Announcing the new Idea Cafe small business grant

Recession or not, the spirit of entrepreneurs will continue to be celebrated on Idea Cafe. This is why we announce a new contest, where good business ideas for small business will compete against each other. That is right, the seventh Idea Cafe grant opens this week. We will award $1,000.00 and heaps of free publicity and national recognition to the entrepreneur, who comes on top in the competition against hundreds of other small business owners.

WOMbeat! -- Helping Small Business Owners with Word-Of-Mouth (WOM)

So far, 2009 has been just an amazing year. After winning the Idea Café’s “Innovation & Originality Grant,” we continue to be blessed with so much good news and press. Not only did we make a guest appearance on the CEO Lounge (listen to the program here) in January, but we were also selected to present at Startup Riot 2009 last month in Atlanta, GA (the only company from Florida and the only female presenter selected!).

A Dose of Retail Recession Relief: 12 Ways to Implement the “Maximize the Customer” Cure-All at Your Store

In this article, business expert Rick Segel shares advice for maximizing your customers.

Downward slanting sales. Check. A depleted customer base. Check. Constant stress, worry, and handwringing. Check, Check, Check! If these symptoms are all too familiar, then it’s likely your store is suffering from Recessionitis, a disease plaguing many good-intentioned retailers just like you. Thankfully, there is a cure. And international retail expert Rick Segel has the prescription: Start maximizing your customers at every opportunity throughout the recession and beyond.

Tell us your business story, and we'll feature it online for 90 days, for free

Previously, Idea Cafe's Biz Profiles stayed online for 45 days, but we know that in a tough economy entrepeneurs need promotion and networking opportunities more than ever. This is why the period, during which your Biz Profile will be featured on Idea Cafe, for free, went up from 45 to 90 days.

Small business optimism bottomed out in October, survey finds

The latest American Express OPEN Economic Pulse survey shows that entrepreneurial fear and uncertainty reached a peak in October last year, amidst significant stock market slides. Since then, expectations have somewhat improved: fewer small business owners express worry about going out of business, and more expect to grow their businesses regardless of the economic climate. So much for doom and gloom?

Some other findings from the survey:

  • Fewer businesses have been affected by the tightening of credit (50% in August 08, 63% in October 08 and 56% in January 09)

Small Biz and the Stimulus

Part of the economic recovery bill, to be signed into a law by President Obama, will focus on increasing the number of small business loans that banks issue. A number of other measures in the recovery bill are also aimed directly at improving the small business environment.

How Small Businesses Can Get Big Results from Social Media

For small business owners, the new world order of social media can seem intimidating, if not confusing, but that is no excuse not to explore it. When Social Media can offer very powerful marketing tools that are often extremely affordable, and in many cases FREE, how can you afford not to? We here at WOMbeat! have built social media into our overall strategy, and the payoffs have been tremendous from day one.

What is Social Media?

DOs and DON'Ts of Recession Marketing

How to go about marketing your small business in a slow economy? MaryEllen Tribby, publisher and CEO of Agora Financial’s Early to Rise and coauthor of Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business, offers advice below.

WOMbeat! - Putting the Idea Cafe grant win to work!

First of all, let me say how excited we here at WOMbeat! still are over the Idea Café “Innovation & Originality Grant” win. Not only did this win help us see a tremendous growth in traffic to our site, but we continue to get more coverage because of it. In fact, last week we were one of the guests on a talk-radio program called the Ceo Lounge. Listen for yourself here

Some general tips for being an entrepreneur during a recession

The recession is real, but it, like any other difficulty, should also be seen as an opportunity. Here are some tips on keeping the entrepreneurial spirit high, and starting (or running) a successful business in a rough economy.

  • Start with Your Passion – The French writer Francoise de Motteville once wrote, "The true way to render ourselves happy is to love our work and find in it our pleasure." Those words ring true with any entrepreneurial enterprise, because if you start with an occupation or vocation that drives our passion, then you’ll never have to worry about losing interest.
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