TEW #MeetUp this Weekend!

TEW #MeetUp this Weekend!

Join the TEW Crew
for a Weekend Round Up Meet Up
this Saturday morning!
@ the Blue Box Cafe
176 E. Chicago Street
Feel free to pass it on!
(stop for a few minutes
or stay for a while!)
www.tewyou.com // ‪#‎BEinspired‬
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Creative Holiday Ideas for Small Biz from SBA

Creative Holiday Ideas for Small Biz from SBA

[repost from SBA]


33 Creative Ideas for Small Business Holiday Marketing

By Rieva Lesonsky, Guest Blogger
Published: October 7, 2014

The holidays are coming, and we all know what that means for retailers. But retailers aren’t the only ones who can get in on the holiday shopping game. Whether you own a store, restaurant, service provider or even a B2B company, smart marketing can boost your holiday sales, too. Here are 33 marketing ideas to get your holiday sales sizzling.

  1. Invite B2B customers to a thank-you dinner or other special event.
  2. Invite B2B prospects to a “getting to know you” party.
  3. Stand out by holding your holiday party before Thanksgiving, or after the New Year when customers are more business-minded and thinking ahead to 2015 budgets.
  4. Stand out (and save money) by holding a holiday breakfast or luncheon instead of a full-scale evening party.
  5. Join forces with other small business owners in the area to hold a weekend “sidewalk sale.”
  6. Cross-promote your business with cards, brochures and flyers in complementary businesses’ locations.
  7. Put discounts or coupons for other nearby businesses’ products or services in customers’ shopping bags, and have them do the same for you.
  8. Hold a special sale for your best customers only, at a time when you’re normally closed.
  9. Choose a charity to get involved with, and get customers involved too. Offer a discount or free gift card for customers who volunteer a certain amount of time to the charity or donate a certain amount.
  10. Join other businesses to host a gift-giving tree. Find a local charity, put a tree in the business district or shopping area, post Christmas wishes on the tree, and have customers pick a wish and buy the desired gift.
  11. Exhibit at holiday shows. See if local crafts fairs or gift shows accept commercial vendors and, if so, rent a booth.
  12. Hold a Black Friday sale for your B2B business. (It doesn’t have to be on the real “Black Friday”—pick another Friday during the holiday season.)
  13. Send real holiday cards, not e-cards. They’re more likely to get noticed.
  14. Send Thanksgiving or New Year’s cards. They’re also more likely to get noticed than cards sent during the Christmas season.
  15. Hold a holiday open house for prospects. More relaxed than a regular party, it offers an opportunity for them to drop by at their convenience and learn more about your business.
  16. Capture customers through their kids. Hold a kids’ contest like a make-your-own-ornament contest or holiday coloring contest. Give a big prize or just give everyone small prizes, like candy canes.
  17. Make any business kid-friendly by providing a kids’ space with toys or books to keep tired, fussy children occupied while parents shop.
  18. Get listed in local bloggers’ holiday gift guides. It’s too late for most print gift guides, but there’s still time to get your products or services spotlighted by relevant bloggers. Reach out with a free sample.
  19. Feed the crowd. Hand out free cookies or beverages to energize tired shoppers.
  20. Make them comfy. Provide seating so shoppers’ companions can sit down if they don’t want to shop.
  21. Give it away. If your business is located in a mall or shopping area, station an employee outside to give away free samples of your product or service to passersby.
  22. Hire masseuses to give shoppers free foot or shoulder rubs in your store if they buy something.
  23. Have Santa come to your business. If you’re in a shopping district, join with other businesses to hire a Santa. You can even set up a photo booth and have photos taken with Santa and ask for donations.
  24. Hold a “12 Days of…” sale, event or contest. Give away a different prize every day, offer a different discount every day or spotlight a different product every day.
  25. Give away useful items with each purchase, like good-quality tissue paper or ribbons for gift-wrapping. Put your business’s name on it and you’ve got a marketing tool, too.
  26. Give away gifts with purchase. Offering items that can serve as stocking stuffers makes customers more likely to buy so they can get the gift.
  27. Try a two-for-one sale. This works great for subscription items; offer customers a free gift subscription or half-price gift subscription when they renew their own membership or subscription.
  28. Get personal. Instead of holding a big party for clients, take them out to lunch individually during the holidays (or early in the New Year if they’re too busy).
  29. Provide entertainment. Hire musicians to play in your store or restaurant, or right outside to attract customers in.
  30. Display holiday-themed art by local artists in your restaurant, coffee shop or bar and offer it for sale.
  31. Sell gift cards for shoppers who can’t make up their minds. Be sure to keep them by the point-of-sale as a last minute impulse buy.
  32. Create personalized food gifts by printing your business logo on M&Ms, candy bars, cookies or candy wrappers.
  33. Print a personalized 2015 calendar to give out to your clients. A restaurant could include photos of popular dishes; a dog wash could showcase cute dog breeds.

About the Author:

Rieva Lesonsky

Guest Blogger

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and President of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit SmallBizDaily.com to sign up for her free TrendCast reports. She’s been covering small business and entrepreneurial issues for more than 30 years, is the author of several books about entrepreneurship and was the editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine for over two decades
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How 3 Awesome Jobs Sent Me Right Back to College

I’m sort of a career-a-holic. My last three jobs were in no way interconnected. I mean, I wasn’t a loan officer that went from one bank to the next. All three jobs were completely unrelated – at least on the surface – but they all brought me to where I am today.

Where am I today? College… again. It seems that most of us just aren’t very good at picking out a lifelong career in our late teens or early 20’s.

I mean, this is about as eclectic as it gets, right? Here is a look at my last three jobs, and what I learned from each. Each job got me to where I am today, and for that I’m grateful.

Server & Bartender

These jobs were your typical “I’m going to school” sort of jobs, and I didn’t expect either of them to wow me to the point where I wanted to stay long after graduation. In fact, I didn’t expect to stay nearly as long as I did, but I found that the job was easy, it paid well, and other than long hours on my feet or the occasional drunk that decided he wasn’t going to be taking the fact that I just cut him off and asked him to leave, lightly… it was okay.

What I learned. I learned how to deal with the public. I learned how to handle awkward situations that I truly didn’t want to be in (asking drunks to leave was particularly horrifying at first).

Social Media Marketing Specialist

My degree was in marketing, and it was only natural that after I graduated I should seek employment in what was supposed to be my forte, right? I worked this job for just over two years, and besides the awful pay and thankless work, I did learn a lot. I also learned that even though my degree was in marketing, I didn’t necessarily want to spend my life in this sort of environment.

What I learned. I learned how to formulate a plan and execute it. I learned how to deal with corporate hierarchy with a smile on my face. I learned that the office environment certainly wasn’t for everyone, and it seems that I was part of that group that wasn’t really quite right for an office.

Massage Therapist

It sounded interesting. I’ve always been into natural and alternative medicine, so one day I answered a help wanted ad at a local massage parlor. I started out answering phones, but over the next few months, I was trained in the art of massage and I really started to love it. After the parlor I was working for closed down six months later, I had to buy my own body massage oil and massage table. Eventually, I moved my business into my apartment . But what can I say, I was hooked. It seems that I had finally found my calling, and it was something that I was not only good at, but really loved doing.

What I learned. I learned that your degree doesn’t define you, and it shouldn’t be something that confines you to a particular career path that you are unhappy with. I learned that even when dealing with adversity, sometimes you can make the best out of it. That’s exactly what happened to me. My place of employment went belly up, and I snagged as many clients as I could and started my own traveling (or in-home) massage business.

So, why am I back in school? Well, I love the art of massage, and I think my marketing degree can help me to promote myself and attract new clientele. I’ve truly found something I good at, and something that I love doing so I thought it might be best to take a few business classes to fill in the gaps between alternative medicine and modern marketing.

I thought it was important to share this story because I’m just one of many that has passions outside of my chosen degree. The overwhelming theme for most of us should be to seek out our passions, find what makes us tick, and then find a way to make that work for us. Take what you learn from life, whether it be jobs, schooling, or just socializing, and apply it to how you want your life to look in the future. You can’t go wrong when you find ways to get paid doing what you love.

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#entrepreneur inspiration with Tracy Wright of Executees™

#entrepreneur inspiration with Tracy Wright of Executees™

Who are you and what do you do in 30 words or less?executees

I am Tracy Wright, a Successful Business Woman, a Licensed Real Estate Broker in Illinois, who has generated $50K to $100K per month in the high times of real estate, a Master Marketer, an Author, and the Founder of several businesses, including Executees™. My Brand Executees has created many Custom t-shirts in Swarovski Crystals for Celebrities, including the Fabulous OPRAH WINFREY.

How do you remain empowered as an entrepreneur?

I remained empowered as an entrepreneur because I see opportunity all around me. I maintain multiple streams of income to ensure if one stream is not producing as well as others, I am still in business, and I can analyze which stream works better than others.

How do you remain equipped as an entrepreneur, where/how do you fuel your growth?

I work daily on my businesses. I am focused and determined. I have a daily routine that I try to stick to, and I am always open to new ideas of marketing, business building etc.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My Inspiration comes from Family members who are entrepreneurs. I was also a Chicago Police Officer in the past. I resigned in 2004 and have not looked back since.  I love the LIFE of an entrepreneur as opposed to the employee life. That alone fuels me to stay the course.

What is your “WHY” — why do you do what you do?

My Why is my family, my husband and my children. I remember being an employee and never being home as much. Now I can enjoy a full life with my loved ones and be FREE to design my days how I see fit.

What is your #1 tip for other entrepreneurs?



STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR GOALS. There will be struggles, and many challenges. There may be road blocks, haters, and bad energy projected on to you and your dreams. Plow through it all, and I know you will be glad you did. FREEDOM is on the other side of that road.



Tracy Wright, CEO
Executees, Inc.



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TEWEISERIESThe #EntrepreneurInspiration blog series is another way that the TEWCrew can help spread the entrepreneurial cheer throughout the universe. Our mission is to empower, equip and inspire aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs to unleash the entrepreneur within #unleashthebiz! We do that the best way we know how, and that is by telling stories of our experiences, and the experiences of our community and our colleagues. Enjoy!


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#entrepreneur inspiration with author, Carla J. Curtis

#entrepreneur inspiration with author, Carla J. Curtis

Who are you and what do you do in 30 words or less?carla

My name is Carla J. Curtis. I’m a child of God, mother, grandmother, author, encourager, motivator, motivational speaker, counselor intern and entrepreneur.

How do you remain empowered as an entrepreneur?

Praying, meditating, networking with others and always reminding myself that there is always something to be learned. I also seek the services of a coach. In addition, I ensure that self-care is a top priority.

How do you remain equipped as an entrepreneur, where/how do you fuel your growth?

I believe in lifelong learning. Therefore, I attend seminars, workshops and conferences, read business magazines and books and seek the services of a coach.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from God, praying, meditating and being surrounded by and interacting with positive people from all walks of life.

What is your “WHY” — why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because I know that God has blessed me with specific gifts to inspire and motivate others through various mediums. Also, I am and have always been passionate about inspiring and giving hope to others as well as helping people reach their personal and professional goals. Overall, I want each person that I come in contact with whether personally or professionally to walk away from the conversation feeling as though they have been enthused to reach their fullest potential and that they feel valued.

What is your #1 tip for other entrepreneurs?

Be true to yourself, absorb as much information as you can, and if there isn’t a lane for what you are doing, don’t be afraid to create one.




TEWEISERIESThe #EntrepreneurInspiration blog series is another way that the TEWCrew can help spread the entrepreneurial cheer throughout the universe. Our mission is to empower, equip and inspire aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs to unleash the entrepreneur within #unleashthebiz! We do that the best way we know how, and that is by telling stories of our experiences, and the experiences of our community and our colleagues. Enjoy!


Read More