Crowd-Funding Opportunities for Women

Women are still counted as minority entrepreneurs. The sad part is that all minority entrepreneurs are rarely get funding, as the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research reports. “Minority entrepreneurs made up just 8.5% of the people pitching their businesses to angel investors in the first half of 2013″, – the report says.

Though minorities, including female entrepreneurs, receive much less investor attention and funding, female start ups are more successful. “A 2012 study by Dow Jones reported that 61% of startups with five or more females were successful and only 39% failed. No wonder Etsy recently grew their number of female engineers by 500% in 12 months.” (c) Forbes. Female entrepreneurs are known as hard-working, consistent, goal-oriented and better anti-crisis managers than men.

Yelena Kodryany and Elina Barsegyan

Example of a successful start up: IntelliChild Academy, currently consisting of four schools, is run by two business ladies, Yelena Kodryany and Elina Barsegyan

Business ladies are more conscious about socially related issues, healthy life style, education, that’s why many health care, child care, and human rights projects are run by women.

Shruti Kapoor, the founder of Sayfty, an advisory project carrying personal safety products

How to overcome traditional disrespect to women-entrepreneurs? How to attract investors’ attention? One of the ideas is creation of crowd-funding sites specially for business-ladies. One of such projects is Plum Alley whose motto is “Connecting women entrepreneurs with markets, capital & advice”. Plum Alley looks like a community where you can shop, submit your project for fundraising, get an expert advice, be an expert advisor in your field. The categories where you can show your expertise or try to get funds for your projects are “Film and Video”, “Education”, “Food and Beverage”, “Fashion”.

PlumAlley.co where you can submit your project for crowd-funding

The Plum Alley project was launch as an e-commerce website over a year ago, and now it added a crowd-funding and advisory components. The reward based investments are quite similar to popular Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but in the case with Plum Alley the target audience is women.

The re:artiste Artist Representation company is run by female entrepreneurs, Natalie Burlutskaya and Maria Kordova

Crowd-funding can be a game-changer for your ideas to make them work. Instead of looking for big investors and getting prepared for many business meetings, through crowd-funding sites you can receive smaller investments from the larger group of individuals. And there is a bonus to it – you build awareness, too.

www.plumalley.co

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Brand Yourself on the Web

www

Image courtesy support.mediacore.com

Today it is hard to imagine any brand without its own website. The internet became the easiest source of information. We are [re]searching everything and everywhere using all possible devices starting with our own smart phones.

Do you have a website? Is your brand professionally represented online?

Before you start doing any action from scratch – by yourself or with a professional assistance – think twice of your URL selection and promotion. At BPO Group USA we are happy to consult you at any phase of your branding, business promotion, and your website design. We want to share the following tips with you - before you start your marketing campaign.

DOs

  • Use your brand name as your domain name: in other words, use YourBrandName.com whenever possible
  • Use dot.com whenever possible, or at least dot.net; if YourBrandName dot com or YourBrandName dot net have been already taken it make sense to think of a different brand name – you cannot confuse your consumers with a lot of names everywhere representing your business
  • If your brand name consists of several words, capitalize each letter of each word to help each word stand out and make your brand name easy to read: for example, BPOGroupUSA.com => BPO Group USA dot com
  • When running an integrated media campaign use the URL with your selling line, or slogan: YourSlogan.com

Easy DON’Ts:

  • Avoid hyphens and slashes
  • Do not use words with apostrophes
  • Do not create domain names which are your product or category names, they should be used as supplements.

For more tips and tricks please contact BPO Group USA:
info@BPOGroupUSA.com

 

 

 

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Your Website is Your Face

What people do nowadays to find out more about you and your business? Correct, they go to your website. Your website is your face and your signature, sometimes literally.

How much information do you have to provide on your website? Depends on your purpose, vision, taste, sense of style, and budget. But smartly designed websites will give the viewers an opportunity to see immediately what they are looking for.

And here comes the leader of today’s launches and the most shared links – the website of Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, having resigned from her position recently. Her face, her name, her contacts – that’s what you find on her website. That’s what you want if you need Hillary. That’s what you want to make sure this is she. That’s what you need  if  you have to contact her. And this is what we call “smart approach”. Just. One. Page.

Brilliant.

Clinton's website, the only page.

The image from Hillary Clinton’s website

Source: www.HillaryClintonOffice.com

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Fake “Likes”, Illegitimate Reviews

Image courtesy pcworld.com

Picking a dining spot or a must-see show means nowadays turning on your mac, PC, or mobile device. The submitted and posted online reviews can make or break the business, that is why the amount of fake reviews increases along with  fake “likes”. The U.S. law says that if you are get paid to endorse a product, place, or service, you must disclose it.

The websites collecting and demonstrating consumers’ opinions  are fighting with the fraudulent posts using the mix of techniques and human moderators to separate fraudulent  comments from genuine reviews. Not only consumers want to get the point about the place or product they want to choose – businesses as well want to rely on the true consumer’s opinion in order to improve their level of services or business operations. Such websites as Google+, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Local do their best to detect fakes.

Image by Yelp

Here Yelp is standing out: approximately 20% of submitted reviews are never displayed. Besides, Yelp turned to a new weapon: public shaming. Yelp announced that businesses found attempting to buy positive reviews will have their pages branded with a consumer advisory informing readers of their chicanery.

How to spot a fake? In 2011, Cornell University computer-science students developed an algorithm that identified 90% of fake reviews, in part by flagging telltale signs.

Here are the five common signs but some of them still sound unconvincing:

  • A user account with just one review
  • Reviews coming from multiple accounts on one computer
  • Reviews that diverge sharply from the sentiment of others
  • Effusive adjectives (real people seldom gush)
  • Vague terms like “vacation” and “my husband” (real people talk about specifics like the bathroom or price).

    Image courtesy plumevoyage.fr

But still, weeding out the fraud and handling the abuse is not an exact science. When Google removed hundreds of reviews for three car dealerships in Kansas, Massachusetts, and Colorado from its Google+ Local pages, those dealers filed complaints with the FTC. “We acknowledge in trying to strike balance in removing spam reviews and keeping legitimate reviews, there will be some error”, – a Google spokesperson comments. Also Yelp spokesman, Vince Sollitto, admits that some legitimate reviews may be caught up in the fight with the spam comments: “It’s a continuing cat-and-mouse game that will always be with us.”

Sources: Advertising Age, dailyfinance.com

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Entrepreneurship: Creative Ideas

“All genius ideas are simple”, – the famous proverb tells us that we should just look around to catch great business ideas and move your company in a right direction. We found such examples at the exhibition “Celebrate! Party Showcase” held in Westchester, NY, in November 2012.

Photo by BPO Group USA

At the exhibition “Celebrate! Party Showcase”. Photo by BPO Group USA.

BPO Group USA at the Celebrate Party Showcase in Westchester, NY

Frozen berries by Früzen. Photo by BPO Group USA.

Look at those colorful gems! These are simple ice cubes containing berries and fruits inside. The company Früzen started its business this Summer, and already it is among the most desirable vendors for cruise lines, weddings, private and corporate parties, cocktail lounges.

Photo by BPO Group USA

Fruity ice cubes ready for your party. Photo by BPO Group USA.

There were also photographers, event planners, and even poets at the exhibition devoted to just parties! If you are into this festive mood and want to make it your career and way of life, such gatherings are a good spot to grab some ideas, meet experienced entrepreneurs, evaluate competition, and make connections, too. Do not stay at your office – go networking.

BPO Group USA visit expo Celebrate Party Showcase

At the exhibition “Celebrate! Party Showcase”. Photo by BPO Group USA.

 

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Art of Merchandising to Sell Art

If you are a creative being – a painter, photographer, makeup artist, designer – who wants to participate in the trade show and demonstrate your artworks or services, you also need to know merchandising principles.

BPO Group USA collaborated with Vladimir Yakobtchuk at Art Expo New York 2012

Artworks by Vladimir Yakobtchuk

Your exhibition booth rent costs you a pretty penny so you want to use it wisely, don’t you? Consider your booth space your personal store, showroom or studio. Your small space means your world at this trade show. We can help you make the booth your personal exhibition within the event which – remember! – intends to sell your art and skills.

BPO Group USA was happy to collaborate with some very talented artists and make the booth arrangements during the Art Expo event in New York. One of them is truly gifted Vladimir Yakobtchuk with his unconventional portraits and collages.

BPO Group USA collaborated with Vladimir Yakobtchuk at the Art Expo New York 2012

Gioconda by Vladimir Yakobtchuk

 Here are some tips for the art booth merchandising:

  • The cleanliness and neatness of the display should be maintained. All your items should be either organized by technique/color palette or plot
  • Do not overcrowd a display. Customers tend to pass over messy, busy-looking displays. Instead, a display should feature a point of interest. Every primary piece must interact with every other so that they all come together as a group
  • Avoid dark backgrounds – art space should be light and airy, especially considering the size of your booth.
BPO Group collaborates with Vladimir Yakobtchuk at Art Expo New York

Artwork by Vladimir Yakobtchuk

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BPO Group USA’s Presentation to the Guild of Realtors

The right branding is important not only for goods. It is absolutely crucial for your company as well, especially if your company provides services such as brokerage, coaching, tutoring, consulting, advising, design services, to name a few.

Right positioning and positive company image build trust which is the most important component  for building loyalty among your consumers, as well as the way to attract new customers.

In August 2012 BPO Group USA was invited to Russia to lead at the business conference of Russian Guild of Realtors. The roundtable meeting took place in the Urals region famous for its industrial and business activities worldwide and its strong influence on the Russian economy.

BPO Group USA's Consulting

BPO Group USA’s consultant with the representatives of Russian Guild of Realtors.

BPO Group USA spoke out in front of great professionals with many years of experience in the real estate field.

BPO Group USA's consulting session

BPO Group USA spoke out in front of great professionals with many years of experience in the real estate field.

We emphasized the urge of the right company branding as well as smart online presence. For such organizations as Russian Guild of Realtors it is critical to utilize all contemporary ways of communications with the clients.

BPO Group USA was given a very warm reception. We are looking forward to collaborating with the Guild.

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Business Networking

Enjoying the mobility of online networking it is also crucial still to meet people in person, have an opportunity to talk “live”, share thoughts and knowledge.

Small Business Expo Afterparty at Yotel

We try to build connections via participating in business meetings and parties organized on purpose to gather and connect people from various fields of business. Such, we met financial advisors and writers, insurance brokers and designers, accountants and artists.

Business Promotion

Professionals and business owners enjoying a networking event.

If you run your own business search the list of local professional and social events such as business exhibitions, public seminars. Choosing the event consider the opportunity to meet your potential clients (in other words, your target audience) rather than competitors from the same industry.

In this case all these after work gatherings will help you promote your business via sharing your company information and expanding your clientele.

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