Win Big - Wednesday, May 8, 2013 11:00 - 3 Comments
For eight weeks, from January to March, approximately 2,000 SUCCESS readers challenged themselves and their small businesses by participating in the 2nd annual Start Small Win Big contest. In April they submitted their results to the judging panel of SUCCESS editors and small-business expert JJ Ramberg, who hosts MSNBC’s Your Business, a weekly show devoted to small-business issues. Now, it’s complete. The judges have handpicked five finalists who are moving one step closer to the grand prize and making their small business go big.
Eight weekly assignments were sent out and posted on the SUCCESS blog—steps designed by Ramberg to help small-business owners recognize and understand what makes their businesses work and grow, and how they can succeed. With step-by-step instructions, tips and SUCCESS expert-driven articles as resources, the weekly assignments ranged from refining an elevator pitch to tapping networks and polishing social media strategy. (Read all the steps on SUCCESS.com).
The Challenge posed, well, challenges to each person and his or her business, but every week, the contestants dedicated themselves to grow, both in their business and in personal development. As in starting a business or running with a big idea, it took motivation and purpose to really carry out the Challenge’s goals.
Now, one of our handpicked list of five finalists will meet two distinguished mentors, Darren Hardy and JJ Ramberg, who have entrepreneurial expertise and know how to reach success, and will be featured prominently in the August 2013 issue. Two runners-up also will be featured in the magazine and each finalist will take home a SUCCESS Personal Development Prize Pack valued at up to $1,000.
Meet the five Start Small Win Big finalists, who we think have unbeatable potential to grow and reach true success—all from starting small. Choose your favorite by “liking” their photo on SUCCESS magazine’s Facebook page.
- Start Small Win Big Deadline Is Today
Today is the day your small business takes its best next step. Today is the day you introduce yourself to two renowned mentors who can answer any entrepreneurial question you have. Today is the day you tell the SUCCESS judges your small business story. Today is the day for your small business to shine. Finish your [...]
- Start Small Win Big: Your Next Steps
Can you believe it has already been eight weeks since we began the 2nd annual Start Small Win Big entrepreneur challenge? We can’t either. As the SUCCESS contest draws to a close, it’s time to evaluate your week-to-week homework assignments and draw conclusions that you can share in your Start Small Win Big final submission for [...]
- Start Small Win Big: Submit Your Essay
You’re almost done…. Now, it’s time to tell us why you should win SUCCESS magazine’s 2013 Start Small Win Big contest. Review the eight steps and then answer the following questions. Essays are due April 1 (no joke). For questions, email our editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Start Small Win Big: Your Week 8 Action Plan
Step 8: Take a closer look at your social media strategy. Every business, no matter how big or small, should be on Facebook or Twitter. And if you’ve been participating in the ‘Start Small, Win Big’ entrepreneurial challenge, your small business is probably already active on both. There is, however, one common pitfall of many [...]
- Start Small Win Big: Your Week 7 Action Plan
Step 7: Tap your network. Your network is everything. It’s how you find good employees, figure out which lawyer to hire, and how you get people to take meetings with you. Ask any angel investor or venture capitalist and they’ll tell you that, nine times out of ten (or really 999 out of 1,000), they [...]
- Start Small Win Big: Your Week 6 Action Plan
Step 6: Put systems into place to keep your staff focused. When you’re just starting out a business, generally things work a little ad-hoc. There’s not much of a need for systems because it’s likely just one or two of you working together and so it’s relatively easy to keep track of everything. Also, it’s [...]
- Start Small Win Big: Your Week 5 Action Plan
Step 5: Talk to Your Customers. When it comes to your company, it doesn’t matter what you think of your product or service—it matters what your customers think. On my MSNBC show Your Business, we talk a lot about the tunnel vision of small-business owners—after months or years of developing their company, they assume that [...]
- Start Small Win Big: Your Week 4 Action Plan
Step 4: Understand your finances. A couple of months ago I spoke to a woman who owned a struggling stationery business and I asked her how much longer she thought she could survive based on how much cash she had available in her company. She looked at me like I had just landed from Mars. [...]
- Start Small Win Big: Your Week 3 Action Plan
Step 3: Look at metrics. It’s week three and it’s time to set tangible goals to measure your success. To set your goal, you need to know the key drivers of success for your business. For example, do you want to sell more products? Set your goal for increasing the number of units sold. Do [...]
- Start Small Win Big: Your Week 2 Action Plan
Step 2: Keep it simple. A couple of years ago at my company Goodsearch.com, we started asking each other a simple question whenever we’d put together any marketing materials.
It was: “Would Michael’s mother understand this?”
It turned out to be a great litmus test. So often, we make things more complicated than they need to be. It’s understandable. As small business owners, we’ve all worked hard on our offerings and are excited about every single feature we’ve developed—whether as part of a product or a service. It’s hard to imagine not including all of this in all of your materials. But, talking about too much gets confusing for an outsider who CONTINUE READING
- Start Small Win Big: Your Week 1 Action Plan
Start Small Win Big: Your Week 1 Action Plan
January 21, 2013
Editor’s note: This is the first of eight installments for SUCCESS’s 2nd annual Start Small Win Big entrepreneur challenge.
Welcome to the best eight weeks of your small business and welcome to Week 1! Let's get started with Step 1: Refine your elevator pitch.
This week’s assignment is to prepare five pitches– one that fills 20 seconds, one minute, five minutes, 20 minutes and one hour. Grab the notebook you'll use to collect your thoughts and assignments for this entrepreneurial challenge, and start writing with our tips below. Then, we encourage you to share your one minute pitch with us on the SUCCESS YouTube channel, where you’ll meet your fellow Start Small Win Big contestants. CONTINUE READING
- Running a Business is Hard. Here’s Help.
By now, I hope you’ve all read about SUCCESS’s 2nd Annual Start Small Win Big Entrepreneurial Challenge in the February 2013 issue. If you haven’t entered, well here’s my strong encouragement that you do.
Why? Well, running a small business is hard work. And, it’s difficult, when you have so much going on — from developing your product or service, to selling it, to dealing with your finances, to figuring out who is going to take out the trash — to find the time to step back and really think about what triggers you need to pull to make your company a success. This eight-week contest gives you an excuse to do just that.
You can find the first article announcing the contest and giving you some tips to get you on your way on SUCCESS.com.
- ‘Start Small, Win Big’ 2012 Winner Shares Lessons
by: Tami Provost Who knew this New Hampshire gal’s first trip to New York City would be an all-expense-paid trip by SUCCESS magazine for me to meet Good Morning America’s Tory Johnson? Having attended Tory’s Spark & Hustle event in Boston, I knew I was in for a treat. Her high energy and “spark” during [...]
- Announcing the 2012 Start Small Win Big Winners
Fit on the Fly founder Tami Provost began SUCCESS‘ Start Small, Win Big small business challenge with $52 in her business checking account. GoGeddit‘s Richie Burke and Jeremy Bemis went door to door soliciting businesses for his new daily deal site–that didn’t have a website yet. integrity/Architecture‘s Joey Nolasco and Joe Rasnick left a successful [...]
- Start Small Win Big Challenge 2012 Call for Essays
Don’t forget this Monday, April 30 Monday, May 7 is the final deadline to submit your essay form for the Start Small Win Big entrepreneurial challenge. Visit SUCCESS.com/winbig for the essay submission form. You could win lunch and personal coaching sessions with Good Morning America’s Tory Johnson and SUCCESS Publisher Darren Hardy! Plus, you could be featured in SUCCESS magazine, [...]
- Start Small Win Big 2012–The Cliff Notes Version
We’re nearing the end of the SUCCESS Start Small Win Big Challenge and it’s time to start gathering your thoughts for the final essay submission. Before you get test anxiety, don’t worry–we’ve provided a number of tools and links here to help you. Consider this the test review your professor gives before mid-terms. Pre-Contest During registration, [...]
- Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 12 Action Plan
Congrats! You’ve made it to Week 12 of the Start Small Win Big entrepreneurial challenge. For the final step this week (April 9), read the April 2012 issue for Step 12: Track your time/demand a larger return. Then check your inbox for the April 9 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is about preserving your [...]
- Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 11 Action Plan
For Week 11 (April 2), read the April 2012 issue for Step 11: Identify Collaborators. Then check your inbox for the April 2 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is about collaboration. Within your industry, who are potential promotional partners? Be creative, because it may not be obvious at first. Examples: A financial adviser partnering [...]
- Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 10 Action Plan
For Week 10 (March 26), read the April 2012 issue for Step 10: Pitch the Media. Then check your inbox for the March 26 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is about finding and creating media coverage for your small business. That means thinking like a journalist. Here are 8 do’s and don’ts for [...]
- Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 9 Action Plan
Your Week 9 Action Plan For Week 9 (March 19), read the April 2012 issue for Step 9: Ramp Up Social Media Activity. Then check your inbox for the March 19 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is about social media for your small business. Take a look at your social media efforts and evaluate whether [...]
- Tory Johnson: Why Aren’t You Reaching Your Goals?
Good Morning America’s workplace contributor Tory Johnson asks SUCCESS Start Small Win Big entrepreneurial contestants an important question.
- Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 8 Action Plan
Your Week 8 Action Plan For Week 8 (March 12), read the March 2012 issue for Step 8: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel. Then check your inbox for the March 12 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is about being inspired by what your competitors do well. This week’s assignment is to do some snooping. Let’s [...]
- Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 7 Action Plan
Your Week 7 Action Plan For Week 7 (Mar. 5), read the March 2012 issue for Step 7: Change Your Environment. Then check your inbox for the Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is about creating your perfect, productive work environment. Take a look at our inspiration wall below and use this to get excited [...]
- Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 6 Action Plan
Your Week 6 Action Plan For Week 6 (Feb. 27), read the March 2012 issue for Step 6: Create a Top 50 List. Then check your inbox for the Feb. 27 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is about making your list of top 50 sales prospects or people you’d like to do business with. [...]
- Tory Johnson: What Exactly Do You Do?
You’ve been there before, at a party or picnic or whatever: Ask a stranger what he or she does and 10 minutes later you’re still listening, but your eyes have glazed over because you still don’t have a clue. All you want to say is, “See ya!” If you do that in business — if [...]
- Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 5 Action Plan
Your Week 5 Action Plan For Week 5 (Feb. 20), read the March 2012 issue for Step 5: Know Who You’re Targeting. Then check your inbox for the Feb. 20 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is about knowing your clients. Think about facts about your product or service that might influence your potential customers. From these [...]
- Start Small, Win Big 2012: Your Wk 4 Action Plan
Your Week 4 Action Plan For Week 4 (Feb. 13), read the February 2012 issue for Step 4: Own Your Destiny. Then check your inbox for the Feb. 13 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is discovering your brand name and create a three-goal strategy to fulfill your brand ideal. Brand Brainstorming What industry [...]
- Tory Johnson: Are You More Madonna or Gaga?
Yes, she has a gigantic ego and many people find the faux English accent on this Michigan girl a wee bit pretentious, but you have to hand it to Madonna. Once red hot—less so now—she never stops. Not ever. At 53, she rocked Sunday’s Super Bowl like a singer half her age, is up for [...]
- Start Small, Win Big 2012: Your Wk 3 Action Plan
Your Week 3 Action Plan For Week 3 (Feb. 6), read the February 2012 issue for Step 3: Know Your Numbers—When You’re Down, by How Much and Why. Then check your inbox for the Feb. 6 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is to understand and evaluate your small business’ numbers. Roll your sleeves [...]
- Start Small, Win Big 2012: Your Wk 2 Action Plan
Your Week 2 Action Plan For Week 2 (Jan. 30), read the February 2012 issue for Step 2: Take Responsibility. Then check your inbox for the Jan. 30 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is to answer the three questions put forth by Tory Johnson in this week’s Start Small Win Big newsletter– 1. [...]
- Darren Hardy: Own Both Your Actions and Reactions in Life
When I was 18 years old, I was invited to a seminar that I believe really flipped on the light switch of my potential. That day, those ideas changed my life forever. There is one idea in particular I’d like to pass on to you. The seminar topic was responsibility and accountability, and we were [...]
- Tory Johnson: Secrets of High-Achieving Entrepreneurs
Ever have those days when you wake up determined to tackle specific challenges? You have the best intentions about all you’re going to accomplish and you can feel the sense of elation that you’re sure you’ll experience. Then the phone rings, the dog barks, someone needs you to drop everything to help with the unexpected. [...]
- Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 1 Action Plan
Your Week 1 Action Plan For Week 1 (Jan. 23), read the February 2012 issue for Step 1: Commit to Your WHY. Then check your inbox for the Jan. 23 Start Small Win Big newsletter. This week’s assignment is to find and confirm your WHY–what does your small business mean to you and why [...]
- The Step-By-Step Guide to Amping Up Your Business in 2012
It’s time to take your small business to the next level. SUCCESS magazine has teamed up with Good Morning America‘s Tory Johnson to host the Start Small Win Big Entrepreneurial Challenge–a free 12-week, 12-step program to help your small business grow and win prizes for entering. Why you should enter: Is your small business where [...]
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