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How to Develop a Plan to Update Your Website Content

on July 16 in Startups/Entrepreneurs | 0 comments

How to Develop a Plan to Update Your Website Content for Solopreneurs Looking to develop a plan to update your website content–either on your own or with some outside help? Most of us know there’s dated content on our sites. If we look at updating our content, we’ll be able to re-post, re-promote and ultimately add value to our audiences. We may even find inspiration for new content. But first, we’ve got to find the pages that need our attention and develop a plan. (1) Create an XML sitemap Traditionally used for SEO purposes, the XML sitemap will extract all the existing pages of your website. This will give you a clear picture of your website content. Since most of us have small sites, this tool is sufficient: (2) Convert the XML sitemap to CSV or Excel using Use CSV if you want to import to Google Sheets (great for collaborating) Use XLS if you just want to work in Excel (3) Add your headings and develop your plan of attack This might be as simple as an “Update” column or if you plan to outsource or collaborate, you can add Priority, Assigned to, Due Date, Changes Needed, Notes, etc. When prioritizing, it’s a good idea to look at your Google Analytics data That’s my quick process for developing a plan to update clients’ (and my own) web content. Did I miss anything? Anyone want to weigh in with detailed advice or other...

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Providing Logos and Images for Print Projects

on February 14 in Small Business, Startups/Entrepreneurs, Uncategorized | 0 comments

When providing logos and images for print projects, there are a few things to keep in mind. Not all logos are created equally. We are looking for Vector files or HIGH-RES images only. Here’s a brief rundown so we can efficiently move forward with design for you, and meet your deadline. Logos and Images for Print Projects That Will Definitely Work (aka the Ideal): Vector files, which can be scaled. These are created with mathematical formulas vs. raster files, which have a fixed number of pixels on a grid. Vector files will have clean lines, even when blown up, and will not lose their image quality. Look for the following file types that signal a vector file: .ai .eps .PDF* *Not all logos derived from PDF files are ideal; for example, PDF logos created from JPGs or GIFs – low resolution images inside PDFs are simply using the file as a “container document” which does not change their image quality. Other ways to tell if you might have a vector file: You can’t open it. Zooming in very high (>500%) on the PDF file does not seem to change the logo image quality (logo does not look blurry or pixelate) Note: It is best to screen for what will definitely work vs. try to assess what might work based on the criteria below. When in doubt, request an .ai or .eps file from the designer who created the image or the company’s marketing department and/or download from your partner portal or branding site. We are happy to obtain logos that are readily available on the web for you; many of the logos that indicate a status and are granted to certain channel partners only must be provided. Logos and Images for Print Projects That Might Work: Raster images that are at least 300 dpi. This is especially important for printing, as 300 dpi is ideal for most printers. Lower DPIs will result in lower quality prints, and sometimes, unintentional shrinking. To be a possible candidate for print, look for your image/logo to meet the following criteria: Has a .psd file extension OR Has a .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, or .tiff file extension WITH a file size greater than 1MB...

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What’s Networking Worth to You? ROI Explored.

on January 27 in Authentic Networking, Authenticity, Small Business, Startups/Entrepreneurs | 0 comments

In talking to solopreneurs and microbusiness owners, I’ve heard many approaches to networking. Some people don’t like to spend money on it. Some think it’s a waste of time. Others understand and believe in networking as a valuable concept, but find the actual activity (or existing options) to be poor investments. Many have had mixed experiences with membership-based leads groups, but I’ve heard from a few raving fans. Some resent the pressure of “putting on a show” or projecting someone else’s (limited) idea of professionalism at networking events–and feel this is a major “expense.” What is networking really worth? Exploring Networking ROI Let’s look at the hard costs of networking first. In Phoenix, there are so many opportunities for networking events. THE place to go for event listings is Here, you’ll find the most common event registration fees are $10-20, with the highest fee at $79. The average cost for a networking event comes to $39.50. We may also factor in gas, dry cleaning (if your idea of professionalism requires it), and, depending on the venue – food and drink. The value of your time (opportunity cost) may also be added. Now we might have an estimated cost of investment to plug into the traditional ROI formula: Gain from investment -Cost of investment Cost of investment GAIN is the hard part. Especially since traditionally this might be measured in volume–of business cards, interactions, meetings set, etc. But does that really represent GAIN? What we might measure instead is the depth of the relationships formed. But how do we put a value on the relationships we hope to create (or have initiated) at these events? This relationship value seems difficult to measure in traditional business terms for a number of reasons. Mainly, business deals or referrals don’t (always) happen automatically. So what kind of time frame do we allow for measurement? It’s not like email marketing, for example, in which you know the results quickly and there’s a window for measuring success. Specifically, in the first two days after an email is sent, 85% of open rates have occurred (Alchemy Worx). But, how do we factor time into this networking equation – particularly when someone we met long ago has now...

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What is a Microbusiness? Do You Own One?

on June 25 in Small Business, Startups/Entrepreneurs | 0 comments

Here is how the term microbusiness–and related terms–are being defined. Number of Employees in a Microbusiness According to the Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker, a microbusiness is defined as “a business with five or fewer workers.”  AEO defines it the same way (see image “Bigger than You Think“) but adds “including the owner.” Wikipedia, however, identifies a micro-enterprise as a “small business employing 10 people or less.” Wikipedia has an international slant, which may account for the difference. This entry also attempts to distinguish between microbusiness and the related term microenterprise, which “have the same meaning, although traditionally when referring to a small business financed by microcredit, the term microenterprise is used. Similarly, when referring to a small, usually legal business that is not financed by microcredit, the term microbusiness is used.” (Note: Wikipedia isn’t the most viable reference; it can be updated by anyone. It doesn’t represent a comprehensive, unbiased view of this topic. We use it here only to make a comparison and open the floor for further discussion.) For more specific information about microenterprise, the impact of microloans in the U.S., and the microenterprise development programs that support these businesses, visit the and its Field Trendlines Series Issue 8 (May 2015). Revenue Financial circumstances for microbusiness are improving. Quarterly reports throughout 2014 show less need for entrepreneurs to dip into their personal saving and/or struggling with cash reserve. (Source: Sam’s Club Report – The State of Microbusiness in 2015. A Year in Review) Current Sentiment The Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker study of microbusiness owners is conducted quarterly. At the beginning of 2015, the research reported that microbusiness owners are starting the year “in higher spirits and with higher expectations than one year ago.” According to the Vistaprint Small Business Happiness Index, 77% “report being happy or extremely happy that they work for themselves.” Reason for Being Here are noteworthy reasons why microbusiness owners started their businesses, according to The State of Microbusiness in 2015. A Year in Review: 1% of business owners said it’s always been a dream of theirs to start their own business. 7% of microbusiness owners were motivated to be their own boss. Only 18.4% chose to start a business due to lack of desirable job options. This is more attributed to sole owners (20.8%), than those...

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StartUp Connect AZ Summary, Part 1

on December 19 in Local Phoenix, Startups/Entrepreneurs, Tech | 1 comment

Yesterday’s first StartupConnect AZ conference brought together Arizona experts and entrepreneurs alike to talk about our city and state ecosystem with respect to STEM; provide insight from experts in investing and VC, education, incubation and co-working; and address topics such as Women in Entrepreneurship and models of success like London’s Tech City. Instead of a long summary, here are a few quotes from the event: Mayor Stanton: “There’s not an old boy network here to keep you down.” “This is a wide-open town.” Arizona Commerce Authority (Brian Sherman, I believe): “Entrepreneurs have to understand their value proposition.” (I couldn’t agree more!) On Collaboration:  “Be more inclusive; get outside the usual suspects.” “Businesses don’t know how to get connected.” Jerry Colangelo: “We need more cooperation from our state legislature.” Maria Speth: “If it’s not your genius, it’s not your job.” An interesting topic and takeaway was related to “Identity.” The city and state’s identity (or lack thereof) was another theme.  It’s a difficult concept to explain but essentially our “story” of who we are as a place is fragmented and oftentimes empty. We hang our hat on weather, but that isn’t enough to attract big business and create civic pride.  We have to create a connection to place and a real culture here.  Kimber Lanning, of Local First Arizona fame, is a leader in delivering this message and I wish there were more of her thoughts on this topic out there but all I could find was this; she was incredibly articulate and passionate so go hear her speak whenever you can.  For my part, I tweeted: Theme for the day: lack of a #Phoenix story. IMHO an R&D problem not #branding. #startupconnectaz — Tracy Diziere (@tracydiziere) December 18, 2013 What I meant was, before the “story” comes the “value.”  We have to find and develop our community’s strengths and improve on key areas that would really drive value in the minds of prospective businesses and talent.  (This is the same process I go through with clients in developing marketing strategy, by the way!) The expert panel of Public Policy & STEM championed education as the #1 priority for improvement.  When we have critical mass (and enthusiasm) around who we are, we...

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