If your organization offers an annual wellness-screening program, you are in good company. According to a report by The Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half of all U.S. companies with more than 200 employees provide wellness screenings. These programs provide workers the opportunity to have their height, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol conveniently tested on site.
Participants receive a printout of their results and, if the test values are abnormal, they are encouraged to see their primary care physician for a follow-up appointment.
Employers are provided with a confidential report of aggregate health data. This allows companies to tailor on-site educational programs and incentives to best match employees’ risk status. The new Affordable Care Act rules, set to take effect this year, provide companies more power to align insurance premiums with specific health goals.
For the employee, the tests provide a snapshot of their health status and at-risk participants may become more aware of and better motivated to make health behavior changes.
At issue, however, is the idea that traditional finger stick testing for total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) can create a “false negative” by providing the employee with reassurance that they have little or no near-term risk for a cardiovascular event.
According to the American Heart Association, 50 percent of all heart attacks and strokes occur in individuals with normal cholesterol. It’s estimated that for 30 percent of patients with cardiovascular disease, their first sign of disease is death. Clearly, something is missing if, after intense efforts by the medical community over the last 20 years to identify lipid abnormalities, we cannot provide employees with a more accurate assessment of their risk.
In 1976, Russell Ross, Ph.D., at the University of Washington, published a sentinel paper entitled “Atherosclerosis: An Inflammatory Disease.” Ross clearly outlined two components that lead to the clogging of arteries: an injury and a response.
It is inflammation, the response to the insult, that is the culprit in arterial disease. Oxidized cholesterol is but one of many independent factors that can damage the body’s 60,000 miles of blood vessels. Others include dental cavities, sleep apnea, insulin resistance (pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome), cigarette smoking and stress.
Making work site screenings better
A growing body of research is showing that a multi-marker approach — adding several additional inflammation-specific blood tests to the traditional screening panel — can identify at-risk employees who would previously have gone undetected.
A recent study by Dr. Marc Penn, Ph.D., and Andrea Klemes, D.O., published in Future Cardiology, evaluated 95,144 patients assessed by MDVIP physicians at their annual physicals. Based on a lipid-only wellness panel, approximately 30 percent of patients presented as being at risk. When the additional tests for inflammation were added, an additional 40 percent were identified.
These advanced inflammatory biomarkers are able to detect employees with “vulnerable plaque” that is likely to rupture into the artery lumen, thereby blocking blood flow, leading to heart attack or stroke. Studies conducted by Cleveland Heart Lab, provider of an advanced inflammation panel, have shown that approximately 10 percent of a screened population fit into this category.
Clearly, a multi-marker approach provides additive information. Employees deserve cardiovascular risk information that is better than the flip of a coin. Companies need the data to target resources to best promote individual and organizational well-being.
Dr. Mark J. Tager is CEO of ChangeWell Inc., a San Diego-based consulting and training company focused on maximizing the health/productivity connection. For more information, visit www.changewell.com
It’s still 2013 as I’m writing this, but by the time everyone else reads it, we’ll be closing in on 2014 and kicking off the New Year, working to make good on the resolutions and plans we promised our businesses.
What’s one area to take a closer look at? The company mission statement.
Typically defined as a formal summary of what your organization intends to do in both the short term and long run, mission statements also tend to be woefully outdated thanks to their very definition.
Formality and a lengthy summary can’t hold our attention span the way a down-to-earth and easily tweetable statement can. Now this isn’t to say you need to write everything in 140 characters or less. But if you don’t already have one in place for your business or you have a really stale statement that no longer gels with the direction your company has taken, it might be time to conduct some early spring-cleaning and overhaul your mission statement.
Aim for real and actionable, but also slightly lofty
As mentioned in Inc., mission statements should contain the following four elements: value, inspiration, plausibility and specificity. A simple, concise, grounded and fitting statement that addresses a call to action is the key here. It’s understandable that your statement shouldn’t be too much of a pie-in-the-sky plan for your business (steer clear of “we’ll single-handedly heal the world”-isms).
But a mission statement also needs to inspire just as much as it needs to encourage others to act out on it. Include at least one attainable element that shows how your company can go above and beyond where others may not.
It shouldn’t just be a description of your business
It’s easy to muddle together the synopsis of what your brand does with what it aspires to do. While you do need to mention what it is your business does, keep your overall business description separate from your mission statement — after all, the mission is based on the intentions of your company.
Think about your statement on an annual basis
Making changes to your statement at the start of the year is a great way to kick everything off to a solid start, but it’s also important to revisit your mission statement on an annual basis to make sure it’s still a fit for your company. Additionally, revisit the way you put it together from the grammar usage to how comprehensive it is.
Share your statement with your employees and customers!
At my company, we’re in the midst of revising our own mission statement and plan to make signs for each employee’s desk to showcase the new statement.
Whether you decide to redo your statement completely or even if you make just a few small changes, share them with your team members and customers — it’s a great and fresh reminder of all that your business stands for.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark and copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney
Anyone who has been a fan of the “Fast & Furious” movies had to do a double take upon hearing the news that actor Paul Walker had been killed in a car crash. It just didn’t seem real that the 40-year-old actor, who rose to fame in high-octane street racing scenes in the fantasy world that is Hollywood, could have died that way. Sure, life imitates art sometimes, but this was just too much to comprehend.
Tragically, it was true, and the actor, who was known for his philanthropy and was hosting a fundraiser that same day to help the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, was gone.
At the time this column was written, production on the seventh installment of the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise had been put on hold as the studio regrouped to figure out how to deal with what had happened.
Life is fleeting
It was another example of how fleeting life can be and how you just never know when your whole world can be thrown upside down. As human beings, most of us thrive on consistency and stability and the idea that we know what’s coming next week, next month and next year.
There are those adrenaline junkies, of course, who love the next challenge and relish the chance to take everything they know and throw it out the window in favor of a new, more exciting plan of action. It’s the kind of personality trait that is portrayed in movies about fast cars and heists made from the rooftops of cars traveling at more than 100 mph.
But whichever type you are, you are not immune to the possibility of your life changing in an instant. And it’s a lesson to all of us to cherish every moment and opportunity we get in life.
Maybe it’s focusing a little bit more on your business and the steps that your company needs to take to achieve its full potential. There are so many things out there to distract us in social media and in our daily lives in general.
It’s easy to get sidetracked or push a project through without giving it your full attention. But there’s a customer out there who is depending on you to come through. That project is just as important as the one for that customer you helped when you weren’t as busy.
What are the priorities?
But at the end of the day, while your business is a critical part of your life, so is your family. So are the families of your employees. Few would argue that family is more important than business.
As you look to do your best at work, make sure you’re leaving enough to be the best you can be at home too. Those moments with your loved ones are moments you don’t want to miss. It’s not always easy, but you’ve got to find a way to be great at both ends and help your employees do the same.
As you start 2014, make it a point to find that balance in the way you go about your life both at work and at home. You just never know when life is going to throw you an unexpected curve.
Mark Scott is senior associate editor of Smart Business Los Angeles, Smart Business Orange County and Smart Business Chicago. If you have an interesting story to share about a person or business making a difference in Los Angeles, Orange County or Chicago, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
After more than a decade of private equity investing with business owners as partners, I’ve learned that the relationship can seem like a marriage. This is especially true in situations where things don’t go as planned.
For the business owner/private equity marriage to withstand challenging circumstances and generate value for both parties upon conclusion (a “liquidity event”), it is important that partners embrace the following attributes:
- Mutual trust and transparency.
- Shared vision.
- Willingness of each partner to put the best interests of the partnership ahead of personal ego.
- Determination and commitment to make it work.
Mutual trust and transparency
Trust is the cornerstone of all successful relationships. Without it, one can never know for sure where he or she stands. Trust should be built and tested during the courtship phase of the partnership prior to closing the deal and consummating the business owner/private equity marriage.
Key questions requiring answers include: Does my prospective partner always do what they say they will do? Do they exaggerate? Do they tell only part of the story? Are discussions about the business always clouded by sales talk or spin? Are verbal commitments taken seriously?
If each of these questions can be resolved, the focus is then transparency.
Both partners should be comfortable sharing both positive and negative developments. The due diligence period provides ample opportunity for both sides of the partnership to test this attribute.
It is critical that the business owner and private equity investor share a consistent vision for the marriage. This shared vision should influence strategic planning, resource allocation and the incentives built into the deal structure. The realities of the business should be taken into account, with both partners challenging each other as to the achievability of projections given the business environment, the company’s competitive position and overall potential.
Each party should share the SWOT analyses they have conducted from their vantage points and their base case return expectations. For example, the private equity investor likely has a required time-based return hurdle. Similarly, the business owner will have a target exit value. Both need to be in sync.
Willingness to put personal ego aside
Most entrepreneurs believe they are capable and smart, and it can be difficult to acknowledge mistakes. The same applies to private equity professionals who often view their academic credentials and resumes on par with “real world” operational expertise.
Each needs to separate their personal egos from what is best for the company and the partnership. The business owner must be willing to add to the senior leadership team, and even in the most extreme case, allow a more qualified individual to lead the company, if that is what is best for the business.
Likewise, the private equity professional must be willing to acknowledge their limitations and bring in a more experienced member of the firm or qualified consultant, if challenges warrant additional insight.
Determination and commitment to make it work
Unplanned negative events can put a business on its heels. Much like a marriage, determination and commitment are required to drive the partnership through these tough times.
If they have a strong marriage, the partners’ vow of “in sickness and in health, ’til liquidity event do we part” can ultimately pay off.
Craig Dupper is managing partner at Solis Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Newport Beach, Calif., focused exclusively on lower middle-market companies. For more information, visit www.soliscapital.com.
The era of cubicles and water coolers is coming to an end.
As businesses adapt to the increasingly specific needs of today’s consumer, the office environment is also evolving to meet the needs of today’s workforce. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the startup tech industry and co-working world.
The current generation of tech-savvy entrepreneurs is seeking environments that accommodate a highly competitive yet creative lifestyle, with the least economic impact on their company. They’re working 24/7 for their startup so they chafe at the constraints of a 9-to-5 workweek.
Instead of renting offices, they’re embracing the hottest trend in business: co-working spaces.
A co-working space is an open-access, turnkey environment designed to be an affordable office alternative for startups, freelancers and other independent workers. Worldwide, it’s estimated that there are nearly 2,500 co-working spaces as of early 2013, up 83 percent from the year before.
They serve nearly 110,000 workers and approximately 245 new people join a co-working space each day.
So why are co-working spaces poised to replace the traditional office?
Co-working culture fits today’s creative entrepreneurial lifestyle
Step inside a co-working space and it’s hard to avoid a creative contact high. By bringing together a diverse community of business innovators and creative talent like designers and developers, co-working spaces are a hub of inspiration.
Most co-working spaces host special events where members can share their experience and skills. It’s a perfect environment for young startup entrepreneurs to network, practice their VC pitches or collaborate on new projects.
Deskmag, an online journal about co-working spaces and co-working culture, surveyed workers who reported significant increases in productivity and morale since joining a co-working space. While 71 percent of those surveyed said they felt more creative, 90 percent felt more confident and 70 percent told Deskmag that co-working even made them feel healthier!
Co-working makes more financial sense for startups and small businesses
When you’re starting a business, every penny counts. Renting a traditional office space means security deposits, insurance, utilities and other setup fees — not to mention the cost of furnishings. This can be a tremendous barrier to entry, especially for startups at the critical pre-seed development stage.
A co-working space essentially provides an instant office for the price of two cups of coffee a day. Deskmag estimates the average cost of a flexible (or “hot”) desk at a co-working space in the U.S., is just $195 a month. Memberships generally include everything entrepreneurs and independent workers need, like conference rooms and WiFi.
Additionally, co-working spaces tend to be strategically located in a city’s major industry center, allowing convenient access for members as well as potential clients or investors.
Co-working spaces will make offices obsolete
By 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 65 million Americans will be independent contractors or solo entrepreneurs — that’s about 40 percent of the workforce. Co-working spaces are already anticipating this shift. Soon, freelancers and tech startups won’t be the only ones abandoning traditional offices for co-working.
With their economic, social and creative live/work advantages, co-working spaces will dominate the business landscape in the next decade. If you’re starting a business, start co-working.
Lin Miao is the founder of Be Great Partners. After selling his first company for $60 million at age 24, Miao launched Be Great Partners and currently serves as the company’s CEO. For more information, visit www.begreat.co.
The odds are not in your favor when it comes to breaking out and becoming the next shining star.
To make it happen, you need to use every tool in your arsenal. I’ve come up with a checklist that I’ve used to create five successful brands, including my own, in the food/culinary/hospitality industry space.
Side note: The hardest part about being successful is balancing confidence with arrogance. The latter usually causes one to look at the brand with unrealistic goggles. But without confidence, most don’t have the guts to take the long, hard steps necessary to be successful. Be cautiously optimistic, but realistic about your brand. And consider whether these three steps can help you determine the difference between success and failure.
What’s the opportunity? What's your niche?
Always ask, “What is the opportunity?” Is there a need for this brand I am creating? For me, I saw early on that there weren’t that many chefs regarded as the national voice for Asian food. That told me there was a need, because Asian food will always be very popular at every level. At the same time, I would not be a needle in a stack of needles. There are tons of American, European and even Latin cuisine chefs, but very few Asian-American chefs.
Are you authentic? What do you stand for?
Consumers want brands that they trust, that are authentic and have a story. People inherently want to support great brands. The story of the brand is almost as important as the offering itself. It creates an emotional tie and aids in the consumer’s desire to support the brand. Once I analyzed the market and saw the opportunity for my brand, I took a look back at my story.
I was the son of the “first Thai food family” in America, from humble beginnings/raised by hardworking immigrant parents who helped to create and establish the Thai food industry.
Everything about lineage made sense to be the spokesperson for Thai food in America. My Chinese ethnicity also made sense to talk and teach about Chinese food. So I went to some journalist friends to put my story on paper, creating bios and refreshing them as necessary.
What can you do to gain a competitive advantage?
Like writing any good business plan, it’s important to go through the exercise of analyzing your competitive set. Know who else is out there doing what you want to do. Are they doing it better? You better hope not.
Quantify your findings and put them on paper. Get a factual sense of how your brand compares. That will also help you realize what your competitive advantages are. Or they could help cultivate ideas on how to gain the competitive advantage.
With all my brands, I’m constantly monitoring my competitive set and identifying strengths and weaknesses. The flipside to this is also simultaneously monitoring consumers’ needs. Ten years ago fusion was the trend, and now it’s all about micro-regional cuisine and authenticity. If I never monitored the competitive set and the changing consumer landscape, I could have faded out of popularity.
There are a lot of intricacies to creating successful brands. It takes hard work and thousands of decisions, but it always begins with these three questions.
Jet Tila is a world-renowned chef and entrepreneur. He has been called the country’s first “Thai Culinary Ambassador.” Tila has been featured on the Food Network and in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He also holds five Guinness World Records. For more information, visit www.chefjet.com.
It was Daymond John, CEO of FUBU and an investor on the ABC reality TV series “Shark Tank,” who famously said, “An entrepreneur must pitch a potential investor for what the company is worth as well as sell the dream on how much of a profit can be made.”
But no amount of passion from an entrepreneur, or even an established business owner, can fully quell the nerves that come with pitching before a group of investors. Everything from the length of the PowerPoint presentation to what you wear is heavily scrutinized, and there is no guarantee that every business will receive funding on the first pitch.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to pitching, so before you go in for the final presentation, focus on prepping yourself in the following four areas.
Keep it short and sweet
This applies to every aspect of your presentation. From your elevator pitch — one minute, maximum — to the PowerPoint presentation you’ve prepared. While it’s important to get investors to notice the problems your business can solve or the needs it will meet, adding tons of detail clutters and hurries the pitch. Keep it simple, clean and straight to the point.
As well-known entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban told The Washington Post, “When it comes to business, there is a simple scorecard. Are you making money or are you not making money? Are you succeeding or are you not? So when you go to raise money, always, always catch yourself and eliminate the backstory.”
Don’t over-disclose upfront
Knowing the financial figures behind your business is important, but there’s no need to share all of your exact numbers at the outset. Instead, show a commitment to metrics and analytics.
Investor Mark Cohen says that while measuring metrics is not easy to do, it’s important to believe in the value of what the metrics will reveal and be willing to adapt to what is uncovered.
Be specific about your strategies
As mentioned before, entrepreneurs need to be in tune with the problem their business is solving or the needs it is meeting. Prep your strategies beforehand and know what you’re working on today and how you anticipate growth in the future. It’s also important to know your market and customer base and what they think of the product or service — specifically if they recognize that your company is solving a problem for them that they would be willing to pay for.
The average window for a pitch meeting with investors is about 10 to 15 minutes. So once you’ve confidently and passionately knocked out the “three magical P’s,” which according to investment banker Gary Spirer including people, product and potential, it’s time to ask questions of your own.
What is the investor’s specific investment strategy? How does the investor typically structure investment in a company? Is the investor focused on a particular industry, business size and/or growth rate? How does the investor get involved in the business after an investment?
Remember that once the pitch is over the only bad question to ask is no question. So be sure to grill your potential investors!
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com, a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark and copyright filing services. For more information, please visit www.mycorporation.com or follow on Twitter at @MyCorporation
After 50 years working with a range of companies — as well as founding and running my own company, J.D. Power and Associates — I have learned a lot about what it takes to succeed in business.
The businesses I’ve seen grow, adapt and thrive are the ones that keep a focus on satisfying customers. They listen to customers, anticipate their needs and desires, and maintain these traits as core principles for how the business should operate.
Whether I’m speaking with business school students or seasoned executives, I focus on five basic lessons that have been helpful to me and to others I have observed throughout my business career.
Take the time to listen
I have witnessed too many companies move further away from achieving satisfied customers by refusing to listen to them.
Back in the 1980s, Peugeot was trying to expand its share of the American car market but was unwilling to listen to customer complaints about difficulties starting the company’s advanced fuel-injected cars. Customers saw this as a quality issue, but Peugeot held fast, confident that fuel injection was superior from an engineering standpoint.
No doubt Peugeot was right, but by not listening and adapting to customers, those customers were lost. By the early 1990s, Peugeot had abandoned the American market.
Remember who the client is
In a B2B world, it is the organization or business you serve, not just the man or woman sitting across from you. This is important from two perspectives. It is critical that you not serve the desires of the representative assigned to work with you to the disservice of the organization.
On the flip side, you must feel empowered to not let that person become an obstacle to the organization receiving the information necessary to take full advantage of your services.
Relationships are what life and business are all about. They need to be built on a foundation of respect and trust, not just friendship. I never approached business relationships as requiring glad-handing or wining and dining. In the beginning, I simply couldn’t afford it.
As J.D. Power’s success widened, I found that true relationships with executives came from providing them with the clear, actionable information they needed to do their jobs, not time on the golf course.
Be willing to alter your point of view
Don’t be afraid to take a counterintuitive position in order to generate better ideas. The Jesuit education I received at the College of the Holy Cross provided a basis in questioning the status quo, a trait that has served me well.
Don’t “torture the data till it confesses”
Don’t be blind to all but the good news you may want to hear. Consciously or subconsciously interpreting information that comes across your desk in a way that supports past decisions, rather than illuminates needed improvement, is shortsighted. It won’t bring you closer to the satisfied customers who will ultimately dictate your success.
Dave Power is the founder of J.D. Power and Associates, a global market research company based in Westlake Village, Calif. The book about his 50 years in the auto industry, “Power: How J.D. Power III Became the Auto Industry’s Adviser, Confessor, and Eyewitness to History” is now available. For more information, visit
It’s often easier to put a lot of time and effort into planning for the big problems that can afflict a business. What if our network crashes? What if the big storm knocks out our power for a week? What if something happens to you, the CEO? While it may be easier to come up with these more dramatic scenarios that can hurt your organization, there are a number of seemingly smaller snags that can cause big problems for any business that isn’t prepared.
A failure to adequately implement a budget leads to a demand for operating cash. The following are questions to help identify preventive measures to mitigate cash flow problems:
- Is your product or service seasonal? If yes, do you have a plan to generate cash during the slow season?
- Do you offer discounts to encourage early payment of account receivables?
- Are your suppliers allowing you additional time to pay for invoices?
If you fall behind on a solid maintenance program, you could face problems with your equipment.
- Do you have regularly scheduled maintenance to maintain equipment?
- Did you purchase a maintenance agreement?
- Do you have a record of recurring problems?
- Do you know the estimated life of the equipment?
- Do you have a plan for a temporary exchange while your equipment is out for repair?
Out of stock inventory
This is a problem caused by poor accounting and unprepared procurement personnel. Here are some questions to help avoid this predicament:
- Do you compare your inventory level to your sales?
- Can you obtain your materials and supplies from more than one source?
- How long does it take suppliers to ship your order?
- Do you have a local supplier for your most important materials?
- Do you accept back orders?
- Are suppliers aware of your ordering policy?
- Do you have someone in your office assigned to follow up on outstanding purchases and inventory control?
It is not unusual for an occasional decline in sales during a business cycle. When your industry is experiencing increased sales with a similar product and yours is at a decline, however, it may be time to examine the interpersonal relationship between your sales personnel and customers.
The decline may be due to customers’ dissatisfaction with your salesperson. Remember that customers see your salesperson as “the company.” Here are some questions to consider:
- Do you provide support for your sales force and offer professional development for sales managers?
- Who trains new managers?
- Do you have plans for outside consultants to conduct an interpersonal skills in-house workshop?
Dwindling repeat business
Repeat customers are essential to sustain a business. Dwindling repeat business is a human problem, not necessarily a product issue. Here are some things to look at to help you understand why numbers are going in the wrong direction:
- Do you have a new manager?
- Did you alter your hours of operation?
- Is your staff treating customers with respect?
- What is your return policy?
John O. Alizor, Ph.D. is the founder and president Leadership Forensics Business Inc., and author of “Leadership: Understanding Theory, Style and Practice.” He can be reached at email@example.com or (562) 628-5570.
The idea of driving aimlessly seems glamorous in movies and songs. In reality, few of us get in a car without knowing how to reach our destination. We’ve created smartphone apps, GPS devices and satellite mapping to make our trips as efficient as possible and to avoid what we know to be an inconvenient, expensive outcome — getting lost.
I bring up this idea because many companies using social media have inadvertently become lost drivers. They start using social platforms with the goal of reaching some number of likes, retweets or shares, but as they embark on their social media strategies, many experience a disconnect between the content they post, blog and tweet and their progress on measurable business goals. These companies are driving without a roadmap; they just don’t know it.
Sound familiar? If social media isn’t working for you, your social media approaches may be missing a fundamental component: an effective content strategy. Here are three ways a solid content strategy will enhance your company’s social media success.
A like is just a like
All social media engagement is not created equally. To be successful, the social media activity that you generate needs to support your marketing goals — whether you want to improve employee engagement, boost customer conversions or build interest in a new product.
Creating a content strategy before you engage in social media will help your business clarify the specific marketing goals you want to achieve through content, as well as what messages you need to communicate to reach those goals. This process will ensure you get the right likes, shares and retweets from social interactions.
Social is a vehicle
Social media is a vehicle for sharing compelling content with your audience, and it doesn’t work if you don’t know what issues, topics and trends your audience finds compelling. Part of developing a content strategy involves learning how those you are trying to reach want to be talked to. Where do they go for information? How much time do they spend online? What kind of content are they looking for from your industry?
By getting to know the interests and pain points of your audience (customers, employees, shareholders, etc.), you can develop tactics to reach your online audience more effectively, saving you time and enhancing your company’s social influence.
Relevant content is meaningful
Kings of social content don’t become that way by luck. They use strategic tactics to connect with their audience through the right channels at the right times. More importantly, they make these connections meaningful and memorable by posting and sharing strategic, relevant content that their audiences desire.
When you deliver social content that your audience members find valuable or interesting, they’ll reward you by sharing your content, engaging with your business and, ideally, helping to promote your reputation as a thought leader in your business or industry. A content strategy allows you to do that by providing a roadmap for what kinds of informative, helpful, educational or creative content you need to make meaningful interactions.
As a recent Huffington Post article put it, the golden rule of the web is clear: “To know us better is to sell us better.” Ultimately, being successful in the social media space means taking the time to map out what success looks like. In this sense, a solid content strategy is not only an important component of any social media strategy, it’s the key to driving the results your business wants.
Michael Marzec is chief strategy officer of Smart Business and SBN Interactive. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (440) 250-7078.