Winter 2008

President’s Message
We’re Growing!

Despite the economic climate in and around Metro-Detroit, there are still many opportunities for a persistent entrepreneur. We can choose to blame the economy, or we can choose to push forward, plowing through. One organization I am a member of has a big banner in its meeting room that says “We Refuse to Participate in the ‘One State’ Recession”. I like that kind of thinking.

Along those lines, I am happy to announce the addition of Sandy Bagozzi to the Michigan CFO Associates team. Sandy will serve as Executive Assistant and will work with me on marketing, accounting and administration. Sandy is a very knowledgeable and hard working individual and I am very excited to have her on board. Sandy can be reached at sbagozzi@michiganCFOservices.com.

Look for more exciting announcements in the upcoming issue of this newsletter.

In case you have not heard, we are giving away 7 trips to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Please click the link at the top of the page for more info on this terrific – but limited time – offer. This is something that you do not want to miss out on.

As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you believe may have an interest.

Best Regards,

Todd Rammler, CMA, MSA
President

Small Business Public Relations

Does your company have a story to tell? Read about ways to build awareness and credibility among your prospects.

Chances are, your company has a story to tell.

  • Customers are happy with years of quality service and products you provide.
  • You might be expanding your service or product offerings into new geographical areas and industry sectors.
  • Your prospects are constantly on the lookout for knowledgeable experts related to your service or product offering.

In fact, with a little sleuthing, most organizations have numerous stories to tell to their “publics” made up of prospects, customers, the business community, competitors, government, partners, etc.

Public Relations (PR) expands upon these stories, increases identity, and builds awareness and credibility – working to ultimately increase prospects and close sales for businesses of all sizes.

Expanding Business Opportunities

Unlike paid advertising, PR can be thought of as the variety of activities needed to seek out newsworthy stories and share them with media, appropriate websites, and community outlets. The goal is to help position your company as an expert in your area, expanding business opportunities.

PR adds value to a company’s overall “marketing mix” of paid advertising, direct mail, seminars, trade show participation, and special events. PR creates the visibility that’s necessary to fuel all other marketing activities.

After all, a prospect will be more likely to consider becoming your customer if they just read about the company in a local or business publication or website, or if they recall a “testimonial” article or feature story placed in behalf of the company.

A Three-Prong Attack

A straightforward PR campaign for small business consists of a three-prong attack:

1) A Steady News Stream – Take the time to seek opportunities to tell your company’s story. Have you added or enhanced services or products? Perhaps you’ve just added a new customer, or a new staff member or partner. You might be a family owned company with a rich history.

PR tasks include finding these stories and making them newsworthy, putting out a minimum of one or two announcements a month, and working closely with the media to ensure the news is covered effectively. This results in consistent visibility in business press, industry trade publications, local and regional publications as appropriate.

The constant press coverage will create the perception that the company is one to watch, and one with which to do business.

2) Be an Expert – As a small business owner, you are truly an expert in your field. You not only know your industry, you know what it takes to lead, manage and succeed.

PR can demonstrate your company’s leadership position through business awards, articles on your website or newsletter, and participation in key trade events or business associations. As an example, making a presentation at a local trade group or industry association meeting is part of an effective PR campaign. Many small business owners secure these opportunities and leverage the results. They all tie into one another to gain maximum exposure and benefit.

3) Target the Media – Staying in front of targeted media and key industry representatives is critical, and goes beyond the kind of coverage a company can get by consistently issuing news. PR professionals can track the planned reports and articles that reporters are writing, and secure inclusion in those pieces. PR pros work to identify the opportunities; build relationships with reporters and analysts to determine their needs, and then provide the necessary follow-up to get results.

The Next Step

Sometimes, a do-it-yourself approach to PR can backfire. Yet many small business owners can’t afford the service of a large PR agency. There are other options, including contracting with a freelance service as needed, or asking a sales manager to head up PR activities on a monthly basis.

One Small Business Owner’s Story

We recently came across an interesting account of one small business owner’s experience attempting a public relations program. It was a hit or miss experience, and the article talks about some of the pitfalls a business might encounter. It gives a realistic view of PR and small business.

Find the article at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119782320047832221.html?mod=sblink_past_reports

Contact Michigan CFO Associates, Inc. for assistance in managing your small business.

Read a Good Book Lately?

Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s The New Psycho-Cybernetics

Walk into any bookstore and you’ll be impressed with the robust selection of books related to the psychology of individuals, the psychology of success, and the psychology of effective companies.

As a business owner, you no doubt want to create a healthy environment for your team members to be productive, developing high performance workers for a high performance company.

Self development books are often a good resource to help understand what makes your workers tick, and how to make your own business venture succeed.

The New Psycho-Cybernetics

One noteworthy self development book suggests that both individual and organizational success is possible and to top it off, is really quite simple – a powerful message for us all.

The updated book by Dr. Maxwell Maltz – considered to be one of the most important and renowned authors in the field of psychology – is entitled “The New Psycho-Cybernetics: The Original Science of Self-Improvement and Success That Has Changed the Lives of 30 Million People”

As one reviewer notes, “Psycho-Cybernetics is the original text that defined the mind/body connection—the concept that paved the way for most of today’s personal empowerment programs.”

The author bases his findings on his experience as a plastic surgeon. Dr. Maltz became curious as to why some individuals continued to have “unusual” perceptions of their body despite successful plastic surgery. He wondered why people had inflated and distorted pictures of their physical image, and goes on to give strategies to overcome inaccurate self-image. After coaching athletes, patients, salespeople, and many others who become interested in his findings, he came to write Psycho-Cybernetics.

Achieving Goals

Another reviewer goes on to state, “Dr. Maltz discusses a lot about the self-image as it determines whether you achieve a goal or not. He also writes in depth about what he calls the “automatic-success mechanism” which everyone of us has within. Each one of us has what it takes to achieve our goals but we do not successfully use this mechanism. One way we stimulate the automatic-success mechanism is by vividly visualizing our future and by doing so we are able to create a new self-image that allows us to achieve our goals.

This updated version of Psycho-Cybernetics contains 31 exercises you can use for various circumstances. Some are for removing anxiety when starting a conversation or phoning a customer while others are directed at long-term goals like gaining a promotion.

The New Psycho-Cybernetics is a must read for anyone experiencing anxiety, fear, or worry in public speaking, succeeding in business, and, and the list goes on. Dr. Maltz provides in depth explanations and mental exercises for relaxing and developing a success-type personality.

For more information on the self development classic, and the updated version, visit:
http://www.butler-bowdon.com/psychocybernets.html

http://www.earthlingcommunication.com/blog/the-new-psycho-cybernetics-by-maxwell-maltz-reviewed.php

Contact Michigan CFO Associates, Inc. for assistance in managing your small business.

What’s on the Web?

Learn about valuable on line resources for small business

As you read in our newsletter last time, small business owners have access to valuable and detailed information in the form of the many small business-themed websites. Yet as we all know, it takes time to wade through the myriad of informational on line content to locate the most valuable and reliable resources.

Here’s an especially useful and credible source of information to be found on line, and it come from none other than the Wall Street Journal.

A Monthly Clearinghouse

Small Business Link is a monthly clearinghouse of valuable information aimed at the small business community. Each month, the Wall Street Journal’s editors and reporters assemble articles addressing an important theme.

For instance, this month’s Small Business Link offers the theme of “Locations” and discusses best areas of the country for succeeding as a small business owner; tax implications, and the financial implications of working “virtually”.

Launched in 2007, past editions of Small Business Link cover themes such as Employee Benefits; Recruiting, Raising Money, Collecting Bills, Planning for Change and Retaining Talent.

Find the Wall Street Journal on line resource at: http://online.wsj.com/small-business/small-business-link

Michigan’s Resources:
For the Michigan business community, specific websites geared to Michigan’s small business owners include:

Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center
www.misbtdc.org
Originating from Grand Valley State University , the site provides useful information to Michigan ’s small business owners.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation
www.michiganadvantage.org
Contains guide to starting a business

Michigan.gov
www.michigan.gov
Official State of Michigan website. Click on “Business Services” for great links to Michigan business information.

Small Business Association of Michigan
www.sbam.org
Promotes interests of Michigan small businesses.

Michigan eLibrary
www.mel.org
Click on “Mel Internet” and then “Business, Economics & Labor”. Access to databases for grants, business statistics, start-ups and more.

Contact Michigan CFO Associates, Inc. for assistance in managing your small business.

Win a free trip to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island!

We are currently conducting a ‘New Client Drive’ in which we are giving away 7 trips to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island! These trips are for a lakeview room for 2 nights, anytime you want to go, and meals are included!

How can you win one of these trips? Simple! If you refer a business that becomes a client by 5/1/2008 you’re on you’re way! The ONLY catch, is that the client value must be greater that the value of the trip – that’s it!

You can fax contact information for any businesses that you think might benefit from a part-time CFO to 586-786-9113. We’ll do the rest!

As of this writing, one trip has been won, and 2 more trips are pending. . . That would leave only 4 more trips available.

Look through your contact list right now – it will only take 10 minutes – and fax over any business that you think might be a fit. You never know. . . you could be on your way to the Grand Hotel for an exceptional summer get-away!

HURRY! New Client Drive ends 5-1-2008

Contact Michigan CFO Associates, Inc. for more information on the Grand Hotel get-away!

Comments are closed.