Month: February 2009

Corporate Blogs – Are they a must?

7 Really Good Reasons to Blog for Business

  • Become the Expert:
    • Position yourself and your company as the thought leader of your business. Be the source of news for your industry and/or vital news that your customers might need and use. If you are making dental products you not only want to be the source of knowledge for the products you create but what if you gave your customers (dentists) a source for tools on customer retention? How much more valuable would you be to your customers?
  • Customer Relationships:
    • By creating a forum where your obvious goal is not selling something, you create a platform for a more personal relationship between you and your customers. People buy from people they like more often than not; a blog allows your customers to see you in a different light, not just some entity that takes their money. People are also much more likely to refer their friends to people they trust. A blog can also help deepen the trust that a customer has in not only your product or service but in you as the provider.
  • Media Relations:
    • Blogs provide the Media a channel to regularly check or even subscribe too for updates on your company and what you have to say about your industry. PR Consultants love corporate blogs because it provides an interactive resource for your usually passive Press Releases.
  • Internal Collaboration:
    • Blogs don’t always have to be publicly accessible. A Workgroup blog is a great tool for team members to collaborate and keep the rest of the team updated on a project, or to share ideas.
  • Recruitment:
    • If you use your blog to position your company as a thought leader, people will pay attention, and if you consistently how wonderful it is to work at your company, people will want to know more. Posts can be written to target professionals in your industry that may be looking for a change.
  • Testing Ideas or Products:
    • Because of the informality of a blog and the personalization of the corporate entity, you are much more likely to get honest feedback on a new release or a new idea in a fairly quick manner. All you need to do is publish a post about a crazy thought you have and your group of followers will most likely comment it.
  • Improve your page ranking and increase your SEO (search engine optimization):
    • Search engines like Google and Yahoo and many others, give higher rankings to sites that are updated often and that have other sites linking to them as well as outbound links. Provide an easy way for your readers to link to your page and you will see your rankings increase dramatically.

So now that you know why you should blog – how do you go about it?

There are several ways, you can do it yourself, which will take time and as we know time is money; you can outsource it to a big website building company which will cost you big bucks or you can let your friends over at Children’s Educational Network do it for you.

They are expanding their services to meet the needs of shareholders and customers.  Their team has gotten really good at setting up blogs like this one and have perfected the skills needed, why not share this valuable resource with you?

The Mark Cuban Stimulas Plan – Open Source Funding

Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban has launched an “Open Source Funding” experiment via his blog, billing it as an economic stimulus plan that “hopefully could inspire people to create businesses that could quickly become self funding.”

So here is what he says on his blog:

Rather than trying to be a Venture Capitalist, I was looking for an idea that hopefully could inspire people to create businesses that could quickly become self funding. Businesses that just needed a jump start to get the ball rolling and create jobs. Im a big believer that entrepreneurs will lead us out of this mess. I just needed a way to help.

So here it is. Some people will love it, some will hate it. It is what it is.  

You must post your business plan here on my blog where I expect other people can and will comment on it. I also expect that other people will steal the idea and use it elsewhere. That is the idea. Call this an open source funding environment.

If its a good idea and worth funding, we want it replicated elsewhere. The idea is not just to help you, but to figure out how to help the economy through hard work and ingenuity. If you come up with the idea and get funding, you have a head start. If you execute better than others, you could possibly make money at it. As you will see from the rules below, these are going to be businesses that are mostly driven by sweat equity.

I will invest money in businesses presented here on this blog. No minimum, no maximum, but a very specific set of rules. Here they are:

1. It can be an existing business or a start up.
2. It can not be a business that generates any revenue from advertising. Why ? Because I want this to be a business where you sell something and get paid for it. That’s the only way to get and stay profitable in such a short period of time.
3. It MUST BE CASH FLOW BREAK EVEN within 60 days 
4. It must be profitable within 90 days.
5. Funding will be on a monthly basis. If you don’t make your numbers, the funding stops
6. You must demonstrate as part of your plan that you sell your product or service for more than what it costs you to produce, fully encumbered
7. Everyone must work. The organization is completely flat. There are no employees reporting to managers. There is the founder/owners and everyone else
8.  You must post your business plan here, or you can post it on slideshare.com , scribd.com or google docs, all completely public for anyone to see and/or download
9. I make no promises that if your business is profitable, that I will invest more money. Once you get the initial funding you are on your own
10. I will make no promises that I will be available to offer help. If I want to , I will. If not, I wont.
11. If you do get money, it goes into a bank that I specify, and I have the ability to watch the funds flow and the opportunity to require that I cosign any outflows.
12. In your business plan , make sure to specify how much equity I will receive or how I will get a return on my money.
13. No mult-level marketing programs (added 2/10/09 1pm)

I’m sure I will come up with more rules as I see what comes along, if anything. 

As I find businesses I like, I will use the email address you provide before you post to get in contact with you. There will be a standard agreement, you can take it or leave it. Once I have done the standard agreement, I will post it here for all to see.  This will definitely be a work in progress. Maybe it leads to great things, maybe it leads to nothing. We will find out. I’m not going to claim a minimum or maximum amount or total I will invest. I’m not promising I will definitely invest anything. If nothing comes along that I think is viable, that’s the way it goes.

Hopefully I will invest in quite a few businesses that will lead to something more

So if your business meets these requirements go submit your plat at his site http://blogmaverick.com

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