Small Business Guide for Success - Page 3 of 4

Small Business Guide for Success

and that interprets to increased power because you’re working collaboratively.”

Do…“Start small and sharp,” recommends Maisha Walker, president and founder of Message Medium (, a New York City marketing firm, about building your Website to market your business. “Grow the site as your revenues grow.” She says a common mistake business owner’s make is assuming a cheaper method is better. “An inexpensive one or two page professional Website will usually work better than a 10 page site created by someone without the knowledge to make it really sing for your business.”

Don’t…Bore visitors with your Website. Not focusing on what the client really wants to know is a big mistake entrepreneurs often make, says Walker. The home page is not the place for any lengthy copy (i.e. mission statement, history, etc.) According to Walker, the first question your Website should answer is: What can you do for me? “And your site should say it in a way that is clear and compelling,” she adds.

Don’t…Wait too long to measure impact. Monitoring a marketing initiative throughout its run can save money if it is not working. “We don’t measure an initiative when it’s done; we measure it in increments as we move forward,” says Steffon Isaac, creative director of the Polish Bar of Brooklyn. “And so, if we’re not where we should be two weeks into a campaign, we shut it down or shift it.”

Vet ideas with others. “It’s one thing to come up with an idea,” says Isaac. “But if you can’t justify and measure these things, then it isn’t going to work.” He and Tricialee Riley, owner of the Polish Bar, developed a marketing template, which they use to discuss the prospective results of a marketing/advertising initiative (i.e. return of investment; execution of campaign; etc). Outlining the pros and cons allows you to fully articulate and thrash it out to ensure it has all the vital components.

Don’t doom your domain. Online marketing is an area often passed over by business owners. Andrew Morrision, founder and president of the Small Business Camp (, a New York-based business development firm, suggests picking a domain name that makes senses, something everyone can spell and relay. “When you pick a domain name, it needs to relate somehow to the key words in your industry,” he says. Also, focus a portion of your Web page on capturing e-mails and gathering testimonials.

A Graceful (and Lucrative) Exit

Effective succession planning lets you profit from your business even after you leave

By Tamara E. Holmes

Want more info? Check out these books and Websites for additional information on succession planning.


  • How to Run Your Business So You Can Leave It in Style (Business Enterprise Press; $24.95) by John H. Brown
  • Seven Keys to Unlocking the Door to Your Dreams: Exit Strategies for Business Owners by Robert C. Gellman (CBIZ Inc; $19.95)
  • Exit Strategy Planning: Grooming Your Business for Sale or Succession (Gower Pub Co; $99.95) by John Hawkey