LoudounPreneur entrepreneurial newsletter

Information for the Innovative, Enterprising and Brave 

March 2013

FBI HQ Offers Opportunities, Benefits

Loudoun County media coverage spiked last week with the announcement that the county had issued an official Request for Information response, detailing eight potential FBI headquarters sites and their advantages. In discussing the project with County Business Development Officer Jim Herbert, he details how the FBI, the nation and local entrepreneurs would benefit from a Loudoun-based FBI headquarters.

People You Should Know

This Month: Ann Bancroft, owner of Aligner 
This month we talked with Ann Bancroft, owner of Aligner, an Ashburn-based small business providing specialized HR services. As a consultant helping companies incorporate the Affordable Care Act into their planning, Ann offers Loudoun entrepreneurs insight into the benefits of the ACA, and her cautions as well.

Facebook Graph: One More Way to Bring in Customers

What is this new Facebook Graph feature, and why should you care? According to PR Web, this latest innovation will allow Facebook users to query their connections and receive targeted lists of recommendations - essentially data mining from their own and their friends' Facebook likes.

Hence, if Facebook Graph moves out of its current beta status and catches on, the more "likes" your business has acquired the better. Users will be able to ask "what's the best [insert business type here] in Loudoun?" and Facebook Graph will recommend the businesses already liked by the users' friends.

So as recommended by PR Web, be ahead of the curve and get started:

  1. Ask your current and past customers to "like" your Facebook page. Make your request clear and easy to follow with a link.
  2. Offer prizes or discounts in return - an incentive for liking the page.
  3. Encourage further interaction with your followers - such as sharing your posts and liking your photos. Every bit of interaction is expected to make your page more relevant to the mathematical algorithms of Facebook Graph.

Read It and Reap

Author Patrick Alain brings us "The Leader Phrase Book: 3,000+ Powerful Phrases That Put You in Command." Organized by situations such as "general conversation," "diplomacy" and "problem solving," it is a flexible resource that can be read all the way through, or assist in a specific area.

The arrangement of this book is one of its most interesting elements. In each category, phrases are arranged in descending order, from "friendly" to "rude," "trusting" to "untrusting," or "effusive" to "measured." The book lets you familiarize yourself with the phrases that will be most helpful to you in different circumstances, so that you have a ready-made reply when the time comes. Whether you are more diplomatic or more direct, you can find the words that leave you in charge of a situation. Be sure to read the "How to Use this Book" guide at the beginning, which gives important tips. Check it out now from the Loudoun County Public Library.


Dive Into the Dolphin Tank

An important reminder: AOL and Loudoun Economic Development have partnered to bring to Loudoun a friendly, fast-pitch session for the most promising emerging companies. The event is the creation of venture catalyst Springboard Enterprises, and the pitch panel includes Springboard founder Amy Millman; former Etsy CEO Maria Thomas; and Donna Harris, a Springboard alumna and founder of the Washington, D.C.-based startup accelerator 1776.

If you have an emerging startup that is currently in operation, please 
apply now to pitch. If you are an investor, an entrepreneur, an aspiring entrepreneur, a member of the business community, a member of the startup ecosystem or just someone who loves to hear about the newest innovations, come watch!

Date:    March 20, 2013
Time:    4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Place:   AOL, 22000 AOL Way, Dulles Virginia

Cost:    Free with online registration 

Growing Your Business With Email and Social Media

The Loudoun Chamber of Commerce is set to help you build relationships with easy, inexpensive and highly effective email and social media marketing. In this seminar, you will receive tips to increase your email open rates, write good headlines and content, and keep high-quality prospects, customers and members on your lists. You will also learn the essentials of transforming new prospects into repeat customers. Lunch will be served.

Date:    March 12, 2013
Time:    11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
GW Virginia Science & Technology Campus Exploration Hall

Cost:    $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers, $5 extra at the door


Mastering Effective Marketing

The Loudoun Chamber also invites you to this fun, interactive session that will provide proven techniques and tips to help you get the results you want from your networking efforts.


Date:    March 19, 2013

Time:    5 to 8 p.m.

Place:   1757 Golf Club, Dulles

Cost:    $40 for members, $55 for nonmembers, $10 extra at the door

Be a Winner

In this month's LoudounPreneur, "The Leader Phrase Book" explains how you can maintain control in any situation through the use of key phrases. Be the first person to write us a suggested phrase you find powerful in business situations at LoudounBiz@loudoun.gov, and win a multi-port USB hub from Loudoun Economic Development. Good luck!

Congratulations to Ginia Hildreth, outreach coordinator for Mason in Loudoun, who won last month's contest. Thanks for playing Ginia!

Gut-Check From a Guru

"I think the biggest single thing that causes difficulty in the business world is the short-term view. We become obsessed with it. But it forces bad decisions." - James Sinegal, co-founder and CEO of Costco

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!

Quick Links





Debi Roder   
Loudoun Virginia
Economic Development Entrepreneurship
Manager Debi Roder

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