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:
- Ask your current and past customers to "like" your Facebook page. Make your request clear and easy to follow with a link.
- Offer prizes or discounts in return - an incentive for liking the page.
- 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.
Place: 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!
Economic Development Entrepreneurship
Manager Debi Roder