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C3: Creating Opportunities, Connecting Resources & Contracting Diversity

We have an exciting opportunity brought to you by a PowerLink partner! This Thursday, May 3rd, the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development center is hosting C3: Creating Opportunities, Connecting Resources & Contracting Diversity. This event is perfect for small business owners who are looking to obtain certifications and network with the organizations who are geared towards their success. From University of Pittsburgh SBDC: "This daylong event will provide opportunities to network with Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies, Prime Contractors, Universities, Support Organizations, and other businesses both large and small. Attendees can connect with representatives throughout the day, attend training sessions, market their products and services, and get answers to their questions."
This all-day event includes panel discussions on obtaining certifications, developing proposals, cyber security, university contracting, and a networking lunch. We strongly …
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"The Company I Always Wanted to Hire": Customer Engagement with Melinda Kaiser

PowerLink's May CEO Circle topic is "how to set up and effectively keep customers long-term: the five rules of thumb of customer re-engagement." We decided to ask Melinda Kaiser of Mindful Kreative, a self-described "anti-agency, agency" and new to PowerLink, how her award-winning company has connected with her customers so well.Melinda Kaiser has over 20 years of experience in the communications industry, and has been the recipient of the prestigious Renaissance and Golden Triangle Awards. With a BA in Communications from Slippery Rock University and an MA in Public Communication from The American University, Melinda's communications career began at D.T. Watson Rehabilitation Services as Director of Communications. She went on to grow market share for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Western Pennsylvania, and to manage healthcare and technology public relations at Mullen.
In 2001, she founded Mindful Kreative, a communications company that "does awa…

The Big Connect: Mastering Social Media

Here at PowerLink, we have declared April as the month that we take the plunge into the wonderful world of social media! Our PowerLink CEO Circles will be focused on Social Media Engagement and Strategy. In addition to having an expert in the room to provide valuable tips for success and answer your questions, you will have the opportunity to engage in discussion with your peers and benefit from their experiences with social media.  In today’s culture, social media is the ultimate business tool. With 3 billion people using the internet, and 2 billion of them active on social media, it is a cold, hard fact that using social media platforms to market your business is not a just a passing fad. If your business does not have a presence on social media, you are missing out on utilizing the most inexpensive, targeted form of advertising available.

We have all made room in our budgets to upgrade and automate our businesses. We have found software or web services to automate everything from …

Lessons Learned Over Lunch: Webinar with VBA

PowerLink is hosting a webinar with VBA to discuss the power of PowerLink Advisory Boards! Discover a way to become unstuck and feel more confident when making the decisions that will affect your business long-term. And all from the comfort of your desk! Register Here to join us at Noon on March 22nd, 2018 for this free webinar.  Listen in as two local business owners, Katie Heldstab of Leona's Ice Cream Sandwiches and Glenn Yocca of US Film Crew, discuss valuable lessons they have learned thanks to the help of their PowerLink Advisory Boards. Jessica Turcotte, VP of Provider Relations and Marketing at VBA, will also be on hand to discuss her role as a PowerLink Advisor. Learn more about our speakers and moderators below. Speakers Glenn Yocca of US Film Crew Glenn Yocca, founder and president of U.S. Film Crew, is an expert in window film installations.  In 1993 after attaining a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration Glenn began his career in Pittsburgh, PA  in the win…

Success Stories: Hometown Spine and Sport

It is a proud moment at PowerLink when we watch our business owners finish their PowerLink Advisory Board cycle and continue their growth. To honor these businesses and celebrate their hard work, we have asked these owners to tell us about their experience. Here, owner Josh Slomkowski of Hometown Spine & Sport shares about lessons learned, expectations, and plans for the future. 

Could you tell us a bit about your business?
Hometown Spine & Sport is leading the movement in cutting edge pain management therapies that involve a hybridized blend of chiropractic, rehabilitative exercises and soft tissue treatments. We have molded our practice to treat more than just spinal related conditions to enable us to help people with non-spinal injuries as well such as rotator cuff disorders, carpal tunnel, knee tendonitis, and many more. Our patients always receive an in-depth examination and treatment that promote self-care management of injuries at home.

What were you anticipating when you…

Carlow University: City of Pittsburgh Women-Owned Business Enterprise Event

This week, we bring you news about an excellent opportunity presented by Carlow University!
On Thursday, March 8th, Carlow will be hosting its Women-Owned Business Enterprise Event, where local industry leaders and business owners will have access to a host of networking and educational opportunities. 
Networking will be conducted during continental breakfast and lunch. Panel topics are broadly grouped under How to do Business and Technical Assistance, with speakers including Huntington Bank, the City of Pittsburgh, and the Pennsylvania MBDA Business Center. PowerLink will be presenting at 1:00 PM and hosting a table--we hope you join us!
For more information and a complete agenda, please click here to view Carlow University's event page.
We are honored to be presenting with the group of professionals committed to the success of local women business owners. PowerLink has been committed to the success of local businesses for over 25 years, and started when two women wanted to give…

Lessons Learned in the Indiana CEO Circle

Every process comes with lessons that we carry with us through the rest of our careers. After a year of hard work and great ideas, the members of our Indiana CEO Circle gave us the lessons that they learned. Always get the money up front. Small business can mean small profits, difficulty establishing yourself, and most worryingly, uncertainty. Until you feel established in your customer/supplier relationships, it is perfectly reasonable to expect payment in full or a 50% deposit. Once your relationship is established, more flexible payment plans can be enforced as is convenient. Until then, don't hesitate to be strict. 
Say yes to "fringe" business. Your best customer or most reliable supplier may not be found where you think. Always stay open to new and unusual markets--you never know who may be interested in what you have to offer. But if the business isn't as profitable, learn to say "no."
Treat a friend like a regular customer. If you are fortunate enoug…