Kristen Langham is a Marketing Project Manager for Palo Alto Software, where she focuses on customer engagement.
The necessity of a business plan is a controversial topic. What is the importance of a plan? Do you only need a plan if you’re looking for investment? Or can a plan help your business succeed in the long run? Do you think a business plan will help provide you with a leg up if... Read more »
It’s Valentine’s Day, so love and passion abound today. While most people tend to celebrate their personal relationships on Valentine’s Day, businesses also deserve some love and recognition. For entrepreneurs, passion is often what drives them to start their own business. Is passion enough? Does raw talent trump passion? How can and should the two... Read more »
A couple months ago, I attended my first email marketing conference and came back to the office with pages of notes, my brain packed full of information, and a fire in my belly to completely revamp our email marketing program. Due to time constraints, limited bandwidth, other projects needing immediate attention and the lack of... Read more »
Email marketing can be a viable sales channel for many organizations, but it can also be scary, uncharted territory. Recipients can tell you they never want to hear from you again, emails can bounce if you don’t have updated email addresses, subscribers can mark your emails as spam (even when they aren’t!), and your email... Read more »
The Rice Business Plan Competition is now accepting applications for the 2009 competition, to be held April 16 – 18 in Houston, TX. Only 36 teams will have the opportunity to compete in this prestigious competition, and one lucky team will walk away with more than $675,000 in cash and prizes. All interested teams must... Read more »
Every time I think about blogging, I question what I should write about, whether or not I have the time, if people will read my posts, etc. But when I actually think about what blogging can do for our business, it’s really a no-brainer. Blogging is pretty much free marketing (and can actually be kind... Read more »
You may start noticing a theme on the BIG Blog – “Back to Fundamentals” – and when you sit down and think about it, it is a really simple idea that can have a really big impact on your business. Whether or not your company is in a financial pinch, the economy is in a... Read more »
As the Marketing Manager for Palo Alto Software, I interact regularly with entrepreneurs or those helping entrepreneurs start their businesses. And with that comes a lot of encouragement to plan. It’s very easy to tell people they need to plan and without planning, they won’t have a roadmap for success. But actually sitting down to... Read more »
I just returned to my office after visiting the local FedEx Kinko’s for assistance with a couple marketing projects. As I walked out of the store, I thought about how pleasant my experience was and how receiving good vs. bad customer service can really affect you as a consumer. The sales associate I worked with... Read more »
Yesterday I attended an Advisory Committee Meeting for the local Business Development Center office (also known to many as the SBDC office), and although I have been working with them for the last 20 months, I gained a deeper appreciation and respect for what they do day in and day out. In the last 9... Read more »
I recently read John Jantsch’s post, Coach vs. Consultant, and one of his statements caught my attention: “Whatever you call it, there is no doubt that having a trusted adviser, one that calls BS when it needs calling, is one of the most valuable assets an entrepreneur can obtain.” It is interesting to read... Read more »
I just returned from attending Tim Berry’s BA 410: New Business Planning class at the University of Oregon. My reasoning for attending his class was two-fold. One: I manage our Academic Channel and instructors often ask me if and how our software can be used in the classroom. I generally reply with something like, “The... Read more »
I posted the other day about unlikely businesses, like the small repair shop here in Eugene that specializes in fixing electric shavers. Talking that over with a couple of people around the office reminded me of another unusual business I saw recently: a midway stand on the Coney Island boardwalk called, charmingly enough, Shoot the... Read more »
I just got off the phone with a University Bookstore (who shall remain anonymous) who purchased 24 copies of our Business Plan Pro software. We did play a little phone tag before we connected, but the time that lapsed between his original call and the call where we actually spoke was 22 hours (not bad... Read more »
This is not closely related to business planning or entrepreneurship (unless you take a broad view of startup requirements), but it seemed like a tip worth passing on. David Pogue from the New York Times posted recently on the Flip Ultra video camera. Apparently it’s a “mega-hit,” though he’d never heard of it, and neither... Read more »
If the world at large is full of oddities (and trust me, it is), the small business world is certainly no exception. Sprinkled among the dime-a-dozen coffee shops and clothing retailers are all sorts of strange and unlikely niche businesses. Here’s my favorite: Ardon’s Shaver Service, located in midtown Eugene, Oregon, between the Suds ‘Em... Read more »
That’s the problem. So the pitch is CEO/Entrepreneur/Start-up Junkie Ron Wiener believes the world is ready for a revolutionary online postal mail service. And the goal is to secure millions in funding from investors and take Earth Class Mail from a promising idea to a profitable reality. Welcome to the TV show, Start-Up Junkies. My... Read more »
How often do you get an email without a signature and therefore have to dig through past emails or notes to locate that person’s phone number or other contact information? This may seem like a minor thing, but to me a complete signature adds a level of completeness and professionalism to the email. Email signatures... Read more »
When I came on board at Palo Alto Software, I really had no concept of business plan competitions. But since managing academic competitions was one of my responsibilities, I quickly learned all about them and was amazed at the myriad of competitions out there. From the first-ever Twitter Business Plan Contest where you have to... Read more »
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