Stay Smart and Stay Ahead

The Street looks at the recent Microsoft bid to acquire Yahoo and draws three very good tips out for current small business owners, summarized below.

  1. Do the basics very well: No matter what business you are in, you cannot take things to the next level, or withstand a recession, if that is your situation, if you are not handling the basics.
  2. We need to innovate: No business stays in business long if it does not adapt, change with the times and innovate. . . . One easy way to innovate is to just keep an eye on what your competition is doing. What is their Web site like? How do they market their business? Keep abreast of what others are doing and consider making changes accordingly.
  3. We need to change the game: [C]hanging the game means that the savvy small business person will also consider changing even essential ways of doing business when necessary.” highlights a story about a small business that is not only surviving, but thriving in the midst of harsh times for businesses of all size.

“There’s a battle going on in the floral industry, and many small, independent florists are losing. Like other small businesses, they don’t have the time or knowledge to keep up with the latest marketing trends and tactics.

This month’s small business online marketing success story is about a business owner who’s using search marketing smarts to win this battle, along with some blogging and social media thrown in.
Meet Cathy Hillen-Rulloda, owner and Design Director at Avante Gardens, an award-winning florist in Anaheim, California. Cathy started working for a local florist during high school in West Virginia, and opened Avante Gardens in 1984 after helping design flowers for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Since then, Cathy has become one of the floral industry’s most accomplished Internet marketers. ‘She’s a watchdog for the floral industry and keeps the rest of us aware,’ says Ryan Freeman of Strider Inc, the operator of ‘Her Web site ranks well and performs well, she blogs intelligently, has a smart mind for business and PR, and has enough chutzpah to take action when it’s needed.'”

For small business owners like Hillen-Rulloda, it’s about doing the basics well, using innovation to stay ahead, and changing the game when required. When those three elements are in place, small businesses will thrive.