Barbara Payne's Capitalist Cleveland Blog

News and Views: Entrepreneurs a-thrive in Northeast Ohio

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

That's the spirit

Congratulations to Ulmer and Berne for its recent ranking for the first time on the National Law Journal's list of the 250 largest law firms.

And congratulations and kudos to Ulmer & Berne's partners for relocating the firm's offices to Tower City. That's another 300 people to patronize local restaurants and stores and to bring their high-profile national and international clients to downtown Cleveland.

Now we just gotta get some more storefronts open and some entertainment venues cheering up the night around Public Square!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Capitalist Cleveland founder gets Crain's kudo

Don Larson, founder and co-robber baron of Capitalist Cleveland as well as mastermind and master of ceremonies for the lively Gorilla Group that meets at the Market Avenue Wine Bar each second Tuesday of every month, has just received recognition by Crain’s Cleveland Business with a “Forty under 40” award for his positive attitude toward Cleveland. (see page F-8 if you get the hard copy). Don is also the Vice President of Sales for Boundless Flight, a major sponsor for the Gorilla Group.

A person of boundless energy and shameless enthusiasm for the city and its entrepreneurs, Don inspires people to do their best, to succeed without regard for negative attitudes, and to have fun while they're at it.

Thanks for your passion and your sense of humor, Don. And congratulations on receiving public recognition for it by the city's most respected business publication!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Save the date -- blogs and direct marketing

Those who've been active with blogging for the past few years know how powerful it can be for gaining public awareness. My favorite line for it echoes my company's tagline: Corporate blogging gives you and your company a voice on the Internet--a voice with which you can establish relationships, build trust, and win new customers.

Now that blogging's getting more and more attention in the mainstream media and more business owners are realizing its potential, we at NODMA are putting together a panel of experts who will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about blogging as it relates to direct marketing to your prospects and clients.

Mark your calendars now. It'll be at the Northeast Ohio Direct Marketing Association's luncheon on Tuesday, March 14, 2006. See you then at 11:30 at Windows on the River.

Monday, November 21, 2005

What do you believe?

So the national Site Selection Magazine people just recently ranked Ohio as the 4th best place (up from 8th) to do business in. Affordable housing--almost unbelievably so--was a top reason. Cultural opportunities. Affordable rental space (because so much of it is vacant) for the arts.

Crain's real estate senior reporter Stan Bullard is one of several folks being interviewed on WCPN as we speak this morning. He seems to disagree with the ranking because, although we do have the housing, the cultural assets, the easy accessibility (especially the relatively small traffic jams), and so on, people in Northeast Ohio don't hear the good news.

Ohio Business Development Coalition says "Ohio means business" and is selling the state across the country. Bioscience, polymers, nanotech, fiber optics, etc. are big in Ohio says the guy from Columbus.

It seems to me it comes down to what Capitalist Cleveland is all about: what you decide to believe about Cleveland and Northeast Ohio will be a direct reflection of what you decide to focus on--the successes or the problems.

Congratulations Ohio. Congratulations, northeast Ohio, and congratulations, Cleveland. Turn your eyes up and keep them shining on the higher good and all good things will come.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Jingle bells, jingle pockets

Do you offer products on your website? If not, you should think about changing that. The online marketplace is hotter than ever--Jupiter Research says holiday sales this year are going up 18% to $26 billion.

And have you seen the new Google personalized search? Anything that will help me find what I need faster is okay by me. Even though eWeek doesn't sound too enthusiastic about personalized search, I think that focusing search capabilities is a good idea for consumers and will quickly lead to hotter sales for online retailers--after all, if more people can find your stuff, more people can buy it.

So get your site ready. The bells, they are a-jinglin'...

Some people say, "Already?" I say, I usually start shopping for the holidays in June.

Oh, and I'll be working on some out of town projects this week. So look for more next week.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How a newspaper personalizes its offerings

I don't know if you can read this or not, but the image below is a screen shot from the personalizing area of the Washington Post online. It's a perfect example of what Barb Pellow (see post below) was talking about--making your offerings truly relevant to your customers by letting them tell you exactly what they want.

Start looking for ways to do this in your business. It's the only way we're going to conquer the information overload we're all suffering from.

Eastman Kodak marketing chief wows local direct marketers

I'm very proud that my company was able to co-sponsor this dynamic speaker yesterday at the monthly Northeast Ohio Direct Marketing (NODMA) luncheon. Barb Pellow is a graduate of some of America's biggest companies--including IBM and Xerox--but she's as down to earth as anyone you'll ever see on a podium.

And did she ever explain to us what it means to mix your media in marketing! She told a case study of Lexus automobiles--how they point to the website in their advertising, get you to tell them what you want, back it up with direct mail (in Lexus's case, they send you a customized full-color brochure with exactly the car you described pictured in it)--then they personalize the followup by having a salesman call you with exactly that car in stock.

Barb gave us lots of fascinating statistics--like U.S. sales online this year will total $144 billion. Like 14 out of every 100 people on the EARTH is using the Internet. Like total online sales will be $316 billion by 2010. Is your entrepreneurial heart a-flutter yet?

Anyway, here's a link to the Kodak exec's presentation if you want to take a look--though you can never replace having been there! Thanks, Barb, for the information-packed session.

P.S. As a Board member of NODMA, I invite you all to attend our next month's luncheon where you'll hear the secrets of their recent huge rebranding campaign from a Charter One Bank exec.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Entrepreneurs are radio a go-going

Following in the footsteps of the popular Capitalist Cleveland radio show (what? you haven't heard it yet? WTMA 1300 every Tuesday Don Larson interviews another NEO entrepreneur about what brought him/her where s/he is and what's going on now), Anita Campbell's hot blog, Small Business Trends, has introduced its own radio show--Voice America.

The first On the Air date: November 8th at 1 pm EST. It's a 60-minute interview with guest Frank Griffith, CEO of Griffith Holdings Inc. Now I can't imagine an entrepreneur who wouldn't want to hear more about this hot topic: How Savvy Entrepreneurs are Developing Recurring Revenue Streams.

Listen here. Read more here.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Passing through Hopkins...

Just got back from Chicago and did a little mental comparing of O'Hare and Hopkins. Cleveland's design is pretty poor--probably because of lack of foresight about how big the airport might grow, the distances between gates can be ridiculous. Whereas it's not that bad a walk to even the farthest gates at O'Hare. But Cleveland at least has the customer service attitude to provide electric carts for those who have a physical problem or are very late and must go to the ends of the concourses to catch their planes.

Also, just read about a possible quick-pass for airport security. Haven't seen a sign of this yet here, but even though the "e-z pass" makes the Homeland Security people nervous, most of us weary travelers would welcome such an option.