March 29, 2013
"Finding Your Message - Advice from a Tree"
You can find marketing help in many things - read this poem and ask yourself "Does my brand connect with my heart?"
February 14, 2013
"Falling in love?"
What usually happens when you fall in love? You become uber-excited, giddy, and focused. Your emotional attachment strengthens and you seek to engage in time spent with the object of your desire, right? It's the same thing with building a loyal brand. Yes, it really is.
February 11, 2013
"Women Entrepreneurs - Is that an Oxymoron?"
The hardest pill for me to swallow was realizing I didn't really know how to be an entrepreneur. But you can learn and be successful doing what you love.
February 01, 2013
"When it is time to make the really hard decisions, are you ready?"
The month of January always brings about a lot of emotions. For many, it is the longer periods of darkness, for others it is the post-holiday blues. For me this year (already) it has been a roller coaster of emotions or as my daughter so eloquently put it "life can be one complicated bowl of fruity pebbles
." On one hand our clients are doing great, working their plans and on another more personal note my son will be leaving for bootcamp on February 3rd
. I'm not typically an emotional gal. But as we get closer and closer to the date of his departure I find myself struggling with so many questions. While I am proud that he wants to do something "bigger than himself" I'm terrified that he will be in harm's way.
January 25, 2013
"What do you have to lose, that's not already at risk today?"
This addition to our blog is really a shameless self-promotion, there's the warning so you can continue or stop reading now.
When we designed The Launchbox® Workshops it was initially targeted to small businesses that were either just starting out, or they found themselves in a rut; doing the same things yet expecting different results.
January 16, 2013
"Work Life Balance, Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy & Other Fantasies!"
I was reading an article today in a very reputable publication. The title was "Work Life Balance - How to Achieve It!" so, I couldn't help myself and decided to indulge. The article spoke of quiet moments you create within your work day and vowing to commit to focusing on you - malarkey! I have never believed that Work Life Balance existed, even after reading the article I still don't. Balance means "an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady
." Think about it, when was the last time you felt upright and steady as an entrepreneur / business owner? The very definition of steady is in direct conflict - "Firmly fixed, supported, or balanced; not shaking or moving,"
Entrepreneurs and business owners are rarely "firmly fixed" and are
January 04, 2013
"2013 Top 10 Things Small Business Owners can do to kick off the year right!"
Let's kick off the new year with our first top 10. It's a new year and that means you have possibilities and opportunities to fix things that didn't work in 2012, and to build new things to grow your business in 2013.
We've all done some things that just flat out didn't work. Then there are those things we do that "sort of" work or we really like to do. Clean it up and toss it out! Let's agree that if it didn't work in 2012 we will put it on the shelf for 2013 and come up with new ideas. I say put it on a shelf because like the 70's clothing styles some things do come back around.
Here are 10 things you can do to kick off the year right:
December 31, 2012
"2013: What do you have in store for us? What will we make of 2013?"
Each new year brings a certain anticipation, excitement and terror. As we close the chapter on 2012 and look to open 2013, take a few minutes to reflect on the things you did right and the things that could use some improvement. Did you achieve, personally and professionally, all that you set out to? If not, why?
November 19, 2012
"What would we do in America if all small businesses were bullied, to the point of closing?"
On Facebook today I learned that a great local wine bar will be closing at the end of the year. The owners Patrice and Tony are fantastic, supportive through the community and provide our town with a great local spot to catch up with friends, or as we like to say "solve world peace." The wine bar, Patrice and Tony will surely be missed.
November 12, 2012
"Top 5 Mistakes Companies Make Every Year"
Read here about the 5 common mistakes made by companies year after year when developing a strategic marketing plan.
November 05, 2012
"Exciting News to Celebrate!"
The Sonata team had a busy and energizing fall. Read our latest blog for an exciting announcement and upcoming events!
October 02, 2012
"Should you "bite the lemon"?"
What is the best way to start your day to ensure you are as productive as you can be? Here are two ideas that came up during a recent Launchbox workshop - which one would work for you?
August 14, 2012
"Brand Publishing and Brand Voice, Have you Found Yours?"
If you haven't found the right "voice" to represent your brand your prospects and clients will know how you wish to be heard. Don't take choosing a brand voice lightly: it's how your consumer's "hear" you. Be aware of your target demographic and find a way to speak to that group.
May 01, 2012
"Customer Service: Finding it in the most unlikely places"
There are certain places you expect to find customer service for example restaurants, retail shops, and maybe even the post office. Today, I added Charlotte North Carolina's airport restrooms as one of the best customer service experiences I've had.
February 14, 2012
"Happy Valentine's Day- 2012"
What does Valentine's Day and YOUR Branding have in common?
January 19, 2012
"2012: Sonata Venture Solutions Participated in Get Business Now Conference. What are you doing to Grow Your Business?"
2012: Sonata Venture Solutions Participated in Get Business Now Conference. What are you doing to Grow Your Business? Over 300 Small Business Owners, Entrepreneurs & Government Officials Came Together to Get Business Now!
December 01, 2011
"The Twelve Days of Christmas... for a small business"
A Small Business Owners "12 Days of Christmas" wish list.... Sonata Venture style
July 11, 2011
"How do you know when the decision you make, is the right decision?"
Everyone struggles at some point, whether in business or their personal lives, when it comes to making a decision about something big.... Then there are others that struggle with every decision and in doing so, never seem to be able to commit to make one. Where do you fit in?
May 16, 2011
"Celebrate Small Business Week!"
It's National Small Business Week, what are you doing to grow your business?
May 09, 2011
"Reflection. Forecasting. Perfecting the time to launch."
Are you in a hurry, or do you find yourself "hurrying up to wait?" When we're young, we cannot wait to get older and when we are older, we reflect on our youth. Is there ever really a "perfect time?"
April 14, 2011
"What do all small businesses need to include in their marketing plans?"
Working with small business owners every day is both gratifying and frustrating. There are so many great ideas and products that make it to market when the technician is at work. Often the technician is too busy "in" their delivery they forget they actually have to get their products and services to market.
Helping small business owner's step out of their technician mindset is not an easy thing to do. This series, for April, is committed to developing the checklists entrepreneurs can easily adopt.
April 08, 2011
"The Launch Box"
Well, it's official! We have our State & County Leadership training program underway. We have Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, Colorado and Arizona covered with some pretty spectacular and business savvy team members.
March 14, 2011
"The Launch Box a Movement for Entrepreneurs"
As we continue to hear the negative events happing both in our country and around the world, what are you doing to help create change?
Our economy is a disaster, with rising gasoline prices, cost of every day goods and services are following suit. What are you doing to help grow the economy?
February 13, 2011
"Valentine's Day, is it Love or a really good Marketing campaign?"
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. The pressure to do something spectacular, to express your love is incredible. Do you know how Valentine's Day really began?
It's said to be that in ancient Roman times a priest named Valentine believed strongly in holy matrimony and enjoyed marrying young couples. The Emperor at the time, Claudius II, found it better to have young single men as soldiers and forbade Valentine to marry the young couples. After all "All's fair in Love & War right"?
January 10, 2011
"It's a New Year... a New You?"
Everyone tends to get a little philosophical thinking about New Year. It's a fresh start, the good, bad and ugly can be replaced with new opportunities. How will you use those opportunities to further your business?
December 28, 2010
"Simple Tips to Your Business Success in 2011"
While the tips may seem easy and common sense, we find the simple things are most often overlooked. If you are looking forward to 2011 and growing your business, you need to plan for it. We have never heard a business say "we do not want to grow this year" - taking that to heart, you have to have a plan, a roadmap. If you know where you want to go and follow the roadmap you stand a greater chance of arriving at your end destination and goals.
Last piece of advice, keep it simple. When a business makes their plan too complex, they lose interest and stop following it. PLAN: Development + Measurement = Achievement
December 20, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: What does it mean to "Be Different?""
It's that time of year when we are bombarded with commercials, infomercials, advertisements and billboards. Everyone is trying to get their name in front of buyers, regardless B2B or B2C. What are you doing to set yourself apart, to stand out from the crowd?
November 29, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: Our Six Month Mark"
Evaluating where you are, where you have been and where you are heading is not as easy as it sounds! Sonata Venture Solutions is already celebrating its six month anniversary, and I can hardly believe it. Most days it seems like this is the only thing I have ever done. We have great people, processes and procedures in place, and we are "drinking our own "kool aid" by having plans in place with the appropriate measurements.
November 09, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: When things remain the same..."
Not getting the results you desire? Maybe it is time to change things up. As the saying goes, if you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got! Doing the same things to promote your business, products, and services is not going to result in a different outcome, so if you are not getting the results you want and need it is time to do something about it.
October 26, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: What Path Are You On?"
We all follow a path, whether it is a drummer we hear in our head, or a road one less traveled, it is ours and ours alone. We can choose to share it with others or covet it as a private sanctuary, but at the end of the day we get to decide. The biggest advantage to leading your own company is having the ability to decide which clients, partners, and employee's we get to work with.
October 16, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: Do you always get what you pay for? Does integrity play a factor in your decision?"
When you work hard to create your brand identity are you factoring into your marketing plan what it will take to retain it? If you are a new business or a business that is re-branding one or all aspects of your company, what things to you take into consideration and put in place to ensure its integrity?
September 28, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: What happens when one brand becomes another?"
I frequently talk to my clients about protecting their brand. What happens when one brand purchases another? Where does the identity built for both go? In the news we have been hearing of the intent by Southwest airlines to purchase Air Tran airlines. Both have very different brand identities, unique to the markets they serve. Southwest has the no frills, friendly skies, jovial flight attendants moniker while Air Tran boasts of business class service for a fraction of the cost.
September 19, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: Trust, once it's built what does it take to sustain it?"
It can take companies years to build their brand, through marketing and public relations efforts, consistent messaging, following up on their promises; then in one move they can alienate their client base. Trust, once you build it through your brand you have to continue working at it in order to sustain it....
September 06, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: Labor Day, The Launch Box & Start-Up Companies"
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. We know that small business create jobs and sustain communities; we get that buying local keeps the money in our neighborhoods. If "we" all get it, then why are we seeing things like, main street businesses closing at such an alarming rate?
August 30, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: Do you have that one Go to Outfit?"
Do you have that one thing in your closet that is your "go to piece"? When there is an important meeting or a special activity - you can pull out that one thing, put it on any day or time, and it just gives you that extra confidence boost? Guys you may be thinking what is she talking about, I don't have a special "go to outfit" - but stop for a minute and think, when you play football with the guys do you have a lucky shirt...
August 24, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: Is Your BACKPACK Ready?"
If your house is anything like ours, you are in the throes of back to school. It does not seem to matter how young or old the kids are, each year starts about the same. Pull out the backpacks from last year, are they "worthy" to re-use....
August 17, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: THE LAUNCH BOX™"
The Launch Box workshop gathered today to help four innovative companies grow and get one step closer to their launch...... through marketing, branding and public relations
August 15, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: THE LAUNCH BOX™"
... is your company, product or service ready for market? You've done everything to get it ready, your standard operating procedures are in order, you have the packaging done - but oh wait, how will you get it to market? How will you get word out to your target audience you have the BEST WIDGET??
Take a look at THE LAUNCH BOXTM
August 08, 2010
"THE LAUNCH BOX! and ETC Baltimore"
Launch your Business with Sonata Venture & "THE LAUNCH BOX"!
Coming to Baltimore, MD this week!
August 03, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations... and your suitcase"
What does marketing, branding and public relations have in common with your suitcase? Well.... have you ever tried to fit a ton of things into another? Read on!
July 21, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations: Look at your actions, before you point the finger!"
In growing your BRAND you need to manage expectations appropriately, be willing to own up to mistakes with your clients, and tackle the tough things right away. When you do that you earn credibility ...
July 13, 2010
"Marketing, Branding, Public Relations - Do you know what your season is?"
Every company has a selling and marketing season... do you know what yours is and how are you capitalizing on it?
July 06, 2010
"Public Relations & Swimming... what do they have in common?"
When the water is smooth and clear we are invincible. We can do anything - swim, boat, dive and float. When things become a little more turbulent it gets a little harder and when storms are in the area, more difficult and hazardous yet. The same goes for business....
July 02, 2010
"Branding & Recognition is a result of strong marketing"
Many people that I talk to think if they design a logo and slap it onto their website they suddenly have a brand... not the case. Everything about marketing and creating a recognizable brand has to do with consistent, predictable messaging. Love or hate it but things we come to remember are because they have been repeated over and over, until we "recognize" it at a glance.
June 27, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations - Reflection"
Sometimes it isn't about doing something cutting edge, sometimes it is the tried and true that continue to work.....
June 18, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations - How do they all fit together?"
Marketing is about consistency. Marketing is having your brand identified through consistent, repeatable outreach to an identified market....
June 07, 2010
"Amazing day - mentoring, learning and growing..."
... you just have to be open to it!
June 02, 2010
"Great Conference: SPARK & HUSTLE!! July 29 - 31, 2010"
CALLING ALL WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS & FRIENDS!!!
June 01, 2010
"If you want to be the perfect vendor, be the perfect client and vice versa!"
In launching Sonata Venture I am starting out with my ideals, values and ethics in tact- I know there are enough potential clients out there that feel the same way, they want to do business with people they can trust
May 28, 2010
"Closing the first week...."
"when one door closes another opens" could not be more true....
May 26, 2010
"Marketing, Branding & Public Relations - LAUNCH!"
The details are all in the networking.... relationships really do matter!
May 25, 2010
"Starting of a new chapter... LAUNCH!"
I am the self-proclaimed "Queen of Multi-Tasking" What do you do?