LoudounPreneur entrepreneurial newsletter

Information for the Innovative, Enterprising and Brave 

November 2012

News You Can Use: Sending Business Holiday Cards

With winter holidays quickly approaching, entrepreneurs may be wondering if sending holiday cards to clients and customers is worth the investment. It's estimated that half of U.S. businesses send them, and the consensus among business consultants is that it's an inexpensive way -- if done correctly -- to build customer loyalty and brand recognition. However, opinions vary on the best ways to select and compose the cards. Here are five of the best tips we found for tackling the issues.

People You Should Know 

This month we interviewed Tony Howard, the president and CEO of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce since 2006. During his tenure, the Chamber has grown to more than 1,200 member businesses and community leaders, making it the largest chamber in Northern Virginia. Member activities are extensive, addressing business issues critical to entrepreneurs.

Focus areas for the chamber's councils, committees and special events include business-to-business networking, public policy, commercial real estate, business and community service recognition, sustainability, technology, women in business and the needs of growing small businesses and nonprofits. Read more about how the Loudoun Chamber assists entrepreneurs, and why Tony wants to meet you.

Women-Owned Small Business

Did you know - As of April 2011, there is both a federal and a state initiative running for the benefit of women-owned small businesses? For the nearly one-third of all businesses in Loudoun that are majority-owned and operated by women, the federal 8(m) Women-Owned Small Business program and the Virginia Small, Women-owned and Minority-owned program are providing tangible benefits. Learn more about each.

Read It and Reap

"Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

This is the perfect book for anyone interested in influencing others in business, and wanting to learn how to craft a compelling narrative. Written by two brothers, Chip a Stanford professor and Dan an education entrepreneur, they attempt to determine why one idea succeeds while another fails. This is done by presenting a "stickiness" formula that includes six principles: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories ("success" - almost). Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and compelling advertising are used to prove their formula. The Heaths apply their recommended techniques to their own writing, which makes this an easy, lighthearted read, available from the Loudoun County Public Library.


Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business Entrepreneurship Week

This celebration is in conjunction with Kauffman's Global Entrepreneurship Week, the largest celebration of entrepreneurship in the world. Entrepreneurship Week will include presentations from several guest speakers on topics including international entrepreneurship, women in business and others . All presentations are free and open to the public.

Dates: November 2 - November 7, 2012

Time: Varies

Place: Shenandoah University, Winchester

Cost: All events free; email for more information

IdeaFusion™ Happy Hour
This monthly entrepreneurial networking event has received all five-star ratings online - come find out why! This local group of tech startups, innovative entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and resource gurus come together to share ideas, experiences and potentially to create business relationships.

Date: November 13, 2012
Time: 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Place: Finnegan's Sports Bar and Grill
Cost: Free, online registration

Non-Profit Initiative Mixer

The Loudoun Chamber's Non-Profit Committee cordially invites you to join them for a casual evening of socializing and networking. Meet the local community leaders of this dynamic group and learn about the efforts of their Loudoun County nonprofit initiatives. Beverages and light hors d'oeuvres provided.
Date: November 14, 2012
Time: 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Place: Goose Creek Golf Club
Cost: $15 online
, $20 at the door

Be a Winner

According to the Bureau of the Census, nearly one-third of all businesses in Loudoun County are women-owned. Are you one of them? The first women-owned small business to send us an email to LoudounBiz@Loudoun.Gov and tell us about your company wins a leather business card holder, perfect for all that networking!

Gut-Check From a Guru

"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them." - Steve Jobs

Pay It Forward

This monthly email newsletter is published by the Loudoun, Virginia Department of Economic Development to inform and connect Loudoun's thriving entrepreneurial community. As a leader with influence, please help our community by forwarding this newsletter to your business colleagues. Thanks!

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Debi Roder   
Loudoun Virginia
Economic Development Entrepreneurship
Manager Debi Roder

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