van Schouwen Associates

Intrigued by inbound marketing?

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

After all, what could be better? Put the word out about your products, services and expertise, and watch customers come to you, ready to do business. That’s what inbound marketing seeks to do. And that’s why it should be part (major or otherwise) of your mix going forward. Where to start? 1) Consider some of […]

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Worst practices in business: Who DOES that?

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

You’ve heard of business best practices, of course. They are the subject of books, articles and seminars nearly every day. Far less often do people talk about the all-too-common everyday worst practices that can annoy your customers and vendors, slow your progress, squander your opportunities, and eventually, lead to serious harm or failure for your small […]

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Michelle van Schouwen

The hard, critical work of updating your business premise

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

First published in Succeeding in Small Business. Our marketing company, van Schouwen Associates, LLC, has been in business since 1985. That’s three change-filled decades. Early on, we had a Mac SE; it was great for words but too slow for design work. Before that, we made do with my manual typewriter from college! We had […]

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Top five truths to review before your marketing launch

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

Recently I had the privilege of speaking to a group of entrepreneurs and business leaders to share facts they needed to know for any marketing launch. There is nothing better than speaking to a crowd to vet what matters most to real businesses launching real stuff. It was a great experience, and I look forward […]

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The Marketing Dialectic

Posted by Patrick Rathbun

When collaborating with clients, you don’t always hit the bull’s eye. Agencies might have a different vision from their client or vice versa. These differences of opinion don’t have to be crippling. Clients might be conservative or averse to long-term projects or opposed to bold design. Marketing companies might prefer layered, strategic ideas and bold designs. […]

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A dozen considerations to build and protect your small business’ reputation

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

Among the most important assets a small business can have is its good reputation. In many cases, this reputation is an umbrella that includes the reputation of the business itself, your own professional and personal reputation, and the apparent attitudes and behaviors of your employees. This article was first published in Succeeding in Small Business. […]

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Make conscious decisions about growing your small business.

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

Article originally published in Succeeding in Small Business. Entertainer Sophie Tucker (and others) famously said, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better.” Some people would make a similar remark about owning a business, with larger being better. But is it always true? As a small business owner, you may want to grow […]

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After 30 years in business, I’m learning from startups.

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

We all understand the need for fresh thinking and continuous improvement. Of course, continuing to generate new ideas and improvements demands that one also seeks sources for inspiration. I am fortunate in this regard to have found a wellspring of new and original thinking in the principals of entrepreneurial start-ups. In recent years, I’ve become […]

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Reaching unreachable people

Posted by Michelle van Schouwen

I don’t answer my phone at the office anymore unless I know the caller. A lot of my email goes in the trash unread. I don’t even listen to my voicemails. I can’t possibly read everything I need to read. Does this sound like your customers and prospects? Let’s face it, many decision-makers are overwhelmed […]

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PR Blunders and Bluster

Posted by Patrick Rathbun

Public relations mistakes are unavoidable, but some mistakes haunt the dreams of marketing and public relations professionals. I’ve seen several missteps lately that fall into this “nightmare” category. The industry periodically reaches a critical mass of crises. With the NFL and other organizations struggling to tell and limit storytelling about their brands, it seems we’ve reached […]

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