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Entrepreneurship – Learning from start-ups

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

Every few weeks, I have the privilege of hearing early-phase new business plans that entrepreneurs are pitching or submitting to groups for review. Sometimes, I have the honor and the challenge of offering counsel on launching ideas, products and brands. Often, I learn at least as much from the process as I impart. A few […]

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This is Content Marketing

Posted by Patrick Rathbun

Do you know what content marketing is? The good news is that you’re probably already doing it. It is the buzzword nowadays, but it’s been around for a long time. With more venues and formats (digital and social) available to us though, it has taken on a different meaning and new life. A great deal […]

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Four ways your small business must address climate change now

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

This post was originally published in the award-winning Succeeding in Small Business blog. It is re-published here to reach vSA Blog readers directly. Photo courtesy NOAA. If you follow science, political and business news, or even global weather reports, you likely know that climate change is occurring. While anecdotal evidence and individual severe weather events […]

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Here’s to the long-term relationship

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

Unless your business model thrives by selling once to a customer and then moving on, never to transact with that customer again, you need relationships. Some of the best of these will be long-term relationships. A long-term business relationship with a customer or client offers several likely benefits: -Providing repeatable or likely-to-recur income -Comprising one […]

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Finding the spark: What makes business ownership fun?

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

A version of the following post was originally published in the award-winning Succeeding in Small Business blog, which I encourage you to follow. Succeeding in Small Business has an outstanding team of contributors covering topics of interest to every small business owner. It has been a long, long winter. Previous to that, we endured a […]

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Search engine optimization 201

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

Marketers often advise client companies to “lead with digital” in their outreach. Sadly, many companies have websites that are hard to find unless you know just where to look, making it tough to lead. All around us, optimized websites and micro-targeted digital outreach are revolutionizing marketing, sales, meetings, presentations, and a myriad of other business […]

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Become a marketing machine

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

There’s an irony we see regularly – companies that are resistant to taking on marketing (“it’s an expense”) but who are excited by the idea of “becoming a marketing machine.” Just as an individual is unlikely to get in shape without the day-to-day discipline of a fitness and diet routine, a company must take regular […]

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Getting unstuck in the face of constant change

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

The following post was the topic of a presentation I gave at University of Vermont Family Business Initiative’s first annual Families in Business Day. The post was recently published in the award-winning Succeeding in Small Business blog. I hope you enjoy it. My father once said to me, “Your job is great! You’re a CEO. […]

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Quiet day at the office?

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

Workplace cycles vary, of course, but it is certain that in offices and plants across the US and beyond, the impending holidays impact the pace one way or another. If by chance you inhabit one of the many workplaces in which the phone rings less and less in the days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s […]

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Toward Better Agency-Client Relations

Posted by Patrick Rathbun

The holiday season produces a good deal of stress for many, especially in regard to relationships. Invitation slights, family dynamics, political disagreements all come to the fore, but hopefully, reflection and gratitude overcome these stressors, too. Agencies, of course, see their share of healthy and dysfunctional relationships, but growth should be possible in all scenarios. […]

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