner. At the time, I didn’t even consider applying as I assumed I couldn’t afford it. That was the limited thinking that I had, along with so many other women. Today, the playing field may not be level, but young women are bolder and more confident in going for their dreams. I am proud to be supporting several amazing young women entrepreneurs through my coaching practice.

    MYB: What are some accomplishments you are proud of from your journey as a small business owner?

    Monika: I have been in business for over 30 years. I have some client projects that I am really proud of.  There was a period of time when we were doing a lot of community strategic planning that was very participatory. We’d have 100+ residents, grandmothers, young people, business owners, community organizations and more sitting in the same room at the same table, talking about the issues in the community, learning each other’s perspectives, and envisioning the future of their community. Those projects were very rewarding.

    Most recently, it has been the community we have been building around our work with Life Mapping and my new book. The Technology of Doing Creating & Being: Engineering the Transformation of Your Life Using Self-Mastery as the Spiritual Blueprint launched in October as a #1 Best Seller on Amazon and makes me proud of the contribution I am making to the world.

     

    MKM Management Consulting is about transformation of organizations and the individuals who run them. Helping them to manifest their vision. They help organizations make their vision real through strategic planning, meeting facilitation and leadership coaching. They work with amazing entrepreneurs, governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations map out their vision and strategy. Through its Life Mapping Community, MKM Management Consulting is creating a supportive environment for like-minded people to progress on their self-mastery journey and transform their lives with the company’s books, courses, live events, and private online groups. www.monikakmoss.comwww.mossgransberry.com.

     

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  • Next up: National Women's Small Business Month Spotlight: Cheryl Perez, President and CEO of BIG-HR

    National Women's Small Business Month Spotlight: Cheryl Perez, President and CEO of BIG-HR

    October is National Women’s Small Business Month. COSE is fortunate to have so many inspiring women entrepreneurs within our membership. Today we are highlighting Cheryl Perez, President & CEO of BIG-HR and Cheryl C Perez Enterprises.

     

    In recognition of October being National Women’s Small Business Month, we talked with COSE member Cheryl Perez, president & CEO of BIG-HR and Cheryl C Perez Enterprises, on the importance of this special recognition and highlights from her career.

    MYB: What are some ways you would suggest people celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month and recognize women who run their own businesses?

    Honestly, there are so many ways that people can recognize women who run their own businesses so these are just a few… but I would recommend that if you know a female entrepreneur, when you see her, just make the effort to tell her what a great job she's doing, pat her on the back, and support her business in some way. A lot of times people think that you have to actually make a purchase in order to support a business, but in reality you can do so many things including give her a referral, recommend her to another person who may need her products or services, share something about her business on your social media profiles, or go on Google or Yelp and give her business a raving review.

    RELATED: Read about another female entrepreneur, Monika Moss-Gransberry.

    MYB: Why is it important for women’s small businesses to be recognized?

    I think it's extremely important to recognize all small business owners because I truly believe that small business will continue to be the driving force behind growth in our economy, and a strong economy equals a strong and healthy community.

    MYB: What are some accomplishments you are proud of from your journey as a small business owner?

    I have had the honor and privilege to receive several amazing awards during my entrepreneurial journey. But I would say some of my greatest accomplishments I am proud of in my journey are being able to mentor and coach other female entrepreneurs on their journeys, being able to employ others and to provide their families with income and a way to live, and growing my business to a point where I could actually offer employment opportunities to others.  Lastly,  I think being able to set a strong example for my daughters and children, in general, on the work ethic it takes to be an entrepreneur and letting them know that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to makes me extremely proud!

    Both of Cheryl’s businesses—BIG-HR and Cheryl C Perez Enterprises— focus on empowering small- to medium-sized business owners on their entrepreneurial journeys as they start, scale, and grow their businesses with support, mentoring, tools, strategies and the education they need to achieve true growth in their businesses. BIG-HR works with small- to medium-sized business owners by focusing in Human Resources and providing outsourced HR services including HR Advisory, onsite HR Support services and training and development. At CCP Enterprises, Cheryl works as a business coach and mentor focused on organizational systems, processes, and capacity building strategies for businesses of all sizes.

     

     

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  • Next up: Networking in the Age of COVID-19

    Networking in the Age of COVID-19

    We’ve seen the art of navigating a crowded room to establish a rapport with a total stranger come to a grinding halt. Learn how to build connections from the comfort of your home through virtual networking.

     

    Sure, it’s much harder to network when most business events are cancelled and we need social distancing. So, let’s look in the rear-view mirror for a change and get back to old-school basics.

    Networking is all about sharing information. In 1982, John Naisbitt defined it in MegaTrends as the “exchange of ideas, information and resources.” That's where it all starts. Nothing new, trendy, high-tech or sexy. 

    That information exchange can be a means to an end or an end in itself. As an end in itself, Joe might be looking for a new accountant specializing in small businesses in his area and Gina might provide contact information for her accountant. The networking process can stop at this information exchange level, as Joe has accomplished his specific information objective.

    RELATED: Coping With COVID-19: A Pandemic Strategy for Your Small Business.

    As a means to an end, that exchange of information could grow into a viable business relationship over time. That relationship could, in turn, lead to referrals, recommendations and new business for both Joe and Gina.

    Networking is also about helping other people or asking other people for help. The two are separate concepts—meeting people who can help you with your goals to learn something to help you work faster, smarter or cheaper. Or, meeting people who you can help to accomplish their goals. It's an “or,” not an “and.”

    That all said, the current pandemic generates a huge amount of information you can seek or share regarding surviving this crisis—best practices for working from home, local and national sources of relief and funding, office sanitizing firms, creative ideas for refocusing your business, and more. 

    Instead of networking with strangers you meet at business events, which we generally recommend, the pandemic suggests you network with people you already know by phone, email, text or virtual meeting. These interactions should be simpler, easier and shorter. You can start with a brief “how’re ya doin” and then seek the information you need. For example, you could ask if they know of business interruption insurance policies that don’t exclude pandemics. A simple exchange of information can follow and end with a suggestion to get together when life is back to normal-ish.

    RELATED: Read more by Phil Stella.

    The longer you practice “virtual networking” the more you might realize that it’s faster, easier, cheaper and potentially better than conventional schmoozing. And the “only network with strangers” concept can come into play virtually by asking people in your network to recommend others they know who you could talk to.

    So, with a little refocused effort, you can successfully network through the pandemic and live to tell about it. 

    Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, www.communicate-confidently.com, 440-449-0356, and empowers business leaders to reduce the pain with workplace communication. A popular trainer and executive coach on writing, communication styles and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.   

     
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  • Next up: Month in Review: October 2020

    Month in Review: October 2020

    From tricks and treats from COSE member businesses to how to create a work-life balance for your team, check out some of our favorite Mind Your Business blog articles from October.

     

    ICYMI, here is a roundup of some of the most popular articles on the blog from last month. 

    Tricks and Treats for YOU! From our Small Business Members
    The candy coma may be over but COSE still has a lot of tricks and treats for our readers. In this Halloween article, our small business experts share their secrets to handling the COVID crisis. And—from COVID antibody test results in 10 minutes for your employees to $100 off AI & Data for Beginners course—they are sharing some special offers from their small businesses to you. Read on for your tricks and treats.

    FAQs About FAQs: How to Effectively Handle Customer Questions
    Being responsive to your customers' questions is one of the most important parts of the job. Here are some FAQs from small business owners about the FAQs they receive, and tips on how to effectively handle them. And be sure to let us know what other questions you have for our experts!

    National Work and Family Month
    October was National Work and Family Month, but anytime is a good time to recognize the importance for a healthy work-life balance with your team. In the time of COVID and widespread remote working, it's important for all workers to reach an effective work-life balance. 

    The Mind Your Business team shared a lot of information last month on how to celebrate and recognize National Work and Family Month, which you can implement any time in your business. From forming a work-life balance committee to creating a family-focus challenge, here are 10 tips to helping your team improve work and family balance.

    What was your favorite Mind Your Business article or webinar from October? Let us know on Twitter!

     
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