16 JUL 2012
 

This morning on the Business and Bagels radio show, Audrey introduced a topic near and dear to her heart: life as a working mother. She discussed the constant balancing act that many working moms experience between work and time spent with family. Her friend and colleague in the Young Issaquah Professionals group, Kim Gonzales, made a special guest appearance to offer a second perspective on being a mother and a businesswoman.

Kim talked about three different careers she has pursued while simul...

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11 JUL 2012
 

Do you ever wish that your business Facebook page would just update itself? Well, Amberle and I have been working on making that dream come true! You've heard it a million times now, how useful and powerful social media is for business, and we know that finding creative and significant content to post on a regular basis can be a timely hassle. This is especially true for all you entrepreneurs and small business people out there, but we are here to help!

To lower your social media burden, we hav...

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02 JUL 2012
 

Party season has arrived! This past weekend, to kick it off, I celebrated my 20th birthday and the conclusion of my teenage years. Now it's time to celebrate Independence Day! Every year in my neighborhood, the 3rd and 4th of July are two days full of festivities such as a pet parade, Bingo at the town hall, a pickle ball tournament, the street dance, and of course, the 4th of July parade. The street dance occurs every 3rd of July evening. Everyone gathers for dancing, live music and food. My ho...

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28 JUN 2012
 

I know you're all wondering what the interns at Meadow Creek have been up to lately, so here is the update! Yesterday we had our launch party for Meadow Creek Connects, the fabulous social media dashboard that is going to make Facebook marketing a piece of cake for all the small business people and entrepreneurs that choose to give it a go. After some socializing, Richard and Audrey gave a presentation using the new 55" flat screen TV in the Board Room to introduce the product, and Amberle and I...

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18 JUN 2012
 

This Monday morning marked the debut emergence of Amberle and me on the radio! I arrived at the radio station at 7:45 this morning where Audrey let me in and introduced me to Pam and Rochelle, the stars of Chat With Women Talk Radio. We talked briefly in the moments leading up to the show, which would begin at 8:00, and entered the studio to get seated and prepared for take off.

In the studio was Benny, the man behind the scenes who directs the show, working with Pam and Rochelle and all of th...

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15 JUN 2012
 

Meadow Creek's radio show Business & Bagels on KKNW 1150 am hosted by Audrey premiers Monday, June 18th, at 8:00 a.m. Clara and Amberle will be the kick-off guests so tune in! We have no idea what they're going to talk about so it could be very entertaining.

If you would like to be a guest on Business & Bagels and get some gratuitious exposure in the community, please Contact Us or call Audrey at (425) 557-3629.

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14 JUN 2012
 

Hey!

Clara and I have been busy all week working on building content libraries. Through my research for our social media library, I came across this video, and had to share. I have seen this video in a class last semester, but the second time around it caught my attention as much as it did the first time. It is very powerful and I believe that the creators to be completely on point. Social media is not going anywhere fast, but in fact embedding its self in our daily lives. S...

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12 JUN 2012
 

Hello world! Well today marks the start of my second week at Meadow Creek Business Center. My first week was good to me and I had a nice transition from break mode to work mode. Last week consisted of learning and understanding the ways of Meadow Creek, and getting to know my partner in crime for the summer, Clara Tollefson. I am very excited to work with Clara this summer; it's nice to be able to bounce ideas off each other.

Clara and I spent last week working on Business and Bagels; which is ...

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12 JUN 2012
 

As you may or may not know, Meadow Creek hosts a monthly event called Business and Bagels. Business and Bagels is a fun social networking event at Meadow Creek where a topic of interest is introduced, which then leads to a casual round-table discussion. On top of having the opportunity to meet and chat with other small business owners and entrepreneurs, attendees are provided with complimentary food to munch on during the discussion. This is a fun way for everyone to take a short break from the ...

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08 JUN 2012
 

Happy Friday! Today concludes my third week interning at Meadow Creek. Let's see, what did I learn this week? Well, first of all, never speed on the way to work. There is bound to be at least one cop just dying to catch someone speeding on the drive from Bellevue to Issaquah. Today I was followed a ways by one, and there was an undercover sitting by Exit 17, (cruise control is our friend).

Another thing that became ever so relevant this week is our severe dependence on technology! Audrey and I ...

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05 JUN 2012
 

Hello everyone! I am very excited about the opportunity to intern for Meadow Creek Business Center this summer. Most interns spend a majority of their time at the local coffee shop getting everyone's specialty latte and running mindless errands. Not me; I feel I was very lucky to find an internship that will let me use my skills, learn, and grow in my career and as an individual.

As an intern at Meadow Creek Business Center I will be able to wear many hats and use many tools from my tool bag. ...

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04 JUN 2012
 

So, I walked into work wearing a puffy North Face jacket today; maybe I am missing the Cabo weather just the slightest bit. Although, I am glad to say that some significant progress was made in my week back from vacation. As previously mentioned, I started off last week making flyers that display the extensive marketing and consulting services offered at Meadow Creek. I also reminisced while writing my second blog about my amazing trip in Mexico (and found some closure for my feelings of nostalg...

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29 MAY 2012
 

Yes it is true, after only one week working at Meadow Creek I left for a nine-day vacation in Cabo. But let's be honest, who could turn that down!? The family I traveled with has a timeshare at a resort called Chileno Bay, which just reopened a month ago after being shut down for some time due to economic difficulties. The resort is absolutely amazing, located right on the water with the friendliest staff, and get this; we were the only people there! We actually had the entire resort to ourselve...

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22 MAY 2012
 

The National Assoication for Business Economics reported that the economy keeps chugging along yesterday with some modestly improved forecasts for jobs growth, housing start and auto sales. It looks like 2013 when things will begin to look like they're getting back to normal. This is consistent with my experience yesterday having dinner with Lee Ruttenberg, Chief Financial Officer of American Mobile Power Systems. Our waitress at the Rock Bottom Brewery was a recent grad of Western Washington...

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21 MAY 2012
 

70% of small and medium sized businesses are using Facebook for marketing. 58% use LinkedIn and 40% use Twitter to market their products and services. Do you?

Social media has proven to be an effective marketing tool for B2B and B2C businesses alike. Social media marketing, primarily using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, is an effective way to to develop prospects, retain current clients and increase market awareness of your company and its products. Social media marketing is also very inex...

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16 MAY 2012
 

Knowledge, experience and the ability to put it together into some meaningful thought is well beyond the capacity of most would be authors. They don't let incompetence keep them down. Here is the secret used by most business authors and reporters that know less than you, but make themselves look like freaking geniuses every day. Follow these simple steps and you'll find yourself in the Harvard Business Review next month.

Step 1 – Come up with something completely obvious. Let's try this; esta...

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14 MAY 2012
 

The world of computer-mediated communication is fresh and exciting as it changes every day and is constantly offering new approaches to social interaction, especially through the internet. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are constantly increasing in popularity and are used by people all over the globe. In fact, according to Digital Buzz Blog, statistics from January 2012 showed that Facebook now has more than 800 million active users, and Twitter 100 million active users. Furth...

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10 MAY 2012
 

Building a marketing campaign that is sure to be effective and accomplish your goals is not that hard if you follow some very easy steps along the way. A killer campaign is one that has a defined goal, minimizes risk and has a high ROI. It is usually part of a planned flow of related campaigns and not a distinct event. Being part of a progression of activity and being a segue into the next campaign, containing multiple promotional tools and designed with achieving a return commensurate with its ...

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09 MAY 2012
 

Every once in while you need to step back and look at the big picture to accelerate your business growth. All of the day-to-day demands of running a small business draw you away from that 20 thousand foot view of your business. That's where real progress can be made in better defining your value proposition, adding clarity to your marketing message and standing out in the crowd.

Here are 5 simple ways to help gain traction in the market place.

  1. Define your strategy. Then shout it from the r...

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26 APR 2012
 

Sometimes eliminating what something is not helps provide clarity to what in fact it is. Such is the case with marketing. So much has changed in the landscape of marketing that it is not uncommon for people in business to be totally confused as to what marketing is and if they are doing it at all, much less correctly. Many small business owners I have talked to and worked with are horrified that they are not.

So let's start with a list of the 10 things marketing is not:

  1. Website
  2. Blog
  3. Brochu...

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14 JAN 2012
 

Promotion is where the vast majority of change has taken place. The change in promotion is at least equal to the change brought on by the advent of printing, mail, radio and television. While some very entertaining videos would have us believe it is bigger than all of those combined, when adjusted for changes in GNP, population and whatever else, we believe it is as revolutionary as any of these events on the world of marketing.

seo,affiliate programs,facebook,social media,organic search,email,direct mail

Forrester Research and Shopping.org

With the change in place, ...

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12 JAN 2012
 

Place has most certainly changed and extraordinarily so. Marketing strategy decisions regarding Type/Location of Stores must now include a company website with e-commerce capability. There was once the dominance of the brick and mortar store and perhaps a call center for catalog sales. Service providers, both B2C and B2B, were call-in businesses. Find the number on your Rolodex or phone book and call in your request or order. Now a growing number of businesses have a web presence as shown in the...

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11 JAN 2012
 

Other than the obvious change in cost structure in some web-based distribution models, pricing fundamentals too, have not changed. Price is set to maximize profitability in concert with corporate strategy regarding:

  • Cost leadership
  • Differentiation
  • Niche focus

Corporate strategy regarding its selection of differentiation, cost leadership or focus plays a key role in pricing of course, but what has changed is the influence of changes in distribution on pricing flexibility. Compared to bric...

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10 JAN 2012
 

Product

Corporate strategy would typically define in some reasonably broad parameter product and place. Unless you’re in a web based business or a web substitute (more on that later) there has not been an appreciable change in product since Al Gore invented the internet. Yes, many products have become web enabled, but that’s a matter of product differentiation, not typically corporate strategy. There are also a plethora of products that would not exist if not for the web.

Pity poor Blockbu...

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09 JAN 2012
 

Fundamentals of Company Strategy The foundation of any marketing strategy has got to be a company strategy that defines the parameters of the business that you’re in. Among other things, it defines the scope of the product or service offering, target market, sales and distribution strategy. This is all based on a strategic analysis and strategic plan as depicted below in Michael Porter’s Wheel of Competitive Strategy.

Wheel of Competitive Strategy

Strategy has always shared a lot more sex appeal in corporate manageme...

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07 JAN 2012
 

The internet has not changed the fundamentals of marketing. The internet has not created a new “silver bullet” of marketing, but introduced many new considerations and an enormous number of new tools to be employed. All too often people are confusing internet savvy, website design and SEO skills with marketing and it’s not. These skills are important parts of online promotion techniques and campaigns and important elements of most marketers’ tool kits. Marketing, however, needs to be app...

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06 JAN 2012
 

Small businesses rank their Marketing and Innovation lowest in a recent survey of the components of their competitive health. This is not surprising given the confusion generated by the proliferation of new online marketing tools. So called and self-proclaimed “marketing gurus” confuse knowledge of a couple of internet tricks with marketing.

Small businesses are disappointed with their marketing effectiveness as a result of having lost sight of the bigger picture while chasing inappropriate...

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19 DEC 2011
 

The Board of Directors of The Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce has elected Richard Gabel to be the Treaurer of the Chamber this coming year.  As Treasurer he will be a member of the Executive Committee of the Board.  Gabel is serving his second 3-year term as a Director.  He has also served previously as the Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the Membership Committee.

We encourage all of you to join your local Chambers of Commerce.  If you are interested in joi...

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16 DEC 2011
 

I recently published an article, "Facebook and Twitter are Stupid", with the intent of drawing out people's concerns regarding the use of social media as a serious tool in marketing.  I recognized that the article would also draw the ire of social media addicts that would do anything to insure their next Twitter fix and to suck the next naive and willing spirit into their unholy social media haze of sensory deprivation where all problems, particularly marketing, can be remedied by just one ...

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03 DEC 2011
 

Issaquah, Washington based American Mobile Power Systems (AMPS) is expanding its staff and has named Richard Gabel as Director of Marketing.  At the same time AMPS also named Stephen Meldrum Director of Sales and Licensing.  Gabel and Meldrum will be working closely together in establishing AMPS international position in the green energy market.

AMPS is a systems integrator of custom mobile power delivery systems for commercial applications.  AMPS provides the battery chemistry a...

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15 NOV 2011
 

Audrey Slade gave a great presentation on networking/connecting and social media today at Meadow Creek's Tenant Talks brown bag lunch session.  There was a great discussion on connecting with people, the importance of connecting to growing your business and using social media to extend and communicate with your connections.

Nine people attended.  Check our events calendar for the next Tenant Talks.

  

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18 AUG 2011
 

Jazz up your online presence with video. Prospects will get to meet you in person online when they watch a video of you explaining what you do and showing or demonstrating your products and services. Post it on You Tube then embed it on your website.

It doesn't need to cost a fortune. This is a guerrilla marketing tactic, not a way to go broke. Pick up a flip camera for under $150 and you are in business. Video is easy to edit on free programs like Microsoft Movie Maker and a host of other...

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16 AUG 2011
 

The sad state of the economy hasn't made it easy for the entrepreneur or small business owner to grow over the last couple of years. The winners in this environment are the ones that don't give up and keep giving it all they've got. The problem is how to give all you've got. It's not an issue of finding more hours in the day, it's how to make yourself more productive.

Productivity is about focusing your efforts on the things that matter most, working on the things that only you can do, minimizi...

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15 AUG 2011
 

Mobile computing is the new growth engine for computing devices and is the hottest thing in online promotion.  If you aren't prepared to leverage this phenomonon, it's time to get started.  Smart phones and tablets are taking over the world.  Smart phone unit sales have exceeded those of cell phones, gaming devices and notebooks in there first 5 years from introduction.  Tablets are on track to exceed smart phones.

Mobile computing is all about content consumption. ...

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08 JUL 2011
 

Launching a marketing campaign can create an exciting burst of creativity, excitement and enthusiasm.  Every new campaign holds with it an anticipation of phenomenal business growth.  The instinctive action is to pour your heart and soul into and make sure it’s done right.  The old adage of “you have to spend money to make money” rings in your ears as you spare no expense to pull it off in style.

I hate to be a kill joy, but stop right there.  You just can’t get away...

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04 JUL 2011
 

In my corporate days, there was a hackneyed phrase about not working harder, but working smarter.  This was a brilliant comment thrown out to a group of business heads when corporate or we had collectively decided that headcount needed to be cut in the face of a deteriorating economic climate.  It was usually made by the controller that didn't want to spend the time to allocate reductions based on where a business was relative to plan and simply wanted everyone to take out 10% or neoph...

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29 JUN 2011
 

Let's face it, not too many people go into business for the pleasure of finding clients and customers.  People go into business because they have a unique idea for a product or service that they feel there's a need for.  Their pleasure is in delivering the product or service and seeing the results.  Developing market awareness, drawing prospects into a store or website, delivering the call to action and closing the sale, not so much.

Same thing for small businesses.  The foc...

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17 JUN 2011
 

I’ve seen a lot ways in which people have priced products and services.  Some are incredibly well thought out and others leave something to be desired.  Here’s a short list of pricing techniques commonly employed today:

Price to market

Price to closest competitor

Price to achieve a specific margin

Price to achieve a certain personal or corporate net income

Price at an X% premium or discount to market

Price at the same level as last year and where that price came from, who kno...

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16 JUN 2011
 

Ask most small business owners these days about marketing and you'll hear a litany of comments about their website, blog and social media. The remainder will say they don't need marketing; they get all their business through referrals, but they would like more. Marketing for small business means nothing more than promotion these days, promotion being exclusively web-based.

This is very unfortunate for small businesses struggling in our great recession economy. The time, energy and money bein...

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15 MAY 2011
 

Anyone that has been in sales and marketing or played a support role in the process has probably gone through a few awkward moments and a couple of really, really bad experiences in the process.  Most of these experiences age well and you can actually laugh about them with the passage of time.  Others, we keep locked up in the dark recesses of our minds, only rearing their ugly heads when we wake-up at 3:00 in the morning with night terrors. 

Enough time has passed that any pers...

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13 MAY 2011
 

Small businesses make some common mistakes when it comes to marketing often leading to sluggish sales or leaving money on the table. A couple of quick fixes can energize revenue and pump up the bottom line. It doesn't take an expert or a lot of work to make it happen. Just apply some common sense to the fundamentals and you'll be on your way to marketing stardom.

Each one of these points I have run into repeatedly and it's frustrating to think of the opportunity lost. Here they are in no partic...

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16 APR 2011
 

What has your office business center done for you lately? Other than provide you office space, internet service and a phone? Probably not much, particularly if you're in a corporately owned facility. You'll get what you pay for and you'll pay for every last thing you get. That's not what I had in mind when I created the Meadow Creek Business Center in Issaquah, Washington.

I've never really been in the real estate business and never had the urge to be. My education iin marketing with an MB...

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02 MAR 2011
 

No matter if you are an entrepreneur, small business owner or an executive of a large corporation, you should be a member of your local chamber of commerce.  Chambers of commerce are advocates for business in a community, they partner with local and state government to promote economic growth and job creation and they create opportunities for businesses to network, learn and benefit from being a member of a larger group of individuals with common interests and needs.

All businesses need to...

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23 OCT 2010
 

If you've survived the recession, you are probably eager to start growing your business again. Hopefully, you've taken the opportunity to get you marketing side of the business in order so that when the business begins to flow you're positioned to take a larger share. If not, it's not too late to make it happen.

Small business owners generally spend 16 hours per week on the "administration" of their business and less than half that amount of time growing their business. To the extent that th...

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11 AUG 2010
 

Yesterday afternoon my mail was dropped off at my desk. I just got around to opening it. The first thing that fell out of the large padded envelope was a box of matches. Next a tubed Romeo Y Julieta Verona's Court cigar. Thank you God, I'll enjoy myself tonight. Next, I fished out a gold colored hard envelope holding an invitation printed on lexan. Wow! Someone is really trying to buy me, in style of course. There was the invitiation, I was being invited to a grand opening of (names are...

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09 JUL 2009
 

If you have been keeping up with my articles and blogs, you already knew the recovery would be under way and this summer would be a welcome relief from the agony of the past year. If you have not, then the recent economic news and pronouncements of the end being in sight by people in high places may have come as something of a surprise given all of their negative thinking, lowering of expectations and blame gaming we've been subjected to for the past year. Unfortunately, our leader has also cl...

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09 JAN 2009
 

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Faced with disastrous near term prospects, you could join the rest of the herd and cut costs wherever you can, hunker down and wait for good times to return. An alternative I would suggest is to take advantage of your competition while they are hibernating. More than likely, they've cut advertising losing the mind share of existing and potential customers, cut back in other areas costing them in quality and customer service and possibly in sales al...

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04 DEC 2008
 

It was on Good Friday.  My wife informed me that we were not going to be eating meat, but she wanted to stop in and get some fast food while we were out.  I saw a sign for Skipper's in South Everett, Washington and pulled in.  I regretted doing so almost as soon as I had done it.  The place looked run down and there weren't many cars in the lot, although we were a little early for the lunch time crowd.  As I got out of my car, an older, disheveled looking man was pu...

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