Entry #6: Putting It All “On the Line”

As an SBE you need to put yourselves on the line.  Let people know you exist.  People don’t buy what they don’t know about and you can’t get what you don’t ask for.

You can put it anyway you want.  It isn’t about me or my company…just a simple principle.

Every business exists to solve a problem…For someone to buy your service or product you have to identify the problem you solve, what makes you different/better–and then make others aware of you.  For some reason, many businesses don’t leverage every avenue to create awareness and then wonder why they didn’t succeed.

Keepsake Bows is an innovative company in Olympia Washington.  We manufacturer a unique universal “Keeper Klip”.  Originally designed to close a gift bag, we realized our reusable product could change the way we give gifts while making the world a “greener” place.  Over 40 million tons of waste result each year from gift wrapping and gift bags.  That’s a crazy amount of waste!

We operate on two premises:

#1. Only those that can see the invisible can do the impossible–we did that.  Now we need to be visible so the rest of the world can see it.

You need to create awareness, be clear on what you do, and provide customers with the information and levels of service to build trust in you as a new business to get the job done.  That means listening, adapting, being part of the team.

#2. We have no competitors, only potential partners.  Our product is a missing piece that makes other products work better.  We entered the industry with a cooperative attitude.  How can we make what you do better, easier, more beautiful, better for the earth?   Being small, this was important. It’s better to hold hands and let them help you gain strength so you can run solo someday, if the need arises.

We use many ways to drive product awareness.  Small groups of other entrepreneurs, especially those with similar ideologies, mommy bloggers, social media, print media, radio, television, trade shows, direct calls to buyers and event managers.

Every chance we get we let the world know we are here.  It’s not all about selling, but educating, introducing, asking to engage and asking for input to continue to be a better company.  It’s about finding other companies you can augment and partner with.

I hope you find these tips helpful.  Get involved, speak up, be present!  You are only one person away from your goal–you just have to reach that person with the right message.

Penny Miller, President
Keepsake Bows, Inc.
11631 Waddell Creek Rd SW
Olympia, WA  98512
360 352 3627

May 2012: The Supplier Spotlight Monthly SBE Contest.

Sponsored by Supplier-Connection – An initiative of major US companies committed to spending more with US-based small businesses.


About Dan Gallo

I'm a small business lifer, starting/running businesses since I sold seeds door-to-door as a kid in The Bronx. I've played guitar and enjoyed baseball since I was 5 (born a NY Yankees fan). Just prior to marrying Kim in 1983 I became a Christian. We have two sons; Daniel's a musician & social media expert with a smart, insightful sense of humor, and Adam who recently graduated from Brooklyn College double majoring in Creative Writing/Literature and Anthropology. Adam now works in the non-profit sector. Since 2002 one thing we love to do together is go on service/missions trips to Belize. We've collectively spent 60+ weeks in Belize with this missions organization http://twaw.org. I started my 1st company in January 1985, and been self-employed ever since. I sold my last company, Mentor Communications Group, in '04. After 2 years w/ the acquiring company I started The Allasso Group, LLC doing Small Business Consulting, Fund Raising/Capital Raise-up Campaigns, Sales Strategy, Outsourced Sales Agency work, & Digital Marketing Programs (Social Media, SEM, etc.) since April 2006. Notable projects: Hired as Small Business Advocate and Social Media Director for IBM's "Supplier-Connection" - Feb '11-Dec '13. Hired as COO to help turn-around late stage start-up software company myVRM. Jul12-Dec '13 Hired as CEO of CoupleWise.com, a Digital Health2.0 app, to write business plan, raise seed capital, & completely redesign and relaunch the app. Aug '16 I won a Finalist spot for MassChallenge UK's 2016 fall cohort in London from Sept thru Nov. Started Oct15 - Current. I enjoy helping turn-around struggling small businesses, and launching new business ventures. Feel free to contact me with opportunities.
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